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

Renee and Jenn got Creature Comforts by local designer Roberta Taylor to the table. “This game is already very cute, in an Everdell kind of way, but the Kickstarter version with upgraded wooden components and custom Gametrayz is just beautiful. You play over 8 seasons, gathering resources to build comforts and improvements for points. Players simultaneously place their workers on the board, however, you need to spend dice to activate each location successfully. But the thing is, when you place your workers, you only know the values of your 2 family dice and you’re forced to risk your choices on the results of the remaining 4 village dice. This results in some rounds feeling highly successful and other rounds just not going your way. There are ways to mitigate your risk, either through powers granted by built improvements or tokens which allow you to alter the value of the dice. Jenn and I both really enjoyed the resulting choices we were forced to make each round, struggling to commit to riskier choices that may pay off big over safer options. We definitely had a lot of fun playing this and are looking forward to playing it again.”

Sean cracked open the Army Painter Speed Paint set and gave it a try:

I doodled on this pugnacious Reaper Dwarf fightin’ lady. I was interested to see what results I could achieve with the ‘one coat and done’ claim by Army Painter. I primed her with matt white brush on from Army Painter. Here you can see the results. I’m pretty happy what I accomplished in 20 minutes. The Speed Paints have a good consistency and doesn’t run readily. You can squoosh them around to manage shadow and highlights. The drying is reasonably quick so I didn’t have too much bleeding of paints into each other.

There are some colours I am in love with. The Fire Giant Orange, which I used on her hair is brilliant, run and get a bottle. The Ember Red which I used on her shield rune is also a solid paint, though the picture does not do it justice. High fives to the Hardened Leather and Pallid Bone, everyone will get a lot of mileage out of these. The Grey (which I used on her metal bits) and the Purple are both deep and intense. They’ll shine on large surfaces. I am merely whelmed by the Highlord Blue I used on her kilt, but those who collect the popular lines of Ubermensch Galactic Troopers will find this shade useful. It does well on flat surfaces. The Orc Skin is green. That is it’s sole virtue. I am displeased with how the skin turned out. The hue is decent but it’s not as smooth as I’d like. Looks blotchy. I will varnish and repaint. I’ll try it on a few other figs with different undercoat. The Zealot Yellow which I used for her base is an interesting shade, not sure what to do with it…might be good monster hide.

Do you want the Starter Set?  Yeah, I think its a decent range for popular fantasy applications. Price is right too. Best advice I’ve ever received about painting was never to limit yourself to only one line of paints. Rather, view each shade on it’s own merit and application. Using this advice, most painters will find some fun stuff in here. The included brush is also very, very nice. I look forward to getting some of the more subdued colours and see I can exploit them for historicals. As far as ‘one and done’, I’m mixed. If I was painting 30 Maggies (as I’ve named her) sure, that’s perfect. Once I get my flesh technique more gooder I’d probably be happy with this as a PC fig. I have painted much worse, in longer time, so very, very often.

Renee played through the Cantaloop adventure Breaking into Prison. “This is a solo adventure game, billed as an analogue version of an old school point-and-click adventure, and it holds true. The game is presented in a book filled with locations – pictures with items and people with whom you can interact – and conversations which further the story. As you collect items, you can use them in the locations, or give them to people, using a code system which reveals your next piece of information. All info is either in the book at the relevant location, or in an inventory sheet, hidden behind red text so you can only read it when you place the red decoder over it. The story is decent and they added a lot of dad joke level humour to the game, especially when you try combining random items. There are 2 tangents of the story each with their own goals, so you find yourself going back and forth a bit. As you achieve each element of the story you check off a box in the grid, and this is used by the game to figure out where you are in the story. It’s one of those games where you have a bunch of items, a bunch of locations and you’re trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be doing next; there were definitely times when I felt stuck, so I was very grateful for the help system which based on where you are in story, tells you what your next objective is and then if you need it, starts giving you some hints about how to achieve it. But just knowing what I was supposed to be focusing on was a big help. I was afraid I would find it all too fiddly, that it would just be easier if it was a video game, but I ended up enjoying the experience of curling up on the sofa and just making my way through it. There is a lot of game play – I think it took me about 8-10 one hour sessions over a few weeks. I don’t think this is for everyone, but I liked it.”

