Category Archives: Retail

Weekly Update #2 – Halesowen Board Gamers & Euphoria

So, in the first 8 days that I’ve owned Euphoria, I’ve played 7 times. I think that’s definitely the sign of a great game! In this post I plan to Summarize how they’ve gone, mention a few other games played and generally cheer that I found a new tabletop society to go to on Wednesdays!

Back on Wednesday last week I got my first couple of plays done in the evening. Some friends came over, so we have me, Chris, Chris & Adam. Or by initials CJS, CJH, CJH…Er..Me, Handy, Harrison & Adam, lets go with that. I got explanation out of the way pretty quickly and we got into our games and had a lot of fun. Adam found a great tactic quite early and managed to pull ahead with his Icarus allegiance and win the first game. In the second game things felt a bit tighter with us knowing rather than guessing what we were doing, Harrison managed to make good use of recruits and take the lead. I had ‘lose a worker’ recruits in at least one of the games and well, losing a worker hurts!

On Friday I went along to the UoB tabletop society for just the 1 game of Euphoria before I headed back home to join friends who wanted to play Battlestar Galactica. In the game of Euphoria I got asked a lot more questions this time, which I think was because my thematic explanation was a bit fractured and made people ask a lot of questions about it, which is a bit frustrating when it doesn’t actually affect the game. Anyway people had a lot of fun and Ian commented that he wants to play again sometime (Harrison won again, as he was about too and enjoys the game ^^). The game of battlestar galactica afterwards was quite fun, but to be honest I find the length of the game too much, when you consider how heavy the landslide is when the second round of loyalty cards goes out – I don’t enjoy going from ‘a chance’ to ‘haha you’ve lost’, but what can you do…:(

I had another game of Euphoria, this time with 2, on the 7th. I had a lot less fun this game but fortunately I managed to work out the reason afterwards which was an incorrect rule! We were doing the markets wrong so they weren’t really contestable, which meant the winner of the game was obvious a long time before the end and took out all the tension. No problems as correcting the rule makes it better. In the evening me, Grace, and my housemates Ken & Ruth had games of Dixit (Ken Won), Timeline (Ruth Won) and Love Letter (Ruth Won), there’s not much I can say about these as they’re pretty straightforward games, but we had a lot of fun!

On Sunday I played games of Legendary & Forbidden Desert with Ken in the day, and Euphoria 2 player with Grace in the evening. Forbidden Desert we absolutely kicked ass, winning with no worry of things going wrong at all (I didn’t even have to visit a water location, thanks to finding a canteen along the way). In Legendary we beat up Mephisto despite his valiant efforts to open Portals to the dark dimension, with Ken punching his face a few more times than me and taking the victory. With Euphoria in the evening I won the first game, as a result of Grace missing a rule that I didn’t pick up on (How the numbers on commodity locations work). The game after Grace took victory with me not too far behind, so at this point I’d pretty much lost 5/5 as I discounted the game before where only I knew how to play properly ^^.

On Monday/Tuesday I did something related to board games but not playing them! I recorded a ‘run through’ of the game in the hope that people can watch it and learn to play the game – Something I much prefer doing as opposed to reading rulebooks (Well, I read those too, but it’s hard to match rulebook to actually playing sometimes ^^). Monday was just a few failed attempts, and on Tuesday I got a whole video recorded (40 minutes!) with just a couple of breaks when people came into the room as I couldn’t bring myself to keep going when that happened ^^. I got the video posted overnight and some great feedback from the Euphoria forum on boardgamegeek yesterday, positive feedback in fact! I’m so happy that people liked the video as now I’m super-motivated to do more.

Halesowen Board Gamers

Well, this wasn’t any longer than any of the other sessions I had, but this is a new society I came across that I’m quite excited about! This group meet up every Wednesday evening in an upstairs room in a pub, which is really well lit and has lots of room, not to mention being remarkably quiet. I’m so glad to have found it and taken the chance as being a pub I was unsure ^^.

