Adventures in Cardboard

Pictures and text from various gaming days. Usually playing at least once per week, sometimes twice. Any gaming is good gaming!

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Gaming for Saturday 20th November 2021

Starting with

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game

From gallery of bortmonkey


The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game, chapter five. Most of the challenges involved getting characters to a certain place, in order to unlock another character. So, Fezzik needed to get to The Cottage to get Inigo on the board. Then, Inigo needed to get to the Pit of Despair in order to get Westley out.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Then all of them needed to be at Miracle Maxs. All the while, Buttercup and the evil Prince Humperdinck are moving along an aisle at the church, and if they get to the end and get married, it's game over. Fezzik needs to keep the Brutes (bad guys) in the barracks, because most plot cards advance Buttercup and the Prince if there is no one in the barracks. Luckily, Fezzik just has to move to the Brutes location to send them back.

From gallery of bortmonkey


It was all looking a bit hard, didn't have the right cards for the Miracle Max challenge. But we managed it, and then needed to get everyone to the castle gate. Someone used two special cards to get them almost up to the gate, and the next player moved them to it. Huzzah! And with Buttercup and the Prince only one step away from getting hitched.

Now for a game I've had in shrink for years

Trickerion: Legends of Illusion

This is the legends KS box, bought it from a friend ages ago when he got the newer version. We didn't finish the game, but we played out a couple of rounds. Everyone was happy with that, it was just a learning game. We just did the base game, so no dark alley components, and only the level one and two tricks.

From gallery of bortmonkey


It was mostly pretty smooth, it's just a worker placement. Place a worker, get action points, do actions. The only tricky space was the theatre, we watched a video that explained that pretty well. One of the players wasn't happy that she was getting no bonus for her trick being performed on another players turn. The performing player was on Sunday, so got a bonus to stars and money. She was not performing, and only had a disc backstage, in one of the zero bonus days. Whereas I would get the bonus, because I didn't have anyone in the theatre (meaning I get the bonus from the performer).

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Onto our favourite game (or favourite series of games)

The Key: Sabotage at Lucky Llama Land

Terrible first game, had 52 points in cards and barely knew anything. Second game was a bit better, got the solution, got 29, winner was 18. And in the third, got 30, winner was 26. Same winner in all three games. He reckons the "ÿellow" cards are best early. Well, we call them yellow cards, they have information on crimes from one to three, shown in a yellow box.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey



The Key: Murder at the Oakdale Club

Nearly won the first game, tied with another player, but she had less value four cards. Second game had 34, winner was 30. And the third game, well that was just a mess, lots of cards and barely any useful information. Sometimes you just need a break and the whole thing falls into place. Winner had only 24, which is pretty damn good for Oakdale.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Fantasy Realms

Got the Gem of Order in my hand for the first game, and a couple of low cards. Ended up with a 6 card run, good enough for a score of 176, winner got 180. Lost the next two games as well. No really high scores, nothing over 200. Still, it was fun. Every game can't be a high score.
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Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:42 am
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Gaming for the Weekend of November 13th and 14th

As usual (well, usual for the last few weeks), we start with

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game

Chapter 4, the Fire Swamp. Westley and Buttercup must make their way through the Swamp, dodging hazards (like flames) and fighting the ROUS (Rodents Of Unusual Size).

From gallery of bortmonkey


It's an ok game, I guess. But every game is just move figures around, and trying to collect the required cards to pass each challenge.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Now for a game we haven't played for years

Blackout: Hong Kong

It was a slow start as we went through the rules again. With that out of the way it was pretty smooth. There's a few mechanics involved in this game - hand management, resource management, area control.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Each player starts with all the cards with the same symbol. Two of them start in the hospital, and another three in the slots on your player board. The remaining seven cards are your start hand. Basic cards have a number of cubes on them, in the three colours (red, blue, yellow). These correspond to the coloured resource dice. Specialist cards give you special actions when they are played (like the Doctor, who gets people out of the hospital). You also start with two objective cards.

From gallery of bortmonkey


There are the same steps in each round. First, you roll the resource dice and play them on the rondel. There are six resources: medipacks, food, tools, gasoline, water, and books. So, if you play a card with two red cubes, you move two of your cubes to the space with the red dice on it, showing you now have two of those resources. You can also play a transport token to move around the rondel to another resource.

From gallery of bortmonkey


The next step is where you allocate your cards to your board. You can play a card in each of the three slots, face down. Then everyone turns over their cards simultaneously. You then add your cubes to the resource rondel, and carry out any specialist abilities.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Then you check your objective cards to see if any can be completed. Any completed cards are added to your hand. And also you get to add a cube to the map, according to the colour shown on the card. You're trying to surround areas, giving you (and anyone else) points. Also, surrounding an area allows you to move one of your district markers from your player board. This will uncover an ability that you can use later (using conversion of one thing into another).

From gallery of bortmonkey


The next step is scouting. Each district on the map has three hidden tiles. When you choose to scout, you take all three from an area, and then you may do one of the challenges on the tiles, they all have a simple and an advanced challenge. Both use search icons from your hand, and give you rewards. But a random card that you used for search icons will be sent to the hospital, and will need to be recovered by your Doctor. Cards in the hospital obviously can't be used, but also they won't count in end game scoring.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Next is the objective phase, where you can buy new objective cards from the market.

