Thursday, 18 December 2008

Recent Games

In August (or September)I subscribed to the latest three games from Treefrog Games and in the last couple of days I received both Steel Driver and After the Flood.

My first impression of Steel Driver is that it is very similar to Wabash Cannonball but prevents the issue of the runaway leader that I have experienced in 2 of my games of Wabash. The similarities are there because both games come from the same lineage. Wabash is a cleaned up Prairie Railroads and Steel Driver is a cleaned up version of that. I have read the rules only and while it lacks the sudden ending of Wabash it does look good. I hope to play this over New Years.

After the Flood could be a more difficult game to play, it is 3 players for 3 hours. I have not cracked the plastic yet to read the rules so I am unsure of it.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Descent again!

The second game session in my ongoing Descent Campaign was last night and it was a tough one for the players. They had two of the three levels of Starfall Forest to complete and they had a rough go.

The second level was two named Hellhounds, Frost and Blaze. I did a real number on them with Frost getting multiple kills in and the party losing a lot of heart before finally defeating the breathy bunch.

The last dungeon was with a Beastman and the Pools. They defeated the Beastman and the others with a lot of difficulty and ended up getting a copper treasure (their first!) and making out with only one more death. They drew two cursed items but elected to keep them, just for the firepower and protection.

They chose the third week to stay in Tamalir and train.

After three weeks it was Party 23 XP and Overlord 20.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

John's Christmas Gift Guide for Casual Gamers 2008 edition

I always think that purchasing games for gamers is tough, so I always focus on those that will play them once in awhile, or view them as party activities.

Last year I posted a gift guide focusing on players that don't play games, so this year I will change to my favourite games for those that are casual game players.

I think the top of my list will always be Ingenious, easy to play and easy to teach. My game group has sold 10-15 copies directly due to this game, and if the vendors at last years Calgary Entertainment Expo would have had copies in stock, I would have sold a few more! It has been called "advanced dominoes" but I think there is a larger strategy as you are trying to score points while stopping (or slowing) your opponents scoring.

The game that is second on my list is also by Reiner Knizia and it is Formula Motor Racing. It has a slight feel of auto racing but the theme is tied well into the game play. It also contains some "take that" in the game as well, and only takes a about thirty minutes to play 3 or 4 races.

The new darling on Boardgamegeek is a game called Dominion. This game came out of nowhere to be one of the top ranked games on the site. It will draw players that like Magic: the Gathering and other collectible card games. I taught three new players last night and all three enjoyed it, one asked the name of it because she "likes to track the games she wants to purchase". It has a deck building structure but everyone pulls from the same piles, allowing you to customise your deck.

What the heck, another Knizia game? Yes, here is another, Winner's Circle, a fast playing betting game for up to 6 players. The horse movement is kind of odd, but there is some strategy in the game and can be a riot.

This is a list for casual gamers so I am going to include a game I don't really care for, but revolutionised the boardgaming industry. Settlers of Catan in many ways has done exactly that. It has made a game accessible for those that have primarily played roll and move style games an dgiven them a little more to chew on with trading and the suspense of getting the dice rolls they need. I don't like this game because I find that if you don't get the dice rolls the game is less enjoyable. It does play fast (45 minutes or so) and has some player interaction, so it should be a good casual game.

Ticket to Ride is always going to make this list as well, it is easy to teach, fun to play and you can always talk while playing the game. This game bridges the social activity barrier and allows people to play a game and interact.

The last game on my list is Pandemic. This cooperative game encourages table talk and helping each other out. You either win together or lose together, but you should have a great time doing it. My only complaint is that sometimes you can get a dominant player that gets everyone to do what they want and it may be less of you playing the game as it is them playing it. This is a minor quibble because as you get more experience you can slowly understand the game better.

OK, that is it for this year, have fun and happy gaming!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

My Descent campaign

I have had an itch for awhile to start a Descent: Journeys in the Dark campaign using the Road to Legend system and a couple of weeks ago it finally started.

I currently have three players, Brenda (playing Runewitch Astarra), Jay (playing Lord Hawthorne) and JC (playing Laurel of Bloodwood) and the fourth character they are going to swap amongst themselves is the Red Scorpion.

I drew Obsidian Shackles as my plotline and the Demon Prince as my Avatar on the world.

I will update this more as we play, as we get more into the game.

Friday, 31 October 2008

FallCon 21! A ripe time to review

Forgive me, for I have been a slacker in my updating.

I went to FallCon (my 5th year) but this year I also helped out as an organiser for the event so it was a significantly different (but still great) experience for me.

I only played 2 games, the first being Micro Mutants: Evolution, which is, at it's core, tiddly winks... the last one being Race for the Galaxy, a variation on San Juan. I think Race may be a better game, but it is more difficult to teach.

I also moderated the Battlelore tournament, but I had a significant drop in registrants, with only 8 this year compared to the 14 I had as players last year. Since the player group was so small, it was a less stressful time for me. The winner of the tourney was a return player, which was nice.

Lastly was the auction, I purchased only 2 items, both Mythos box sets as both Brenda and I like the game, but have been unable to get more for the game in a long time. I bid on many more items, but only got those two.

