What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Jan 24-30

We start this week’s blog with some painting and a quick review by Chad of some new minis at the store. “This isn’t finished yet and I will do a better and proper post later, but Kris ordered some new dragons into the store, (Dungeons and Lasers) and this one is SO AWESOME, great detail, plastic glue compatible. And its a great size, I’ll get it done up pretty quick here ๐Ÿ™‚ Good call on bringing these in Kris I love it and I want them all.”

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Jan 17-23

We start this week’s blog with new product reviews from Sue. “I was lucky enough to get to review 2 newer WizKids D&D products this week; Papercraft houses and Frameworks on-sprue miniatures. The papercraft house was cute and fun to put together. It is fully colored both inside and outside. I can see this as a quick and inexpensive way to make a nice looking town for a D&D campaign.”

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Jan 10-16

Sue painted the Star Wars: Legion Wookiee Warriors 2021. “I like the character and customizability of this box set. The box comes with 2 sprues of 3 different bodies and 6 different heads, for a total of 6 bodies and 12 heads. There are also multiple weapon configurations for lots of options when creating your unit. Three is the minimum required for a unit but you can add more Wookiees to your unit if you want. I primed the Leader Zandri Dust, drybrushed him with Ushtaby Bone, and then did an Aggaros Dunes wash overtop. I primed the Wookiee on the left with Vallejo’s English Uniform, drybrushed him with Balor Brown and then added a brown wash. He lost some detail with the wash, so I drybrushed him again after the wash was dry with XV88. The last Wookiee was my absolute favorite. I like his dreadlocks, and his pose. To me he looked like a wise, older Wookiee who had seen many battles. So I primed him with Grey Seer, drybrushed him white, and then used a thinned down (Lahmain Medium) black wash overtop. The eyes on these models are quite far back, making it difficult to add detail without getting paint on the fur around the eyes, so I elected to do the eye detail before adding the washes and then having a second brush on standby to try and stop the wash from pooling too much in the eyes.”

Greg hasn’t played a lot of games lately but he’s still managed to fit in a few games of Tichu. “We’re still playing the short, 500 point games, but that usually means we can play a couple of games in an evening. In the recent session Tracy and I were partnered and managed to dominate. There were a fair few bombs flying around on both sides, but a misclick from Lani when she wanted to play her bomb in the first hand of the night ended up costing her team as Tracy and I made a Tichu 1-2. There may come a time when I’m sick of playing Tichu but I don’t foresee that happening!”

Matt, Lani and Greg played a three player game of the great Uwe Rosenberg game A Feast for Odin. “It’s a worker placement game with a spatial element where players are trying to obtain different types of goods in order to fill up their player boards with the shapes to increase their income, gain bonuses and ultimately score points (or remove negative points). Like many Uwe games you also need to get goods to feed your people in a way, providing food for the titular feast. It’s a great game with lots of options each turn, and although you can get blocked from spaces it feels less harsh as there are usually good alternatives to take.”

Another Tea Dragon puzzle completed by Greg, “I enjoyed this one quite a lot. It was almost like 12 mini puzzles, but with all the pieces mixed together. It wasn’t too tricky, other than the fact that most Tea Dragons appear in multiple pictures, but even that didn’t slow me down too much. I’m not a tea drinker but I love the little Tea Dragons :grinning:

Kickstarter Update – JANUARY 16

Today we bring you another update on our Kickstarters. During the previous 3 months we haven’t received any Kickstarter projects at the store nor backed any additional projects, but wanted to remind folks of the projects we’ve already backed that you can still pre-order. If you want to be updated when new products โ€“ including Kickstarters โ€“ arrive at Sentry Box, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.ย  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 donโ€™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 – Jan 3-9

Greg finished this masterpiece. “This 2000 piece puzzle has occupied a fair amount of our time lately, as well as the gaming table, which is one reason why we haven’t played as many games lately. It was definitely on the trickier side, with lots of big areas of the same kind of colour or pattern. It was slow going for the first half or so, but once we got a good chunk done it got a little easier!”

After the challenge of the big 2000 piece puzzle it was nice for Greg to go back to something a little easier. “This one is just 1000 pieces and only took us a few days compared to the weeks for the Castle puzzle. The image is of a variety of Tea Dragons from one of Alex’s favourite books, so her and Luke were keen to help too.”

Sue played the classic Trivial Pursuit. “I like trivia games, including Trivial Pursuit, however this copy is from 1981.. which made it a little frustrating. Many questions are about TV shows, movies, and US politics from the previous 20 years. I feel like a person has a reasonable chance of getting questions like that from within the last 20 years, but questions about random shows and movies that are now 40-60 years old are a lot harder. If you’re playing this edition, hope you’re sitting on a pie square when the question about Luke Skywalker comes up ;). I like Trivial Pursuit, but I would definitely recommend picking up a more recent edition. :)”

Sue also played Spot It. “This game is for children, but it’s also a fun little game for adults as well. It reinforces pattern recognition and reflexes. I lost every round, but it was still fun to play!” Last, but not least, she also played the classic game of Chess. “I still remember 5 move check mate, which I learned as a child, but I saw a few different tactics on how to block it if you see it coming. I really enjoy this timeless strategy game.”