At the end of the round, you may refresh your hand, but only if you have four or fewer cards in your hand. If you refresh, you take all the cards in the slot on your player board with the most cards.

From gallery of bortmonkey


It's a pretty fun game, I like it more than most of Alexander Pfisters games. I'd even say it was my favourite of his, maybe behind Isle of Skye. But it just took forever to play, about four hours. I was checking the rules to see if we had made some mistake, like maybe you were meant to take cards out for three players. Running out the card deck is the only game ending condition. Maybe we didn't buy enough from the market?

But I still enjoyed the game a lot. It's a cool puzzle.

After all that thinking, it was time for something a bit easier

The Key: Sabotage at Lucky Llama Land

Played three game of this, just loving the entire series. In the first game, I got the solution, but my total was 27, and the winner was 22. Second game went much the same way, took me 34 and the winner had 16. In the third game I was first to the solution, but had 34, which I knew was not going to be good enough, and it wasn't. I was slightly confused that there is a swing ride, and a swing boat ride in the park.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And onto another game in The Key series

The Key: Murder at the Oakdale Club

A little bit harder, this game is rated at two out of three, and requires a code of four digits (the other games only require three).

From gallery of bortmonkey


Another three games of this, and finally managed to win a game. I tied with another player, but the tie breaker is the number of lab cards (the four value cards) you have, and I had one less, so I won!

From gallery of bortmonkey


Oakdale is definitely a bit trickier, but still good fun. I'm surprised that these games aren't rated a bit higher on BGG (Oakdale is ranked at 5205, and Lucky Llama is at 7300). Maybe they are seen as kid games, coming from Haba. Or maybe people think you can only play nine games, because there are only nine keys. I'm sure some people can remember what code goes with what colour key, but I know I can't.

From gallery of bortmonkey


It's Sunday now, and I'm playing some two player games with a friend.

First up, a new hot game

Furnace

Such an easy game to teach, takes about five minutes. In the first game I just got the win by 66 to 62. We played a second game, and it started so badly for me, ended up with no resources in the first round, just upgrade tokens. And to miss one round in a game with only four rounds, that's not good. Picked up a bit later, and sold my upgrade tokens for good money. And I had the capitalist that could run a card twice for two coal, that came in handy. This is really a solid engine builder. Two player uses a dummy player, who places his discs at random, from lowest to highest. So you could be on course to get a card, and then have the dummy player play a higher disc, just bad luck.


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


We played another two games of this

The Key: Murder at the Oakdale Club

Lost both, just couldn't put the information together.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And to finish up, a quick game of

Fantasy Realms

I think we've played this every gaming day since I bought it. So good and so quick.
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Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:04 am
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Gaming for Saturday 6th November 2021

First up, it's the inconceivable

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game

Third chapter, we won, but it was pretty close at the end. We would have lost (sorry, been interrupted) if we had drawn the wrong plot card. So we played safe, used a miracle to get three cards (hoping to get the right cards to do the final objective). And we got the right cards (after trading with another player). And as it turned out, the plot card would have been fine, but I still back our decision, percentage play and all that.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Now for a light game

TEN

First play. This is a pretty light push your luck game. You draw cards, and if you get over ten, you bust. But if you draw a wildcard, you have an auction before continuing (using currency tokens). At the end of the game you score for the longer sequence in each of the four colours. It was fun, I guess, but it's pretty light stuff, just draw and see what happens.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


For the main event, it's

Brass: Birmingham

We finally finished a game! It took over four hours, not sure how, just lots of long turns. I know, I know, it shouldn't take anywhere that long. It fell pretty flat for me, just wasn't enjoying it at all. Can't see this getting played again.


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Now for some light-ish deduction

The Key: Murder at the Oakdale Club

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Played three games, still loving this. We found it pretty tough, we were all drawing a lot of cards and just searching for that one card that would break the case open. So great when that happens and you can start actually solving it. Just for fun, we swapped our cards around in the first play to see if someone else could solve it. I solved the second and third games, but used way too many cards, have to be smarter about that.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And to finish the game day

Fantasy Realms
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Thu Nov 11, 2021 3:07 am
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Gaming for Friday 29th October 2021

It was a public holiday here in sunny Brisbane, so we're gaming on Friday instead of Saturday. I argued for both days, but was outvoted...sometimes real life gets in the way of gaming.

And for our first game it's back to...

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game

Tackled the second chapter, had one interruption (ie we sort of failed), then won. Some confusion about how and when you move the ship along, not sure if we did that correctly. Most of the main characters are present for this chapter, as Buttercup is abducted by Vizzini, and pursued by a Mystery ship (which of course is Westley). So - we want Westley to catch up, don't we? Be a short game/movie if that happened I guess.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Time for some crime solving....

The Key: Sabotage at Lucky Llama Land

First play of this - but of course it's another in the series that we started with last week (Murder at the Oakdale Club). First game went badly (for me), just couldn't put anything together. Sometimes you just need one vital bit of information and it falls into place, but it wasn't happening for me.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Won the next two games of it though, that felt good. It's cool that each game in this series has a new bit you haven't seen, but mostly they are the same, using the same icons and everything. This game is rated as one out of three, you are only generating a three digit code (Murder at the Oakdale Club is rated two out of three, and requires a four digit code).