My brother in law and his kids came up this year as well, so, since I was working at FallCon I made his kids (both in their twenties) do work as well... The response I got back from both of them was that since they met the organisers of FallCon and they were around there, they had a better time than they would have just as players. It was a perspective I did not expect.

OK, that is enough for now, I have three other updates rattling around in my head currently that I will try to get to soon.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Battlelore to Fantasy Flight?

Days of Wonder finally admitted what seemed to be increasingly obvious to their fans, they are not capable of supporting 3 big franchises. They have sold their fantasy battle game, Battlelore, to Fantasy Flight Games.

Here are some of my quick (and probably wrong) thoughts...

This is a good thing, Battlelore and Memoir '44 both suffered for additional resources. Battlelore, after an initial flurry of expansions seems to have leveled off and both Memoir '44 and Commands & Colors:Ancients getting more posted plays on BGG.

A little over a year ago I gave my thoughts on Battlelore and how it could cause issues with Memoir '44.

The reason why this is a good deal is that it will allow DoW to further develop the Memoir '44 line, their previous two releases being the Air Pack and the Bag (neither of which I purchased) and the lone announced release for Battlelore (the troll with the paper map) which I did not really want either.

Fantasy Flight will have to really start to flog this game to start recapturing it's glory, they need the Heroes expansion to come out this year (just before Christmas would be smart) and they need to start promoting the game again.

Why it may be bad is for another reason, Days of Wonder has created a Battlelore Adventures editor (link to the right) that I am hopeful but not positive that they will port over all the information.

This also makes me wonder if DoW will be around in two years, have the owners gotten bored and will they sell off their other products? Time will tell.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Another day, another Descent...

I got a couple of people together Friday to play Descent: Journeys in the Dark on Friday night and it did not go well for them at all...

The adventure chosen was "Spoiled Brat", the fourth in the book, and in hindsight, may have been too tough for a group of three with 2 new players. They did ok getting out of the entrance, and they cleaned out the hallway before encountering the red rune locked door, so they turned around and headed back up to the top of the map. This is where things went bad, real bad...

Everything in that room was undying, and undying they were. I was hot with the dice and kept one poor sorceror around for 8 straight kill shots. This hosed them as it took 3 or 4 rounds to get out of that room. It was four rounds I used to summon a variety of creatures including the kobolds from the expansion. It worked out that I was paying 3 less for all my traps (one less/ master kobold and one less for being trapmaster).

The group did use some interesting tactics, heading to town to use the portals to avoid the clusters of monsters, but the sheer number of creatures I had on the board weakened them enough so that they could not survive the dragon.

I'm not dead yet!

I just have not had much to say. I am currently working on 2 things; first, my report on gaming at Waskesiu and lastly, playing Descent last night.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Gaming lately

June was a slow month for me gaming with only 3 total games played, and one of them was played twice.

I previously discussed Descent so I won't get into it again, and the only other game I played last month was Combat Commander: Europe, a WWII Card Driven Wargame.

I still don't have my head completely around it so I won't talk about it, instead I will talk about the games I played this month. I have played 5 games this month and some of them are real beauties! First off, I got in two plays of Arkham Horror, with the group winning once against Shub-Niggurath, and losing once against Ithaqua. I really like Arkham Horror and I would love to get it on the table more often, maybe I will have to organise a FFG Games night, where we play some of their longer titles like AH, or Descent.

Another game we played was Wabash Cannonball, an economic train game. We played a three player game in about 75 minutes, including teaching rules. I like this game, I am just not sure if I will ever win it.

The last two I played this month were The End of the Triumvirate, a three player game set in the Roman era. It is a good solid game, I just am unsure if it is a great game, and Metropolys, a game of building towers, it was ok, but I found the board colours unsettling.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Our Descent into the pit

I purchased a game called Descent: Journeys in the Dark about 3 weeks ago and I cracked it out for playing on a Saturday night. I had 3 players agree to play but only two showed up. Brenda and Rick each then played two characters, Brenda played Landrec the Wise (a magic character) and Ronan the Wild (Ranged and Melee). Rick played Trenloe the Strong (a melee character) and Lyssa (balanced amongst all three). In hindsight I should have only given them one character each as sometimes we forgot the special abilities of the characters. I think dropping the number of characters to one each would have speeded up the game as well.

We started setup/rules at about 7:30 and we were ready to go by about 8:30. The delay was due to my inexperience setting up the game and explaining rules. The scenario we played was the first one in the book, a fairly straightforward assault on a dungeon controlled by a Giant named Narthak.

Descent is a dungeon crawl game, and the way you play it is very typical of dungeon crawls. Each player runs 1 (or in this case 2) characters that move around fighting creatures. It puts me in mind of the old Games Workshop game called Advanced HeroQuest but a little lighter and contains fancier bits. Some of the differences between the two games are: less randomness in Descent, AHQ is a campaign game straight out of the box, whereas Descent is a one-off affair with some campaign rules tacked on (and a 3rd expansion that is for the campaign), the characters in Descent are pre-made with only some customization done by card draws.

