Another full week with your team at The Sentry Box! Apologies for the late post, we were busy enjoying Family Day with our families.
This week’s Monday Night Board Gaming started with a game of Doppelt so Clever! Greg, “We got our copies in from Germany so I had to play a game, teaching it to three new players. Loving this, but it’s hard!” Renee, “Played a couple solo games this week and still don’t feel as clever as I’d like.”
We liked the first one so much we decided to do it again!
Come to The Sentry Box on Tuesday March 5th for a Transformers TCG 2 Pack tournament. Player registration begins at 6:00pm with the first round starting at 6:30pm.
Entry to the event is $15 which includes two packs and the remaining will be used to build the prize pool for the event. There will be three round with each round being determined by a best of three games.
It’s been a while since we’ve updated you on our Kickstarters. During the last 2 months we’ve backed 5 more projects and received 1 backed project in the store. If you want to be updated when new products – including Kickstarters – arrive at Sentry Box, follow us on Facebook. And if you see a project you want, just contact us at the store to be added to the pre-orders for the project. It works just like any other order at the store, you only pay when you pick up the game. This is a great way to get your hands on some of the most popular kickstarted games without having to pay upfront plus you don’t have to pay for shipping!
Welcome back to our Tale of Four Gamers series, the busy Holiday period is well and truly over and its time to check in with our four intrepid Warlords!
Greg and Renee kicked off Monday Board Gaming Night with Forum Trajanum, Greg, “We were all new to this so it was a learning game with a bit of fumbling through the rules, and there’s a fair bit going on so it was difficult to get a feel for strategy. I’d definitely like to play again now that I’ve got a handle on the rules.” Renee, “I was pretty excited to try this new Feld game and I enjoyed trying to figure it out. I agree with Ben: “This is Bora Bora all over again: not enough turns.” In true Feld fashion you have to make choices about how you’re going to get your points, with 4 types of scoring being done at the end of each of the 3 cycles. There is an interesting drafting component at the beginning of each turn, where you get 2 action tiles to choose from, giving one to your neighbour and keeping one for yourself, then choosing between using the action you selected and the one you were given. The thing is, if want a tile to put out on the board during your building action, you have to select the tile given to you by your neighbour. Hard choices! There are special abilities to be obtained, ways to increase your scoring power, and bonus layouts to achieve. So lots going on. This game will definitely take a few more plays…”
Final board position – Ben won but Greg pushed him pretty close.
They also got to play another game of Quacks of Quedlinburg! Greg, “We opted for a random selection of ingredients in this one, and I started slowly but managed to stay in the pack and pulled off a last round win due to everyone else exploding.”
Renee finally played Railroad Ink: The Blazing Red Edition, “Only we played without the expansion, so other than the colour of the board, it was the same game.” Greg, “Still just the base game but I managed better than my first game of this, making one big network that connected 9 exits and gave me good longest road and rail scores. I’d like to try the expansion dice now.”
Renee and Greg finished off with a two player game of the sequel to Ganz Schön Clever: Twice as Clever, Greg, “It was really interesting, but hard! Can’t wait to play this more. Renee pipped me by two points 185 – 183.” Renee, “It is definitely more clever than the original. The base mechanic is the same, but the choices are very different. Seems harder…Played it again with my sister on Tuesday morning and almost cracked 200. Almost.”
Later in the week Greg got himself a new high score in Twice as Clever!
He also played Architects of the West Kingdom, “From the same designer and artist as Raiders of the North Sea, so it has a familiar look and feel, and is also a worker placement game, but definitely has significant differences. The ability to have your workers captured gives it a bit of a push your luck feel, and makes planning more difficult but also more interesting. Fun game, not too long and one I’d like to try with more players.”
Renee played a new arrival to the store, Tiny Ninjas, “I quite like it. It’s a quick 2 player game in which players take turns using their cards to attack or defend, using custom dice to determine the strength of the attack or defense. There is some planning as you draw up to a hand of 5 cards at the beginning of your attack turn, playing as many as you’d like, but only have the remaining cards to use during your defend turn. This is a great little game from a local designer.”
Sue painted 2 Games Workshop (GW) bodyguards from the Godsworn Hunt pack for her GW Darkoath Warqueen. “They *were* easy to assemble as they only came in 2 pieces! I painted the pieces separately and only joined them at the end to avoid creating any hard to reach areas on the models.”
Kris ran the Batman: The Miniatures Game Demo on Saturday, “Lots of fun even if Batman didn’t quite pull his weight. The Joker and his crew of Clowns were robing a branch of Wayne Financial when the Caped Crusader swooped in to stop the Clown Prince of Crime in his tracks, unbeknownst to the Caped Crusader the Joker was quite happy to just blow up his own henchmen to put damage on to the Bat and after retrieving the loot, Batman was forced to Batclaw his way to safety while the Joker escaped continuing his crime spree across Gotham!”
