What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Aug 24-30

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Tracy and Greg decided to do a bit of dungeon delving in the pyramid for the first time and played Clank: The Mummy’s Curse. “In this expansion there is a mummy figure that can be attacked but moves around the board and you can only attack it if it’s in your area. It also introduces curses (worth negative points) and cards that can gain you or remove curses. I managed to get some good card combos and picked up the best artifact, so I felt confident, but Tracy was picking up a lot of smaller points here and there. I got out and on Tracy’s final turn before almost certain death, she had to play the odds by buying a card that gave her curses but let her draw more cards and she ended up getting the extra boot she needed to escape. It turned that it wasn’t quite enough to beat me but it made for an exciting finish.”

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Greg read Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor. “I wanted to branch out with my authors to include more People of Colour, so I did some checking and picked up this book. It’s about a girl called Onyesonwu (which means Who Fears Death), who is an Ewu, mixed race people who are shunned because they are the product of rape. The story follows Onye as she grows up, learns to become a sorceress and ultimately travels West to find and stop her biological father, a sorcerer and general who is intent on destroying or enslaving all of the dark skinned Okeke people. It was definitely interesting to read something written in a different style and with different characters than I usually read. It’s hard to know which things are based in reality and which are purely fiction, but it gave some insight into traditions and general way of life in villages in what was the Kingdom of Sudan. I’m glad I checked it out and I have another book by a Black author lined up to read soon.”

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Greg finally cracked open the European expansion for Wingspan and added that to the mix for this game. “Tracy had been wanting to get it back to the table as she’s enjoyed our previous plays. The expansion adds more birds and more end of round bonuses, so nothing too drastically different, but more variety. Things looked grim right from the beginning as it looked like Tracy was going to run away with the end of round bonuses, but I managed to tie for the third round bonus and win the fourth round, and that combined with an extra bonus card and a few more points for birds was enough to squeak a narrow victory.”

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Greg and Tracy also played Deckscape: Behind the Curtain. “I enjoyed the theme and puzzles in this one, with it being all about a magician doing a stage performance. We did make a few mistakes though, perhaps rushing or guessing too quickly, but overall I thought it was a good one.”

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Renee read Big Damn Hero by Nancy Holder. “After reading some of the comics, I found myself craving more time in the world of Firefly. This is a fun romp with Mal and the gang, sometime after the show but before the events of Serenity, so the whole gang is there. An easy read, it’s just an enjoyable time with the group. It includes a bunch of flashbacks into Mal’s life as a teen on Shadow, leading up to his signing up for the war with the Independents, which were the parts I ended up enjoying the most.”

 

Sue picked up some of the new Wizkids Warlock Tiles. “These 2 dioramas were made from the basic set and there are still parts left over. There are 2 more tiles, some walls, corners, doors, posts, and more ‘edges’ in the box. This set comes with a lot of pieces, you can make some pretty sizable dungeons with it. And 2 sets would completely cover the standard Ikea display case with pieces to spare. I love the versatility as well. I flipped the tiles over for the second diorama to change it up. I was also worried about the holes that connect the pieces together showing in the front, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that the set comes with nice ‘edges’ to cover any visible holes. I think it’s a great set and I’m glad I got one!

 

Blue Orange Games released a free print and play expansion for Kingdomino called Kingdomino: The Court which Renee and family played a few times. “It adds resource tokens (fish, wheat, wood, sheep) that you add to squares with no crowns. After placing a tile in your kingdom, you have an option to exchange 2 difference resource tokens for a tile from the market. The tiles either add crowns to matching terrain tiles or add characters with specific end game scoring bonuses. It ended up playing like Queendomino light. It is a great expansion for the game and definitely work checking out for anyone that has Kingdomino.”

 

They also finally played Dice Forge. “Jenn has been hinting about this game for a while, so not sure why I didn’t pick it up earlier, but I did and it’s fun! You roll your dice to gain resources; gold lets you forge your dice with new upgraded dice faces, sun and moon shards are used to buy cards which give you points, immediate bonuses and ongoing special abilities. Different strategies to try out and randomizing the cards available each game means getting to try different combos. Christopher and Dad also liked it so looks like another good family game.  Also, I have to mention the beautiful components, gorgeous artwork and the fantastic insert.”

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Greg played Finished! “After reading an article on BoardGameGeek about this game I wanted to get it back to the table. It’s a solo game of trying to manipulate a deck of cards into numerical order, using special abilities, a good memory and a dose of luck. It’s a neat little puzzle and it’s quite satisfying if you manage to succeed, which I just barely did in this game.”

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He also read The Hobbit, “I’ve read this many times over the years, but this time I was reading it to Alex as her bedtime story. Some of the chapters are quite long, and there’s a fair amount of descriptive and flowery language, so she wasn’t always 100% focused but overall she seemed to enjoy it and was happy to have me read it to her. She enjoyed the early parts best and found Smaug scary so she was happy after he died. I’m glad I got a chance to share this with her, although with hindsight I think an illustrated, abridged version would be better for a five year old.”

 

Tracy and Greg both enjoy Scythe but haven’t got it to the table as much as they’d like. “We added in the Invaders from Afar, Wind Gambit and Encounters expansions for this game, the latter two for the first time. The airships definitely help to get your workers out to territories across the rivers, although I was the Nordic faction so that wasn’t as relevant for me. We’re both fairly non-aggressive players, so this game ended without a single combat, and with me having no mechs deployed. I managed to win a tight game, with the scores being close despite me having six stars to Tracy’s four and me being one level higher for scoring on the popularity track.”

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It’s been a while because of COVID but Greg finally got the group together to carry on with their campaign in Clank Legacy. “This was Game 8 so we’ve unlocked a fair amount of content so far, and this game opened up even more. It took a little while to remember where we were up to and how all of the new rules worked again, but we soon got into the swing of things. Despite going last I had a fast start and managed to generate a lot of gold as well as lots of boots for moving. That, combined with getting lots of health potions helped me explore pretty far and be the last one still out there.”

Tekhenu: Obelisk of the Sun is a new game from Daniele Tascini (of Tzolk’in and Teotihuacan fame) and David Turczi (best known as the guy who comes up with solo variants for a wide variety of games) which Greg got to the table. “This is a dice-drafting action-selection game themed around Ancient Egypt, and uses an obelisk as both a turn marker and as a way to change what dice are available for each action as it rotates. It’s definitely a fairly meaty, point salad style of Euro, but the turns flow pretty quickly. The book-keeping concerning rotating the obelisk and moving dice around is a little fiddly but should get easier with more plays, as should remembering the icons and general flow of the game.”

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