The heart of any dungeon crawl game is the combat system, and Descent uses a similar one to Doom. You get attack dice based on the weapon and bonuses for your character and special abilities. E.g. Trenloe is a pure combat dude, so whenever he attacks in melee he gets the dice for the weapon plus three power dice. Then he gets extra damage based on the “surges” he rolls. The number of hearts rolled is compared to the armour of the opponent and if it exceeds the armour you will cause damage. Once you exceed the creature’s health, it dies.

When the players succeed at some tasks, such as activating a glyph or opening a chest, they get conquest tokens, and if they have tokens at the end of the game, they win. The way you lose tokens is to die, every character has a conquest rating between 2 and 4, and that is the count of tokens they lose when they die.

Brenda and Rick tore through the first two rooms without any problems killing beastmen, razorwings and hell hounds (plus one ogre). Their first real difficulty was the third room. It was stuffed with razorwings, bane spiders, beastmen, skeletons and a master sorcerer. They merrily chopped through this group, along with the great timing of Landrec using an item and stunning all creatures within 6 spaces of him. Rick commented “Well if we go through this room, the next room is a breeze! Then came room 4 (cue the ominous music)

Room 4 had 2 beastmen, 2 skeletons, 2 manticores and one named giant (Narthak), and a gold chest….

They entered the room with about 20 conquest tokens and killed one of my beastmen (the master, so he no longer gave extra dice) and then the missiles started flying. Now Trenloe had Armour 4, so he ignored the first three hits against him, but Manticores have Pierce 3, which reduces your armour by 3 so he had 1 armour. The missileers wiped him out in the first round, causing them to lose 4 conquest tokens and created a sense of despair.

Brenda used Landrec to open the gold chest at the entrance, so I played the only trap card I had, Curse of the Monkey God! And trapped him for one round (then I killed him).

I had them in a death loop, with one dying every round, and the cursing was fascinating…

I had them down to 4 conquest tokens when they finally killed Narthak, 5 hours after we started. I enjoyed it, and I think they did too. Next time I am going to make sure we have more players.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Commands & Colors Day 2008

Well we wrapped up another C&C Day with a total of five players. The gaming started at 2 when Orin and Todd showed up. Todd had experience in Memoir '44, and Orin was a returnee from last year, so he was fairly comfortable with all the games. The two of them started on Commands & Colors, fighting the Battle of Akragas with Orin winning both sides. While they were starting out, Mark and Harry had shown up. I have known Mark for awhile and met Harry at the Fallcon BattleLore tourney. and having his email address, I sent him an invite. Harry was comfortable playing BattleLore but was new to the rest of the system. He and Mark played the same scenario in Commands & Colors: Ancients but splitting the battles. I use the variant victory conditions: If one player makes it to the winning number of flags, the other player gets his turn to try and tie.

Todd and Orin continued with C&C:A and played the second scenario, the Battle of Crimissos River, which they split, both winning 6-4 as Syracuse. This is late in the battle, with them tied at 3 blocks each.

Mark and Harry moved on to Memoir '44 and played the Sword Beach landing, with Harry winning as the Allies. Here they are with the landing barely in progress.

Todd had to leave, so I filled in for him and Orin and I played the first (and only) game of BattleLore. I don't remember which scenario we played but Orin felt crushed as he lost to the mighty goblins 6-4.

Harry and Mark wanted to learn Battle Cry, the American Civil War version, so I quickly taught them. They played the First Battle of Bull Run with Mark winning and then they refought Antietam and Harry was victorious.

Orin and I fought the battle of Luttich in Memoir, with both of us winning as the Germans, Orin crunching me 4-0. We wrapped up at that point almost 7 hours after we started, tired but happy.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Game night, what again, so soon?

Last weekend I held a second consecutive weekend game night, mainly because I forget that the previous weekend was a long weekend. So I did it two weeks in a row.

I had seven players show up for gaming, and the only returnee was me (was it something I said?). We wanted everyone to get a chance to play, so we started with Bohnanza, a nice light bean trading game. I was wiped from walking in the relay for life the night before, and then I had two glasses of wine with supper, and 5 beer, so I was playing and not doing very well. I won... I finished with twelve dollars, Brenda and Thushy finished with 11, Tim had 10 and Laura had 9, the last two refused to tell me their scores.

One player had to leave after that so our second game was Frank's Zoo, a trick taking card game. This was ended short of a final victor but I was leading so I claimed victory again!

Two more had to leave (something about working at 6 AM) and we wrapped up the night with a 4 player game of For Sale. I must admit, I love playing this game, it is fast, has tension to it and is just plain fun to play! I didn't win, Brenda slayed us all, beating second place by 20,000.

I had a great time, and if there is anyone reading this blog that is interested in coming out, drop me an email at bgamegeekATgmailDOTcom, or leave a comment below. I am not sure when the next game night is, but I am guessing it is either the 14th or the 21st of June. Does anyone have a preference?

This saturday is Commands & Colors Day, I have 6 signed so I do have room for a couple more.

Still in the planning phases are: another big game day, and another Power Grid A Mania! If you have a preference for a game, let me know.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Myth Games, good and bad

I have been dealing with Cory at Myth Games for the past year. I even ran my BattleLore league there.