I took Grace & Harrison with me as I love playing games with them and partly because I wanted people I know there for confidence reasons ^^. I had Euphoria with me so I suggested that and after a short while found a couple of people to join me and Grace for a game while Harrison went off to play Power Grid (Which I believe he enjoyed). I got a bit focused on my own strategies in Euphoria to know what the other 3 were going for, but with a recruit that let me use any resource for construction sites I focused on construction of markets. As a result I made a lot of use of the Euphorian tunnel and had a beautiful stack of gold to work with. Thanks to limiting other players actions by the market negatives I was pushing out, and perhaps by finally having grasped the way the game works, I took the victory by a few points lead!

Afterwards me, Grace & the other 2 (James & Jamie I believe was their names) played a game of King of Tokyo as we needed something fairly quick to fill the time. While the others tried to balance going into Tokyo and getting other things, I just sat back and went for points with no idea if it was a good plan. Apparently it was, as after 20 minutes or so 2 of the other players had wiped themselves out, with the last being in Tokyo with 2 health. For the first time in the game I just went straight for damage and got the 2 I needed to take the win. Yay!

Fun Week! I hope things continue being this packed with gaming ^^.

Advertisements

Weekly Update #1, Afternoon Play, A Table & Euphoria!

Not that anyone reads this blog, but I think I need a better name for general updates than tagging them all as ‘random musings’, lets go the boring route and call it ‘Weekly Update #X’ =)

So what’s happened in the past week? A few things actually, resulting in my being a bit lacking in sleep! I really need to get a handle on the fact that knowing I need to be asleep by 10pm doesn’t make the early hours of the Morning an ok substitute.

On Thursday I went out into Birmingham for my friend Emma’s birthday. I met up with people in the Christmas market for food, beer and merriment! We had lots of fun and after a while headed to ‘The Brew Dog’ where I’ve not been before, but is a cool place with lots of interesting beers. Too many beers, and confusingly not sold in pints, why do places sell beers in halves/thirds, that’s just wrong! It was lovely to see some people that I’ve only met up with once or twice in the past year, and a couple of new people too, great night!
Friday I went to the University of Birmingham tabletop society after work, taking along a handful of games to play. A few of us got together and played a game of Quarriors (I think I won, yay!), although that was all as I went for an early night with my lovely gf.

Sunday I went to Afternoon Play with Grace, where we met up with one of Grace’s housemates from last year and a couple of his friends (One who I had met and one I hadn’t). It was quite nice to go to the event and play board games with people I don’t see very often ^^. On arrival we played a game of Resistance: Avalon with 10 players (Which we lost..I need to speak up when I think a mission is dumb rather than just vote no..). We then moved to a pub from the cafe (Same society) and played Frag and Byzantio. The former of which is a quake-3 style board game which seemed heavily based on luck, and the latter is one of my games that I was wanting to play more, with hidden information and area control. Awesome night!
On Monday I didn’t seem to find time for much asides from a trip to IKEA with my housemate Ken. It’s the first time I’ve been there and to be honest, I’m disappointed nothing caught my eye ^^. The trip was to buy a table though, which Ken took care of, so we headed home with the lovely new flatpack of the table to build that evening. Of course we then realized we didn’t have a screwdriver (Asides from one on a gerber multitool which wasn’t good enough). We gave in and had a game of zombicide on the upside-down tabletop on the floor, as we’d already decided we were going to play a game on the new table ^^.

Last night I went to my parents for dinner and to pick up a delivery. That delivery was Euphoria, a game which I’m super excited about and can’t wait to play (Hence going and fetching it ^^). I also picked up a few screwdrivers so we found some time to put the table together too (Yay!). Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to play a game, but I did get the components out to have a look, they’re so pretty! Love the stretch goal upgrades ^^. The plan is to get it played this evening, which a few friends are coming over for. Now we just need to get some chairs for the table…hmm ^^ (They’re so expensive though -_-)

So that was my week! Not bad I think, but I do need to try and get more sleezzzzzzzZzzZzzzZZzzzZz…

Random Musings #2 (Christmas Soon!)

I like the idea of calling posts ‘random musings’ because it gives me an excuse to type nonsense as a way of delaying until I final get around to thinking of something that’s actually interesting to read to someone, maybe. Lets just go with an update on board games for the past week.

