What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 20-26

We start this week’s blog with an update from Chris on his Necromunda gang. “On top of the big pile of guns my Van Saar gang already brings to the Necromunda table, I decided I needed to add some speed and recklessness, too. Enter the Neotek: my hope is she’ll be able to surf up to the enemy, grab vital objectives, smack any downed opposing gangers in the head, and zip around lobbing grenades at things! A hand swap and an extra grenade bit from a Delaque Gang kit matches my chosen loadout of weapons. If I’m lucky, my opponents won’t have time to wonder what that neon blur was before it hits ’em.”

Greg got in another game of Catan 3D. “This one went a little faster, although there were still turns with nothing happening due to the numbers rolled. Tracy started by placing on a Sheep 8 space near the sheep port. I had two spots on an Ore 6 space and a slightly further gap to the Ore port. In the end it took most of the game for me to reach that port, and Tracy placed a settlement on the Sheep port to gain her 10th point and win the game. Sadly I could have won the previous turn if I had been paying attention and built two roads to connect my two areas and take the Longest Road away from Tracy instead of blindly building a road and another settlement elsewhere, leaving me only at 9 points. Tracy ended up winning by building on only her third spot, earning the majority of her points from Development Cards, Longest Road and Largest Army!”

Sue finally got a chance to try out some of the new Citadel paint brushes. “Layer Medium is a go-to brush for me and this brush didn’t disappoint. It holds paint nicely, and I was able to get a smooth coat with lots of control, then let it dry and use this same brush to apply a wash or a Contrast Paint. I also used the Shade Medium brush a little. I pretty much used it the exact same way as the Layer Medium brush, but for larger areas. I would still recommend a different brush for larger, flatter surfaces (e.g. Base XL) or fine detail (regular Layer Small, Superstar, etc.), but in my opinion, these 2 brushes are great for getting the majority of paint and washes down on your warband, player characters, NPCs, and monsters.”

Renee and Jenn finally had enough time to play Exit: The Deserted Lighthouse. “This is one of the Exit games that comes with 4 puzzles that all require putting together, that then become the next scene or room for the game, so these definitely take a lot longer than the usual Exit games. We were excited we finally had an afternoon to play it after enjoying the last one so much. This one was rated 4 out of 5 for difficulty and there definitely were a couple of puzzles that took a bit to figure out, but we took our time to try different approaches and brainstorm ideas together which was fun. Once again they made use of the puzzles themselves as items in clever ways. So if you like putting together puzzles, you like Exit games and you have a few hours, I definitely recommend this. We both had a great time!”

Greg heard some reviews of Khora: Rise of an Empire recently and they had him intrigued so he decided to pick it up. “And after just one game I’m glad I did! Players each get a random City-State at the beginning of the game, and each has a slightly different focus, leading to different strategic choices. I had Miletus, which is more Trade focused, whereas Tracy had Sparta, which is more Military focused. The game lasts nine rounds, and each round has an event that is revealed at the start and resolves at the end. In between, the players take actions using dice and action tiles, allowing them to advance on different tracks such as Glory or Tax, or Explore with their troops, or play Politics cards which give one-time, ongoing or end game effects. I really enjoyed it for the simplicity of the gameplay, but with interesting decisions to be made throughout. The different City-states and the variety of politics cards seem like they will give it good variability too. I’m looking forward to playing again, and also to trying it with more players!”

Greg and Tracy played two more games of Khora: Rise of an Empire, with Greg playing Argos and Tracy Corinth and then switching for the second game. “The second game in particular went very much my way, with Tracy a bit tired and making silly mistakes, as well as the events going in my favour. As Corinth I was able to crank up my economy and then my military, pretty much ignoring culture the whole game. I was able to get my Glory up very high and played a couple of cards that combo’d well for whenever I took the trade action. Still looking forward to trying it with more players some time and also trying the other City-States.”

Greg and Tracy tried out Cross Clues. “This was pitched to me as a slightly simpler Codenames style game so I wanted to try it to see if it would be something Alex could play. It is definitely easier as you need to come up with a clue to link just two other words, but that can still be tricky sometimes! Tracy and I played without the timer and just went through the whole deck, scoring 13 out of 16. It may still be tough for a 6 year old but I think I’ll try it with her anyway.”

