What have The Sentry Box Staff been up to – Jan 14-20

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!”

Gord was back to “my daily dose of Star Realms and Colony Wars for the last week. No expansions this time.”

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.”

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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.”

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“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!

 

 

 

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