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.”

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