Sunday, 23 December 2007

Game night, December

The crowd was small due to extenuating circumstances, so we all gathered around one table to play some games.

The first game we played was the third in the Ticket to Ride series, Ticket to Ride: Marklin. The big differences between Marklin and the others are a) the cards are full size b) there are two separate stacks for long and short tickets (this allows you choice anytime over which kind of tickets you want) c) passengers d) +4 wildcards e) passenger cards f) no tunnels or ferries.

When you set up Marklin you place counters on each city varying from one 2 pointer to a stack of 4 with the numbers 4-7 on them. The game proceeds as normal but on your turn when you place a train, you can chose to place a passenger at either end of the freshly laid track. On a subsequent turn you are allowed to move the passenger along your tracks or along an opponent's track for every passenger card played. The only two restrictions are (and I never realised my rules were incorrect) that you cannot start a passenger in a foreign country (only in Germany) and you cannot pick up a token on your starting city.
The +4 wildcards are used as wildcards but only on routes that are 4 train lengths or longer. they act exactly like wild cards but you can pick up a second card when you pick one up (unlike regular wild cards).

The game was fairly close, Robert took off to an early lead but never managed to hold on as John "Train to Zone" won 179-175 over Lenora. The difference in the victory was that I managed to complete 7 trips and took home the +10 for most completed trips. The final scores were:
John 179
Lenora 175
Tim 171
Brenda 137
Robert 72

The winner picked the next game so I chose Formula Motor Racing, we did a three race game with John Prost managing to maintain a slim lead after three races over Brenda Schuhmacher. Tim Foyt managed to trash both of Lenora's cars in the first race and one each of Robert's over the next three that they spent a lot of time wrecking Tim's plans. The final scores were:
John 23
Brenda 15
Tim 13
Robert 12
Lenora 9

I was still picking so I picked Bohnanza, the bean trading game. This was a very close game with Robert "I have some chili, looking for some stink" coming out over Brenda and I by one point. Tim trailed us by 2 and Lenora was one point behind that. We played with all the beans in play, so there was coffee included. The final scores were:
Robert 17
Brenda 16
John 16
Tim 14
Lenora 13

Robert, as winner, got to pick the next game so he chose Poison. He didn't do very well at it, having more points at the end of the first round then Brenda did by the end of the game. One thing I do dislike about this game is the packaging, there is absolutely no reason to palce those cauldrons in the game except to raise the price. The final scores were:
Brenda 14
John 18
Tim 23
Lenora 33
Robert 44

Brenda won so she picked For Sale as our final game of the night. Lenora opted to sit this one out so we played 4 player. Robert the Real Estate Baron got the gold blazer in this one, eking out a 2,000 dollar win over Century Timmy One. Brenda and I brought up the rear. The final scores were:
Robert 63,000
Tim, 61,000
Brenda 52,000
John 52,000

The next game night will be in January, I am just not sure when yet.
Thanks to everyone that came out this year and I hope you all have a good Christmas and a gaming New Year!

Sunday, 16 December 2007

HeroQuest and Advanced HeroQuest

I miss playing these two classic games of dungeoncrawling and I would like to get back into playing them on a moderately regular basis. I have the basic game for Heroquest as well as the basic game (and every White Dwarf related to it) of Advanced Heroquest.

For the uninitiated, these are both miniatures based "light" role playing games. They use either a board (Heroquest) or tiles (Advanced Heroquest) that the players dungeoncrawl through. The game plays best with 4 explorers and one GM. I would like to run this maybe once or twice a month if there was any demand for it. Ideally what I am looking for is 3-4 peopple. If the demand is high enough I can run it for two separate groups. A game session is usually 2-3 hours so it will work for any evening.

Either post your interest here or drop me an email to my gmail account (bgamegeekATgmailDOTcom).

Thursday, 29 November 2007

it's Game, night, November!

There was a small crowd of us that night, only 6 people (including myself) and we played 5 different games.

The night started with four of us, we played Shear Panic, including teaching it to one other. The game was a close one, with Lenora "Ewe guys suck!" eliminated in the first shearing and both John "Panic Attack" and Tim "Ewe know ewe like it" each losing one. I eventually won the game by 4 points.

Brett and Robert showed up about a third of the way through so they played Ruk Shuk, the game of rock piling. Robert "Stoner" won, beating Brett.

We all combined into one large group and played a game that was supposed to be here for Hallowe'en but arrived the Monday after, Mall of Horror, a horror themed auction game. John "Zombie King" won by sacrificing Marked "for death"'s cheerleader on the last round to stay alive.

Gane four of the night was Munchkin Cthulhu, my favourite of the Munchkin clan. Lenora "Yog Shoggoth" won, by using the brilliant play of sacrifing her roommate to the Great Old Ones. One of the players comments about Munchkin Cthulhu is that he does not like the quick ending of the Cultists, instead he prefers the longer games because the game is not about winning or losing but instead is about the game itself.

Two players left so we finished up with three games of Formula Motor Racing. John Andretti won the first game, but Lenora "I can't drive 55" rocked the next two and finished with double the points of 2nd and 3rd. Mark "Roadkill" finished well out of the race.

The next game night is Decmeber 15th or 22nd. Let me know which date you prefer. I will send out an update email as of the 8th, so you have a week.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Christmas and gaming

I know all of you here are anxiously trying to figure out what to get your non gaming family, or your friends that you want to get gaming. Many of these games will work for gamers as well.

The BGG Gift Guide lists quite a few games, some I have no knowledge of (Kids games) and others I like (Hive) or hate (Settlers of Catan).

One thing you have to understand about purchasing games for other people, particularly non gamers, is that your giftee may not like games, or you may have to teach them it. Don't be disheartened though, you will get someone that likes the game you purchase and will want to play it with you.

A second point you should understand is what kind of game you should purchase.

If they like group activities you should purchase party games like Apples to Apples, or Wits and Wagers. These are both games that scale well to larger groups and can involve gamers and non gamers.

If they are more of a small group person (just close friends and family), look at games like Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride (the original), or Ingenious. These will provide both an opportunity to play a game and still socialise.

If they are the sort of person that likes 2 player games, Lost Cities is ok (I prefer Battle Line) or Hive. If they have an interest in either war or fantasy, I would suggest something from the Commands & Colors series by Richard Borg, either Battle Lore or Memoir '44 would be a great 2 player game. These games are both fast playing (30-45 minutes perside) games that use miniatures that are graphically appealing and it is fun to play.

There is also a subset of games that seems to work well for groups of non gamers as well. These are the "racing" games. The more popular ones are Formula De', which simulates Formula One racing using dice and a gear system, this scales from 2-10. I find the game drags a little with 10 though and I think the sweetspot is 4-6. Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix, which is more of a card management system that still allows you to feel like you are racing, it scales from 2-6. This is a different game depending on how many players are in the game. Lastly, in the car category, there is Formula Motor Racing, a card driven racing game from GMT Games that is suited for 3-6, but using the optional rules you can play with 2.

There are some non automotive racing games as well. The first would be the Really Nasty Horseracing Game, in this game you own a horse in a series of steeplechase events and you are trying to collect the most money. You are allowed to bet on which horse finishes first and you are allowed to influence the end of the race using various cheat cards. The last race game I am going to mention is Fearsome Floors. This is a game in which I think the theme is wonderfully married to the game mechanics. You play a group of people trying to escape from a dungeon with a monster in it. The movement system is unique and this is a great game.

The whole point of this is to encourage others to learn and enjoy games, so you may want to get a game that you would be excited to teach and you think they would be excited to play. Who knows, in a couple of years you may be playing Power Grid with them

Friday, 16 November 2007

Game night in Tuscany

I tend to bring light games to Tuscany as I never know who is going to show up, but most tend to be learning the game for the first time. This time we had a grand total of 12 show up, with 9 originally and 3 stragglers.

Mark took 4 over to one table to play Princes of Florence, a game I have never played, so I will not describe it.

I took the other 3 over to a different table and taught/learned Formula Motor Racing, a quick race game that is more about card control and light strategy then actual racing. I liked the game in my first play of it, and it looks like others did as well, as it showed up as a filler for the PoF group after they had finished. I was leading until the final round and then all my cars exploded and I finished last.

The second game we played, now with 7 players, was Bang! This game was new to 3 of the players as well, so it was another teaching session game. The game went well, with 4 of the players being new. The sherriff was in an enviable position, with the renegade to her left and the deputies both to her right. The Sherriff win, with only the Sherriff and a Deputy surviving until the end.

We switched to another card game, Bohnanza, with one player dropping out to join the other group. Something about his wife being in the other group... Bohnanza was a close fought game with the final scoring being 14-14-13-13-12-10.

Formula Motor Racing was the first game played by the PoF group, switching to Fiji, which made their brains bleed, and San Juan when they were down to four players.

Our table had a couple of more players leave, so Brenda and I taught Poison to Greg. He is not big on math games, but I think he enjoyed it just the same.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Planning for Mayday

Mayday is in May, appropriately enough May 2nd and 3rd, and I have agreed to run a mini-tourney for Commands & Colors:Ancients. The current plan is to allow 6 people to play, with them rotating between boards and scenarios. When Mayday arrives I will have the Expansions 2 and 3 for it as well.

I am not really sure if this is a tourney with prizes or a tourney for fun, as I only agreed to do this as of today.

My current plan would be to run a tourney using one of two options; either a scenario from each expansion, or a string of linked scenarios. I created a series of linked scenarios for BattleLore at Fallcon, but I am not as interested in doing it for Commands & Colors. This is mainly due to my desire for it to be accurate and in a fantasy game like BattleLore, anything you do is accurate.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Tide of Iron

Jay came over tonight and we played a game of Tide of Plastic Iron, a WWII game by Fantasy Flight. The game is less complex than serious wargames like Panzer Grenadier, or ASL, but it is more complex then the current crop of Card Drive Plastic (CDP) games like Memoir '44.

I had originally purchased ToI to game with my brother-in-law and his son, both of home are interested in the bigger style games. They were down in Sepember, but I was unable to play much due to work demands. I am glad I finally did get this played!

We played the first scenario as a learning game and boy did we ever learn! The second turn we learn that you should bunch your units together for concentrated fire, on later turns we both realised that for the Germans to win they need to rush the barriers. I had thought that I was doomed by the third turn, Jay was pounding my units everywhere. My strength was that I had 7 reinforcements by the end of the 7th turn and two more to play on the 8th. My total count of units at the end of the game was 6, which means Jay had killed all my units at least once! Jay's advantage was that he got 2 initiative markers/turn and always went first after the first turn.

Suppressive fire works well, Jay used the staggered approach. What he would do is use either his mortar or his tank to supress a block and then hit it piecemeal with other units. When you first supress a unit, the next unit to supress them disrupts it and a third unit will cause a rout. This means it takes a minimum of three hits to kill a unit using supression and a maximum of 5.

The reason I think Jay lost was because he was agressive in the first 4 turns and then got too defensive as he realised I kept pulling units out as reinforcements. I think if he had maintained his agression he could have won on the 8th turn.

I like this game, I think it has plenty of replayability and is good to look at, I will take a picture from the next time we play to show you the immenseness of the board. The time it took for Jay and I to play, from cracking the box and reading the rules to taking the game down in about 3 hours. I think when we are both comfortable with the rules we can play it in about 2.

The downside of the game is that the pieces are a little hard to click together, it is fiddly in that respect. On BGG it has been suggested that you should drill out the holes a little, but others state you only need to wait and play the game a few times and they will click in and out easily. I guess I can wait a while...

I would rate this game a 7.5 out of ten after the first play. Once I am comfortable building units and the pieces click together, it could go up. If you are ever interested in playing it, the rules can be downloaded here

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

National Games Week

is the 18th-24th of November. I think we should get together to play some games... a lot of games.

I would like to have at least two days/nights/ periods of times where I (or any of you) game that week, plus the games night (which is the 24th).

Since the magazine that formerly was the major player behind Games day, I doubt there will be much in the way of emphasis put on it this year.

Is anyone interested in maybe a night (or two) of games? I would like to crank out some of the longer ones, maybe A Game of Thrones or one of the Soldier Kings games?

Friday, 2 November 2007

It was a dark and stormy night

when the witches coven met.

No wait, it was the Hallowe'en gaming spectcular and we had a total group of thirteen people arrive. Yes that is correct, 13 people!

People arrived in a staggered format, so as I explained the rules to Werewolf to the first group even more arrived, so I explained them again.

We did play 4 games of Werewolf to start the night, and since the group was so much larger than normal we took longer then the usual 20 minutes, well except for the first game where the wolves mowed down the villagers like grass. The villagers pulled it together later and with some brilliant play by Brett as the seer they killed the werewolves in short order. I introduced the little girl, the witch and the sorceror over the course of the games. Brendan used the "I can't be the werewolf because I have a magic (candy) ring" defence which worked for him as the warlock, Brenda tried it as well, but the villagers didn't believe her. The games balanced out to two villager wins and two werewolf wins. I guess we should have had a tiebreaker but we didn't.

We split into two groups then, with the upstairs group playing Munchkin Cthulhu and the rest of us heading downstairs to play Fearsome Floors.

The Fearsome fivesome plus one played with Brenda "I am not sending Furunkulus after you" winning after Rick managed to get his man killed right at the exit. There was a fascinating flood of fleeing fugitives fighting for floor to freedom when the game ended. The game ended in the first round, so no one was permanently removed.

Munchkin Cthulhu went considerably longer and ended about an hour after the Fearsome fivesome (plus one) finished fleeing. Steve "Son of Shub-Niggurath" won after prolonging the agony of his competitors.

Then he ground their bones to paste and ate them...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Game night, a review

Last Saturday was our monthly game night and it was attended by 9 different players, who played 10 different games.

The first game of the night was one I had purchased earlier in the day, so I quickly read it and taught it to a group of five. Everyone seemd to enjoy Formula Motor Racing, a quick auto racing game by Reiner Knizia. Tim Andretti won over his four competitors.
The other table hosted a game called The Really Nasty Horseracing Game, and I am sure Brendan would agree, as his horses finished twice in 6 steeplechase events. The idea behind the game is to make the most money while crippling your opponent's chances of winning. Brenda "The Fixer" won this by easily outdistancing the rest of us.
The main table hosted For Sale which was won by Real Eastate Magnate, Robert. They then switched to a four player game of Munchkin Cthulhu, and by continuously shrieking:
"That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die"

during the other player's turns, Brett "I wish I was in R'lyeh" won.
At the quieter, less cultist table we played a game of Fiji, a game where you use cheap beads to impress the natives into giving you head... Shrunken heads from other less successful visitors. Brenda "I used to be a fixer, now I just lop off their heads" won her second game of the night.
The Cultists were still chanting "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn", so we started a game of Ticket to Ride: Europe, which Tracey had never played. She learned the hard way that Brenda "Train to zone!" was a master of it as she beat the second place finsher by over twenty points.
One of the problems that plagued us all night was that we could not cross people from table to table due to our disparate finish times, so our table opted to play Ingenous while we waited. Unfortunately I could not find it immediately so while I was searching Brendan and Tracy played a quick game of Le Passe-Trappe which Brendan won in about 3 minutes. It took me five to find my copy of Ingenious, and Brendan, following in the tradition of Brenda, schooled us in, it.
When we finished we noticed the chanting had stopped and they we playing a game of Mu und Mehr, won by Lenora "I don't mark the cards, now play that Ace you have!" over her three opponents. Now that Brenda and Brendan had gotten tired of beating on us, Traci and I played a game of Loco!, which I taught and subsequently beat her at.

Next game night is October 27th, close enough to Hallowe'en that we have a themed game night, horror games! So bring out your horror games (the word is HORROR, not WHORE!) and I hope to see you there.

Thanks to Tim as well, whose Sentry Box coupons were used to purchase the Cthluhu expansion Munchkin Cthulhu: Call of the Cowthulhu and Formula Motor Racing.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Fallcon 20, in words, no pictures

Well Fallcon 20 was upon us already and I had a great time.

Tim from Saskatoon came down for some miniatures games at the tournament. You can read his report on his blog, so I will let him talk about the miniatures games that he played.

I was signed up for every session but one of the games got cancelled so I played an open game in it's place, but I get ahead of myself...