From gallery of bortmonkey


We're having a great time with these games!

From gallery of bortmonkey


It's taken a while to get this next game to the table...

Brass: Birmingham

So, I bought this game back in 2018 and it's my fault this has taken so long to get to the table. Rodney Smith (Watch It Played) does a good video on it too, and we watched a bit of that on the day. In a round, each player gets two actions. Actions are build, sell, take out a loan, scout (get wild cards), develop, and network (place a link between two cities). Build is the most involved action. To build, you need a card with a location, or an industry card. You have to take your lowest building tile of an industry first. Some buildings give you coal, iron, or beer, which can then be used by yourself or anyone else. You want your coal/iron to be used up, because then that tile flips, giving you points, and increasing your income level. For other tiles, you flip by using a sell action. There are two eras to go through – canal and rail. In the canal era, you can only build boat links between locations. In the rail era you get to build rail links.

From gallery of bortmonkey


It's slow going at first, your income starts at zero, so you'll find yourself having to take out a loan or two to get started. We ended up only playing the first (canal) era, it was just taking too long. One player didn't seem to like it, and I can't say it was very exciting for me. One player seemed to be doing quite well ,although he was annoyed when I managed to sell a tile using mostly his connections (it was unintentional). We might have another crack at it next week, before we forget how to play. Really didn't grab me.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Back to the crime solving!

The Key: Theft at Cliffrock Villa

The Key: Theft at Cliffrock Villafirst play. This is actually the first in the series, and, like Lucky Llama Land, it's rated as one out of three. Did pretty badly. I was very confused by a certain card type, which shows a blurred picture. I thought it was a picture of a persons backpack, but, after *cough* checking the rulebook (and checking Rodneys how to play), it turns out its a character portrait, with one very small detail shown not blurred.

From gallery of bortmonkey


I think I got one out of ten correct, very hard to make it out. Why did I keep taking those cards? Ummmm, not sure. The other two players didn't take any and seemed to work it out ok. I did a bit better in the second game, got the solution, but waaaaaay too many cards used. And in the third game, didn't figure it out at all, and had so many cards (even more than for game two). Those blurred id cards were killing me, but, without them, couldn't make any connections. Still fun, but a bit frustrating. My ranking for the three games would be Oakdale, Llama Land, Cliffrock.

Now for some fun in the deep sea....

The Crew: Mission Deep Sea

And our regular weekly game of

Fantasy Realms

No high scores, won the second game (just!)
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Mon Nov 1, 2021 5:35 am
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Gaming for Saturday 23rd October 2021

Greetings all, and welcome to the blog.

A game about one of my favourite movies? Bring it on! Of course, it's

The Princess Bride Adventure Book Game

First play. First, let's note for the record that I love The Princess Bride movie. The first slightly disappointing thing is that you can't just jump into all the good stuff. To begin with, you have Westley and Buttercup, and obviously they have to get together to fall in love (awwwwww). So, in the first chapter, you've got a few places to move to, and chores to be done. The initial challenges can only be done if you've only got a couple of chores on the board. And you lose (ok, there is no losing as such, you are "interrupted") if you need to put a chore out and there are no tokens left. We finished the chapter pretty easily, but I'm sure there's more of a challenge in the later chapters.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


What? Unexplained murders at the golf club? Of course we'll help find the murderers!

The Key: Murder at the Oakdale Club

First play. I can't believe I missed this series of games, because they are right in our wheelhouse. One of the other games in the series was a recommended title for the last Spiel Des Jahres, and I'm not sure how I missed that - I usually check out all the nominations and recommendations. We love deduction, especially murder mysteries. We played Awkward Guests to death. There would be groans at the table if someone announced they had the culprit, or the weapon used. And the tension as you entered you guess into the app – great stuff. This has the same feel, but you're very conscious of time passing as you try to make sense of the various clues.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


So, once you think you have it figured out, you get a 4 digit code, depending on what order the various things (people, weapon, location, exit vehicle) are. You then check the code board, if your code is there, that's a good start. Then you try the key and make sure the colour matches by checking the other side of the board.

From gallery of bortmonkey


On our first game, none of us came up with the answer, didn't even get to try the key. We talked about it a bit, discussed where we might have gone wrong, we were all learning. Second game, we had a clear winner (not me). I almost got there, managed to get two numbers transposed. Third game, same winner, but I was happy because I got the code correct, just lost because I used more cards. As the description of the game says – the fastest investigator may not be the winner.

From gallery of bortmonkey


This was a big, BIG hit with us. I knew the theme would go over well, wasn't as sure about the real time play. Now to buy all the other games in the series!

From gallery of bortmonkey


It's pretty hot today. You could say it was a like a....

Furnace

I had the Capitalist card that gave me extra compensation (always one higher than the actual value). Great for getting extra resources. I grabbed a great card that gave me six points for one coal and one oil, could do it twice, and I rode that combo all the way to the end. That capitalist card seems a bit OP. I ended up with 104 points, second place was 71.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


This game gets a few plays every week now, of course it's...

Fantasy Realms

Played twice. Won the first (a bit unexpectedly), then got my lowest ever score in the second. Had the Gem of Order, but only managed a three card run for a measly ten points. The important thing is that my best score ever is unbeaten for at least another week.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Time to hit the oceans and do...ummm, stuff.

