Tag Archives: Euphoria

Halesowen Board Gamers #16, Games Days, UK Games Expo, Catchup Post!

Hey, so I went quiet for a little while, sorry about that! I just lacked motivation for a little while to write up on gaming nights. As it is I’m still going to breeze over things somewhat as I just don’t remember some of the games played particularly clearly at the moment.

The good news is that part of the reason I’m hazy on details of games is I’ve just played so many in the past couple of weeks! As I’ll mention below ^^.

 

Halesowen – Wednesday 21st May

On the 21st I attended Halesowen as with most Wednesdays for games, where I played Belfort, with Mike getting a first shot at the game & a (I think) repeat play for Stan. Belfort is a worker-placement game with a couple of ‘majority’ mechanics that give players cause to go different directions or to stock up on resources a few rounds ahead in order to get bonuses or greater points in a round.

In our game, I opted to try and rush for workers, going for the extra-worker spot when I could, and building 2 extra-worker buildings to further the method. This gave me a nice chance at the majorities when getting resources, but meant I was lacking in income compared to the other players, and I got very few points in the earlier half of their game due to minimal amount of buildings. I don’t remember exactly what Mike/Stan went for, but certainly by the end of the game they had enough buildings between them that I was pretty scuppered and couldn’t catch up – Didn’t stop Mike from screwing me with his last building though, mean! Mikes Win!

Following this, Mike left for the evening due to travel plans early the next day, so we merged with a few others for a game of Heckmeck. This game has players competing to get as many worms as possible, through a push-your-luck dice-rolling mechanic where players try to get high numbers in order to take or steal tiles with worms upon them – If you don’t manage to go high enough with your roll, you return a tile to the middle and the highest-value one remaining is flipped and becomes unavailable. The game ends when no tiles remain.

In our first game, Steve, with his unholy high rolling, which was apparently due to the sacrifice of innocents or some-such evil machinations in the game of Cosmic Encounter the others at the table player beforehand, managed to net a tied victory with Mark. This is past an amusing amount of passing of the tile ’23’ between players, which naturally made it the ‘curse’ tile, ^^.

In our second game, things went differently, with Steve’s luck having worn off and no longer giving him crazy rolls. After more silliness and the stepping in of Dave pointing out that we were playing with a significant rule error (Although we carried on the same) where we were taking a failed roll to not immediately end the turn, I took a valiant victory, woohoo!

Apologies that this is a very glossed over account, onto the random days of gaming I’ve been having! ^^

Games Day with Friends – Saturday 24th May

On the 24th, myself, Grace & some of my friends (Emma, Ken, Kimberley, Charlie) met up for something of a games day (Not everyone was in every game but still ^^).

First up we bought out the Resistance. In this game one team play the resistance, fighting against the oppressive evil government of the future, while the other team are government spies, infiltrating the resistance and sabotaging their attempts to fight the system. Players were Myself, Emma, Ken & Kimberley

In the first game, which we played vanilla, myself & Emma were spies, and while I think Emma got copped fairly easily (First game it’s hard to keep it secret!) I lasted only a little longer, with the game falling to the good guys after I voted against a success mission in a way that was probably a bit too obvious.

For the second game, I introduced every to plot cards. This is an expansion where each round the leader gives one player a ‘plot’ card that might make them vote publicly, or let them steal leadership, etc, either helping a good guy get information or letting a spy deceive the group smartly. Unfortunately for the dastardly spies, Grace was a bit obvious, with a few too many ‘I don’t get its’ (Which is a bit of a meta-gamey way to notice someone’s a spy, but people seem to grasp ‘good guy’ easier than ‘bad guy’ for some reason), and Kimberley just had a downright evil glint to her eyes, win for the good guys again! ^^. I think we’re all just a bit bad at being bad…^^.

Next up we broke out Galaxy Trucker, a hectic real-time spaceship building game where players rush to grab tiles from a shared lot to build a ship that hopefully survives the race/flight phase. I don’t really know what to specifically mention about our game, asides from it was a lot of fun, and really great to see how the new players ships formed after each build (As particularly in the first game or few games, players respond heavily to the last flight and get gradually better at filling the space on their board). I had a really quite unfair advantage as I’ve played the most (I think, Grace has played a lot too and her ships were closer to mine than the rest of the groups) – I should have had a handicap, and we gave me a rough-road in the 3rd round, which actually turned out to have almost no effect by plenty luck on my behalf (On open space, a random component from my ship would fall off, only 1 open space happened, which was my first and only piece lost all game). I won, but more importantly I got to introduce people to this fantastic game and I really hope everyone had a blast – Next time I’ll do rough roads right from the start for me!

Next up we headed to the pub for a while, dropping Kimberley who was going out somewhere (I forget where, oops) and meeting up with Charlie. Emma had pointed out Love Letter as a game she recognized before we left so we’d taken it along, and I introduced the table to the game. Love Letter is a little deduction game, which while it soon feels like an ‘automatic’ playing game, is a fantastic introductory thing to play, and a convenient game to carry to a pub with its’ tiny size. I think there was 4/5 of us up to 2 out of the 3 cubes needed to win before a rather foolish error on my behalf gave the game away to <redacted> (And by redacted, I mean my memory sucks).

