What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 19-25

Sue finished some painting tutorial pictures for painting eyes on miniatures. “First up, if you absolutely do not want to paint eyes on your model, or the eyes are too small to get much detail, we recommend dropping a brown wash/shade in the area under the eyebrow and over the eye before adding the final flesh wash or Contrast Paint. There is a natural shadow under the brow and over the eye that we are capturing with this simple technique. Shown here on a WizKids D&D mini with Guilliman Flesh Contrast Paint over the face.”

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 5-11

Sean laboured on Labour Day producing these labourers. “Some Working Class Dwarves from the Oathmark Dwarf Light Infantry kit. No jumped-up fancy-pants princelings here. Just some ‘umble lads what knows their picks and pick their noses. Giving this kit a solid 5 star rating. It lets you make dwarf militia, archers and some skirmishy sorts.  Sprues have lots of fun details stuff like mugs and a pipe on each sprue as well.  Not all two hand combos work equally well with each torso and head combo, but that’s pretty minor. Especially when you get a guy with a shovel in the battle line.”

Renee read The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird. “This was a fascinating read for me. It’s a speculative science fiction novel exploring what happens in 2025 when a lethal virus breaks out in Scotland but then quickly becomes a worldwide pandemic, a virus that everyone carries but to which all women are immune but only 10% of men. It’s written as a collection of first person narratives from a bunch of different people, exploring their personal experiences from different perspectives, how society is forced the adapt to the loss of both a majority of the male population and a significant percentage of the workforce and community. What’s wild is that while this wasn’t published until we had experienced our own pandemic, it was written prior to these experiences. So what would have felt like a truly fictionalized version of our world, a thought exercise in how we would react and what would happen to our society, ended up feeling quite real and relatable. I really enjoyed this book; it explored a lot of different topics and ideas and didn’t become too heavy handed exploring any of them, but rather left a lot to personally reflect on and imagine how things would be.”

Sue proclaims that everything’s coming up Millhouse! “When WizKids brought back the characters from the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon for Magic the Gathering, I hoped that they would also find their way back into Dungeons & Dragons somehow. Well, sometimes wishes come true, apparently, as they have been included in the Dragons of Stormwreck Isle. WizKids has confirmed that the artwork for this new starter set is based on the artwork from the beloved 1980s cartoon show. And while the new Starter set won’t be in stores until October 4th, the miniatures are already available! WizKids has confirmed they have aged them up, which seems fair since it’s been over 30 years since they were teenagers. Here they are shown with their old nemesis Warduke (from the League of Malevolence set).”

Renee got a chance to try the new arrival Akropolis with Jenn and their Dad. “This is nice light tile drafting game, in which each district type has different scoring rules (similar to the wildlife tokens in Cascadia), but they only score if you also add their associated plazas (these stars score like the crowns in Kingdomino). So there’s a bunch of, “this tile isn’t worth much to me, but worth a LOT to my opponent” in addition to figuring out which tile will maximize your own scoring options. Districts also score more the higher you build them, so sometimes covering a low scoring district is absolutely worth it. The game comes with some alternate scoring rules for each district to provide some variety and there is a solo mode as well that you can download from the publisher’s website. We all enjoyed it and I think it will join the regular pile of lighter games we play regularly.”

The store got a few tickets to the Locked Zoo event at the Calgary Zoo on Saturday evening and Renee checked it out. “Being a fan of locked rooms I was curious what this event would be like. When we arrived we received a booklet which contained 4 puzzles. For 2 of the puzzles, you just collected the puzzle clues which had been posted throughout either the Africa or Asia sections of the zoo. Then once collected, we found a table to sit down and work together to solve that part’s puzzle by assembling the information we had received. The remaining puzzles we just solved using the information in the booklet. The puzzles were fun without being difficult, the intention being clearly to allow us all to have fun rather than trying to make it challenging. As for the event itself, it was a really fun way to explore the zoo. Having only ever been during normal opening time or for Zoo Lights, it was such a treat to be able to explore the zoo while it was so quiet – just small groups of other adults playing the game. They also had a lot of volunteers around to answer questions and talk about the animals. We were all definitely excited to get to check it out and had a great evening. Also, red panda!”

What have The Sentry Box been up to – Aug 29-Sept 4

10 angry wee Orcs are Sean’s new babies. “New kit from Oathmark/Osprey, goes together nicely with solid options. Some arms are a bit weird and limited in pose, but nothing a knife and sprue-goo won’t fix.
These lads are the Axe Gang, a tribute to Kung Fu Hustle, possibly one of the greatest movies ever.  Some sword guys and archers in the queue. 10/10, down with the Age of Men, stick ’em with a fork, it’s the Time of the Orc.

Renee had a chance to try out Shifting Stones with Christopher and her Dad. “It’s a straightforward abstract game with 9 tiles, each with a different colour on each side. You get 4 cards which have a scoring objective ranging from 1 to 5 points depending on how hard it is to achieve the required pattern. On your turn you can take up to 4 actions, either scoring a pattern card or discarding a card to either flip a tile or exchange 2 adjacent tiles orthogonally, drawing back up to 4 card at the end of your turn. It’s a quick game to learn, set and play, and I really like the visual puzzling aspect of this game. We had a lot of fun with the highs and lows of picking up a high scoring card that seemed easy to pull off, until the other players spent their entire turns messing with the board. We ended up playing it quite a bit over the last week, as 2, 3 and 4 player games. There is a little bit of luck with the cards you draw and the state of the board when it’s your turn, but it’s fun having folks react as the board is altered either in or out of their favour. There is also a clever solo variant in which you create a 16 card deck and as you play, you earn a strike on any turn you don’t score a card. Your goal is to score all 16 cards before you get 4 strikes. The puzzle is using the 1 and 2 point cards to both shift the stones to set up the higher scoring cards as well as score points on a turn. I really enjoyed it.”

Renee and Jenn played a game of Viticulture World, an expansion that turns Viticulture into a cooperative game. “In this version, you have 6 years to reach 2 collective goals: all players must score at least 25 points and you must have reached the end of the influence track. It was definitely interesting playing this cooperatively, working together to figure out which actions each player should take and to decide turn order and the associated bonus (who should get the extra worker this year?). Your workers start with super cute hats, designating them as untrained workers that can only work in their designated season until you train them. Another addition we really enjoyed was the innovation tiles which allowed you to upgrade the actions. We both really enjoyed our playthrough and it was really fun to play this version of the game. The game comes with a bunch of different continents, which range in difficultly allowing you to increase the challenge as you get better at the game. But that’s a way off. For now Jenn and I were just happy to get a chance to try the game and learn the rules…and pull out an almost win.” 

Kris played a game of 40k! “I have been working on my Nurgle Daemon Army since I had to redo some bases for Warcry. Then, I picked up all of the Maggotkin of Nurgle Stuff to double dip into Age of Sigmar and now with the new Chaos Daemons Codex I can use it in all 3 games!”

Czech games sent a couple of promotional puzzles for their games so Greg tried his hand at this Letter Jam puzzle. “It’s only a small 300 piece puzzle but with all the plain white it wasn’t as straightforward as you might expect. I usually start with the edges but in this case I started with the words and the big strawberry. Still didn’t take too long of course :grinning: