Friday, 18 December 2009

Wednesday Night Chaos!

Wednesday night was John's turn to pick a game and he picked Chaos in the Old World, a new game from Fantasy Flight Games.

CitOW is a a theme heavy game in which you play a Chaos God trying to take over the Old World. The methods you use to win over the old world over the other Chaos Powers are corruption and good old warfare. This game is set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe from Games Workshop, and is appropriately dark.

There are three different ways to win CitOW and one way to lose. The methods of winning are: advance your dial to the winning position, have a point total of greater than 50 points at the end of a turn, or ruin five areas on the board, then whomever has the most points will win. The way to lose is to run out of Old World cards and have no one exceed 50 points or the dial advancement condition. I will talk about each winning method in turn.

Dial advancement occurs when you advance your dial (all four powers have a dial of their own) to the point where it states they win. The method to advance each powers dial, and the amount they have to advance it to win are all different. Khorne, the Blood God, gets one advancement token every time he kills one or more of his opponents in a region. Nurgle, the Lord of Pestilence gains a token every time he places two or more corruption tokens in one of the four Populous regions (The Empire, Bretonnia, Kislev and Estalia). Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways gets a counter token every time he places 2 corruption in an area that has 2 of either warpstone or magic symbols. Slaanesh, the God of Lust, gets a counter token whenever he adds two corruption into the areas with nobles.

You are probably wondering how to place corruption tokens, well you place one for every cultist you have on the board. Cultists, warriors and avatars are placed during the summoning phase. Cultists are the weakest of all, and initially none of the Chaos Powers have cultists that can fight.

Battles occur the phase after this, and this is when Khorne would be able to do his dial advances. Combat is a simple process, roll a d6 for every point of combat value you have (Bloodletter's have 2) and you hit on a 4-6 plus you explode when you roll a 6. What this means is that you get a hit and get the possiblity of an additional hit. You then take off opponents figures based on the wounds each character have (Bloodletters have 1, so one hit destroys them).

You score victory points in several ways; via dial advancement bonuses, ruining a region , and dominating a region. Dial advancements are obvious, so I won't go further into this. Each region has a conquest/resistance value (these are the same number) and you must exceed the resistance value to score the conquest value. I know what you are saying "John you fool! These are the exact same value!". These two values can be modified by Heroes (increase the resistance), skaven (decrease the resistance) or nobles (increase the conquest value). This means that 2 skaven and 2 nobles in Bretonnia (Value 4) would allow you to dominate the region with 3 or more points, and if you did dominate the area, you would score 6. A region is ruined when there are more corruption tokens in the region than the regions corruption value (usually 12, but can be reduced by warpstone). When a region is ruined the Chaos Powers that contributed to the corruption (aka the "ruiners") that turn, receive betwen 3 and 5 VP, then at the end of the turn, the largest number of corruption tokens gets more VP (between 6 and 10) and the second largest gets 3-5.

That is the game in a nutshell. It took us a little under two hours to play the game with Tzeentch winning on VP after we ruined 5 provinces. He scored 58 points to Slaanesh's 54.

This is probably the best game I have played so far and I include Smallworld in this category

Thursday, 26 November 2009

It's a Small World after all!

Last night was the regular Wednesday gaming at Darren's, this time a friend of Darren's was over so we had 5 players. She was late, so until she arrived we played 4 player Dominion with Seaside and Intrigue cards mixed in. One of the methods Brenda uses to beat me when the Duke is in play is to purchase Duchies and Dukes. Duchies are worth three points for 5 coins and Dukes give +1 to every Duchy you have. I finished the game with 5 Duchies and 2 Dukes (plus a Province and 2 Estates) for a total of 39 points, narrowly beating out Darren & Bruce (36 points each)., John (the other one) finished with 21.

The cards we had in play were the Chapel, Cellar, Pawn, Militia, Thief, Merchant Ship, Tactician, Duke, Trading Post and some other card that no one purchased. The first deck to be emptied was the Duchies as Bruce had two thieves so he was yanking everyone's money. I ended the game with 3 gold, 5 silver and 5 copper. I purchased a Militia and 2 Merchant Ships as well, plus Pawns (for their versatility) and 3 Cellars (which I never got to use). Bruce went into Thieves and Tacticians and was starting to rollup the points when John ended the game.

The second game we played was Small World, an area control game based on the old classic Vinci. An explanation for Small World was done here so I won't explain it further except to state we played a 5 player game.

Round One
Bruce took the Commando Skeletons and scored a 7 or so points. I followed my usually strategy of picking the race that cost me the least (in this case, Wealthy Halflings with an extra coin from Bruce). I scored 4 plus the 7 plus the 1 and already had 17 points compared to his 11. John took Hill Amazons and scored 10 points. Darren followed that up with Alchemical Giants and scored 5. Julie was last and she chose Berserk Wizards and scored about 10 as well.

Round Two
Bruce took a couple of more areas and converted more of the conquered tokens to skeletons, increasing his army from 10 to 14 since the start of the game. I took a couple of more areas and prevented Darren's Giants from rampaging in my backfield, and scored 6. John attacked Darren and took another hill, scoring 11. Darren was in pretty rough shape and scored 5. Julie expanded her area and scored double digits again.

Round Three
Bruce started rocking again and was up to 16 skeletons and scoring 12 points! I scored 7 with my halflings. John was hit by the undead and his score dropped to 2 when he went into decline. Darren followed with his Giants leaving 4 points per turn. Julie got tangled into a battle with the skeletons and scored 8 or so points.