After a couple of drinks, we headed back to my house and got out the last game of the day – Ticket to Ride: Europe (Also losing Grace who had other commitments to go and get on with). It was the first time for all 3 I think (Ken, Emma, Charlie) so things went by mostly friendly (Though I’m pretty sure Ken dropped a couple of deliberate blocking-moves in there). Thanks to a block that Ken did against me however, my circuitous route also let me complete a ton of extra short routes which I picked up over the game (I had and completed 10 in total!) which I figured was a fairly easy win – Not so, as Charlie also managed to complain a hefty chunk of extra routes to his starting ones, but still giving me victory, with a mere 2 points difference – I hope we can sort out another game sometime as that was scarily close for someone’s first run at a game. Ken/Emma were a bit further back, but both completed their starting routes which is what I tend to expect new-players to work on ^^.

It was a fantastic day, and I’m very happy to have been able to get friends from Uni involved with some of my games. I hope the opportunity to play with them comes up again!

Games in Bristol – 28th-30th May

I had the last week of May off as holiday, which was thanks to planning to do things on Thursday/Friday (Which I didn’t actually end up doing ^^) and figuring I may as well have the whole week. An old friend of mine, Simon, has his ‘weekend’ on Tuesdays/Wednesdays so by suggestion of my lovely girlfriend I gave him a ring (Well, his girlfriend Nat a ring anyway, seeing as his phone was being lame :P) and sorted out driving down to stay over on the Tuesday night. Last time I visited I threatened to bring some of my board games along, as they both enjoy games but have only the more mainstream/traditional affair, naturally I had to follow through and took a nice selection ^^.

I arrived in Tuesday around 4ish, meeting up with Simon after a brief hiatus of wondering how the hell to find the farm they live on. After a catchup Simon suggested Forbidden Desert sounded like an interesting game to try which I promptly fetched and set up. We did random roles, giving me the navigator & Simon the climber (Yay mobility!), and went with novice as the difficulty. The first few rounds were pretty much learning rounds, and he’d gotten the hang of it before long, with us absolutely kicking the games ass as we went. I think we finished with only 1 oasis having been flipped and enough water to last another couple of rounds – I think that the 2P game may be a bit easy on novice, particularly as it’s hard to get excited to play a coop again when you win it without issue the first time around, still, a victories a victory!

The next game we got out to play (I think) was Ticket To Ride: Europe. I bought this along as it’s just such a fantastic ‘gateway’ game, and seemed like a good choice for playing with Nat now joining us to play, who didn’t want to go for anything too complex. The game went by pretty smoothly, and I was able to get a very healthy amount of extra routes completed over the game with the power of stations, netting me a win, this time.

The final game of the day was Voluspa, which Nat bowed out from leaving it as me vs Simon. I was pretty impressed at how quickly he picked the game up, with the kind of ‘suboptimal’ moves most people fall into a lot in their first few games being few and far between, although I was still able to eke out a victory by the end, just certainly not without having to try ^^. The Jotunn tile was blamed I think, as it is in many games, as people seem to prefer the dragon (Dragon places atop another tile, Jotunn does the same, but pushes that tile to the end of the row/column), presumably as you don’t have to think so hard about placing it ^^.

The next day, with Nat having gone to work, Simon suggested Caverna, one I’d bought along a whim not really expecting any interest. I’m glad that the interest was there though as I think it’s a brilliant game. Simon went for his cave as a priority, using spaces that directly give food in order to feed his dwarves, while I focused on building up my farm – we each also had a single adventurer (I got mine to block him for an extra round, bit mean but meh =P). I came out on 61 points while Simon came out around 20ish give or take a few, but I think most importantly we both had a great time with it and wanted to play again ^^. We were supposed to meet Nat at 1pm as she had a break for a few hours before more work, but we kind of overshot a little with Caverna and didn’t make it to nearly 2pm, where we had lunch in a terrifyingly expensive chip shop/restaurant in Western Super-Mare & had a look in a miniatures/guns/lego/misc shop as Simon & Nat figured I’d enjoy it (Correctly, although tempting the wallet like that is cruel!).

When we came back, Simon suggested a game of Ticket To Ride, but I countered with Smash Up as I knew Nat would probably want to play later (I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded an extra game, but I don’t want to over-play it too much ^^). I think we had Steampunk Bears (His Factions) vs Time Travelling Spies (My factions) – I ultimately won, but I think this was the least enjoyed game we played, possibly due to our factions/player-count but partly as Simon seems to have a vendetta against card games ^^.

With Nat returned later on, we jumped into another game of Ticket To Ride: Europe. This went very differently from last time, as while before I was able to work on some extra short routes, this game I barely had my starting routes done before Nat had run out of trains, ridiculously quickly in fact, such that both me & Simon were stuck with something like 15 train pieces left each. I did get an extra couple of short ones done, but Nat dominated on points thanks to completing all her 3 starting ones and having used the 8-piece long track which gave a ton of points – We could have blocked her fairly easily but just didnt’ realise we needed to! Well played!

