This week we have a lot of content from the staff stuck at the store in Calgary as well as a slew of games Greg was able to check out at GAMA in Reno.
Renee played Clank! In! Space! with the Apocolypse! expansion at Monday Night Board Gaming. “It was a lot of fun to play this game again and awesome to finally play it as a 4 player game after having only played it with 2 players in the past. I definitely enjoyed it more at the higher count, with more competition on the board and the cards in the market changing with higher frequency. The expansion was great – I loved that it added a different scenario and some additional mechanics to the game, while making the game just feel like a better version of the original. If I ever pick this up, I’ll definitely grab Apocalypse as well. In the scenario we played, as black cubes came out we lost things – including 2 of the 4 escape pods. This made it a tight race to get out, and while I wan’t sure I’d actually escape, I was hoping to at least make it to the Cargo Bay so I wouldn’t die….but one turn away from accomplishing this, Kevin unceremoniously had Lord Eradikus kill both Setareh and me. Oh well, maybe next time.”
“Setarah (white), me (blue), so close to the end when we died. So close. I finished the night with some Ganz Schön Clever and a 5 player game of Las Vegas.”
Greg L played on Episode 3 of Kevin Madison’s Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay stream. “We spent half of the session figuring out how to spend our xp and the second half drowning in the river during a storm.”
On Thursday Renee went to a Boards & Brew event, “I got to play my newest game: Sunflower Valley. Another roll and write, this time you are placing sheep, houses and railroads on your board, but you have to be able to connect them or you gain a lot of negative points. On your turn you take one of the rolled dice and pick one of the colours and then draw the corresponding symbol on your board. Getting the symbols you need AND being able to place them on the coloured hex you want to is challenging. A fun game and it came with a stack of different player boards.”
She also got to play Gizmos again, teaching it to 2 new players. “I went in with a heavy conversion strategy, but without bonus actions when I did a pick or build action, it didn’t pay off as well as I had hoped. I just picked this up to add to my collection and I’m looking forward to getting to play it a bit more to explore some different engine building strategies. Plus who doesn’t love playing with marbles? They are like little round pip-less dice! Speaking of dice, I managed to sneak in another play of Las Vegas. It was the perfect game to play while we ate our meal.”
She finished the evening with another play of Keyflower. “This time it was a 3 player game and with only I having played it before and only once, it was definitely still a learning, discovering game. It worked well at 3 players, although I look forward to playing it more confidently and with more experienced players. This time I at least had a strategy for my village, although I definitely spent way too many meeples acquiring tiles for my village that in the end I didn’t need. I was hoping I would have tiles other players would want to use, but with only 2 other players, that didn’t happen as much as I had hoped it would. I did have a winter tile to add to the auction that rewarded having lots of meeples of the same colour, so kept using red to activate my own tiles and that did work out for me in the end, so I was pretty happy about that. I do really like this game!”
Kris hosted some X-Wing on Friday’s livestream. “I played against a Resistance list with a fun Imperial list featuring Soontir Fel and two TIE Punishers loaded up with Proton Torpedoes. The plan had been to sit in front of the opponents list with the punishers and try to launch salvos of ordnance while Fel got around the flanks but due to the Resistance list all being initiative 5 the Punishers has to go down first. So they spent too long trying to line up shots while the T-70s and RZ-2 A- Wings chipped away at them. It’s still a fun list to use but I definitely need to be more restrained with it next time!”
Friday night Renee played Gloomhaven again. “We decided to re-play the first scenario as last time we only played the first room and we were just focused on familiarizing ourselves with the game. This time went a lot better, although I have to say that I still really feel out of my element with the combat style of game play, but I am enjoying learning the game. We cleared out the first room and headed into uncharted territory.”
“My character getting into the fight and destroying the bandit archers.”
“We did it! Cleared the last room. Well done us!”
Greg L also played Gloomhaven this weekend. “Began our assault on the mountain dragons lair. Wind and Earth elementals guarding the entry pass. We exhausted 2 of the 4 players but managed to overcome the scenario with 2 turns of cards left.”
His character’s sheet is very impressive.
Renee and family played a 6 player game of Rush & Bash. “A fun game that is best described as analog Mario Kart. You play racers that use bombs and missiles to damage your opponents and slow them down. The cards you play and using your star abilities allow you to strategize but like Mario Kart, it is still chaotic madness that makes the game fun. Coming around the bend about a third of the way through the race, it was still a very close race.”
