Games Played WABA Thornlie 24 August 2013
Ian O'Toole
Australia
Queens Park
WA
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A good turn out this month with lots of big games being played. What did you play?

See our metalist for records of all of the games played at past WABA meet-ups!

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1. Board Game: To Court the King [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:1402]
Ian O'Toole
Australia
Queens Park
WA
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Myself and Tegan learned and played this simple dice rolling game by Tom Lehman, the designer of Race for the Galaxy

It's a pretty simple affair of rolling dice and using the results to claim character cards, which can then be tapped on future turns to provide special abilities such as adding new dice and manipulating the results in various ways.

It was pretty good, and would be much quicker once the players understand the characters. I won this one.
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2. Board Game: Mansions of Madness: Call of the Wild [Average Rating:8.24 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.24 Unranked]
Ian O'Toole
Australia
Queens Park
WA
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Myself, Tegan, David, Eesha and Karl sat down for an epic confrontation using "The Stars Align" scenario from the Call of the Wild expansion.

I was the keeper, while the investigators were:

Amanda Sharpe (Tegan), the student from Miskatonic University,

Michael McGlen (David), the tommy gun-totting gangster,

Vincent Lee (Eesha), the resident physician at Arkham Hospital, and

Darrell Simmons (Karl), the reporter from the Arkham Advertiser.

Our intrepid investigators had disturbed a ritual and stolen the crucial items that I, as the keeper, needed to complete my nefarious plans.

Their task was to scatter and deny me those items by burying them around the board. My task was to use my cultists and monsters to dig those items up, or better yet, steal them from the investigators before they got the chance to bury them.

This was confounded for the investigators by the following factors:

1. They had six ritual items to hide, but only four of them were crucial to my ritual (they didn't know which four of the six were important).

2. The board was scattered with corpses, (one was placed any time a monster died) which I could use to generate more monsters. The more corpses in the one room, the more powerful monsters I could summon. This saw the investigators drag gin corpses around the board just to deny my my more powerful monsters.

The best thing about this game is the little lines of narrative it creates. Some of our standout moments were:

1. Karl's reporter killing multiple monsters with his shovel, then photographing their corpses (which gave everyone combat bonuses against that type of monster). Later in the game he was driven instane and, while trying to fend off three monsters, threw his trusty shovel over their heads and dropped all of his items.

2. Eesha's doctor, having also been driven insane, using her newly acquired axe to attack David's gangster.

3. David's gangster using his truth serum to consistently accost a poor innocent Child of the Goat, eventually learning a much-needed password.

4. The investigators trying to decide which one of them could be trusted with weapons, and an important password, as most of them were insane, or very close to.

5. Me forgetting where I had placed a fire event and burning my own corpses shake

In the end, however, the stars aligned and I was successful in completing my ritual. Yog Sothoth was summoned and the world fell into chaos. No investigators were killed, but two were completely insane, and the other two were pretty close. Tegan's character also had a broken arm...

One more turn would have seen the investigators win, as they were very close to a clue that could have ended the game in their favour, so a very close game, especially considering that three of the investigators were new to the game.

All in all a great scenario, which I really enjoyed. Thanks for playing all!
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3. Board Game: Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule! [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:3773]
Ian O'Toole
Australia
Queens Park
WA
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A change of pace was in order after our Mansions of Madness epic, and David, Eesha, Tegan and myself learned this simple card game.

Each card has a Goblin side and a Fairy side, as well as a symbol on each face. There are two opposite sets of symbols, a Moon and a Sun, and a Toadstool and a Toad. A card will always have the opposite symbol on its reverse.

Each turn you try add a card from your display to the central display (the Fairy Ring). If your card name rhymes with any of those already in the ring, those cards are flipped. You then claim all of the cards that match the symbol on the card you added.

The winner is the first player who either has no goblins, or has six fairies.

Seemingly very simple, it's got a bit more going on as every player's cards are public knowledge. So adding cards to the Fairy Ring that deny the next player a good move is an important tactic. Not one I was very good at, unfortunately, and David won by getting rid of all of his goblins.

This is a very charming game. The rhyming adds a nice flavour and the artwork is beautiful.
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4. Board Game: CO₂ [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:537]
Ian O'Toole
Australia
Queens Park
WA
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After David and Eesha left Tegan, Nathan, Rudolf and myself sat down to try to save the world from global warming , while trying to turn a good profit.

I really like this game, it's very engaging with lots to think about, but it never seems to drag for me.