The Crew: Mission Deep Sea

Failed at mission 5, then won. Go us! It definitely has a different feel than the first game. The variety of tasks makes it a lot more interesting, in my opinion anyway. Still not feeling the theme, but whatever. We really should finish off the first game I suppose, we're up to mission 42.

Another miscreant lose in the city?

Scotland Yard

Scotland Yard, a very quick game, caught Mr X by about the fifth turn. Seems pretty hard for Mr X, or maybe we're just bad players, we've only played a couple of times. Having two bobbies (who don't use tokens to move) seems pretty powerful.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Always fun, its

Cascadia

Another close game, scores were 98, 94, 93

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Everyone enjoys a bit of photography!

Wind the Film!

An excellent filler to finish off the day!

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And that's it from me! Another great days gaming. And my favourite for the day has to be The Key: Murder at the Oakdale Club.
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Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:29 am
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Gaming for Saturday 16th October 2021

I arrive to find this game setup and ready to roll!

Burgle Bros 2: The Casino Capers


We've played this a couple of times now, without the win. It's a bit tricky. I'm playing the Hacker, who can move the bouncer, take cubes from some of the tiles, and put an out-of-order sign on a tile (meaning it has no effect). I use my bouncer move ability almost immediately, but didn't save me from getting caught, but saved me from being hit twice. Still, that's two heat on me, and another player has three, so we're not doing real well.

From gallery of bortmonkey


We get to the second floor and find the safe pretty quickly, maybe we're not doing so bad after all. So now the plan is to uncover the tiles in the same row and column as the safe, and then we can get to cracking that bad boy. A few tiles in the same column with the same number, so we're hoping that will make it easier. I'm on the second floor, but I've got four heat, and the guard is closing in. Another player uses their ability to take one heat from me, just to get some breathing room. But it backfires - he gets stuck in a corner, but manages to escape by going back down to the first floor. We needed a favourable destination for the guard on the first floor,and...we don't get it. We lose...

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Furnace

First play of this. I'd been looking forward to playing this, and it turned out to be an excellent little engine building game. There's not much to it, a deck of 36 cards, some starting cards, some Capitalist cards (with special abilities), and tokens for each player (numbered from one to four). There are four rounds, and each round has a auction phase and a production phase.

From gallery of bortmonkey


In the auction phase, you put one of your tokens onto one of the face up cards (seven in a 3p game). The rules are: you can't put more than one token of your colour on, and you can't put the same value token as another player. Once everyone has placed, whoever has the highest value takes the card, and anyone else gets compensation – they either get the resources or an ability at the top of the card, and can do it as many times as the value of their token. So, if you had a four and a two on a card, and the card gave you two coal, whoever put down the four doesn't get anything, but they get to keep the card for production. The player of the two would get two coal twice, so four coal. Sometimes you don't want the card, you just want the resource.

From gallery of bortmonkey


After all the cards are resolved, you play each card in your tableau, and you can do this simultaneously. You are trying to get as much money as possible. So, you might use one card to give you a resource, and then another transforms that resource into money. You can also upgrade a card, flipping it and getting more abilities.

From gallery of bortmonkey


So, four rounds, it's a pretty quick game, but it has some good decisions to make. Love the auction mechanic. Looking forward to many more plays of this game, my favourite of the day.

From gallery of bortmonkey



From gallery of bortmonkey


Cubitos

A fairly quick playing game of buying dice, rolling said dice, and moving along a track.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


The Crew: Mission Deep Sea

Another couple of missions. So far, fairly easy going, but I'm sure it will start getting harder.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Fantasy Realms

Hilarity ensued when one of the players went through the deck (after the game) looking for a particular card. Couldn't find it, wasn't in our hands. Then he realised he had it all along. And managed to win the game as well, with a new high score of 244. A record which will stand for...well, until the next game. Got the Gem of Order (which had been discarded) and managed to get the full seven card run. Was a bit lucky, I thought the Gem of Order was value three (it's actually a five). Anyway, it worked out, got 259, hoping that might stand for at least a week.We shall see I guess. This is such a cool game (even when I'm not winning).

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Roll for Adventure

This game doesn't seem to get a lot of attention, but it's a pretty fun dice-rolling cooperative game. The game board is made of four different areas, and each area has a different way of collecting dice. To win, you'll need to collect the power stones, before any of the lands are taken over by enemies. You draw an enemy at the end of your turn, and if you have no dice in that colour, then the land takes damage. And you get these very cool little skulls to mark damage. If any of the areas reach the last skull position, it's game over. Also, any enemy coming out forces any other enemies to attack again (if they are a lower value). And you've got the Big Bad to deal with as well - The Master of Puppets Shadows. He causes damage to a rolled area, even if there are dice there.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Wind the Film!

A quick game to take us out for the day. Very good little tableau builder.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey
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Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:39 am
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Gaming for Saturday 9th October 2021

Hello again, and welcome to the blog!

First up

Zendo

I just noticed this game has a four digit ID, it must be pretty old. And it is, from 2001.