Round Four
Bruce scored another pile of points, but he lost some of his skeletons and was now scoring 10 points. He controlled almost half the board at his peak. I scored another 7 points and decided to go into decline the next turn. John came on the board with Flying Trolls and attacked Bruce from behind, killing several of his undead and scoring 5 points. Darren took the Heroic Sorcerers and attacked from his side of the board, killing several wizards and converting a Halfling. Darren scored 9 points from all his movement, and looked to be in a strong place. Julie went into decline, scoring 5 points.

Round Five
Bruce had taken a beating with his skeletons and scored about 8 or so, going into the giants and wizards that surrounded him. I went into decline with my halflings, scoring 6 points. John continued flying around with his trolls, attacking anywhere someone was weak, and scoring 8 points. Darren, in a masterful plan, pulled all his guys up and went after Bruce, scoring 8 points again. Julie selected Diplomatic Ratmen, and hammered through the empty areas that Darren had just left scoring a massive 11 points.

Round Six
Bruce put what was left of his might undead horde into decline, scoring 7 points. I scored in double digits for the firts time, wiping more of of the undead from the board using the mighty Spirit Orcs, and scoring 11. John bounced around some more and scored 7 points, mainly at the expense of the undead again. Darren expanded further into the skeletons and scored 10 points as well. Julie killed more halflings and also scored in the double digits.

Round Seven
Bruce started up his Bivouacking Elves and marched into the area previously held by his undead and now held by trolls and sorcerers, he scored 5 points. I pulled up stakes and went after a new group on the other side of the board, killing some ratmen and wizards to score 14 points. John went into decline with the trolls. Darren enlarged his area and scored double digits again. Julie went hunting declining races and scored a further 10 points.

Round Eight (the last one)
Bruce's Elves (and only elves) scored 5 points as he had no skeletons left on the board. I expanded my control of the board on the backs of wizards and ratmen, scoring a further 14 points. John played Underworld Tritons and laid a serious beating on everyone on the board and scored his best result of the game, 11 points. Darren tried to maximise his points but everyone was on to the sorcerers and he only scored 7 points. Julie finished the game by taking a couple of spaces and scoring a final 7 points.

The final score had me beating Julie by 3, with Bruce 4 behind her and Darren 4 behind him, John was last trailing me by 17.

Please note, all the points I added here were guesses as I am pretty sure that is what they got but I am not 100% sure.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Betrayal at the House on the Hill

Robert and Lenora came over last night to play Robert's copy of Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

Betrayal is a co-operative, exploration game until a certain point. After this, it is one player (the betrayer) against the rest of the players. In the first part of the game, all the players are exploring a mansion and collecting better stats and gear, while learning more about the mansion. The gear and the stats are improved by three different kinds of cards, Event cards (which could increase or decrease abilities), Item cards (revolvers, candles, dogs etc) or Omen cards (items like a madman, or a lost girl, or bad things). When an Omen card is drawn, you must roll 6 special dice and roll higher than the number of Omen cards in play, if you do not, the Haunt happens (which I will explain later).

The 6 dice you roll are special 6 sided dice. They have 3 different values on them, two each of blank, one or two pips. This means that you can generate any value from 0-12 on the Omen roll.

Once the Omen roll is made (number of Omen cards exceeds the dice roll), the player that started the Haunt looks in the scenario book to determine which haunt will happen. This determines who is the Betrayer and what the scenario is. Both sides take their books and determine what they have to do to win.

The game then changes, and the player to the left of the Betrayer goes first and play proceeds similar to before the Haunt, except both have different victory conditions. I don't want to give the scenario away, suffice to say, Brenda was the Betrayer and her victory conditions were to kill us all. Unfortunately, the person she was closest to was the strongest player so she tried to build up her Might so she could fight. The rest of us were not restricted by this (we had different victory conditions) , and we managed to fulfill ours before she could.

I like the game, it has 50 scenarios so there is some replayability in the game (how many board games have you played 50 times?) and the board setup changes every game, which makes it a fun experience.

After that we played a couple of other games before Lenora and Robert had to leave. The other games we played were: Zombie Fluxx, a fun little card game I introduced to them a couple of weeks ago. Lenora won, on her turn,, which is a rarity, as most of us win on someone elses' turn. The other was Dominion: Intrigue, which was won by Brenda in a close tight scoring game 39-35-35-34. I like Dominion, but I dislike the cards with Curses on them. This game had none, and Brenda won due to her Duchy/Duke strategy (6 duchies, 3 dukes) gave her the win.

Friday night we went out to a Meetup near us and taught a couple of games. First we taught some first time attendees Dominion (which Brenda won), then while I was helping a couple learn Carcassonne: The Discovery (she won and wanted to buy a copy of the game), while Brenda taught Small World to the couple we played Dominion with. Vivian won, in a roll and they both enjoyed it and discussed buying Dominion. Brenda and I finished the night teaching Canal Mania to a couple of other players. I won...

Two good nights of gaming, I got to play Canal Mania, a game that I quite like and Betrayal, not to mention Dominion...

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Wilf Backhaus

Wilf died Wednesday of cancer, he was a member of the SCA and one of the designers of Chivalry & Sorcery, a roleplaying game I used to play back in Saskatoon.

I saw him last at CalCon in spring and he looked frail then.

This is a loss to gaming and to the world, he was a gentleman as well as a gamer.


Monday, 12 October 2009

A little bit of Thanksgiving gaming

I will start with the game I played at work this week. Tonny, Colin and I played Ticket to Ride on Friday at lunch. This time everyone was playing and not having to learn the rules and we wrapped the game up in less then 45 minutes. Tonny ended up crushing us definitively 129 - 98 - 91. I was the only one that did not complete all their tickets as I was two turns from getting my last ticket done, this cost me 26 points (the trip was worth 13) plus the longest track so I would have won. I guess that is what happens when you play games, you fall just short sometimes and other times you win convincingly.