Ever since the new Qwirkle Collector’s Edition came out, Renee has been wanting to get this classic back to the table. “Dad, Jenn and I used to play this a lot which Christopher was a baby because it was a game we could play within 15 or 20 mins. We played it so much in fact, that for a long time it was always just set up ready to go on the gaming table. I was fun to get it back to the table again; it’s a quick, simple abstract game. And while there is definitely the luck of the tile draw, its fun when the board is set up perfectly for that next move.”

Christopher loves sushi so we suggested we play Sushi Go. “I wanted to introduce him to card drafting and this is the perfect little card game to use to introduce the mechanic to newer players. I knew he’d like the theme so it would keep his interest and he really liked the game! This is another game that we played quite a bit when we first got it, so it was fun to play it again. Hoping this becomes a game we can play with him regularly.”

Kris wanted to do something different on his painting stream this week and Greg L had asked him a while ago if he could repaint his Gargantuan White Dragon. “I really liked the miniature and was fairly sure I could get it done on my 3-4 hour paint stream. I was a little unsure at a couple of points when picking the colours on how it would turn out but I am really happy with the result and got it all finished in under 3 hours.” This is how it used to look:

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Dec 27-Jan 2

Greg finally got a couple of games of Puerto Rico played after a very lean few weeks. “In this game of Puerto Rico I was going for a building and money strategy and managed to get a great little engine going to generate lots of cash. That meant that it was a fairly short game that ended with me building 3 of the large buildings, but was also a low scoring game as there wasn’t a lot of time for players to ship goods. It ended up being super close, with me winning by just one point, ahead of Matt who had gone for a shipping strategy.” He also played more Tichu, “This game started badly, with Tracy and Matt getting a Tichu, one-two in the first hand and taking a 300 point lead (in our short 500 point game). However, Lani and I managed to stem the tide and claw a few points back over the next few hands, and then a one-two of our own put us ahead 390-310. The next hand I called Tichu and not only made it, but we ended up going one-two again, and won 690-310, restricting Matt and Tracy to a net gain of just 10 points after that first hand.”

Greg and Tracy played new arrival Escape Room The Game: The Little Girl. “This horror themed game was a pretty good one. We didn’t have too much trouble with most of it, but at the end we weren’t quite sure what to do and needed a bit of help. I do enjoy this brand of Escape Rooms as they have quite a bit of variety in them.”

Renee and Jenn tried out the new Puzzle Adventure from Escape Room: The Baron, The Witch & the Thief. “Each compartment contained a small puzzle that built a room in a dungeon. While the puzzles themselves were not used as creatively as they were in The Exit versions, we enjoyed the puzzles a lot more – they were smaller, with colourful and distinctive pictures, so a lot more fun to put together. The decoder itself was a puzzle which I thought was a nice touch and the escape room style puzzles were all fun and interesting, nothing too difficult, so we had a good time.”

They also got a chance to play Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition, which is a standalone, scaled down version of the game. “You still have to collectively raise oxygen & temperature and build oceans, but the board doesn’t have forests or cities. It also does away with the end game “prizes”. It focuses on the card building engine which is my favourite element of TR and adds a Puerto Rico style phase choice at the beginning of each round. Players secretly choose one of the 5 round phases and then reveal. Phases are then executed in order, with the player choosing that phase getting a bonus and players playing simultaneously. And while it seems it should make the game faster, I think having to complete all the terraforming conditions with only 2 players means it takes more rounds than with 3 or 4 players. The verdict is Jenn and I both really enjoyed it and I think we’ll likely get more play with this version than the full game.”

Jenn and Renee enjoy Star Realms so they tried out one of the co-op challenges in Star Realms Frontiers. “The mechanics of playing “the boss” was pretty straightforward and it was fun to work together, sharing trade and combat to make the best plays. Looking forward to trying some of the other challenges to see how they differ.”

Renee picked up Hero Realms to try out with Christopher because he likes Dominion but the game length can be hard for keeping his attention. “He loves D&D so I thought the fantasy theme and characters would appeal to him more than Star Realms. He did quite enjoy it so I’m going to introduce character decks next time we play to give it even more of a D&D feeling.”

Renee and family tried out the new Kingdomino Origins, playing the first 2 of the 3 included modules. “This version uses fire instead of crowns for end game points and the first module introduces volcanos, which grant you fire tokens that you can strategically place on surrounding tiles to increase their point value. The second module adds resources, which not only give you one point each at the end of the game, but give players bonus points for having a majority of a resource. So far I think it’s a good sequel to the game and the third module looks promising.”