The last game of the evening didn’t actually involve me. I decided to get Nat & Simon to face-off over a game of Jaipur, a set-collection game where players are trading goods to try and impress the maharaja. The game plays quick, and as such such is done over 3 rounds in a best of 3. Simon won twice in a row for a swift victory, but they both had fun and I heard murmurings of wanting to buy it from Nat (Buahaha, I’ll get them addicted to ‘designer’ games yet! ^^).

The last thing we played was on Thursday (I stayed an extra day after we played late enough into Wednesday that I didn’t fancy driving back ^^), which was Qwirkle, as it was the only game I’d bought that hadn’t been tried yet. Not much to say about it but I had a considerably score lead over Simon (Nat was at work since before we woke) taking the win, before he went to work and I headed home. Absolutely fantastic few days, great to see an old friend & his lovely girlfriend, and get to introduce them to some of the games I’ve gotten to try & own over the last couple of years!

UK Games Expo – 31st May to 1st June

So I originally planned to go to the expo on the Friday, but as I’m lazy, and as Starbound is obscenely addictive once you have strong weapons and drills I got slightly distracted until it was too late in the day. Hopefully next year I can get my ass into gear and do the whole 3 days ^^. I spent most of the time there just wandering around & sorting out passing on Archon & getting Space Cadets: Dice Duel (Yay Math Trade), as well as picking up Village which I’d agreed to on boardgamegeek.

On the Saturday I headed in at an ungodly early hour with a friend I met via my girlfriend, Adam. On arrival we also met with one of Adams’ friends Victor that I’ve met once before, although even though it got bought up I forget where, oops :P. In any case, they were eager to jump into some random game and Frankenstein’s Bodies was the first stall we happened upon after that thought.

In this game, each player has a board (Well, 2 laminated sheets, I presume it’s a single board each in the final version, which is being kickstarted now) with 2 operating tables, and a set of cards. Each round has players take turns to take a random card from the deck and 1 card from a set of face-up ones available, then play 2 cards. Cards are either body parts (In 4 Colours & 2 Genders), master-surgeons that block part-stealing and make stealing better for you or ‘take-that’ style action cards which let you steal parts from other players. This carries on until someone has 2 complete bodies in front of them. (Or the deck runs out twice, but there didn’t seem to be enough things resulting in a trashed card for that to happen). It was ok, but ‘take-that’ style gameplay where players screw each other over constantly is really not something I’m a huge fan of. In any case, I had to run off for a pre-arranged meet to buy Village from a bgg’er before the end, with Adam apparently winning the game in my absense (out of 5, 2 were random people that joined us). The gameplay is quite simple though, so maybe cool for a younger generation (Still…it’s also 50-70 minutes for what I was expecting to be 20-30 when I sat down, based on the compenents and style of play).

I met back up with Adam & Victor at Lunch Time, as well as 1 extra guy they’d picked up who they know…who’s name probably begins with a J but which I maybe slightly promptly forgot. I was the only one with any games on me, so we got Euphoria out (The only Stonemaier Game I got played while there sadly, as I was struggling a bit with confidence to go and introduce random people to them despite having bought them along to show off, a shame really but hey…maybe next time). In any case, I took home the win, having managed to maneuvre favourable trades to myself a few times while building markets, as people are suddenly more willing to do that 3:1 trade when they want to avoid the negative consequences ^^ (I should also note, this is the first time I’ve ever had people trade in a game! It was a nice addition so I hope I can convince other groups to do the same). After Lunch we split as I had to go find another BGG’er to give him Archon =)

Later on, when I decided to go find people again, I ran into a significant hitch that my phone went flat. I spent a considerable while wandering trying to find enough people I knew for games (If I’d just gone and stopped somewhere that wasn’t mind-numbingly hot then I’d have realised I could have just gone to the game-hall and set up Viticulture with a flag for players…duh), past which I came across various individual people I know but never finding a few together (And the individuals were generally on their way somewhere or leaving etc :S). After coming across my friend Greg and finding he was headed to the playtest hall to playtest his upcoming game Wizard Academy, I had one last look around then went to try and join, to find him leaving the hall for some reason while I got distracted by coming across Tim, who I know from a Birmingham games group ‘Bread and Games’.

This turned out to be great opportunity, as he mentioned that there was a copy of Dead of Winter in the trade hall *squeels excitedly* which I was definitely up for giving a shot. We got there right as a game finished, and after a while of looking for someone to show us how to actually play, were able to get started on the game. My survivors were both comically silly, being Sparky the (Wonder) Dog & Iforgothisname the Mall Santa. Unfortunately, we only got one round into the game (Albeit that was enough to get a feel for the core mechanics, and my god has that left my excited about this game!), although we did manage to complete the rounds objective and get a 3rd of the way to the main objective with some lucky rolls on picking up Zombie samples (Plus, my personal objective was 2/3rd complete as I needed 3 survivors to be removed by the time the main one was completed…Although sadly Sparky was one of those 2 that perished, after running around town and killing 3 Zombies in different locations in rapid succession. VERY excited, and very happy I pre-ordered! I went home not long after, as I just wasn’t feeling up to continuing to try and find people for games.

