What have the Sentry Box staff been up to – Aug 19-25

We start this week with a revisit of a classic:

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“It’s Risk. A game of world domination being played by 2 guys who can barely run their own lives.” – Jerry Seinfeld.

Sue loves Risk! “When I think of Risk, I think of that quote, Red Dwarf’s Rimmer entertaining his shipmates with the exciting details of a Risk game he played long ago, and Irkutsk and Yakutsk.”

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Sue played Risk: Godstorm! “The ‘most unusual game that has appeared in many years’ has seen many iterations since its days of friendly whales and wooden blocks.
Since I love Risk, and the ancient world, Risk: Godstorm was the perfect game for me. Risk: Godstorm is really like two games in one, since it has it’s own rules, but you can also play the Classic rules too. I really love everything they added to this game. The ancient Gods can give you buffs, and there are also cards which you can draw to help you (and sometimes mess up your friends.) Also, they have added NPCs which adds another layer to the strategy. They also limit this game to only 5 turns, so it can be played relatively quickly. You may not take over the whole ancient world, but you can score based on how many countries you have, continents, etc. I really like all the additions, they have added new dimensions to the strategy and this game is still a fun and easy game to play!”

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“Oh, and it comes with its own cat trap, to keep your pet from messing with the board.”

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Sue also decided to paint the Gods from Risk: Godstorm. “We thought the sculpts were pretty good for a game that’s not a ‘miniatures game’. My companion was new to miniature painting, but thought that painting the Gods was fun. It was also fun to get to paint a variety of ethnicities.”

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Greg and Renee kicked off Monday Night Board Gaming with a play of Clank! Expeditions: Temple of the Ape Lords, Greg, “Renegade Games sent us a few advance copies of upcoming titles, including this expansion for Clank! We played the Jungle side of the board, which mostly just adds a set collection element with some new tokens as well as new player pieces and a gorilla boss token. I do enjoy Clank! and I’m looking forward to trying the Temple side of this expansion too.” Renee, “I forgot how much I love Clank! This series is so much fun so I was excited to get to try out this new version. I like that they keep coming up with these expansions so there are variations of the game that allow you to try different strategies. I kept my unbroken track record of dying, but luckily this time it was above ground so I got to count my points. So I got that.”

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They followed it with Time Chase, Greg, “Another of the upcoming Renegade titles, this one is a trick-taking game where players can go back in time to previous tricks and play new cards into them to change the outcome. If a player controls three tricks at the end of a round they win the game. There’s a mechanism which holds back the leader a little bit, so it’s definitely important to time your challenges well, so that you can push for the win. It was definitely an interesting twist on the trick-taking genre.” Renee, “I like tricking taking games and I love time travel, so this was a fun version to try out. I really enjoyed the unique mechanic of playing on older tricks you could now win. I haven’t had a chance to play it again, but I taught it at Saturday Women’s Game Night and they played it a few times.”

Unlock! Scheherazade’s Last Tale was next up, Greg, “This one has an interesting theme and some cool puzzles. Sadly one of them stumped us quite a bit so we went well over the time limit and needed a few hints. I thought it was one of the better Unlock games, of the 10 or so I’ve played.” Renee, “I’ve only played a couple of these games so far but I always enjoy the experience. It’s fun to work together to figure out the puzzles and very satisfying when you finally figure something out. Definitely recommend this series if you enjoy solving puzzles and escape room style experiences.”

They finished with a 5 player game of the little trick-taking Little Devils, Greg, “I find it a bit too luck-dependent for my tastes as there seems to be very little you can do sometimes, so the choices seem somewhat arbitrary. It did elicit a lot of laughter though, particularly when River picked up 42 points in the final hand to cause the end of the game (points are bad).” Renee, “I love how much fun we always have when we play this game. I think we end up enjoying the fact that it’s all about losing and not winning. And that ending could not have been more entertaining.”

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Kris has not really got much gaming in but he is starting to get back to making progress on some painting.  “I have been working on a commission that I have really not been enjoying so keep painting other things instead… Here is a Goblin Fanatic I have had sat around for about 10 years!”

Here’s a model Jordan found in our 1$ bin, “Spent the evening painting him up for fun. I liked the headdress on top of his helmet and I thought his pose was a little goofy.”

Tracy and Greg taught Carcassonne to Alex, without the farmers. “We had tiles from the first two expansions as well, but just played with rules from the base game. Alex picked up on the tile placement rules with no problem, and was good at placing in order to score her cloisters. We gave a little coaching on other placement and she did pretty well overall, especially for her first game.”

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They also played Star Wars Labyrinth, “I’d actually never played any version of Labyrinth before but picked this one up to play with Alex. It says 8+ for the age but often games can be played by younger kids with help. Having played this now I’ll probably hold off again for a little while. Alex was able to understand how the tile placement worked, but it actually needs a bit of planning and figuring out how best to manipulate the board to get where you need to go, so we needed to coach her turns pretty heavily.”

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Greg also played Patchwork Doodle for this week’s injection of roll/flip and write, “My second game would indicate that my first game was almost certainly a fluke. Things started badly and I wasn’t able to recover sufficiently to score very well.”

Renee also got in a play of Patchwork Doodle with her sister. “I was afraid this would feel a bit too much like Second Chance, but it didn’t. Like the original Patchwork, you can see the other shapes that are in play, so you can do a little more planning. The scoring rounds also force you to play differently because it’s not just about the end game, you do have to plan your mid-game as well. I got a ridiculous 144 points, which means that from now on I’ll be chasing that high score.”