Sunday rolled around and this weekend is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada so we invited some friends over, Jay and Cory for games and supper. Cory had just picked up a copy of Small World which he was eager to try, and since Brenda liked the game and Jay and I both wanted to play it, we broke out his copy and tried it.

A quick description of Small World, you set up the game with a series of races with special abilities, for example Commando Amazons or Pillaging Dwarfs and you can either take the top one in the row, or pay one buck/race and take one of the following ones. Each race has a special bonus (Amazons get four extra tokens to attack with, Dwarves get an extra coin every turn they control a mine) and each ability gives them a different bonus (Commando, which does not mean they play without underwear, but instead require one less token to attack with or Pillaging, which means they get a bonus coin every time they take over an area that was previously controlled).

After selecting your race you conquer territories on the board, expanding 2 tokens to conquer an area plus one for every other impediment (each token someone else put on there, mountain ranges etc). When you are done you collect points for the areas you control. A dwarf that conquered a mone controlled by either another player or a neutral race would get 1 coin for the area (standard) , 1 coin for the mine (Dwarf special ability) and 1 coin for conquering an area that was previously controlled (Pillaging) for a total of three coins for that area. Victory Points are money, so whomever has the most money at the end of the game wins.

When it is no longer feasible for your race to expand any further you can put that race into decline and start a new one. You will still score points for the declining race, but you will not be able to expand them (with certain exceptions) . This goes on for 9 turns (in a four player game) and the game ends and you count your money.

Cory started and paid 1 coin and picked the Pillaging Orcs (Orcs have the same advantage as Pillage so he scored three coins for every area he conquered with someone in it) and scored 12 points. I chose the top one, Wealthy Giants (Wealthy means 7 extra coins at the end of the turn and Giants take areas adjacent to mountains they control for 1 less counter), taking the free coin that Cory had put on it and scoring a total of 13 points. Jay took Underworld Ratmen (all caverns are one token cheaper to conquer as well as considered adjacent to each other, Ratmen start with more tokens, 8 then anyone else) and scored 8 coins. Brenda finished the turn by taking Mounted Sorcerers ( Mounted means you can take hills and plains for one cheaper, Sorcerers can conquer areas that are adjacent and have only one token in them by swapping out the other token for theirs.) and scored 7 points.

Round two was very similar except all of us scored around the same with my total going down to 8 and everyone else going up. Cory put his Orcs into decline around turn 4 and picked up Commando Amazons (see there they are again) and started scoring well again. On the same turn Jay declined his Ratmen and picked up Bivouacking Ghouls (Bivouacking means you get 5 encampments which give you an extra point of defence and Ghouls only sorta go into decline, instead they can continue to attack and take new territory), and scored well with them. Brenda had scored 17 in one round and 13 the next so she was perceived by Cory and Jay as the greatest threat (no I didn't help convince them....) So on turn 8 Brenda finally put her Sorcerers into decline.

I had placed my Giants into decline the turn after Jay so I picked up Swamp Tritons (bonus coin for swamps 1 less token needed to conquer areas that were adjacent to seas or lakes) and started scoring back in the teens again. On turn 9 Brenda took Alchmist Wizards (2 coins/turn they are on the board, and 1 coin bonus for magic areas) and she scored 7 points at the end of the game.

The final scores were John 107 (I got a ton of points every turn), Brenda 90, Jay 85 and C0ry 78. We all liked the game and will play it again. Small World is a retheming and slight redesign of Vinci and shares a lot of feel with the old Avalon Hill game, History of the World. Brenda, Cory and I all like HotW alot so I was not surprised thatwe all liked this.

I started supper about 5 so we broke up the gaming for awhile as I cooked and the others talked, we ate about 6:30 finishing about 8. Brenda napped from all the carbs (we ate vegan as Jay & Cory are) and about 8:30 we played a quick three player game of Coloretto, a quick filler. Jay won 183-142-137 over us and they left about 9 as Cory worked today.

Game night is Saturday!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

El Grande at Darren's

I have been gaming more and I thought I should give you a quick update to what I have been playing. Last night, at my regular gaming session at Darren's, we played El Grande, it was my second try (the last time was a year ago...) and Darren estimated he had played it 20 times, the other John twice and Bruce has probably played it more the Darren.
El Grande is a game of area control, nothing more nothing less. The beauty of the game is how you control the areas. Every turn, starting with the lowest player, you play a power card and this determines your turn order, with the highest number going first and the lowest number going last, with the added fact that the higher the number the less caballeros (not Guy, he never shows up) can move from the provinces (standby) to the court (readied). The first player then moves his caballeros to the court, and then choses his action card. Action cards do two things, they allow you to move caballeros from the court to the board and they have special actions, such as "Move the King" or "Score areas". The action cards allow you to move anywhere from one to five caballeros from the court to the board (the king allows 5). You score points on the board every three rounds (except for special scoring cards).

Point scoring works as this: Each area has a scoring tile, scoring between 4-7 points for first and 0-3 points for third (second ranges from 0-5, fourth and fifth range from 0-0). If there is a tie, the players get equal to the standing lower (2 players tied for first each score second, 2 players tie for third score fourth, AKA 0).

That is a good enough description of the game, I followed a strategy of this: caballeros in the court and in the provinces score 0, caballeros on the board have a chance of scoring. All four of us had all our caballeros on the board, so it seemed to be the prevalent base of everyone's strategy.