The next day I went in with my girlfriend Grace to have another quick look around. We weren’t there as long, only going in for around lunchtime, but had time to go around all the halls, and for me to pick up money from games sold and finish up sorting the math trade by grabbing Space Cadets: Dice Duel (Can’t wait to play, looks like a lot of fun, but eep 4-8 is a hard count to get ^^). Having sorted that, we headed to the halls to see if we could find a demo or something to get into and play, with the first thing that interested both of us being Hive (Although Grace had a demo of a sort of colour-based chess-style game from ‘Burley Games’, I forget the name, started with a K I think). Hive was a lot of fun, and interested me more than most abstracts, so we picked up a copy of our own (The beautiful tiles helped with the decision ^^). We then headed to the Monarch Suite to see if we could sort out a game of something there.

After a while of looking, we found noone with a ‘looking for players’ flag thing, so we sat on our own and found one to put out to see if we could get a game of Dice Duel in (We wanted to play something I didn’t own really, but as there was noone after players…). No such luck, but while I was putting away the components that I’d had out to look at (And for reading the rules) a guy next to us said hi and I played a quick game of Hive against him (Winning, buaha…I’m sure it won’t last but I’ve won all 3 games so far ^^), before he suggested we could play a game of his. Despite the fact I have my own copy sitting at the post office to be picked up, we were for Boss Monster.

In Boss Monster, players are the head-honcho’s of fantasy dungeons, and work to build up a deadly set of dangerous rooms before attracting adventurers to their doom. Each room has treasure symbols, which make theirs more attractive for specific things (So if you have the most weapons treasure, then a warrior/fighter will probably come to your dungeon). If your dungeon kills the adventurer you get their soul, if they get to the boss…to you, then you take a wound. 5 Wounds and you’re eliminated, 10 Souls and you win. The game seemed to be going fairly evenly, albeit I had more wounds than the others from some early beatings, but I was able to nab a whole slew of adventurers one round by destroying a ‘jackpot’ room which doubled the treasure value of my rooms temporarily. This got me to 8/10 souls, and despite the others catching up over the next couple or roudns (The guy having enough damage to take out any contender and Grace having better things to attract the heroes to her dungeon than me, I was able to eke out a win. Hooray…Seriously though…did we move to another universe, I’ve said ‘I Win’ a scary amount in talking about expo games…the one I didn’t win was one I left early in Oo.

In any case, the expo was a lot of fun, and while I’d have loved to have played many more games, and right into the evening on the Saturday, I struggling to find the confidence this time around, next time I’ll take less stuff or buy a back-pack so I don’t feel quite so demoralised from the heat/exhaustion of carrying stuff all day (Plus I’ll actually eat…My first bite of food was subway when I was leaving on the Saturday). I do hope the Bring + Buy is bigger next time though, as it was particularly cramped, but I sold the last couple of games I have that I don’t want so I can be happy about that!

If anyone gets to this paragraph, thanks for reading! Apologies that I went quiet for a while, but this post should catch me up and I’ll hopefully be back to writing about Halesowen each week now!

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Halesowen Board Gamers #13 (23/04/14)

Euphoria

First game of the evening was by request from Mark – Euphoria. Euphoria has players acting as upper members of a future dystopian society where the remnants of the human race are kept in the dark about how bad the situation is through ‘bliss’ among other methods. The game is a race to gain control of the city, either for players own nefarious reasons or to incite rebellion in the masses, and to do so they must make use of workers in and around the city to gather commodities, trading them up for resources or artifacts & ultimately trading those in to gather influence (I.e. placing their authority tokens on the board, of which each player has 10 – First to run out wins).

I feel I should apologise here, as I was really bad at paying attention this week and just didn’t feel motivated to er, try very hard, getting distracted by my phone a bit too much (Windows Phone 8.1 Update, /geekmode). I’ll try to not do that again, but anyway, the game! From the start we had a bit of an almost ‘2v2′ split, with Mark/James both being Euphoria aligned, while myself and Ian had Wastelanders for initial active recruits. This split got emphasized as Mark used his starting roll – double two’s (Multiple dice of the same value can be placed in one turn) – to get energy, doing a turn 1 push on the allegiance track for Euphoria to the bonus-resource space. This meant James, who’s turn was right after, was getting bonus energy on his placements straight off, while myself/Ian weren’t able to get the bonus till turn 3 or so, ouch. I could have made up for it somewhat, with my recruit having an ability that could have got extra food from the farm, but due my lack of attention, I totally forgot for a good while and missed out on getting lots of commodities early on.

The first 2 markets in the game went to the other 3 players. The first I just missed because I was being dumb, the second I just had no chance at due timing of when it happened – The second being a block from using pairs of artifacts at artifact markets, which was a bit of a pain when I had a convenient pair that I could have used to get rid of any other negative effect. The other players (James, Mark & Ian) got their first 3-4 stars down before I even placed one, so even when I started paying a bit closer attention I’d already ruined my chances of success – plus I got no early doubles, with just 1 in the mid-game and 1 near the end (Which was just because I got a 4th worker as I was losing anyway and figured the risk was the only remote chance I had). The game ran fairly close between Mark/James, but a poor move from Mark on a Subterran market pushed the Subterra allegiance to the end, putting 1 of James’ last 2 stars down, and giving him the easy victory through his ethical dilemma. A nice win for James, who I’m glad had fun and seemed to enjoy the game much more with a second play (I believe he was less than enamoured before, having struggled to get the gist of the game from 1 play). Scores were I think 10-8-6-5 in the end.

