Voluspa grid of tiles

What I played this week: 04/08/16

Since joining The Boardgamers League, I’ve definitely been playing a lot more games that I wouldn’t normally have played.  I’m really enjoying the experience and atmosphere.  This month, I’m hoping to add to my MTG play with the release of Shadows Over Innistrad.  I’ve fake drafted online  a few fun black/red and white/blue decks this week.  Beyond that, here is what I’ve been playing this week:

Nefarious Board Game

 

 

 

 

 

Nefarious – played a 3-player game and immediately went for a second.  This game was easy to learn and had wonderful art!

alegience - druid

 

 

 

 

Allegiance: A Realm Divided – I have played several sessions of this game since my kickstarter set was sent to me three weeks ago, and all but one of the friends we introduced this game to has gone out to buy it themselves.  Allegiance is a really solid, wonderful character driven card game.  So far I have to say that the ranger seems to be one of the strongest characters.

Crowe - my pathfinder character

 

 

 

 

 

Pathfinder Card Game: Wrath of the Righteous – we finally made it to level 6!!

Quariors dice

 

 

 

 

 

Quarriors – it’s always fun chucking a handful of dice.  We even got the teenage girl to play!  Yes, successful game night in the Smith household 😉

D&D Thursday Night

 

 

 

 

D&D 5e – Thursday night game only.  Again we were fighting fire creatures with immunity to (yep, you guessed it) all my fire spells.  Good thing I was able to twin haste on our bard and warlock.  Bad luck was when the Warlock could only roll single digits… multiple times.

Smash Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smash Up – this was our BGL game of the week.  I actually came in first with a nifty combo of Super Heroes and Giant Ants!  Rawwwr (wait, do ants rawwwr???)

Voluspa grid of tiles

 

 

 

 

Voluspa – I haven’t played this game in months and I totally forgot how much feaking fun it is.  It is such a simplistic game, yet you can certainly lapse into AP if you aren’t careful.   Trying to make the best placement with your tiles can be nerve wracking!  Nuke someone’s combo setup with a properly placed Loki tile.  Make mad points with a stack of Fenrirs or by bumping a Valkyrie with a Jotun and scoring a huge row of points.  Ahhh, so much fun!  This needs to come out again, and soon!

Runebound - Mists of Zanaga

 

 

 

 

 

Runebound: Mists of Zanaga – I finally added this to my 2nd edition collection.  We lost to the mean mean God of the land.  But I loved playing the healing dwarf character.   All the extra bits felt a little ‘fiddley’ as far as gameplay goes, but I did enjoy the thematic aspects.

What am I looking forward to playing next week?  My friend Dan is bringing out his Twilight Emperium game, and the Innistrad set for MTG should be officially available.  I hope I get to live draft with some friends.

What are you playing this week?

 

 

 

dndsunday

Sunday RPG – Ambushed On the Road to Pike’s Post

surrounded-druid-dndIt didn’t take long for our group of adventurers to high tail it out of Wailing Rock.  Quickly after the court martial and subsequent beheading of Lt. Barles, our team hit the road leading east, into the Foggy Forest, on our way to Fee Hold to meet up with a certain lady friend of Magnar’s who sent a letter requesting our help there.

On the first couple days of travel we were headed to a small outpost between Wailing Rock and Free Hold called Pike’s Post.  We were ambushed by a pack of spider mounted Drahel.  Drahel mounts live off of intelligent fleshy beings so it is  always bad to run across any of these hungry creatures.

Our druid was surrounded and nearly became spider-snacks for our foes, but our group rallied and using our cunning, stealth, and might were able to overcome our foes.  It didn’t hurt that our cleric, being undead, was oblivious to the noxious stinking cloud the wizard slung at us.

Ha!

Will our adventurers make it to Free Hold unscathed?  Tune in next week to find out!

Sunday RPG Group Stats

Achievement or Outstanding Moment:  Level 6!