Friday night was the Railroad Tycoon tournament, and I was in the same group as my friend Alex. I told everyone at the table they should be prepared to lose (because he is very good) and he just laughed. The game was surprisingly high scoring for a five player game with the winner, neither Alex nor me, I did finish second though, which put me in the finals. The winner had a score of 101, whereas I had 94, but I made almost 40 points in the last two turns including completing my Tycoon Objective.
The finals was a tough game, at one point I commented that "I feel like a minnow." because I was probably the only person with less than ten games played. The map was a messed up one too, it had red cubes in Chicago, Charleston and New York and precious few outside it. The high score for the tournament was ~85, and I only scored 70, good enough for fourth only.

Saturday morning was RoboRally, a game I am not particularly fond of, and I was slightly surprised I had signed up for it. I did poorly, worse then the previous year, and scored only 12 points (last year I got 17). I ended up second last. It is an ok game, just not one I am good at, or enjoying playing too much. I find the game a little too mechanical.

Saturday afternoon I was invited to go play a pickup game of Roads & Boats, something I had played the previous year for the first time and loved. This time it was a four player game and I still finished last. The game is a tremendous logistics game, there is some screw you mentality, but very little. It is about being as efficient as possible.

Saturday evening was the auction, it was a bittersweet event for me, for one it was a chance to buy some new games, for the other it was the last of Ken's games being auctioned off.
I ended up purchasing 2 games, one was The Really, Nasty Horseracing Game for 6 bucks, the other was 221B Baker Street for another 2. Ken's games sold for over 700 dollars to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

I finished the night with a game of Savage Worlds a quasi rpg that uses miniatures rules. Tim was the ref for this game and we had 4 players that all worked together to find and recover the Golden Idol, Billy Idol is the silver one...
I ran Marcus Andres, fearless first mate of the SS Persephone as well as the crew. Will ran Jock MacDonald, the drunken brawler from Scotland, Jerry was Nathaniel Smith, a rugged adventure and the guy whose name I forgot played Professor Donald K Stephenson. Tim played the evil Nazis as our opponent. The crew found the idol and we had to slug our way out to the boats. Tim's blog will give a better explanation of the game (with pictures!) so all I will say is Marcus is still working on his plan to create the SBS... He never did anything outstanding, but he was calm cool and efficient at killing the Nazis, almost as if he enjoyed it...

Sunday was the BattleLore tournament that I was running. I had 18 players sign up for it, with 8 dropping out before the tournament (including me) with 4 more signing up for a total of 14 players. We played only two scenarios in the six hour time slot. The scoring went as I mentioned in an earlier post. The winner won both his games, his second by 7 points to finish at +9 and in first place. I was surprised that some of the players that played had never used Lore, really the biggest difference between it and Commands & Colors: Ancients. The game did have some interesting twists, with some players I expected to win, but did not. New players did ok, with them winning some games, losing others.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Preparing for Fallcon, in less than a week.

I am running the BattleLore tournament at FallCon and I have been playtesting my scenarios, created using the BattleLore Scenario Editor and I must admit that the scenario editor is pretty cool.
My current plan is a set of five scenarios, with each player playing 4 (or 5) of them and the best record winning. I have 6 hours so I figure I might as well try to keep everyone entertained for the full 6 hours. The way I am planning on doing the tourney is you get points for winning and points for your margin of victory. As an example, if you win your first half 5-3 and lose the second half 5-1, your record is 0-1-0 and -2. If you win your second game 5-3 and 5-3 you are 1 win and +4 for that game, which makes your record 1-1-0 +2.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Gaming plans for the rest of 2007

I still have several games I would like to play by the end of the year, otherwise they look like decorations, and not games. Since I have been working more this month than any other I have racked up less than ten games played for the first time since June 2005! This lack of gaming has made me think about games more, and I have a list that I want to play now.

The first on the list is Europe Engulfed (EE) and Asia Engulfed (AE). These are two different WWII block games that can be combined into one big game or played separately. EE takes about 12 hours to play the full game but there are later starts for the game that can be playable in about half that time. EE is designed for 2-3 players (Allies, Germans and Russians), and AE is a 2 player game.

Combat Commander: Europe is a two player Card Driven Game (CDG) that is not difficult to learn and also has the advantage it can be played in a single evening. The game comes with scenarios as well as the ability to create your own. I think there would be some interest in this in my wargaming friends, less so in my euro friends. I think they could enjoy it, but would have to get used to the direct combat aspect of the game.

Arkham Horror is a Fantasy Flight (FFG) game based on the writings of HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. It is playable in an evening an can have from 1-8 players. I have two of the expansions for this as well. I love HPL’s stuff and I think this will be a smoking game for a Halloween themed game night in late October. We could combine it with some lighter games as well, like Torches and Pitchforks or Zombies!

A Game of Thrones is another FFG game that is a board game that has some roots in Diplomacy and some in the war game world. I have the first expansion for this as well. This game is based on the books by George R.R. Martin. AGoT is for 3-5 players, so I will need a group.

Merchants of Venus is a “train game” of sorts, it is more of a “pick up and deliver” game in the railroad style. It is an older game, about 20 years old, but it is quite fun. I have played this a lot with my wife and friends back in the late 80’s. I think it still translates well. MoV is for 1-5 players and I think it scales well up to 5.

Soldier Raj/Kings/Emperor, these are three similar style games that are all CDGs as well with some Diplomacy tossed in for fun. They look pretty light in style and they come with a variety of scenarios too. They can range from 2-8 players.

Panzer Grenadier Eastern Front is a traditional 2 player hex and counter war game that I purchased for a great price. It comes with 112 scenarios in the booklet, so it could be a source of enjoyment for years. I have a friend that plays this so I am going to get him to teach me the game.

Twilight Struggle, to me, the best game of 2006, it has a strong theme (the Cold War), tense play (I call this game two hours of painful decisions) and is downright fun as you get to screw over your opponent (it is 2 player) and yourself. There are times when you cannot help but screw yourself over, but you are trying to minimize the damage. The disadvantage that the new player has is due to the experienced player knowing the cards. It is usually better to have the new player be the USSR, as they are easier to play in the Early-Mid Game. I will teach two people this game this year or my name is not J Alfred Prufrock!

Tide of Iron, a WWII plastic game, it is a dream game to players that like Memoir ’44 but want a little more. I don’t have much to say about it yet as it just arrived today. This is for 2-4 players but I believe it is better suited to 2 than 4. This could have been called "Tide of Plastic".

If there is any interest on your part in playing any of these, reply here and we can try and get a game day going.

Remember Fallcon is in 3 weeks.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Game night August 11th in review

The night started with four of us so we learned Fiji a quick 2-5 player filler. Shawn won in a game that was not difficult to learn but was difficult for all of us to wrap our heads around. It is an interesting game but I do not think it is for everyone.

Meanwhile at the other table the stragglers played a game of Fearsome Floors, Jay was the winner in a 6 player game. While we waited for them to finish we played Bohnanza, a five player game that was won by Brenda in a close scoring game over Lenora.

We swapped tables and the glass table had a game of Munchkin using the 2nd and 3rd expansions. Brett won using the Paul Rubens defence (he wore a raincoat). The kids table played Grand Prix: Detroit & Cleveland. I won by winning the first two races and finishing last in the final race. Grand Prix finished before Munchkin so I taught a few 2 player games to Tracy, Robert and Brenda.

First I did, then Brenda, then Tracy laid a whipping on Robert in Le Passe-Trappe, micro edition, Tracy and Robert played Deflexion, now called Khet: The Laser Game. Robert won 2 of the 3 games. Brenda and I played Hive, a game of insect tile laying. I mis-explained a rule and won on a technicality.

We had a total of 11 players and played 8 games a total of 12 times.

The next game night will be the 29th of September as I am probably working the weekend of the 15th

FallCon is on September 21st-23rd this year and I will be running the BattleLore tournament on Sunday. There are loads of games to be played and the players are low key and eager to teach new games. The fee for the entire weekend is 30 bucks, but you can play only Friday or Sunday for 10 bucks or all day Saturday for 20 dollars (this includes the auction...)

Saturday, 4 August 2007

August 11th, 2007

Anyone up for the 11th as the game night for this month? Normally I would schedule the game night for the weekend afterwards but I am most likely working that weekend.

Let me know.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

It was a dark and stormy night...

The year is 1926, and it is the height of the Roaring Twenties. Flappers dance till dawn in smoke-filled speakeasies drinking alcohol supplied by rum runners and the mob. It's a celebration to end all celebrations in the aftermath of the war to end all wars.

Yet a dark shadow grows in the city of Arkham. Alien entities known as Ancient Ones lurk in the emptiness beyond space and time, writhing at the gates between worlds. These gates have begun to open and must be closed before the Ancient Ones make our world their ruined domination.