Friday – UoB Tabletop Gaming Society

I try to go to the society at the University I live by every Friday. Sadly I’m no longer a student but as I still enjoy going, I’ve taken to the idea of driving over there as soon as I finish work at 5 to play games until the late evening (2-7 was normal, but people stay around till around 11 if I go, particularly as I bring more games than the society gets out themselves ^^). Anyway we had time for a couple of games last Friday although I always wish I could fit in more.

First up was Kings of Air and Steam. There was 6 people about and we were trying to decide on a game when a 7th walked in and it immediately settled the matter, as this was the only one going to that player count. I’m really happy about that as I love this game and it’s better with more players, plus I’ve now been able to introduce most of the regular Friday tabletop people to it so future plays will have less teaching! It was a tight game between 6 of us, with 1 of those 6 being a dirty pirate and using his steal money/goods powers to good effect. The 7th managed to sneakily find a corner where noone bothered him much, and shot out to a ridiculous lead, leaving it 200-something to 100-120 for the rest of us. I came last, as tends to happen with KoAaS as I make a lot of mistakes while teaching (It’s hard to remember to upgrade your airship when you get asked 6+ questions a turn ^^). In the end though it was a fun mess and I loved it anyway!

For the second game of the night we split into 2 groups. 3 went for a MtG variant called commander (I think, 100 card pre-set decks) and the other 4 of us went for Among the Stars. This a brilliant drafting game that plays out like a strongly thematic and much more exciting version of 7 wonders, where we act as various races building space stations for some post-war peace ideal. I went for an odd shape designed to let me get high points from adjacency cards (Lots of gaps for those cards as I went) which confused the new players a lot, while they were being more confined. In the end I almost won, but got edged out by a little thing we very nearly missed, I think credits to vp. It was great fun and I enjoyed having a transporter heavy secure station with some totally peaceful huge gun emplacements. Can’t wait to try it with the expansion, and up to 6 players!

Sunday – Apres Essen Goodie Con (Telford)

The brilliant UK online gaming store gameslore held an event in Belmont Hall in Telford in Sunday, where they had a few new games from Essen available to play as well as a few for sale. I couldn’t resist the temptation, and also wanted to go in part as motorway practice in case I need to go longer distances sometime (I’ve been driving for 2.5 weeks). My lovely girlfriend Grace joined me and we headed over in the early afternoon for a few hours of gaming, which we managed to fit just the 1 longer game and 2 smaller ones (1 of which we gave up on as it was kinda lame ^^).

The longer game was Spyrium, a worker placement game that came out recently with an interesting worker placement mechanism based around a 3×3 grid of cards. When you place a worker, you put it between 2 of these cards, and when you move into your activation phase (Stop placing workers) to use/obtain one of them. One caveat though is that the cost to obtain/use a card (obtain is buildings that you take off the grid, use is people that can be used multiple times) is increased by 1 for each other worker around that card. The result is that a valuable looking card soon becomes too expensive. During activation you can retrieve a worker around a card to gain 1 money for each other worker their instead of using it, so you can also use these heavily contested cards as a money generator. I tried to go for the lesser buildings that generated spyrium/converted it to victory points rather than competing for the high cost cards, coming in 3rd/5. We had to learn the game before/while playing so I don’t know much about what everyone else did unfortunately, I do hope to play again sometimes but I won’t be buying this one!

Game 2 was a game with a few dice (18 D6 in 3 colours, and 1 special big dice) and some imps, you roll the big dice to work out what you are doing (Take the colour of imp the same as dice closest to the die, or take the imp the same colour as the highest die rolled). This ended up being lame as hell because it took so little time to work out the simple ideals that it was more of a ‘I can grab it faster’ than ‘I can work it out faster’, we gave up about halfway through despite it only being a 5-10 minute game, bleh.

Finally we had a game of Eight Minute Empire. I’ve been quite intrigued by this game since I came across it on kickstarter but didn’t back at the time as I wasn’t convinced it could work and didn’t really research it. We were in need of a quick game though as were time limited, and I picked it from the table of stuff provided for trying. We played the basic game but had a good 8 minutes of fun (Maybe 10, the game lies!) with us all going for slightly different tactics. I won with 11 points by a sneaky move at the end taking control of the island to the bottom left, although I’m not sure how tactical the game really was, maybe with a few plays (Which wouldn’t take long to be fair!). If I see this in a FLGS or on kickstarter with another expansion/sequel maybe I’ll pick it up!