Party Members:

Magnar – Mountain Dwarf Barbarian Fighter

Khemed – Drahel Rogue

Veris – Wood Elf Druid

Callis – Undead Drunbar Cleric

Satchel Lightblast – Wild Magic Sorcerer Halfling

Melody – Tiefling Bard

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Carcassonne – Week 1 of Spring Boardgamers League Play

My daughter and I decided to sign up for the Spring session of Boardgamer’s League.  Our event house is (the amazing!) Enchanted Grounds in Littleton. For only $35 you get a whole season of play and each week you can win prizes for racking up points by maximizing certain strategies in your gameplay.  Coming in first place helps, but there are often other ways to get points from playing the game.  For example, this past Friday we played Carcassonne – a great solid standard tile laying game!

About Boardgamer’s League

You get the most points for coming in first place, but you also score points for second and third place.  THEN we scored extra points for most farms, biggest city, and longest road. I’m not sure what the winner won ( I think it was a card game).  Scores are tallied every week and the overall winner goes on to compete at a local convention, which I believe is possibly Denver Comic Con.  The winner has a chance to compete for the big prize – an armfull of board games!


Playing Carcassonne

It had been a while since Carcassone has hit the table at our house.  Yes, I play the android app from time to time, especially if I’m waiting in line somewhere.  It’s a great pocket versionred meeple of the game, BUT I quickly realized that letting the app score my points for me allowed me to forget some of the finer points of gameplay.

My husband and I ran through a practice game at home (he won) but it was enough to remind me that I really do enjoy the simplicity of this tile laying game.  It can be strategic if you are trying to cut your opponent off from getting that huge city or really large farm.  I do better on the phone app (go figure).  But still scored respectable points, even if I was only 3rd place!

Carcassone BGL Game Wrap-Up

BGL score sheets

I really enjoy the concept of Boardgamer’s League.  I adore Enchanted Grounds (you have to try their blueberry pancake latte! or their smoked Gouda mac & cheese!!!) and love playing games there, I’m really glad they are an event house this time around!  So far our group consists of only three people.  While I enjoy the idea of having the odds stacked in my favor to gain points each week, I really do hope the group grows because it’s a whole different atmosphere when playing with larger groups of people.

Enchanted Grounds is not the only event house hosting BGL events, please check out their website to find one near you!

Want to know more about the game Carcassone?  Watch Jesse Cox, Wil Wheaton and more play the game on TableTop:

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Historia – A Civ Building Game

Historia is a Civ and technology building board game for 1-6 players from Mage Games.

Here is the description snippet from Boardgamegeek.com:

HistoriaIn Historia, the players guide their civilization through 12,000 years of human history, from the first sparks up to the development of Singularity. Civilizations discover new technology and expand over the planet; they trade with more developed neighbors to import new technologies or exploit the land to have more power for future actions. Civilizations develop their military and wage wars with each other. They build wonders to make their civilization stand above others and to eventually attract tourists and newcomers to their land to follow their leaders and use their national advisors.

Historia is a civilization game for 1-6 players that takes 25 minutes per player. A set of action cards is available to the players to guide their civilization, and used actions form a discard queue from which they are taken back into a player’s hand during the game. Wars and raids are carried out in a non-disruptive way. When modern times have been reached or the Singularity technology developed, the game ends and the player with the most VPs wins.

A solo Historia variant with A.I. bots is also available.

The above mentioned Civ-Bot variant may be my favorite way to play Historia. I have played the game with two players and 3 civ bots, and solo with five civ bots and I really do enjoy both systems of play. I would love to get this out for our game group sometime and see how a full out six player version goes. This is a long game, and I know that some people can be put off by that. If you want short and sweet, this may not be your jam. I personally don’t mind long games if they keep my interest. The card mechanics have everyone playing cards simultaneously so there isn’t a ton of down time for each person which is a big bonus.

Historia - a civilization building board game

Historia has a very pleasing simplistic look – an advancement grid helps you track what technologies and military tactics you have unlocked. The world map helps you know where you are in control and what is available for trade, plunder, and invasion.

