What have The Sentry Box Staff been up to – Jan 7-13

Greg and Renee started Monday Night Board Gaming with a quick game of 3×8 Greg, “A little German import card game where you’re trying to make 3 rows of 8 cards by playing cards into them, but cards played must be higher than previous cards. There’s some interaction with blocker cards and drawing from a common area. I’d like to try it with more players.” Renee, “Another light card game in which you need to the first to build 3 columns of 8 cards. What was interesting was the number of choices you had in your turn, including moves which increased your hand size. Like Greg, I’d like to see how this plays with more players.”

Greg’s main course was Heaven & Ale, “Players move their piece along a common track, taking actions along the way to add resource hexes or monks to their board, or taking scoring discs. Ultimately you’re trying to advance your brewmaster and all resource tokens as far along your score track as possible, while also picking up bonus points from achieving certain criteria along the way.” Renee was happy to get a chance to play this again, “As expected, this second play of the game went much better for me than my first play. Having learned the overall mechanics and flow of the game helped out a lot. I went for a lot of low numbered tiles in order to get the activation tiles that triggered all the tiles and move my brewmaster. Wasn’t sure how it would work, as at the beginning I felt poor and my resources did poorly as well, but it meant I filled my board and ended up getting a bunch of bonus tiles. Also, in the end, I did end up with a ton of money which helped me move up my lowest resources.”

This was followed by Quacks of Quedlinburg, Greg, “The push your luck chit pulling game. I enjoy this game a lot, but I don’t enjoy pulling the one chit out of 15 in my bag that causes me to explode in the final round. Perhaps I should have bought a lottery ticket.” Renee, “This was so much fun to play again! I think I like this for the same reason I like dice games – I like the thrill of a good dice roll and in this game it’s the same with a good run of tile pulls from the bag. Its rewarding when your tile combinations come out well and for me, just as fun when they go horribly wrong. Looking forward to trying the other 2 sets of books to see how that impacts the game, as well as the alternate player board.”

They also played a 6 player game of Just One, in which Greg kept us guessing, “It may be cooperative but I enjoyed giving obscure clues referencing British TV shows.”

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Greg continued the week with his go to game: Ganz Schön Clever. “Not my best score but far from my worst. Still hoping to crack 300 points someday!”

He also played Otys, “Unfortunately we only managed about half a game and then had to abandon due to a sick baby. It’s a resource management game with an interesting action selection mechanism that requires a fair amount of planning. The cardboard components unfortunately warped a little, which was a bit of a pain given that there is a lot of tile sliding and flipping in the game.” Greg returned to the game later in the week, “Got a chance to play a full game this time, although we were both tired and I screwed up a couple of rules so it would probably take another game to get them down fully, and the fiddliness of the game is a bit of a detraction.”

On Friday’s livestream they played Welcome To, Greg, “Got to play on our livestream with a few more players (although I don’t think anyone took us up on the chance to join in from home). I like this game quite a lot – it’s quick and easy but still offers interesting decisions.” Renee, “Played this on the livestream on Friday and again on the weekend with the family. Seeing as I love roll and writes, as does the family, we all really enjoyed this fun flip and write too. I love the simultaneous play so everyone is engaged in the game for the full play time. Everyone gets the same 3 choices from which to choose each turn but there’s enough variation in the choices that we all end up taking different options. I think this is going to become a family and personal favourite.”

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That being said, Greg discovered that sometimes the players all get 3 of the same choices.

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They also played Chromino on the livestream, Greg, “Kind of a mix of dominoes and Qwirkle. Tiles are made up of 3 coloured squares and you have to play them so that they touch at least two other sides with the colours matching (and can’t be played so non-matching colours touch). If you can’t play you have to draw a new tile, and you’re trying to get rid of all your tiles. Another game that’s quick, easy, plays a good range (1 – 8 players), and has a more simple variant for kids as well as a more complicated variant for advanced play.”

Gord is continuing their adventures in 5e with the Dungeon of the Mad Mage, “As is typical, they ended the night wanting to go down a corridor leading to an unmapped area. Perhaps I will pull out one of the old versions of Undermountain and just use those maps.”

