What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – April 11-17

Sue finished her first Escher for Necromunda. “She is from the Death Maiden/ Wyld Runner box, but her arms are from the Weapons & Upgrades kit.  I gave her a Sisters of Battle head. I painted this model to table top quality using mostly Contrast Paints. I primed her with Grey Seer and colored her skin with Kislev Flesh. I used a thinned down black Contrast Paint (thinned with Contrast Medium) to paint her leather clothes. I thought that the black Contrast Paint over the Grey Seer would make a pretty nice looking quick leather. I put an extra coat of the thinned down Contrast paint between the straps to differentiate between the black pants and the black straps. The yellow pieces are Contrast Paint also. I added the blue streaks to her hair to make her look more punky.”

Greg and his group played a four player game of Space Base this time, “I think it makes it more tempting to buy lots of cheap ships so you have more deployed for potential use on opponent’s turns. I ended up getting a bunch of ships for the middle numbers so I was hitting them quite often. Then I saw the ‘Win the Game’ ship and decided to go for it because the others hadn’t really got victory point engines going and I was also able to get a few ships that would help me bump up the dice roll so that I could hit that ‘Win the Game’ ship in the 12 slot. It was slow going, and Matt ended up making it to 40 points on my turn, but it was just as I got the final charge on that card and was able to use it to win! A rare occurrence but a satisfying one!”

Greg also played some Sushi Go. “I always seem to do badly at this game but this time I resisted the early sashimi and opted for nigiri and maki rolls. Scoring was pretty close throughout, and at the very end I had managed to win, tying for most puddings, with Tracy losing 6 points for having the least. That proved decisive as she otherwise would have won.”

Greg provides his weekly Agricola game update. “I drafted some fun cards in this game, with synergy between them. However, they really worked better as cards for if I was the start player, which unfortunately I was not. I opted to still stick with playing them though, it just took more time and effort. They did work pretty well, scoring me a decent 48 points overall, but it was probably a mistake to stick with my initial plan and not play more tactically. Tracy meanwhile avoided the trap of the grain strategy that she often goes with, and played a stronger game, denying me early clay, getting a fireplace and the early sheep, and otherwise having a solid game plan. At the end when I looked at her farm I knew I might be in trouble and it turned out to be a close victory for her 50 to 48. She sometimes gets demoralised playing this against me as I usually win, but this time she played a good game, the practice paid off and she got a deserved win.”

Renee and Jenn finally got around to trying out Isle of Cats and ended up playing several games over the weekend. “We were expecting to enjoy this game and it absolutely lived up the expectations. Each round you do some card drafting, then have to decide which cards to purchase, and how many fish to use to do so, in order to get you baskets to save cats or collect treasures to add to your boat, play anytime cards that give you extra actions or abilities as well as end gaming scoring objectives. Of course, you need to make sure you still have enough fish left over to actually save some cats with the baskets you purchased! It’s a great combination of hand and fish management combined with the puzzle of filling your boat with rescued cats in order to meet your scoring objectives. I also really appreciated how much the end game scoring objectives you purchased in the game changed how to played the game. In the first game I just tried to fill my boat with cat families and in another game I ended up getting even more points by leaving the entire middle of my boat empty. Such a fun game!”

Kris used the last of his Sentry Box BBQ Sauce to make some Pulled Pork. “I got some Pork Tenderloin from a local butcher (Ernest Meats, I use them all of the time and their meat is locally sourced, great quality and they deliver to Cochrane!) I applied a dry rub to the pork, mixed with Chopped Garlic, lime juice and some salt and pepper and left it to marinade for 4 hours. I then preheated the oven to 450°f and cooked for 25 minutes in a covered oven dish turning once. After letting the pork rest for 5 minutes I roughly sliced it and added it to the slow cooker, added the Sentry Box Red Dragon BBQ Sauce a table spoon of Tomato Puree and a tea spoon of brown sugar and cooked on low in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours. I had mine on a Scottish Flowered Bap with lots of Butter and cheese, but it serves well as a rice dish too. Can’t wait for a restock of the Sauce in time for summer as that was the last of my stash!”

Renee and family did an unboxing and introductory evening of Return to Dark Tower! This game’s primary feature of course is the tower, which lights up, turns and makes sound, which delighted Christopher and had even us adults amused. You play using an app, to which the tower connects, so that dropping skulls in the tower at the end of your turn triggers events and such in the app, and as the adventure progresses, causes the tower to shift and spit out skulls, or light up gates to remove revealing glyphs which impact gameplay. The board itself is a map on which the players – each playing a different character with varying abilities – move around, cleansing the board of skulls, battling foes, exploring dungeons and completing quests. The quests, battles and dungeons are all handled in the app so the board itself is quite simple. We only played about half a scenario but enough to understand all the basic elements of gameplay. We’re pretty sure we weren’t following all the rules so next step is to review all the rules before trying to actually play the entire first scenario.

Greg and his group got A Feast for Odin back to the table again. “In our regular game we ended up with just three players. I decided to go for a whaling strategy, and only got myself one extra island, focusing mostly on filling the main board. I also did a bit of immigration and got myself a longhouse to use up some of the extra food I was getting. It did score me much better than the last game, earning 110 points, but still not enough to keep up with Matt’s pillaging.”

Greg got the fantastic The Quacks of Quedlinburg to the table. “Somehow Tracy had never actually played this, so I must have had all my previous games of it at The Sentry Box or some other game night. We played the first ingredient set since it was Tracy’s first game, and it had been a while for me so it was good to keep it fairly straightforward. I was reminded several times during the course of this game how much my skill I have in being able to draw the one chip from many that is the only one that will cause me to explode. I truly do have a gift for it. As it turns out though, it happened in the middle of the game when it perhaps had less impact than if it had happened towards the end. In fact I was behind the whole game but in the last round Tracy exploded and I was able to come from behind and sneak a close victory.”

Kris finally got to learn one of the games he picked up at the GAMA Trade Show. “Lost Ones is an interactive story adventure game. My character Maeve, woke up after being kidnapped by the Fae and is searching for a way home. So far I spoke with some spooky trees who filled me in on the gossip and told me that if I can awaken their brethren, they may be able to open a portal back to my world, then I met a delightful water spirit who told me that up in the north west there was something that would let me breath underwater, and that sounded cooler than going home, so I went and found a dwarven city, stole a key that will open any door and then had a sleep. (It was a busy day after all!) The mechanics are really simple, just set collection from an ability deck to overcome challenge levels for different encounters, but hand management is important as if you ever run out of cards you lose. The art work and feel of the game is really nice, and it has the dark undertones of traditional fairy tales so probably not one I will be playing with Evie any time soon, but I am looking forward to continuing my quest to find my way home (and be able to breathe underwater, obviously…)”