What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 14-20

These guys have been sat half finished for a long time but Greg finally got around to adding a few extra touches to them. “They are the third of four player faction minis for Anachrony (there’s also a fifth set of minis used in the solo game, but I may just leave those). Hopefully I can find the time and motivation to do the fourth set in the not too distant future, and then play the game!”

Tia got her Kickstarter copy of Calico in the mail and got a chance to play it. “Everything about this game warms my heart. The cats are adorable, the art is well done, and there’s even a description of each cat at the end of the rulebook (all of the cats are based on real ones). The rules are pretty easy. You can score points a few ways – attract cats to your quilt, get 3 or more colors in the same section, or complete ’tile goals’ that are randomly selected at the beginning of the game. Each cat has their own preferences for the patterns of quilt, and if you match it, they come and lay on your quilt and give you points! I had a lot of fun playing, I have a feeling it will get to the table quite a bit.

Tia also finished her campaign of Middara last weekend. “It’s been a long time coming – a little over a year since we’ve started. Without giving anything away with spoilers, we basically had three boss fights back to back with a short chance to re-gear and buy anything we needed before the last boss fight. The first two we got through okay, but the last boss was definitely difficult and intimidating. We had to plan out our moves pretty carefully, or I’m sure our party would have been killed. But we made it, and killed all the bosses. It felt very satisfying to finish such a long campaign, and I’m very excited for Act 2 to arrive so we can continue the story!”

Tracy and Greg played a couple more games of their campaign in The Rise of Queensdale. “Tracy won the first game to tie things up and put us both in the same epoch. I managed to win the second game, doing a fair amount of scouting for herbs. Next game will mean another new Epoch so I’m looking forward to seeing how the story advances.”

They got in one more game later in the week, “The next epoch brought a bunch of new things, including a new type of resource and a new way to score points. I managed to win this game, but need to win twice before moving on to the next epoch so Tracy still has a chance to catch up.”

Greg and Tracy played the second main scenario, Asylum, from Escape Room: The Game: 2 Player Edition, “Where you have got yourself admitted into an asylum in order to save a friend. The first and third parts were fairly straightforward for the most part, but the second part was a bit trickier and we needed a few hints to help figure it out.”

Renee finally punched her copy of the new Castles of Burgundy and played it with Jenn. “I had never played my original copy with any expansions, so in addition to checking out the new artwork, I was most excited about trying some of the expansions that were included with the new version. We played with the trade routes, a set of tiles onto which you place any sold goods, left to right, and if the tile matches the colour of the spot on on the trade route, you immediately get the bonus depicted. It did provide some additional strategy to which tiles to sell when which I enjoyed. We also added the inns: wild tiles bought like the black market tiles, which can be used to complete an area on the board and provide a scoring bonus by increasing the areas tile size by one for scoring purposes. We also added some new building tiles and played with new player boards with trading posts. First off, I was extremely excited to be playing one of my old favourites again. Secondly I really enjoyed getting to try some new mechanics with the expansions. Unsurprisingly, I really enjoyed it. As for the new artwork, Jenn found she liked it even less than the original and while I didn’t hate it, I have to agree, it didn’t seem to be much better.”

At Renee’s Dad’s request, they played a game they hadn’t played in a while, Tokaido. “Another game I enjoyed revisiting that we used to play quite a bit. I love the zen nature of the game, just travelling along a road, buying souvenirs, going for soaks in the hot springs and taking pictures. I’ve always liked the movement rules – you can go as far down the road as you’d like to grab a coveted space, but it won’t be your turn again until all the other players have passed you again. It’s a good take on the worker placement mechanic, where you are trying to prioritize your actions, while maximizing what you accomplish each day of the journey. And it’s beautiful on the table.”

Greg knew he’d be spending a fair amount of time at home this weekend so he picked up Monza to have a new game to show Alex and Luke. “Alex and I played a game properly while Luke played with the other car pieces, and it ended with Alex taking victory.”

Renee read For We Are Many by Canadian Dennis E. Taylor, the second book in The Bobiverse trilogy. “Another fun romp around the galaxy with Bob and his now many, many spaceship clones who discover that space is vast but there is intelligent life out there. We learn more about the Borg-like The Others while Taylor does a fantastic job of exploring both the changing nature of the Bobs through their virtual immortality – made possible by creating backups before their vessels are destroyed – while dealing with the humanity at their core. Looking forward to the next book!”

Greg has played a lot of versions of Clank but he’d actually never played the harder side of the base game board. “We added in characters from the Upper Management pack to add some spice, with Tracy using Morgaen and me using Viari. I definitely enjoy the variety of having asymmetrical starting decks, and the reverse side of the board was interesting. I decided to take a slightly riskier play, going for the two highest value artifacts, shortly after Tracy had pulled four of my cubes in one dragon attack. It paid off though, and I got one of my highest scores: 170.”

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