Renee played VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game, “Another fun roll and write this time you’re roasting beans to make the best coffee blend. Seemed simple enough but definitely had some strategic choices: do you leave your blend to get some easy points but risk it being beaten by your opponent or research to gain additional abilities to improve your choices in future turns? We played a couple 2 player “Lite” games, so I’m looking forward to trying it with more players and with the advanced options which have a lot of variations in the research track.”

This week we finish with some updates from Kris, who started the week with A Song of Ice & Fire:

Still learning the game and we tried out the New Nights Watch faction. We thought it would be fun to have the Nights Watch defend The Wall against some suspiciously Lannister looking Wildlings. In this scenario the Lannister’s won by getting to 10 points before the end of turn 6, if the Nights Watch made it to turn 6 they won. The catch being that each of the three wall sections are worth 5 points each and each of my units are worth 1 point so I needed to stall them reaching the Wall but also not sacrifice too many units doing it!

Little did we know that the Nights Watch are really good at defending walls… multiple times Bill reduces a unit down to a single model only for some Tactics card or interplay from the Non Combat Board let them recruit more men and stay in the fight.

In the end the Nights Watch flanking force arrived and stalled the advance before the Lannister’s hit the wall (helped by some crazy consistent dice rolls from the walls shooting) and the Nights Watch won the day.

The scenario was an interesting one but not one I would be rushing to play again but we are trying them all out and are half way through now 🙂 The Nights Watch were very different from the Starks that I had previously played. Slower, with less meaty attacks but with access to some interesting Vows and other special rules.

Definitely looking forward to trying them out again!

He played D&D 5th Edition at staff D&D night:

Our party of intrepid adventures continued exploring the ruins of the Manor House on the Hill, after previously routing out a band of pirates in the hidden cellar there were two paths to choose from, one through a secret door leading deeper in to the cliffs and another that was barred and had warning signs written all over it. Being brave heroes the party obviously went through the secret door first and found a path through to a smugglers cave with some loot and a jolly boat, so at least they knew how the pirates were accessing the area.

After retrieving as much loot as possible the party ventured in to the closed off room marked with danger signs. Riley the groups scout moved in to the room to the grisly sight of 6 skeletons sat around a large wooden table where they appeared to have perished playing a game of cards, his curiosity perked he moved to pull back the chair at the head of the table when a withered, dead hand reached across and gripped his forearm. Hearing his shriek, the party jumped in to action but the skeletons had already surrounded him and were starting to block the doorway. Nimbly tumbling through the skeletons legs and taking cover (definitely not hiding) under the table Riley dodges and weaved as swords were thrust through the table blindly trying to skewer him.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party desperately fought their way in to the room to save their companion. After a frantic battle all of our heroes were left bloodied but were still standing, Riley quickly gathered up the loot from the table and stumbled upon a secret door. More weary of the skeletal remains in this room he sent Miranda in to investigate who found a very dead old alchemist, a Golden Skull, a Golden Apple, a Golden Rose, a strange stone and a book titled The Secrets of the Philosophers Stone. After resting up and returning in to town Miranda immediately went in to see the Town Reeve and paid off the back taxes on the Old House on the hill, now all she has to do is find a good roofer and someone who can do dry wall…

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Kris group continued their campaign in Arkham Horror: The Card Game:

Now that the holidays are over we jumped in to a new campaign and have started the Dunwich Legacy, this is my first time playing this campaign and I have been looking forward to it as it shares the setting of the Hour of the Huntress Novella that Fantasy Flight released, Jenny Barns is a fun character and so I built her deck using both the standard cards and the extra ones from the Hour of the Huntress.

Previously, when I have tried this set up I draw the dreaded “Sacrificial Beast” in the first draw phase which really neuters the deck and I have to hope the other players can deal with it whilst I try to scrap together resources to play cards. This time however, I drew my other weakness on the first round and was overcome with a frantic need to find new information on the location of Jenny’s sister Izzy. Convinced that there would be information in the Faculty Offices Jenny concentrated her search for the missing professor in that area and after putting on some fine cloths managed to convince “Jazz” the janitor to let her in.

Much to her dismay there was no trace of a lead to her sisters location, but she did find Professor Rice tied up in his office, so that was one mystery solved. Happy with her contribution Jenny paid little heed to the reports from the other investigators of some monstrosity erupting from the science building and attacking students…

Kris also got to play some X-Wing:

Now that we know that the points update is coming at the end of January I wanted to get as many league games in with the lists I am now comfortable with, whilst I can. I have repackaged my X-Wing bag so that I have 5 different squadrons ready to go and gave my opponent the choice of which list he wanted to fly against.