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 13-19

Greg and his group got in a couple of sessions of Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion this week. “Scenario 9 saw us checking out the location of a large explosion, where the last Blood Tumor had been seen. It turned out that the Tumor had turned into a Blood Horror and we had to kill a whole bunch of Zealots and then the Blood Horror afterwards. The catch was the the Horror kept bringing the dead Zealots back as Living Corpses. Ultimately we made it through and were able to take the Horror down, meaning we all leveled up to Level 4 as well.”

“The next scenario saw us making our way through a place full of unusual traps, along with some Black Sludges, Stone Golems and Chaos Demons. It actually didn’t prove to be too much of a challenge as we were able to use the traps to good effect by pushing, pulling or moving the monsters around. I ended up rushing ahead a bit, which could have been a mistake if I hadn’t managed to one-shot a stone golem. Matt and Lani both levelled up at the end, to level 5, and Tracy and myself are not far behind.”

Tracy and Greg played the third mission of Space Hulk from the campaign book: Exterminate. “The Marine player has one squad that start scattered throughout the map, and wins by blocking all Genestealer entrance points or killing all Genestealers. The Genestealer player wins by killing all the Marines, and if neither of those things happen before 15 turns are up it’s a draw. My Assault Cannon Marine started down a long corridor and was backed up by a buddy, while a third Marine turned to go help Sergeant Tonitrus and the final Marine. Obviously at that point the Marine backing up the Assault Cannon got jumped and murdered, so the third Marine had to do a quick turn to head back and support. In the meantime, Sergeant Tonitrus was making short work of some Genestealers with his Thunderhammer and Storm Shield. Then he got cocky and even though he was on guard he got taken out, after heroically killing four of five Stealers. By this point the Assault Cannon Marine had secured his area but his other friend had paid the ultimate price. The Genestealers were running out of reinforcements though, and with just one Genestealer left (Bob), the final regular Marine secured the second area, meaning a win for the Marines.”

Renee and her family got in a play of Canvas to try it out for the first time. “This is a card drafting game in which you select 3 art cards to layer into a painting, allowing you to score ribbons based on the resulting elements and colours displayed at the bottom of the card. The idea is fairly simple, but the execution is fantastic. First, the theme of creating paintings by layering the elements on the cards and putting them into a sleeve with a background is so satisfying. Having the result also create a unique name for your painting is just fun. There is a whole stack of scoring cards so each time you play, what you get points for changes. In addition, each card has 2 elements so the order in which you place your art cards impacts your scoring as much as the cards themselves. Also, each scoring element rewards you the more you score it during the game, so deciding which ribbons are worth more points for you also plays a role in your decisions. I appreciated how it looked on the table, the joy of creating a piece of art, as well as the basic mechanics of the game.”

Renee and Jenn played Exit: The Gate Between Worlds. “I was excited about this one because of the theme and the components looked cool. This one didn’t have answer cards, instead each time you get pulled through the portal you end up on another world with its own poster to unfold. There were several puzzles we legit looked at each other and said, “That was cool”, which I have to say after playing so many of these games I really appreciate. There were some points when we had to scratch our heads and try to attack the puzzle a different way, but nothing that completely stumped us. I’d have to say for me this was one of the ones I really enjoyed.”

Greg also got in his weekly play of Tichu. “Lani and I teamed up against Tracy and Matt for a couple of 500 point games. Bizarrely both games ended with the exact same score: 525 – 175 to Tracy and Matt. The highlight came at the beginning of the second game, when I called Grand Tichu, only for Lani to not realize and call Tichu herself :joy:

Greg played Sweep. “This is a variant using a Pairs Deck, where players are trying collect the most cards of each value in order to score that point value at the end of the game. It involves taking turns to play cards into the middle, and depending on what everyone plays, cards are given out and go into your hand for future play or end game scoring. For me it’s a much more interesting game than Pairs itself, and it’s usually what I suggest when playing with this deck.”

