What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 23-29

This week’s blog comes to you a day late so we could include all the content from FallCon where Greg and Renee did livestreams throughout the weekend.. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth to play with us or to say hi. We had a lot of fun!

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We start with Sue who played Azul again. “Azul is totally fun and because it’s fast, we like to play it while waiting for our food to heat up or be delivered.”

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Sue also played Lanterns Dice. “This is still my favourite roll and write! We are really getting into the strategy of it and in our final game, we each tied at 44 points!”

 

Greg and Renee started Monday Board Game Night with Blueprints. Greg, “Not a roll & write but still a dice game, and one I hadn’t played for a while, so I grabbed it tonight and started off the evening with it. I started slowly but picked up in the second round and managed to win the third round and the game overall. It’s a fun, light dice drafting game where the other players can deliberately or inadvertently screw you over.” Renee, “Got a chance to play this again after ignoring it for a couple years. This is a dice drafting game where players use the dice to build their structures out of different materials (coloured dice) that each have their own scoring mechanisms. There are additional bonus points to be had, which I generally try to go for, for building towers, 4 of a number, 5 of a colour, but when the dice don’t roll your way, these can be tricky. A quick fun little dice game.”

 

They followed it with Underwater Cities, Greg, “The main course of the night was a three player game of this bad boy. I was able to generate some early biomatter and started down the symbiotic city route. This is a game of tight resources and agonizing decisions, usually compounded when the other players take the action you wanted. I love it!” Renee, “I really like this game. It’s a great combination of worker placement and card playing – trying to plan your turns so that you get to use your cards effectively, while prioritizing your worker placement is a fun puzzle. There are lots of strategies to try based on the cards you get, but like most great games, you always feel like you never have enough turns to do all the things you want, so focusing on what will be most effective is key. Still not great at this game but getting better with each play.”

 

They finished off with a two player game of Chakra. Greg, “It’s a light set collection game where players are trying to align the appropriate types of energy into their chakras by taking energy tokens of different colours and moving them up or down to get them into the right place. It looks very pretty on the table and was enjoyable enough I’d play again.” Renee, “This is new game we just got in so we tried a 2 player game. Players take turns drafting energy crystals and then using their movement abilities to move them up and down the board into their colour’s chakra. Its a nice little zen game that also looks good on the table.”

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Jordan was getting ready this week for Saturday’s release of Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave and painted some Grashrak’s Despoilers, “The first of two warbands I’m painting up for the release day demo of Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave. I used contrast paints extensively for these beastmen, and it produced some pretty good looking results. The models are very well detailed and offer plenty of different textures to work with (fur, skin, armor plates, bones…) and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out.”

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Later on in the week he finished the second warband, “… and in the blue corner, Skaeth’s Wild Hunt – the second warband from the new Beastgrave core set, just in time for release day. These are a cool twist on (a)elves with really interesting armor pieces and equipment, and very dynamic posing – I think the centaur, Skaeth, is particularly awesome. Contrast paints went a long way here – I’m typically not great at skin tones, so my bottle of Darkoath Flesh is an MVP.”

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Greg and Tracy continue their weekly gaming with Alex, this time with Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye Found It. “Luke was napping so Tracy, Alex and I played a couple of games of this. The first game we won easily, with the pigs only eating one thing from our picnic. The second game they ate three things in a row so, although we won, our picnic was just burgers and juice.”

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Greg and Tracy later tried out Shadows in the Forest to see if it might be suitable to play with Alex. “It proved to be quite tricky to move the shadowlings around without getting them caught in the light, so we’ll likely hold off trying it with Alex for a bit. It’s definitely a different and interesting game though.”

 

Did you know that at the start of this decade they filmed a movie at The Sentry Box? Lloyd the Conqueror, is a movie about a group of students that enter a LARP’ing league in order to earn a passing grade in their class. We got a batch of the DVDs in this week so the newer staff are checking it out for the first time, starting with Renee.  “Well I watched it. So that’s a thing I did. It was actually quite fun to see The Sentry Box not just as a filming location, but as a named location in the movie. And cool to see what it looked like back then. As a movie, it’s a harmless little indy movie that’s not completely awful. I laughed some.” Apparently the character played by Brian Posehn is based on Gord, or supposed to be Gord. Speaking of Gord, he reports that it is actually quite a funny movie. Why not find out for yourself? Available at the store for only $9.99.

