This is for day 9 of #Blogmas 2020.
This article of mine was originally published in the Board Game Crate booklet that came in their boxes. Now that they are unfortunately no longer trading, here it is again for everybody to enjoy.
Whenever I enter a toy store with my children I always head off over to the aisle that proudly heralds the presence of board games. Every time I have high hopes, and every time I’m faced with a wall of boxes sporting brightly-coloured moulded cheap plastic and labels stating, ‘Whipped cream not included’ or ‘Download the app!”
Now, I remember growing up with games with a lot of moulded plastic, such as Downfall and Guess Who (admittedly nothing I had to shove my face through) and have fond memories of many of them. However, it’s been nearly 25 years since the Settlers of Catan shook up the gaming world. Since then board games have come on leaps and bounds with deck builders, warfare miniatures, card drafters, bluffers, strategy and so on. Not only that, but most gaming styles have offerings that fall into the ‘budget’ price bracket and are easy to play as a family. A Game Of Thrones: Hand of the King, Tsuro, Star Realms and Rumble in the House are just a few examples.
Unfortunately, mainstream toy stores don’t usually stock such things, but will stock yet another Monopoly iteration – latest one I spotted was Fortnite – or Don’t Step In It! which, I suppose, is the natural successor to Doggie Doo…
So have I become a gaming snob or do normal people only consider it a game if it features a randomly flushing plastic toilet?
Five players this week and a very warm welcome to JM, thank you for joining us this evening.
HG didn’t want a late night so we kicked of with a shorter game:
by Repos Production.
We brought HG up to speed with the rules and play commenced.
Cards were played, resources were paid for, wonders were built, armies were raised and a good time was had by all.
At the game’s conclusion the final scores were:
|Civic Building VPs
|Commercial Building VPs
|Scientific Structure VPs
DA for the win!
HG took her leave and JM was very decisive in choosing
by Gamelyn Games.
After going over the rules for JM those space dice started to roll.
DA was the first to acquire a planet, and the next, and the next.
JM unfortunately didn’t quite realise how planets worked until near the end of the game so it should be noted that she would have down much better had we picked up on that sooner.
In the end it was MC who passed the 21 VP mark first (also his secret mission was to end the game). Being the last player of the round, the game ended there and then.
Kudos to MC!
Next up we played
by Calliope Games
We really enjoyed this last week playing with 2 ships each, so we did it again here.
We played two games.
Despite the death-wish the dragons had, eating each other and leaping of the board, KV lost both his ships very early on. MC was the last to have a single ship afloat.
The dragon’s self-destructive behaviour continued in the second game. However they were still voracious enough to eliminate JM then both of MC’s ships at once. DA and KV doggedly persevered for a goodly while until DA found he couldn’t steer and ended up in the belly of a dragon.
Horay for KV! It only took 5 games to see victory!
To round off the evening we played
by Flatlined Games
DA really has it in for that guy in the chicken suit.
KV and MC raced ahead and were neck and neck at the end of round 2 at 19 points apiece.
Unfortunately for MC it all fell apart when both his housemates were eliminated very early on gaining him only 2 more points. The final standing housemate belonged to no one, but KV was the first runner up.
Huzzah for KV!
Thanks to all our players for a fantastic year of playing games.
May you all have a very merry Christmas and hope to see you all again in the new year.
Five of us this week.
With DA and HG turning up first, SC briefly joined us is a quick round of Sushi Go, during which KV and PH turned up.
by Moonster Games was the game of eventual choice.
DA played as the blue Sharks, the obvious go-to choice for an anthropomorphic race of water-dwelling beings.
HG played as the purple Goblins
KV played as the orange Reptilians who think a dragon is a hot-air balloon
MC played as the white scantily-clad ice-dwelling Amazons who are presumably well-versed in the phrase “Freezing your tits off.”