The game is great in that you can pick and choose how aggressive you want to be militarily. You can go full on pacifist if you want to. And yes, if you do you will probably get plundered a lot but the end spectrum of the pacifism chart has the biggest points available on a per turn basis if you can make it that far.

As a solo variant, this game hits a very high mark. The Civ bots that have programmed movement play after you play and it works very, very well. You can vary how strong each of the bots are so you don’t get trampled by the highest (impossible) level of civilizations, yet if you feel like being king of the world you can program all easy civ bots and have fun trouncing all their kingdoms! Great fun, a definite A+++ in my book for group and solo play.

See Joel Eddy’s Drive Through Review of the game:

See Michael Wißner’s full run through of the Gameplay:

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TIME Stories

T.I.M.E. Stories is a unique build your own adventure game. Not entirely like the old build your own adventure stories from childhood but you get the same feel in the way that you choose which cards and areas of the game to interact with.  Sometimes you will find clues that you need to solve the mission you have been sent on, sometimes you find red herrings that deter you and waste your time.  Time is probably one of the most important resources in this game.  You lose time, you lose the game.

The base game comes with the rulebook and all the pieces you will need to play the first mission (The Asylum) and any of the future expansions.  The basic plot is:  you are future agents being sent back in time to thwart some bad plan that someone has put into place.  In the base game you need to stop a portal from being opened.

You have a set amount of time to complete your mission.  And that is not easy!

My husband and I played a four player game (two characters each).  We completed it on three runs.  I absolutely love the art on the cards, and I enjoyed the theme of this first scenario quite a bit.  Our first session we did the first three runs.  I ended the last run feeling that I did not like the game, which felt weird to me because I love deduction/mystery/clue gathering style story games quite a bit!  But I hate when we get stuck on clues.  I feel I was worried about the time and not focusing on the clues enough.

When we took some time and went back a few weeks later to play the fourth runthrough, we took notes.  That felt key!  We made it through and were able to really enjoy the game. I’m looking forward to playing the next scenario – The Marcy Case

I’m providing a SUPER SPOILER FILLED VIDEO of the Dice Tower gang running through their play of The Asylum.  DO NOT — I repeat — DO NOT WATCH UNLESS YOU WANT TO BE SPOILED.  They will run through the entire game so you will know all the tricks, twists, and plot points. Consider yourself warned.

For those that do not want to be spoiled, here is a SPOILER FREE assessment of the game TIME Stories:

One note to mention: I acquired this TIME Stories the same way I do many games in my collection, through a math trade on Board Game Geek.  Trading is usually a great way to acquire a game, but I have to say that there is something you must know before you snag one that has been used.  There are components that are not listed in the rulebook that you acquire by unlocking items in-game.  Not a lot of things, but if you are unlucky like I was to get a used game that had these pieces missing, you may be very disappointed when you come across the text that tells you to grab these items and they are not available to you.

It is possible that these items won’t affect the game much, but I’m a freak about getting the game in full playable condition, so this really bugged me.  Fantasy Flight has been awesome with their customer service and they are sending out the missing pieces, but just know that this can happen – you may want to consider buying this game new instead of acquiring used.

ultimatewerewolf

Top Deduction Games

Recently YouTube Game reviewer Dan King was featured on one of the Secret Cabal podcasts where he and cabalist Jamie discussed their favorite deduction games. This got me thinking, because deduction games are probably one of my favorite styles of board games to play. I decided to take a stab at my own Top Deduction Games list. Here it is:

Tammy’s Top 10 Deduction Games

  1. Battlestar Galactica
  2. The Resistance
  3. Spyfall
  4. Ultimate Werewolf
  5. T.I.M.E. Stories
  6. Bang! The Dice Game
  7. One Night Werewolf
  8. Secret Hitler
  9. Citadels
  10. Dead of Winter (when played with the traitor variant)

I know that some of my picks might not be loved by other gamers (Citadels gets a lot of hate, but my group adores it and it comes out a lot when we have 8 people over for game night).  Secret Hitler isn’t a game I’ve played myself (it’s not available yet) but I have listened to several online play-throughs (Geekly Inc plays Secret Hitler, and Jesse Cox, WowCrendor, and TotalBiscuit play Secret Hitler) and it looks like a game that is even better than The Resistance which is one of our all time favorites.

