The 2020 Aurora Award Nominees have been announced for best works done by Canadians in 2019 in Science Fiction and Fantasy. The Aurora Awards are nominated by members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association. The top five nominated works were selected. Additional works were included where there was a tie for fifth place. The awards ceremony will be held online in conjunction with When Words Collide (Calgary) on August 15th. (whenwordscollide.org).
Maddie finally got Bumblebee and Prime done! “I was able to figure out the water-slide decals so Optimus has one of those, while Bumblebee has just the clear sticker. Overall I’m pretty happy with how these turned out. I still have to get Megatron finished.”
On Monday Christopher and Renee played another quick game of Age of War before dinner. “Still fun, still frustrating and still awesome.”
After dinner they played a 5 player game of Chai. “I really enjoyed it at the max player count, turns are quick so the game keeps moving and the increased competition for the customers was fun. I love that everyone in the family enjoys this game so much and we’re getting a lot of plays in these days.”
Sue played Talisman: Kingdom Hearts. “Super fun game, really easy to play. Delightful models to paint.”
Tracy and Greg tried another one of the Deckscape Escape Room games, Test Time, this one about time travel. “They have clue cards for each puzzle that you’re allowed to look at if you’re stuck, but you don’t get penalized for using them. We did use those a few times but otherwise found this to be fairly straightforward and didn’t make any errors. We also finished it in less than an hour, so we got top marks. It was a fun one!”
Jenn and Renee played another game of Cartographers, “It’s so much fun to colour in the sheets and with the different scoring cards coming out each game, each game feels different. Christopher saw us playing and asked to play, so we played again with him. I wasn’t sure how he would do with managing the 4 scoring objectives, but he managed to get a very decent score and we all had fun!”
They then wrangled the kids into a game of Reef, “We’ve been wanting to try this with them for a while now. It’s a pretty straightforward game in that you’re placing pieces on the top part of the card on your board and then scoring the pattern on the bottom part of the card. However, since the cards never give you the pieces you need for their own scoring pattern, it requires that you collect cards that work together well and do some planning. The kids enjoyed it.”
Tracy and Greg were talking online with some friends and they tried out a game of Just One over the video chat. “It worked out ok, with the guesser looking away while the others compared clues, etc. and we ended up getting a pretty good score, getting 9 out of 13.”
Sam played new release Gorilla Marketing:
This game is SO FUN. We played two rounds with three people. The first time went really fast since you only go around the table once so we played a second game with two booklets each which was much more fun.
Each player starts the game with one (or two) booklets in front of them, and then they collectively choose a theme for whole game. Each player then roles a die individually to determine the category of their marketing firm. For our second game my firms were advertising Science Fiction and Propaganda films, since the overall theme was movies.
You then pass your booklet(s) to the person to your left, and begin the game! The first player takes one die at a time out of the bag to roll which adds a letter to the acronym. The first acronym you make is what the movie in this case will be called, and the second acronym is the tag line that advertises the movie! On each players turn, the acronym changes, and when you get your booklet back the round ends and voting begins.
Each player rolls two dice to pick between two available awards, determined by the theme of the games, to assign to their project. Then, you flip through the options people wrote and either choose the one you liked the most or that most suited the award. You go through this process for both the name and then later the tag line for the name. The person at the end with the most banana tokens, which you get by your option being chosen in the voting stage, wins the game!
One critique I had immediately is that the age suggestion is 8+ and there are definitely sexually suggestive themes in this game. I don’t think I’d be comfortable recommending this as a family game, more as a college aged party game. With one of the firms potentially being a fetish club or the college class sex therapy 101 it might make for an uncomfortable evening. There are definitely options that don’t include spicy themes so as long as people are comfortable filtering it out then it’s customer discretion.
Other than that I had a blast. The components are perfectly designed and easy to use which I really liked. The rules are also simply laid out so it’s easy to teach and play. Will definitely be playing this again when I own my own copy.