 

Greg and his crew played another Gloomhaven scenario, “We started by finishing the linked scenario to the previous one, trying to defeat the Prime Demon, which we successfully managed. Then, after a brief return to Gloomhaven so Brad and Ben could level up, we played a scenario where we needed to protect a special tree that was being attacked. We managed to get there just in time and fight off the Imps, Living Corpses and more!”

That brings us to FallCon and our activities this weekend. Lots of new videos to check out of the games we played! When we arrived and had set up the booth, we didn’t have internet so we played a couple of games while we waited, starting with Rolled West which we played again later in the weekend and ended up streaming. Then we played Corinth, Greg, “We played another roll & write while still waiting. I tried a different strategy, mostly ignoring the goods and it worked out pretty well!” Renee, “Unlike Greg I can’t say I focused on a strategy, but I’ll just blame it on the dice…Yup. I love the dice drafting mechanic in this game and the fact that there are different ways to use the dice to give you options.”

Once we got internet access and everything was all set up and running, we set up a 3 player game of Hadara and were joined by River for our first livestream of the weekend.

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Greg, “Our first live game was a 3 player game of Hadara which I am still very much enjoying. It’s perfect for that 45-60 minute time slot, offering limited choices each round, but with the decisions being interesting enough to satisfy someone who likes meatier games.” Renee, “I can now confirm that I enjoy this game at every player count, although because of the social element, I do enjoy it with more players and having more people to compete against. That being said, mechanically the game doesn’t change much depending on the number of players. I discovered while playing this game then when I played last week with Jenn, I completely forgot a core rule – that you discount the cost of cards by the number of cards you already have of that colour – which made our game a lot harder than necessary, so looking forward to playing it again with her with the proper rules.”

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For our next livestream we were joined by Chris and Nick to play a 4 player game of Black Angel. Greg, “The main course of the evening was Black Angel, and I was happy to get a chance to play this again fairly soon after the initial learning game I had played. It’s got quite a lot going on and there are various ways to score points. It’s not what I’d call a point salad though, as you have to work to get your points and they’re not especially plentiful, or weren’t in this live streamed game anyway!” Renee, “It was a learning game for most of us, we in general we had a hard time getting anything really going, but we all enjoyed exploring the mechanics and getting a chance to try this out. I enjoyed the dice placement aspect of the game, although I ended up with some terrible roles which made it difficult. I underestimated the power of getting new technologies early on and focused on space exploration instead. This is a good game with a lot of re-playability and it would be fun to try it again to try some different strategies.”

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Our last livestream of Friday evening was a game of Endeavor: Age of Sail where were joined again by Nick. Greg, “This is the new version of Endeavor with upgraded art and components, as well as some extra content that can be added. I enjoy it because it’s a game that feels quite relaxing as you add tokens to the board and increase up the four tracks. The level of player interaction is just about right for me.” Renee, “I really enjoyed this game. It’s a worker placement game where you buy buildings each round to add additional actions to your player board as well as advancing on different tracks to increase your number of workers and allow you to buy better buildings. On the board you’re placing your tokens, trying to get access to more areas of the board and create links for points and extra bonuses. We played the basic game but it comes with exploits which add extra elements and conditions to the game for more variability. It’s a good mid-weight game and the components are top-notch.”

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Greg kicked off Saturday with a livestream with his Gloomhaven group: Ben, Chris and Brad. Greg, “Saturday morning started with a Gloomhaven scenario. We screwed up one scenario rule so ended up restarting after we were part way through the second room. That added to the overall time it took us, which seems to be a little longer than with our previous party configuration as we have a couple of support characters now that don’t do a lot of damage (my character being one of them). Ultimately we were successful in destroying the four altars we needed to destroy to win the scenario though.”

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We were then joined by Jenn for a livestream of Gingerbread House. Greg, “This is a neat little tile placement game where players ate collecting gingerbread tokens to trap different fairy tale characters for points. I hadn’t played for a while and butchered the rules explanation pretty badly for a relatively simple game.” Renee, “This is a good lighter option with a fun fairy tale theme. There are some simple choices that give you different options and you are rewarded if you plan well.”

