What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Jan 10-16

Sue painted the Star Wars: Legion Wookiee Warriors 2021. “I like the character and customizability of this box set. The box comes with 2 sprues of 3 different bodies and 6 different heads, for a total of 6 bodies and 12 heads. There are also multiple weapon configurations for lots of options when creating your unit. Three is the minimum required for a unit but you can add more Wookiees to your unit if you want. I primed the Leader Zandri Dust, drybrushed him with Ushtaby Bone, and then did an Aggaros Dunes wash overtop. I primed the Wookiee on the left with Vallejo’s English Uniform, drybrushed him with Balor Brown and then added a brown wash. He lost some detail with the wash, so I drybrushed him again after the wash was dry with XV88. The last Wookiee was my absolute favorite. I like his dreadlocks, and his pose. To me he looked like a wise, older Wookiee who had seen many battles. So I primed him with Grey Seer, drybrushed him white, and then used a thinned down (Lahmain Medium) black wash overtop. The eyes on these models are quite far back, making it difficult to add detail without getting paint on the fur around the eyes, so I elected to do the eye detail before adding the washes and then having a second brush on standby to try and stop the wash from pooling too much in the eyes.”

Greg hasn’t played a lot of games lately but he’s still managed to fit in a few games of Tichu. “We’re still playing the short, 500 point games, but that usually means we can play a couple of games in an evening. In the recent session Tracy and I were partnered and managed to dominate. There were a fair few bombs flying around on both sides, but a misclick from Lani when she wanted to play her bomb in the first hand of the night ended up costing her team as Tracy and I made a Tichu 1-2. There may come a time when I’m sick of playing Tichu but I don’t foresee that happening!”

Matt, Lani and Greg played a three player game of the great Uwe Rosenberg game A Feast for Odin. “It’s a worker placement game with a spatial element where players are trying to obtain different types of goods in order to fill up their player boards with the shapes to increase their income, gain bonuses and ultimately score points (or remove negative points). Like many Uwe games you also need to get goods to feed your people in a way, providing food for the titular feast. It’s a great game with lots of options each turn, and although you can get blocked from spaces it feels less harsh as there are usually good alternatives to take.”

Another Tea Dragon puzzle completed by Greg, “I enjoyed this one quite a lot. It was almost like 12 mini puzzles, but with all the pieces mixed together. It wasn’t too tricky, other than the fact that most Tea Dragons appear in multiple pictures, but even that didn’t slow me down too much. I’m not a tea drinker but I love the little Tea Dragons :grinning:

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

Greg finished this masterpiece. “This 2000 piece puzzle has occupied a fair amount of our time lately, as well as the gaming table, which is one reason why we haven’t played as many games lately. It was definitely on the trickier side, with lots of big areas of the same kind of colour or pattern. It was slow going for the first half or so, but once we got a good chunk done it got a little easier!”

After the challenge of the big 2000 piece puzzle it was nice for Greg to go back to something a little easier. “This one is just 1000 pieces and only took us a few days compared to the weeks for the Castle puzzle. The image is of a variety of Tea Dragons from one of Alex’s favourite books, so her and Luke were keen to help too.”

Sue played the classic Trivial Pursuit. “I like trivia games, including Trivial Pursuit, however this copy is from 1981.. which made it a little frustrating. Many questions are about TV shows, movies, and US politics from the previous 20 years. I feel like a person has a reasonable chance of getting questions like that from within the last 20 years, but questions about random shows and movies that are now 40-60 years old are a lot harder. If you’re playing this edition, hope you’re sitting on a pie square when the question about Luke Skywalker comes up ;). I like Trivial Pursuit, but I would definitely recommend picking up a more recent edition. :)”

Sue also played Spot It. “This game is for children, but it’s also a fun little game for adults as well. It reinforces pattern recognition and reflexes. I lost every round, but it was still fun to play!” Last, but not least, she also played the classic game of Chess. “I still remember 5 move check mate, which I learned as a child, but I saw a few different tactics on how to block it if you see it coming. I really enjoy this timeless strategy game.”

Ever since the new Qwirkle Collector’s Edition came out, Renee has been wanting to get this classic back to the table. “Dad, Jenn and I used to play this a lot which Christopher was a baby because it was a game we could play within 15 or 20 mins. We played it so much in fact, that for a long time it was always just set up ready to go on the gaming table. I was fun to get it back to the table again; it’s a quick, simple abstract game. And while there is definitely the luck of the tile draw, its fun when the board is set up perfectly for that next move.”

Christopher loves sushi so we suggested we play Sushi Go. “I wanted to introduce him to card drafting and this is the perfect little card game to use to introduce the mechanic to newer players. I knew he’d like the theme so it would keep his interest and he really liked the game! This is another game that we played quite a bit when we first got it, so it was fun to play it again. Hoping this becomes a game we can play with him regularly.”

