What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – June 29 – July 5

20200629_202206

Alex and Greg played a couple more games of Der Geheimnisvolle Zaubersee before she went up to bed one night. “The first game went pretty badly, just like the first time we played. I thought I’d better try to step it up in the next game and we just about managed to win with Ravenhorst one space away from catching everyone.”

Continue reading

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – June 22-28

20200622_100146

Sue also tried out the new Azul overlays in the Crystal Mosaic expansion this weekend. “I liked the overlays as well for the same reasons. And the new boards definitely provided extra challenges. Between the overlays and the new boards, I felt like there was good value in this inexpensive Azul expansion.”

Continue reading

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – June 15-21

Greg and Tracy played Escape Room: The Game: Jumanji, “This is a themed version of the regular Escape Room: The Game and comes with it’s own Chrono Decoder, a short 15 minute introductory scenario and two full scenarios, which are all linked together in one big (Jumanji) story. Tracy and I played through the Introduction and the the first of the two full scenarios. We pretty much raced through without any issues, so I’m not sure if the puzzles were easy or if we’re getting used to the style. One of the puzzles was basically the same as one in The Magician, which we did last week, so that helped too. I’m looking forward to trying the last part of this soon!”

Continue reading

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – June 8-14

Danielle painted three old Ral Partha miniatures. “A demon, a mummy, and what I originally thought was a ghoul but turned out to be a cave man. This was my first time doing skin since I’ve only painted mouslings so far.”

vipersyndicate1a

Meet the Viper Syndicate, Chris’ House Delaque Gang for Necromunda. “We had a local campaign that had been planned to kick off at the end of March, before the pandemic put paid to our plans. The restart should be coming soon so it’s just about time for the Vipers to take a shot at ruling the Underhive. The Delaque gang models look sufficiently disturbing and mysterious, but the price you pay is how spindly the models are. Combined with the way GW has elected to handle which weapons go into the box set, it took some extra fiddling to build the starting gang I wanted. Fortunately painting is fairly straightforward – standard base, wash and highlight methods are all that was needed here. One touch that did work out really well was the creepy pallid skin, where all I did was a basecoat of Citadel Wraithbone washed with Army Painter Soft Tone. Super easy and exactly the effect I wanted!”

Greg and Tracy played Escape Room: The Game: The Magician, “This one had a difficulty rating of 3.5 out of 5, but we actually found it pretty straight forward and finished with over 15 minutes to spare. I’ve found that this range of Escape Room games can vary in enjoyment quite a lot, as they do have some fun puzzles, but if you don’t understand what you need to do you have to wait for the timed clues, and sometimes they don’t help and you can get stuck. In this case we pretty quickly figured out what we needed to do, and then just had to go about actually solving them. Tracy’s biggest complaint is actually the noise the Chrono Decoder makes as it’s counting down as she finds it loud and distracting.”

Renee and family assembled and played the free print and play Ticket to Ride: Stay at Home. “The map is a floor plan of a house, with destination tickets between places like couch, half bath, and kitchen island. The map was surprisingly tight with 4 players; areas of the house would have limited routes in and out. They did introduce ‘family routes’, routes where any player could place one train car per turn and when the route was completed, any player with at least one train on the route could use it for their destination tickets. We enjoyed it and it was fun to play Ticket to Ride with Christopher.”

Annotation 2020-06-14 135048

Tracy and Greg brought out the classic game Heroquest to play live on the stream. “It had been a while for both of us but it’s a pretty simple game and easy to get back into. We did have a few distractions from little munchkins but managed to get through it. Despite losing her wizard Tracy successfully managed to save Sir Ragnar and win the game. Hopefully we can keep playing and go through some of the other scenarios because it’s a nice fun, light dungeon crawler.”

20200614_122203

Watching Greg play Heroquest reminded Sue how much she likes it! “Here are two of my Heroquest Heroes. I like the Heroquest models, (and GW models in general), because they have a lot of character.”

MV5BYjkzMzZiNzAtZjBjMy00Nzk1LWEyZDktYTYzNTM0ZmNmMzU3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTM3MDMyMDQ@._V1_

Edward ‘unearthed’ a box of Going Cardboard: A Board Game Documentary DVDs while going through the storage areas so Renee grabbed a copy to check it out.

This was a documentary filmed in 2009, released in 2011, that took a look at the expanding board game community in the US, exploring Essen and how the German board game market had made its way across the pond. I thought it would be interesting to see what the hobby was like in the years just before I discovered modern board gaming myself.

They spoke with designers, publishers, owners of board game stores and other folks in the industry about their experiences bringing games to the market, playing games, explaining their hobby to folks outside the community and about watching people get to discover what board gaming had to offer. It opened with a shot of the doors being opened at Essen and folks streaming into the hall. And it hit me; it was a huge see of white people. Thousands of them. As I watched the documentary I realized that almost everybody that was being interviewed was a white man. The rest? White women.

I know that the board gaming business is very white and has been for a long time, but it made me wonder: if this documentary was made today, how much would have changed? I’m excited that at the store we see more and more women getting into the hobby, and that there is some diversity at our Monday Board Gaming nights (when we had them!), but I wonder what it will take and how long it will be for us to see real change in the hobby as a whole.

