What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Jan 6-12

Greg and Renee played Sorcerer City again on Monday, this time with 6 players! Greg, “We had 6 players for this game, but even though most players were new to the game it was still pretty quick. In year 1 we had a three way tie for the influence bonus which meant all players ended up with three or four tiles from vendor 4. That really ramped things up for everybody and meant it was a very high scoring game, with a winning score of 243. I really like this game!” Renee, “It was really fun to get to play a 6 player game on Monday. The game was a bit ridiculous because of the bonus tiles handed out after the first round, but it was great to see how well it worked with additional players. A bit of a table hog at that player count, with the simultaneous play, it stayed pretty quick. The extra competition for the influence bonus made it a bit more competitive, but otherwise the game didn’t change significantly from our 4 player game on Friday. This game is just a lot of fun and its awesome that it supports 1-6 players.”

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Dec 30-Jan 5

Happy New Year! We started this year off with a bang, celebrating the store’s 40 birthday. It has been awesome hearing stories from long-time customers about the impact the store has had in their lives and the Calgary gaming community. Like Gord said, “We do it because we love gaming and we still game every week.” The staff has had a particularly busy gaming week with time spent over the holidays with our friends and family. Here is a wrap up of some of the stuff we’ve been playing.

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Dec 23-29

 

Greg brought Maracaibo to the Monday board game night and played a three player game with Renee and Derrick. Greg, “It was a pretty close game, with good scores all round, and a chance to see some different cards and cities, as you randomly use just a selection each game. Definitely one of my current favourites!” Renee, “I know I’m enjoying a game when I have no idea how much time has passed while playing it. In this case I felt like the game was moving fairly quickly and I was shocked we’d been playing it for over 2 hours, the time just flew by! There is a bunch going on in this card driven rondel; so lots of things to do for points. The board is a map, on which you can move 1-7 spaces, doing various city or village actions, including playing cards which can give you resources, points, income or abilities. In addition, you can send out assistants to different locations to give you additional actions on the board. Your player board yourself is your ship and you are continuously upgrading the spaces on the ship to give you immediate bonuses, additional action options or more powerful actions in general. So a lot of very interesting choices to be constantly making about what to do and in which order. I see why this has been getting so much buzz, it’s a meaty game that’s fun to play. I like it!”

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Dec 16-22

It has been a very busy week at the store; it seems that folks are doing more shopping than usual! We will be around all day today and until 5pm tomorrow to share our gaming experiences and knowledge to help you find some last minute gifts. We hope everyone has a fantastic holiday gaming with family and friends alike!

Greg and Renee kicked off Monday Board Game Night with a play of Tsuro: Phoenix Rising. Greg, “This new Tsuro game takes the familiar aspect of laying tiles and moving along the paths and twists it on it’s head. The tiles are now double sided and have paths that go into the corners. Some also have lantern symbols in different colours. The board starts mostly full, except for the edge areas. Players are now trying to create paths that lead them through tiles with lantern tokens on them, in order to earn stars. If a path leads to a dead end against another tile you stay there and on your next turn pick up the tile in front of you and can flip and/or rotate it to then continue your path. If a player goes off the board they have one extra life to be able to come on again from the edge. Overall I thought it was a nice update to the Tsuro range, offering more meat to the game, yet staying familiar.” Renee, “This is the new Tsuro game that came out this week. While maintaining the core mechanic of playing tiles and having your pawn follow the resulting path there are some key differences that really change your strategy and the gameplay. The core mechanic to is travel through lantern tiles to pick up stars – which are points – rather than staying on the board. In fact, you have a life token you can spend so if you do go off the board, you rise like a phoenix and re-enter the game. This difference really changed the game for me and really made it feel like a quite a different game. Like the original it plays up to 8, so another great light game to add to the collection for bigger groups.”

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Greg then played Brass: Birmingham, “I’ve been wanting to get this back to the table for a while so I was happy to get in a three player game. I still feel like a total novice as far as strategy but I really enjoy the decisions it offers.”

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He finished the night with Letter Jam, “Got another chance to try out this clue giving game, this time with just one player who was new to it. Three of us successfully figured out our letters and as it happens, despite the fourth player not getting all their letters right they still managed to successfully spell a word, so we won overall.”

Meanwhile Renee got to play Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, “I hadn’t played this since we played it on the livestream so I was excited to get to try this again. This is a solid worker placement game in which you are developing an energy empire while being penalized for destroying the environment. Once again I managed to keep my environment very clean while getting a lot of points for my buildings. Derek noted that as a new player the game really feels rushed – something I remember feeling the first time I played – but I really like this game and I’m surprised I don’t see it being played more often.”

