What have the Sentry Box Staff been up to – Nov 5-11

Another week of game mini reviews, painting tips and reading by the folks down at the store.

Renee and Greg kicked off Monday Open Gaming Night with a play of Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game. Greg, “I think this does a pretty good job of simulating the board game. You’re still filling spaces on your board, but doing it by rolling the dice to get colors and numbers. Filling areas gets you points and bonuses that allow you to manipulate the dice or gain extra actions. The timer dice keeps it flowing. Good game, I liked it.” Renee, “My first time playing it with another player. There isn’t any player interaction so that didn’t impact the game, but it was definitely more fun to play with someone else. The game comes with 5 different boards to play with, so there seems like there is a good amount of replay-ability with it as well.”

Greg played Exit: The Sunken Treasure, “This one is rated as a 2/5 difficulty and pretty much lived up to that. Everything was quite straight forward, with only one clue giving us marginal trouble, so we scored a perfect ten. I’d suggest this one as a good warm up for people new to this type of game.” They followed that up with Exit: Dead Man on the Orient Express, “An interesting whodunit version of the game, with a difficulty rating of 4/5. A few of the clues were a bit trickier but we solved them all without any hints. Figuring out the murderer at the end took a bit of time reading and re-reading all the clues but we got there in the end. Fun one!”

Renee played Village, “I brought this game as I wanted to see how it played with more than 2 people. Got a 4 player game in and it didn’t change it that much, so they’ve done a good job of balancing the player counts. We all seemed to try different strategies which was interesting to watch and while there was some spread in the final scores, no one was really too far ahead or left behind.”

She then played Blue Lagoon, “My first time playing this Reiner Knizia game. As per all his games, its pretty mathy, but it’s mostly an area control game. You get points for collecting sets of artifacts, being in all or most of the islands, joining islands together and having control of individual islands. What made it interesting is that you play in 2 rounds, essentially playing the game twice, but the second time being able to build a bit on what you did in the first round. It also looks great on the table.”

She finished the evening with a couple 3 player games of Ganz Schon Clever, “It had actually been over a week since I’d played it last so it was much needed. I also got 2 very high scores for 3 player games, so building on Greg’s experience last week, it seems that absence makes the heart grow fonder….so something to that affect.”

Sue played the Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger game with some friends. “We all read the Choose Your Own Adventure books as kids. This game is great for nostalgia and true to the books! It has 5 ‘Chapters’ and each Chapter takes about an hour to play. We finished Chapter 1, and the other girls all said, ‘I’m hooked!’ This is an easy coop game and is a great for anyone who liked the books!”

Amanda played Dungeons & Dragons, “New campaign with some staff members had a great time Tuesday night. There will be lots of fun adventure to come! I have to try and not be a murder death hobo though.” She also played Dominion, “Again a great deck building game still one of mine and Jim’s favorite. Was able to teach it to my friends this evening and we had a great time.”

Gord’s Illusions of Glory update: “This was a continuation of a game from a couple of weeks ago. The August errata and the rules error we discovered and fixed, have made this a much, much, better game. Despite the fact that I rolled 9-10 1’s for combats, the Germans are still doing somewhat ok. The Russians launched both the Brusilov and Kerensky offensives causing major casualties for both sides and the Germans retaliated by kicking the French, British and Serbs out of the Balkans.”

Renee played Port Royal, “I taught this to my Dad as he enjoys Circus Flohcati which has a similar press your luck mechanic of drawing cards into the display until you stop and then select a card or until the ‘zoinks!’ condition is met and you lose your turn. He liked it, so we’ll be playing this hopefully a bit more in the near future. I like that this game has a bit more strategy so its a nice change.”

She also played Illusion, “Finally picked up this game and introduced it to my family. As I suspected they loved it. You have to place cards in a line, guessing if the patterns contain more or less of a colour as the cards in the line. Easy to learn and quick to play and definitely feels like a new game – we haven’t played anything like it before.”

Greg and Renee played Hansa Teutonica on Friday’s livestream. Greg, “It’s been a while since I played this but I still enjoy it. There are a few different things going on, with route connection, area control, a bit of take that and some ability upgrading. I want to try the East expansion as I’ve heard the map is a bit more balanced.” Renee, “At first it looked like a pretty standard area control game with a map of cities connected by routes, with each of us having a set of cubes to use to claim routes. But the variety of actions – and your ability to upgrade your actions – made this an interesting game. I found I enjoyed the player interaction and that the take that strategy didn’t seem mean, but a necessary and valid strategy to set yourself up for your next turn.”

Black Robed Sorceress

Sue did more painting this week, “I’ve been on a real WizKids Pre-Primed tear lately. I painted this Human Wizard this week. Skin is Pallid Wych Flesh with white highlights. For the eyes, first I painted black ovalish rectangles for the eyes & brows. Then I painted a horizontal white line, followed by a blue dot for the pupil. I also painted a small Pallid Wych Flesh dot on the black part above the eye in the outside corner to create the illusion of eye and brow separation. Robes are Mechanicus Standard Grey with a black wash over top. And I used a brown wash (not sepia) over the book to make it look aged.”

Jeff and some friends tried their hand at Illuminati, “My friend Roman and I loved the concept and core game mechanic of building a network and the redisdribution of power. We did however also think that there are places where the game could be refined a little. The game is fun but it runs a little long. We played the more common 1st edition. I would absolutely play it again, and I would love to try the newer 2nd edition. Coincidently, I also just started reading Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea’s first Illuminatus! book The Eye in the Pyramid. I only found out after we played the game that the Illuminatus Trilogy was one of the main inspirations on the game.”

Renee played a 2 player game of Age of War and after a tie can confirm that it plays better with more players. She also read First Meetings in the Enderverse by Orson Scott Card, “I discovered and began reading the Ender and Shadow books in the early 2000’s but aside from the Battle School graphic novels, hadn’t read anything in the series for over 5 years so I enjoyed returning to the Enderverse. This book is 4 short stories, including the original novella on which Ender’s Game was based which was particularly interesting to read. The other stories I enjoyed as well. Makes me want to explore more of the books that have come out recently and some others that I never got around to reading.”



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