Greg also got in a play of Edge of Darkness, “This is the new gigantic box game from AEG. It uses the card crafting system they introduced in Mystic Vale (although if you read the blog posts Edge of Darkness was actually signed first). In this game there is one central deck rather than each player having their own, and players can use abilities on other players’ cards but have to pay them to do so. Each game uses 10 locations out of the 30+ available, with each location having a different ability and providing different card upgrades. There’s also a threat element, with a cube tower that has three monsters threatening the city at any given time, and the cubes resolve when and who gets attacked. Players will want to make sure they can defend against these threats, as well as potentially go out hunting them directly. Tracy and I tried the first recommended scenario and the game flowed pretty easily, although some turns require a bit of planning to make sure things happen in the needed order. Overall I enjoyed it quite a bit and look forward to trying some of the other scenarios.”

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Gord makes a confession, “I know it’s hard to believe but I finally got to play Codenames today. It was indeed a fun game.”

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Greg, Renee, Jeff and Nick played a 4 player game of the intermediate version (Early Landing) of LANDER on our livestream on Friday. Greg, “This adds a couple of new things to the basic simulation: Observing (essentially a temporary pass action) and Accolades (achievements that are worth victory stars for reaching certain goals, but can change owner as they go to the person currently ahead on those goals – think Longest Road in Catan). The other change in this version is that the game goes until someone reaches 10 points (vs 7 in the basic simulation) and the current year is played out, with the winner being whoever has the most points at the end of the year (vs the game immediately ending when someone reaches 7 points in the basic simulation). I enjoyed playing again, and although the rules explanation felt a little bit long, the game itself flowed pretty quickly. I made some bad choices early and it definitely slowed me down so that I wasn’t really in the running. I’d like to try the full game now as it looks like it has a bit of a slower build up, but also has a set number of rounds, so you can make longer term plans without wondering if someone is going to sneak ahead and end the game before you’re ready.” Renee, “I had a lot of fun trying out this game. I found myself very focused on acquiring the skills and training my crew required for my gold goals and spent way to many action fishing for the right training card. When I was finally successful, it didn’t have enough resources left to claim it that round and then Jeff ended the game that round. Like Greg, I would have liked to play a version with a set number of rounds to see how many points I could get.”

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Renee played a couple games of Point Salad with her family, “Still enjoying this quick little set collection game and trying out different combinations of point cards. With each point card being unique, there are lots of possibilities.”

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They also played Patchwork Doodle. “Like Greg I didn’t fair nearly as well in my second game. We did enjoy getting to play a multiplayer version of Patchwork and I think we’ll be playing it more often.”

 

What have the Sentry Box Staff been up to – Aug 12-18

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Greg and Renee kicked off Monday night with Hadara. Greg, “Played a full five player game to start the night off. It obviously makes the game a little bit longer but it still flows well and doesn’t drag as the decisions are short (if agonising). Setareh pipped Renee to the victory, with Roxy in third and myself and River bringing up the rear.” Renee, “I really enjoyed getting a chance to play this as a 5 player game.  The player interaction is kept to a minimum, but it made a huge difference in the drafting of cards in the second part of the round. With more players you got to see so many cards that you didn’t have a chance to draft. Plus if everyone was drafting a certain colour, the pile depleted really quickly. I focused more on my own strategy this time and I felt pretty good with how it turned out. It’s hard to track all the other players, especially with simultaneous play, but it was fun to play it as a larger group. Its also good to know there is another decent 5 player game option out there. I think this has quite a bit of re-playability as the variety of cards in the purple deck provides lots of options for different strategies.”

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What have the Sentry Box Staff been up to – Aug 5-11

We kick-off this week’s staff gaming blog with some awesome pictures of Chris’ Kill Team game:

“Got a game in with Mike, on his incredible-looking Necromunda board. Although all those levels may have worked more to my advantage, as my Space Marine Reivers had grapnel launchers and could drop down onto his Chaos Cultists like Batman. His early shooting managed to knock my sniper clean off a ledge and take him out, but over the next couple turns my aforementioned Reivers sliced up the center while the rest of my team was able to delay the rest of his attack in a close-range firefight. Eventually the casualties took their toll and the game ended when an unfortunate Break test forced Mike to retreat.”

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What have the Sentry Box Staff been up to – July 29-Aug 4

Happy Heritage Day! We hope you’re enjoying a day of gaming like the folks that showed up today to play in the mezzanine. This week we have a batch of new games that the staff have tried out so they can share their mini-reviews.

Sue was so excited when Do You Know Me (from the makers of What Do You Meme) showed up as a Sentry Box new release and she wasn’t disappointed! “This is my new favorite game! We played this game for hours on Saturday night and we didn’t even make it through half the deck! Then we liked it so much we played it again on Sunday. It’s so fun seeing how well you know your friends, and the cards lead to some interesting stories and you get to know your friends a little bit better. It’s also fun answering questions about yourself. The questions are interesting, and you can literally play it with almost everyone you know. It’s versatile in that you can play it for 10 minutes or 5 hours. And it’s small enough you can easily take it to your friends’ homes, on a camping trip, or even on vacation! There is some mature subject matter, (but in no way is it over the top), so I would recommend it for high school and up. You can play it one on one or with a group. With people you know really well, or people you would like to get to know better. This is a really great party/ social game and I hope it does as well as What Do You Meme. If they make an expansion, I’m definitely getting it too!”

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Introducing Tale of Gamers: Kill Team

Welcome to a brand new Tale of Gamers! This time, four courageous staff members dive into the deadly, covert world of Games Workshop’s Kill Team! Over the next few months, you’ll be able to watch their journey from bare plastic sprues to fully-fledged teams of battle-hardened troops, commanders and elite warriors. Which force will come out on top?

Only time will tell…

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