Only a handful of investigators stand against the Arkham Horror.

Does anyone want to get in on an Arkham Horror game session? I have the game and I would love to give it a try. The first session would be a learning session as I have not played it, but I would love to try it! The game is said to take about 3 hours so I would add half an hour for the delay caused by new players.

Let me know if there is any interest. The game supports up to 8 people, so 7 others can play. If you want to be a keener, you can ever read the rules online.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Gamin' and Grillin'!

Last Saturday I invited the group over to game and grill. We started the BBQ about 5 and started the gaming about 7.

We had 11 people show up all told, but 2 left before gaming and one arrived about 7:45. We played 7 different games, with 3 of them being new to game night, and one of those being new to me.

While we had 8 players, we split into 2 groups. One group played Vegas Showdown, with Rob, the Ricky Rat Reject winning over three other Kenny Rogers wannabes.

The other table played Ticket to Ride: Europe. T2R:E has not hit the table nearly enough, with only one play a year since 2005, but it is a good solid evolution of the original. In the game I held a strong lead of 10 points throughout the game but not until the very end did I realise that I had confused Wilno and Wien, which caused me to lose 11 points and finish second behind Brenda.

The other table was still playing Vegas Showdown so we tried RukShuk, a game of rock balancing. This is where I really came to the fore (ok I beat 2 people and finished third). Brenda won this as well in a very convincing fashion. She was 30 points ahead of second place.

The Vegas Showdown game ended and we mixed the groups up, with table one playing Winds of Plunder and table two playing another game of RukShuk.

I won the Winds of Plunder game by 4 points over JC, and there were only 10 points between first and fourth. I like this game, there is some goofiness and there are some decisions you have to make. The only downside is the cannons, which can be combatted by card play. All in all, I find this an entertaining pirate game.

Rukchuk had 4 players in it, and this time it wsa won by Brendan, over a field of three others.

Several of the players left for the night so table two started a game of Munchkin while we were finishing up Winds of Plunder. This meant that there were groups of 4 and 2. The group of two played several different games. First we cracked out Le Passe-Trappe a light dexterity game that takes about 10 minutes to play. I was crushed by Tim. Our next game while we awaited was Acquire, a game of business. Tim crushed me again, so I kicked him out...

The Munchkin game finished about 30 minutes before Acquire with Brendan winning his second game of the night.

I am unsure if there will be a game night, I am hoping to schedule one for August 17th, but I don't know my availability yet.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

I have not posted much lately

I guess it has been too hot to sit in front of a computer, next week, or later this week, I will write about Cheapass-style games and the game night review.

A new "game store" opened up in Calgary, not really a game store, more of a teacher's store than a game store. It is named Scholar's Choice, and I had a coupon for 205 off, so it couldn't hurt to check things out. I ended up purchasing RukShuk and Blokus Duo and I was given a copy of Regatta. I have skimmed Rukshuk but have not looked at the other two games yet.

I did play a couple of new games last week as well, neither of them expensive but both seems to have a good value for the cost. The Very Clever Pipe Game, a tile laying game from Cheapass Games that plays in about 15 minutes, and Chrononauts a card game in which you are a time traveler. I liked both games, but I may have liked Chrononauts a little more (I won :)) but it may be a little too chaotic in a 6 player game. The Pipe game is 2 or 4 player, and I think it shines as a two player game, I think it would be less of a game with 4, I have not played it with that number yet, it is just a feeling.

I am still waiting for a review of Enemy Chocolatier from whomever got it at New Years.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Theme Game Days

I have been thinking that I may want to have more theme nights; these would be outside regular game nights and would focus on one style (or company’s) game. The first theme night I did was the Commands & Colours Day, which attracted 9 people. My thoughts for a second theme night (or day) is an Avalon Hill Day, a Cheapass Day, or a Puffing Billy (or Train Game) Day as well..

The Avalon Hill Game-A-Thon would be all AH games from their heyday in the 80s (and some earlier). I have an assortment of AH games, including Merchants of Venus, Wrasslin’, Acquire, Blackbeard, Tyranno Ex, Kremlin, Wooden Ships and Iron Men, Gladiator, and Enemy in Sight. The longer games such as Diplomacy, Civilization, and History of the World would be skipped in favour of the shorter 1-3 hour games.

The Cheapass Game Day would include other small game companies as well, like Placebo Press and Green Ronin Publishing. The games would all be light and cheap. I am thinking this would be better named to “Trashy Game Day, Bring Beer.” and go from there. These games would primarily last 10 to 75 minutes and would be at the lower end of the complexity scale.

A Puffing Billy Day would involve an assortment of train games, from Ticket to Ride (all three versions) to Santa Fe Rails, Empire Builder and Railroad Tycoon. These are all games that last around 1-3 hours as well. If someone brought over a copy of Age of Steam or an 18XX game I would not be averse to playing it as well.

Let me know what you preference is, and I can get started planning these. My months of July & August are pretty full, so the earliest I can plan this for is September. Please reply here so I can track to see if there is any interest.

Friday, 29 June 2007

It has been a long time since I posted

So I thought maybe I better talk about something I am doing. I purchased a copy of Panzer Grenadier: Eastern Front in the Avalanche Press Broken Promises sale. Rather then let this game go to waste (or at least sit unplayed), I decided to teach it to myself solitaire. I will give you a after action report of the game as it goes along. I started tonight and I am playing pretty casually, so expect it around Christmas time...

The scenario I am playing is #76 out of 112. Katasov Rides Again!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Proof you don't need to be a nerd to be a gamer....

Backgammon anyone, or maybe some miniatures, or perhaps an RPG?

Game night review June 16th

It was a dark and stormy night, and the huddled masses gathered for some gaming. There were eleven of us on that fateful Saturday, drawn as if by moths to a flame for the same cause, to play board games!

There were only four of us to begin, but we knew we had a mission, to shear some sheep. Brenda was found to be the best at it, winning in a close contest over 3 other barbers in a Shear Panic. While the sheep were being sheared, others arrived and soon the cries of “Avast ye Matey!”, “landlubbers ahoy” and “you sunk my battleship!” rang out as the others released their pirate inside. Barnacle Jay the Sailor proved to be the most seaworthy, winning over the others in a game of Pirate's Cove.

The four of us played a game of San Juan, building a newer better city and again Brenda proved to be the master craftsman, while the rest of us could only marvel. The others, and you know who you are, played Fearsome Floors, with Lucky Lenora leaving lesser lives to leak liquids in the lair.

Our game of San Juan ended and the last of the laggards arrived and we played a six player game of Bang! Sheriff John survived Gunslinger Amanda pretending to be Eric Clapton with the help of Dep’ty Meghan to ensure the forces of niceness and goodness would be victorious.

Some left, so we switched to a couple of games of Werewolf to end the night, and the werewolves were successful, winning three of five games. The villagers, to their credit, only lynched the Seer in the first two games, after that they switched back to actually hunting werewolves. winning the next two, before succumbing to the wolves in the final game.

I hope everyone had fun, the next game night will be July 14th.

If you are curious too see what games have been played and when, please click on the link on the right.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Rolemaster: PR Report

This one is for you Darrin

Hi Folks

We put up a sample of the changes you will see in the Rolemaster Classic Creatures & Treasures on the front page.

The RMC Team has done a wonderful job re-organizing Creatures & Treasures. They have also expanded the special creature abilities rules, codifying them and making the rules easier to use. The individual monster descriptions have also been reorganized. Any abilities that can be considered to be a function of the form of the creature are now listed as being Natural Abilities. Other abilities, whose source may be magical or not depending upon the GM's setting, are now listed as Innate Abilities. We think these changes make the product better and a lot easier to use.

We have all the components for HARP: Battlemaster in house, but it will definitely not be released until early July. Our personal move and some other projects delayed it.

Rolemaster Mega Value Pack

We have gotten several requests for deal from people who want to upgrade their entire collection of RMFRP books to hardbounds. So here is the deal.