Well Cory was broken into Sunday night and they stole a pile of stuff. Here is the text of the email he sent to registered users on his forum:
Myth Games was broken into Sunday night (around 12:30 AM). the cowards stole most of the electronics (DVD player, Sound system, Ipod, router and the modem) plus they took a lot of Magic the Gathering and WoW Cards. They stole pretty much the entire D&D minis RARE cabinet, some Warmachine (painted Cryx and Legion) plus some rare HeroClix.

If you hear of anyone suddenly selling a lot of Rare D&D minis (like the Undead Beholder, Raisltin the mage, The Githyanki Lich Queen etc. Contact the Calgary Police Services or Crime Stoppers.

We are currently doing inventory at the store so we will be closed until late Tuesday afternoon and we will be on Cash/Credit until we get our phone lines fixed (they actually YANKED the wires and broke them, then took the phone base.) so you cannot call the store until most likely Wednesday

So if you do hear of someone selling rare D&D minis do as Cory requested.

The good:
Myth Games is holding a launch party for AD&D 4th edition on June 7th, it is sponsored by Wizards of the Coast.

June 21st is Free RPG Day, and Myth Games are having a party for that. They is a whack of sponsors for it, including:
Wizards of the Coast
Goodman Games
Mongoose Publishing
White Wolf Publishing
Green Ronin

So if there is an RPG you are interested in trying out, maybe drop into Myth Games one of those two weekends.

If you are looking for some boardgames or RPG stuff, why not drop in and give Cory some business as well.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Gaming on the long weekend!

I forgot this was a long weekend when I planned game night so we only had a small contingent show up. There were five of us and we played 6 games over the course of the night.

The first game we played was Ticket to Ride: Europe, the second in the famous Ticket to Ride series. I ended up winning it, by completing both the longest trip and by building the tunnel between Sweden and Russia for 21 points. The game was fairly close, with 4 players at 100 or more and last place missed 100 by only one point.

We played Vegas Showdown as our second game. I tried a new strategy. My previous strategy was to crank up my income and then outspend everyone. The object of Vegas Showdown is to amass the most fame, so I only purchased a couple of slot machines and always tried to purchase things that gave me fame. I won, but only by 4 points, I was always starved for cash and had a hard time purchasing anything but my strategy did work. I actually finished last in both income and population.

Will and Cory had to leave as Will was a little tired, but Al stayed and the three of us played cards (yes cards, like in normal none boardgames stuff). We played a couple of hands of 9-5-2, a game for three players. John (the other one) decided he did not want anyone winning so he deliberately lost it. Al had enough of this so for the second game he killed us both.

Al taught us a new three player bidding game he called Mexico. It uses the cards from 7-A of all suits. You deal out the cards to everyone except 2, which go to the side as kitty. The bidding starts at 5 and the dealer can call "My Five" and to outbid the dealer you must go to 6, the bidding is similar to Kaiser but instead of taking the bid you can still overbid the dealer. There are also Low (take no tricks, can be outbid by an 8 or higher bid) and Mexico (take all ten tricks, go down in score by 10, all others go up by 10).
Scoring goes as follows; everyone starts with 31 points and the goal is to get to -1. Every trick you take reduces your score, but if you fail to make your bid, you go up by that amount. If one of the players fails to take any of the tricks, they also go up by the amount bid. The Low bid is the exact opposite, if the Low bidder does not take any tricks, they go down seven and everyone else goes up by 7.
Ok, enough explanation! We played twice and I won twice. The final game I won by setting Al twice, once when he was at 0 and only needed to make one trick to win.

I enjoyed the games, and I am glad Al taught us Mexico.

Remember, game night is also this weekend, as many were gone for the long weekend.

Have a fun time!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Settler's of Catan National Championship

Once again short notice, but next week is the Settler's of Catan National Championship. If you are interested you should head on over to the link and register. Myself, I am cheering for Dan Flaman of Saskatoon to repeat as the "King of the Catan"! It takes place in Edmonton, Alberta over the MayDay weekend. Winners head to someplace in the US for the World Championships.

This year I may even remember to post the results from the event.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Commands and Colors Day Update

It looks like I have about 5 players for my 2nd Annual C&C Day and I am capping the registration at 10 players. If you are interested let me know!

You can either register with me via email at bgamegeekATgmailDOTcom or post here and let me know


So I went to Mayday on Saturday for some good old miniatures (and wargaming) fun. I left Calgary at 5 AM and made it to Edmonton by 7:40.

I was there to play Contemptible Little Armies, Will ran the Battle of Ypres using this system. I made some mistakes, and had some bad die rolls, and caused the Germans to win. The game was great and beautiful. Will did a great job and the players were fun.

Game two was my Commands & Colours: Ancients game, this was my third year running it, but my worst attendance, I only had three players show up so I filled in as the fourth. We played two scenarios, the first being the battle of Baecula and the latter being the battle of Telamon from the second expansion. My goal was to get the players interested in the game and teach it. I played against a new player and Cory played against someone else that was new. Cory's battle was even and close, my wasn't. I won both sides, once as the Barbarians and once as the Romans. My dice were hot, I mean smoking (I killed 5 barbarian units on the first turn). We switched games and Neal and I played Baecula. I won as Carthage by killing 2 units of medium troops with my heavy unit led by Hasdrubal and later following up with two more kills with them.