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Renee also played a couple games of Coloretto, “I really enjoyed playing this last month so I pulled it out again to end the night. This time it was a 5 player game – my first time playing it with that many players – which was interesting. Which less players it’s easier to keep track of what everyone is collecting and be strategic about adding cards to the columns. We played twice, the second time with the alternate scoring which really changed the game – you almost didn’t want to collect too many cards because after you reached 3, you start to lose points, so this meant we were often taking rows that only had one card.”

Back at home, Greg played Jurassic Snack, “This is a cute little two player kids game that Tracy and I tried out. Players have a group of Diplos who are moving around eating grass tiles that have special abilities when revealed and are also worth points. One ability brings a T-Rex onto the board, who can then ‘scare away’ the Diplos. A player loses if they end with no Diplos on the board, or if the grass tiles all get eaten then the player who scores the most points wins. I think it’s a great little game, and although the strategy may be beyond a younger child they certainly should have no trouble playing it.”

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Greg also got to try another new arrival, Maracaibo, “This is a new game from Alexander Pfister, most noted for Great Western Trail, and this takes some things from that game, such as the board locations as an ‘action rondel’ of sorts. It also includes a campaign that you can play through, with a narrative and changing board and rules. Tracy and I played through a standard game to learn the rules and then played game one of the campaign. It’s a fantastic, meaty euro that is right up my alley, with multiple ways to score points and the player interaction mostly from blocking or leeching off the other players in some way. Set up and tear down is a bit more time consuming than I’d like, but ultimately it’s worth it.”

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Renee came across Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small on her shelf, “So I pulled it out on Thursday to play with my sister. It’s a game that we used to play quite a bit but it had been at least a couple years since it hit the table. While it felt like a relearning game for both of us, it was interesting that we went for very different strategies – Jenn’s farm had 2 full used expansions and I stuck with only the original board – and the point difference was only 1! This is such a good 2 player game worker placement game!”

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Greg finished reading Oathbringer (Book 3 of The Stormlight Archive) by Brandon Sanderson. “I’m really enjoying this epic series. Having also read some of his Mistborn books I can say that he’s great at world building and coming up with his own fantasy worlds instead of borrowing from the standard tropes like some others. The characters are interesting and I’m curious to know where the grand storylines are going. This book has an interesting twist and I am itching to read the next book, but sadly it’s not out yet. The silver lining is that Sanderson is actually pretty prolific, quick and open about his progress, so I know it’ll be coming next year!”

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We finish this week’s post with an update on Greg’s Clank Legacy campaign, “Managed to get together with my group to play game 2 of our Clank Legacy Campaign. Things started changing pretty early on, with more rules, cards and tokens added, and the changes came thick after that. Lani has an aversion to destroying cards but we made her rip up a couple and ended with a nice pile at the end. Looking forward to the next game!”

Tale of Gamers: Kill Team – Elite Warriors

Things have been busy on the Sentry Box front (as retail at the end of the year is wont to do) so this report comes to you a little behind schedule. Unfortunately, some of our hard-working hobbyists aren’t able to join us this time, but don’t worry – they’ll be back! For now, Jordan and Chris have some shiny new Elite miniatures to show off, and they’ve brought along a battle report between their two mighty Commanders, too. Check it out below…

And if this has your interest in starting a new Kill Team project piqued, you can join in too! Send us pics of your up-and-coming teams, minis you’re painting or your latest hard-fought battle and we’ll add them to our Community Showcase posts for all to see. You can submit your pics via email at hobby@sentrybox.com, or message us on Facebook.com/Sentrybox.

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Dec 9-15

Greg and Renee played a quick game of Illimat to kick off Monday Board Game Night. Greg, “This sounded interesting – using a deck of cards with players trying to collect them for points and different play areas that change the rules. Ultimately it fell flat for me though, as choices were limited and plans foiled inadvertantly by other players changing the season. I found my self taking a long time trying to figure out a good move, but it feels like a game that should have a quicker pace. The changing rules ended up making for a negative play experience as I continually went to make a move only to discover it now wasn’t allowed.” Renee, “I got another chance to play this with a couple people on Monday night. Still trying to get the hang of this game and play to the available strategies of the game. Played again with Jenn on Sunday and still not playing with a focus on how to get the most points.But I like it and will be playing it again over the holidays with the family.”

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Dec 2-8

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Jordan painted the Pit Devil from Wizkids’ newest wave of Deep Cuts miniatures! “I painted him up with a pretty classic “fire demon” theme. Considering he sells for less than 10 bucks, this model packs a load of detail and looks pretty excellent. I put him on one a Citadel base rather than the one that he came with because the Citadel bases have a natural “pedestal” raising on them, whereas the mini itself came with a really flat base that didn’t quite do him justice.”