The package includes
5800 RMFRP
5802 Creatures & Monsters
5803 of Channeling
5804 of Essence
5805 of Mentalism
5806 Character Law
5807 Gamemaster Law
5810/5812 Arms Law and The Armory combined into one book
5811 Treasure Companion
5812 Fire & Ice
5814 Mentalism Companion
5815 Construct Companion
5816 Races & Cultures

Normally the hardbound versions of all of these books would cost a bit over $430, but this package is $300 for a limited amount of time. Later in June or July, I will up it to about $365 to reflect the usual 15% discount for Value Packs rather then the 30% this deal will reflect. The freight cost is for one product too. I will only ship there VPs via UPS Ground or Priority Mail International as they will weigh quite a bit.

You can order the Rolemaster Mega Value Pack from:

Additionally, ICE would like to congratulate Brent Knorr for his submission on the RM Essentials idea that we announced a short while back. Brent's suggestion of Rolemaster Express was exactly what we were looking for, so we ended the contest early. We also awarded a special prize to sunwolf for his hilarious suggestion of "Classic Lite Essential Rolemaster Intro Compendium or C.L.E.R.I.C for short."

Both individuals have been contacted and given instructions on how to claim their prizes.

As for the newly named, Rolemaster Express, we will be doing a Beta release for it on June 22nd. The Beta PDF will cost $5 (though the final price might increase to $6 once it is fully finalized), and will be available only through ICE's online store.

And that is all for now folks. Getting the printing going has been a huge relief and the entire backlog will be sorted out very shortly.


Bruce ICE

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Battle Lore, my point of view

Battle Lore is the fourth (and not final game) in the successful series of Commands & Colors line by Richard Borg. Battle Lore is unlike the rest of the series because it is the first that moves away from the strictly historical recreation and delves into fantasy. The previous games in the series recreate battles from; the American Civil War, World War II, and Ancients (Roman Era).

If you are unfamiliar with the system, here is a quick breakdown of the way the game works. The units are laid out as shown by the scenario with the correct numbers of figures per unit and both sides are dealt a hand of cards. The game goes in the igo-ugo system with one player laying down a card and activating the units as shown on the card. Combat results are determined by the rolling of dice, the number of dice is determined by the unit type. As an example, a red (veteran or heavy) unit rolls 4 dice in melee. The die does use numbers, instead it has, in Battle Lore, helmets representing the three colours of units (red, green and blue) , a sword, a lore symbol and a flag. When the veteran unit rolls it’s dice the results are compared to the unit it is fighting against. If you wanted to hit that unit you would need to roll a red helmet. This can be modified by the units you are attacking with and spells (hence the Lore). The game continues until one side destroys the number of units required by the scenario for the win. Battle Lore is the second most complex of the systems, falling behind Commands & Colors: Ancients and directly ahead of Memoir ’44 on the complexity scale.

Battle Lore adds two things that did not exist in previous versions; the first is the fantastical creatures (the game comes with goblins and dwarves), and the second is the Lore.

I think Days of Wonder has really tapped a good market here with the idea of fantasy in this game; there are more players willing to play Agincourt with goblins helping the French then just a French vs. English battle. Memoir ’44 was a big hit for them as well, but the collectable aspect of Battle Lore may propel their sales even higher. Days of Wonder has also scheduled a series of add-ons for the game that will give the players more options and monsters. Those that pre-ordered received a Hill Giant and some received an Earth Elemental as well. They have also created plans for releasing a Dwarven Battalion Specialist Pack plus a Goblin Skirmishers Specialist Pack this year. The first supplement for the game has already seen a release date and that is the Call to Arms expansion. Days of Wonder is planning on releasing 4 expansions in the first year alone.

This is both good and bad, for one, it allows the game to continually change and for another it causes players to continually purchase new packages for the game, almost like a CCG. I am not a big fan of this, but I can see why companies do it. I am wondering if there will be a backlash to this huge amount of updates because it may slow down updates to Memoir ’44 and the volume of the updates may turn people off.

The other new aspect, Lore adds another degree of randomness and strategy. Battle Lore also does not include leaders on the field like Battle Cry of C&C:A but does allow for off field leaders, the “War Council”. In its most basic sense, you add cards depending on the type of “War Council” you have, your choices are Commander, Wizard, Warrior, Rogue and Cleric. Each war council member has different abilities and lore cards they can use to “cast spells” on their opponents. The Lore cards can be played offensively (e.g. fireball) or defensively (dispel lore) with varying costs between them of 1-10 Lore points.

The way Lore points are collected and used is as follows: the player whose turn it is collects lore cards and/or lore tokens at the end of the turn, plus any Lore results on the dice allow them to be collected as well. This means that if you attack and subsequently get attacked back, your opponent could collect lore in the battle back. Each Lore card has a cost associated with it, and some are variables as well, the Fireball costs 10, while the Dispel Lore is equal to half the spell originally cast.

One other new feature to the game is the concept of “Battle Back”. This was first introduced in a different form in Commands & Colors: Ancients. In the Battle Lore version you are only allowed to battle back if you are bold. There are different ways of being bold, the first being supported by two other friendly units, another being dwarven. Battle Back is the ability to “battle back” when you are attacked and have not been forced to retreat or wiped out.

One of the fundamental differences between Battle Lore and the other games in this series is the way you set up your units. The preferred setup is in a triangle, this allows all the units to support each other (be bold) and move together. This is different from the others because Commands & Colors: Ancients uses lines (as they would then) and the other two do not have bonuses for grouping.

One thing I do not like, although I do understand the reasoning, is that all miniatures are the same colour. Battle Cry and Memoir ’44 both use different colours of miniatures to depict the two sides, Battle Lore uses grey for both. The logic behind this is the ability to design your own battles and be able to pick any units. The other two games use blue and grey (Battle Cry) and a different colour for every force in Memoir ’44, C&C:A uses different colour blocks.

My final opinion on Battle Lore is that it is not as good as C&C: A but is a good game nonetheless. It has slightly more complexity then Memoir ’44 but it may lack the legs that I think C&C: A will have. On a 1-10 scale I give this a 7 or an 8, not a perfect game but a very good game.

What are your thoughts?

Added URL to Days of Wonder, Battle Lore, Memoir '44 and C&C:A

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Power Grid a Mania tomorrow at 2 PM!

I have three copies of the game arriving, so we could have 18 people playing. You can sign up here. If you want to come and play as a learning experience you are more then welcome. If you don't know much about Power Grid, click it's name and read about it.

It is by the same designer as Fearsome Floors, but has nothing in common with it, except that it is fun!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

More reasons to game

Game playing can stave off Alzheimer's Disease

Can Brain Stimulating Games Help Slow Down Aging?

Mind Games May Trump Alzheimer's

So if it helps vs things like Alzheimer's I wonder if we should be promoting the health benefits of gaming?

According the the last one, you would get the most benefit from dancing and gaming...

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Gaming at the SuperStore!

Sunday, June 17, 2007, 1:15 PM Where:
Coventry Hills Superstore
100 Country Village Road NE
Calgary , AB T3K5Z2

Coventry Hills Superstore Community Room
100 Country Village Road NE
Time: 1:15pm to 5:45pm
Dates: June 17th and July 15th (both are Sundays)

The Community Room is on the second floor so people just have to find the stairs going up. The stairs are by the SW entrance.

The room also has a kitchen facility which is available to our members to prepare food and beverages. In compliance with Health Canada's food handling guidelines, all food and beverages consumed in the Community Room must be purchased within the store.

RSVP limit:
Only 20 members (including guests) can RSVP 'Yes' or 'Maybe' for this event. There's still room for 16 more.

To sign up for this, go to Calgary Meetup Group and sign up.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

A change to my tracking

I have put a new tab called All Time in the Games We Play spreadsheet. It shows how many times each game has been played since I started running game nights in 2005. The All Time list is sorted alphabetically instead of by games played mainly due to laziness on my part.

The Games We Play spreadsheet is just over to the right.

A possible change to Grand Prix: Detroit to Cleveland

I found this on a review of GP and Top Race

Top Race uses completely different rules for these cards, allowing them to be played as "breakdowns" or "catchups." Suppose the red/blue switch is played and red is farther along the track than blue. If played as a breakdown, the red car is pulled to the side of the road. It doesn't move again until the blue car passes it. If played as a catchup, the blue car pulls alongside the red car (or moves as far forward as it can until it is blocked).

As you might imagine, these changes have a dramatic effect on gameplay. Catchups are rare, since the odds of the right switch card getting dealt to the right owner are relatively small. But anyone can benefit from slowing down a leader, hence the popularity of the breakdowns. And with betting thrown into the mix, there's an added incentive to muck about with other cars.

