What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Feb 13-19

Greg played Ragnarocks. “This game is from Gord Hamilton, the designer of Santorini, and it shares some DNA with that predecessor in that they are both two player abstract games that offer a standard version, or you can add asymmetric player powers to change up the game. Whereas Santorini is typically a race to get one of your builders up to the third level of a building, Ragnarocks is more about claiming territory on the board by blocking off areas with runestones. Each turn you move one viking in any direction and then build a runestone in any direction based on where the viking ended. Vikings and runestones block movement and building channels. When an area only contains vikings of one colour it becomes ‘settled’ and those vikings can no longer be used. Once both players have no more possibilities for movement or building you count up the areas of the settled territory and whoever has the most wins. Tracy and I just played the standard game and it was quite interesting even without the player powers. I’d like to see how they shake things up though. Oh and the runestones are awesome and look amazing on the board!”

He also played Get on Board: New York & London. “This is a new version of the Japanese game ‘Let’s make a bus route’. In this version the board is double sided with the New York side for 2 or 3 players and the London side for 4 or 5. It also changes to using wooden pieces to mark your bus route rather than pen on a dry erase board. Other than that it’s basically the same game. Over 12 rounds players add to their bus route around the city, picking up and dropping off passengers which get marked off on their player sheet. Each type of passenger scores points in a different way, and there are also points for a hidden objective of hitting three different spots on the board, and common objectives of hitting a certain type and number of passengers or locations. There are some negative points to avoid, for causing traffic, and you have to be careful not to ever hit the same junction twice or you just straight up lose! It’s a nice, fun quick game that’s kind of like a flip and write, so feels a bit like that style of game.”

Greg finished reading The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov. “I like Isaac Asimov’s books – despite being on the older side I don’t find them to be quite as dated as others. The Caves of Steel is basically a murder mystery set in the future, where the police detective is partnered with a robot, on an Earth that, at best, is pretty unenthusiastic about robots. I think the sci-fi elements in this book are fairly low-key, which helps. I don’t think he’s the greatest character writer in the world but he does an adequate job on that front, and the murder mystery element is a fun one to try to figure out.”

Renee, Jenn, and their Dad played a couple games of Azul this week. “One game stood out as the highest scoring for all of us. We all focused on getting columns and so it was many rounds before we triggered game end and then only because between all our boards it was impossible not to do so. Check out my final board – I rarely manage to get one full colour set, let alone two!”

One game that Renee’s Dad requested they bring to the cabin was Ticket to Ride. “This is a game that we used to play a lot 10 years ago when we started to game again as a family while Christopher was a baby. The base game and its many expansions saw a lot of table time for the three of us. Now that Christopher is gaming with us, Dad requested that we all play together, which we did a couple of times this week. Playing it again brought back a lot of great memories of discovering and mastering this game and it was a lot of fun to pull it out again and play it with Christopher.”

Renee got to play some Crokinole at the cabin! “My cousin Sanne lives in Golden and one evening she brought a friend’s crokinole board to the cabin and we played a bunch of games and wow did we have a blast! None of us had a lot of experience so it was just fun to play together with none of us taking it too seriously. Congrats to Dad who had the highest scoring game when he managed to get 2 disks in the center!”

Renee read the final book in The Expanse series, Leviathan Falls. “I struggled making my way through this, wanting to devour each chapter while knowing once I did, it would be over. It’s always hard, spending so much time with these characters and wondering how the author will wrap it all up for you, or if they even will. I am happy to say that I absolutely enjoyed this book and its story. Definitely satisfied with how it ended, so I can wholeheartedly recommend this series.”