Friday, 3 September 2010

Wait, can it be, another post by John finally?

I had someone I met on over wednesday night to play some games. Brian is his name and Battle Cry was his game...

We started out with a three player game call Days of Steam by Valley Games. It is a light cross between a train game and Carcassonne. The basic premise of the game is to build a track and deliver goods on it. You build the track by laying down tiles from your hand of three. The tiles also have a steam number printed on them as well. This is how mych steam you build up (more on this later). After at least two tiles are laid down you can lie down a city tile as well (citys must be at least two tiles apart). When you complete a connection between two cities you get a circuit marker which is worth one VP (first person to 13 wins). The other thing city tiles do is get two random cubes which you can deliver to a matching city for more vp. The question I know you ahve all been asking is "John, John, how do I move?". Use your legs...

Trains in the game move by expending one steam per tile moved, plus an extra one for hils and another extra one for passing another train. These steam is generated by laying tiles (remember?) and you can only have a maximum of six at any one time.

When you deliver cubes to a city you get 2 vp for each cube you deliver plus you get bonus points for having multiple colours. The game ends immediately when someone gets 13 points or you run out of tiles and steam.

I won both games we played, the second only because Brenda rolled a one on a turn.

Brenda went off to do something else so Brian and I played some Battle Cry. Brian had never played it before so I chose to be nice to him. He crushed me as the Union 6-5 and as the Confederacy 6-4. So I guess I must have been too nice...

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Saskatoon and Gaming

If you look to the right you will find that my games played has not really changed in while. I will add one or two games on, but for the most part it stays fairly static.

There are several reasons for this: first is due to my playing a ton of Savage Worlds lately, one or two games a week, the second is that the only other games I play are at the Dragon's Den on Friday nights, which I only do every other week, third and last, Brenda and I have not purchased a new place yet so I cannot currently host game nights as my games are all in boxes upstairs (with two exceptions, Leaping Lemmings and Moongha Invaders.

I think Leaping Lemmings will be a nice quick game that I can add to my stable of racing games. It states that is takes 10-15 minutes per player to play, so with a full complement it may be up to 90 minutes long! This surprises me, but may actually be ok.

The other, looks like a wild and wacky Wallace game of monsters trashing towns. The rules are a little more confusing then that should be, but I cannot wait to get it on the table (if I could find the table!).

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Gaming at the Dragon's Den

Last Friday night I headed over to the Den to play some games. When I got there a couple of people were playing Dungeon Lords (a game I am not interested in). I watched them for a while and Keith showed up with his sun.

The three of us, and one other played a game of Chicago Express, a game I have played before but when it was called Wabash Cannonball.

The game lasted 6 turns before we ran out of shares. Keith finished with 2 red shares, one yellow and one green. I finished with one of each share. The other guy finished with 2 yellow and one green. Keith's son had one each of blue and black, plus 2 greens. The stock value ended with red at 33, yellow at 32, green at 25, blue at 25 and black at 20. The final scoring ended with me at 115, Keith at 98, the other guy at 56 and Keith's son at 39.

The other guy had to leave so the opther three of us joined up with a fourth to play a couple of games of Bang! Keith and I were the outlaws in the first game with his son as the Sheriff. Keith and I won handily...

The second game had Keith as the Sheriff with his son and I as the outlaws. His son bought the line that I was the renegade from the actual renegade player and was really surprised that I was not... Keith killed me and then his son, leaving a showdown between him and the renegade. He gunned the relic down winning his second game of the night.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Upheaval! Changes! Chaos! and Savage Worlds...

So things have changed a little here. Brenda and I have moved to Saskatoon last month and I have started a new job. Since we are currently renting a place here I have not unpacked my games and will not until we are moved to our final destination in town (aka buy a house). If there is anyone in Calgary looking for a place, mine is up for sale...