Surprisingly, Kevin picked to play against my undefeated Whisper, Redline & Fell list which takes advantage of a lot of powerful combinations and is sure to be toned down after Jan 28th. It started well for Kevin with Vader killing Fell whilst Redline and Whisper only took down one of his TIE Strikers.

Unfortunately, Fell was bait and whilst it was a blow to lose him early, Kevin had committed hard to do it, allowing Redline time to reload her Torpedoes and blast a TIE Fighter off the table. Whisper took up an aggressive position to punish Vader if he tried to comeback in to the fight and sure enough, even after Barrel rolling and boosting with his afterburners Vader was taking a point blank shot from her.

Damage was traded with Redline limping away with 1 Hull remaining but Vader down to 2 Hull with Whisper and Kevin’s other TIE Pilot undamaged. Confident Vader would try to finish off Redline Whisper took up a covering position and managed to squeeze through the last two hits on Vader with some terrible evade dice from Kevin. A full health Whisper then had an easy time finishing off Kevin’s last TIE, giving me the win and Kevin some experience playing against Redline.

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And finally he played Azul, “Having purchased the game immediately after we played it on stream, it has taken a while to actually get it on the table, we played it two player and whilst it was a learning game for Gill we both enjoyed it and it ended up relatively close in the scores, with me winning by 10 points because of one of the bonuses as we were tied otherwise. Still enjoy the game, it’s fun, tactile and easy to play whilst having good depth to what choices to make and when.”

That’s our week. We hope your week was filled with games too!

 

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Greg’s Top 10 New-To-Me in 2018

Despite feeling like I don’t get as much chance to play games now that I have two little ones at home, I still managed to play 111 games in 2018 that were new to me!

So I decided I would try come up with my top 10 New-To-Me games from 2018 – not an easy task as it turns out.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here is my list, followed by a bunch of honourable mentions:

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Ganz Schön Clever: Easily my most played game of the year, due to the fact that it is so quick, easy, portable and, most importantly, playable solo. I just love playing this game to see if I can finally break the 300 point mark. I haven’t got tired of it yet, but I’m looking forward to the sequel ‘Doppelt so Clever’ that is coming out this year.

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Space Base: This was a surprise hit for me, that I hadn’t heard of until I tried it. I enjoy dice games, and games where you are involved every turn, so this scratched a good itch for me. It’s very satisfying when you have a great turn and activate multiple abilities!

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Reef: For me this follows in the footsteps of Azul, as a great short to medium length game with enough interesting decisions to appeal to heavier gamers, while still appealing to more casual players due to it’s simplicity, ease of learning and great looking components.

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Brass: Birmingham: I was a fan of the original game so was keen to try this version to see how the new map and rules would change things up. I actually prefer this version as I enjoy the addition of the Breweries and the map feels a little more open.

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Let’s Make a Bus Route: This Japanese game is a card-flip-and-write game where you are driving your bus around and picking up different passengers on the way to score points in a variety of ways. It’s light, quick and fun and was another surprise hit for me.

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Teotihuacan: City of Gods: I’m a big fan of Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar, both for the theme and the gameplay, and this is another similarly themed game by one of the designers of Tzolk’in, so I knew there was a good chance it would be my kind of game, and it totally is. I love the worker upgrade mechanism, and the way the strength of the action is tied to the power of the workers, as well as the number of workers. Lots of interesting decisions and strategies to try. Love it!

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Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra: This takes the same basic mechanism from Azul of drafting tiles from the factory spaces, but this time you are placing them into stained glass windows, attempting to fill them up to score them. There is a different mechanism for how you place the tiles, and how they score, and for me I find it to be a great spin on the ideas from the original Azul.

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Gizmos: I enjoy tableau-building games, and games with combos and this has both, along with a very cool looking energy dispenser for randomising the energy marbles. If you like games where you can build up and then have awesome turns where you combo off then you should check it out!

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The Quacks of Quedlinburg: This is a fun, push-your-luck, chit-pulling game, where each player is simultaneously pulling ingredients from their bag to try to fill their potion as much as possible, but if you draw too many white ingredients your pot explodes! The simultaneous play, along with the excitement of the random draw and the fact that there are four options for each type of ingredient make this a winner for me.

