What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Jan 18-24

Greg and Tracy kicked off their week with a play of Dune: Imperium. “I decided early on in this game that I was going to try focusing on increasing my influence with all the factions, and not worry too much about money or spice. You can’t ignore the conflicts, so I was keeping an eye on those to try to win them when possible if they awarded points. Things started pretty well, and unlike most times I’ve played this I was actually ahead for the first few rounds. We were actually pretty much level going into the last round, but things didn’t go well and Tracy won the final conflict, as well as having a bonus point at the end of the game, giving her a 13-9 victory.”

With the new Uwe Rosenberg game, Hallertau, coming out this Friday Greg been interested in revisiting some of his older games. Having played Ora & Labora a couple of days ago, this time he brought out Fields of Arle. “This one is unusual in that it only plays 1 or 2 players, but since I’m typically just playing with Tracy anyway that is works fine for me. It’s another worker placement game, but is interesting in that it’s split between summer rounds and winter rounds, with the available actions being different. There are lots of ways to score and lots of options, so it can be a little overwhelming at first, but it’s a lot of fun!”

Tracy asked to play Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef. “She used Sagashi, the only character she hadn’t tried, whereas I used Caiman. Things were pretty even for a while but towards the end I was able to complete my third set of challenges whereas Tracy got a bit greedy and failed a couple of challenges, leaving her behind on the champions board. Still really enjoying this game!”

Chris has been working away on more new ‘Mechs from the Battletech: Clan Invasion Kickstarter. “I’ve just polished off the second Star of five in my chosen Clan Wolf colors. From left to right, we have an Ice Ferret, Dire Wolf, Adder, Hellbringer and Viper. The style of these new sculpts continue to impress and it’s been a lot of fun painting them. On this latest batch, I tried some slightly more involved patterns for the red stripes and it turned out quite well – I think I’ve got the hang of masking off the stripes and getting the proper paint consistency for nice sharp results.”

Sue made a diorama with the WizKids Full Height Walls and Castle Barracks sets. “I like that they’re modular so you can create different dungeons, or just a nice display for your miniatures. Even though I’m a painter, I also like that they come prepainted so that I can focus on painting characters and monsters. Although Wizkids does offer a lot of unpainted accessories that people can paint themselves as well. 🙂 Reversible walls have holes for snapping them to the floors and end pieces to finish them off nicely. They also have holes to fit torches and other accessories if you want.”

Greg got Hallertau to the table. “This is the new game from Uwe Rosenberg and would you believe it’s a worker placement game involving planting and harvesting crops, and keeping animals? Despite his designs often having somewhat similar themes, and often involving worker placement, I usually find them different enough to warrant taking a look. This one uses a different take on worker placement, where each action can be used up to three times in a round, with the cost increasing each time. The way planting and harvesting fields works is neat too. There are also a bunch of cards in the game, used to give one off or ongoing bonuses, or end game points. After one game I really like it!”

Christopher had a problem of the week at school which involved a tile that had broken into 10 pieces and he had to figure out how to reassemble it. Renee told him that was a game we sold at the store that she actually already had, Shape by Shape. “Since then he’s been playing with it regularly. It has a set of cards, each with a pattern that you have to figure out how to assemble with the pieces. It’s been a lot of fun and I love that he enjoys something that is reinforcing spacial concepts that he’s learning at school.”

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