All that being said, I have been playing games, just different ones than usual. Savage Timmy is a prolific painter and has started two different Savage Worlds campaigns that are part roleplaying part miniature skirmish rules. Plus I made it to a Dragon's Den Friday night and got some Brass and Race for the Galaxy in.

I like Savage Worlds, I find it a fun little game. Please remember I ran a Savage Worlds: Rippers game for awhile.

On to the games!

Tim's Cthulhu game is set in the 20's and I am playing an illiterate depressed Great War vet/farmboy from Saskatchewan living in the UK after the death of his wife... Our first adventure was set in Scotland and I was one of the diggers hired to help excavate a bog that was used in the past to sacrifice Celts to their god. (Jennifer Wraight) Amanda was the one running the show and she also hired a Ghurka named Shivanshu (Darrin) as a digger as well. Laurel Trebeau (Brenda) was hired as an aide while Höllenstadt-Fürchtberg tagged along as bait (always send the crippled one off alone!).

We were running around lost as three of the earlier crew were kidnapped and one "dead but not really dead" guy showed up with no tongue. We stumbled around blindly looking for clues when we were given a hint that I thought was a setup (which was, but not the way I thought) and we caught a break. We trailed the suspect out to the bog and caught the cultists trying to sacrifice some kidnapped surveyors and the church heretics.

We fought some zombies and the cultists and survived the ravenous bugblatter beast to return triumphantly back to town (except the German, who buggered off, I think he set us up).

Operation Barbarossa (Timmy's WWII one) is heavier on combat and lighter on Roleplaying. I play Yuri Gelakhov, a Cossack that was "recruited" into the army to shoot Germans. Gary, Rick, Dave and Patrick are all playing Russians as well trying to stem the German tide. In day one we faced German patrols and watched as the Polish "recruits" shot the heck out of the Germans.

On day two I was transferred to another unit where we had a defensive position that we had to defend to allow our troops to defend. As this was the next day, I was still carrying my wound. I was now reporting to Sergeant Trotsky (how did he survive the purge?) and had to provide stability to a group of Lithuanian "recruits". Trotsky and the Lithuanians held the centre and the right while LMG Satan and I held the left. We shot the heck out of the Germans causing them to break while only losing Satan (he was injured and unconcious) and one wounded Lithuanian.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Robo Dominion Rally (or something like that)

Thursday is our usual Descent night but JC was unavailable so instead we played some other games. Those games being RoboRally and Dominion.

RoboRally is a game that I have had two different opinions on. When I first played it (4-5 years ago), I played it in a tournament with 10 other people in the game, and the next time was with 11 other people. Groups this size did not make it an enjoyable experience for me, but I ended up with it in a trade last year, and convinced Brenda to play. She likes the game and so we have played it a couple of times in the last 6 months. So, when Jay and Cory came over, I suggested this to start. Well, the game started, but my robot did not. In the time it took to pay, my robot fell into pits twice and shutdown once... I made it to the third (of four) flags in the time it took Jay to moonwalk backwards onto the final flag...

Since game one was so fast, we played a second one, and as we were setting up the phone rang so Brenda dropped out and we played three player. This time, the cards fell my way and Cory kept confusing his left from his right. I waltzed to victory, completing all four flags before Jay managed to get his first (Cory made it to the first and was just heading to the second). game two was even faster than game one!

We switched to Dominion as Brenda had just hung up the phone and we played with the rule that the ten cards were deal out and each player could reject one. I am thinking I may modify the rule and deal out fourteen and then each player rejects one...

On to the game!

I don't remember which cards we played with, except there was one duration card and the Witch was the only 5 card. I spent most of the game collecting witches and silver. I lost... by a long shot. Brenda won by 10 points or so.

So we played again, we had pirates and embargoes and barons oh my! I got crushed again as Jay narrowly squeaked out a victory over everyone else (I think I was ten points out again).

Commands & Colors

Darren hosted the usual Tuesday night gaming and this week we got back to the basics, Commands & Colors: Ancients. The game I believe is Richard Borg's best iteration of the C&C series.

