What have the Sentry Box been up to Nov 19-25

This week we have lots of game mini-reviews and painting tips from Kris and Sue.

Jeff played Carcassonne for the first time, “The game was really fun, easy to learn, and has lots of replay value. Some of the aspects reminded me of Settlers of Catan, but I enjoyed Carcassonne more. The strategy, mixed with the randomness of drawing tiles, made for a fun and exciting game where everyone was trying to get the upper hand, or find ways to steal points from other players. I will absolutely play it again.”

Jordan played Flamme Rouge, “You control a pair of bikers in a race, and each biker has a small deck of cards that you play to determine how fast they move. Bikers in the front of the pack get exhausted, and bikers near the back can “slipstream” forward, but if you fall too far behind (like I did) you won’t catch up. A relatively simple game to pick up, with a lot of strategy and replay value as well.”

Renee and Greg played a bunch of shorter games to start out Monday Game Night. Started with the semi-obligatory game of Ganz Schön Clever followed by Zoinx! Renee, “A game with 4 dice, each with 2 circles and 4 squares. Before a players turn, all players bet on how many circles the player will roll. You roll the dice, count the circles, roll again, add the number of circles etc, until you stop or until you have a roll with no circles and you Zoinx! You get points for betting correctly, rolling more circles than your bet or correctly betting that the player will Zoinx! Fun little dice press-your-luck game.”

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Then a 5 player game of Abluxxen, “Which was a lot more fun than the 2 player game Greg and I had tried previously. A sluffing game in which playing a higher set of cards (1,2,3,4 or more of a kind) than a players last set, lets you steal their set of cards or make them pick them up again or discard for new cards. You try to collect large sets, as at the end of the game you get points for cards played, minus the cards left in your hand. Another quick and fun card game.” Greg agrees it’s better with more!

They also played Reef, getting to teach it to a couple folks new to the game. Renee, “Still really enjoying this game. I’m getting better at selecting cards that set up my scoring sequences and this was the first time I won.”

Greg taught the new game Gizmos. Renee, “I have been curious about ever since it arrived at the store. With a marble dispenser, it at first looked like the new Potion Explosion, but this is a different game. You pick marbles, in order to build Gizmos, which give you action bonuses. With 4 main actions and many action bonuses, you can create chains that allow you to do several or many things on your turn. This was a lot of fun! And the components were awesome.” Greg, “Fun game of building combos but I didn’t get much going and came a distant last. The components are great!”

Renee finished the evening with Viticulture. “A worker placement game in which you harvest grapes, make wine and sell it, although there are many ways to get points. The turn order selection at the beginning of each year (do I want to be first in the turn order or get a better bonus?) was interesting and the cards created some interesting combinations. Another one of these games where you constantly have to determine which actions are most important and how to create a decent engine. Definitely up my alley. And the game is gorgeous.”

Amanda played a 4 player game of Pandemic, “Classic game! We lost because everyone but me was drinking and not paying attention so not a party game but I still had fun. Easy to teach cooperative game, hard to win and the game is evil.” Amanda also played more Keyforge with Jim, “I keep whooping his butt so I was sent to work today to get 2 more decks so he can have a chance. Really enjoying this card game easy to learn rules aren’t to convoluted and the mechanics are fun.”

Kris also played Keyforge, “Gill learned the game with the starter decks, easy to learn and we are looking forward to trying some other decks.” Kris and his group also continued their Arkham Horror: The Card Game, “We finished the Night of the Zealot campaign, we have all played it before but we wanted a warm up before we start playing the Dunwich Legacy Campaign. I need to decide if I am going to stick with William Yorick, the gravedigger or switch it up.”

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Kris was also busy this week painting. You can take a look on Friday’s livestream.

I painted a Brave and the Bold crew for the Batman Miniatures Game, this Crew is based on the Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns graphic novel (or the animated movie based one the novel) and I tried to get a more animated look with some really stark highlights and limited colour palette.

I love Carrie Kelley as Robin but found her the most challenging piece to paint from this set, there is a lot of motion in the sculpt and she is supposed to be the bright point of the entire Crew to try to mirror her role in the book as the hope and light whilst Batman struggles with growing older and the changes going on around him.

Oliver Queen was really good fun to paint and the model really does all of the work, the face is very well sculpted which made it an amazing piece to work with.

The Miniatures were all painted with Games Workshop paints and I chose a variety of Secret Weapon bases (which you can special order through the Sentry Box) to keep the gritty Gotham feel. I also used Secret Weapon washes to really add some depth to the sidewalks and roads and was really happy that the store had a restock!

Renee got in a couple games of Unearth, “I really like the art style and the components are beautiful. This is a pretty quick and simple game – you play delver cards to give yourself re-rolls or change the value of dice and then roll one of your dice against a ruins card. If the die roll is a 1-3 you get a stone from the card to use on your tableau to build wonders. But you need high rolls to increase your chance of winning the ruin card. Ruin cards score for sets of same colours, and wonders also give you end game points. I liked it! Balancing grabbing the stones on a new card and trying to roll high once the stones were gone was interesting. One thing was clear – after winning the first game, the dice decided to organize a coup against me for the second game.”

Renee played a teaching game of Bora Bora with her sister. “I hadn’t played it in a while so it was to remind me of the rules and introduce her to the game. There is a lot going on in this classic point salad game, so it can seem a bit busy at first, but it also means that there are lots of different ways to get points. I of course love dice placement games so I like that mechanic. Jenn scored a lot of points during the game and had a huge lead, but I almost caught up after the end game bonus points were scored, proving that different strategies can be successful.”

Sue got more painting done, this time for Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft. “I would describe the miniatures that come with Castle Ravenloft as easy to paint, and good for beginners.”:

Painting Gargoyles: Paint grey then apply a black wash (Nuln Oil or Dark Tone, depending on your brand of choice). These gargoyles were painted with different shades of grey to make them slightly different. Optional step (not shown here): You can also dry brush grey after the wash is dry if you want. Dry brushing will give them more of a stone look. However, I wanted to give them more of a living stone look, so I did not dry brush these.

Painting Skeletons: Prime white then apply a brown wash (Agrax Earthshade or Strong Tone, depending on your brand of choice). That’s all there is to it!

Sue brought the game to Staff Game Night and we got in a 5 player game. Renee, “My first time playing one of the D&D boardgames. Having never played D&D I thought this would be a good intro to some of the mechanics and the world, while playing a board game. It’s a coop game in which we were exploring a dungeon searching for the chapel which contained the treasure we needed to win the game. On your turn you would move, attack monsters, explore to add tiles to the dungeon, which in turn revealed new monsters that would attack you, have encounters (cards which contained events or new hazards), and obtain treasures – items and abilities that aided you and the party. I liked that the cards contributed to the narrative of the story and clearly laid out the effects of the monster or hazard. The box included 13 different scenarios – all that are themselves replayable – the character and monster minis, all the tokens required for items, HP, effects, traps etc and all the character card abilities. I could see myself playing this with the D&D players in my family. Oh, and we won!”

Amanda played Keyforge against Gord “He beat me last minute and snuck up behind me with some clever artifact cards. Still really enjoy this game love the fact that you can get a deck and play dont have to worry about deck building the perfect deck.” And she finally got to try Ganz Schön Clever, “Played with Greg and Gord. A fun game! A roll and write game with some neat mechanics. When we get the English version in I will be picking up my copy (due to be release Jan or Feb).”

 

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