UoB Tabletop, Jujitsu, Ninja Turtles & Halesowen Board Gamers (29/10/14)

Well, I’ve not posted an update for a little while, that’ll be because I keep being really busy! Here’s a bit of a catch up until Wednesday of last week, and I’ll try to get this last weekend written up soon (Which was UoB Tabletop Friday, Telford Games Day Saturday, Afternoon Play Sunday, so much gaming! ^^).

University of Birmingham Tabletop

Last Will

I got in another play of Last Will at UoBTT a couple of weeks back. Apparently I’m terrible at spending money fast, and seem to just make tons of mistakes in the game. In general I tried to go for a ‘grab mansions and depreciate’ strategy this time, but bought a farm too because it was a high price, then never used it, which was…not good. When the game was won (By..I have no idea how to spell his name, ‘charon’). Playing were myself, Anna, Charon, Matt and *Cough*, ha, I remembered who was playing, see how good I am.

Coup

We played a few rounds of Coup next, which was apparently pretty forgettable as I have no idea how things went, although if it was the night I’m thinking of, I won 3/3 as the other players kept in-fighting and letting me get away with it ^^.

It was a good evening, though I should have got it written up the next day, not a week later :P

Jujitsu

Monday this week I did something a little different! I’d mentioned to my friend Chris a couple days before that I wanted to play Smash Up, so he invited me over for both a game of that, and to go along to a Jujitsu session. I certainly didn’t have anything better to do with a Monday, so happily went along ^^. I had a fun time there, although find it hard to take it seriously for some reason (Someone telling you ‘finish him’ just doesn’t work as a serious comment in my head =P). I hope to go again sometime though for sure!

Smash Up

We also played a game of Smash Up (Well, we started before going to jujitsu and finished it up after). I was Cyborg Shapeshifters & Chris was running with Robotic Tricksters. I thought he had me beat from early on, but slipped ahead when I solo-captured a base with a ridiculous combo that meant one minion was on something like 20 power. (Basically, one card was ‘+2 Power per action played on this minion’, and I duplicated it with the shapeshifter ‘copy an action played on a minion’, ^^). Looking forward to playing again as the following weekend I picked up Monster Smash/Big Geeky Box ^^.

Ninja Turtles

I don’t even… This was a very meme filled affair, and while I enjoyed it, can’t really say its’ a good film :P Also…Wearing your weight in make-up does not fix bad acting (Megan Fox as a lead…why…)

Halesowen (29/10/14)

Got a relatively high amount of games played on Wednesday last week, with us going for shorter options rather than one or two longer games. First up of these was Steam Park, a real-time dice-rolling game where players compete to build steampunk theme parks and attract robot visitors to gain points.

Steam Park

Steam Park takes place over 6 rounds, during which rides and stands are built, your park is expanded, and robotic visitors visit your park and ride your attractions for eternity (They know what they like!). Points are scored throughout for your visitors on rides and bonus cards you play, although also lost depending on how much dirt you have in your park, which builds up through actions taken and from having visitors on your rides, requiring players to devote at least some time to tidying things up!

Each round, each player takes their 6 dice, then simultaneously roll as many times as they want looking for sides which align to particular actions. When a dice has an action you want, you move it to your piggy bank, locking it in. When all your dice are locked, you take the best available finish-position tile (for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th), giving you -4 Dirt, -2 Dirt, Nout, +2 Dirt respectively). When all but the last player have finished their selection, the remaining player has up to 3 more rolls before they must stop no matter what their rolls are.

Next, in order of when players finished their rolling stage, players take actions as determined by their dice. This is from possibilities of ‘Build a Ride’, ‘Build a Stand’, ‘Play a Bonus Card’, ‘Gain a Visitor’, Clear 2 Dirt or Extend Your Park (The first 3 of which generate 1 dirt/dice). Building things just costs the action, so you take the relevant thing and place it in your park (Obeying certain restrictions). Gaining a visitor has you place one meeple in the bag (of 6), then drawing one (There’s 6 colours, and you need matching colours to get them on rides, so by adding one before, you tilt the odds in your favour), clearing dirt is fairly obvious, extend park is just discard any dice (Non-blank) to add a 2×2 section to your park (Starts 4×4), and playing a bonus card has you use one of your cards from your hand to gain points for the criteria it provides.

At the end of each turn, you gain 3 points (money) per visitor in your park, then until you get to 3 cards, draw 2 at a time and discard one of the 2 drawn cards (So you get a bit of choice over what goals you’re aiming for).