Gord played some D&D, “Running more of the Dungeon of the Mad Mage. It was somewhat of a long distance game as five us were at my place with two people connected via phone on the last third of a 22 hour drive from Ohio to Denver. Tricky at times with an iffy Skype connection but it worked.”
That’s the weekly report from us. Hope everyone had a fun week of gaming!
Greg kicked off the week with Gravitrax, “Not a game as such, but it’s something I brought in from Ravensburger and is super awesome fun! The starter set is great value and walks you through some layouts before offering some challenges and then you can always make up your own tracks too.”
Monday Board Game Night saw Renee playing a bunch of shorter games, “Including 3 plays of Welcome To with different player counts. I like that in addition to being able to get points in different ways (pools, parks etc), the varying 3 city plans change everyone’s strategies each game.”
She also played Quacks of Quedlinburg 2 times, “So much fun! I love this press your luck game in which you attempt to build a strong bag of ingredients. Played with new players so we used the first 2 ingredient sets again, but this allowed me to try some different strategies…which weren’t overly successful… Still looking forward to trying the other ingredient sets.” She played again on the weekend, “Played with the 3rd set of ingredients and had another really fun game! I like that this is one of my most played games of the month so far and I still have another set of ingredients and the alternate player board to discover. This game is so much fun!”
She finally got to try Railroad Ink: The Deep Blue Edition, “Although we played without the blue expansion. This was a fun quick game, in which you must draw the 4 dice faces rolled each round in an attempt to build interlocking road and rail networks. I kept to the edges in an attempt to try and connect the most exits, despite missing out on points for being in the centre of the board, and it paid off. I will have to try it next time with the rivers and lakes expansion.”
She then played a game of The Mind ,”with 2 players I have never played with before, which proved once again that this game does reward repeat plays with players that are familiar with each other and can successfully read each other body language. Heard of a second couple that managed to beat the game with lots of repeat plays.” Followed by a game called Halli Galli “that was a Jungle Speed style game of pattern recognition and reflexes. The cards each have pictures of 1 to 5 fruits of various types, and players take turns flipping them over on discard piles in front of themselves. The first player to recognize that there are exactly 5 of the same type of fruit showing, rings the bell and wins all the cards on the table. If you run out of cards, you’re eliminated from the game.”
She finished the evening with a game of Kingdomino, “I always enjoy a quick game of this tile drafting game in which you have to balance picking a good tile in one round with turn order in the following round. Somehow I always end up regretting how I laid out my tiles in the first half of the game.”
On Friday’s livestream Kris played Arkham Horror: The Card Game with Bill and Nic. If you’re curious about this very popular living card game, this is a great chance to check it out and watch it being played by 3 seasoned players.
On the weekend Renee played Tokyo Highway, “A fun new dexterity game where you use wooden pillars and popsicle sticks to build roads. Anytime you build a road that crosses over and/or under your opponents’ roads, you get to place your cars on the highway. First player to place all their cars wins. Because of this mechanic, the game gets tight and intertwined very quickly. A fun dexterity game that rewards planning.”
She also got to play Railroad Ink again, “Played a 2 player game and as expected, as everyone has their own board and turns are played simultaneously, the game plays similarly with different player counts. As I was playing with a new player, I still haven’t tried the expansions yet.” Thanks to a tip on Facebook, she printed out and played a temporary copy of Doppelt So Clever using the dice from the original Ganz Schon Clever. “This game is definitely twice as clever! The choices are interesting for sure and I’m happy I already like it. Very excited my actual copy is on its way to the store already!”
Wrapping up the week was Staff Game Night were a few of us played a couple games, Welcome To “We got to play a 5 player game with 3 new players. I do enjoy watching folks discover this game.” Greg and Renee also played Ganz Schon Clever, aka “the German dice game”, with Jim and Edward, “who agreed to allow me to teach it to them and play it. Strange that there are still people I know who haven’t played it yet…”
Come to The Sentry Box on Tuesday February 5th for a Transformers TCG 2 Pack tournament. Player registration begins at 6:00pm with the first round starting at 6:30pm.
Entry to the event is $15 which includes two packs and the remaining will be used to build the prize pool for the event. There will be three round with each round being determined by a best of three games.
Greg and Renee started Monday Board Game Night with Arboretum, Greg, “The cute tree artwork might give the lie that this is a super light casual game, but it’s actually an interesting set collection game with a spatial element where you only score your sets if you also hold onto the highest total of that type of card in your hand. Makes for some tricky decisions and laughing as you ruin someone’s day.” Renee, “I got to play Arboretum with 4 players on Monday and again, what I thought would be a light fun card game is thinky and full of hard choices as you have a draw pile and 4 discard piles from which to draw your 2 cards, then you only get to play one card and have to discard another. Planning your card layout for points is thinky too and then you still need to make sure you have the right cards in your hand at the end of the game to both score your arboretum and block others from scoring theirs. This is important otherwise you end up with 0 points. Just saying…”
Greg played Teotihuacan, “Glad to get a chance to get this back to the table. I realised early on that I was trying the same strategy as Kevin, but he was doing it quicker and better. I managed to pivot somewhat and came in second but well behind Kevin.” Followed with Tichu, “There was one relatively new player in the game and he got paired up with Derek against the more experienced team of myself and Kevin, and the experience paid off as we made fairly short work of them, the one round with a misread between myself and Kevin causing me to fail a Tichu notwithstanding.”