The game is not complex, it is just a hard game to win for new players. My first game I was crushed, finishing 30 points behind the winner, my second game was better, I finished 12 points out of first.

Today at work Tonny, Colin and I played Ticket to Ride, a game I am far more familiar with then El Grande. Tonny and Colin are both new to it. Tonny got an unfortunate set of cards and finished the game with 27 points as he completed no tickets. Colin completed his tickets and finished with 98 points, I completed 6 tickets and ended with 127. I am going to see if I can arrange for more people at work to play, maybe we can play some 4-5 polayer games.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

FallCon 22

WellFallCon 22 has come and gone, and to quote Tony the Tiger, it was grrrrreat!
Attendance was really good, I think there were more people there on Friday night then I have ever seen before. The place was cram packed! It was a little different then previous years, the auction filled up two hours after the auction opened...I started my FallCon adventure with a game called Glory to Rome, it won the People's Choice award and I was asked to moderate it. I really like the game, I just hate explaining it. There are so many things you have to explain for the game, and each one rests upon another one. I did manage to get through the explanation and then the game started. We played two games of it, and a winner emerged, a player that had never played it before. This was surprising because usually the winner has experience in the game. Glory to Rome went until 11 or so and I helped out around the booth and the game library until midnight, then I went home.

I arrived at 7:30 Saturday morning to help set up and ensure all the games were ready for the morning events. I had no games scheduled that day but just tried to helped things go smoothly.
I took over running the games library for awhile as well and played a game of Roll Through the Ages 2 player and lost badly. I like the game, so much so that I will probably purchase it. It is a unique filler and ends before the mechanism is wearing. The game is based on rolling dice to build your civilization. The downside for me is that it might as well be solitaire as there is no player intereaction except for the race to build wonders, you get more points for building a wonder first then your opponent.

I stayed at the games library for awhile and played some games with my friend Leah from Medicine Hat. She schooled me in Lost Cities and then she read the rules to Finca while I helped people check games out of the library. We played a game two player as we both learned the rules, she proved to be an excellent teacher by allowing me to beat her in the game. It is another interesting game that I will probably pick it. There is some depth to the game, and it plays in about 45 minutes.

My afternoon was spent helping pirates play Railroad Tycoon (Saturday was International Talk like a Pirate day) and then prepping for the auction.

The auction deserves special mention because of the games that were available this year. We had several people drop off large amounts (127 in one case) and the games were for the most part high quality. I would guess over a hundred were still in shrink and bidding for the games was fierce. One difference between this year and last was that there were far less miniatures (maybe 12-15 items) and magazines (2) then in previous years. This was due to the speed that the convention filled up. I saw several gamers haul their games back out to the vehicles because of the speed the auction filled. I purchased three games this year; Turbo Taxi, Fresh Fish and Android, and I missed out on Die Macher by a dollar!

I left at about 11:00 Saturday night, being too tired to stay longer and I wanted to finish my prep for my tournament the next day, BattleLore. I also used the Hundred Years War expansion for Battlelore as well. This expansion is great for tournaments because it removes the council and presets the Lore deck, which is great when you are teaching the game at the same time. There were an uneven number of players so I played as well. I won my first game 9-5 and had a shot at winning the tournament (which I don't like doing) but fate stepped in and gave me no centre cards in the second round, causing me to lose the game 10-4 (yes I was squished like a grape). The tournament was fun though and I really enjoyed playing it.

Afterwards we cleaned up and went for beer...
I had a really good time and everyone that was staying at my place for FallCon (there were 6 people) all agreed that it was great.
We have started planning for FallCon 23 already. So come on over for a weekend of gaming!
All the pictures were taken by The Bit, a real photographer.... for FallCon.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Hey look, John finally updated

Yeah, yeah I know, it's been ages since I did an update.

I have been playing games, most noticeably Age of Steam twice, Descent a couple of times and a some games of Dominion (with Rob and then again with the nephews) and not to mention a bunch of C&C:A.

Today I am here to talk about the BattleLore I played at Darren's with John and Bruce. John was new to the game so he and I played the Wizard's Lore scenario from the first game while Bruce and Darren played the Battle of Crecy in the 100 Years War supplement.

John and I had a pretty close game, both of us seemed to be slightly crippled by cards in certain scenarios. I won the first scenario 6-4, while John won the rematch 6-4. We were tied at 4 in the second game when he used Creeping Doom to kill two of my units to win the game.

Tonight we played Descent!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

C&C at Darren's

Well we had a new guy to Darren's weekly C&C night, that being John (no not me, the other one!). He was completely new to the whole system so I started out by teaching him the Battle Cry! and I must be a heckuva teacher. He whipped me soundly, winning the first four games by pretty large margins. Now I could use the excuse that I was taking it easy on him, but I wasn't. Although only having left flank cards for half the game really hurt me...

Darren and Bruce replayed Trebbia and River in Commands & Colors: Ancients


I received a copy of RoboRally in a math trade on BGG last week so I taught Brenda how to play and we played a couple of scenarios 2 player.

She won... everytime...

I am going to pull RoboRally out with more players and see how it goes.

Ancients! at Darrens

Bruce and I played three games of Commands & Colors: Ancients on the 2nd of June, with Bruce winning everything. We played Trebbia and River

Steve and Darren played the first two scenarios as Steve was new to C&C:A but not the system.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Memoir ’44 at Darren’s

Last night was the first night of what I hope will be a long running series of Commands and Colors games at Darren’s.

We played Memoir ’44, and since I was the only one of the four that had played it we played the first couple of scenarios. I am not sure who won the games on the other table as I was not paying attention to them other then to help with rules questions.