In our game, I generally tried to rush blue rides (Because Blue), and aimed to grab a casino or two, then just worked my strategy based on what bonus cards I picked up. Sadly I missed the 3-size blue ride (As I finished last so someone else got it with their first choice), build a 2 & a 1 then proceeded to choose awful positioning for my stands, as there was none left of their type by the next turn (Where I was last to finish) which would have been the only thing that could fit. I spent a fair amount of time playing bonus cards and cleaning up dirt (Because well…coming last generates extra on top of your other actions), but did quite enjoy working towards the bonuses.

In the meantime, rachael grabbed I think all 3 pink rides, and I think by the end had a visitor in every space. Mate/Lee seemed to manage ok, although I think Lee made some poor choices by rushing more than he needed to (Because I mean…I was going to come last anyway so if 1st/2nd were gone anyway, might as well have taken his time =p). I came first in one round during the game, thanks to the casino (Lets you change a dice you’ve already taken) and because I had to expand in that round, costing another incorrect dice (So I only needed 4 as what I wanted).

In any case, Rachael won with her fairy park, while I came in last with my spread out mess. I quite liked the game, but I was so slow and just couldn’t reevaluate my needs on the fly, leading to endless rolling where I wanted specific actions. I think if I played again I might try just stopping after one or two rolls and taking an earlier position then worrying about actions after, rather than planning ahead at all. Problem is…Galaxy Trucker scratches the same itch and just does it better, so I’ll probably leave this one alone for a while ^^. (Which is easy enough as its’ someone elses game, quite glad I didn’t buy it a while ago when it was first announced and caught my interest ^^).

Voluspa

Next up, I believe, was Voluspa. This is a tile-laying game where players take turns to place tiles from their hands of 5. If the tile placed is the highest in the row/column its’ in, that row/column is scored, at one point per tile within it. Tiles have abilities (Except the 8 and one version of the 7), which provide alternate ways to score or manipulate the layout in compensation for being harder to place in a high-scoring position.

We played with an 8 tile type setup – Lightning Bolts, Dwarves, Hermods, Wolves, Dragons, Trolls, Thor & Loki. Having both Lightning and Dragons (Both tiles that place atop other tiles) made for a tight layout, which was particularly good for the lightning bolts (They automatically score the shortest of the row or column they are in, and a tight layout tends to leave plenty opportunity to score 7 points with them, the maximum line length).

A few mistakes (Well, in my eyes) were made, such as using hermods to extend lines before scoring (You can eke out more points if the hermod can score a line on its’ own separate to your placement, although if you do it to max a line to 7 it can be effective). Dwarves were used well, although someone (Rachael I think) gave me quite a few points trying to set herself up for a dwarf on a future turn and I nabbed the space ^^.

Final scores were Máté in first (Sorry if the accents on that are wrong), I think I was 2nd, Rach 3rd, and Lee a little further behind (Although he seemed to get how things work, he was dropped back a bit before he did unfortunately). The tileset was pretty nice to new players, which is a shame for me as I didn’t get to have a cheeky win by having played before ;P

Coup

I’ve played so much of this recently I’m really not sure what to say ^^. I think Máté had gone by this point, and that I won (Hooray for couples fighting among themselves too much in elimination games ;P). Sorry for lack of further info!

Biblios

To finish up we played a game of Biblios. This is a fairly simple draft and auction game, that plays fast and is remarkably fun. First, players take turns to draw #players+1 cards, keeping one, putting one face-down into the auction pile, and placing #players-1 cards face-up on the table, which the other players then take into their hands respectively. Players will gather money, potentially alter values of each of the 5 categories of holy stuff, and gather influence in those categories during this stage.

When the deck is empty, the auction round begins. Players now take turns to place a card face up, then choose whether to bid and how much to bid. Players must be able to pay for their bid (Or more than their bid), with the cards in their hand to do so. This generally goes up in ones, ‘I bid 1’, ‘I’ll go 2’, ‘pass’ kind of thing.

When the auction pile is empty, the game ends. Players reveal their strength in each of the 5 categories, and score points equal to the value the dice has finished on for that category. Someone may have gone all in for a dice on 6, but someone else could have won two at 3 & 4 and take the win.

I thought I was doing awful throughout our game, but did win two dice at the end. Unfortunately they weren’t enough, and I think Lee took the win with the 2 he ended up with. Rachael didn’t end up with too much, as the ones I unexpectedly won were ones I was competing with her for! Love the game, in my wishlist to get sometime (Although…there’s a Biblios dice game coming to kickstarter soon, will have to see what that’s like first ^^)

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