What have the Sentry Box Staff been up to – July 15-21

It was a busy week for the crew at The Sentry Box with lots of painting and gaming this week! Heck even Greg has started painting:

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“I finally stained and painted the barrels from Brass: Birmingham. That’s right, I actually used a paint brush.”

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Kris also got some painting projects finished this week, “I quickly painted a mini to give away on mine and Greg L’s DnD podcast.”

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Kris also put some finishing touches on one of those figures that sits at the back of your painting desk as a started but never finished project! “She was an NPC in a Dark Heresy Campaign I was planning in 2012 that I converted up and undercoated black but never finished.Over the last 7 years she has lived on 3 different bases, had the left arm changed twice and been black, red and grey before I finally decided that enough was enough and we will call her done now.”

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Jordan and Sam took another crack at Ganz Schon Clever and posted some moderate scores. They seem to have figured it out!

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Greg and Renee started Monday Board Gaming Night off with a three player game of Imperial Settlers: Roll & Write. Greg, “Things didn’t go amazingly well and I had to waste quite a few actions during the game, including three in one turn. Still fun though!” Renee, “This was interesting, quite a bit different from the other roll and writes I’ve been playing. There are round bonus actions that players choose, similarly to Puerto Rico, building you build that give you bonus actions in certain situations, and quite some choice about how to use the dice to score points on the sheet. While this would be fun to solo to try different strategies and best your score, there is some fun player interaction that would makes this fun to play with others.”

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The main game of the night was Caylus. Greg, “This game had been brought to the forefront of my mind recently so I brought it out for another spin. Setareh and Renee were both playing for the first time but that didn’t stop Setareh from crushing us mercilessly.” Renee, “Ever since we started talking about this game a few weeks ago, I’ve been curious to try it. Also, a theme-less Euro with bland art and components? I’m in! It’s a worker placement, however, you place your workers on a track and only after all the workers have been placed, do you resolve the actions – and in order along the track. This is something that messed me up a couple times when I had placed workers that gave me what I needed for the action I chose next, but then realized they would resolve in the wrong order! You can build additional worker actions along the path that generate points when used by other players and are cheaper for you to use. Oh, did I mention that you need to pay to place a worker and that as players pass and leave the round, it gets more expensive? While we didn’t do this much, you can also pay to manipulate how many actions fire along the path to mess with other players. I can see why this was so popular when it came out; it has lots interesting mechanics.”

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Renee and Greg played a couple of games of Majesty: For the Realm. Greg, “A little card drafting set collection game. I really like it actually and would like to play it more.” Renee, “A quick 2 player card game in which you compete to place cards in your buildings to trigger different scoring options. This is a very straightforward game, but we both still found yourselves questioning what was the best move. The game comes with 2 sets of buildings so we tried both options and it made quite a difference to the strategy. It was fun little filler for the 2 of us.”

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They finished off the night with a two player game of Tag City. Greg, “It’s another game that I want to play more as I’ve enjoyed it every time. Renee and I tied and then tied on the tie-breaker as well.” Renee, “It was fun to get to play this again; I had brought it on the boat but it sadly never made it to the table. Having only played once with 4 players and now a 2 player game, I think that with more players there was better competition for pieces and points. Our two player game ended in a tie.”

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Sam posted this excitedly, “I think I genuinely broke 300 this time :laughing: next I want to try a solo game and see how much harder it is!” But there still seems to be too many things crossed off. Might need to play it at Staff Game Night and see what’s going on…

Greg taught Tsuro to Alex, “She picked it up quickly. She won the first game but then got sad in the second game because she went off the board. She wanted to play again right away to get some redemption but I’ll leave that for another day :smiley:

Greg also got in a session with his Gloomhaven group, “Played two more scenarios in our campaign and, despite being surrounded by Night Demons, we managed to win both. The first involved fighting through to two separate rooms and all stepping on the pressure plates at the same time. The second required us to shut off four pipes that were spawning imps every turn, which was a challenge due to the amount of bodies in the way, but we managed to get it done.I think we’re all at level 6 or 7 now, but also have a few characters potentially close to retirement.”

Greg did even more painting! “Painted one set of the minis from Santorini. I wish I was good at painting but I don’t have the patience to put in the years of practice necessary, so I inevitably feel disappointed with my efforts. Having said that I think from a distance, when they’re on the table, I’d say they’re better than unpainted.”

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Later in the week, he posted even more finished painting, “I finished the other set of playing pieces for Santorini. Over the past week or so I’ve bought a couple of sprays, some contrast paints, a painting handle and a couple of new brushes. Not sure what’s going on really!”

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Greg, Renee and Jeff played Bosk on Friday’s livestream. Greg, “This is a nice looking abstract game about placing trees and trying to score area majorities for the leaves that they drop. It’s not a complicated game but the way the two halves of the game intertwine and how the other players’ decisions affect things, mean there is quite a bit to think about if you really want to maximize your score.” Renee, “When I first saw this it immediately reminded me of Photosynthesis because it similarly has 3D trees that you place, hopefully strategically, on a board. In this game, you place the trees in spring and score them in summer based on the sum of the trees along each trail in the grid. Then in autumn, you place leaves on the grid and this is an interesting process. The placement of your trees obviously have an impact on this round, but you also get to choose how many leaves to place each turn.  So do you place many leaves early and try to take control of the board? Or save your leaves so you can place them on top of your opponents leaves for last minute scoring advantage. The last round of scoring in winter is based on area control of the 8 terrains on the board. It was much quicker than I expected, but would be slowed down by more thinky turn taking than we took on the livestream.”