Lastly, Greg played Railroad Ink, “We just played the base game with no expansions. It’s another little roll and write, but with lots of options each turn regarding placement. My board as shown got me a solid 3rd out of 5, well behind the top two. Looking forward to trying the expansion dice too.”
Meanwhile Renee played Blue Lagoon, “Decided I wanted to try this one out again. Its a big map of 8 islands, divided up into hexagons. Each player has chips that they place on the board, fighting to be first to artifacts, gain control of islands and attempting to create snakes of chips that connect islands while blocking others from doing the same. You play twice, the first time getting to start anywhere on water, and working your way inland from there you have to strategically place your huts on the islands for the next round. After scoring the first round, you remove your chips, leaving your huts and play again, this time working your way around the board from your huts. I love the player interaction in this game.”
Renee also played Dice Hospital, “Yup, I got to play a game in which dice had their own hospital! In this game the dice represent patients, with their pip value indicating their overall well-being, get them up to a 6 and their are ready to be discharged, let them drop to a 1 and their head to the morgue. Each round you take in 3 dice (in an ambulance!), add a room or worker to you hospital, treat your dice and hopefully discharge enough dice to make room for the next round’s intake. There were some interesting choices about which dice to take based on colour and how it impacted the turn order, and trying to get rooms and workers that made strong combinations. A decent game. And hey, dice!”
Tuesday was Renee’s mom’s birthday so she got together with her dad and sister for breakfast and decided to play Rummikub, “A game that Jenn and I had grown up playing with her. You place tiles on the table in sets of 3 or 4 of a kind or straights in the same colour. The fun part is being able to rearrange the sets on the board in order to add your tiles to the sets, as long as when you’re done all the tiles are in legal sets. We played this so much as kids, its one of my favourite games from my childhood and it was neat to find out that it won the second ever Spiel des Jahres in 1980.”
Sue has been painting the minis from Star Wars: Imperial Assault, “I painted up MHD-19 & Loku Kanoloa from the Imperial Assault – Return to Hoth expansion. I primed MHD-19 silver, picked out a few details and washed black. I decided to make Loku white, as opposed to a gold fish. I used a super thin black wash to give some detail to his face and hands. The wash was about 50% black wash and 50% Lahmian Medium.”
“I painted up Murne Rin from the Imperial Assault – Bespin Gambit expansion. I also painted some Stormtroopers from the Imperial Assault base game. I primed them white, and used black air paint to fill in the black parts. Except for the hands and the gun, where I used Eshin grey. Then I used the same wash mixture as Loku Kanoloa (50% black, 50% Lahmain Medium) on the Stormtroopers. Then I washed the gun and hands again with a regular black wash. There are many ways to paint a Stormtrooper. This is just one way. Oh, and don’t worry about Murne Rin. She’s got this!”
Greg played Seikatsu, “This is a tile placement game where one aspect of the tiles (birds) scores immediately for being placed next to like tiles, but the other (flowers) scores at the end of the game for having like tiles in the same row, from your perspective. It’s unusual in that it can be played from 1-4 players, but in a four player game you play in teams of two. Very pretty and great components (tiles are plastic/resin).”
Renee picked up a copy of Gloomhaven, “On Friday night my sister, brother-in-law and I cracked open the box, choose our characters and got them set up, and then started to try to learn how to play. We went through the process of setting up the first scenario and slowly read the rules while playing a few rounds to learn to flow and mechanics of the game. Managed to get rid of all the bandits in the first room but then realized it was way past the kids’ bedtime. I’m excited about checking this game out properly next time and playing the scenario “for real”. It’s definitely not my usual style of game, so curious about trying out something new. I can already see why it is so popular, the components are beautiful and the game seems well designed. Looking forward to providing updates when we get this back to the table!”
She also played Welcome To and VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game again on the weekend. “Even though my sister and I ended up playing different strategies in Welcome To, we somehow ended up with the same score. Still digging this game. Taught Viva Java to my Dad, who liked it ok, although I think another play through or two might be needed. I want to play it a few more times before trying the advanced variants. Also got Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra to the table again and I have to say, I’m really liking this version of the game. I keep forgetting to try the B-side variant until after we’re done. Hopefully I’ll remember next time.”
That’s the news from us. Hope you are all having fun painting and gaming too!
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.”
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.”
That being said, Greg discovered that sometimes the players all get 3 of the same choices.
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…
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.
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!