—-

I mentioned Christmas in the post title! I should say something about it really. A few days ago I was asked by my family what I’d like for Christmas/Birthday (as my birthdays only a few days later they get combined). My wish list is pretty much:

  • TomTom – Borrowing my grandads at the moment, but I need one of my own really ^^.
  • Caverna: The Cave Farmers. Looks like a fantastic version of Agricola with some of the aspects that put me off being tidied (Feeding family for example).
  • Legacy: Gears of Time. I have the back to the future card game (kind of like chrononauts) but it doesn’t quite scratch my temporal board gaming itch, so this looks like a good option.
  • Belfort. I’ve developed a soft spot for TMG after getting KoAaS and this looks like it could be of interest to me,
  • Eldritch Horror. Arkham Horror seems a bit OTT to me, this streamlined new version looks great though.
  • Socks. I mean c’mon, what’s Christmas without socks as presents. =)

Can’t wait for Christmas day to try out some or all of those!

Pathfinder, Smash Up and Job-Hunting.

So I don’t know where to go with todays post, but to start with, I can say I just received a lovely delivery from Amazon. briefly mention job stuff, then talk about what’s in that delivery!

Come Thursday, I’ll be out of a job, as I’m in a fixed term contract while another member of the company is on maternity leave. As a result I don’t think I’ll have money for buying new…anything for a while, and will be spending a lot of time job-hunting. I’ve had the deliveries games pre-ordered for a while or I’d have not bought them, but at least they’ll be a comfort while I pull my hair out over job applications in the next few days/weeks!

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

I’ve not been in a lot of roleplaying games, but I did a few with my closest friends about a year ago, and even bought myself some books in the pathfinder system so I could run games in return for them. I bought a random adventure to start with, which is the one I’ve actually ran, and then bought the Rise of the Runelords anniversary edition, intending to run a full campaign sometime, which so far hasn’t happened after I stopped attending due to not being a fan of a particular game my friend was running (Hunter).

Anyway, as a result I’m really interested to see how the Rise of the Runelords path plays out, and I have this amazing opportunity to do so through a medium I much prefer – board games. The base set for the pathfinder adventure card game is this very path, and I can’t wait to rip open the absolutely massive box when I get home and try it out. The game is designed with a slow overarching deck-refining mechanic where you earn cards during each game, and get to keep some of them for future games, slowly increasing your power as you go.

I really love being able to keep a character and advance it over an extended period, and this opportunity to do so in a card game has huge appeal for me. The game has a couple of other interesting mechanisms, such as a deck that acts as your abilities and your health (So you must strike a balance to not fatigue yourself too much, or risk dying to anything left after your rampage).

The game apparently supports solo play which could be interesting, although I usually prefer multiplayer gaming, but I look forward to seeing how it goes. Can’t wait to try it out, and hopefully talk about it in a future post! (Maybe Friday!)

Smash Up: Obligatory Cthulhu Expansion

As it’s a requirement that all games get a Cthulhu expansion, AEG have taken some time out from doing normal expansions to fulfill their obligations. I wasn’t expecting this to get dispatched for another month, so I was happy to find the delivery containing the PACG also had this little box included.

The expansion adds 4 new factions from the universe, such as Innsmouthians and Miskatonic University, and a new type of card – madness. I’ve not played with it yet to see how it goes, but the just is that they are cards you might get into your deck during a game that have strong benefits, at the cost of giving negatives to your score at the end of the game. I’ve been rather skeptical due to the 4 similarly themed factions (It feels like it’s completely against the Smash Up style!) but I do think it’s a pretty cool mechanic, and one that required a dedicated expansion to not risk spiraling into non-use.

I’ve not played Smash Up in a while (Blame Legendary), and can’t wait to try it out with a breath of new life from this and it’s future expansions, Miskatonic Steam-punks shall rule the world ;)

Till next time!