Friday, July 22, 2016

Ludorati - Monday 18th July - Sheriff Of Nottingham

So last Monday was the latest session at the Ludorati Boardgames cafe in Nottingham, by myself and several colleagues. This time, we opted for a game of the bluffing card game Sheriff Of Nottingham. There are 4 types of produce cards, plus a variety of "contraband" cards - some of which double up as multi-produce cards (e.g. "counts as 3 bread" The 4 types of produce are: Apples, Chickens, Cheese, and Bread. Each round, one person plays the part of the sheriff (everyone gets 2 goes at this, taking it in turns), and the others have to submit 1-5 of their hand of 6 cards, in their own little pouch, and then make a declaration of what they have put in the pouch. You can only declare one type of produce though, so the idea is to try and sneak through other cards, of different produce types or contraband. But if the current sheriff chooses to check your bag, you have to pay them a penalty that depends on the value of any cards you have submitted that are not of the type you declared. However if you have been honest and the sheriff still checks your cards, then the sheriff has to pay you instead. With four of us, no-one managed to get through more than 2 contraband cards i think. And i won, in then end quite comfortably, despite bluffing the least amount of times. 2 of my fellow players were battling over getting the most apples - if you get the most, or second-most, of any of the four produce types you get a bonus - which enabled me to "sneak up" and claim both the most Cheese cards *and* the most Bread cards, gaining me a nice bonus of 30 coins in total. And I did manage to get through 2 items of contraband. It was enjoyable, but I can see how replayability is limited. It's not one I would consider buying.

Sheriff Of Nottingham card game at Amazon UK

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bingham Boardgame Group meetup Tuesday 12-July-2016

Last Tuesday, we started up the Bingham gaming group again.  Following on from the last time we met (about 6 weeks ago I think) in Bingham, we started a game of Euphoria - Build A Better Dystopia.  We played for about 1.5 hours but didn't finish this time around.  In the end there were only 3 of us left playing, but each of us three want to try it again next time.  We just need more people attend so they can bring a variety of games - most of the ones I have require more thought/awareness of different gameplay mechanisms, whereas some people prefer simpler games, or games they already know well, or just have no interest in some types of boardgame.
Onwards and upwards for the group though!

Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia Board Game

Ludorati session... 4? or 5

Last Monday (11-July) was my latest gaming session at Nottingham boardgame cafe Ludorati There were 4 of us, and we managed to get in 2 games of Seven Wonders. I've played this excellent card game several times before. There's enough complexity to it that there are multiple ways you can build your strategy, and of course change it on the fly depending on what cards are getting passed around and what cards other players are building. It uses a drafting mechanic that's easy to understand as you simply play your chosen card on each drafting round, until everyone has played 6 cards. In the first game from Monday's session, i came joint 2nd (3rd? I'm not sure which is the correct way to put it), although the winner didn't have a lot more points than us. The second game, I only came second instead of first as the other player who got the same amount of victory points, had more money. Mind you, I had a far stronger military! I noticed a couple of interesting things about these 2 games we played: 1) Both of them resulted in each of use specialising in different types of buildings - there wasn't much competition between us as far as building types went 2) The way we all played it, we focused on trying to build the buildings we wanted, as opposed to trying to stop any of the other players from building the buildings they wanted I'd also like to note, that for the 2nd game, we played using the more difficult sides of our Wonder boards.

7 Wonders Board Game

Ludorati session... 4? or 5

Last Monday (11-July) was my latest gaming session at Nottingham boardgame cafe Ludorati There were 4 of us, and we managed to get in 2 games of Seven Wonders. I've played this excellent card game several times before. There's enough complexity to it that there are multiple ways you can build your strategy, and of course change it on the fly depending on what cards are getting passed around and what cards other players are building. It uses a drafting mechanic that's easy to understand as you simply play your chosen card on each drafting round, until everyone has played 6 cards. In the first game from Monday's session, i came joint 2nd (3rd? I'm not sure which is the correct way to put it), although the winner didn't have a lot more points than us. The second game, I only came second instead of first as the other player who got the same amount of victory points, had more money. Mind you, I had a far stronger military! I noticed a couple of interesting things about these 2 games we played: 1) Both of them resulted in each of use specialising in different types of buildings - there wasn't much competition between us as far as building types went 2) The way we all played it, we focused on trying to build the buildings we wanted, as opposed to trying to stop any of the other players from building the buildings they wanted I'd also like to note, that for the 2nd game, we played using the more difficult sides of our Wonder boards.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Dawn Of War 1

Finally got around to playing some more of Dawn of War 1. Completed mission 8 - only 2 more to go now I think! Did take 3 tries at it - the first time around I didn't realise there really is a kind-of time limit to saving the besieged, separate part of the marines' base, the second time around I hadn't realised the first area your troops start in has no navigable link to the besieged base, so it really was 3rd time lucky!

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Just Cause 2 - A joy to play!