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Nov 25-Dec 1

This week we start with Tia playing another new game, Cthulhu: Death May Die, “It’s a fairly straightforward, easy to learn game, which is nice considering most of the games I like to play are very heavy and take a while to play. There are various scenarios you can play, which changes up what you’re trying to accomplish that game (this time we had to manipulate the moon to stop cultists from completing their ritual). In each scenario you choose a different eldar one to play against – we chose to play against the black goat. Anytime you hit a baby goat and don’t kill it, it spawns more goats, as well as when the black goat advances on the track. Every time you attack, you roll dice, and if any land on tentacles, you gain an insanity. You can go up on the stress meter to re-roll, but you only have 5 stress to use before you have to rest in order to use more stress. As you go up the insanity track, you gain stronger powers your character can use, but if you get to the end of the insanity track you die. So it’s a balance of needing to gain insanity, but not too much. We ended up winning – we stopped the ritual and defeated the black goat. We were both only one insanity away from dying which was intense! The minis are quite nice looking, and I appreciated the player board overlays which made it easier to keep tokens on your player board. I’m glad I picked it up! I’m looking forward to playing the level with the two foot Cthulhu mini…”

Renee and Greg played On Tour on Monday Night. Renee, “Got a chance to show this game to a couple more folks on Monday night. This is just such a fun game and its deceptively crunchy. It seems simple, plot numbers on the map so you can plan a tour for you band. But you’re at the whim of both the die and the regional cards leading to the perfect roll often paired with the wrong cards.” Greg, “This is a game where one little bit of luck can make a big difference. You’ll often have two or three connected areas and need a bit of good fortune to get them joined up. In this case I got lucky and managed to put together a pretty good tour, giving me my best ever score.”

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Renee and Greg ended up with a group of 6 so luckily Greg had brought Cursed Court. Renee, “A game I’ve always really enjoyed. At the beginning of the year, cards are dealt face-down between players so each player can peek at 2 of the 6 cards. A card is dealt face up in the middle of the table at the beginning of each round and then players take turns placing bets on a board – betting on which sets of cards will be revealed at the end of 4 rounds. You get 20 tokens to use over the 4 rounds, bumping other players bets by doubling the number of tokens. At then end of the year all cards are revealed and wining bets are awarded points. It’s a fun social game, trying to figure out what other players’ bets are telling you about what they know – or are they bluffing?” Greg, “I do enjoy this betting, bluffing and deduction game but I’m not very good at it! I think it’s a great option for a game when you have 6 players and want something not too long or involved, but still requires a bit of brain power.”

They followed with 7 Wonders. Renee, “I hadn’t played this game for years and I don’t think I’ve every played it with more than 3 or 4 players. So it was fun to play it again and this time with 6 players. It’s a good card drafting game with a decent amount of choices for ways to get points. Even with a 6 player game it plays quickly due to simultaneous play. I enjoyed playing this classic again.” Greg, “It had been a while since I’d played this and I decided to go for the science strategy. I did ok but a few other players took some science cards to stop me and both neighbours were beating me on military. Another great option for higher player counts.”

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Gizmos also hit the table, Greg, “Played a three player game of this engine builder. None of us had any spectacular combos going on but I was able to regularly build and get new energy right away, so I built consistently and managed a close win. Always a fun time!” Renee, “This is such a well themed engine builder, which becomes ridiculously funny when someone creates an engine with some great combos leading to turns that allow you to take all the actions.”

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Renee pulled out another oldie, Coloretto, Greg, “A game I’ve played quite a bit but not for a while. It’s so simple and yet so mean! I ended up with lots of +2 cards but not enough of any colour to maximize them, and a full rainbow, giving me some negative points. Still a great game.” Renee, “I hadn’t played this in years despite the fact that similarly to No Thanks, it is one of my original favourite card games. I love the player interaction.”

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Greg played Era: Medieval Age, “Tried another solo game and did a little better this time. I still have a lot of room for improvement though. It’s a game that could have been a roll & write but it’s nice to have the look and the tactile feel of the little buildings.”

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Wingspan also made it to the table at Greg’s place, “With the expansion coming out it reminded me that I really needed to get this game back to the table. It’s a very pretty game and I enjoy trying to make the most out of what’s available. Games between Tracy and I always seem to be very close too.”

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Sue also got a classic to the table, Ticket to Ride. “I had never played this classic game before, but I can see why it’s so popular! It’s fun, with some strategy involved too. You get cards with 2 place names and then you have to stealthily connect them without your companion(s) catching on, or they may try to foil your plans. If you complete all your routes, you can take an extra card and try and build more routes for more points. I thought I was doing pretty well until my companion stealthily built the longest route (another way to score points). Nice pace, easy to play.”

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Greg, Renee, Jeff and Nick played Paladins of the West Kingdom on Friday’s livestream. Renee, “I continue to absolutely love this game, despite my seeming inability to actually play it with any success. It is a great combination of thinky, needing to plan, adapting to the options in the round and just fun. I love that I have control over the actions on my player board while having to compete with other players for the spots and cards in the common areas.”