I am not going to rehash how to play C&C, but instead will give more of a session report for the nights gaming.

The first battle I played against John (no not me, the other one), was the battle of Ilipa from 206 BC, historically it was a victory for Scipio Africanus over Hannibal. I played Scipio in the first battle and it held true to form, with the Romans winning the battle 7-2. We switched sides and John played Scipio, and I was sure that there was going to be a beatdown, and there was... Hannibal (meaning me) crushed Scipio 7-4 setting the stage for Zama, which was the final battle of the 2nd Punic War. This time I started as Hannibal and my amazing streak continued as Hannibal laid the boots to the Romans, defeating Scipio 8-4 and changing the entire history.

I would like to claim that my superior generalship won the day, instead it was a combination of getting the cards, getting the dice rolls and knowing what to do with the cards. My elephants in these battles were tremendous, killing multiple units before dying and minimizing the damage to my forces.

Next week, Rise of Empires!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Rail Baron

Last night, Robert and Lenora invited us over to Robert's place for supper and to watch Alice. Well the PVR was screwed up so instead we played Rail Baron, a game by Avalon Hill from 1977.

Rail Baron is a roll and move game to some extent, as you move your train from one randomly generated location to another. After completing your trip, you get paid and you get the opportunity to purchase either an upgraded train or a track.

Every turn you move along a track that is not owned by anyone except you, you must pay a usage rate of 1000/turn. If the track is owned by another player you must pay them 5,000/turn you are on their track.

End game is when there are no tracks to be purchased and the cost of travelling on someone else's track doubles to 10,000.

Well the way the game broke out Brenda and Robert both got big payouts (and half decent dice rolls) and I got poor rolls (Lenora ditched us for a better offer)... They were buying all the big tracks and I was left buying the 4-15K tracks. When the end game arrived I was in the worst position financially, but had the most tracks, and owned most of the cheap tracks in the SE.

When you reach 200,000 you have the option of "declaring", which allows you to race for home. When you get there, if you still have over 200K, you win the game. Robert declared first and raced for home, unfortunately, Brenda had the fastest train in the game and caught him (which cost him 50,000). I steadily built up my funds and was at 228,000 when I declared. I made it home on my next turn, winning the game.

Brenda was 20,000 short but was heading home to complete a trip, if she would have made it home (on her next turn) the turn after that would have given her the win. Robert was still making a delivery and then was planning on declaring.

I found the game interesting, but I am not sure how often I would play it.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Canal Mania

Tuesday night Bruce was unable to make it, so instead of playing three player Commands & Colors, we played Canal Mania, a game where you build canals based on contracts you select. It is between Ticket to Ride and Steam with regards to complexity and decision making, and as such, I feel it is a fairly light game.

Darren and John were both new to the game, and I have a vast knowledge of 3 games, but we set at it with a will. I explained the rules, dealt out the engineers and away we went. I started with the oldest engineer so I went first, and drafted the contract for the lower left corner. I am unsure why, but I seem to select that corner every time. John selected a Manchester route so was in the upper left, with Darrren selecting the route right beside me.

One of my complaints of the game is that the areas selected are the left side of the board, so you are always on the left side of the board, if that makes sense.

One of the things I like about it is that you are always forced to make choices (do I change engineers or get contracts? Do I draw or build?). These are things I like, the constraints and the difficulty in building and the added feature of delivering goods as well, makes this a challenge.

It was a very close game for the most part, but in opne turn I finished two routes, scoring 22 points and putting me perilously close to 70 (game end score). Darren had to use my canal to deliver goods and I was one point away from starting the end game.

When I started it, I had no track to build, and quickly just delivered goods. The game took about 2 hours, including rules, and was enjoyed by everyone. The final scores were John - 88, Darren - 75 and John - 74

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Steamin' Tuesday!

or Steam on Tuesday...