I am slowly playing through Just Cause 2 - I actually completed the first main story mission (the introductory one) last night. It's a joy to play, giving you bonuses for causing more mayhem. I like the way certain bits of the scenery are intended for you to destroy to get such bonuses, and that you don't have to guess which ones, as they appear in your targeting as a valid target! it's also simply fun to play. Currently I am sticking with my usual mouse-and-keyboard combo for controlling it, unlike Batman Arkham Asylum, which i find somewhat easier using an Xbox360 controller than mouse-and-keyboard.

Saturday 23-April-2016: Gaming session with 3 colleagues

A different guy from our bi-monthly (mostly) gaming group was unable to make it to the latest Saturday. We played: Pandemic - it took 1.5 hours. This was our first time playing it, the 4 roles we drew were Quarantine Specialist (me), Researcher, Scientist and Contingency Planner. We managed to win (all 4 diseases cured) despite an unlucky start (a large infection of blue) but there was just 1 card left in the draw pile, so it went right to the wire. Next, we played a quick (about an hour) game of Camel Up, which is a fast-playing betting game, where you bet on a camel race. The race is split into a number of rounds, and the objective is to end with the most money. One of us kept betting on the overall loser, so ended up not doing very well. The finishing scores were - the winner had 36, then 2 of us had 25, and finally the last of us had only 12. Then we played 2 simultaneous 2-player games of a card game one of the guys is developing. I can't provide the details here yet, but it was fun to play and we found no game-breaking features in it. Lastly, we played a game of Zombicide: Prison Outbreak, that took about 1.75 hours. This time we played mission...4 i think it was, and we managed to complete it without anyone being turned into a zombie! it was quite close at the end though.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday 27-February-2016: Gaming session with 2 colleagues and a non-work friend

One of the colleagues from our bi-monthly (roughly) gaming group was not able to make it this time, so there were only 4 of us in total. We played: Cthulhu Wars - having given Chaos In The Old World a try recently, I can see the similarities. We randomly assigned the factions, and I got Cthulhu. I did enjoy it, though I ended up panicking several turns in, and initiated the end of the game hoping for no winner as i didn't think I'd be able to get my last spellbook. However, One of the others did manage to gain their last spellbook on the last turn, and so they won. I look forward to playing it again. The game took us 2 hours 20 minutes to play. Next, we played Ticket To Ride after having lunch. I was green, and came in last with 78 points. The winner was blue with 115. It didn't help me that about halfway through I decided to go for the "longest continuous route" bonus, not noticing that blue had slyly managed to gain this bonus whilst also completing 2 or 3 more route cards than me. It took 1 hour 20 minutes. I did enjoy it. Lastly, we played a game of Munchkin. It took nearly 2 hours, and for once (we've played it a few times) I didn't die right near the start! In fact, in the end, it was very close - we all got to level 9, then we spent a little time all trying to stop anyone from reaching level 10. Alas, someone did (not me) but I found it much more enjoyable than previous occasions.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Tuesday 16-February-2016: Bingham Boardgames Group

Tuesday 16th Feb was the most recent meetup of our small, Bingham-based boardgaming group. Once again - for the third time in a row - I brought Settlers Of Catan (the original version, back when it was still called Settlers Of Catan), along with the 5-6 player expansion. This was after the success of the previous 2 meetups, but this time we used both a randomised island, and the robber. Once again, I didn't win. It took us about 1.25-1.5 hours, similar to the second game of Catan we played. We did realise near the end of the game, that we had not been using one of the (quite important) rules, relating to where a settlement can be built. The rule is, you can only build a settlement on a hex corner where both the adjacent corners are not built on. This would make placing settlements much more challenging (with 6 players, anyway) and probably result in a somewhat longer game.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday 02-February-2016: Bingham Boardgames Group

Tuesday last week was the next meetup of our small, Bingham-based boardgaming group. This time, again, I brought Settlers Of Catan (the original version, back when it was still called Settlers Of Catan), along with the 5-6 player expansion. This was after the success of the previous meet, at the end of which everyone had said they would like a 2nd game of Catan. I didn't win this time, either! It was quite a bit quicker than the first time around, only taking between 1.25-1.5 hours. Now that everyone has got the hang of it, I think at the next session we are going to play once more, with the island fully randomised, and also using the 2 robbers as well. Should make it a more fun, and probably more chaotic, game to play.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Saturday 23-January-2016: FANGCon #54