Darren and I were first to set up and played through the first three. Darren won Pegasus Bridge by a score of 6-5 in a close game. He won as the Germans 4-1 and then lost as the Allies 4-2. While we were finishing up the second half of the battle, Bruce and Steve arrived and set up Pegasus Bridge as well. They had finished their first battle by the time Darren and I set up and started the second battle, Sainte-Mere Eglise (I pointed out John Wayne on the board). I do think Bruce won both sides as I know he won as the Allies in Pegasus Bridge.

Sainte-Mere Eglise was a much closer battle. Darren won as the Germans 4-2 and I won as the Germans 4-2 resulting in a tie between the two of us 6-6. Darren still had the lead as he won the first scenario. Steve did comment that he had the best cards he had all night in the second scenario and if I recall correctly he won that session.

We set up the Sword Beach, the invasion by sea. I was extremely fortunate and managed to play three Assault Center cards which allowed me to advance a large portion of my force up and off the beach. All of Darren’s forces (three) on his left flank were destroyed which allowed a breakthrough for me. This netted me three medals and destroying a unit on his right flank got me my 4th. All that was left was for me to send tanks to the town for my fifth and final medal and I won 5-2. We switched sides and Darren did not have the same luck as me, getting his centre bogged down and only getting Probe cards for the centre. I ended up destroying his tanks (3 medals) as well as two infantry to win the side 5-2 again. This meant I won the scenario 10-4.

Next week, Commands and Colors: Ancients!

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

FallCon web site

The newly revamped FallCon website is up and the games for this year's edition of FallCon are available to review.

You can also preregister now.

Why are you still here? Go register... NOW!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Last games night until fall

I had 7 people show up and we played 6 games. The first people showed up at 7:30 and we set up for a game of Dominion, but by the time the explanation was done, the rest had shown up so I moved over to teach San Juan and Tim played Dominion with Lenora, Robert and Brenda. Brenda won a long game that took about an hour, with no one getting the revenue to buy the provinces.

Meanwhile, I taught San Juan to Brennan and Scott. San Juan being one of my favourite games. I took my time and explained it well and they caught on, with Scott finishing the game with 12 buildings about 25 minutes later. The final scores were John 30, Scott 24 and Brennan 21.

While we waited for the slow pokes, Brennan and I taught Ingenious to Scott. Ingenious is one of the best gateway games, it is simple to teach, easy to score and quick playing. I won in a very close game with Scott and Brennan blocking the yellow from scoring with that as their lowest colour. Final scores were John 11, Brennan 6 and Scott 5.

We switched tables around and Brenda, Lenora Robert and I played Poison with the others playing Ticket to Ride. I was leading Poison with 6 points until the (disastrous) last turn when I scored 16 to finish last, Lenora won with 11, Robert was second with 12 and Brenda finished third with 16.

I not not know the scores in Ticket to Ride but I do know that Brennan won.

Brennan had to leave by then (something about work) and we switched to a game of Bang! Scott was the sheriff, with Tim as the renegade, Lenora as the deputy and Robert and I as the outlaws. Robert and I managed to remove the deputy and the renegade which left us mano a mano with the sheriff, who mowed us down in quick order…

For our final game of the night we played Ca$h n Gun$ and the less said about that the better… Scott won again, and I died in the third round from lead poisoning.

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Gate to the North

We finally got back to Descent after a month's hiatus and it really showed on the party. The group is heading up to the secret pass near frostgate and they took a little trip through the dungeon called The Gate to the North, another slay fest in three acts.

The first dungeon they had was Dargon's Lair, featuring a red dragon which I finally got to use after Tim's paint job and although he did not kill many, he did weaken the party for later adventures. Lord Hawthorne, played by Jay did not die but he did eat three burn tokens, causing him to lose three health every round until he finally extinguished them on the second level. I did kill both Red Scorpion and Laurel of Bloodmoon before they got me, allowing me to take an 8-5 lead in the Conquest tokens department.

The second battle was the King Janius (Bag of Bones), a master skeleton without Undying but he does get up after being killed. He also allows undead archers a bonus to their pierce. Once again the party triumphed but again after suffering a pair of deaths. While everyone was standing around admiring their handiwork I used Dark Shadows on Laurel of Bloodmoon and caused her to attack a weakened Hawthorne. Hawthorne lost his final burn token by falling over dead... I was now up 22-10! Heh heh heh, in the best Harvey Ronald style...

The third and final act was the Arena, led by the mighty Ogre. He had conveniently placed skeletons on as many high ledges as he could, allowing a wicked crossfire from them. Until the party killed them... When Hawthorne came forward and challenged the Ogre to a battle, mano a ogre, I summoned a party of beastmen and the commander of the beastmen charged forward (to give his command bonus) and whacked Laurel of Bloodmoon, causing a whopping 12 points of damage! conveniently killing her at the same time. The ogre stepped forward and swept both Red Scorpion and Hawthorne off their feet, killing her and grievously wounding him. Hawthorne retreated away from the action, allowing me to charge forward and attack both Red Scorpion and the Runewitch, I dealt 9 damage to both of them and used the knockback feature to knock them onto the ledge, knowing full well that they would take damage when they jumped off. My plan backfired as I could not completely get the Ogre away and the two of them teamed up to cover him with a layer of death magic... They did get distracted and decided to kill all the creatures in the dungeon, giving them no extra conquest but allowing me to get two more. I finished the night with 32 CT and they finished with 17.

I was now leading the CT race for the first time in the game, and they were in Frostgate now, after a brief sidetrip in an outdoor encounter to purchase potions, they were now behind in CT in the game, 101-110. It is now a Silver level campaign!