Kris wanted to do something different on his painting stream this week and Greg L had asked him a while ago if he could repaint his Gargantuan White Dragon. “I really liked the miniature and was fairly sure I could get it done on my 3-4 hour paint stream. I was a little unsure at a couple of points when picking the colours on how it would turn out but I am really happy with the result and got it all finished in under 3 hours.” This is how it used to look:

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Dec 27-Jan 2

Greg finally got a couple of games of Puerto Rico played after a very lean few weeks. “In this game of Puerto Rico I was going for a building and money strategy and managed to get a great little engine going to generate lots of cash. That meant that it was a fairly short game that ended with me building 3 of the large buildings, but was also a low scoring game as there wasn’t a lot of time for players to ship goods. It ended up being super close, with me winning by just one point, ahead of Matt who had gone for a shipping strategy.” He also played more Tichu, “This game started badly, with Tracy and Matt getting a Tichu, one-two in the first hand and taking a 300 point lead (in our short 500 point game). However, Lani and I managed to stem the tide and claw a few points back over the next few hands, and then a one-two of our own put us ahead 390-310. The next hand I called Tichu and not only made it, but we ended up going one-two again, and won 690-310, restricting Matt and Tracy to a net gain of just 10 points after that first hand.”

Greg and Tracy played new arrival Escape Room The Game: The Little Girl. “This horror themed game was a pretty good one. We didn’t have too much trouble with most of it, but at the end we weren’t quite sure what to do and needed a bit of help. I do enjoy this brand of Escape Rooms as they have quite a bit of variety in them.”

Renee and Jenn tried out the new Puzzle Adventure from Escape Room: The Baron, The Witch & the Thief. “Each compartment contained a small puzzle that built a room in a dungeon. While the puzzles themselves were not used as creatively as they were in The Exit versions, we enjoyed the puzzles a lot more – they were smaller, with colourful and distinctive pictures, so a lot more fun to put together. The decoder itself was a puzzle which I thought was a nice touch and the escape room style puzzles were all fun and interesting, nothing too difficult, so we had a good time.”

They also got a chance to play Terraforming Mars: Ares Expedition, which is a standalone, scaled down version of the game. “You still have to collectively raise oxygen & temperature and build oceans, but the board doesn’t have forests or cities. It also does away with the end game “prizes”. It focuses on the card building engine which is my favourite element of TR and adds a Puerto Rico style phase choice at the beginning of each round. Players secretly choose one of the 5 round phases and then reveal. Phases are then executed in order, with the player choosing that phase getting a bonus and players playing simultaneously. And while it seems it should make the game faster, I think having to complete all the terraforming conditions with only 2 players means it takes more rounds than with 3 or 4 players. The verdict is Jenn and I both really enjoyed it and I think we’ll likely get more play with this version than the full game.”

Jenn and Renee enjoy Star Realms so they tried out one of the co-op challenges in Star Realms Frontiers. “The mechanics of playing “the boss” was pretty straightforward and it was fun to work together, sharing trade and combat to make the best plays. Looking forward to trying some of the other challenges to see how they differ.”

Renee picked up Hero Realms to try out with Christopher because he likes Dominion but the game length can be hard for keeping his attention. “He loves D&D so I thought the fantasy theme and characters would appeal to him more than Star Realms. He did quite enjoy it so I’m going to introduce character decks next time we play to give it even more of a D&D feeling.”

Renee and family tried out the new Kingdomino Origins, playing the first 2 of the 3 included modules. “This version uses fire instead of crowns for end game points and the first module introduces volcanos, which grant you fire tokens that you can strategically place on surrounding tiles to increase their point value. The second module adds resources, which not only give you one point each at the end of the game, but give players bonus points for having a majority of a resource. So far I think it’s a good sequel to the game and the third module looks promising.”

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

Another couple of Battletech models for my Draconis Combine forces, this time a Blackjack and Grasshopper. Not much to say about painting these that I haven’t mentioned previously, but I’m still super impressed by these re-imaginings of classic ‘mech designs. The game has never looked better and I’ve got lots more new stompy robots awaiting paint!

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – Nov 29-Dec 5

Greg finished the latest 1000 piece puzzle from Renegade Games. “I enjoyed this one – lots of bright colours and some classic characters!”

