Anthony BoydellUnited Kingdom
UnspecifiedWelcome...to my Shed!
Having complained vociferously - last week - about my own personal sandbox Hell in the form of Coloma (hi, Johnny!), I found myself launched into a similarly-sprawling but far more cooperative world of Mr Richard Breese's Keyper:
The overall philosophy of the Key universe is that it is conflict-free which doesn't mean that it can't be devilish in the same breath; however, Keyper - presenting more options than a Takeaway Menu that's mated with A Feast For Odin - is an eye-watering universe of animal types, resources, worker types and worker-placeable actions. It's fair to say that I find Keyper intimidating and even though Dale, Jack (the gurning buffoon, above) and myself had agreed to Jeric's urgent need to play, I wasn't at all comfortable about what lay ahead.
For context, my two prior outings were:
i) a howling drubbing by the Batesons at a Ross-on-Wye session (they'd been playing it at 2 for weeks prior) and
ii) play-testing Keyper at Sea when I did quite well but only by ignoring all of the expansion bits (LOTS of new animals, a weird Season-warping time dilation effect etc).
Having remembered that, in both of those games, using the Boats was rather important, I focused on boat-related buildings and just enough animal storage to keep livestock sheltered before I shipped them away for VPs:
By thunder, but it worked! Stacking up extra actions and bonus VPs every time one of my sailors exercised his rollocks, I missed a couple of Fair tile bonuses but kept ahead of Jeric by a single point to win: 84, 83, 78 and 78! It was a long game, though, as Jack's recent absence of several weeks - and his need to let us know what he'd been up to (denting newly-repaired cars in his local garage, fighting at his Fight Club* and the ongoing development of his MMA deckbuilder design) - served as a banter-tastic BUT very distracting, diversion.
Feeling suitably exerted by all that working, 'joining' and 'laying down', we were joined by the Kingdom Dice table for Oink Games' Durian:
Think Hanabi, but backwards: each player has a card they cannot see and this, in combination with everyone elses' card, represent our 'Total Fruit Stock'. In turn, players draw a card and must add it to a growing line - choosing which half of the card (they're domino-like) forms the customer's "order". Using the info we can see, players hold out until someone thinks there is a larger line total than those held by players whereupon a tinkling bell is rung and the player of the last card out is challenged: if there are more orders than stock, the card player takes a penalty token otherwise the challenger must take the token instead; when someone has 7+ points of angry manager penalty token points, the player(s) with the fewest penalty points is/are declared the winner.
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Father, Grandfather, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
- [+] Dice rolls