My final game was a Napoleonic battle using 54 mm miniatures and the Commands and Colors: Ancients system. We did well as the French, the moderator being surprised by the French winning by being so aggressive, as he had never seen that done before. France won 7-4 and we switched sides. I did some charges (even rolling 4 dice to kill one figure and failing) and we lost the battle 7-3, thus the other guys won the game 11-10, after stealing my brilliant strategy!

I really enjoyed the games, but I have to decide if I can afford to drive down for one day next year. The extra bonus for me was seeing some of my friends that I only see there, so chances are I will be back.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

2nd Annual Commands and Colors Day

May 31st is the date of the 2nd Annual Commands & Colors Day, my annual adventure into the world of Richard Borg.

It will be a full day (2pm to whenever people leave) of all the Commands & Colors line of games; this is to be a learning-friendly playing session. If you have never played before and have been interested, or you are a veteran, you are welcome.

There are 4 games in the Commands & Colors System and I have two of each game:

Battle Cry the first of the series and a game of the American Civil War, published by Hasbro in 2000. This is the simplest of the C&C system, but is still a lot of fun.

Memoir '44 the second, and the highly successful World War II game by Days of Wonder, I have all but one of the expansions, so the Russians and the Japanese are available to play. I have yet to purchase the Air Pack.

Commands & Colors: Ancients is GMT's block version of the series, featuring Rome, the Greeks and Carthage. This includes the all the expansions. It is the most complicated of the C&C system, but to me, is the best of them.

BattleLore the fourth and currently final installment. Battle Lore is unique in the series in that it starts out with historical battles it moves into the fantasy range. This is the only one if the C&C system that allows for Goblins, Dwarves and Hill Giants. I currently have all the expansions for the game.

Here is my commentary on last year's event. We had a ton of fun, and I would love to recreate that day again.

Since this is running out of my house, space is limited with only room for 10 people total. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email,

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Calgary Entertainment Expo

I was there for two days, primarily to promote Fallcon and teach new games. I think we suceeded on both counts.

I taught Settler's of Catan to approximately 25 people and organised about 20 games of it. The other games I taught were: Ticket to Ride, Ingenious, Carcassonne, Formula Motor Racing, Blokus, including Blokus Duo, and Ruk-Shuk.

The other games that were taught were Mah Jong, China, and Clans.

I am guessing we had 150 people and Brent and Thushy gave away 600 copies of the FallCon poster.

All in all, it was a successful weekend.

Next weekend, Mayday!

Monday, 14 April 2008

Post Cuba Game Night Review

The attendance was low for, not surprising for a nice Saturday night. There were a total of four of us and we played two games.

The first game we played was new to two players, but one I have played about 25 times, Ticket to Ride. The game started out with Rick taking an early lead and me sitting at zero as I collected more and more cards. I took over the lead about halfway through the game and never looked back as I completed three trips and finished with 145 points, Brenda being second with 107. It was not to set the tone for the next game.

Game two was Grand Prix: Detroit - Cleveland, and I leapt out to an early last place by bidding high for my car and finishing 4th. Laura won the first race, and the second race but only through collusion of all the other players did she finish in sixth in the final race. Rick won the final race and with that finish plus doing well in the other two he beat Laura by 10,000 dollars, 570K to 560K. I barely broke 350K and finished well behind everyone else.

Don't forget, the Calgary Entertainment Expo is in two weeks!

Next game night will be May 17th.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Pre Cuban game night

Well it was our last game night before we head to Cuba and we had a relatively small turnout with 7 people playing a total of three games.

The first game for the night was Mall of Horror, a game of negotiation and throwing people under the drooling teeth of the undead. Amanda "I won't eat your eyes" winning out over everyone else by keeping two of her people alive and whacking everyone else.

Game two was Ca$h n Gun$, a game that I won with 80,000 dollars compared to everyone else's 70K, well and the cooling corpses of Tim and Shawn...

Shawn, Amanda and Tim all left which meant we then broke out Railroad Tycoon, which Leah (aka Cornelius Vanderbilt) won in dominating fashion, hammering out an eight point win over 2nd place. Brenda finished in third, one point out of second place. The game was close until Leah completed both her Tycoon task and then got the card that allowed her to take five points for completing Washington and New York City. The game went in an odd direction, since there were only four players. Leah built in the NE starting out of New York City. Brenda built in the SE in the Raleigh area, Rob built in the NE as well, forcing competition between him and Leah. This allowed me to build in the Midwest (conveniently enough I had the Tycoon card that allowed me to get two points per Chicago link). Leah and Rob were both several small routes, with Leah's being the smallest and Rob having the most links, but less track. Brenda was from New Orleans to Richmond, Rob was in the NE and then added some tracks in the Ohio area. Rob and Leah were both first timers to the game and really enjoyed it. They are now prepared to play when they head back to Morse.