Chris has been excitedly painting some Batteltech mechs. “I’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of more of Catalyst Game’s Battletech miniatures, and with new sets trickling in it’s time to get painting! While most of my ‘Mechs will be in the colors of the Draconis Combine, some of the new models aren’t in common use with that faction (and hey, gotta fight somebody!). With that in mind, I’ve started by completing this Centurion in the classic “Davion Green” scheme of the Federated Suns. The green itself begins with Vallejo Model Color German Camo Bright Green, drybrushed with Game Color Dead Flesh. The drybrush color is quite a bit lighter than the base, but applying it first means that the next step – a wash with Army Painter Dark Tone – will tone down and unify the colors quite nicely. There’s not a lot else to this paint scheme, just some details with Citadel Iron Warriors and Celestra Grey, and finally my favorite blue jeweled canopy. The tiny grass tufts from Gamer’s Grass add interest to the base without disrupting the scale of this big stompy war machine.”

Greg got Agricola back to the table this week. “I finally got around to combining all of the card decks into one giant deck to give the greatest variety when playing. Having done that, neither Tracy nor myself were super happy with the cards we got dealt, although it didn’t stop us from still playing a bunch of them. I ended up getting a lot of clay this game, but didn’t quite get everything how I wanted by the end of the game, and our scores weren’t super high, but I still always enjoy playing.”

Greg also had a chance to play some Zombie Kidz. “Luke and I were both off sick this week but one afternoon he felt a little better and asked to play a few games. One of them was Zombie Kidz so we played a two player game with me giving him hints if he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. Everything went pretty smoothly and we managed to win. Luke was excited because he got to open up a new envelope!”

Greg and Tracy played their weekly game of Dice Throne. “Tracy played the Huntress, who is often considered one of the weaker heroes, but she’s played her a bunch of times now. I played the Tactician for the second time and I’m still not how to play them well. I did upgrade lots of my abilities, but didn’t do any attacks until the third round so I was a bit behind. Tracy did a good job of keeping Nyra up to make sure she did extra damage every round, and in the end it was too much and I wasn’t able to fend her off.”

Renee and Jenn had an opportunity to play a round of Viticulture. “I really like this game because it combines two mechanics I really enjoy; worker placement and the puzzle of making the most out of the cards you draw. I never play this enough to feel like I apply anything I learned about the pacing of this game in my previous playthrough but always love it regardless!”

They also had a chance to play Clever Cubed and Star Realms. “As folks may remember when it first came out, I absolutely fell in love with That’s Pretty Clever when it first released. Clever Cubed, the third game in the series, is just as good, if not better. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who wants to try out a fantastic roll and write. In our first game of Star Realms almost no bases managed to come out and then in our second game Jenn had an armada of bases protecting her! Made a huge difference in the game play for sure. This is fun, quick 2 player deck builder that we always enjoy.”

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

Kris finished up two more Necromunda Models early this week. “I had been letting the standards slip and had fielded them unpainted for a couple of games but finally decided no more games until the gang is fully painted again! “Snips” was recruited for free from my Settlement territory, where after each game I get to roll 2d6 and if the result is a double six, I get a free Ganger (normally, you can recruit a Juve on a single six, but Slave Ogryn Gangs done have Juves…) Unfortunately, even though the Ogryn is free, I had to pay for his equipment right away which ate away at my credits. Luckily, I also have a Mine territory, and hired “Botty” to work in it. (And do some fighting I suppose…)”

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

Kris has been playing in an Alien RPG group while they are waiting for D&D to start back up. “Free League did a good job of making the system crank up as things progress with their Skill/Stress system. As it really feels like you are getting desperate as the game goes on. We played the Chariot of the Gods module from the starter box and it’s very different from anything I have played before as it definitely walks a line between being a traditional Role Playing experience and playing a social/hidden role game.  I don’t want to give out any spoilers though so won’t really say more than that. We all had fun though, there are lots of cool moments and the cinematic play really fits the style. It is definitely a game I would demo at the store like I did for Call of Cthulhu, but I would probably switch up the scenario as it took us closer to 8 hours rather than the 3-4 it says.”

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

Jordan painted one of the Stormcast from the new Underworlds box set during last Sunday’s painting demo. “My first model in over a year. Definitely feeling a bit out of practice and there are some spots I’d like to work on a little more, but I’m pretty happy with how he turned out. It was fun to put paint to plastic again, and I took some liberties playing with different techniques and colours on areas like the base.” If you want to get tips from our painting experts, contact the store and sign up for Sunday’s free Painting Demo.

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

Greg has yet to watch the new movie but he was still inspired to play a game of Dune: Imperium. “I managed to get off to a good start, generating 7 influence to pick up Lady Jessica and I was a bit smarter with my troops – sometimes holding them back for a future conflict. It was fairly even for the first few rounds but I managed to edge ahead up to 9 points and then I bought a card that bumped me up all four faction tracks, gaining me two VPs and ended the game with Tracy stuck on 8 points.”

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