PH played as the yellow tree elf-like Shibuke
This was a new one to all of us, but we quickly got to grips with the rules and the collection of cubes and tokens commenced. The bag of cubes gradually emptied as the white cube – Ryū’s Tear – refused to come out. Finally, as the penultimate cube, Ryū’s Tear made its first appearance. Having enjoyed the limelight Ryū’s Tear then proceeded to make a reappearance on average every other turn. It went from being eagerly anticipated to highly annoying, regardless of how much we shook the bag up.
PH ended the game by completing his dragon.
HG and KV had completed 4 dragon pieces each with DA and MC only managing 3 pieces each.
I must confess, I was a little concerned with this one. I had picked it up from The Works on a whim (£15 made it so tempting), and then heard less than flattering reviews for it. However, despite it lacking a little something, it actually played perfectly fine.
HG then bowed out leaving the four of us to have a
by Flatlined Games.
It’s worth mentioning that DA achieved the in-house low of 3 points in the second round.
MC was the winner after the three rounds.
Next up was
by Gamewright Games.
A new one to PH.
Well done DA.
To finish, we played three rounds of
by Calliope Games.
We each controlled 2 ships each.
the first game was the longer-lasting one, with DA being the first to lose both boats. The dragon population dwindled to 3 while PH and MC fought to keep on sailing. In the end PH found himself with no good choices left and ended up in the belly of a dragon. A win for MC.
The second game saw KV place his ship next to MC’s on a corner. MC’s first tile placement moved KV’s ship off the board. KV’s second ship wasn’t far behind. To make up for their lack in the previous game, the dragons increased their number to a total of 9.
The remaining dinghies that were dancing with death were eaten in a significant dragon move, leaving a solitary boat belonging to DA afloat. A win for DA.
The third game saw a collection of 6 boats placed adjacent to each other. Chaos ensued leaving MC boatless. There was much less dragon action this time round, though a few extra were added dueing the game. In the end PH again managed to find both his ships in a tight spot, but held in just long enough to have the last boat intact.
A win for PH.
What a great evening of games.
If you are local to Bedford and fancy having a go at a board game that isn’t Monopoly or Pie Face, then check out our FAQ page to find out how.
Three of us this week. DA’s been dying to play Fantasy Flight Games’
since he got it a year ago. I decided to indulge him, this time.
Once set-up was completed, we had a quick game of DogEared Games’
while waiting for PH, who dutifully turned up mid-game.
DA went on to decimate MC who can’t work out where it went so horribly wrong.
So now onto Dune…I mean Rex, that what I meant.
After DA explained the rules (it seems that there’s a lot we can’t do with only 3-players), PH (Blue Federation of Sol) kicked off, quickly dominating the Influence available and taking control of a Stronghold. DA (Red Lazax Empire) consolidated his forces on one Stronghold. MC (Purple Universities of Jol-Nar), who got to start on a Stronghold, attempted to wrest the Influence from PH but died horribly in the attempt. Sol’s Dreadnought Fleet (an overly elaborate set-piece that kept falling apart but basically does what the Luggage does in Guards! Guards!) did its thing – and fell apart.
DA and PH battled it out over the central Stronghold with PH eventually coming out on top and MC taking it from him before losing to DA.
The final turn saw Sol’s Dreadnought Fleet effectively block PH’s forces on a forcefield world and created a wall separating his remaining troops. DA suffered from the lack of forces, on board. In a masterful double-move, courtesy of an Informant card, MC retook the central Stronghold off of DA then deployed his remaining forces on DA’s first and as-yet uncontested Stronghold annihilating every single one of DA’s forces.
A solid win for MC and consolation prize to PH with one Stronghold held.
DA got to play his game.
To finish we thought we’d play a quick game of Calliope Games’
During round 2 I took this snap moments before the dragons moved and ate DA and MC:
Well done PH for a magnificent bit of playing there.
After deciding that the ‘quick game’ was perhaps a mite too quick, we had a second round.
This one lasted a little longer, with DA getting eating by the dragons moving first, shortly followed by MC.
Huzzahs for PH!