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We end the week with Greg’s roll and write installment, Railroad Ink: Blazing Red Edition, “I wanted to try using one of the expansions so I added the lava dice. This means you start with a volcano in the centre and each round have to draw in lava using at least one of the two lava dice. If you can’t connect either of them then you either have to add a new volcano somewhere or erase part of s route to make space to add the lava. It’s not as bad as it sounds though because there’s lots of room to expand and draw your track around the lava, and you score points for completed lava lakes and your largest lava lake. Next up will be to try the meteor expansion!”

 

 

 

 

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

This week starts off with Sue playing the Trogdor board game. “I loved Trogdor back in the day with his big, beefy arm and consummate V’s and it turns out I still do! In this cooperative game, you and your friends take turns controlling Trogdor. The goal is to burninate the land, peasants, and thatched roof cottages.. all while avoiding the knights and archers who are trying to kill you. This game plays a lot like the Trogdor video games, except now it’s tactile! And there are both meeple style game pieces, or miniature style pieces. We played a round with each. Both styles look great!”

Trogdor has been popular with some of the staff and Tia also got in a game! “Just played a game of Trogdor this evening. Quick setup and short time to play, it’s a nice game to bring to the table when you feel like having some laughs and burninating the village! The instruction booklet is filled with little silly explanations, and the cards are entertaining to read as well. Glad I bought it! We lost by one tile though…Still satisfying”

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Greg and Renee played Paladins of the West Kingdom again on Monday, Greg, “Got to try this with four players and enjoyed it a lot. I was a little worried it might be too long with four, but we all played pretty quickly. With four players it was definitely more important to pay attention to what the other players were doing as there was more competition for taking the outsider cards and the bonus action spaces. Love it.” Renee, “Wow this game is good. Playing it with 4 players was a lot of fun and while it was a longer game than the 2 player game, there are lots of things to churn on while waiting for you turn. The order in which you performed your actions made more of a difference with the various card markets changing more frequently. Was a treat to get to try this again.”

Renee also got to play Taverns of the Tiefenthal again, “Played a 4 player game and got to introduce it to a couple new players. Played with one of the modules that used the reputation track which mostly just made me want to try it will all the modules to see how much more this game has to offer.”

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Greg got to play Incan Gold for the first time, “Finally played this classic push your luck game. I enjoyed it quite a bit as the decision of whether to drop out or not was never straightforward. I’d happily play this again.”

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Llama hit Greg’s table as well, “Finished the night with a couple of games of this great little card game. Both were a case of so close and yet so far, as I was almost able to empty my hand a couple of times but ended up stuck and not able to do it.”

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Back at home, Greg got Bisikle to the table, “Alex asked to play this again so we played a three player game. She typically took a mulligan or two each turn, so it was unsurprising that she ended up winning.”

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Greg played Paladins of the West Kingdom again at home, “I convinced Tracy to give this a try at home so we played a 2 player game. Having played a few times now everything clicked a lot more for me and I was able to time things better and make good use of my Paladins. In one case I was able to commission my last four monks all in one turn, paying no provisions for them (saving me 10 provisions). Tracy was figuring out the game but seemed to enjoy it so hopefully we’ll get more chances to play in the future.”

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Greg and Renee were joined by Adam and Debbie from The Collapsing Gameshelf Podcast to play The Quacks of Quedlinburg on Friday’s livestream.  Greg, “It had been a little while since my last game of this but we played on stream with Adam and Debbie from The Collapsing Gameshelf Podcast. Renee introduced elements from The Herb Witches expansion, such as new ingredient books, an overflow pot and the Herb Witches themselves, which are once-per-game special powers. I enjoy this game anyway and all of the expansion additions were great too.” Renee, “This game is so much fun; I just love it! The expansion has been a riot to play as well and I’ve really enjoyed the additional choices it brings to the game. I managed not to score a single point for the first 6 rounds and then using the power of rat tails, almost won the game.  Perhaps next time I’ll have to start getting points in round 4 or 5…”

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Greg also got to try the new Era: Medieval Age, “This is the spiritual successor to Roll Through the Ages, incorporating many of the same elements such as dice rolling, feeding your people and fending off disasters. Instead of using the resources generated by the dice to cross off new cities, wonders and advancements you use them to build physical buildings on your player board, adding a spatial element to the game. Different buildings have effects such as adding new dice, generating food or resources, or scoring points, and adding walls to your city doubles the balue of the buildings inside and protects against some disaster effects. I just tried the solo game and scored pretty badly…”

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We finish the week with a spoiler-free report on Clank Legacy from Greg, “I love Clank and I love legacy games so I’ve been excited about this one for a while. There are a few minor differences to regular Clank at the beginning, as well as the awesome minis. Looking forward to seeing where this goes!”