Voluspa

We finished with plenty of time to spare, and we could have fit something longer than this choice in, but I wanted to introduce Voluspa to some new people (A game I picked up recently by trading the horrible horrible game Manhattan Project away). Voluspa is a tile-laying game where players vie to score points by placing a tile and having it be the highest numerical value in a row or column, at which point it scores for the number of tiles in that row or column. When the stack of piles runs out, the game ends and whoever has the most points is the victor!

The tiles have values from 1 to 8, with each of the 1-6 tiles having special abilities, and the 7/8 tiles just being a higher number that’s good for scoring purposes. I’ll just briefly mention them all in bullet points as a drawling paragraph doesn’t really suit talking about 6 different tiles ^^.
1 – Loki: All adjacent tiles are worth 0. (So put alongside a lone tile can score despite being worth only 1, as well as having other interesting uses).
2 – Valkyrie: If both ends of a row have a valkyrie tile, the Valkyrie automatically dominate and score, despite their ‘2’ value.
3 – Skadi: You may replace another tile with Skadi, taking the other tile into your hand.
4 – Fenrir: This tile is worth 4 + 4 for each other fenrir in the row or column you’re looking at (As such is the highest potential value of tile).
5 – Dragon: You may place this atop another tile.
6 – Troll: No tiles can be placed adjacent to a troll once it is placed, except for other trolls.

The game plays fairly quick, in 20-60 minutes depending how much people overthink things, so if you’re interested in how it goes the best way to learn about it is just to ask me for a game, but in any case: Our game went by with us all being pretty close knit on scores, Mark fell back a little early, apparently due to having valkyrie’s that he wasn’t sure where to effectively place, but caught up once he just got them placed and stopped worrying about it. The troll tiles seemed to come out fairly thickly in the first half of the game, making for a quite limited playing field (Likely why the game was fairly long, as people spent a long time convinced there’d be a good move when sometimes there simply wasn’t), with no Loki’s coming out till the second half (Which is a pain, as the can be convenient for starting valkyrie sets due to being the one thing that can get a row low enough for a Valkyrie to score without a paired tile on the other end of a line).

As it came to the last few turns, I kept back a Skadi as I knew it would give me one more turn than the others (The game ends when everyone’s out of tiles, so Skadi tiles can net you an extra turn or two) – I could only see one possibility to score enough to not come in last place, which involved taking a dragon out of a row to make it low enough that placing the dragon again would score it, but as it turned out the only other player left, Ian, had a dragon as his last tile anyway, and he swooped in and nabbed the opportunity before I could, leaving me with a useless dragon and in last place again ^^. I think the scores were the same order as Euphoria, but I’m not sure so check Dave’s post when it goes up…^^.

It was a good evening even if I was a bit lazy about my efforts in play (Apologies again). Looking forward to next week for more games, perhaps Caverna if people are interested (Just the basic game, I’m not interested in trying advanced), plus maybe Smash Up if there’s time as I’m excited for trying out the new factions (Me & a friend at work got some decks out at lunch for a quick look…steampunk time-travellers seem less promising than I hoped, with me having a hand with more than 50% ‘take X out of the discard pile into hand’ style cards in the 5-10 minutes we played, could be nice later in the game but useless with an empty discard pile)…aaaaanyway, till next time!

Halesowen Board Gamers #11 (04/07/2014)

This last weekend was international tabletop day, and the halesowen group had an event for it on Saturday! But…I’ve got to get Wednesdays session out of the way first! I’ll try not to leave it too long before getting the big event done =)

Euphoria

First up on Wednesday we played Euphoria, as I love the game but haven’t bought it along in a while. In this game, players act as higher members of society in a dystopian city, where they vie for ultimate authority over the city in order to advance their own agenda’s. Players gather resources, dig tunnels, build markets and make deals in a race for getting ultimate authority over the course of the game.

In this particular game, I got a pretty cool pair of recruits, with one allowing me to use food instead of bliss (Wastelander), and the other bliss instead of a resource (Icaran) when building a market (Or along those lines). This meant throughout the game I could use all the Icaran markets pretty freely as I needed only a stockpile of food to go there (Replacing the bliss with a second food). I’m not sure who had what, but I think one of the others had icarus/wastelander and the other wastelander/subterran – which also worked in my favour as it meant the allegiance for my recruits got pushed up pretty quick.

My general strategy throughout the game was to grab food and turn it into resources through the Icaran markets. I used the tunnel a couple of times too for some artifacts to cover myself against markets being taken. I did a fairly early ethical dilemma from that as I managed to get the right artifact to do so (netting me a second Icaran with an ability I didn’t really use). Phil went for lots of water for extra workers, while also visiting the cloud mine fairly frequently for bliss to feed workers and for using their markets. Ed’s tactic presumably involved flooding the city, as he got huge quantities of water throughout the game, which he later started churning into stone through the Subterran tunnel.