Although the game is competitive, there are times when the players need to begrudgingly work together to stop the CO2 levels rising too high, which can cause the game to end with everyone losing.

Luckily that didn't happen, and I managed to win over Tegan by one point
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5. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:612]
Ian O'Toole
Australia
Queens Park
WA
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For the final game of the night, Warren, Nathan, Tegan, Ernest and myself played this classic push your luck game. Everyone seemed horrified that I had never played it (despite owning a copy).

Myself and Warren seemed to have the same ill-conceived notions every turn, which resulted in us coming joint last (with the same score...shake).

I believe Tegan won in the end.
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6. Board Game: Kremlin [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:853]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Oliver, Ernest, Jan, Mr X and I tackled this old classic.

Mr X hit two of his three targets early and then lucked out. Ernest then hit two of his three. On the verge of victory, only a 1 on a d20 could deny Ernest his third target.

And a 1 it was!

Only entertained us a lot and delayed Ernest's inevitable push for victory.
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7. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:308]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught this one to a group of three new players whilst the forces gathered for Kremlin.

Later played a four player game of this one.
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8. Board Game: Rex: Final Days of an Empire [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:599]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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Finally managed to get a 6 player game of Rex happening with myself (Hacan), Jacob (Sol), Mark (Xxcha), Selby (Jol'Nar), Jan (Letnev) and a guy whose name I can't remember but who looked lost so we sat him down and handed him the Lazax empire.

Then we bombed his capitol city.

And the race to control Mecatol Rex was on. The Lazax guy and myself immediately made all of the money while the other players positioned themselves around the board. Early 2-player alliances were formed with Hacan and Xxcha fumbling the use of the Xxcha ally power (my bad), Lazax and Sol calling a thematically unlikely alliance and the very dangerous Jol'Nar/Letnev alliance holding as it were, all the cards.

Soon after the Sol/Lazax partnership fell apart and the game was really on with Lazax/Xxcha/Hacan vs Jol'Nar/Letnev/Sol.

The start of the 4th round saw yet another Temporary Ceasefire and the military spaceport controlled by Jan (Letnev) and under bombardment. That meant he couldn't get any of his units out of there but no-one else could get in there either. A quick reshuffling of alliances saw Hacan and Lazax dropping our Xxcha ally in favor of the stronghold-endowed Letnev. We were able to effectively hold the Hacan stronghold we already had and take the other 3 quite neatly winning us the game.

This is a game of total chaos and playing the other people at the table. The 6 player game is very interesting and the powers all combine to provide some interesting combos. I'd really like to play with betrayal cards next time to make the alliances that much more unstable and wary of each other.

My favorite moment was when Selby asked Mark to prevent me from using a Laser cannon during a pivotal fight that I had not had the entire game but he kept telling people that I did (as Jol'Nar he'd have seen it when I bought it). I also gleefully watched the Jol'Nar troops approach my stronghold safe in the knowledge that I had his strongest leader in my pocket (as a traitor) until he played a strategy card that allowed him to see my traitors on the very cusp of the battle. Nerve-wracking.
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9. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:700] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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After Rex I played a game of this with Mark, Andrew, Andrew's son(?), and Jan. I was The Flash which suits me just fine as I like draw more card mechanics in a deckbuilder.

It was an OK game. I'd play again but I probably wouldn't request it.

Mark (Superman) won the day in the end.

Now I just need to play the Marvel Legendary game. Anyone with a copy want to teach me?
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10. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:61] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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Lastly I got to play in Jason's epic X-Wing game. This was a great scenario with the Rebel Alliance and the Empire each competing to force the surrender of a pirate ship (that happily skipped around the asteroid field returning fire when fired upon).

I got to play a Red Squadron X-Wing and Tycho Celchu in an A-Wing (which is effectively a bullet with a pilots chair). Some early maneuvering snafu's by myself and Elaine allowed Mark's evil imperial force to make mincemeat of us. I managed to swing around my A-Wing and blast off towards the other imperial fleet as it was engaging the rebels on the other side of the table who for some reason went straight for the pirates without trying to engage the imperials at all. Turns out the head-on approach with an A-Wing is not ideal and my plan to jam their engines with my twisted metallic corpse did not work.

The star of the game was definitely Wedgina (Wedge Antilles as played by a young female pilot whose name I did not catch). She must have destroyed 3 or 4 Tie Fighters before finally going down leading the pirates (played by Jason) to surrender to the Imperial Forces.