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – June 1-7

20200601_205638

We open this week’s blog with Greg’s play of his last Deckscape game, The Mystery of Eldorado, “This is the last of our Deckscape games and it took us a bit longer than the others, clocking in around 80 minutes total. We did manage to end with no penalties though (we earned a few but were able to get rid of them) so that was our final time and was fairly respectable. Sometimes we have a tendency to overthink things when there is a simple solution, but overall we did pretty well. I hate building a house of cards though! We must have spent over five minutes just on that.”

Continue reading

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – May 25-31

Hey Greg’s playing another Escape Room game! Escape Room The Game: Welcome to Funland. “This one has a creepy clown in it, which is always exciting, and a monkey who eats [spoilers]. There was one kind of tricky puzzle, partly down to a slight dexterity element, but for the most part we were able to figure them out ok and we ended with over 9 minutes to spare!”

Continue reading

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – May 18-24

In this week’s blog of painting, reading and painting from The Sentry Box Crew, we start off with Sam’s thoughts on new arrival Cat Rescue! “This cute little game is cooperative where players work together to get cats adopted from a shelter. Cats can be added to the shelter (very cute blanket that is the play space) from the street (deck of cards) or from foster homes (cards in front of players). You can either add them directly to the mat, or push them in from the outside sliding the other cats in the row over. Once 3 or 4 cats of the same colour are in a row, the middle cats flip and are ready for adoption. They get adopted by being pushed off the shelter mat! This game looks super cute, but the game play requires some collective thought in order to maximize kitty adoption. I really enjoyed it as a quick strategy game.”

Continue reading

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – May 11-17

Greg played Sherlock Holmes: The Scarlet Thread of Murder, part of Unlock: Heroic Adventures, “This was an interesting one where you had to find the suspects for the murder and then interrogate them before figuring out which one was the murderer and why. Some pretty interesting puzzles in it, but we managed to figure most of them out without too many hints.”

He also played Unlock: In Pursuit of the White Rabbit, the final scenario in the Heroic Adventures box and the one with the hardest difficulty rating. “It gives you 90 minutes instead of the usual 60 as well. Tracy and I were both pretty much on the right wavelength though, only taking one hint, which was kind of unnecessary actually, and finishing in about an hour. It had some more unusual uses of cards compared to other Unlock games and we both enjoyed it a lot!”

20200516_214234

Greg finished Circuit Maze, “I’ve been working through the challenges and just finished the final Expert level. I found these to be a bit trickier than the Laser Maze, and although they were interesting the components were a bit more fiddly and often kept popping out of the tray, especially the switch. So I did enjoy the mental challenge but would recommend the other mazes over this one.”

Chris thinks this was somehow his quickest Kill Team project to date! “For a while I’d toyed with the idea of making an all-Stormtrooper Imperial Guard team, but the Tempestus Scions just never quite worked for me. My plans changed when I got my hands on some Raumjager figures by Wargames Atlantic. They were almost exactly what I wanted straight out of the box, but I decided to swap in heads from Eisenkern Stormtroopers by Dreamforge. A little modification of the lasgun barrels and a bit of converting for the Sergeant and I had my core team! Branching out into Commanders and Elites is pretty easy with Imperial Guard – all I had to do was add a Commissar and a single Bullgryn. I wanted all the models to be wearing some kind of gas mask, so I changed out the Commissar’s head for one from the Hellhound kit, ready-made with a peaked cap too. Given the style of the Raumjager equipment, painting them as Armageddon Steel Legion was the clear choice.”

Image from iOS (35)

Looking to play a quick familiar game, Jenn and Renee decided to play Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, “Which we had actually only played once before, so it had the added benefit of being both very familiar and a little new at the same time. At it’s surface it looks like a re-skinned Carcassonne, but it does add some additional mechanics that are not in the original game.  Instead of farmers there are hunters but in the fields there are animals with rules like each tiger eats one deer, so there are ways to impact the scoring of your opponents’ hunters. It also has bonus tiles which you get to place when completing a forest with a gold nugget, which can either give you an opportunity to earn additional points or the ability to mess with your opponent.”

Image from iOS (36)

Renee was looking for a game with a small number of components to play outside and inspired by Greg and Tracy’s plays of the various escape room style games, she pulled out a Deckscape game they’ve had for a while, Time Test. “I was curious how it would work, it using only cards with no app (like Unlock) and no interactive/destroyable pieces like the Exit games. You work your way down the deck, until you end up in your “locked room” and then you divide the deck into 4 piles, each with a puzzle to solve at the top. As you solve the puzzles in each pile your release items with you can use to solve other puzzles. It actually did a decent job of recreating locked room style puzzles. They had clue cards that allowed you to get a clue if you had puzzle that was stumping you. We enjoyed it!”

Image from iOS (37)

They finished the afternoon with another playable outside game, Circus Flohcati. “This is a classic Reiner Knizia game that has been a favourite in our family for years. It’s a press your luck game combined with set collecting. Quick playing a we always enjoy it.”

 

 

 

 

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – May 4-10

20200504_185617

Sue got My Very First Games: Animal upon Animal for this little guy. “Greg recommended it, and I know from experience that this game is very popular with a certain demographic. This little guy loves this game! He likes stacking the animals, and sometimes just playing with the pieces. I’m told he plays with this often. I concur with Greg’s recommendation for Animal upon Animal as a great option for the next generation of gaming enthusiasts!”

Continue reading