What have the Sentry Box Staff been up to – July 23-29

It’s been a busy week at the Sentry Box with games being played, books being read and folks getting ready for our Kill Team release day this past Saturday.

gloomhaven

Amanda has been playing the very popular Gloomhaven quite a bit and shares: “What a neat concept for a dungeon crawling campaign game. I love how the feel of it is like playing D&D in a boardgame!!! Its an evil game and if you aren’t used to the mechanics of cards for spells you can quickly lose by wasting you cards on silly things. Jim and I had to play the first scenario 5 times before moving on the the second … it was just that hard/ and we probably were doing things wrong. However I really enjoy the modifier cards on attacks and the story lines behind the game. It will be many hours before we put it away or even finish the game all together. Worth every penny!”

Chris also got in some Gloomhaven: “Went and saved a magic tree from some drakes, and three of our four characters hit level 2.”

pandemic  pic3031286

This past week when Amanda was up at the cabin she got in some additional games:

Pandemic: always a fun game I like how it encourages everyone to come together and think about strategy of keeping everything somewhat under control. Jim and I played with friends and family that aren’t big into boardgames and they found the game approachable and fun.

Sushi Go Party: always a fan favorite with family! Is a really fun card drafting hand management game, where Jim always picks cards to block me even if it makes his hand bad lol. I enjoy the party box because it has the board and pawns to keep track and all the extra cards which make replayability strong.

The Farming Game (1979 ed): vintage !!!!
So my friends parents have had this game for a long time. It’s a fun farming game that can really go wrong or you could come out with the all the cash. It’s an interesting family game great for the cabin but I wouldn’t add it to my collection ( it just plays to much like monopoly) but if you have no where else to be and want to waster a few hours it was fun. I would have to re read the rules as well … because the Cisco’s (friends) could not remember how the game ended lol… they just set a time limit.

In addition to playing X-Wing and S’quarrels Kris got in some reading with Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet, “a fun short covering Dick Grayson’s ascension to the Robin persona. It manages to capture the lighter side of the character whilst still allowing Batman to feel gritty.” He also read Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts:

This is my 3rd or 4th reading of the Empire Trilogy and I am glad to say that it still stands up as one of my favorites. Whilst it does not have the sprawling multi tiers levels of conflict of Feist later works it has a rich setting, adding more insights in to the Tsuranuanni side of the Rift War (the setting of Fiest epic The Magician) and delves deeper in to the world of Kelewan.

With a strong female protagonist and a non-western Europe base for its setting, it immediately feels grounded in something different to your usual Swords & Sorcery fantasy (even though it has its fair share of both Swords and also Sorcery…)

The story centers on Mara, the 17 year old daughter of House Acoma, who through the mechanisms of the Game of the Council has leadership of her House thrust upon her. Being the first book in the Empire trilogy, it focuses on Mara’s efforts to ward off the utter destruction of her family and the choices and sacrifices that she must make.
Populated by a wide cast of interesting and believable characters the development and growth through the story is a joy.

The trilogy is in my top 10 list and I highly recommend it, I enjoyed it as a teenager, I enjoyed it in my 20’s and I am enjoying it again now in my 30s.

Gord agreed that it is an awesome trilogy and he’s reread it a few times. “I think Mara was one of the best characters to come out of Feist’s work though it could be because he did not have to shoehorn her into so many other books. More likely, it was the Janny Wurts influence.” This week Gord played Here I Stand. “A spectacular die roll (6 hits on 7 dice for fives and sixes) gave the Protestant player the victory in an amazingly close game. I thought I would see the first win ever for the Papacy but the roll made the difference. The only bright side for me was my Hapsburgs reconquering Hungary and Vienna after losing them all to the Ottomans under Suleiman the Magnificent.”

micropolis    blackorchestra

Greg got in some gaming starting with the new arrival Micropolis: “A cute little tile drafting game with a little bit of set collection, a spatial tunnel connection element and a wee bit of take that thrown in. Love the artwork on the little ants!” (See him do an unboxing on our Facebook page.)  He also played some Black Orchestra: “A co-op where the players are conspirators plotting to kill Hitler. The story elements from the war give it some good flavour and the game ramps up as it goes on and you start running out of time. Throws in some dice for randomness so it’s not super heavy or strategic but does offer interesting decisions throughout.” And finally The Mind: “Is it a game or is it an activity? Related to ‘The Game’ but with a bit of Hanabi style communicating without communicating thrown in. We got to level 7 twice but weren’t able to go all the way. It seems totally random and strange at first but I think after a few games with the same group something can start to click.”

easternwonders

On Friday’s livestream, Renee and Greg were joined by Sam and Jordan to play this week’s highly anticipated release, Century: Eastern Wonders.

Greg: the second game in the Century trilogy. It has a lot in common with Spice Road but seems like it offers a few more different strategies and more player interaction. I like it and would like to try combining the two games now.

Renee: As a fan of Century: Spice Road, I was really looking forward to playing this game. While it kept the basic mechanics of cube trading and selling for points, it added additional elements that provided different ways to acquire points as well as increased player interaction. I liked the movement of ships around the board, having to pay to place outposts on trading spaces on which other players had already built outposts and the fact that building outposts gave you points as well as special abilities. More going on than in the streamlined game play of Spice Road, but changes that I loved. Highly recommend to fans of Spice Road.

Renee also played Hanabi: “This is a fun cooperative card game in which you can see the other players’ cards but not your own. You take turns giving each other clues and then work together to build a fabulous fireworks display. I love introducing people to this game because of its simple yet unique game play.” She also played Robot Turtles with her 6 year old nephew: “A game designed to teach programming to children. You create a maze involving obstacles on the board and give the kids each their own deck of cards of actions. They write their program by creating a sequence of actions, then they give you the set of cards. You play the cards in order, executing the actions on their turtles and see if their turtle makes it to the end of the maze to get the gem. Well designed and a fun teaching tool.”

Jim ran the Kill Team demo on Saturday so he spent a good chunk of this week getting the set assembled and painted. He noted that for those looking to get into Warhammer 40K, this is a perfect set as the value in the starter box is incredible. The board size also means that it can be played on average sized tables. Jim has added the terrain to our collection, which seems like a good time to remind everyone that we have a stocked terrain room with built and painted terrain that you are free to use while gaming in the store.

codenames

We finished the week with a Staff Gaming Night. Games played included Codenames and the previously mentioned Century: Eastern Wonders and Micropolis. It was the first time Gord had played Codenames and he noted that it is a great game to bring out and play with non-gamer friends. Played in teams, the teams’ spy masters take turns giving word association clues to help their team uncover the codenames of their agents. So popular that it is the #1 ranked party game on BoardGameGeek.com there are now 6 versions available at the store including both Marvel and Disney themed games.

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