This was my first play of X-Wing and I really liked the experience. Thanks to all that played.
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11. Board Game: Chicago Express [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:362]
andrew
Australia
bayswater
western australia
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Two games of this played..

If i raque my brains it was Dave, Simon, Steve, Sylvia and my self in the first..

Dave and Simon left and Sonia arrived and the second game was 4 player..

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12. Board Game: Space Empires: 4X [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:437] [Average Rating:7.62 Unranked]
Nathan
Canada
Vancouver
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Three aspiring Space Emperors (Rudolf, Adam and Me) set out to give each other a good space kicking and telling off for expanding into space where they were not welcome.

Coming in at just under 6 hours, space was explored and conquered...except for Adam who sent scannerless scouts into unexplored systems full of dangers and threats...and saw them perish time after time.

Adam's empire homeworld fell to a quick rush by one of my well padded fleets, giving me the instant win. Just in time, as Rudolf had amassed forces of such strength and numbers that nothing would have stood in his way.
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13. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Five players sat down to crew the Battlestar Galactica, but amongst them were at least one and perhaps two cylons amongst them. With Genevieve new to the game, I pushed for (and managed to convince/harass the others into) playing a pure base game.

We did our traditional thing of everyone looking at their loyalty cards for 15 seconds (to prevent the humans merely glancing at their loyalty card, and the cylons taking noticeably longer to read their reveal ability), especially with a new player. It was after the cards were put down that I saw the player to my left, Oliver, put his card down, pick it up, glance at it again and put it down. Would anyone else but a cylon do that? I filed it away at the back of my mind, not willing to call him out on it immediately but ready to use it as further proof later on.

Things seemed to be going alright in the first half of the game, with few suspicions. An amusing event happened where in one turn, there were three presidents. Roslin started the Chief’s turn as president, and with my support that Roslin is a more inefficient president than anyone else (while still for me being at the same level of suspicion as everyone else), Chief was elected president. The crisis then promptly gave Bill Adama the chance to take the presidency, which he promptly did. So one turn, three presidents.

Post sleeper, Boomer went to the brig, everyone’s suspicions dialled up and XOs were withheld. I did the standard Baltar move and used his OPG ability to check someone, choosing Pradmiral Adama and cleared him as a human. I was thus happy to XO him. Roslin strangely consolidated power to draw pilot cards, claiming that with Boomer in the brig, he wanted to help the human ships. Boomer asked what she could do to prove her loyalty in the brig and we suggested the usual things of contributing into skill checks and successful scouts (both through risking a raptor and her end of turn ability).

There was a skill check that revealed a negative blue card and this evidence, amongst other things, was finally enough for Pradmiral Adama (along I think with Chief) to conclude that Boomer was the (thankfully) brigged cylon. Poor, inefficient play from Roslin with strange moves (and for me, the loyalty card checking at the beginning which I kept to myself) was enough not only to denounce Roslin but for her to be brigged through an Arrest Order. The problems seemed to have been contained.

As it with Battlestar Galactica, resources kept dropping at a fairly regular rate. On Chief’s turn came the crisis Colonial Day, which carried the choice of a skill check to gain 1 morale if passed and lost 2 morale if failed, or a straight 1 morale loss. At this point, morale was at 5. With the two cylons brigged and the free humans drawing the right colours, Chief decided to go for the check to gain the morale. Once people put in and the cards were revealed, there was 1 negative card…2 negative cards…3 negative cards?…4 negative cards?!...5 negative cards?!? But the people in the brig did not put any cards in…

“It’s you!” Chief accused me. “No it’s not” I retorted, already planning my move which was next to deal with the result of this move. As morale dropped to 3, I used my action to reveal and drop morale down to 2. Despite Roslin subsequently getting a Presidential Pardon, a revealed Boomer drained the humans cards with her Super-Crisis and the humans could not avoid a Bomb on Colonial One to see Colonial One blow up, 2 morale lost and the cylons winning by reducing morale to 0.

In some post-game thoughts, I was initially disappointed to receive the -1 morale cylon loyalty at the sleeper phase. It can be very situational as to whether the reveal power will hurt the humans at all (compared to the brigging one for example, which is almost always bad for the humans), although recognising that a reveal power should not relied upon. The crisis cards that came out and any subtle pushing by me made it perhaps more useful in this game than it might have been in other games.