There is a series of dungeons that allow the players to catch up to the Overlord if they are behind in CT, and the silver level one is a short trip away. This dungeon allows them to get a skill, additional dice and the like if they complete it. So they are headed there for their next adventure, probably next week.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Calgary Entertainment Expo

For the second year in a row, I taught games at the Calgary Entertainment Expo, this year was different though, Brent, who normally organises these, moved to Texas. This meant I was the one doing the organising. I shanghaied recruited Tim and Thushy to help me as well.

There was one other difference too, instead of FallCon getting the room to ourselves, they had a gaming organiser. This also meant we shared the room with a Games Workshop Outrider, Cal-Con and Strategem. Bryan, the organiser, also ran some games, particularly Space Hulk and Pandemic.

For Demos we typically focus on easy to teach, fast strategic games. So once again, we taught Settlers of Catan, Ingenious and Dominion. I would guess we taught Settlers to 20 people, Ingenious to about 15 and Dominion to about half a dozen. I would guess that we talked to 100-150 people and several expressed interest in FallCon. One even rhapsodized about a convention where all you did was play games (which is what FallCon is).

Sunday afternoon Thushy also ran a teaching session for Age of Steam which went over pretty well as well.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Game night!

On April 11th I hosted my (more or less) biweekly game night and we had 10 players that played a total of 5 games. I had forgotten (or was too lazy, you decide) to do an update on what we played, so you will only get a barebones update!

Nicole, Bryan, Simon and I played Power Grid, on the French map. In an intensely close game, particularly surprising when you realise that Bryan and Nicole played for the first time and this was Simon's first game., Nicole won. I was disheartened...

David, Anthony, Lachlan and Tim played Primordial Soup with David, the only one with experience in the game pulling off a win.

Colin and Michelle played Ingenious twice, with Colin winning one and Michelle winning the other. Michelle and Colin are both new to the game group, with this being her first visit and his second.

David, Lachlann, Simon and Tim all left early so we finished with a game of Chrononauts. Everyone but Nicole and I were new to the game, and even then our "experience" (I had played once before) didn't help as Bryan won the turn before I could.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Gaming last week

I played some games this week at Woody's on Wednesday and Jay's on Thursday of last week.

Woody, Norm and I played some three player Race for the Galaxy, with Norm winning the first game and Woody the second. Neither game seemed really close, as the winners in both games won by a fairly large margin.

We then switched to Dominion and I was crushed again, the less said about this night the better. Woody's daughter played as well, and she enjoyed it too.

I also loaned Woody my copy of Runebound so he could try it with his kids, his email response was that it was a really big hit.

I was over at Jay's Thursday night and Cory and his son came over to play and we went right back to Dominion. Cory's son proved to be the expert in a game he had never seen before and tied for first in both his first two plays of the game. He was bored after crushing everyone so he wandered off to play video games and we played some three player Dominion and then we switched to a game that I feel has had a poor reputation mainly because of it's colour scheme.

Our last game of the night was Nexus Ops, a light wargame that encourages aggression because you only get victory points by attacking. Jay commented about two turns into the game that "this is a better game then I expected". He won...

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Finally, another game night update

On March 21st I hosted only my third game night of the year. I missed most of Feb due to a trip to Mexico. We had ten total players and we played 6 different games.

First off, as new people were arriving, I set up Carcassonne: The Discovery for 5 players, Emily won by 15 points over a close packed bunch. As the game was finishing up, we had more players arrive so we broke into multiple groups.

David needed to refresh his memory of Arkham Horror so he roped 5 others in to play this along with the Dunwich Horror expansion, we had a 6 player, 4.5 hour game which culminated in Machine Gun McGlen killing Ithaqua with a sword. We were exhausted by the end, but also exhilarated.

Emily convinced Lenora, Brenda and Colin to play her latest addiction, Dominion. They managed to get two plays in, with Emily winning the first player game and Lenora winning Big Money.

Emily had to leave, and we were still on the track of Ithaqua so the three of them played Poison, the game of witches brews. Brenda won, but I am not sure of the scores.

The next game they played was Ingenious, still my favourite Knizia and Colin took home his first victory of the night.

Lastly, they played Formula Motor Racing (another Knizia, hmmm) and Colin started slow and won by the whole shebang by the end of the third race.

Next is my perspective of Cal-Con, the convention I was at over the weekend.

Gaming at Woody's, Parts I and II

The last two Wednesdays I have been playing games at a friend of mine, Woody. The main games we have been playing are Race for the Galaxy and Dominion. Yesterday we added in a third game, Nexus Ops, just to add a little variety.
The first Wednesday we played RtfG twice, I was lucky in the first game to get a military strategy rolling and ended up with three 6 value developments, and easily won the first game. Game two was a slightly different matter as both Woody and Norm had better games. I used the "drown em in planets" strategy and had 2 alien planets by the end of the game, I barely eked out a win that time with both Woody and Norm scoring close to me.
The second game we played that night was Dominion. Woody and Norm had never played Dominion so we played using the first time deck and predictably enough, I won. The advantage I had was similar to the advantage a veteran player of any game has, they know and understand the roots to victory.

The next wednesday night Norm and Woody were playing Race again as I told them I would be late. Norm got his economic engine humming smoothly in the last three turns to score 40 points and Woody used the military to score 36.
We switched to Dominion (now there is a shock!) and played the Big Money deck. The deck may have been big money but the scores were not, Woody won by 2 points over me, with Norm trailing me by 3 and scoring 27 points total. Next up was the Interactive deck, where I used the thief to little effect but still managed to score a slight victory over the two contenders.