I like this, and I think next time we play we can try these rules.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Power Grid a Mania is on!

The object of Power Grid is to supply the most cities with power when someone's network gains a predetermined size. In this edition, players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, and then vie against other players to purchase the power plants that you use to supply the power. However, as plants are purchased, newer more efficient plants become available so you're potentially allowing others to access to superior equipment merely by purchasing at all. Additionally, players must acquire the raw materials, like coal, oil, garbage, or uranium, to power said plants (except for the highly valuable 'renewable energy' wind/solar plants), making it a constant struggle to upgrade your plants for maximum efficiency while still retaining enough wealth to quickly expand your network to get the cheapest routes.

It is at my place Sunday, June 10th at 1 PM. Email me if you are interested, as I only have room for 4 more (unless another copy of Power Grid shows up).

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Saturday gaming

Jay, Jordan and Mark came over yesterday and we played a few games. Jay arrived early in the day and we played some games of Battle Lore, we played the third and fourth scenarios. Jay won the first match 10-8 on the strength of his crushing of me 6-2 in the first game. The second round was much bloodier and much closer. We tied 11-11 with the winning kill being done the round before the opponent could. There was a lot of heavy fighting going on all over the board.

Jordan and Mark showed up at 7:30 and Jay left then, once again depriving Mark of his chance to play Azteca, instead we played Winds of Plunder, a pirate game from GMT Games. The game had a little more going on then either Jordan or I expected and Mark won in a game that was closer then I expected. The cards add a bit of a take that to the game and I like the effect of treasure maps.

We stood around and talked while trying to figure out the next game and we decided on Havoc: The Hundred Years War, a card game that uses poker hands to determine the winner of rounds of combat. It is a neat game, too bad the only way it seems to be available is from Funagain Games, and they don’t have any in stock. I won it by about 4 points.

Mark had only ever played one Friedeman Friese game so we taught him Fearsome Floors, which was won by absolutely no one as Jordan sacrificed two of my tokens and two of Mark’s and two of his to ensure the monster was fed well. I would guess I played games for about 8 hours yesterday, and had a really good time.
We gathered together, 13 of us, dedicated to one task and one task only; to play games!

As people slowly trickled in we had several games going at once, but first we played three quick games of Werewolf, and the werewolves won two of them.

We broke into two groups and had Pirate’s Cove and Grand Prix: Detroit & Cleveland going on at the same time. Will proved to be the rogue of the pirate group winning over 3 others while Brenda dominated in GP winning by 100,000+.

While we were playing the last of the attendees arrived and the four of them played Frank’s Zoo, with a three way tied score of 19. Steve won on the tiebreaker. He and two others then left (one game, one win, no exceptions?).

All three groups finished up around the same time so we played a couple more games of Werewolf to teach it to Robert, while Jay and Cory played a little Battle Lore. The werewolves won once and the villagers won once. Jay won the Battle Lore game 8-6.

Since I am a little slow to update, I forgot when we played For Sale, all I know is that I did not win (Jay and Brenda did) and we finished the night with Attribut. Tim won it by 1 in a close game with 3 points between 1st and 3rd..

The next game night will be June 16th, I hope to see all of you there

Sunday, 13 May 2007

I am pondering running a Power Grid Day

Is there any interest? I have one copy of the game, and would need a second one if we want to support more then 6 players.

Does anyone have any interest in this?

You can read more about Power Grid here.

I also have my copy of Winds of Plunder, a pirate game for 3-5 players. Brenda and I are going to try it before boardgame night Saturday.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

My buddy, Kenny B

BERGWALL _ Kenneth Bruce 1959 - 2007 It is with great sorrow that we announce the sudden and unexpected passing of Ken Bergwall in Calgary on May 7, 2007 at the age of 47 years. Ken leaves to mourn, his best friend and wife Brenda Berezuk; his mother Tena Bergwall of Brandon, Manitoba; his brother Deryl (Nuala) their family Shannon and Jamie of Airdrie, his brother Duane (Maidelen), their family Melani and Sheyla of Edmonton. Also mourning his loss are Brenda's family, Anne Berezuk, Carol Berezuk, David and Judy Berezuk, Tim and Tracey Berezuk, niece and nephews Katie and Kyle McEwen, Jeremy and Johnathan Berezuk all of Calgary. Ken is also survived by his aunts, Gwen, Ruth and Val, and cousins Donna, Laura, Joey, Bruce, Cheryl, Brett and Heather. Ken was predeceased by his father Don Bergwall and his grandparents, Hutton and Bergwall. Ken was born on July 14, 1959 in Killarney, Manitoba. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geological Engineering. The friendships that formed at the U of M endure today, as most of the class moved west after graduation. Ken's relationship with his U of M friends meant a lot to him especially the weekly lunches at the Unicorn Pub. After graduation Ken moved to Elkford, B.C. to work for Fording Coal. During his eight years in Elkford, Ken once again developed many strong and enduring friendships as part of the "Elkford Gang" and the "Suffer Club". In 1989 Ken moved to Calgary, married Brenda and continued his career as a mining engineer. His work took him to some exotic and not so exotic mine sites in Thailand, Borneo, Alabama, Kapuskasing and Madagascar. At the time of his death, Ken was working for CNRL on the Horizon Project in Fort McMurray. Brenda would like to thank the paramedics and other emergency response staff and the cardiology physicians and staff at the Foothills Medical Centre for doing all they could for Ken. A celebration of Ken's life will be held in the Heritage Room of the Blackfoot Inn, 5940 Blackfoot Trail S.E., Calgary on Friday, May 11, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. Please bring your stories and memories to share. If friends so desire, donations may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, NWT & Nunavut, 200, 119 - 14 Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1Z6, for education and research or to a charity of your choice. You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the family's on-line Memorial Register at:

Ken was one of those guys that was always a pleasure to game with, or against, his sense of humour was always in evidence, in winning or in losing. Listening to him kvetch as he rolled ones again attacking in TI, or doing a coup in Twilight Struggle were always a pleasure.

I will always have fond memories of sitting with Ken, Jay and Cory, smoking cigars, drinking Scotch and just talking.

I have the deepest sympathy for Brenda, who lost her husband, but the people I feel sorriest for are those that never got to meet him.

Ken was truly one of a kind and I am going to miss him.

My day at MayDay

I arrived in Edmonton Friday night, driving through a snowstorm. At one point I called Brenda and told her that it was no longer raining, it was now snowing! When I did finally arrive in Edmonton, I discovered there must have either been a convention or no one willing to drive in Edmonton as many of the hotels were full. I ended up driving around for about an hour before finding a room at the Rest Skeezy Arms, the first room they put me in was never cleaned…

Since this is a gaming website I better put something about games into this article. I arrived at MayDay fresh from a nights sleep and immediately ran into people I only see once a year, we talked as Tim set up the game of Savage Worlds, a miniatures game with a slight taste of RPG. Tim’s game was a continuation of the game he runs in Saskatoon. I once again played Marcus Andre and the valiant crew of the Persephone, whom I first played in the Gwong Island Rescue.

The game started with us creeping up on the village and I got unlucky and one of my crew tripped over a root in the desert, alerting the guards. There was a small firefight with Force Six wiping most of them out. The crew and Marcus focused primarily on trying to get into the village to find the work the Nazis were doing and to “liberate” a few scientists. In our haste to work our way around the buildings we dropped some of our ammo and the crew was all on “last shots” level of ammo.

Marcus did show off his Colt .45 sharpshooter skills again, nailing Ilsa with it from across the village and shooting a scientist in the head that was in a building.

The crew discovered the robot man and the explosives to blow him up at about the same time, with one half running into the robot and the other into a storage room with the lone German speaker on the ship.

We ran out of time then so we stopped the game after the first explosion went off, but I think that we could have defeated the robot, but it would take some deaths.

My second game was the one I ran, Commands and Colors: Ancients. I never played any of the games but with the help of Brent Lloyd )who did play) we taught it to 3 other players, all of whom expressed an interest in both playing it again and purchasing it. I won’t recount there names, as I forget them, but two of them were from Fort St John, BC. In the time we had allotted there were 5 total games played.

I ran one scenario from the Greek and Eastern Kingdoms Expansion and one from the bonus pack from the P500 list.