“The turn around the volcano caused some severe damage to a few racers and then Christopher used his special ability to place explosives around a bunch of us causing some crazy chain reactions and it really spread us all out. The damage charged up our abilities which we all started using and it ended up being a fairly tight race.”
Tia played a game of Nemesis. “At the beginning of the game you are given two random objectives, one of which you have to throw away once the first alien spawns. Some of the objectives include killing a particular player, or blowing up the ship, or having every other player dying. Some of the objectives are more cooperative, like having the ship reach earth, or killing the queen, or grabbing an egg and sending a signal (objectives that don’t screw over any other players). This time we all chose cooperative objectives.”
“Everything was going great until we got cornered by the queen and a breeder, and fires started spreading. It was down to the wire, all of us one or two wounds away from death, and the timer on the last turn. We all successfully went into hypersleep and completed our secret objectives! It was very tense and exciting.”
Renee played Noria with her sister. “It has an interesting action wheel which you rotate at the end of each turn to set up the action combinations available to you on your next turn.”
“You can produce resources, travel to get more resource generating ships, build factories that can turn your resources into goods and then use the resources and goods to go up their corresponding tracks on the board. You also have the ability to increase or decrease the potential value of the tracks. It’s a beautiful game and I really enjoyed wheel mechanic. Another game that I look forward to playing to try different strategies.”
For those that have been curious about the games Greg was able to try out at GAMA, the wait is over. Here is his quick overview of a bunch of the games.
Walls of York: A fun abstract game where a die is rolled to determine what wall sections you can place and the idea is to build your wall in such a way as to include a certain number of each building type (determined randomly) and exclude as many Vikings as possible. Once you have completed your wall you’ll earn bonus coins each round until everyone is finished.
Res Arcana: A Tom Lehmann engine building game but where everyone has their own small deck to play as well as some central locations available to everyone. Try to build up combos to generate resources to buy the point cards and race to get to 10 points. Very interesting game.
Finger Guns at High Noon: A silly party game that’s kind of a cross between Rock, Paper, Wizard and Cash & Guns. Each round players use hand gestures on a count of three and are trying to be one of the last players in. When you die you become a ghost and can still win if all players die simultaneously before it gets down to two or less players remaining. Obviously I shot Gord a lot and he died early, with myself and another player sharing victory.
Lanterns Dice: A roll and write version of Lanterns. It uses an interesting dice tray that forces the dice into a 2×2 shape so you can orient them such that each player gets a colour. Then you fill in coloured sections of your pad, trying to create polyomino shapes to set off firework displays, etc.
Wacky Races: A light racing game based on the old cartoon. Players use cards to advance around the track and each racer has special powers they can use. Dick Dasterdly is always a threat and if he gets ahead can leave traps for you to run into.
Point Salad: A card game that is literally a point salad. On your turn either take two vegetable cards or take one scoring card (that scores at the end of the game for certain vegetables or sets of vegetables (including negative points for some vegetables sometimes). Simple but fun.
Hex Roller: Another roll and write, this time where a pool of dice are rolled and you select two values, writing in all numbers of those values that were rolled, making sure that they go adjacent to the same value on your pad. You can score in a variety of ways, such as connecting the two starting points of a given value, filling up all the spaces in a section of the pad, or a kind of set collection based on which values you choose each round.
Reykholt: A new Uwe game that I hadn’t previously got around to playing. Build greenhouses, sow and harvest vegetables and then sell them to customers to advance up the score track. Whoever has advanced the furthest up the track after 7 rounds wins. It’s worker placement but a little on the lighter side compared to some of his games. I enjoyed it a lot.
Tiny Towns: A fun little abstract game that is theoretically playable by an unlimited number of players as long as they have the components. Players take it in turns choosing a resource type and adding it to an empty space on their board. If players get resources in certain orientations they can remove them to build a specific building on one of the spaces. Buildings score points in different ways or give other bonuses. Once a player can no longer play anything they are done and score their board.
War Chest: An interesting chess-like game where players have four different types of units with special powers (out of 16 possible options) and are trying to gain control of spaces on the board. Players pull the unit tokens out of a bag three at a time and can recruit more units during the game. When units attack others they are removed from the game and then the first player to control six of the control spaces wins.
Godsforge: Felt a bit like a cross between Dice Throne and Magic. Players roll their dice trying to make combos needed to play cards such as creatures and spells. Once on the board creatures damage an opposing player (attacks always go left) and spells are one time use.