We finished the night with Nexus Ops, a light science fiction wargame, that is quick playing and is simple to teach and learn. Nexus Ops uses a board made of hexes and revenue mines are placed on them to use for purchase of troops. A turn begins with the player buying troops, playing any start of turn cards and then doing movement (1 space), fighting (one d6 roll per figure), collecting revenue and picking up secret mission cards (hidden victory points you can play).
The game is a fast game, and with my vast experience (two plays) and teaching Woody and Norm, we still managed to get a game played in 75 minutes from setup to teardown. Woody won by killing my dragon and taking the citadel on the same turn, generating 5 VP and reaching the required 12 before me. I had 10 at games end and Norm had 4.

This weekend, Cal-Con!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Wednesday night gaming

Brenda and I headed over to Jay's place Wednesday night for some nosh and gaming. Jay fed us some Hungarian food and then Brenda fed us some losses...

First up was Dominion, we played with the first deck with the Witch & Thief in it. I tried a new experiment and went minimal cash and tons of Gardens and other purchases. There was no Moat so the game was low scoring. Brenda got her first victory of the night beating me by one point 18-17 with Jay pulling up the rear at -5.

I demanded a rematch and we went onto the next deck (Town Square?) and this game had no Witch or Thief so the scores were much higher. I got my engine rolling and managed to squeak out a victory with 52 points, Brenda finished second at 45 and Jay was third with 27.

We finished the night with Race for the Galaxy, a game very similar to San Juan, but certainly more complex. Jay commented at the end of the game "You need a full game just to understand the game, the symbols and turns, I never got it until the last turn." Needless to say, Jay played the perfect host, finishing 3rd with 18 points, a respectable total for a first time player, while Brenda laid down 15 points on the last hand to win 35-28 over me, I was crushed.

I have no gaming plans (currently) for the weekend, but I do have my Descent campaign for next Monday and Jay and I are going to try to get together again next week. Next weekend is my game night, with Cal-Con the week after that!

Descent again

Last Monday Jay, Brenda and JC were back to finish what they had started the previous week. So they started on the third level, which was populated by some undead and a few other nasty dudes... I managed to get a kill in before they totally wiped out the dungeon and the game ended with the party at 17 CT and me at 20. The plan was for the group to head to Tamalir, do their business and then head off to intercept Sir Alric Farrow (which they did), but not before he got his first roll to trash the town (he failed). We ended up in an outdoor battle with heavy snow, so no one was allowed to move faster then their speed. They battled all of his minions, destoying them and then managed to kill Farrow as he tried to flee the board, hampered by the heavy snow he was unable to get away.

The final result was 26 CT for me and 21 for the party, pretty close, but I finally had more CT then the party. I purchased a Treachery upgrade and a Traps upgrade in those two weeks and the total CT for the two groups is 156. I have 6 CT unspent.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Thursday night gaming

Jay came over Thursday and we played some games and had a beer (or two). Jay has not played many of the two player games outside the Commands & Colors line so we played a couple of new (to him) games.

First up was Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, a game for 2-6 players that we played 2 player. Jay took the zombies and I took the humans. We played the first scenario, with me drawing the Drifter, the Nurse, The Sheriff and Billy, his son. All of them started in their respective starting positions except the drifter, who started in the centre of the board. Jay placed his zombies and awaaaay went shambled!
He used the shamble card immediately and attacked the nurse, causing a wound, and forcing her to flee for the protection of the drifter and the sheriff. All the rest of the humans searched and came away with a gun and a first aid kit. Jay milled around the board with his zombies...

Long story short (since I didn't enjoy the game) Jay jammed his zombie into the hospital and the church, and waited me out. I lost the game, and it is now up for trade...

The second game we played was Dominion, a game that you build your deck in, much like the pregame part of Magic: The Gathering or other CCgs. Since this was Jay's first game, we played a 2 player version of the first game. Since Jay was new, and I had played several/many times I won quite handily, but he did grasp the strategy of what was going on. So we played again.... This time we played the Big Money game and Jay lost but by a much narrower score, I beat him by only 8 so points. Jay had one beer left, so the obvious thing was to play another game of Dominion... We finished off the night with the interactive deck. Jame jumped out buying the first thief which made me decide to go with all + action and + gold coin cards. I never purchased another gold coin. Jay used his thief to trash one of my coppers dropping me to 6 copper coins. He ended up beating me 52-48 in a very close game.

We are planning on doing this more often, and quite possibly switching it to Wednesday nights so Brenda is not off playing WoW.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Descent Night

We finally got on track again with the Road to Legend campaign for Descent last night. The party spent a week learnin' some a skill (Shadowsoul) and getting a shiny silver die. While they were getting all learned up, I spent 30 Conquest Tokens (CT) and upgraded all my creatures to Silver. They ventured off into the wilds of Terrinoth. They slipped by the first encounter in the wild of some beastmen, and headed off to the dungeon with their health intact.

Their first encounter in the dungeon was #2 The Alchemist's Lab. The players were cocky from their previous adventures, or maybe they forgot, but Red Scorpion went a little too far out in front and she was doubleteamed by the (now silver!) manticores. She died... The players did some quick thinking and decided that this was bad, so Laurel of Bloodwood and Runewitch Astarra teamed up and killed a manticore. Lord Hawthorne rushed forward to slay the other and promptly fell in a pit. The manticore took some pot shots at him, and then backed off, forcing the players to chase him, while Hawthorne climbed out of a pit. The manticore and his beastman sidekick died but Carolus lived on! Astarra and Laurel each battled him and both missed once, so he lived, with only one HP left, so he sauntered over to Laurel and laid the smack down, killing her. I was now at 9 CT and the players were at 3! Carolus died, giving them an additional three and they sauntered off to the next level, #31 Puppet Master.