From gallery of bortmonkey


This is described as an inductive logic game. It comes with a whole lot of pieces, three different colours (red, blue, yellow), and three different shapes (pyramids, wedges, blocks). One player is the moderator, and they select a card that will describe a rule for constructing a piece. Simple rules might be something like "have three objects", or "use all three colours". There's a deck of cards, with difficulty ranging from easy to medium to hard. The moderator, after choosing a card, then makes two structures, one that follows the rule (which they will mark with a white token), and one that doesn't (marked with a black token). The other players have to find the rule. It almost feels like a co-op, but it is competitive.

From gallery of bortmonkey


On a players turn, they will make their own structure, and then ask the moderator to either "tell" or "quiz" their design. If you say "tell", then the moderator just marks the pieces with a white (correct) or black (incorrect) token. If you say "quiz" then all players can choose whether or not they think the structure is correct or not. If your vote is correct, you get a green guessing token. And if you have a guessing token, you can make a guess at the end of your turn. To guess, you just state what you think the rule is. If you're right, you win! If you're wrong, then the moderator will make another structure based on that to disprove the guess. They can either make a structure that follows the rule but your guess says does not, or build something that does not follow the rule but which your guess says does not.

From gallery of bortmonkey


I'm unsure what the moderator should be doing. They can't win, but should they be trying to help the other players, or hinder them? You could make an elaborate construction that follows the rule, but will confuse the players. We had a few goes at this, each player taking a turn to be the moderator, and the rule was guessed each time. Not sure if it will get another play, didn't go over all that well. Possibly a bit too different.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


The next game is becoming a favourite, and noone has even needed the included tissue yet...

Heul doch! Mau Mau

Still love the art!

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Now, this next game is one of my all time favourites. I'm not sure if anyone else is as crazy as about it as me, but obviously I'm right.

Ginkgopolis

Even though we hadn't played for a while, it played out relatively quickly. It looks a bit bit much at the start, but its actually fairly simple to play.

From gallery of bortmonkey


You have types of card, building and urbanization. Each card can be played by itself, or with a building tile. The city starts out with nine buildings, values one through three, in each of the three colours (red, blue and yellow). Each building card has a bonus once it's built - this gives you something for each time you do the required action (playing a single card, building up, and building out). The something you get is either a resource (which you'll need for building), tiles (again, for building), and victory points (don't think I need to explain those).

From gallery of bortmonkey


So, it's really an engine building game. ideally, you want resources and tiles every time you build. If you build on top of another tile, you need to place resources according to the height. And if you want to keep a card for its bonus, you must build on top of another tile.


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At the end of the game, you'll score for connected tiles of the same colour. Whoever has the most resource tokens will get points equal to all the resources on the tiles. Second place just gets points for their resources.

From gallery of bortmonkey


The winner was evident about half way through, had a huge territory in the middle, and also had the end game bonus card that gave points for the resources in that huge territory. Just couldn't break it up. Still, we all enjoyed the game.

A new game, and it looks super adorable!

CuBirds

Looks terrific, adorable little cube birds, but didn't seem to much to the play. To win, you need either seven different birds, or two birds of at least three. There are four rows of three birds initially. Gameplay is easy, play a card, if you enclose a row of that bird, take all the cards in between.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Each bird has two values, the first value for a small flock, and the second for a large flock. At the end of your turn you can make a flock of a type. If you put down a small flock, one card goes to your tableau. For a large flock, two cards are kept. And that's about it. It seemed long for a simple filler. Every time you make a flock, you have to discard all your cards except the one of two you keep. And if you play out all your cards, everyone discards their cards and you start a new round. I expected more.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And growing into a weekly game, it's time for

Fantasy Realms

And disaster! My glorious high score, which I thought would stand for..well, forever, was overtaken. I only got to gloat for a week, I had much more gloating planned! The new high score is an amazing 238.

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Project: ELITE

Project: ELITE, extermination mission. And...we lost in the first round. Drew almost all runners, who proceeded to bolt for our starting area and we failed to stop them because of bad dice rolling. So we tried again, same results. Third game, we managed to get through the first round, and then we lost. Fairly demoralising. We've never had this much trouble before. We didn't even have any bosses out. It was on the harder side of the board, the crashed ship side.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And our final game of the day

Juicy Fruits

The winner of our last game tried the same strategy - ice cream. He managed two of the 16 pointers, but I stopped him getting all three. I should have done better, but I just didn't manage my board efficiently. I like this game, but the ice creams seem a bit OP if you let them get them all, at least. But in this case the ice cream strategy did not win the game, so maybe it's not so OP. Winner just picked up points from the businesses.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey
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Wed Oct 13, 2021 4:49 am
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Gaming for Saturday 2nd October 2021

Welcome to the blog! It's a great day, let's do some gaming! Started with three players, then we were joined by a fourth, huzzah!

Meteor

A quick game first up. This is a five minute game – literally, since there are five hourglasses, each about a minute. Each hourglass represents the altitude of incoming meteors. Obviously you lose if you don't stop them after altitude one. Each meteor card shows a range on the back, and you don't see the actual value until you shoot. We played with cards face up, as suggested. Player build rockets based on resources in their hands. You can play a card to another players rocket. When you launch a rocket at a meteor, if your rocket value is less than the meteor, it has effect. And if it's higher, it blows up, but sends all the other meteors down to the next altitude. Normally there is no communication, but first game, so allowed. Fun little game, have to try it without knowing the value of the meteors, that will make it harder.

