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

Sue was notified that her latest Forgeworld order arrived at the Sentry Box this week, so she pushed aside all her other projects and excitedly painted this Rogue Doc from Necromunda. “I primed the model white, and used Apothecary White (as is) for the shirt and mask. I did a terrible job of applying it to the mask, so I ended up doing highlighting down the center, on the creases, and around the edges to fix it. For the medical outfit, I used Gauss Blaster Green with a thinned down (Contrast Medium) Aethermatic Blue over top. I used thinned down (Contrast Medium) Guilliman Flesh for the skin and Magos Purple for the hair. Since most of her face is covered, I tried to give her bold make up to at least make her eyes stand out. The Contrast Paint pooled in a way I didn’t like in a couple of areas, like her tummy, so I waited for it to dry and mixed the Contrast Paint with the color underneath to blend and fix it. I’ve wanted to paint this model ever since it was released. I love the outfit, and everything about it! “

Tracy and Greg have played four games total of The Initiative now, winning the first three and losing the most recent. “Each game you need to find some hidden letters or numbers using the Mission Console and then possibly rearrange them or use logic to deduce the answer based on what you can see. You can make a guess at any time, including before you have uncovered all the hidden symbols, but if you are wrong, even by a single letter or number then you lose the game. In the most recent game we had uncovered all hidden symbols except one and figured we knew what the answer must be, but then didn’t think about one possibility and it meant we were off by one letter. Some missions there are consequences if you lose, but others there doesn’t seem to be. Luckily this was one where it didn’t seem to matter too much, although we assume there may be an end of campaign score that takes into account how many games you’ve won or lost. There have been some new things added to the game now, as expected, which have spiced it up a little and may make things a bit trickier going forward. I’m enjoying it because it’s quite a quick game and we can usually play a mission in 30-45 minutes after the kids are finally asleep.”

Later in the week Greg and Tracy played a couple more Chapters and managed to win both. “New game elements are being slowly added, as well as the overall story slowly being unraveled. I’m finding that for some of the puzzles it’s a little easier to deduce things, whereas some need you to reveal more before you can start to figure things out. We did manage to complete the campaign achievement for one of the four characters too.”

Greg and Tracy played another 500 point game of Tichu with their friends Matt and Lani, with Greg partnered up with Lani. “The first hand started with Lani calling Tichu, but then Tracy also called it and it ended up going badly for us. The second hand seemed like a chance for redemption as Lani again called Tichu with a great hand, but sadly for us Matt had a crazy hand with two bombs and called Tichu himself before easily going out to put them up by a lot. I finally had a chance at a decent hand, but the pass wasn’t kind to me so it ended up not being a Tichu hand after all, and nobody called. In hand four my cards were garbage again, and Matt called and made a Tichu which took them over the 500 point mark. We very slightly redeemed ourselves by at least getting into positive points by the end, so I’ll take that as a minor victory!”

Has Greg ever mentioned how evil everyone else is when they play Coloretto? “The laughter from Lani and big smile on her face as she messes up a row that could have been good for me. Matt taking a row just to spite me. Don’t let the nice colourful Chameleons fool you, this game can end friendships. The way the cards came out in this game was especially brutal, with the colours I was after just seeming not to exist. Having said all that, my game picked up towards the end, whereas Matt just got the shaft throughout, ending with a full rainbow of colours and one of the lowest scores I’ve ever seen, at just 9 points. Pretty sure Tracy and Lani were not sorry about it though.”

Renee and Jenn got to try The Sacred Temple, one of the new EXIT games that comes with actual puzzles! “This still felt very much like an Exit game, but included four 88 piece puzzles and a modified decoder wheel instead of the traditional deck of cards. The decoder wheel had a means to confirm if your code was correct built directly into it, revealing a code which you used to open the next clue document, which we thought was pretty clever. But the puzzles! Yes in this version you start by building a puzzle, which reveals a picture with locks to open and clues to solving the lock’s combination. As you continue through the game you build 3 more puzzles. We were really impressed with how they used the puzzles not only as a picture but as items themselves. This game takes longer, 2-3 hours vs 1-2, partially because you keep taking breaks to build the puzzles, but that’s half the fun! Definitely recommend this to folks who love both EXIT games and puzzles.”

Having read the first 5 books of The Expanse series Renee took a break to start watching the show and she’s now watched the first 4 seasons. “The 4th season introduced a new story line for Bobby, so I read God’s of Risk, a short story focusing on Bobby’s time on Mars during this time, with a focus on her nephew. Definitely gives more insight into life on Mars which hadn’t been explored much in the main books. They also released a 4 issue comic series featuring a storyline involving the TV characters of Bobby and Avasarala which takes place between season 4 and 5 so I checked that out. It included some more tidbits about the greater storyline which has me excited about the next season!”

Greg also got a chance to play Caylus. “I decided at the start of this game that I was going to pretty much ignore building in the castle and just focus on building as many buildings as possible, and ultimately go for Prestige buildings. Unfortunately Matt also went for buildings and turn order meant he was often ahead in being able to do so. In the latter stages he switched to building in the castle and cranking up the victory point favour track, whereas I built three Prestige buildings, but that wasn’t nearly enough. Meanwhile Tracy had built a lot in the Castle and Lani had made a few mistakes by placing workers she ultimately couldn’t use. It’s still a great game, and one that I enjoy trying to plan out my moves for!”

Renee and Jenn were going to play the newest EXIT game, but discovered it was a sequel to The Cemetery of the Knight so they played that instead. “This one was a lot less linear than the ones we’ve been playing recently, so there were a few times when we were trying to figure out what puzzle we had all the pieces required to solve it. I do enjoy that, but it can result in times when you feel like it took a little too long to figure it out. That being said, I do love the ‘aha!’ moments it creates.”

They also got to try The Game: Face to Face which just arrived at the store. “It’s a 2 player head-to-head in which we each have our own stack of 58 cards which we’re trying to play to our own 2 stacks (one ascending, one descending); the winner being the player that does so first. Like the original The Game, on your turn you must play at least 2 cards, following the same rules when placing them on your stacks. However once per turn you have the option to play a card to one of your opponent’s stacks, as long as you play in the opposite direction. This can allow you to get rid of a card you either can’t or don’t want to play on your own stacks, but of course it also helps your opponent at the same time. What to do! We played 2 games and unfortunately neither of us had the opportunity to win properly, as in both games one of us lost by not being able to legally play a card. But Jenn got very close!”

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