I don't know when the bext game night will be as I am away the weekend of the 19th of April and the Calgary Entertainment Expo is on the following weekend. This leaves me with only the 12th of April for a games night. I put a poll on the right side to see yeah or nay for that date.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Gaming over the weekend

Jay and Cory came over Saturday night and we played the introductory scenario to Doom. I played the invaders and they played a marine each. The game took us about 3 ½ hours. We made a couple of mistakes but nothing major, well until I saw in the FAQ that range does not matter for melee weapons. The invaders won, but it was a close game. I got my 6th frag in the final room as they were about to win.

What I liked about this game:
The pieces are cool, and the game has a good feel to it. There is a certain tenseness with the players as they know they are trapped but fight hard to survive.
The card concept for frags for the invader is stolen directly from Descent, whose ties to Doom can be seen in the combat system and in the development of the characters vs the game.
Combat works as such, every weapon and creature has a set of attack dice and advantages.
The dice work by having a range number, the number of wounds and whether or not it uses ammo on it. If you want to hit something beside you a range of one or better must be on it. Two dice also have misses on them.
Here are a couple of examples; the chainsaw has a range of 1 and uses one red die. The saw also has the advantage of attacking every square around you (if you want) and deadly (which adds a hit). When Jay was attacking a zombie with the saw, he rolled one red dice, looking to geta couple of hits and since ammo does not count on chain saws, he was not concerned. If he rolled 3 hits and an ammo, he would do 4 damage. Now the way armour works is, if a zombie has 3 armour and 2 wounds, for every three hits you do in a round, you cause a wound. So, if Jay did 2 or less hits to the zombie he would do no damage, if he did 3,4 or 5 hits he would do 1, with six he does 2.

Cory was using the shotgun and it uses one red dice and one blue dice, it’s advantages are deadly (an extra hit) and blow through (allows him to attack an adjacent target if he drops a blue or green dice). Cory has two zombies charging at him and are currently 3 spaces away. Cory would pick his first target and roll his dice. He rolls 1 range, 2 hits on the red and 3 range and one hit on the blue. His total range (1+3) is greater then the range required (3) and he would add the damage from the two dice together (2+1+1) for a total of 4 (including the deadly bonus). This means he would do a total of one wound to the first zombie. He then decides to blow through onto the second one and rolls only the red dice. He gets a 3 range, 1 wound and a bullet. This means he had insufficient range to hit the zombie and it costs him his last bullet.

I also like how they scaled the game down when you do not have a full complement of players. The way it works is that the players are colour coded, with a blue, a red and a green player. The creatures are also in all three colours and if that colour of player is not in the game, anywhere the game shows a monster of that colour in the scenario, that creature does not appear. As an example, in the game I played with Cory and Jay, they chose red and blue, so any green creatures that appeared on the scenario map do not appear in the game.

What I didn’t like about the game:
The rules are not systematically set up, so there is some searching to determine what the exact rules are (read the error with melee weapons…)

Will I run another long game night?
Most definitely yes!

Sunday afternoon I hosted Power Grid a mania, a game (or two) of Power Grid. We had 6 people total show up, with 3 of them being newbies and 3 being “old hands”. We played two separate games with the rookies playing in one, and the other three in a separate game.
The new players game was the USA map form the base game. Since it was a three player game it went to 17 cities. Alex, Brenda and I explained the rules to Greg, Peter and Ed who only like mildly puzzled by the game. The initial board set up they used was the lower West Coast, Southern US and up the middle of the map excluding the mid west. This formed an L shape that was lying on it’s back. Ed set up first and started in the west coast, just far enough from the ocean to allow him to get the west coast and block off everyone else. Peter set up second and started in Duluth, which meant that Greg went to Dallas to avoid fighting for space with either. While they played we watched for the first 4 or 5 turns to see if they understood the order in which things were done and then we went on to the other game.

The other game played on the Italy map and used the Power Grid expansion cards. The Italy map is very constrained because it is so narrow and we picked the lower half of the boot.
The card auction was a little different in that the expansion deck has a 1 cost plant and a 2 cost plant. They were not purchased initially and disappeared after the first two cities were built. Power plants in the expansion appear to be a little more efficient then the ones in the original game as well. The 50 point plant is a 2 uranium powered plant that powers 8 cities.
The game was a close affair with Alex winning after powering 18 cities, Brenda finished second with 17 cities (and more money then me) and I pulled up in last place. It took us less then two hours, but all three of us are comfortable with the game and understand the rules and game mechanics.
One of the things I also found different was that we always had a surplus of coal in the game and not until the last two turns was the price of coal above 3. Garbage was similar in that respect and it stayed static at 5 until the later stages when it was dropping. We were almost entirely out of uranium by the end of the game, with only 2 pieces left in the market.
The new players’ game took a little longer then ours, after instructions were completed and they started in on the game, they took about two and a half hours. Peter won the game with 17 cities, Greg was second with 16 and Ed pulled up the rear with 15. Their game was different in that they were almost out of coal.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Battle Lore - Final week

The final week of BattleLore has rolled around and there was an epic clash of wills as Bruce and I faced off in a series of Epic BattleLore adventures!

The first scenario we played was Raid on Al-Jazirah Al-Khadra from the official epic adventures. Bruce won the first half winning an 8-6 squeaker over me. In the second half it was a different story, my dice did a number on Bruce and I won 7-1, winning the combined event 13-9!

