What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Feb 24-Mar 1

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On Monday, Renee, Jeff and Greg played a three player game of Blackout: Hong Kong that we recorded to post instead of our usual livestream. Greg, “I’m definitely a fan of this game – the decisions and planning are tough and agonizing but in a good way. It’s important to have an overall strategy and mid-term goals but sometimes you need to adjust things slightly based on the resource dice or what objective cards come up. I decided I wanted to unlock my fourth card slot as early as possible and then focused on generating a lot of resources. Worked out pretty well!”

Renee, “I’ve always really enjoyed any game I’ve played by Alexander Pfister so I went in expecting to like it. And I wasn’t disappointed. As a designer he just makes games with good mechanics and solid gameplay. At the beginning of the round 3 dice are rolled and placed in a resource wheel which determines which resources they generate. Then you play cards from your hands to either generate those resources, or use the resources to do actions like surveying, getting money or other items. The hand management part is really interesting – you play one card to each of your three slots and when your hand gets down to 4 or fewer cards, you pick up all the cards in the slot with the most cards. So you have to be playing your cards so that cards you want back in your hand go to the largest pile while also being cards that when picked up, will ultimately work well together. So there is a fair pit of planning. You get new cards buy buying them, but they don’t go into your hand until you achieve the objective required. So you also want cards that compliment each other. There’s also an area control element on the board itself. There are different ways to get points, different engines you can build, and like most games I enjoy, it has the constant puzzle of how to make the most out of the dice rolls and cards that come up. This is a good game. Definitely want to play it again.”

Greg, “We then played three games of The Game (still the dumbest name ever), starting not so well, then almost having a perfect game, and then in the third game we did successfully do it perfectly! It’s so simple but really interesting and has you cursing the other players quite frequently.”  Renee, “Years ago I used to play this all the time with my Dad but I hadn’t played it for a while. It was fun to rediscover an old favourite! I love the player interaction in this cooperative game that often feels like your team mates are sabotaging you.”

 

They then played a quick game of HexRoller. Greg, “This is one of the quickest little roll & writes around, and it can play quite a few players, so it’s a great one for occasions when you just have a short amount of time. All players play simultaneously choosing two of the numbers rolled to add to their grid in an attempt to connect numbers or fill up sections. Light, fast fun.”

They ended the night with a game of That’s a Question. Greg, “A party/social game where players take it in turns asking another player one of three questions, but with options from cards in their hand. The other players then have to bet on what answer they think will be chosen. If a guesser is right they score a point. The asker scores a point for each wrong answer. It’s a great little game for discovering things about your fellow players!”  Renee, “Loved that I got to try this out finally. I like that you’re trying to ask questions where the answer isn’t obvious – you don’t want everyone to guess the correct answer – so it rewards asking questions that seem like hard choices. As a result it works well even when playing with people you don’t know very well. Coming up with questions was entertaining, as was guessing what others would pick. And it was a fun way to learn a little more about each other.”

Back at home, Greg got in a play of PARKS, “Tracy and I played a two player game of this gorgeous game. I think it’s better with more players, but it’s still fun with two. I visited eight parks and took eight photographs!”

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They also played Exit: The Catacombs of Horror (Part 2), “Having completed the first part a week or so ago, Tracy and I decided to do part 2 and finish this off. It was so hard! We didn’t help ourselves by not being the most observant, but we needed a lot of help cards with this one. Usually we were able to figure out what we were supposed to do but the execution of it wasn’t as straightforward as it could be, or it wasn’t clear what to do with the information we got. If you’re looking for a challenge this could be it.”

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Danielle decided to draw the monsters that her D&D group will be facing in their first encounter, “They will be clearing out a cave full of goblin bandits lead by a bugbear and his pet wolf.”

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Greg also got in a solo game of The Game, “Which I’ve typically found to be quite difficult, but everything seemed to come together nicely this time. I had multiple turns of getting to play lots of cards and also adjust backwards by 10 once or even twice!”