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We were then joined again by River and Jenn for a livestream of Rolled West. Greg, “Renee and I played this new roll & write to kick off Fallcon while the internet was down and we couldn’t set up the stream. We also played a four player game on the Saturday. It’s a neat little one that uses custom D12s instead of your more typical D6s, and has a cool banking mechanism where you can save resources rolled by yourself or others for later. I like that it comes with dry erase boards in the box too.” Renee, “This was an interesting game, you roll the dice to product resources which can use to get points in different ways, like shipping, buying buildings or developing mining claims. I like that you can bank dice to use on future turns and that it’s a race to the buildings and bonus points so there is a good amount of player interaction.”

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Jenn stayed with Renee when were were joined by Alison who demo’ed three games from ILO307, starting with a livestream of Dungeon Academy. “In this game you roll a bunch of dice into a grid to create a map of a dungeon. Players have 30 seconds to draw their path on their player pad, losing energy and health by fighting monsters and picking up additional energy and health as they make their way through the map. Players have to be quick and mentally keep track of their energy and health levels while maximizing their point opportunities. A very different take on the roll & write mechanism which focuses on visual spacial abilities and quick mental math.”

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We then did a livestream of Chakra. “I enjoyed getting a chance to play this gem drafting game again. I definitely did better this time, having learned some lessons from my game on Monday. In addition to looking good on the table, it’s a nice chill game to play.”

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Jenn and I then decided do a livestream of Naga Raja. “This is a 2 player game in which players play cards from their hands to determine how many sticks they get to throw in a battle for that turn’s tile. They can use additional cards to alter the result or perform actions like tile movement. The winner claims the tile which is used to build a map of their temple, trying to create paths from the entrances to the treasures. We both really enjoyed it and thanks to the luck of the draw in ILO307’s Play-to-Win raffle, we’ll be getting to play our copy again soon!”

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Greg returned and we were joined by Lawrence and Jenn to do a livestream of Edge of Darkness. Greg, “We played a four player game using the first scenario. I do enjoy the different options in this game, and playing with four players made a big difference, with the street of cards often filled with other players’ cards. I do think the sweet spot is probably going to be three players though.” Renee, “Was excited to get another chance to try this out after the 2 player game Greg and I played previously. I enjoyed this even more the second time, being able to try out a strategy with an idea of how the game plays out. Crazy that we still only played with the first scenario and there are a bunch more to try out, so this game has a lot of play in it.”

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Renee was joined on Sunday by Jeff and Zack to do a livestream of Noctiluca, a dice drafting game. “You arrange all the dice on the board and then take turns placing your pawns on the shore and claiming all the dice of one number along a line from that point. You’re trying to get certain sets of coloured dice to fill your cards with any dice you cannot use being drafted by your opponents. Trying to draft the dice you need without helping out the other players is a fun mechanic. There are bonus points for collecting the majority of cards of each of the 3 types, so between the drafting and set collection there is a decent amount of player interaction. It’s a fun light game with lots of pretty dice!”

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After playing Rolled West, Renee was excited to find Gold West – the original game on which it is based – in the FallCon library. Nick, his nephew Massimo, and Jenn joined Renee for a play on the next livestream. “This game had an interesting mancala mechanic; when players claimed resources, they placed them in one of the 4 storage spaces on their player board, getting bonus points the lower they placed them. On a players turn, they grab all the resources in one space and move them up off their board, dropping off one resource in each space they pass. You need to end up with either wood or stone to claim a camp or settlement on the board, and you want the right combinations of metals in order to claim contracts or get shipping bonuses so it takes some planning. This was a learning game for all of us, so I think with additional plays, you’d get better at setting yourself up for some powerful moves.”

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The last livestream of the weekend started off as a play of The Fox in The Forest with Jenn. But we got lucky and Colleen, president of FallCon dropped by to say hi and we chatted with her for a bit about the convention before we finished off our game. “It was great to have an opportunity to talk to Colleen about the con. We are so lucky to have such a big event focused on board gaming with such a fun and inclusive community. As for the game, The Fox in The Forest is a fantastic 2 player trick taking game. You get the most points for winning most but not all the tricks or winning 3 or less tricks, but all the odd numbered cards have special abilities which make each trick a bit tricky to control.”

Thanks again to everyone who made our weekend at FallCon so much fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One comment on “What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 23-29

  1. Thanks for always supporting FallCon and being such a champion of tabletop gaming in the YYC Community. The whole group at Sentry Box rocks.

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