About 30 minutes before the Vimy Ridge scenario that Tim ran was about to start, Brent pulled out a copy of Axis and Allies Naval Miniatures which he taught to Lee, an ancients and ASL buff. I watched them setup for a few moments before I went to Tim’s game. Tim’s game was a modified version of Contemptible Little Armies or as I call it CLA. Tim has already written up an excellent coverage of the game here so I will spend a few minutes elaborating on them from my PoV.

I had the 38th and the 78th as well as the weight of being Divisional Commander… One thing that I was considering, especially since this was a WWI scenario, was to send the Nova Scotians to up the same place that the 87th and the 75th, after all, this was WWI and bad decisions were made all the time.

The march for the 38th was relatively easy, I lost two men in hand to hand combat but always killed them with the second attacker. The reached their objective and since the 72nd took out the pillbox that could have really damaged my units, it was pretty much a cakewalk for the 38th.

The 78th had a harder row to hoe; they were in front of the pillbox when both the barrage ended and both the 75th and the 87th were done. All of their losses came at the guns of the pillbox sitting in the middle of the board. The 78th were at half strength and had a morale marker against them when the last German on their half of the board was killed (by them, with bayonets).

I was also racing the Divisional Commander up the hill to try and remove some of the morale markers, unfortunately he was an officer and a gentleman, and therefore strolled.

All in all it was a good game day and I will be back again next year, I am just not sure whether I will run anything, or will just play.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Waiting on Tim

I will be updating the way MayDay went for me when Tim finally writes his AAR.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Settlers of Catan players

I know this is short notice, but I rarely pay attention to Settlers of Catan. The Western Canadian Championship is in 2 weeks in Edmonton. The winner gets a trip to Germany to play in the World Championships in Essen.

I am guessing the Essen tournament will be during the Essen Game fair, the fall event in which many new boardgames are released.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Richard Borg on the Commands & Colors System

I just got back from Mayday in Edmonton and I am a little tired so I will just leave you this comment from Richard Borg, designer of the Commands & Colors System

In regard to Battle Cry and Hasbro… By design Battle Cry is the simplest game in the Commands & Colors system. Hasbro wanted to target Battle Cry to mass-market buyers as well as us gamers. So the rules were written to create a game that is fun to play, moves along at lighting speed and except for the leader rules is about as basic as it could be.

About the same time as the American Civil War game rules were being written, other historical and fantasy versions were all at various stages of completion. We had played Fantasy, Medieval, Mexican American War, Crimean War, World War II, Colonial, Future, and actually had the Napoleonic rules and American Revolution rules completed prior to Battle Cry hitting the stores. It really helps to have fellow gamers with a deep interest and knowledge of history and the miniatures to play around with…

What was so interesting about developing all of these periods around the same time, from the designer's standpoint at least, is that we could focus on each period, making sure we use the best rules and Command card ideas, so that each would play different and have the proper historical feel. Sure some of the rules or Command card concepts from one period could be applied to another period, it will work, I know we have tried… but the questions I always had to ask were: where does this concept work best, or where does it help most to enhance the historical feel?

It has been suggested that… a more accurate assumption would be that Mr. Borg just got better as he designed more games… actually I hope I am becoming better at my trade, but if the truth be known, most of the differences, or the so called improvements, for each game in the Commands & Colors line, are intentionally as we tried to take you from simple to more complex…

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Some minor changes

Over to the right you will notice two new links, The games we play and a google calendar.

The games we play is a spreadsheet listing by month and year all the games that have been played since I started running games night. You can see that Ticket to Ride gets played every year, and no game has been played more the 6 times in one year. This year does have a small anomaly as we played Werewolf 5 times last week. It is a short (20-30 minute) party game that seems to loosen the group up.

The google calendar simply lists game nights or other gaming events that you may be interested in going to.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

A warning to all those that game in South Carolina

You are only allowed to play a few games there, Ingenious or Bonaparte at Marengo to name two. The reason, playing games with cards or dice is against the law!

Yeah, I don't get it either.

Hungry like the Wolf

We had our monthly gaming session last night, and it was definitely a hairy one. The night started with me asking what game everyone would like to play and Tim Lupus suggested Werewolf. I thought some and built a werewolf deck out of some playing cards (black cards were villagers, red jacks were werewolves, the ace of hearts was the seer and later the two of hearts was the little girl).

The game was exceedingly popular, the beauty of it is that it can include any number of players, and we played with 10, plus a moderator. The first two games were run by me and were victories for the werewolves (Brenda/Tracey and Shawn/Amanda). Amanda ran the third game which was won by the villagers led by Brenda the Seer. Games four and five were run by Tim and were both werewolf victories as well, (John/Brett, John/Brenda). We added the Little Girl for the last two games, mainly for others to learn how the role works. The Little Girl was lynched early in both games (Ken and Brendan) and when Ken was the Seer in the first game he was lynched early as well.

We broke into two groups after that with one table playing Bang! which was won by the Outlaw Amanda and her two sidekicks (whose names I did not catch). The other table played Detroit-Cleveland Grand Prix . TIm made up for his awful showing last month by turning in a win, beating Ken by 20,000 dollars.

The game night group broke up at about 11:30, with plans to do this again next month.

I am thinking about a heavy game night, one game that will take 3-5 hours that I will do one day a month as well. Some of my choices are: Power Grid, Antike, Imperial, Friedrich or if we have a group of wargamers, maybe Sword of Rome, which has an expansion for a 5th player (Carthage), or Pax Romana.

Next weekend is MayDay in Edmonton, a gaming convention with an emphasis on wargames and miniatures.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Local company announces new game

Valley Games has announced reprints of Hannibal:Rome vs Carthage, Republic of Rome and Titan. These three games are giants in the old Avalon Hill world and sell on ebay for 150+.

I have played all three games, and although I don't care much for Titan, I do like the other two (I have ordered Hannibal) and I can't wait to get my greasy little hands on them.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

Games night is this weekend, Saturday night 7 PM, my place.

I was thinking we could try Fearsome Floors with a timer, and maybe Power Grid.

Does anyone have any preferences?

Commands & Colors Day, a recap

Well Commands & Colors Day has come and gone, I judge it a success. We had 9 people playing the assorted C&C games for almost 7 hours. The amount of each game played was very close, with a total of 15 games played. Battle Cry was played 4 times, with Greg collecting the most points with 12. Commands & Colors: Ancients was also played 4 times, Ken getting 11 points in his two games led the pack,. Memoir ’44 was played 4 times but three of them were Overlord! scenarios, and Orin, played in every one, racking up a high total of 27. Battle Lore was played the least, 3 times and Jay racked up a total of 8 points over two games to garner the most points in that category.

The high point of the day was the Overlord! game, it was loud, raucous and exactly the way you should end a game night.

The trash talking was a perfect way to end the game, and the Kursk tank battle was great.

Here, C-in-C Jay ordered his fellow commanders into action in the Kursk scenario.

The amazing dice rolling that Corey had, destroying the right flank of the Russians in one round simply had to be seen to be believed. This was before Corey started his attacks.

This was after...

Everyone had a good time, and although not everyone showed up, it was a success.

Friday, 20 April 2007

And another piece of my past slips away

When you were younger, how often did you read Dragon magazine? Well, if you want to recapture that youth, you better do it soon. I remember purchasing it back in Yorkton at the hobby store, or the rush I would get the day it came out at the store.

The end of an era...

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Battle Lore, a slice of a review

Battle Lore, what can I say about Battle Lore? If you are already familiar with the Commands & Colors System, you already know the game, if you are not, then maybe this will help you understand it.

The Commands & Colors System, by Richard Borg was developed back in the ‘90s as a card activated wargame. Many of the hard core wargame concepts have been abstracted out, such as weakening of your firepower as your unit gets smaller. What is left is a clean, fast playing game that uses miniatures, or in the Commands & Colors: Ancients game, wooden blocks. The games in the series are Battle Cry, Memoir ’44, Commands & Colors: Ancients and Battle Lore.

The basics of the game are: you and your opponent select a scenario, set up your armies on the board and get the command cards as determined by the system. You activate your unit or units by playing cards that allow you to move and attack. There are specialized dice that determine the hit based on the type of unit you are attacking. For example, in Battle Lore, if you are attacking a green (meaning inexperienced or irregulars) you would remove one part of the unit for every hit you made. There are modifiers to this as well: some units can hit with a crossed swords roll and you can force a unit to retreat as well (roll a flag).

