What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – April 3-9

Cam did a quick and cathartic paintjob on this Blackstone Fortress from Battlefleet Gothic.

Sean updates us on an expected turn in his latest painting project. “So, I return home to this. I guess Major Tom had a fierce window battle with his outside rival Mr. Pudgy. On top of these lads who I had left on the table this morning. I haven’t attempted to see what still matches. If the horses are gone beyond repair I’ll swap them out with Wargames Atlantic Horses. I am shocked at how easily the Warlord resin shattered. (Look for an upcoming academic paper in which  I compare the cat damage potential of polystrene and pewter). The best part is I showed my WIP to some buddies yesterday and pondered if painting Romans on Easter weekend was gauche. Conclude what you will.”

After Greg heard the sad news about Klaus Teuber’s passing it seemed fitting to play a game of Catan in his honour. “While Catan wasn’t the very first modern board game I played, it was one of the earliest, and certainly one that generated a lot of excitement. My brother had to badger us into learning how to play his new game, so we humoured him, and then spent the next week or so of our vacation playing it over and over. It may not be top of every board gamer’s list these days, but I’m still more than happy to play a game. In this particular game I managed to get a bit of a monopoly on brick, and romped to a pretty easy victory. Poor Tracy didn’t even get to build another settlement or a city, picking up a couple of points from development cards.”

Greg and his group played Roll Player Adventures. “We played two more scenarios in leading up to what I think is the big climactic final scenario the next time we play.

In the first scenario we had to get a huge colossus working again by repairing all the various parts. We met some new creatures along the way and decided to be friendly towards them. We did get into a few fights of course, but made our way through without too much trouble.

Renee and her dad continued their adventures with the Ticket to Ride series, this time playing the Old West map on the flip side of the France board expansion. “On this map you start the game by placing one of your 3 settlements on a city. Then you are limited to claiming routes starting from that city and can only build out from your current network. In addition, you can place your other settlements down on the board as you build out. When a route is claimed with a settlement in one, or both, of the cities it joins, instead of the player getting the points, they go to the owner(s) of the settlement(s). In a 2 player game you’d really have to try and guess where your opponent may end up building, so this mechanic didn’t really come into play that much for us, but I can imagine this would be very interesting in a 4 or 5 player game! We still enjoyed the map and being forced to build in a continuous network was interesting.”

Renee’s sister Jenn wanted to try one of the new Ticket to Ride maps so they played a game with the France map. “Jenn really liked this map and I have to say, having played it a few times now, I quite like it too. Really hoping to convince Christopher to play sometime so we can get a 4 player game going; I think that would be quite a bit of a different experience with all of us building routes and having more opportunity claim routes other players have built. Chaotic fun! I also wanted to share that we’ve been using card holders to manage our destination tickets so that they are always in view for us and much easier to reference than flipping through a pile.”

Renee and Jenn assembled and played the EXIT game Return to the Abandoned Cabin. “Jenn and I were freaking out when we realized the first step was to actually build a little version of the cabin! This time it really felt like we were playing in an actual escape room and the puzzles did a great job of creatively using the mini cabin for some fun spatial activities. This adventure also had some great comedic references to previous adventures. I continue to love these games.”

Renee picked up the Pumpkin Problem as an activity to do around Halloween but discovered it unused recently so decided to bust it out for Easter. “This is another series of escape room style games called ‘Holiday Hijinks’ with each having a story relating to a holiday or yearly event. Since it was so sunny and warm on Friday, we found ourselves hanging out on the front porch so I pulled this out. Because it uses only 18 cards and an app to play, it was perfect for doing outside as there were not a lot of components to keep track of or out of the wind. The app contains some of the flavour text and story and is where you enter your answers, with it providing you your next steps (which cards to reveal) after you’ve solved all the current puzzles. It kept us entertained and had some easier and some more difficult puzzles but in all cases we figured out what we needed to do, so spent most of our time actually working on the puzzles. I enjoyed it and I’ve picked up a few more for future front porch gaming.”