What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 12-18

Greg completed another promotional puzzle sent by Czech Games, this time a 1000 piece puzzle of the cover from Galaxy Trucker. “It was another one where I left a good chunk of the edge until near the end because of the colour scheme. The main artwork is fun and colourful though and I enjoyed putting it together :grinning:

Sue finished the WizKids D&D Frameworks Hill Giant for an upcoming article about this exciting line of models released earlier this year. “I was waiting for the new Citadel Shades to be released, as they were supposed to pool better, before I tackled his skin. I agree that they do pool better, but I would still thin them out with some Lahmain Medium going forward. If you are painting a larger model and your wash or Contrast Paint had pooled in a way you don’t like, it can be fixed! I painted his skin Cadian Fleshtone, did the new and improved Flesh Shade over top and ended up doing a (mostly) dry brush to bring the skin tone back up with Cadian Fleshtone again. For his hair, I wanted to make it look “sun kissed” so I did some Wraithbone highlights on the tips over a Skeleton Horde Contrast Paint. Hair naturally lightens in the sun so it’s not uncommon to see darker roots and lighter hair tips. I was able to get away with Contrast Paints for his outfit, belt, ropes, accessories, arm and foot wraps, and staff. I gave a quick dry brush over the fur and staff to add just a little bit of highlight. The Frameworks models may cost a little more than the other WizKids D&D models currently available, but they’re such beautiful, fun, detailed, highly customizable models! If you like mini painting, I think it’s totally worth picking up at least one showpiece model for your D&D campaign or fantasy diorama.”

Sue is reading the D&D campaign book, Tales From the Yawning Portal. “I really like this campaign book for several reasons. Instead of being a long campaign, there are 7 short adventures. I like the option of doing a shorter adventure that can be done in a few sessions, or sliding one or more of the adventures into a larger campaign. The other thing I really like about this book is that it’s an update to classic campaigns. D&D has been around since the 1970s, but now you can enjoy some of these classics without having to track down a bunch of books from an earlier edition. Also, after reading this book, they are all classic dungeon crawls, so I can really see where the “dungeons” came from in Dungeons & Dragons! Lastly, if you’re using miniatures (and I personally think that’s a must) I think that the Frameworks Hill Giant makes an excellent Chief Nosnra if you’re playing the Against the Giants campaign from this book.”

Renee and Jenn played a few games of Barenpark. “Jenn requested this one so I picked up a copy at the store and we tried it out the next day. I’d always been curious about this one, so was happy to finally get a chance to play it. It’s a fairly quick game in which you’re building a very bear-centric zoo by placing tiles on your board. When you do, you cover symbols which allow you to draft additional tiles, so you have to plan your next couple of moves so you’ll have the tiles you want. Each game has different objectives for bonus points so your strategy has to change slightly each time. We both quite enjoyed it. I’ve already picked up the expansion which adds 3 modules including a monorail!”

Renee and family have been pulling out Akropolis to play regularly. “We all really enjoyed this game so we’ve getting it to the table quite a bit. I’ve been playing a bit with different strategies to try and raise my overall score, mostly focusing on trying to see how much I can build up to increase the scoring multiplier for those districts. I’ve managed to get up to a third level but it’s still a bit of challenge; I’m going to have to keep playing with it.”

Greg got a chance to play a four player game of the modern classic, Wingspan. “It’s been very popular over the last few years due to the straightforward mechanisms and appealing theme. My starting goal was to do with bird of prey powers and I had a couple in my starting hand so I decided to go for it. The one problem is that I didn’t have any woodland birds and I soon found myself struggling for food tokens. It put me behind for the end of round scoring so I just focused more on my end game scoring. I did end up picking up two more end game goals and one of them earned me a massive 10 points because it tied in with what I already had. So even though I only got 1 point total from all the round end bonuses I managed to win the game, picking up 21 points from my game end cards.”

Renee and Jenn had the opportunity to play a 4 player game of Dice Hospital. “I had played it before but it had been a while so I was excited to get to play it again. You work as a hospital administrator, hiring staff, improving your facilities and trying to treat your patients so they don’t die in your care. What I love about this game is that you get to draft dice, which represent your patients, then try to use your staff and facilities to create a bit of an engine so you can treat them using clever combinations. Increase the values of the dice enough and they get discharged for points. Ignore them and they get sicker and sicker until your neglect kills them. The main action phase is done simultaneously so the game keeps moving without much down time which is good because you play for 8 rounds. This game is good. It is fun. And it has dice. For me it’s a winner.”

Greg’s group wanted something light and easy to teach so he brought out Micropolis, a cute little tile drafting game. “Players take it in turns drafting tiles to add to their ant colony, with the red soldiers used if you want to take a tile from further up the row. Some tiles have special ants on them that let you gain new soldiers, score end game poibts, add soldiers to barracks or rearrange them. Some tiles also have fruit on, which score for the variety of types you have in each gallery. It’s a pretty quick game, just lasting 10 turns, but it’s a nice fun one for when you don’t have much time.”

Dan and his family got two games of Toy Story: Obstacles and Adventures in at the Fallcon ConCrew Volunteer Appreciation event held at Elite Brewing and Cidery. “It’s a simple little cooperative deck builder aimed at kids 8+, with a Toy Story theme. There are six missions of advancing difficulty as you move through the game, and each time you finish a mission you open a new box which gives you an expanded rules set, as wells as new characters and cards to add to your game.  So far each box has presented itself thematically as being the next movie in the series. In our second game today I (Woody) did an exceptional job of adding as many Army Men to my hand as I could, and their ability to work together as a team defeated two obstacles in a single turn.  Oliver (my 7 year old) played Buzz and made very effective use of Buzz’s ability to utilize gizmos and gadgets to become much more powerful as the game advanced as well. Highly recommended as a first foray into deck building if you’re playing with younger kids.”