For markets in the game I got in on (or solo’d in one case) nearly all of them, which had it being Ed & Phil dealing with the most negative effects (Though blocking me from pairs was a pain when I had 2 pairs of artifacts in hand!). After seeing the consequences of missing out on 2+ markets at a time the others soon started joining me or reserving artifacts to place authority on one after building. I tried to make use of the trading rules of the game a couple of times, offering Ed or Phil clay in return for water (as we could have instantly thrown up markets) but both turned me down to stop me from getting ahead – It’s a shame as this is the first time I’ve tried introducing the game and remembering to tell people they can trade…and noone did ^^.

The game ended with my using one of the constructed markets that required a teddy-artifact and a commodity. As I had a pair of teddy’s that I couldn’t use due to the market penalty I was more than happy to take the opportunity to get my last couple of stars with them ^^. Phil was close behind with 2 stars left out of his 10, but despite the extra worker than me didn’t quite get there, and Ed finished further back with 5/10, partly as he had a huge amount of spare  water/stone that he’d taken too long to start capitalizing on for authority. A fair first game for both!

Love Letter

Next up we played Love Letter. This is a very simple deception game where players have to get their letter to the princess to ultimately win her affections. Each player has a hand of one card, a member of the court or guard, and takes turns to draw 1 and play one of their cards. There’s various abilities on the cards that let you manipulate your way to having high numbered cards (Highest number at end of roudn wins) or to eliminate the other players so only your letter is left standing at all.

We played as a filler as we were looking for something fairly straightforward, and finished in I think 5 or 6 rounds, with Phil getting to his 3 tokens and taking victory.

Resistance

For our last game of the day we brought out Resistance: Avalon which Ed had brought along. We first played a standard game of resistance, which has a team of arthurian loyalists trying to complete missions, while a team of evil minions of mordred try to sabotage them without being discovered. The bad guys know who the other bad guys are, but the good guys know nothing (At the start of the game, after being given loyalty cards, all players close their eyes, bad guys open their eyes to see each other, then they close their eyes, then everyone opens and the game starts). The second game we introduced a couple of Avalons roles, Merlin & The Assassin, which I’ll mention later.

 

The first game had myself and Phil as the bad guys, against Mike, Ed & James that were good. Unfortunately for us, that mission happened to have 2 good guys picked (Which we pretty much had to accept as there’d have been no reason to reject it, hence revealing ourselves). Worse still is the second mission was the same two, plus the other good guy selected, and again there was no good reason to argue against the mission going ahead, putting it 2/0 (3 wins). The 3rd round we managed to argue a different team, which got me into the mission which I got to fail. Unfortunatey the 4th we couldn’t find a way to convince people to include me/Phil again with the suggested mission being the same 3 that succeeded the second, ack! (This is one of the things that makes the game better with more players, as it’s less likely to get so lucky on the first 2 missions!).

In the second mission, I got Merlin (With Phil & James being good with me). Now this is a bummer for 2 reasons, first of all because it’s very difficult to hide that you have more information, and secondly because 50% of the time I’ve played this game I’ve been accussed of Merlin despite not having played him yet, eep! Mike was the assasin in this game, a role that means that even if good guys win, the bad guys steal victory if the assassin guesses Merlin correctly. The first 4 missions of the game had the teams 2/2, and into the last mission lots of indecision had the vote failing a few times, with the leader marker ending on me at the point where we had to accept my mission (5 rejects and bad guys win automatically). This turned out to be an impossible situation, because we needed all 3 good guys on the mission, and while I knew who they were, I couldn’t say so outright or the bad guys win anyway. Unfortunately despite a ridiculous amount of time trying to keep things going until the right team was suggested it never happened and I had to give in and just pick all the good guys. It got accepted and we had the 3/5 to win, but it was to obvious that my delaying was due to being Merlin and I got assasinated, giving it to the bad guys. Aaargh impossible situations!

Well that’s all for Wednesday, I’ll try and write up the awesome Tabletop Day from Saturday before too long. I played Legendary, Legacy, San Marco, Resistance, Smash Up and Among the Stars so I’ll be talking about this soon ™

Weekly Gaming 10/02/2014

I got lots of gaming in this week, it’s been a good week! =)

On Wednesday I attended Halesowen board gamers, where we managed to fill up the time with just the one game – Caverna. The game turns out to be a lot of fun and not nearly as miserable as the Secret Cabal led me to suspect ^^. Check out my previous blog post for a more in-depth account of that!

Friday

It was the University’s tabletop society on Friday, and I arrived with the remaining people there (It starts at 2 and I arrive 6ish) play-testing for an upcoming game designed by a friend of mine – Wizard Academy. Unfortunately Greg had to leave before too long, so I just chatted to the only other person that was free while they finished up and discussed the games current state. I hope I get into a test sometime, as it’s a long while since I first tried this particular game.

There were 4 of us left by this time, so we broke out my Anniversary Edition of Galaxy Trucker for a gloriously hectic game. We started on the 1A ships, where I pulled off a ridiculously perfect ship and made a huge amount of points on the other 3 players. For round 2 we went for the wraparound ship (2B?) where things were a little more confusing to build, and I didn’t quite manage to build perfectly. We all did fairly even here I believe. The last round we stuck with the wraparound theme and went for 3C which I’d not yet played – This ship wraps around on both pairs of edges, and has no built in gaps for lasers/engines so you have to leave spaces for them in your ship. It’s not as easy as leaving a big gap though, as you have to pay exorbitant amounts of money if you leave more than a couple of spaces in one block (So lots of little holes is ideal). I did a pretty good job of building my ship, with a biggest gap of 2 and only one mistake, then proceeded to be out on the first adventure card thanks to evil, horrible, nasty invaders eating all my crew ^^. Over that last round all but Ben got eliminated with varying levels of cost for their decimated ships – The last 6 cards were all planets and nice things, giving Ben a massive amount of points and leaping him ahead of me for the overall victory.