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

Sue finished her first Escher for Necromunda. “She is from the Death Maiden/ Wyld Runner box, but her arms are from the Weapons & Upgrades kit.  I gave her a Sisters of Battle head. I painted this model to table top quality using mostly Contrast Paints. I primed her with Grey Seer and colored her skin with Kislev Flesh. I used a thinned down black Contrast Paint (thinned with Contrast Medium) to paint her leather clothes. I thought that the black Contrast Paint over the Grey Seer would make a pretty nice looking quick leather. I put an extra coat of the thinned down Contrast paint between the straps to differentiate between the black pants and the black straps. The yellow pieces are Contrast Paint also. I added the blue streaks to her hair to make her look more punky.”

Greg and his group played a four player game of Space Base this time, “I think it makes it more tempting to buy lots of cheap ships so you have more deployed for potential use on opponent’s turns. I ended up getting a bunch of ships for the middle numbers so I was hitting them quite often. Then I saw the ‘Win the Game’ ship and decided to go for it because the others hadn’t really got victory point engines going and I was also able to get a few ships that would help me bump up the dice roll so that I could hit that ‘Win the Game’ ship in the 12 slot. It was slow going, and Matt ended up making it to 40 points on my turn, but it was just as I got the final charge on that card and was able to use it to win! A rare occurrence but a satisfying one!”

Greg also played some Sushi Go. “I always seem to do badly at this game but this time I resisted the early sashimi and opted for nigiri and maki rolls. Scoring was pretty close throughout, and at the very end I had managed to win, tying for most puddings, with Tracy losing 6 points for having the least. That proved decisive as she otherwise would have won.”

Greg provides his weekly Agricola game update. “I drafted some fun cards in this game, with synergy between them. However, they really worked better as cards for if I was the start player, which unfortunately I was not. I opted to still stick with playing them though, it just took more time and effort. They did work pretty well, scoring me a decent 48 points overall, but it was probably a mistake to stick with my initial plan and not play more tactically. Tracy meanwhile avoided the trap of the grain strategy that she often goes with, and played a stronger game, denying me early clay, getting a fireplace and the early sheep, and otherwise having a solid game plan. At the end when I looked at her farm I knew I might be in trouble and it turned out to be a close victory for her 50 to 48. She sometimes gets demoralised playing this against me as I usually win, but this time she played a good game, the practice paid off and she got a deserved win.”

Renee and Jenn finally got around to trying out Isle of Cats and ended up playing several games over the weekend. “We were expecting to enjoy this game and it absolutely lived up the expectations. Each round you do some card drafting, then have to decide which cards to purchase, and how many fish to use to do so, in order to get you baskets to save cats or collect treasures to add to your boat, play anytime cards that give you extra actions or abilities as well as end gaming scoring objectives. Of course, you need to make sure you still have enough fish left over to actually save some cats with the baskets you purchased! It’s a great combination of hand and fish management combined with the puzzle of filling your boat with rescued cats in order to meet your scoring objectives. I also really appreciated how much the end game scoring objectives you purchased in the game changed how to played the game. In the first game I just tried to fill my boat with cat families and in another game I ended up getting even more points by leaving the entire middle of my boat empty. Such a fun game!”

Kris used the last of his Sentry Box BBQ Sauce to make some Pulled Pork. “I got some Pork Tenderloin from a local butcher (Ernest Meats, I use them all of the time and their meat is locally sourced, great quality and they deliver to Cochrane!) I applied a dry rub to the pork, mixed with Chopped Garlic, lime juice and some salt and pepper and left it to marinade for 4 hours. I then preheated the oven to 450°f and cooked for 25 minutes in a covered oven dish turning once. After letting the pork rest for 5 minutes I roughly sliced it and added it to the slow cooker, added the Sentry Box Red Dragon BBQ Sauce a table spoon of Tomato Puree and a tea spoon of brown sugar and cooked on low in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours. I had mine on a Scottish Flowered Bap with lots of Butter and cheese, but it serves well as a rice dish too. Can’t wait for a restock of the Sauce in time for summer as that was the last of my stash!”

