What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – April 18-24

Renee and Jenn got Creature Comforts by local designer Roberta Taylor to the table. “This game is already very cute, in an Everdell kind of way, but the Kickstarter version with upgraded wooden components and custom Gametrayz is just beautiful. You play over 8 seasons, gathering resources to build comforts and improvements for points. Players simultaneously place their workers on the board, however, you need to spend dice to activate each location successfully. But the thing is, when you place your workers, you only know the values of your 2 family dice and you’re forced to risk your choices on the results of the remaining 4 village dice. This results in some rounds feeling highly successful and other rounds just not going your way. There are ways to mitigate your risk, either through powers granted by built improvements or tokens which allow you to alter the value of the dice. Jenn and I both really enjoyed the resulting choices we were forced to make each round, struggling to commit to riskier choices that may pay off big over safer options. We definitely had a lot of fun playing this and are looking forward to playing it again.”

Sean cracked open the Army Painter Speed Paint set and gave it a try:

I doodled on this pugnacious Reaper Dwarf fightin’ lady. I was interested to see what results I could achieve with the ‘one coat and done’ claim by Army Painter. I primed her with matt white brush on from Army Painter. Here you can see the results. I’m pretty happy what I accomplished in 20 minutes. The Speed Paints have a good consistency and doesn’t run readily. You can squoosh them around to manage shadow and highlights. The drying is reasonably quick so I didn’t have too much bleeding of paints into each other.

There are some colours I am in love with. The Fire Giant Orange, which I used on her hair is brilliant, run and get a bottle. The Ember Red which I used on her shield rune is also a solid paint, though the picture does not do it justice. High fives to the Hardened Leather and Pallid Bone, everyone will get a lot of mileage out of these. The Grey (which I used on her metal bits) and the Purple are both deep and intense. They’ll shine on large surfaces. I am merely whelmed by the Highlord Blue I used on her kilt, but those who collect the popular lines of Ubermensch Galactic Troopers will find this shade useful. It does well on flat surfaces. The Orc Skin is green. That is it’s sole virtue. I am displeased with how the skin turned out. The hue is decent but it’s not as smooth as I’d like. Looks blotchy. I will varnish and repaint. I’ll try it on a few other figs with different undercoat. The Zealot Yellow which I used for her base is an interesting shade, not sure what to do with it…might be good monster hide.

Do you want the Starter Set?  Yeah, I think its a decent range for popular fantasy applications. Price is right too. Best advice I’ve ever received about painting was never to limit yourself to only one line of paints. Rather, view each shade on it’s own merit and application. Using this advice, most painters will find some fun stuff in here. The included brush is also very, very nice. I look forward to getting some of the more subdued colours and see I can exploit them for historicals. As far as ‘one and done’, I’m mixed. If I was painting 30 Maggies (as I’ve named her) sure, that’s perfect. Once I get my flesh technique more gooder I’d probably be happy with this as a PC fig. I have painted much worse, in longer time, so very, very often.

Renee played through the Cantaloop adventure Breaking into Prison. “This is a solo adventure game, billed as an analogue version of an old school point-and-click adventure, and it holds true. The game is presented in a book filled with locations – pictures with items and people with whom you can interact – and conversations which further the story. As you collect items, you can use them in the locations, or give them to people, using a code system which reveals your next piece of information. All info is either in the book at the relevant location, or in an inventory sheet, hidden behind red text so you can only read it when you place the red decoder over it. The story is decent and they added a lot of dad joke level humour to the game, especially when you try combining random items. There are 2 tangents of the story each with their own goals, so you find yourself going back and forth a bit. As you achieve each element of the story you check off a box in the grid, and this is used by the game to figure out where you are in the story. It’s one of those games where you have a bunch of items, a bunch of locations and you’re trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing next; there were definitely times when I felt stuck, so I was very grateful for the help system which based on where you are in story, tells you what your next objective is and then if you need it, starts giving you some hints about how to achieve it. But just knowing what I was supposed to be focusing on was a big help. I was afraid I would find it all too fiddly, that it would just be easier if it was a video game, but I ended up enjoying the experience of curling up on the sofa and just making my way through it. There is a lot of game play – I think it took me about 8-10 one hour sessions over a few weeks. I don’t think this is for everyone, but I liked it.”