Greg decided to try Sleeping Queens with Alex even though it says 8+ on the box. “She did need a bit of guidance, and I didn’t play as mean as I could have, but overall it was a success. There’s a little bit of simple arithmetic in the game, which is why I wanted to get her to try it. She’s keen to play again so that’s a good sign.”

He also got in a play of Richard Scarry’s Busytown: Busy Busy Airport. “Luke chose this to play after watching us play Sleeping Queens, and it was a really close game, with him winning 14-13-13. This copy has definitely seen better days, with the planes in particular needing a lot of tape to hold them together, but it’s seen a lot of play over the last few years so I think we’ve got our value out of it!”

We end this week’s blog with Greg and Tracy’s play of Dice Throne. “Tracy took the Cursed Pirate and I played the Treant for the first time since our very first Dice Throne Adventures campaign, and for the first time in a head to head match. It was an interesting game, with Tracy ahead for a good chunk of the time, and some shenanigans with Parlay tokens. I got a barbed vine token on Tracy every single turn, and probably caused about 8 damage total from them. The end was super close: we were both at 2 health after my attack. Tracy had a barbed vine of course. I had a bunch of spirits and a wellspring. I rolled a 2 for my wellspring but used a spirit to reroll and got a 6, putting me to 5 health. I also sacrificed a sapling spirit to heal another health and leave me at 6. On Tracy’s turn she used a second roll attempt and got a small straight dealing 7 damage (plus a powder keg). Then she played a card to add extra damage based on a 5 dice roll. She rolled terribly, just adding one damage to make it 8. I rolled my three dice for defence, and only rolled to prevent one damage. I sacrificed another spirit to reroll, got another branch to prevent a damage and played samesies to get a third, preventing 3 of the 8 damage, taking 5 and leaving me at 1 health and Tracy also at 1 due the barbed vine! I managed to not roll a 1 or 2 for the powder keg and went into my offensive roll knowing I could effectively do nothing and win since the Cursed Pirate had just been forced to flip and would take 4 damage on her upkeep. Just for good measure I did roll an undefendable attack to finish her off though. Phew, probably one of the closest games we’ve had! Also, having just typed all that I feel like Rimmer in this scene: https://youtu.be/E_Ovgnp2KXk.”

Kickstarter Update – SEPTEMBER 15

Today we bring you another update on our Kickstarters. During the last month we’ve received 2 Kickstarter projects at the store and backed 4 additional projects. If you want to be updated when new products – including Kickstarters – arrive at Sentry Box, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  If you are interested in a project below, contact us at the store for more info, prices or to be added to the pre-orders list. It works just like any other pre-order at the store, you only pay when you pick up the game. This is a great way to get your hands on some of the most popular Kickstarter games without having to pay upfront and you don’t have to pay for shipping. Plus you get double points on all pre-orders!

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 6-12

Chad and his wife had a chance to try out Reign of Cthulhu from the Pandemic franchise. “It’s a race to close the portals and stop Cthulhu from awakening, the rules were easy to learn and we got three games in. It’s a very hard game and we lost two of the three games, they have included more ways to lose then ways to win, so strategy for closing portals and beating up cultists before you get overwhelmed is important. But we cant wait to play again!”

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Aug 30-Sept 5

Greg played Unicorn Glitterluck: A Party for Rosalie with the kids. “Alex still enjoys this one even though it’s on the simpler side. She loves unicorns, prefers co-op games, and Luke can play too, so it’s one of their favourites for sure.”

Greg hadn’t played Cartographers in a while and Tracy suggested it so they played a quick two player game. “The first round didn’t go so well for me but the mid-game was pretty good and I ended up with a reasonable score.”

Renee, Jenn and their Dad have been enjoying playing the 3 player version of Morels along with the new cards in the Foray expansion. “We’ve all always loved this amazing 2 player game and were skeptical about how it would translate into a 3 player game, but we’ve all been very impressed. Not only did they do a great job balancing all the existing mechanics of hand management and competing to collect mushroom sets into the 3 player version, we all are finding it perhaps even more fun! Part of that might just be being able to play it all together finally, but we really do find everything we loved about this game remains intact.”