Jordan shares his thoughts on the game, “I had tons of fun playing this game. It’s the best parts of Telestrations, the Jackbox video games mashed together into a great lightweight party game. The booklets, custom dice and banana markers were all great quality and the game as a whole presents itself as a quality product! I’m excited to play more of this game with the different themes and categories and the near infinite replay ability it offers.”
Jordan has been doing some more painting, “Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers, a Warhammer Underworlds warband. This was a lot of fun to paint – the ogre leader looks super cool (I stuck a skull on his face to serve as a mask), and he has a crossbow armed with a bear trap on a chain – very ‘Warhammer’. The goblins are also full of character – carrying more bear traps, giant arrows, or another goblin, carrying a big hammer, which I think is really funny. The big cat is also super cool and intimidating, and there’s a separate bear trap model that is made of large jaw bones. As with all the Underworlds warbands, the Mantrappers are very unique to paint up as well as play in the game, giving a taste of painting an ogre, goblins, and a large tiger without having to paint up a whole army (though who could decline an army of tigers?)”
Renee played a quick game of On Tour at the start of Monday Board Game Night. “Every time I’ve played, I’ve played with at least one new player, but I’m not convinced that having played before is any help; every time I play I feel like I’m just as horrible as I was the last time. This game is challenging in the funnest way.”
Renee then played 2 games of Res Arcana with the Lux and Tenebrae expansion, “I’m really enjoying it with this expansion, even more than I already did. One thing the expansion adds is Scrolls. Using a magic item, players can exchange one resource for a scroll which can be used at any time. When you plan ahead, they can be very powerful. It also allows you to play with 5 players – which we did for the first time this week – and it worked very well. The game still moves quickly and I like that it adds a bit more of a sense of chaos to the game. This game just such a fun engine builder, with the cards available to draft each time changing up, the Places of Power being randomized, it creates enough variation that you do feel each time like you have to adapt and make something work. The player interaction is great, not just with the attacks, but the competition for the magic items, scrolls and places of power. In fact, in our second game we discovered that 3 of us were all in a race for the same place of power. Every time we play this, we just have fun.”
Renee ended the evening with a couple of players of The Game Extreme, “After our plays of The Game last week, I decided I wanted to try the extreme version. This one has 28 cards with symbols on them that either impact the player on the turn it is played (must play exactly 3 cards, must cover this card before end of turn), or put a new rule in effect until it is covered (cannot use the backwards 10 rule, players must play all their cards on any one pile). It definitely was more challenging! But still fun like the original.”
Just like any other miniatures game, in Kill Team you’re going to need some terrain for your models to fight over. Often, terrain can take a bit of a back seat to building and painting the miniatures themselves, which is a shame – it’s just as much a part of your game as your models are! Fortunately, the skirmish-sized boards for Kill Team are quite a bit easier to fill with lovely terrain. The options boil down to three main ideas: buy it, build it, or modify it.
This week we get to see Amanda’s finished boat, more painting by Sue and as always, games! Unsurprisingly Greg started his week with more Ganz Schön Clever, “Still playing this pretty regularly and I’d say my scores are slowly improving. It’s just so quick, easy and addictive.” He played again later in the week with disappointing results, ” A bonehead move in the final round meant that despite going into the round with four re-rolls I ended up only being able to take one die and finished the game with a +1 I wasn’t able to use, giving me my lowest ever score at 139. Ouch.”
Did you have a fun Thanksgiving weekend? We did, which explains the late post this week. But here it is, filled with all its gaming and painting goodness!
Another busy week with the folks at The Sentry Box with lots of games, Sue providing insights into her painting projects and books being read.
Greg, Kris and Renee all attended FallCon last weekend and played lots of games. Here we present the games and our observations. Enjoy!
This week we have a lot of games being played by the staff, particularly from those that went to FallCon. We also have some painting and reading.
This past week saw a lot of games hitting the tables of the Sentry Box staff. We also got in some reading: