What have The Sentry Box Staff been up to – Dec 24-30

The last staff blog of the year is here, in which we reveal which games we played to close out our year and how we spent our holidays.

Greg started out the week with Dice Settlers, “A dice rolling 4X game, which means it has some area control and take that which aren’t usually my thing but it seemed more about the timing of things, and the dice limit how much take that there is. I enjoyed trying to make the most of my dice each turn. There is a decent amount of result manipulation so, while it can be tactical at times, it’s not difficult to pick a strategy and run with it. I’d like to try with more than 2 players to see how that affects things.” He also played Ganz Schön Clever, “Opened up a few of my boxes of games after the move and found this bad boy so I had to whip it out for a quick spin.”

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Amanda played Chronicles of Crime, So Jim and I got 40 of 100 I think that’s a pass. I just clicked on the wrong answers at the end even though I knew the right answer 😦 wa wa waaaahhhhhhh …. I really enjoy this game I like games that make you think and the add ins (app) was really neat. However Jim who prefers dice rolling and quick card games did not enjoy this as much!”

Kris played a few games: Century: Spice Road “Which I really like. Really easy to pick up and learn but a good amount of depth.” A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King, “Which is a fun little game by Fantasy Flight Games, again really easy to learn but has more depth than it initially seems.” Kingdomino, “Finished off our evening of games and again is super easy to learn and is really good fun!”

Renee played Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, “I was so happy to finally get to try this out after it come out from under the tree. After a few plays I have to agree with the general sentiments I’ve read about it: It doesn’t have the simplicity of the original, but I like that it feels a more like a gamers’ game with a bit more to think about to achieve higher scores. It was fun to try a few different strategies to see how they played out. We haven’t even tried the B side of the board yet so more on that later.”

She also played Raiders of the North Sea with the Hall of Heroes expansion, “My second chance to play the game and first time with the expansion. I’m still in love with the art style and clarity of the fonts and iconography of this entire series. But more importantly this is just a fun game with great strategic choices. I love the worker placement mechanic – you start the turn with a worker that you can only place on an empty space for your first action and then you pick up a different worker from another location for your second action. This impacts not only which actions you can take but in which order, which is interesting. There are also 3 different colours of workers so you have to plan to ensure you end your turn with the worker you need for your raids as these locations require certain workers. The Hall of Heroes adds additional crew cards, quests you place on raided locations as well as lovely player boards to keep everything organized.”

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Later in the week Renee played Domino War, “This is a game we got years ago and finally dug out again. You place dominos on the matching spaces on the board and if you place one and complete a square, you get to put your stone inside. You play either with 2 players or in teams of 2. Super light, nice when you’re too tired for much else.”

She also played Terraforming Mars with the Prelude expansion, “The Prelude expansion really helps this game get jump started – I find it a big of a slow slog at the start without it. While not my favourite style of game, I really do appreciate how good it is. I like that because of the cards, there is a quite a bit of variety in strategy and it does feel different every time I play it.”

Renee played some games with her 7 year old nephew, starting with My Little Scythe, “Gave this to Christopher and he loved it, as did his parents. This is a game that does a great job of introducing some mechanics to children. You have a player board with various actions on it and using your action token, each turn you have to choose an action that must be different than the once you took on your last turn. You collect apples and gems which you can use in different ways: to complete quests, to make items or upgrade your player board and to complete deliveries. I love that there are 8 different ways to get trophies so you can take different strategies. Also, the miniatures are so cute!”

Rush & Bash, “Another game we got for Christopher, it feels like a ‘my first Formula D’. It’s a car racing game where you play cards to do actions (steer, drop bombs, shoot missiles, fix your car etc) and then move forward a number of spaces. There are obstacles on the track as well as collisions with other players, which can cause chain collisions too! There is a great equalizing element where players in the back of the pack get more powerful cards, so it stays a tight race with the lead changing regularly. I like that players are given choices and that if you get hit and your car goes off the track your car powers up to get bonus actions. It was a lot of fun!”

King of New York, “Christopher has long been a fan of the original King of Tokyo and he really enjoyed learning this new version of the game. There is definitely more going on with this version: you can destroy buildings for points, energy or health, but then this creates army units that then can attack you – in addition to the other monsters on the board. Fun to discover the new strategies and all the new cards and their abilities. It was a close game with 2 players being killed at once and then the winner getting their last 2 points on the very next turn.”

Greg played Clans of Caledonia, “This is a fairly meaty Euro with some similarities to Terra Mystica in that there is a fight for territory on the board, different types of buildings/units and some benefit to expanding next to opponents. Ultimately you’re mostly trying to produce goods to complete export contracts, but there are also points for expanding into many connected settlements. Lots going on in this game, so recommended for those who like thinky heavier Euros.”

He also played Welcome To…, “A card-flip-and-write game that boasts it can play up to 100 players. As long as they can see the cards and have a player sheet that could be true. I like it a lot. Simple but with interesting decisions. It has a little bit of Qwinto in it, but with much more going on. My player sheet. Tracy and I tied at 79 each, with her winning on the tie-breaker!”

Gord ended the week with some sci-fi games starting with Space Empires: Replicators, “For some reason, I wanted to play the Replicators this time but had a horrible start to the game. I’ve managed to find only one planet even though I explored more empty space than the other two players combined. I did manage to get two Doomsday Machines though which cost me half my fleet at the same time that one of the other guys was successfully hammering three of my home worlds. I feel doomed but will play it out until the last intelligent machine part is destroyed.”  Followed by Star Realms and Colony Wars, “I never get tired of these two games.”

With that, we reach the end of this year’s gaming, reading, painting and playing.  We hope your year was filled with lots of awesome games and books and you have a Happy New Year’s!

 

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