Round two was The Caliphate's Enforcer and it looked like it was going to happen again, as my dice smacked Bruce around and I won 7-3. The second half had Bruce looking worried when I took a shot with my eagle eyed crossbowmen and rolled 4 hits on 5 dice! destroying his heavy infantry. Alas, it was not meant to be, as my dice turned cold and Bruce laid a 7-3 whipping on me, tying the game at 10-10.

Final Standings


Saturday game night

Saturday night was game night, and we had 11 players show up and we played 5 games total.

We started the night with 5 player Vegas Showdown on one table and Ingenious on the other. Brenda squeaked out a close win of 2 points in a low scoring game. She finished with 19 points and 5th finished with 14 in a tense low scoring game. Meanwhile, on the Ingenious table, Robert took everyone to school with a crushing display of abstractedness.

The final two players arrived as the games were ending and we switched to Puerto Rico at one table and Bohnanza at the other. I made a mistake late in the game which cost me certain victory (I blame the cold I have) and allowed Brenda to win by 6 points over me 59-53, third and fourth were both within two points of me as well, scoring 52 and 51 points. The less said about fifth place the better...

Bohnanza was another close affair with Rick squeaking out a win over Robert by holding more cards in his hand at the end of the game, as they were tied in coins.

Rick and Laura left and that meant the others played Grand Prix: Detroit - Cleveland, or at least a shortened version thereof. Lenora won it, by winning the only race that was run.

The next game night is March 22nd, the final game night before we head to Cuba!

There is still a week to vote on the game you would like to play on long game night, remember, if you vote and are planning on showing up, send me an email to bgamegeekATgmailDOTcom so I can send you a copy of the rules.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The poll over there on the right

This poll is for the long game night I plan on holding March 15th (players willing). I thought that you may want to get an idea of what each of the games are before you voted so here is a quick summary and a link to each.

1856 is a 3-6 player train game. The review here will probably help you more then I can. 2 things you should know, 5-6 hours and a brain burner!

Power Grid, this is a classic economics game and realistically should not be on a new games night but, I really enjoy this game and always welcome the chance to play it. This is considered to be about a 2.5 hour game. There are several new maps as well, not to mention the new deck...

Doom, a science fiction based dungeon crawl based on the video game. One player takes the role of the bugs, up to three other players take the role of marines. This is considered a three hour game.

Soldier Kings, the only wargame of the group. It recreates the battles over the new world from 1756-1763. This looks to be fairly light.

I have closed the poll on Feb 8th, and if you vote, drop me an email stating you are coming. I will email a copy of the rules to you the following week so the explanations should be relatively short on the day we play.

In the future I will suggest games like Arkham Horror, Blackbeard, The Merchant of Venus and A Game of Thrones, depending on how turnout is.

If we have a pack of bloodthirsty bastards, I would always be willing for a game of Diplomacy

Gaming last week

I was out of town in Saskatchewan last week so I had to cancel my regular gaming night. I did get a chance to play some games with my brother-in-law and his son. I even managed to convince Brenda to play a little.

The first game we played was Corsari. I finished last and I believe Brenda won. It is not a great game and I doubt I would buy it but it is ok. I play it as a light game and I am guessing I don't grasp the strategy behind it as I only went out once and Lenora still scored less then me!

The second game we played was Vegas Showdown, it isn't a great game, and it isn't an original game, but it is a fun game which is more important. I have only ever played it three times, but I have enjoyed every playing. I also won this time, so it makes it even better...

Game 3 in Indian Head was Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord. Dungeoneer is a light game that comes as a deck of cards, it requires dice and a few tokens, but nothing else. John and I played a 2 player game that John won in about 20 minutes. He smacked me around with a creature every round and I could do nothing about it. Game two added a thrid player, Pat and this changed the dynamics of the game. I won in a close battle, with Pat being one turn from winning and John eliminated about three-fourths of the way through the game.

Friday I visited ye olde Affinity's Antiques and talked to Trent Becker. Trent is always an enjoyable person to talk with. While I was there I picked up a copy of Double or Nothing, another Knizia game, it was a toss up between this and Can't Stop. John, Brenda, Pat and I played this three times, with Brenda winning twice and John )not me) winning the final game. It is a light push your luck style game, that I cannot seem to push my luck with...

I left the game with John, partly because I think he can get his mother and his wife to play it, the rules are simple and the game is pretty straightforward, and also as a present for putting up with us for a week while we were awaiting my mother-in-laws's heart surgery.

We got back to Calgary on Saturday and Jay came over on Monday for some Battle Lore goodness. We played the first two scenarios of The Hundred Years War scenario pack. I won the first round (Crecy) 9-8 with an incredible round with my cavalry units, killing 5 of Jay's units with three cavalry units in one turn. We drew the second round (Poitiers), both of us winning once 6-3.

This brings my count of unplayed games played this year to five, one third of the way to my goal.

I also stickered the Commands & Colors #2 Expansion as well as the third one, now to find a chance to play em! I also recieved my copy of FAB: The Bulge, what looks to be an entertaining WWII block game.

BattleLore League update... finally!