Renee and family did an unboxing and introductory evening of Return to Dark Tower! This game’s primary feature of course is the tower, which lights up, turns and makes sound, which delighted Christopher and had even us adults amused. You play using an app, to which the tower connects, so that dropping skulls in the tower at the end of your turn triggers events and such in the app, and as the adventure progresses, causes the tower to shift and spit out skulls, or light up gates to remove revealing glyphs which impact gameplay. The board itself is a map on which the players – each playing a different character with varying abilities – move around, cleansing the board of skulls, battling foes, exploring dungeons and completing quests. The quests, battles and dungeons are all handled in the app so the board itself is quite simple. We only played about half a scenario but enough to understand all the basic elements of gameplay. We’re pretty sure we weren’t following all the rules so next step is to review all the rules before trying to actually play the entire first scenario.

Greg and his group got A Feast for Odin back to the table again. “In our regular game we ended up with just three players. I decided to go for a whaling strategy, and only got myself one extra island, focusing mostly on filling the main board. I also did a bit of immigration and got myself a longhouse to use up some of the extra food I was getting. It did score me much better than the last game, earning 110 points, but still not enough to keep up with Matt’s pillaging.”

Greg got the fantastic The Quacks of Quedlinburg to the table. “Somehow Tracy had never actually played this, so I must have had all my previous games of it at The Sentry Box or some other game night. We played the first ingredient set since it was Tracy’s first game, and it had been a while for me so it was good to keep it fairly straightforward. I was reminded several times during the course of this game how much my skill I have in being able to draw the one chip from many that is the only one that will cause me to explode. I truly do have a gift for it. As it turns out though, it happened in the middle of the game when it perhaps had less impact than if it had happened towards the end. In fact I was behind the whole game but in the last round Tracy exploded and I was able to come from behind and sneak a close victory.”

Kris finally got to learn one of the games he picked up at the GAMA Trade Show. “Lost Ones is an interactive story adventure game. My character Maeve, woke up after being kidnapped by the Fae and is searching for a way home. So far I spoke with some spooky trees who filled me in on the gossip and told me that if I can awaken their brethren, they may be able to open a portal back to my world, then I met a delightful water spirit who told me that up in the north west there was something that would let me breath underwater, and that sounded cooler than going home, so I went and found a dwarven city, stole a key that will open any door and then had a sleep. (It was a busy day after all!) The mechanics are really simple, just set collection from an ability deck to overcome challenge levels for different encounters, but hand management is important as if you ever run out of cards you lose. The art work and feel of the game is really nice, and it has the dark undertones of traditional fairy tales so probably not one I will be playing with Evie any time soon, but I am looking forward to continuing my quest to find my way home (and be able to breathe underwater, obviously…)”

Kickstarter Update – APRIL 16

Today we bring you another update on our Kickstarters. During the last month we’ve received 4 Kickstarter projects at the store and backed 4 additional projects. If you want to be updated when new products – including Kickstarters – arrive at Sentry Box, follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  If you are interested in a project below, contact us at the store for more info, prices or to be added to the pre-orders list. It works just like any other pre-order at the store, you only pay when you pick up the game. This is a great way to get your hands on some of the most popular Kickstarter games without having to pay upfront and you don’t have to pay for shipping. Plus you get double points on all pre-orders!

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

Greg played Space Base. “We wanted something fairly simple and easy to teach so I suggested Space Base and we ended up playing a couple of three player games. If you like engine-building dice games then you should definitely check this one out – I prefer it over Machi Koro as I feel like there’s a little bit more going on. In the first game I got a few Victory point generating cards and was able to creep up towards the 40 point target while the others were still building their engines. In the second game I didn’t get much going early on and then slowly started catching up with some high point and gold generation but it was too little too late. I enjoy the different options that come up each game and the fact that you can focus more on your own rolls or on improving your situation for the other player’s turns. It’s just a fun, relaxing game!”

Greg is not sure what his plan was in his game of A Feast for Odin but whatever it was it didn’t work. “I did play 10 occupation cards and had some synergy in them but not enough for me to really capitalize on them. I made a mistake late on when I discovered another island instead of just focusing on what I already had. It was a pretty low scoring game all round so nobody ran away with it but Matt did win again.”

Tracy and Greg played another game of Tabannusi, trying to make sure Greg gets the rules down properly. “It is a game that’s pretty straightforward but you need to make sure you remember all the bonus abilities you have. I had a vague plan but ended up getting distracted by other things. In the end Tracy managed her plans a bit better and got a second urban card that meant she won by 9 points. I did feel like the game ended a bit quicker this time, just down to the order we did things and the actions we chose to do. I did enjoy it and want to explore it some more.”