Last night was the weekly Wednesday night game at Darren's place, except we have switched to Tuesdays. This week, following our new system of 2 player games one week (last week was Twilight Struggle) and Wallace games the next, we played the Mayfair train game Steam.

Steam is part of the Age of Steam game family because it does share certain elements with both Age of Steam and Railroad Tycoon. I consider Railroad Tycoon as the friendlier game and Age of Steam the game that wants to knife you in the alley...

Steam started off as close race with me pulling out to an early revenue lead and Bruce plummetting to -8 revenue deficit. This was not to last. I developed in the Southwest corner on the US map (the NE USA map), Bruce at the top with Ottawa, Darren was in the Boston - Hartford area and John was caught between Darren and I.

Darren took control of the game about turn 5 and never looked back, as John was forced to use Darren's tracks in places to ship goods. Darren's margin of victory was the amount of delivery John did on his tracks. We finished the game in about 2.5 hours, as we had two new players and John and I each had one play.

Final scores were: Darren 35, Bruce 32, John 30, the other John 27.

Whenever I play Steam or Age of Steam, I always finish the game smiling. I find this game so enjoyable that I could play it more often then I do.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

A Day at the Races!

Last night I hosted my annual January meetup group event A Day at the Races! I had a poor turnout this year with several last minute cancellations but I still had a total of 6 jockeys ready to put on their silks and race for the finish line! Except we did not play any horse racing games...

The first game on the agenda was Jamaica, a light hearted filler that we decided to play 4 player until the laggards showed up. This game is based on being a pirate and racing around Jamaica, and since we were already wearing silks, it seemed a natural fit.

Tom rocketed out to an early lead but was soon shot full of holes by the blackguards John and Bruce, losing his treasure and his food. John took over the lead shortly thereafter and never looked back, I lead from that point forward until the very end, being chased and shot at twice by the villainous Tom. The game took about 45 minutes and by then the final two players were there, so we decided to play a six player game. Everyone liked the game and they really liked the graphics as it is a very pretty game.

That game was Giro d'Italia: the Game, a bike racing game that is a branded reprint of Leader 1. This is David's game and he brought it along because he always wants to play it, not that I blame him, it is a good game.

The track had only one hill and several rises but was mostly flat so everyone, but David, who took a leader, took a rouleur, as they do better on flats than anyone else. The peloton went two rounds around the table before David decided to break away from the pack, a decision that would cost him later, as almost immediately he fell and was pulled back into the peloton.

Bruce, Brenda, Jay and Tom broke away next but they only stayed slightly ahead of the peloton for until the race was about 2/3rds over. Brenda decided to break away from the breakaway group and poured it on, this forced Bruce and Tom (who had been providing a wind break for everyone) to break with her, along with the rest. David and I decided to go along or risk being left behind. This meant I had to change bikes as the one I was using looked something like this:
We all gave chase and Jay and I caught Brenda on the last turn before the sprint to the finish, David ran out of energy and was pulled back into the peloton, while Tom and Bruce fell off the pace. Brenda, Jay and I all finished one turn ahead of Tom and Bruce and David finished in the Peloton. The final order of finish was: John, Jay, Brenda, Tom, Bruce and David. The commentary surrounding this game was "I really like this game" and "That was alot of fun".

The third and final game we played was that classic, Fearsome Floors. It was decided David looked most like the monster, so he went first. It is tough to describe the game as it is a series of ups and downs. First you fall down, then you get eaten up...

We raced around randomly, and everyone tried to hose each other (which is the way it should be played) and I was in position to win my third game in a row when Brenda and Jay teamed up to get two of my guys eaten by Furunkulus, knocking me out of the winners circle. Bruce squeezed out the win when Furunkulus's movement card was a Kill One which allowed two of Bruce's guys to waltz in. There was some discussion about whether this was a race game, but I think it is, so I include it.

We played three games last night and of the three, three had played Jamaica, two had played Giro d'Italia, and three had played Fearsome Floors. This means several players were taught new games (always a good thing) which means that there is a better chance of getting them out more often.