Seeing the time, we opted to not have a round 4 and instead changed game. We went for Belfort, which seemed the most reasonable to fit into the amount of time we had, and which had caught the attention of a couple of people there. 2 of us in the game launched into the lead fairly early on, but my income was steeped in 3 guilds which led to people just refusing to use them. My higher tax from scoring high early dragged me back down and I struggled through a lot of the game. <guy that’s not me, Ben or Liam> built up a crazy income through a pair of banks and ultimately managed to set himself up that he was going to win the game through actually being able to pay his taxes. I found it difficult to build much over the game as there was a couple of ‘steal things’ guilds out so stockpiling resources was hard. We got kicked out by security before the game actually finished as it was getting late, but I think the winner was clear anyway as mentioned above ^^.

Saturday

On Saturday I attended Bread + Games, a board games meetup in town that I’ve not been to in a while, as they had a period where it was held in a pub rather than its typical awesome place in an art studio. It’s a long one, and it runs from 2pm till ~10:30pm so there’s lots of gaming to be had. I arrived a little late and sat out for a while, but was approached by another person out of a game after a while to play something while waiting for the bigger groups to finish. Jaipur was one of the options going, and seeing as I’m looking at buying it sometime it seemed like a good option to fill in the gap. As it turns out, it’s a very fun 2P game of trading goods and camels and one I look forward to picking up sometime soonish, particularly as I managed to eek out a victory (Although we only played 1 round rather than 3).

My opponent chose the next game, and grabbed a copy of guild hall as he was interested in trying it with 2. Fate interfered, and an imposter Chris who had been playing games with his son/daughter left them to it and asked to join us. In this set-collection game players play 2 cards from their hand each turn to build up guild ‘chapters’, which are sets of 5 of one profession, in different colours. When a chapter is completed it gets locked, and can be exchanged for points and possibly extra abilities on a turn. I found it pretty lackluster, but did feel a little excited in the last 5 minutes or so from playing a nice chain of actions to jump from 3 to 17 points (20 wins). I lost 20-19-(Er…can’t remember, but it was close). I think I’d play again if asked, but I certainly wouldn’t buy this game.

Following on from Guild Hall I hung around a bit until a few people were free, and had a group join me for a game of Euphoria. It was a full complement of 6 players (Not sure if I’ve done 6 before, 5 might have been the max!) all but me of which were new to the game. Explanation took me a while, as while people were attentive I struggled to be sure I was getting the right bits across to so many people at once! The game was fun, as it always is, although downtime got quite painful on some turns as an unfortunate side effect of Tim (Event organiser) needing to do some maintainance at the venue. Everyone was between 1 & 4 stars left when Dave took the victory with a surprise play (It looked likely for Cath to win, who was on 1 star left with her turn coming soonish).

At this time people mixed around a bit, with ‘Masters of Commerce’ being one of the suggestions. I joined to get the group up to 5 players and sat down for a very unexpected game indeed. In this game players play either landlords or traders, and the game takes place in 2 minute rounds of realtime-bidding for the properties of those landlords. I think if I was in the right mood and with close friends that I was super-comfortable with I’d enjoy this, but my mindset was really not right for such a game at the time so I didn’t do overy great. The other players seemed to have fun though which is great, and I’d love to see an 11 player game of it sometime, although I don’t think I’d really want to be a participant ^^.

To finish up we played Belfort, which I suggested as I figured it should fit in the time we had left with the 3 players we now had. This plus a certain important rule I found out about the day before about majorities on resource spaces getting a bonus had me excited to play. In the game I aimed to try and get as much incoem as possible to make the tax step easier (After it screwed me on Friday ^^). I grabbed a guild as my first building (Gain 2 steel one) as I figured people would often want that over wasting workers by the other method. I also focused on master elf/dwarf upgrade properties to try and get a lot done with minimal workers early in the game to avoid hitting too high on tax brackets. In the end I came in second place, although I still got a good amount over 50 with a score I’m happy with. I really really want to pick up the expansion expansion for Belfort, as the extra options sound like they could make this a brilliant game from a good game for me.

Sunday

Not so much of games today, although I did seem to just do so much stuff in general (Swimming, Town, Board Games, Video Games, Painting, Watched a Film and I’m sure more I forget right now). While in town we went to Forbidden Planet where we discovered Ticket to Ride (Or Zug Um Zum in this case) sitting there reduced from £35 to just £20. It’s too good a game to turn down a good offer like that, and seeing as the game is language independant it’s no problem for the rules and such to be in German (Would love to learn to understand it anyway though). We had a game upon getting back, where I managed to hit well, a lot of points and take the victory (Mostly long journeys, completed 3 long routes and 1 short). Definitely worth picking up ^^.