Managed to get through 5 different games this time! 7-player Shadow Hunters. The second time I've played it, the first time was actually the first time I attended a FANGcon. Think it was also 7 players that time. The game works really well with this number of players. So we had 3 Hunters, 3 Shadows and 1 Neutral. Despite 2 of us (I was a Hunter) mistaking the 3rd Hunter for a Shadow, and so assisting in her early demise, for a while it looked like we were going to win. In the end though, it was down to 1 Hunter (not me) vs. 1 Shadow, and the Shadow won. The game took about 45 minutes to play. 4-player Chaos In The Old World. This is the first time I've played. I enjoyed it a lot, which bodes well for my purchase of Cthulhu Wars, which i have read is very similar. We randomly assigned factions, I got Khorne. I came last, but I feel I was beginning to get the hang of playing Korne near the end - for the last 3 turns or so. Would very much like to try playing this again. The game lasted about 1.5 hours 5-player Mission: Red Planet. I drew last place in this game. I do feel the combination of game-wide bonus, and the personal missions cards you start with (and can accrue extra) have the possibility of severely limiting your chances to score points. This actually happened with me, whereby the personal missions I had meant I was split between trying to complete them, and trying to be the player that gained the game-wide bonus. In the end, I did manage to do well with my personal missions (one was a success or failure, which I completed, the other had 4 levels of success, of which I managed 3) I wasn't particularly fond of this game though. It lasted about an hour. 5-player 7 Wonders, I think it also had the Leaders expansion. I've played this once before, at one of my games days with colleagues. It took me a round or 2 to recall what the various symbols on the cards mean, and how resources and building stuff works. I came last, but only by 5 points. The game only took half an hour. I would very much like to play this again some time as well. The last game of the day was 4-player Five Tribes. I liked the main play mechanic this game uses - picking up the meeples on one square of the board and leaving them on other squares as you move, taking all the same-coloured meeples as the last one, from the square it lands on. And I didn't come last! I was second-last instead, with 111 points. Also, the player who came 2nd only beat me by 1 point! The only downside is there's quite a lot to consider and keep track of, as far as scoring is concerned. I would probably player it again however, given the chance. This game took a little over an hour. All in all a very fun day for me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bingham Boardgame Group meetup - Tuesday 19-Jan-2016

Last night was the next meetup of our small, Bingham-based boardgaming group. This time around, I brought Settlers Of Catan (the original version, back when it was still called Settlers Of Catan), along with the 5-6 player expansion. This was good, as in total there were 6 of us. The other 5 had not played before, so although I won this one it wasn't really a fair game this time around. However, as I suspected, everyone enjoyed it and got the hang of it, so we're going to play it again next time around! That's the real victory =+) However I may look at replacing my version - it would also be nice to try 1 or more of the other expansions...

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Found out earlier today that the Close Combat series of PC games is actually the official computerised adaptation of the Advanced Squad Leader wargame system. This makes me particularly happy to be selling off my collection of ASL boxed modules, now that i know I can play it on computer, whether vs. the computer or another human opponent, without needing a load of bulky boxed modules, fiddly counters, and having to memorise a load of rules. You can buy a number of Close Combat titles from the Matrixgames online store (see this link), and I have just noticed that a couple of the Close Combat titles are also available on Steam. Also, had my 2nd beginner's archery session on Friday. I am, very slowly, beginning to learn the technique of shooting a re-curve bow. It's enjoyable as well!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Just completed Mission 5 in Dawn Of War (the first one) - Yes, I know I'm waaay behind with regards when a lot of the games I have were released. Also completed the first go through of Gemini Rue. Have given up trying for the "Golden Gun" achievement (all 6 gun battles won without any loss of health for the player's character) but the other outstanding achievements I think are still doable, with help from an online guide...

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Boardgame - Reef Encounter - first impressions

I actually bought this game a couple of months ago, after several attempts (both on BGG and on ebay) - it's not always easy to find for sale! I can't remember how I first heard, or read of it, but anyway... (Boardgame geek entry for Reef Encounter) So, until today all i had done with it was check all the components are present and correct (which they are). So today i actually got it out with the intention of starting a game, with my eldest niece. In the end, we didn't get to really start the game at all, but we did have time to both look through the rulebook. This is yet another boardgame that looks complicated initially, and takes a bit of setting up before you can get going, but there actually isn't a lot of things to remember. It's a fancy tile-placing game but with some extra play mechanisms to make it interesting. Basically it involves placing coral polyp tiles in order to grow the several different colours of coral reefs. There are tiles that determine which colours of coral are strong enough to be able to "consume" which other colours of coral, and in addition to this, each player has several shrimp tokens that can be placed and moved on the coral reefs in order to protect coral polyp tiles from any consumption, by both other colour corals and Parrot Fish. Judging by the rules, I think play will be quite ruthless, as you try to maximise your points and restrict the other player/s. Aside from growing the different coloured coral reefs, you also have to get your Parrot Fish to consume as much coral polyp tiles as possible, and carefully plan placement and movement of your shrimp pieces, which protect coral polyp tiles from both other coral polyps and all of the Parrot Fish. I look forward to actually getting a game in at some point.

Beginning archery - session 1 of 6

So, last night I had my first taste of archery, at Bingham Archery Club. They have just started a beginner's course, that lasts 6 weeks with 1, 2-hour session a week. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, despite being mostly rubbish so far - I didn't even manage to get a grouping in this first session! (when you get all 3 arrows quite close together) It didn't help that I was very nervous. I'll have to work on that too. So, I am going to stick with it at least for the whole of the beginner's course.