Puppet Master is a neat level, with two red creatures but one is dependant on the other to live (not that the party knew this). I had only limited areas to set up and so the space was filled with Debilus, another Master Sorcerer, a red Beastman with two white sidekicks and Gragnath. On my first turn I summoned some kobolds and laid down the trapmaster card, making all my traps 3 cheaper. Hawthorne knew more spiky pits were coming... The group sauntered in, killing the white beastmen but not suffering any damage from all the X I rolled when attacking. When Hawthorne moved his shadowsoul into the area and switched places the next turn, I dropped a block on his head., forcing him back to his original starting spot. He managed to wound Gragnath with his battle, and no other creatures were killed in that round. On my turn I played Dark Charm on Astarra, who turned and unloaded her best attack on Laurel, which missed (sigh). I spent a couple of attacks on Red Scorpion, killing her again and running my total to 12 CT. The group finally managed to kill all the creatures on that level and we called it a night there. I left the party bent and bleeding, with Hawthorne and Laurel down on HP, and about to enter the third and final level. We will be wrapping up this dungeon this week and the party plans on heading back to Tamalir to buy walls upgrades and possibly attack Sir Alric Farrow, as they think they are at their peak of skills and if they wait too long it will be a silver level campaign, doubling his health and increasing his armour by 2. The current count for CT is Overlord 12 and the players 10.

Remember Cal-Con is on at the end of the month, be there or be a turkey!

Sunday, 25 January 2009

The end of the world!

And the power to do it...

Last night was my second games night of 2009, and it was a small but dedicated group. We had six players and we played two games.

The first was a six player game of Power Grid. We played the United States map, with the Northwest (purple area) out of play. Chris set up shop in the Southwest part of the map, Brenda along the Southeastern part of the US, Krista went into the Eastern seaboard, Brian was in the central north with Cory directly below him and I was in the Southern US. The game ended at 15 cities, rather then 14 because three players were able to build to 15. I beat Brenda by 8 Elektros (22-14) Cory finished third with 15 cities and no Elektros. It was a close tense game that lasted about 2 hours, which was surprising for a game with 2 new players, 1 player that had played once, one player with three plays and Brenda and I.

Cory had to leave to pick up someone from the airport, so we finished up with a 5 player game of Nuclear War. I have Nuclear Proliferation, Nuclear Escalation and the booster packs so the deck of cards is pretty big. The game played the way it usually does, with both Brian and I losing our first turns due to secrets played by Brenda. We traded propaganda until Krista dropped a Scud on Chris, she did no damage but the war was on! I had started the game with only 21 million people and Brian had taken 10 million from me in the propagaganda round, so I responded the best way, by using a Stealth Bomber to kill 16 million! He was surprised...
Chris played Super Vinny and he was the most dangerous of all, he whittled everyone down (except Chris who had a Super Serum) and he eventually wiped out Krista, Brenda, Brian and myself. Our final retaliations weakened Chris so Brian wiped him out as he lay dying from the plague. Once again, Nuke War shows no one is a winner when it comes to this.

I had a great time, and I think the others did too. The next game night should be in 2 weeks.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Grab your crash helmet and your racing silks

Game night went racing!

January 10th I ran my first game night of 2009, I ran it with a racing theme. I had a pretty good turnout, with 11 players and we played 4 different games.

The first game of the night was Formula D. Chris had brought along his copy, so I got him to teach it to everyone else. There are some subtle differences between it and Formula De, the largest ones being cosmetic, but it does allow you the option of Street Racing as well. Chris won that game, a turn ahead of everyone else.

While people were showing up I played Formula Motor Racing with 2 other players. We played a 3 race series, with me winning 2 outright and winning the overall series 24-17-11.

The Really Nasty Horseracing Game was next on the list, I taught it to 5 other players, who seemed to grasp the game far better than I... Rick won by betting 55,000 pounds in a 12:1 longshot in the final race, beating Shawn by 15,000 pounds. Shawn also bet on the horse, but only bet 50,000... I wound up broke and having to sell my stable of nags... One of the highlights was Shawn's number 6 horse galloping home to win the 4th race at 50:1 odds, too bad no one bet on him.

While we were trashing each other's horse on the track, the other 5 players played Grand Prix: Detroit Cleveland. Lenora won this one.

The previous game was faster, so they wound up the night with a game of Formula Motor Racing. Brenda won this one.

I have been considering a Formula De constructor series of games. Here is a link to a condensed copy of the rules.

The Dominion of Morse

We went to Morse, Saskatchewan for New Years this year, and is as typical of many get togethers with my friends, we played several different games, but the true champion of the week was Dominion. Once it was taught, everyone wanted to play it again, and again, and again... Dominion was played about 25 times in 4 days.

We did play other games as well, Formula De twice, on the USA Track Pack 2. I actually got lucky in the second game and won it on the last corner.

I finally got a chance to play Brass as well, and I do get why it is rated so highly. It is a tough game to get your brain around, but man it is good!

I taught Rob how to play Twilight Struggle, but this was an issue of the game beating Rob up, and me knowing the game better, so he never stood a chance. It is tough to be taught the game by someone that has played it several times, mainly because of the knowledge gap. I know when I play against players that are more experienced then me, I experience the same sort of beatdown.

The last game I played for 2008 was Cutthroat Caverns, which I did not win. I finished second...

Tune in, as next week I will also publish a rundown of the game night last night.