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They also got in a play of new arrival Krass Kariert. Greg, “Played a three player game of this little trick-taker. It did feel a bit different to the previous time I’d played with five players, as you had less people to worry about playing into each trick, but that also meant less people who needed to go out before you in order to make you be the loser in the round. Looking forward to playing it more.” Renee, “Picked this up on Friday – YAY! – and was very happy to play it on the livestream and then take it home and play it for a couple hours on Saturday night with Jenn and my Dad. This is just such a fun little trick taking game. So happy Greg ordered it in from Germany. I’m definitely going to be recommend this to folks that are looking for a fun card game to play that has some interesting choices. The fact that you cannot rearrange the cards in your hands, makes for some interesting strategy about the order in which to play your cards, because playing singles may create sets in your hand, but you may have several options for this too. Jenn and Dad both loved it to, so I’m sure it will be getting more play with the family.”

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Renee got Century: Eastern Wonders back on the table, “This is a game that we played a lot last year when it came out but hadn’t made it to the table in a long time. Jenn and I pulled it out on Thursday and got a nice “remember this” game in. I still really like this game and find it an easy recommend to anyone who loves Century: Spice Road and is looking to expand the game. We played it again on Friday and discovered with great joy that our different strategies resulted in a tie! Playing this again is now making me somewhat impatient and excited about the release of Century: A New World, the final game in the trilogy. I also got in a quick game of Quacks of Quedlinburg with Christopher earlier in the day on Thursday while providing childcare. Still fun!”

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Renee picked up another new to her trick taking game, “Claim is a 2 player trick taking game by Scott Almes who is the designer of the “Tiny Epic” line of games. I had heard about it last year and excitedly picked up a copy when it arrived at the store. Jenn and I managed to play it 4 times over the last 3 days and are still figuring out the strategy.  You play the game in two rounds. In the first round you are competing for the drawn card; the winner of the trick takes the card, the loser gets the top card off the draw pile. So if its a bad card, you want to lose the trick so you get what is hopefully a better card off the pile. But then you also lose lead and control of the game. The second round is played using the cards won/acquired in the previous round.  Now the cards you win go into your score pile. The player with the most cards of a faction win the faction and the player who wins at least 3 of the 5 factions wins the game.  But with the factions having some interesting special powers, it’s just not as straightforward as you’d expect. I’m also in love with the totally cute artwork on the cards. Absolutely fun and I’m looking forward to more plays of this game!”

Renee played Second Chance, “Finally got a chance to show this to Jenn. Patchwork is a family favourite (as an aside, we have not been playing this nearly enough as of late…) so this was received well. It is a nice quicker, lighter version of the game with all the puzzling fun. On our second game Jenn managed to get the perfect second chance pieces on her last couple of turns and managed to completely fill her board! But it was really close! We also played a game of X nimmt! on Saturday night. This is a fun variation of the very popular 6 nimmt! game but with some additional mechanics that I think really make the game a bit more fun. Having an X row that doesn’t count against your bullhead score (more is bad) but has the risk of becoming worth double points (bad!) leads to some interesting choices.”

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Greg played a game of Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game, “I’ve still been playing a lot of solo roll & write games over the past months, including a fair bit of this one lately. It’s a nice, quick and easy one to play but still offers some interesting decisions.”

Kerry brought Alchemists last Saturday to Women’s Game Night and after they played it, she let Renee take it home so she could try it out, which she did on the weekend. “This is a game that I’ve heard a lot of customers talk about but had never had the chance to check out.  This is a very interesting worker placement deduction game. There are 8 ingredients and you are each trying to figure out which of the 8 chemical compositions belong to each ingredient.  You do this by combining 2 ingredients to reveal what potion they make. You can do this by testing them on a student, drinking it yourself, or making a potion to sell to a merchant. You use an app to reveal what potion each combination makes, and track this secretly on your own sheet. Once you have some theories about the compositions you can start publishing these for points, however, others can debunk your theory so you have to be careful. Funnily, like Caylus, you place your workers first and then resolve the actions in order on the board so that was a bit of a flashback to Monday for me. This was very different than any game I’ve played before and I enjoyed it. It’s not a game I would play often, but I would enjoy playing it once in a while. I also think it needs to be played a few times to get the pacing of the rounds as I found we ran out of time for actions just as I was starting to understand the game.”

Zock ’n’ Roll got another play on Sunday with Renee and her family when they were looking for a quick game to play. “Dad, who previously seemed to struggle with the scoring (which is different in each of the three rounds of each ‘roll’) managed to win 6 of the 9 ‘rolls’ we played.”

That’s the update from the staff at The Sentry Box. We hope everyone else’s week was filled with gaming goodness!

 

 

 

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