What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – March 28-April 3

Sue finished the UR-025 Robot from the Blackstone Fortress Box Set. “I love the retro look of this robot, and I painted it similar to the one on the GW website as I felt that 1950s appliance green really does compliment the retro look of this model. I thought Gauss Blaster Green was the perfect choice for that color. I did end up painting along the panel lines with a thinned down black wash to make the panels stand out more. I think this Robot may be the darling of this box set, but honestly I think that there are tonnes of great and unique models in the box and that Blackstone Fortress is totally worth getting. Additionally, you can use most of these models in the 2018 version of Kill Team. I intend to add this guy to an upcoming Adeptus Mechanicus Kill Team.”

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Maximum Arbitration Part 3.5: ‘Game Week One’, Did You Remember To Generate Territories?

Let’s face it, there is a lot to do to get a campaign of Necromunda properly off the ground. Both our ‘basic’ and ‘advanced’ campaigns use Territories, and each individual Hive will be required to generate some before games can begin…informing players about the area of YYC Hive that they call home, and also so players know what they are fighting over!

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – March 21-27

Greg played Tabannusi: Builders of Ur, another game in the ‘T’ series of games, following in the footsteps of Tzolk’in, Teotihuacan, Tawantinsuyu and Tekhenu. “It has the hallmarks of the other games in that it’s a historically themed mid to heavy Euro-style game. Players send their architect and assistant out to the different districts of the board to build buildings, create gardens, gain influence on ships at the port and help build the Ziggurats. The dice system is an interesting one that makes you plan your moves ahead as you choose a die at your location and will move to the numbered location on the die for next turn. As is often the case it felt like I had lots I wanted to do and not enough time to do it all, so you really have to try to maximise your turns. I look forward to playing again!”

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Maximum Arbitration Part 3: ‘Game Week One’, Getting to Know YYC Hive

Hives are at the same time part termite mound, teeming with people, as well as industrial super centres, humming with production. The main exports of YYC Hive are the ichorous black secretion known as Sump Ink, used in the lubrication rites of the machine priests across countless worlds, and delicious and sustaining Malk, derived from the giant Holstein Beetles grown and processed in the assorted hole-steads surrounding the hive proper.

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What have The Sentry Box staff been up to – March 14-20

Tracy and Greg played another two player game of Agricola. “This time there were a bunch of cards providing clay, or discounts on clay, and then the Large Pottery. Those led me into just building one wooden room before renovating, which let me build fences earlier and still get another room using clay. It turned out pretty well, and I was able to get a bunch of bonus points from the Large Pottery, as well as good points across the board and the full five family members.”

Tracy and Greg got paired together in a game of Spades. “It started badly as we failed to make our bid in the first hand. It was a bit of a topsy turvy game, with me calling and making a Nil bid in the second hand but then we failed our bid again in the third hand. Matt and Lani had been making their bids but also picking up bags along the way, and then when I called and made a second Nil bid and we forced them over 10 bags the tides started to turn. In the end we completed a great comeback, winning 548 to 331!”

This is the first completed model in Chris’ Genestealer Cult gang for our upcoming Store Necromunda Campaign beginning next month. “As I had played Van Saar in the previous league, I wanted to go with something a bit more rag-tag, but with perhaps a bit more balance between shooting and melee capability. Given that I’d hit upon the name Radiant Dawn as sufficiently cult-sounding, bright orange robes seemed to fit the theme and also offer a nice contrast to the creepy purplish skin and carapace. Now that I have the colors worked out, it’s on to production-line painting for the rest of the gang.”

Christopher came to the store to visit Renee and very excitedly picked up his own copy of the D&D Monster Manual. “He’s not looking to DM anytime soon, but just wanted his own copy so he could learn about all the monsters. He’s been pouring over it, reading all the details on the various monsters and creatures, looking at their stats and is very happy with his purchase. Of course this means there’s even more “Did you know?” starts to conversations. Not that I’m complaining because in this case, as someone who does not play D&D, I have to admit, I did not know.”

Maximum Arbitration Part 2: Rules, Rules, Rules!

Starting in April, The Sentry Box will be hosting a Necromunda league. Whilst the store arbitrated league will use the ‘basic’ package we discussed last time, and is simply a Dominion campaign with a few house rules here and there. Players wishing to step up and Arbitrate their own Hive as part of the league may want to consider this more ‘advanced’ package.

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