Jay and I played the first two scenarios of Battle Lore, which is a middle ages game, but with a twist. After the first two scenarios fantasy creatures can appear, like goblins and dwarves. The learning scenarios are Agincourt and Chevauchee, and do not have any of the fantasy touches.

What happened was a stunning series of French victories, I won the first game 4-3 as the French and Jay won the second 4-2 as the French, meaning he won the first scenario 7-6. The second scenario was called Chevauchee, and Jay hammered me while playing the French 5-1 and I squeaked out a victory in the second 5-3. Jay won that game 8-6.

We both liked the game, and do both have experience playing the system, I have played all the Battle Cry scenarios and most of the Memoir ’44 scenarios and about 15 games of Commands & Colors. Jay has played less then me but still understands the system. The game is a pretty game, it has many attractive miniatures and a nice looking board. There are reference cards for each player to use as well, you can hand them out and you know what you will need.

I hesitate to rate this game, as I have not delved into the magic (hence the Lore) so I will leave a total evaluation until I can actually play some magic scenarios. I should be able to do that next week, during the first ever Commands & Colors day.

This is for the teachers out there

Games for Thinkers

This is a line of games that were created to help with learning. I must admit that WFF `N PROOF: The Game of Modern Logic strikes a little chord in me. One of the ratings states this:

There is only one thing wrong with this game: it is about propositional calculus, while I think first order logic is much more interesting.

There are other games in the line, including Language Arts, and Science Reasoning. I may have to buy one or two just to see what they are like.

Friday night gaming

I went to the Tuscany group last night, and we played three games, all of which I had played before. The first was Dragon’s Gold, the second Bohnanza and the final one was Formula De’. I am going to talk a little about each one.

I like Dragon’s Gold, I think it can be a fun game for the right group of people. Bruno Faidutti (the designer) always believes in creating a little bit of chaos in the games he makes. One of the other games he makes, that more of you will be familiar with, is Citadels. We had a pretty quiet game of it; I believe part of the reason for that is due to no one knew each other so there was not as much cutthroat bargaining. Two of the group had never even gone to a games night before, so they were new to it all. Everyone seemed anxious to deal and only one treasure trove was not resolved. I finished last, I angled for the black diamond bit did not get it, but I think everyone liked it and if any of them played it again, we would see a different style of game.

The same group, less one, played Bohnanza and 3 of us had played it before, I taught everyone the rules and we settled down to play. In this game the trades were truly marvelous as the goal was usually to improve the fields rather than extract the most from the person looking for the card. I think the first game seemed to loosen up the group and since there is forced player interaction in this game, there was a better feeling amongst everyone by the end of it. I won, by two points, but I never built the third field whereas all my opponents had purchased it.

The final game for the night was Formula De’, we played a ten player version of that. One of the things I found out is that there is too much downtime in a ten player game, so the other players would get distracted. I think I prefer to play it with 6 or less. Since there were 10 of us, the game took about ninety minutes and featured a little too much downtime. There were 5 new people to a games night there, and I think that game may have been wrong for them. We played only one lap, and since we did that, the people that started 7-10th never really had a chance in the race. The players that started at the back, (with the exception of me) finished in the last half of the pack. Of the top three starters, one won and one finished third, the second place finisher blew out her tires and lost control, finishing 8th. There was far more collisions in this race then usual, every turn had at least one, and usually two collision checks. I did not finished, having my car eliminated on the second last turn.

One interesting group I did meet at the Tuscany game night was a couple that was always willing to play Twilight Imperium III

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

No time like the present

I have some thoughts I would like to share about the three games I played last week, Friedrich, Battle Lore and Imperial, but I have not had time to fully ponder these.

Brenda and I have been redoing the main floor bathroom, so every night after I get off work I am painting or prepping.

Look for my thoughts probably Sunday.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Early Sunday Morning

And I just found out the Fantasy Flight Games has announced it's 2007 release schedule, Drool over the new releases. I am particularly interested in the Civil War game and The Lake Woebegon Horror.

Another revolution that seems to have happened is that Puerto Rico is no longer the number one game on BGG, it has been overtaken by Monkey Auto Races. You can see the current rankings here.

I plan today to get some Battle Lore in and a game on Antike. Look for a full report as well as a review of the first play of Friedrich I had.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Not really a post about gaming....

but it is a movie based on an RPG. This is not the movie you are thinking of, instead it is a film by a gaming company. The same people that brought you Warcraft the Boardgame, Descent, Arkham Horror and other theme heavy games.
It looks like it will not be a feature film, instead more of a TV movie, leading into a series perhaps. There is more information on the website, here.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

BrogFloat or SeaCon 08

Richard Berg is planning on hosting an floating gaming week next spring. I have been casually talking about it, but nothing is set in stone yet.

Here are the current options:

Option 1:

Princess Cruises Caribbean Princess

Departs Ft. Lauderdale April 20, 2008 7-Night Eastern Caribbean - Ft.
Lauderdale/At Sea/At Sea/Philipsburg, St. Maarten/St. Thomas/At
Sea/Princess Cays (Private Island)/Ft. Lauderdale Inside Cabin =
$797.34 Per Person Ocean View Cabin = $1,007.34 Per Person Balcony
Cabin = $1,147.34 Per Person Mini-Suite With Balcony = $1,347.34 Per
Person Penthouse Suite With Balcony = $2,497.34 Per Person

Option 2:

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Pearl

Departs Miami April 13, 2008 5-Night Western Caribbean - Miami/At
Sea/Cozumel, Mexico/George Town, Grand Cayman/At Sea/Miami Inside
Cabin = $510.95 Per Person Ocean View Cabin = $650.95 Per Person
Balcony Cabin = $840.95 Per Person Mini-Suite With Balcony = $1,010.95
Per Person Suite With Balcony = $1,260.95 Per Person

Option 3:

Celebrity Century

Departs Miami April 19, 2008 5-Night Western Caribbean - Miami/At
Sea/Ocho Rios, Jamaica/George Town, Grand Cayman/At Sea/Miami Inside
Cabin = $503.29 Per Person Ocean View Cabin = $613.29 Per Person
Balcony Cabin = $693.29 Per Person Century Suite With Balcony =
$943.29 Per Person Sky Suite With Balcony = $1,043.29 Per Person Royal
Suite With Balcony = $1,923.29 Per Person

Rates are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line until
a deposit of $250.00 per person is made. If you can get a minimum of
16 people (8 Cabins), I may be able to get a reduction in the deposit
requirements under a "Group Deposit Discount" Plan.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Game night Mar 17th 2007

We had 6 players show up including two new ones and played 5 games. The luck of the Irish was not evident on this night.

The night started with everyone being late so Brenda and played a game of Ta Yu, a tile laying game in which you are supposed to drain rivers. Since it was the first game for both of us, the scores were fairly low. I won in a squeaker. Tim and Brenda played it next and Brenda won that game, Tim scored higher then I did in the previous game but Brenda scored more then both our totals in the first game, romping to a huge win.

The slowpokes started to show up then so we played a game of speed, high drama and thrills, that is right, we played Grand Prix: Detroit and Cleveland. It is not really a car game, but an auction and card management game. The winner is the one with the most money after three races. Paul "He's a maniac, maniac" failed to hold the early lead in the money as I slowly pulled ahead to win.

We then played Bohnanza, a trading game, Tim "Stink Bean" and Paul "Green Bean" tied for first place in a close contest. First place finished only 5 points ahead of last. Both Tim and Paul had used Garden beans and shrewd trading in their shared win. Tim making up for his disastrous racing in Grand Prix (I think he had to write a cheque to continue playing Grand Prix).

To finish up the night we played a one lap race of Formula de - struction. Of the 6 vehicles in the race, 2 failed to finish after wrecking on the last corner on the Nederlands track. Of the final four, 2 had taken body damage in the smash up derby that occurred on the back half of the track. I managed an easy victory, pulling ahead of the rest of the pack on the 2nd corner by heading into it in 5th gear. I never looked back (well except when I saw the flames from Tim "If you can't drive dangerous, stay off the sidewalk" and Brenda "get the hell out of my way" as they were both ruined on separate accidents on the final corner.

Next game night is April 28th as the 21st is Commands & Colors Day.

I hope to see everyone on the 28th!


Well well well, here it is

My new blog, all I am going to do here is post gaming results and talk about games that I play as well as any upcoming ones I am planning on playing. There will not be many people reading it, because who really cares about some canuck writing about boardgames anyway?

Let's see is I actually post to this more then once a month...