What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Sept 26-Oct 2

Kris and his group finally, after much real life happening, managed to finish their Arkham Horror Innsmouth Conspiracy Campaign! “This is by far the most time a campaign has taken us to play, including the Circle Undone which we were playing when COVID happened! The joys of being grown ups I suppose. :grimacing: It’s hard to give feedback with it being such a stop start campaign, but I enjoy it, the structure and story felt strong and well put together, and our choices felt impactful. I didn’t like the time jump elements, as I think the deck building, upgrading, and bag organization involved detracted more than added to that feeling of unlocking your memories. That said, I think it still sits in my top 3 Arkham Horror LCG campaigns, now on to Edge of the Earth, which I have been really looking forward to!”

Greg had not played any games for almost two weeks due to being quite sick but finally got in a game of Tichu this week and it was a good one! “Things started badly for Tracy and myself after I called Grand Tichu in the first hand, with 3 aces in my opening 8 cards. My hand ended up being pretty solid and I was confident I could make it, but sadly Lani had a perfect hand to stop me, with two high full houses, as well as the Dragon and Phoenix both being on the opposite team. Tracy had the dog but had passed me her highest card, a ten, and wasn’t able to get the lead at all to help out, so we started with a deficit. The silver lining was that Lani hadn’t called Tichu herself, so the gap wasn’t as wide as it could have been. The next two hands were equally entertaining, with Matt calling Tichu but failing to make it, and Tracy calling Tichu and failing to make it. So the scores were pretty low all round, -105 to 105. The fourth hand I called Tichu and actually made it, with Tracy completing the 1-2, to put us back positive and actually in the lead at 195-105. Highlights beyond that were another successful Tichu on my part, where I had a 6 card straight flush bomb, a successful Tichu from Matt, and some more failed Tichus from Matt and then Lani in what turned out to be the final hand. So after 8 hands the game was finally over and the scores looked to be a wide margin of 545 to 55 to myself and Tracy, but the game felt much closer than that!”

Renee and Jenn played a couple for games of Barenpark, this time with the Bad News Bears expansion. “It contains 2 modules; one that adds large grizzly habitats and a fifth park board, another that adds monorails to your park. It recommended that you play each separately first, but we got overconfident and added both. Which we started to regret as our brains tried to take all the new rules and scoring objectives in mind during our game. So we played again. The monorail module was a lot of fun because you got to build actual 3D towers to your park, but also because the planning involved was a nice puzzle. The grizzly habitats let you exchange low scoring animal houses and green spaces for these high scoring large habitats, so you kinda have to wait until the second half of the game to start adding them, and definitely plan for where they are going to go. I think both modules made Barenpark more interesting, as well as a bit of a longer game. Definitely recommend the expansion if you like Barenpark.”

Kris played his first 50 power level game of Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition this weekend. ‘My host of Nurgle Daemons have set forth to spread rot and ruin throughout the galaxy. The brave warriors of the Ultramarines attempted to stand in their way, but the implacable advance of the putrid hoards was unstoppable. Globulus Bilegut, my Great Unclean One, and Warlord of the 49th Horticultural Legion of the Grandfather survived a hale of heavy weapons fire in the early part of the game, but once his enormous bulk made it to the lines of the implacable Ultramarines, he made short work of all those around him, his Bilesword dripping with corruption, making a mockery of the Power armoured warriors, and their heavy support. With a hole punched in the Imperial Lines, the festering forces of the plague god spread their corrupting influence throughout the area, seeding the garden of Nurgle and reaping a heavy toll on the Space Marines. The one flaw in the victory was the interruption of the merry music that accompanies the marching of the Warhost.  Cankerus Callus, the Regimental Piper, loosing track of his location, and not keeping pace with his allies, was over exposed and as a squad of Ultramarine broke out of the melee, and gunned him down.”

Renee and Jenn also had a chance to play a game of Isle of Cats with the Kittens + Beasts expansion. “This game is played in 5 rounds and after the first couple, it seems like it will be impossible to achieve any of the scoring goals; but then the game really picks up at the end, thanks in part to all the cards you’ve been purchasing throughout the game. Jenn and I had very different strategies; she managed to get all her beast tokens which was very impressive, while I bought a bunch of end game scoring goals to hedge my bets as they say, but managed to get points from most of them. I really like this game!”

Greg and his group got another quick game of Spades in this week, with him and Tracy paired up together. “It felt like we were all suffering from a slight lack of confidence as the overall bids were consistently low and both teams were making their bids but also picking up bags along the way. Tracy and I were edging ahead and then I made a successful nil bid to put us very close to victory. We played the next round fairly conservatively and Lani and Matt didn’t seem to know whether to try to make us fail our bid or to get us to pick up enough bags to give us the 100 point penalty, so in the end they did neither and we comfortably made our target to win.”

Greg read White Like Me by Tim Wise. “This is one of the books in the staff mini-library that we picked up after the racism seminar we had. It’s a kind of auto-biographical book by Tim Wise as he recounts episodes from his life and how they help explain White Privilege and his own understanding of it. There are several good examples to help explain the ideas within and get people thinking about it in the context of their own lives too. I’m moving onto White Fragility by Robin Diangelo next. I also recommend the documentary ’13th’ on Netflix as a good watch to help understand systemic racism (specifically in the context of the prison system in the US but applicable all over the world too).”