I also wondered what to do the immediate moment I saw Bill Adama’s human loyalty cards. I immediately thought that to accuse him would result in one of us not being trusted. One result would be that I would campaign to have the titles transferred (obviously I wouldn’t get them) and I would be happy to have the humans waste time transferring them and potentially have one go to my at the time unknown cylon partner. The infighting between us would also be inefficient to the humans. However, if I cleared him, that would have him keep both titles (an inefficient move for the humans) and make him trust me more. Additionally, if I revealed on my next turn (which I was strongly considering doing), others may strongly distrust him. In the end, I went with declaring him a human.

When both Boomer and Roslin were in the brig, I strongly considered trying to place either Chief or Bill Adama in the brig too. At the time, my strongest suspicion of my cylon partner was Roslin but I wasn’t that confident. At worse, if I was successful, there would be one human and one cylon free on the ship, which is a pro-cylon situation. Unfortunately, I did not think that I had the cards to pass that skill check on my own (as they would be sure to oppose the check) but it would have been great if it had worked.

Genevieve enjoyed the game and I look forward to introducing her to further expansions and to further plays of this wonderful game

Genevieve: Boomer (cylon post-sleeper)
Jason: Bill Adama (starting admiral)
Richard: Chief
Ernest: Baltar (cylon post-sleeper)
Oliver: Laura Roslin (starting president)

[Game Combination 1
Pegasus: No
Exodus: No
CFB: No
Kobol/New Caprica/Ionian Nebula: K
CL: No
FF: No
PG: No]
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14. Board Game: Colonial: Europe's Empires Overseas [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:1555]
Steve Walker
Australia
Perth
WA
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Six of us who had never played before sat down to learn Colonial: Europe’s Empire’s Overseas, with Tim doing the honours as reader of the rules. About an hour and a half into the game someone walking past casually informed us that this is probably not a game for a full complement of six to learn from scratch, but by then we had ironed out most of the kinks and the game was really starting to shine. It became apparent that the selection and sequencing of actions was key to putting (and keeping) your nation on the right track. That, and a bunch of other things which eluded me the entire night.

I will start my sad story with the Spanish merchant fleet getting wiped out early in the game by pirates. This, I discovered, tends to have a crippling effect on your nation’s economic engine.

It turns out there are two ways to get more merchant ships, though neither of them is as easy as you might hope. You must either get a monopoly or colonise a territory. I figured that it’d be easiest to gain a monopoly, because (in theory) that is as simple as choosing an unoccupied territory with the right type of resource and then successfully exploring it with a roll of the dice.

That is where the trouble continued. Round after round I rolled to explore and came up short: in fact I never managed to do it once the entire game, even after I had advanced a couple of times on the exploration track in an effort to better the odds. Eventually I did manage to get another merchant ship, by colonising a territory which had been pre-discovered, but by then the damage was done.

Despite Russell’s warnings I also took some loans in order to keep the money flowing - and that situation wasn’t looking too rosy either, as interest gets paid on your debt at regular intervals. Still, the debt is only a problem if you look like winning the game and that wasn’t on my horizon. On that note, I like to mention that Amy did a sterling job of using loans to her advantage, bundling them up to minimise interest and then paying them back when the opportunity arose.

Despite these hiccups I did enjoy the game, which is a feast for the eyes and comes with a board so big that on I could barely make out South America on the far side of the globe.
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15. Board Game: Wits & Wagers Family [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1169]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Genevieve, Jason, Richard, Oliver and I sat down to individually battle it out in this game. Oliver emerged as the winner in the first game. With Aidden joining the game, Richard and I formed a team to not only win the second game of this but the third too.

Richard made the comment that our wild disagreements that led to compromise (he or I would propose an answer, with the other almost invariable strongly disagreeing until we got a compromise answer) may have actually worked to our advantage. A similar thing happened with our voting. We agreed that the situation reminded us of an episode 17 of season 5 (The Supremes) of the excellent TV series, The West Wing (highlights below).

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16. Board Game: Riff Raff [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1218]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Richard and Jason taught Genevieve, Oliver, Nick and I this dexterity game. Players place small wooden pieces of various shapes and weights onto a hinged free-swinging boat, with any pieces subsequently dropping on their turn added to their pile and the winner the one who first places all their pieces on the boat.

This game is visually impressive and attracted a large crowd. I was fortunate enough to have steady hands and the right card play (as to where on the boat I played my items) to manage the win.
 
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17. Board Game: Nelly [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:12167]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Warren, Oliver and I learnt this kids dexterity game. There is no deep strategy in this game, nor will it be one to revolutionise gaming, but I can see kids enjoying it.

I think I might have won by placing all my turtles on Nelly the hippopotamus first.
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