New game, cool little filler I thought, let's play

Heul doch! Mau Mau

I don't know what Mau Mau means, but the rest of it translates as "Go ahead and cry!". And the game comes with a tissue to cry into. yup – seriously,. It's a pretty simple game, you have a play pile, and a hand of four cards. You want to play cards to your pile – these are worth points for you. But if you can play a card to either of your neighbours, then you have to do that, and give them points. Obviously you want to do this as little as possible. A card can be played on a pile if it matches either the colour or the value of the previous card. If you don't want to play a card (or cannot), then you can play a card facedown, showing a crying onion (the artwork on each card is hilarious). Anything can be played on an onion. But, at the end of the game, you count your onions, and those value cards don't count for your total. For example, if you had five crying onions, then all your value five cards don't count.

From gallery of bortmonkey


For a simple game, we had some trouble with the rules. First, the other players thought you could always play a card to your own pile. Then, another player thought if you had any card you could play on another pile, you had to play it. We thought he was deliberately tanking the game. But, we sorted it all, and had three games of it. Fun filler, but yeah, you might need that tissue.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Another play of

Wind the Film!

Talked about this last week, really good, puzzley game.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And onto another favourite (well, so far anyway)

Fantasy Realms

A couple of quick games of this. Great little game, doesn't look like much. Couldn't be easier to play either. Play a card, discard a card. I finally won a game, with the highest score we've had so far (214). Got lucky with a Gem of Order card, which gives points for runs in card values. I already had a few in a row, and managed to get another few, giving me a 6 card run, and a bonus 100 points. Generally our top scores have been around the 150 mark. So I was pretty happy with that.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And onto our feature game of the day, and our first with four players. Of course, it's

Cthulhu: Death May Die

I had the strangest game, I died, and was barely up to my first insanity marker. Barely fought anything, rolled terribly, couldn't even take down a cultist. In the end, I sacrificed myself for the good of the team, and dragged Cthulhu and a few followers away to another room. And no, I didn't have stealth, so everyone came with me. Ended up in a room with the big C, five cultists, and three deep ones. Needless to say, I did not survive. We lost another player, but, somehow the others pulled out the win. Sure, I would like to have been alive when it happened...

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And onto another favourite!

Nova Luna

Again, never played with four players. I had a terrible game, just couldn't get anything happening. Am I the only one to find the moon faces a little disturbing?

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And, to finish up, let's play

Silver & Gold


Silver and Gold, our 50th game! It's been our go to finishing game for so long.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey
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Wed Oct 6, 2021 2:32 am
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Gaming for Saturday 25th September 2021

We feel like being crooks, so the first game is

Burgle Bros 2: The Casino Capers

Our second game of it overall. Not my copy...I only have the first game. And a good game is a quick game, right? We lasted three or four turns, one player got six heat (you get heat from being in the same room as a guard, and various other effects). I don't think we had the game setup properly, since we found the safe on the first floor, should have been second floor. Anyway, it didn't make a lot of difference. From memory, our first game also ended up with a very quick defeat. There's not much room to move around, and you can easily get a guard destination that crosses your path.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


Now for some undersea adventure!

The Crew: Mission Deep Sea

First play. The sequel to The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, which we really enjoy. We haven't actually finished the first game, I think we're up to mission 42, so not far to go. Players of the first game will be at home, here, not a lot of changes besides the theme. And, to be honest, I never really felt the theme in the first game. Still, it's a great game. The biggest change with Deep Sea is the way task cards are selected. Planet Nine would just tell you how many to use. In Deep Sea, there is a number on the back of each card, one for each of the player counts (3p, 4p, 5p). When you setup a mission, for example, mission four, you draw task cards until you reach the value four (for your player count). And you have to reach the number exactly. So, if I drew a three and then a two, I would skip the two and keep drawing until I found a one. And tasks are a bit different too. The old task cards just duplicated the main deck cards, so you had 36 main cards, and 36 task cards. So taking a task just meant "win that card". In Deep Sea, the tasks have winning conditions, like "I will win the pink eight and the blue five", or 'I will win none of the first three tricks". We played the first two missions, pretty easy of course. Good fun. So much fun I forgot to take any pictures...

Okay, we're loosened up, so it's time for an epic game...

Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile

Our first "proper" game. We setup the game from the walkthrough, but then just played our own turns. Went ok. One of the Exiles had a few secrets, and grabbed the Banner of The Darkest Secret, then played the Vision of Devotion, which would give her the win at the start of her next turn. Obviously, that makes her a target, so the Chancellor targets her banner, and succeeds.

From gallery of bortmonkey


I collected three relics, and played the Vision of Sanctuary (have the most banners and relics).The chancellor attacks me, and wins one of my relics. On my next turn, I consider attacking back, but decided it was a lost cause. At the end of turn six, the Chancellor rolls a six, and wins the game.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Not sure how this game is being received. I like it ok, not in love with it. But maybe that's just because I bought it. Another player says she doesn't want to play again, says she doesn't know what she is doing (same player who would have won from her Vision). It's an odd game, and takes a few games to get your head around. We did save the game state, ready for the next game. Basically the winner gets to keep sites they rule, and we remove six cards from the deck and add new ones. The new cards added are whatever suit the winner had the most of.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


How about a bit of fantasy?

Fantasy Realms

Fantasy Realms X 2. Really enjoying this, so many combinations you are trying to figure out. Again, no photographs...