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Welcome To…: A second card-draw-and-write game, so you can probably tell I’m a fan of those, as well as the more traditional roll-and-write games. This one is great because if you have a copy of the score sheet and can see the cards then you can play. Simultaneous play again makes the game flow quickly, but there are still interesting decisions along the way.

 

The Honourable Mentions:

It was very tough to leave some of these out of the top 10 because there are a lot of great games, but some had to give way. Here are the ones that didn’t quite make the cut but that I enjoy a lot as well:

The Mind, The Grimm Forest, KeyForge, Dice Throne (Seasons 1 & 2), Cat Lady, Century: Eastern Wonders, Raiders of the North Sea, Altiplano, Just One, Dice Settlers, Cursed Court, the Legend of the Cherry Tree that Blossoms every 10 Years, Decrypto, Micropolis, Gloomhaven, Pulsar 2849, Noria, Wendake, Axio, Century: Golem Edition, Clans of Caledonia, Endeavor: Age of Sail, Everdell.

Batman Miniatures Game Demo Day

Penguin Gang

Interested in learning to play the Batman Miniatures Game by Knight Models?

Then this could be the event for you. We will have multiple tables set up for gaming and our experienced staff will be running quick and easy demo games to show you the basics of how the game works!

Already play Batman? Then come on down and play on our tables and take advantage of the amazing deals we will have on offer on the day.

We will have giveaways and awesome deals throughout the day so don’t miss out.

The Batman Miniature Game is a tabletop skirmish wargame where two players pit opposing crews against each other in cinematic brawls amongst crowded urban environments.
 
Each side is composed of around five models and each has it’s own unique sets of abilities. Games are played on a 3×3′ play area usually amongst a smattering of buildings and other urban scenery.

Warhammer Underworlds tournament

Warhammer Underworlds

The Sentry Box will be hosting a Warhammer Underworlds tournament on Saturday January 26th starting at 11:30am

Entry to the event is $10 and will be three rounds in length using the ‘best-of-three’ rule to determine the winner in each round.

Decks must follow the Banned/Restricted lists posted on the Games Workshop website in addition to the standard deck-building rules.

Promo material from Q1 2019 bundle will be distributed as prizes and a trophy given based on W/L record. Glory point differences will be used as a tiebreaker.

KeyForge Archon Survival Tournament

KeyForge

Come down to The Sentry Box on Saturday January 12th for a KeyForge Archon Survival Tournament. Entry to the event is $10 with guaranteed prizing. The event will be run using the Archon – Survival game format.

Each player will require three unique decks and will be required to list their deck names ranked 1 through 3 upon registration. Once a Player has lost with all three decks they are eliminated from the event regardless of the number of rounds remaining.

Player meeting begins at 10:00 am and pairings for the first roud at 10:30 am.

A Song of Ice & Fire Games Day

A Song of Ice & Fire

Interested in learning to play CMoN’s new Tabletop Miniatures Game set in the A Song of Ice & Fire universe? The Sentry Box will be hosting a Games Day on Saturday January 26 that will be the perfect time to give it a try. Ee will have experienced staff on hand to run you through a quick demo of the game and teach you how to fight for the Game of Thrones (don’t worry, if you don’t win, only your army dies!)

Already play A Song of Ice & Fire? Fear not we have some milk of the poppy for that.

Bring a 40 point force down and we will have play space available to run a casual tournament to get you the maximum number of games in against new and varied opponents.

Demos start at 11:00 am and will run until 4:00 pm play space will be available from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm for everyone else.

Legend of the Five Rings OP Season 3 Month 2

Legend of the Five Rings OP Season 3

Come down to The Sentry Box on Saturday January 12th to participate in the Month 2 event for the current Legend of the Five Rings Organized Play Season.

Organized Play is full of scheduled opportunities to play your favorite game in your preferred local game store. A wide variety of events await you, including fun sessions where you can learn how to play or improve your skills, casual open play, and even tournaments where your competitive spirit is rewarded. Organized Play strives to grow communities of players on the local and global scale by enabling you to play Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game more often and meet others who love the game as much as you do!

Entry to the event is $5 and player registration begins at 11:30 am. Prizes include extended art Waning Hostilities and Scorpion Imperial Favour cards as well as many more.