What have The Sentry Box been to May 20-26

Greg and Renee played a bunch of games at Monday Board Game Night starting with Wreck Raiders. Greg, “This a fun little dice drafting game with set collection. There are a few ways to score points and some ways to set up for better turns or get bonuses when other players take their actions. It’s a nice, light to medium option.” Renee, “A new game in which you throw dice in the box lid and this creates the dice pool for the round. You take a die and do an associated action, taking a treasure or two from a wreck and collecting sea shells. The treasures are placed on your player board to make exhibits to claim exhibit cards, or in your vault for end game scoring. Sea shells can be used to build aquariums or used for bonus actions. Its a fun little set collecting game with some decent choices each turn.”

Then they played Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra. Greg, “Finally got this back to the table and I definitely enjoy it quite a bit. I like the original Azul but something about this appeals to me a little more for some reason.” Renee, “While I’ll always love the original game, I do enjoy playing this version a lot. Trying to balance taking the most tiles, scoring the bonus colour tiles and not collecting too many pieces of broken glass makes for a fun game.”

Followed by Res Arcana. Greg, “I enjoy trying to figure out the best plan in this game but I always seem to be a turn behind everyone else. I do want to try drafting the artifact cards sometime.” Renee, “Got to play another 4 player game of Res Arcana. Man I enjoy this game! Greg ended up with a couple dragons so he started attacking us, so we all had to use some turns to try and build our defenses. It took a while for us to our engines going but once they get going things can get crazy. This pic is in the last round when I was able to load up my fountain of youth with a ton of calm and life, which if I had been able to play the next round, I would have turned into some tasty points on my sunken reef, but Chris squeaked out a win before the rest of us could cash in on our engines.”

They finished the night with 3 shorter card games starting with X Nimmt.  Greg, “A variant on 6 Nimmt that is just for 2-4 players and adds individual rows for each player called an X row. It adds another level to think about with an element of pushing your luck.” Renee. “After getting to play 6 nimmt! last week it was fun to try this newer variant. The base of the game remains the same with some interesting changes: There are 3 rows of different lengths, when you take a row of cards you place one of the cards into a row in front of you and the rest back in your hand. The cards in the row in front of you don’t count in end game scoring, but have to be placed in ascending order, so if you ever had to add a card and legally can’t, the entire row is placed in a pile that is now worth double points at the end of the hand. This is added to points in your hand the round end when one player is out of cards. The game ends after 2 hands. I’ve always enjoyed 6 nimmt! and I really really enjoyed this version. Highly recommend if you like the original.”

In related news, here is rare footage of Greg winning a game:

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Greg, “Speaking of pushing your luck, we then played PUSH where you flip cards and add them to one of three columns until you choose to stop or can’t add a card (columns can’t have duplicate colours or numbers in them). Players then take a column and add them to their bench, where they are worth points. There’s also the chance to bank cards from your bench to protect them as you can otherwise lose cards in your bench if you ‘bust’ or have to take a ‘roll card’.” Renee, “It’s a push your luck game in which your actions each round can impact the other players either positively or negatively so everyone is always chiming in on your turn with options and reactions to what you do so it leads to fun interaction.”

They finished with Krass Kariert. Greg, “A little card game that has elements of Red7 in it in that you need to beat the previous played card or cards in the trick or lose a life. Fun game that I’d like to play again.” Renee, “Having grown up playing similar style parlour card games and loving Red7, this was really up my alley. You get dealt a hand of 5 numbered cards which you may not rearrange. Playing from your hand you can play 1, 2 or 3 cards as long as they are natural neighbours in your hand. When playing you have to beat the previous played card(s): play a higher card, play a 2 card straight on a single, play a set of 2 on a straight, play a higher 2 card set, play a 3 card straight on a 2 card set etc. You get 2 shield cards for cases when you can’t legally play, but if you can’t play you’re out and lose a life and the round is over. The game ends when someone loses all 3 lives. We all really enjoyed the game and another game I recommend as a quick fun card game.”

Later in the week Greg played Carthago, “It looks like a rondel game but it’s actually more of a hand management game with some set collection. You play a card from hand to take that action, having to discard extra cards if there are other player pieces already on that action space. There’s an element of luck when you use the war dock and also in the cards you gain when you earn a ship, but after just one play it remains to be seen if that’s a bad thing or not.”

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Sue painted up Cersei Lannister from the A Song of Ice and Fire Game. “Because Game of Thrones isn’t really over as long as they live on in the game! For the hair I used Ungor Flesh with a sepia wash over top. For the Lannister skin, I decided to use Cadian Flesh with Kislev Flesh highlights. For the Starks, I decided to use Kislev Flesh with Flayed One Flesh for highlights. I wanted the Lannisters to appear more tanned than the Starks due to the difference in climate. Although Dany has the most noticable contrast between her hair and her eyebrows, Cersei has some contrast too, so I went with Dryad Bark for her eyes and brows. For her lips I wanted a natural look, so I used Bugmans Glow with a line of Cadian Flesh on the bottom lip as a highlight.”

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On Friday’s livestream, Greg, Mike and Paul played a bunch of games on stream with a couple of non-boardgamers:

Azul: Jaspaul isn’t a boardgamer but does play D&D, video games and is a member of the SCA so has some nerd cred and picked up Azul pretty quickly, coming in second.

Deep Sea Adventure: Jessica joined us and we played this quick little push your luck game. Jessica has no gaming experience beyond traditional games as a child so this was all new to her. Michael stomped us but I think Jessica came second, and I came dead last with zero points.

Insider: Jessica does improv and comedy so we thought Insider might go down well. It’s a hidden role 20 questions type of game and both Jessica and Jaspaul seemed to enjoy it. As usual I got suckered into believing the wrong people!

The Mind: We decided to move on to The Mind as a cooperative game that is quite different to most games. It proved to be a big hit, with Jaspaul saying it was his favourite game of the night.

Hanabi: We ended with Hanabi as another cooperative game but it’s definitely a more nuanced game that can be tricky for new players so it didn’t go down as well as hoped.

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Sam and Jordan played X-Wing. ” For the first time ever Jordan dominated the majority of the game. We’re both still learning the strategy of our teams, but the experience gap between us is closing for sure. This is definitely a game you can only get better at by losing ships or just flat out losing. Regardless, it’s always a good time flying tiny space ships.”

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Renee got to play a 4 player game of Zock ‘n’ Roll at Staff Game Night. “This is dice game that combines Yahtzee with poker. You roll your dice and keep them secret in a special cup, then community dice are added one per round (the river). Each round players decide whether to leave and score their highest hand (pairs, straight, full house etc) or stay in. In the final round only the player(s) with the highest hand can score. The game comes with a 2 sided board with a regular version and an advanced version which uses more dice. It’s a fun party game to play when you’re looking for something lighter.”

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She followed this with a 4 player game of Arkham Horror: The Card Game. “Got a chance to play this at Staff Game night. I’ve played the board game once, but this was a new experience. This is a story driven campaign game that is intended to be played with each session changing your characters and things being brought through to the next session. We just played the start of The Night of the Zealot so a few of us could learn the game. We each get a character and the associated deck of cards, each giving us different abilities and strengths. Like the board game, you go through the player actions, encounters and monsters, but this had a bit of a slower pace as it is clearly building up the story to be continued rather than telling a story within one session. As well, the choices you make impact your character ongoing so there is a deck building aspect to the game. For players that enjoy a story driven RPG style game, this is a great option, especially if you enjoy the HP Lovecraft universe.”

Cheers to another week of tabletop fun!