Time to say hello to an old friend

Galaxy Trucker

I used to have a copy of this, but sold it, not entirely sure why. Anyway, the new edition came out, not sure of the changes (if any). We played two games, so I think people were enjoying it. We just used the learning board and the learning set of cards.

From gallery of bortmonkey


I thought I was looking good for the first game, picked up a few goods cubes (including a red, the most valuable). But the goods tiles were destroyed, and I had nothing. Second game, I ended up with lots of batteries on my ship, not so many guns or engines. It's easy (well, it's easy if you're dumb like me) to stuff up your ship building and just have no options for adding new tiles. I ended up with negative two from the second game, winner had 19. Chaotic, but fun.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


I used to be a keen amateur photographer, so the next game seems apt
Wind the Film!

First play. A tableau building game, where you take cards from a central market and then play them. This is another card game where you can't rearrange your hand. Every time you take cards, they go at the front of your hand. Then you get to move one card further up in your hand, and finally, play cards from the back of your hand. Cards are valued from one thru twelve. You can have ascending or descending runs, but each card has to be within three of the previous card. So, one and then four is fine, but one and five is not. Fun game.
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Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:39 am
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Gaming for Saturday 18th September, 2021

Another gorgeous day in paradise here! There are three of us for gaming today. Was hoping for a fourth player, but didn't work out. Oh well, these things happen.

First game to tackle today is

Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile

Our first play of this. It’s a pretty big game, bought it with a gift card with my LFGS. I wanted to spend it on something epic, so Oath fits the bill there. I spent a fair bit of time this week going over the game, watching some videos, just getting my head around it, at least enough to teach it successfully. I've heard horror stories about players who teach the game by just reading the manual at people (that's right, not "to", but "at"). I'm not saying I learn everything about a game before the first play, but enough to get going. I figure, if I don't make the effort, the game will go badly, and then that's the only thing people will remember. I (usually) want to get my games played as much as possible, not just one and done.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Oath, to it’s credit, offers several ways to learn it. The best seemed to be to follow the setup and playthrough in the Playbook, helpfully labelled “Read Me First”. There’s also the Law of Oath, a reference manual with few graphics and no examples. They recommend that for people who like learning from strict, literal rules, and/or players who play games like 18XX games (never played one myself). So, I choose the Playbook. The cards are already setup for that first walkthrough game, all you need to do is follow the cards and do what they say. I thought I’d stuffed this up because I wanted to check that all the components were there (everyone does that, right?). But luckily there is a document on Leder Games website that shows how to reset the contents back to the original.

And just a note about the nice looking coins used for this game. They are not the deluxe coins for the game, just ones I had around (and never use). I thought they looked epic enough for this game. Yes, I'm a sucker for metal coins. Also - good on Leder Games for offering the deluxe components to anyone. Also, we (ok, me) wanted something cool to represent the Chancellor's Grand Scepter, so we used a mini of Mjölnir, Thor's hammer. And it opens beer bottles too! I did consider a full scale replica sword, but felt it was a bit much, and hard to fit into the gaming bag.

From gallery of bortmonkey


How to sum up Oath? The explanation from the Playbook seems to be the best description. Oath is a game about history. It’s about what gets forgotten, who gets left behind, and how power moves from one part of society to another. In each game, players will steer the fate of this land toward their own interests, affecting all the games to come. That sounds pretty cool, right?

From gallery of bortmonkey


Very briefly, there are positions in Oath that the players take. At the beginning, one player is the Chancellor, the current ruler of the land. They begin by ruling the most sites, which makes them the overall ruler, according to the current Oath (the Oath of Supremacy). The other players are Exiles, who are trying to overthrow the Chancellor, and win the game themselves. Exiles can become Citizens, which means they are allied with the Chancellor, but again, they are trying to win the game themselves.

From gallery of bortmonkey


The land is divided into three regions: the Cradle, the Provinces, and the Hinterlands. The Cradle has two sites associated with it, the other two regions have three each. A site can have cards played to, and the players move around to each site. Your site means the site that has your pawn. Sites you rule have your warband on them. Only one type of warband can be present on a site, and that colour player rules that site.

From gallery of bortmonkey


At first, this doesn’t look so bad. There are a maximum of eight rounds (but it could be over in five). On your turn, you can probably take maybe four or five actions. And there are only six actions you can take. The possible actions are Search (draw more cards), Muster (add more warbands to your board), Trade (gain one of the two currencies in the game, favour or secrets), Recover (take a relic card at your location), Campaign (fight!), and Travel (move your pawn between regions and sites). Every action takes supply (tracked by a token on your main board). There are also minor actions, which don’t use up supply. These actions are flip a facedown card from your board, use an action on card, move warbands around, and peek at any relic at your site.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Most of the actions are pretty straightforward, and easy to pickup. Searching allows you to play cards either next to your player board, or at your site. Some cards can only be played to your board (as advisors), some only at a site. Any card can be played facedown in your advisor area, and you can play it later.

