What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – June 10-16

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Renee played Cockroach Poker Royal for the first time to kick off Monday Night Board Gaming. “This is a bluffing card game in which you hand someone a card and say “This is a …” You can tell the truth or you can lie. That player can either call – “I do think it is a…” or “I don’t think it is a…..” or decide to look at the card and then give it to another player, saying it is a whatever. If you call and you are correct, the player handing you the card gets the card, otherwise you get the card. If you get 4 of the same bug the game ends and you lose. Turns out I wasn’t great at this game and ended up with the first 3 cards. But as this picture shows, having lots of different bugs looks pretty and isn’t a losing condition…so I did just fine. This was yet another quick card game that had all 5 of us laughing and enjoying ourselves immensely.”

 

Greg taught a four player game of Agra, “which took most of the evening, as it’s not a straightforward teach and not a short game. Playing with four did make it more interesting, competing to complete orders and bumping other players, giving them favour tokens. We also tried varied strategies but it ended up being a close game with Kevin winning on the tie-breaker.” Renee, “This was a heavier game and took most of the evening. Greg did a great job of teaching this beast! There is a lot going on and would definitely benefit from multiple plays to figure out some strategies. It is a worker placement in which, like Architects, you just keep placing them on the board, but in this game, when another player goes on a space occupied by your worker, you get it back, plus a favour, which you can collect and use for bonus actions. There is a resource track to get you goods and upgrade your goods, and actions to deliver goods to the notables for points and abilities. On your player board you have the ability to power up your actions to create a bit of an engine and there is also this interesting component with tracks for the 4 categories of goods; the higher you go up on the track the more money you make when delivering those goods. It was a good game and I enjoyed it, and would definitely play it again if it made it back on another Monday night.”

 

They finished the night with Lanterns Dice. Greg, “This is another roll & write where players are filling areas on their lakes with lanterns and setting off firework displays. The active player rolls the dice into the little tray and then orients it so that each player is allocated one die which shows a lantern colour that they get to cross off. Some spaces give bonuses and when the active player has filled spaces matching the shape of one of the firework tiles they are allowed to place that tile, which is worth points. Players also score for their second largest connected area, and for surrounding boat spaces. It’s a little longer than many roll & writes but has some interesting things going on.” Renee, “A new roll and write version of the Lanterns tile laying game. I’m a fan of the original and was happy with this implementation. On your turn you roll the dice and orient the dice tray to determine which colour you and your opponents get to fill in that turn, similarly to the original. It means that everyone is playing on every turn which is fun. You get points for surrounding boat tiles, points for filling in the board in such a way to cover them with tetris shapes, and you get gifts which you can spend for bonus actions. This is definitely joining my pack of roll and writes for our family vacation.” Renee played it again on the weekend with her family, “Lanterns has been a favourite in the family, so it was fun to teach this new version of the game. Everyone loved it!”

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Greg took another swing at Brikks, “After getting the big score previously I started playing on the next difficulty level. Managed to break 100 in this game, mostly due to some perfect rolls in the early and mid parts of the game.”

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Greg picked up the new expansions and play mat for Welcome To…so he got Tracy to play a game. “We just did the advanced variant of the base game using alternate art player sheets and the playmat, so really just the base game with pimped out components. I do enjoy this game and having the play mat is actually quite nice as it doubles as a player aid, reminding you what all the action symbols mean and also what the number distribution in the deck is. Definitely worth getting in my opinion.”

 

 

This week while camping, Sam and her sister played a bunch of games. “We tried Ex Libris for the first time, which was a really cool take on worker placement. At first it seemed challenged to have to balance all the end game scoring objectives, but you get the hang of it quite quickly. The added touch of having unique books made it really fun to see what each other found!”

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Next they played through the beginning of the long campaign through all the books in Lord of the Rings: The Living Card game. “We had to restart this scenario probably 8 times to actually complete it as the Nazgul proved too challenging for our decks. Once I brought out Gimli and his axes they were history!”

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They tried Grand Austria Hotel for the first time, “which we both really enjoyed since it reminded us of a more complicated version of an older hotel game named Full House.”

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Their final game of the trip was Mr. Jack Pocket, “which ended up being one of those games that is super simple in mechanics but very difficult to master! Both of us failed miserably at being Jack so at least we were on an even playing field.”

They also played two scenarios from the Jack the Ripper collection from the Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective games series, “but found that we enjoyed the themes of the original Thames Murders box better and had a hard time feeling like we were actually getting answers. Perhaps that is how its supposed to feel since the murders were never solved in real life…”

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Renee taught and played a 2 player game of Wingspan with her sister, “and got to appreciate it all over again. The game play is just so clean; you play birds to your board, then take actions which activate the abilities on the birds, all to achieve round end bonuses, and your personal objective. The number of cards in the deck, each its own bird, is so impressive, and the different objectives provide nice variability and replayability. Plus, so beautiful on the table!”

 

Renee played Wreck Raiders again as well. “This game seems pretty simple, you collect treasures to complete displays and fill your vault, while also collecting seashells to build aquariums. But with different ways to get points, and each seashell having their own special abilities, there is a lot of think about when drafting the dice for your turn.”

And that’s another week of gaming with the crew at The Sentry Box.

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