What deduction and social deduction games do you like to play?

 

Dracula and vampire hunter - Fury of Dracula

Fury of Dracula

Fury of Dracula is a deduction style hidden movement board game by Fantasy Flight.  I recently bought a copy of this game for a friend and we played it quite a few times over the holiday break.  Our game group absolutely loves games with hidden identities and hidden movement like Specter Ops and Battlestar Galactica, so I was pretty sure that it would fit in well with our game style.  I wasn’t wrong!

Fury of Dracula 3rd editionSo far I have only played one of the vampire hunters, so I have yet to play Dracula.  I really enjoy trying to figure out how to corner and fight that bad-ass vampire.  One game I was totally shut down by some attack dogs or wolves or some such nonsense.  I hated it because I was soooo close to getting Drac in fights, only to be taken out be these dogs.  But I love the thought processes behind tracking the hidden player.

I have never played the previous version of this game (we bought the 3rd edition) so I am not too sure how it differs.  I just know it was a ton of fun.  Although, you have to be prepared to spend at least 4-5 hours of playtime on it.  It’s not a fast play, but it is definitely a fulfilling gaming experience if you stick with it and like big brain burners!

My husband says this game has eclipsed Specter Ops in his mind.  He enjoys the gameplay and mechanics of Fury better.  For me, I like the setting of Fury a little more (I’ve always been a fan of Victorian age vampires).  I have had several great games of Specter Ops when we first got it, but we played a 3 player game with a friend who never played before and it was a miserable experience.  He had no fun, we had no fun.  It almost physically hurt to play that game that night and that is a rarity among our group.  don’t’ know if that play-through is clouding my judgement but I do not feel like Fury is as lopsided as Specter Ops.  Even if there is an odd number of players.

Fury of Dracula gets a big thumbs-up from me!  I enjoy the old timey look of the board which is a map of Europe.  I like the card art and the flavor text.  Overall it’s a great game to be added to our group’s collection.

dndsunday

Sunday RPG – Returning the Head of Quigley

CalAfter a long hiatus from playing our Sunday D&D 5e campaign (thanks, football season), we were able to get the gang together to pick up where we left off — in the old Scarsind temple hidden deep inside a mountain which was located a full day’s journey outside the  encampment called, Wailing Rock Trading Post.

Our group was in pursuit of two party members who had gone missing.  After about three days inside the hidden and long forgotten temple, we were able to locate our missing bard and sorcerer.  We fought our way through some lizardmen, goblins, magical traps, ghost like creatures, and even some mean Nagas.  One gave my character Callis, a kiss.  Callis is a unique player character – an undead cleric of Kylantia.  Not too sure what may come of that nasty kiss, but I’m guessing that in a few days’ time I’m going to come down with something nasty.  But so far I feel the kiss is worth the trouble, in return I got a relic of Kylantia (a magical helm that along with some broaches we found help increase my bless spell’s power when cast).

We eventually made our way out of the temple with a few rare Scarsind relics, and we headed back to Wailing Rock with the head of our bounty, Quigley – an unscrupulous magician –  wanted by the leader of Wailing Rock’s guard.  He agreed to pay us 5,000 gold for the return of Quigley – dead or alive.  A price that a ragtag group of mercenaries like ourselves could not pass up.

Unfortunately, when we returned we found out that the Lieutenant had lied about the reward! And the most gold that anyone in the guard had was about 300.  Not much we could do about that, since we strong-armed as much gold from the leader as we could.  But our time here has come to an end.  We cannot work for people whose words is worth nothing more than the mud under our feed.  Our rogue, however, plans to visit the guards chambers tonight while he sleeps to pick up anything extra he can before we leave town.

Seems a fitting farewell if you ask me.