From gallery of bortmonkey


The trickiest action is Campaign, where you fight another player. You have to declare your defender, and then your targets. You can target sites, relics, and their pawn and favour. Each target gives the defender another dice to roll. Defense dice can roll blank, single defense, double defense, and a X2 multiplier. The defender than adds the number of warbands they have at the targeted sites. The attacker will roll the number of attack dice according to the number of warbands they have on their player board. They can roll a sword, a hollow sword (two of them makes a full sword), and a double sword face. The downside to the double sword face is that you have to kill an attacker. And finally, if the attacker needs to, they can sacrifice warbands to add to their attack. If you are victorious, half of the defenders warbands are killed, and the other half go back to their player board. You play any number of your warbands onto the sites, you now rule them.

From gallery of bortmonkey


So, how do you win? The Chancellor can win at the end of rounds five thru eight, as long as they still have the Oathkeeper tile (ruling most sites). At the end of round five, they roll a die, if it’s six, they win. At the end of round six, they need a five or a six from the die. Then a three, four, five, six in round seven. And after the last round (eight), they just win.

From gallery of bortmonkey


An Exile can win by ruling more sites, allowing them to take the Oathkeeper title. If they start their turn with the Oathkeeper tiles, they flip it, and now they are the Usurper. If they start their turn with the Usurper title, then they win!

A citizen (the other side of an exile player board) can win by filling the win condition for the Successor to the Chancellor. If the Chancellor would win, but a citizen has the secondary win condition (for the starting Oath of Supremacy, this is to hold more relics and banners), then they win instead.

There is another way for an Exile to win. Within the cards of the deck, there are five vision cards. An Exile can play a vision card to their player board. And the start of their turn, if the condition on the vision is filled, they win. Only an Exile can use a vision card. Well, that’s not entirely true. There are four normal vision cards, and one conspiracy vision that can be played by anyone, not just an Exile.

So, there’s a few things to think about. The Chancellor starts with a relic called the Grand Scepter, which gives the owner the power to offer Citizenship to another player. A citizen is an ally of the Chancellor, and they all use the same supply and colour of warbands to rule sites.

From gallery of bortmonkey


So, I started out my explanation of the game by briefly going over the actions, and then we did the walkthrough detailed in the Playbook. This is a great idea, I wish more games offered it. Each player makes different actions, so everyone gets to see what possible actions there are, and also why a player might want to do it. We decided randomly on the Chancellor role (disappointing the player who usually plays purple). We had three players, but the walkthough is actually for four. The Yellow Exile gained some warbands, and then attacked two sites of the Chancellor, and won, taking the Oathkeeper title (for ruling the most sites).

From gallery of bortmonkey


We played a couple more turns ourselves (the walkthough only does the first round for each player). The Chancellor player attacked Yellow and got back their Oathkeeper title.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Definitely an intriguing game, and a lot to it. I’ve explained only the most basic things here. Looking forward to our next game, without the training wheels. We have the basics down I think. The cool thing about the game (and the reason I bought it) is that new cards are added to the deck each time you play. The cards come in six suits. At the end of the game, the suit used most by the winner is used to add new cards.

Whew! After all that, we needed something a bit simpler...

Master Word

Another first play game. Pretty simple word game. One player shows the card with it’s hint (like food, or animal), and then the other players write hints. But the seeker can only tell the others how many of their clues are correct, not which clue. Interesting enough for a quick game.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


We progressed fairly easily. The early cards in the deck are pretty straightforward, I believe they do get harder.

Onto another new game!

Fantasy Realms

Cool little card game, which I hadn’t heard of before it was nominated for the Kennerspiel Des Jahres. And if I saw it in a shop, I’d probably just pass it by. The generic title doesn’t help, and it’s a small, unassuming box. And inside is only 53 cards. The gameplay couldn’t be any easier. Pick up a card from either the discard pile or the deck, add it to your hand, then discard a card. You’re trying to get points, obviously. A card has a numeric value, and may also have a bonus or penalty section. And you’re trying to make combos. A card might be worth 30 points, but only if you can pair it with another specific card (or card suit).

From gallery of bortmonkey


A card might have a penalty and give negative points, but another card might “blank” that penalty. There’s more to think about than you think. Do you hang onto a card that is only worth points with another card, which you keep drawing blind to find. Maybe as soon as you discard it, another player will swoop on it. Discards are all face up, and played separately on the table, so you can take any card. The game ends when there are ten cards in the discard. Which doesn’t take long at all. More fun than we thought initially, we played two games in a row. Nice little filler.

From gallery of bortmonkey


Now for some train on train action!

Switch & Signal

We resisted the urge to make it easier, we’ve only played it twice (and lost both times). And it looked like things were going the same way again. There were only five driving instruction cards remaining, and when that runs out, it’s game over. And we still needed to get two yellow goods to the port city. We had our fastest trains (black) on the job. And we won! With only one card left. Good effort I thought, I had almost given up.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And back to an old favourite for our wind down game! Well, we've played it twice, is that long enough to make it a favourite?

Cascadia

Finished up with this, an easy game to play. Although one player had forgotten that you could use a nature token to wipe any number of wildlife tokens. I don’t think we’ve ever done it. We are still using the basic A cards for scoring, since we know them pretty well. And the scores could not have been much closer, 89/88/88. I was the winner, so I was happy about that.

From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


From gallery of bortmonkey


And that's it for gaming this week! I'm looking forward to another bash of Oath next weekend. We've got the essentials down, so I just need to cover the Campaign action in more detail, and about Exiles becoming Citizens.
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Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:03 am
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