Halesowen Board Gamers #2 (22/01/14)

I bought 4 games this week – Euphoria, Viticulture, Archon: Glory & Machination and Professor Pugnacious. I arrived a little later than usual, and numbers meant we ended up doing 2-Player runs at the first pair of the games I bought along.

First up was Euphoria. The guy I was playing with, Stan, has recently bought the game and was interested in trying it out to see how it plays and get a feel for the game. I was more than happy to oblige, seeing as this is one of my absolute favourite games ^^.

I kickstarted Euphoria back in June ’13 after watching the project for a while and being interested because it had cool looking dice. I really like steampunk, well, stuff in general, and the dice looked great so I was hoping to be able to pick a set up without worrying about the game! Sitting on a project by Jamey makes it extremely difficult to resist, as he’s hugely enthusiastic and communicative, so I took a longer look at the game, I changed my pledge to be for the supreme edition (Extra dice!) and went in. (I also obtained my viticulture kick-starter edition through a charity auction by Jamey, which I found out about through the Euphoria project.

Euphoria plays out in a dystopian Universe where the majority of the worlds population has been wiped out. The remaining people live in and around the city of Euphoria, being kept in the dark by the upper echelons to maintain their lifestyle and keep things as they are. These people are split into 4 factions, that each control particular resources necessary to live in this post-apocalyptic world.

The Euphorians are those that live in the golden city and manage it’s generators to provide energy. The Subterrans live beneath the city in the sewers and pipeworks, where they have control over the water supply. The Wastelanders live outside the city, with control over the farmlands. Finally, the Icarans are the denizens of the sky, who harvest a resource called ‘bliss’, i.e. a drug to keep workers happy!

As you play the game, you send your workers out to the various places to gather commodities, resources and artifacts which can ultimately be used to exert your influence/authority over the city. The first to place 10 authority tokens claims control over the city and wins the game.

Earlier in the game I focused in large part on pushing the allegiance tracks up for my active (Wastelander) and hidden (Subterran) recruit, the former to obtain more commodities/resources for various actions, and the latter to try and unlock an extra ability and potentially star later in the game. I worked out reasonably quickly that Stan was also trying to slowly push up the waste-lander track, so I surmised that was his hidden recruits faction and left it to go slow and focus on the Subterran track.

The first market of the game was a joint effort, as I saw Stan stockpiling gold and quickly went for a piece myself so I couldn’t get locked out of the market he went for. The second went to me, as I gathered some stone with the water I was getting from pushing the subterran allegiance track, then made use of a double to take a market in one turn. (The negative made Scott lose a commodity or resource when he rolled a 1). The 3rd went solely to Stan and meant I couldn’t join a market he’s started, 4th to me (I think) which made 5’s negatively impact Stan  too, and 5th to Stan was another construction site limit, which didn’t affect me too much. Stan got hit a lot harder from the negatives from me, although he did have at least 1 opportunity to have locked me out from a market which he missed out on, likely as it was his first game ^^.

By the end of the game, we actually finished very close on scores, with Stan having 1 star left as I used up my last (he was ahead of me for a little while, but I managed to get 2 pairs of artifacts for a leap in progress). Good game!

No-one else looked likely to finish another game soon, so I offered up Viticulture as Stan had mentioned he was interested in it sometime, and I wanted to play it ^^. I talked about the game in my last Halesowen post, so I’ll go straight into how the game went.

I got an early windmill which worked well through the game, with Stan getting Irrigation/trellis fairly early to open up planting options. My first plant got me a 3red/3white field, which turned out to be extremely useful over the game.

My first wine order was for a 5 value red, nice and easy, which I got by letting a 3 age for a couple of years, the 2nd that I picked up was a 2red/2white and got completed first in the end. I feel lucky to have gotten 2 easy orders. Stans first order filled was a 3red/4red. After that I’m a little hazy, but Stan managed to keep close to me on the residual money track each game.

For buildings, I mostly had the lead, likely because it was Stans first game so he couldn’t see what was useful until he saw me get the benefits. I went Windmill > Irrigation > Med. Cellar > Trellis > Yoke > Large Cellar > Tasting Room (Only got the last as I had some money in the last year and it was a way to nab an extra VP). Stans I think was Irrigation > Trellis > Med Cellar > Yoke > Windmill > Large Cellar > Tasting Room. Stan got his tasting room straight after me on the last year so he didn’t get to reap the benefits unfortunately.

Early game I went ahead on points, mostly thanks to my windmill, but as we neared the end Stan managed to catch up putting us head to head ~15. At that point however I had a half full crush pad while he’d used up every single grape/wine token he had. In the 2nd to last year I grabbed some wine orders as well as blocking the harvest action to maintain my advantage, and in the last got an order filled, as well as 2VP from a visitor and 1 from the tasting room I’d built. The game ended 23-17 with my victory.

All in all it was a very fun evening of games – It’s interesting how much more you remember/pay attention to in a 2 player for playing strategically, even when a game scales well up to 6 ^^. Looking forward to next week as a couple people sounded interested in Archon, and hopefully on the 5th Eldritch Horror (I know both Ian/Dave-D are interseted in that).

Thanks for reading

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 ^^.

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…