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!”

Gill and Kris sat down to play their first ever game of Zombicide. “I remember her mentioning that her friends had spoken about it a while back, but when I picked up the Fantasy Skinned version Black Plague and Green Horde she didn’t seem that fussed to try it. Once I saw the announcement for the second edition of the classic Zombicide I picked that one up and we finally got it to the table. (My fault, I left the giant Kickstarter Box in the Garage because I could not fine room on my shelves for it…) It was a lot simpler to play that the rulebook made it seem and after a couple of activations everything sort of clicked for us. We only played the introductory scenario but it was a lot of fun and offered a good taste of what the game has to offer. We both had fun, and the cooperative nature of the game along with the well defined action choices meant that there were very few analysis paralysis points while playing, and I didn’t feel the need to prod or back seat drive at all. (I am the worst…) Looking forward to playing more now that it’s finally hit the table!”

Greg and his group got in another session of Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. “This scenario was about tracking down another Blood Tumour and destroying it. We came up against a whole bunch of Vermlings and some Zealots but managed to take them out without too much trouble. The only issue we had was with some of the difficult terrain slowing us down. In particular I had inadvertently removed some of my higher movement cards, so it was slow going towards the end. Once we did get into the final room we managed to take out the Tumour in just a few turns, due to a couple of big attacks and me preventing it from healing.”

Tracy and Greg played another game of Catan 3D using the two player variant. “I made some bad choices for initial set up, meaning I had no access to wheat, and other than building a super long road I was having trouble getting much going. Tracy was similarly having trouble and the game progressed slowly for quite a while. Eventually she managed to build on the Sheep port though and then accelerated past me, eventually winning 12-9.”

Necromunda was played! Kris finally managed to get his first game of the new Necromunda in this week. “Lots of bashing sculls, or using industrial machinery to wreck havoc on opposing gangs! I didn’t win any games but I learned about some bad choices I made gluing models together, so back to the painting desk they go to get some modifications before the next outing. The man of the match was my Lobo-Servitor with Heavy Rock Saw who managed to buzz his way through the opposing Goliath Gang Leader, shrug off being shot by a Grenade Launcher (the ganger who fired it promptly ran away…) and then finishing of the last surviving witness to his carnage before valieantly being beaten up himself.”

It took some last-minute efforts to finish painting in time for their first game, but here’s Chris’ Necromunda Van Saar gang: the Tek Dragons. “I knew from the start that I wanted something really eye-popping, and bright neon green fits the bill! The main color is P3 Necrotite Green, with progressive amounts of yellow added for even brighter highlights (quite a few coats were needed to properly build up such a dazzling shade). It doesn’t quite come through in photo form, but I used Vallejo Shifter paint for their guns, giving them a really neat orange-to-purple sheen that matches nicely with the high-tech Van Saar.”

Greg and Tracy got in a couple of games of Dice Throne this week. “Tracy stuck with the Pyromancer and I played the Seraph. I felt like I was always behind in this game as the Pyromancer can put out a lot of damage and unless I manage to do undefendable attacks I take more damage from her defence. I did get a few flight tokens and avoid damage some rounds, but it wasn’t enough and I didn’t draw any dice manipulation cards so I didn’t ever get any big attacks of my own. In the end it was a comfortable win for the Pyromancer.”

In their second game Tracy went back to a character she knows quite well, having played her through a Dice Throne Adventures campaign: Huntress. “I tried the Vampire Lord again, hoping to go one better than the close defeat I had the last time. I started, and my first couple of rounds were pretty solid, dealing a total of 20 damage. I also got some bleed tokens out but during the whole game I only managed to deal 1 damage from Bleed, with Tracy rolling 5s or 6s for them every other time. Nyra ended up taking a largish hit, which weakened her attacks back, and I also used dice manipulation to cause her to whiff completely one round. All in all I managed to stay in control and it ended as a comfortable victory.”

Greg got in a play of Puerto Rico. “This was a four player game and I started last in turn order, with a corn plantation, so I decided to go for shipping as my primary point source. It started well enough and I was picking up some decent points, but I never managed to get any kind of money generation going, so the longer the game went on the worse things got for me. In the end Matt, who had started slowly and built up his engine, was able to end the game by building a 2nd large building and filling his board, and when the points were added up he’d taken the win by a few points.”

He also played Llama. “We ended the night with a game of Llama, which went as bad for me as usual. Matt started strongly, and was at zero points after a few rounds, but then Lani just started to dominate, going out multiple rounds. I was sat to her left and was cursing her name for most of the game as she continually played cards that left me in a terrible position. It’s a fun little game though and I always enjoy playing it.”

Greg finished reading The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart. “I’ve read quite a few books about the Arthurian Legend but this is the first that focuses on Merlin as the main character. It’s actually set before Arthur is born, charting Merlin’s childhood and path to becoming an influential figure in the Legend. It was a pleasant, easy read compared to some books I’ve read recently and I did enjoy it as a change of pace.”

Greg played a few more games, “Hanabi: We played two games and did ok both times, scoring 20 and 22 respectively, but ultimately still need to figure out a more efficient way to communicate as we always end up running out of time.” Draftosaurus: We played two games of this as well, and as usual I always end up going for the same dinosaurs as someone else. Matt crushed us in the first game, taking a gajillion T-Rexes, and then proceeded to crush us again in the second game without really taking any of them. I’m just terrible at this game but it’s a super fun, quick, easy game to play. Incan Gold: It had been a while since my one previous play of this, and Tracy hadn’t played before, so we both just kind of made it up as we went. The cards were being really nice to us at first but then turned nasty towards the end. It’s another fun, quick and easy game.”

Renee and Jenn had an opportunity to play a couple of games of The Search For Planet X. “This is a deduction game that uses an app to randomly place 9 objects (asteroids, comets, gas clouds, dwarf planet) into 12 sectors of the sky leaving 3 sectors appearing to be empty, however one actually contains Planet X. You take turns surveying the sky for objects, placing your theories of what object is in a sector, researching to get info about the placement of objects in relation to each other, all in a race to see who can find Planet X first, after which players have a chance to place more theories or even try to also see if they’ve also located Planet X. The winner is determined by points – you get points for all your correct theories in addition to points for finding Planet X event after someone else has already done so – which I really liked because thematically it rewards all the research and peer work done to help with the overall search. The game allows players in the same game to play at different levels by selecting how many starting clues you get which I think is great for when you’re playing with newer players or children. The game also has an advanced mode with 18 sectors that you can play once you feel you’ve mastered the main game. We both had a lot of fun!”

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