Well week 5 came and went over a week ago and we seemed to have suffered some losses of players in the league. Steve never showed up for the second week in a row, so I am not sure what to do about that.

The first scenario was the battle of Crecy which Bruce and Darren fought as I had two new people drop in to learn the game so I spent my time with the mother and son. Bruce won the first game overall by a score of 10-8.

They then fought the battle of Poitiers and Darren's luck deserted him again as he lost 10-7 to lose both games that night.

The otehr group were completely new to the game so they played Agincourt (which they drew) and First Chevauchée which the son won by one at the end of the game. I missed last week due to being out of town and next week I will be at Tim's Wargaming Weekend.

I am thinking the weekend after this will be the final one, as there may only be two of us.


Darren has decided to withdraw from the league, which means it may only be Bruce and myself. If this is true, we will play Scottish Wars adventures

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Battle Lore Week 4

Week 4 had three regular players show up and one new one. I taught David how to play Battle Lore using the first two scenarios frm the BL rulebook while Bruce and Darren went head to head.

Bruce and Darren played Cavalry Advance first and in a tight contest Darren won his first game, 11-9! I fought David in the Battle of Agincourt to a draw 9-9.

Round two was another Bruce/Darren battle and another Darren win! He won this one 9-8, have the tides turned? David and I did A Burgundian Chevauchée and I won 9-6.

The standings are now


Next game session is Sunday at Myth Games. The battles are both from The Hundred Years War pack and are the Battle of Crecy and the Battle of Poitiers.

Monday, 28 January 2008

BattleLore League Week 3

This week we played two of the official web scenarios, Goblin Gold and Dwarven Renegades.

The first scenario is an official Days of Wonder web published scenario for Goblin Skirmishers and as such, contained Goblins on both sides. We split up into two groups with Steve and I facing off and Bruce and Darren going head to head. Neither Darren nor I had much luck with this battle, with Bruce hammering Darren 12-5 (and winning his 4th game in a row) and Steve trouncing me 12-4 using the spell Chain Lightning to great effect.

The second was a web published scenario for Dwarven Battalions that pitted the basement dwellers (Darren and I) against each other and the top two players (Bruce and Steve). I squeaked out a 11-10 win by using my lone heavy cavalry and killing two units on the final turn to break a 4-4 deadlock. Steve managed to stop Bruce’s winning streak dead in it’s tracks with a similar 11-10 score.

The current standings are:


Next game session is Sunday Feb 3th at Myth Games at noon

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Week 2 Battle Lore League

There still being only four of us, we played two more scenarios and the league standings did change. Bruce took advantage of everyone and had a perfect day, winning all his battles and leaving the rest of us in his dust.

The first scenario was from the Goblin Skirmishers, and is called “Riding down the Spear Bearers”. I was pitted against Darren while Steve and Bruce battled. Darren won his first battle 6-5 over me, but I came back and caused a draw in the overall fight. Bruce won half his battle and beat Steve by 3.

The second scenario was Axe and Spear from the Dwarven Battalion pack. This one really showed me how much my dice (and Bruce’s dastardly plan) were hurting me as Bruce beat me by 3, winning both sides. Darren slipped back into his old ways, losing to Steve by 1.

The current standings are:


League play resumes on the 27th at Myth Games

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Cause it's game night

or at least a review

I didn't expect many to turn out for Saturday night games due to the weather but I was pleasantly surprised by because we had a total of nine show up and played 5 different games, with 5 different winners.

We started the night with two different tables, the first being Ingenious, won by that ingenious fellow Rick over three others. The other table had Formula Motor Racing which I won and Tim finished last with one point in three races (I will get back to Tim later).

We switched tables around and had a four player game of Carcassonne: The Discovery (Brenda's favourite) which she narrowly won by 18 points... The zombies in the group kept chanting "Brains!" and played Mall of Horror which Lenora won after Tim got all his people eaten.

We wrapped up the night with a nine player one lap race of Formula De' and we finished the race in about 2 hours with the the night's whipping boy Tim winning handily. He led wire to wire and finished a full turn ahead of the rest of us. The important thing is that we all finished.

My suggestion for next game night is the 16th of Feb, it is the Saturday of a long weekend and I am gone the weekend after that so the only choices are the 9th and the 16th. Any preferences?

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Battle Lore League

Week one has come and gone with 4 players playing in it. We played 2 scenarios each, one from the Call to Arms supplement and one from the Goblin Marauders supplement.

The first scenario (Muddy Waters) was played between Bruce and John with John winning 8-7. Both games were lopsided victories. Darren and Steve had a slightly different result with Steve winning both sides of the battle 14-6.

Scenario two pitted the winners of the previous games against each other in a Gobin Chevauchee. John and Steve drew the game 11-11 with both winning as the humans 6-5. Darren’s dice roll woes continued as he lost to Bruce 6-4 and 6-2.

Current standings are:


There are still 7 more weeks to play, so you can still come out and play. The cost is free, and you should bring your copy of Battle Lore (if you have one), otherwise we should be able to work around a shortage of units.

Next game time is 12 Noon January 20th, 2008 at Myth Games (#4 3434 34th AVE NE)