I’ve been fortune enough to play AH:LCH twice this week (!). Finished the scenarios that came with Dunwich Legacy’s expansion and also found time to do Miskatonic Museum.
King Kong gives an expansion for both KoT and KoNY. The KoT bit is Tokyo Tower, a cardboard tower you assemble. It’s in three main pieces for lower, middle and upper levels. If you roll four 1’s, you can claim the lower level. If you have the lower level, you gain a heart at the beginning of your turn. If you roll four 1’s again, you can claim the middle level. If you have it, you gain a heart and an energy at the beginning of your turn, and this stacks with the lower level, so you’d get two hearts. If you roll four 1’s yet again, you claim the top level and you win the game.
However, if other players roll four 1’s, they get to claim the lower level from you, followed by the middle level if they do it again. You only win the game when you take the upper floor if you have the other two floors in your control. So as people roll four 1’s, the lower level is going to get passed around the most, as the middle level will only get taken if that person already has the lower level and the top floor cannot be taken unless a player already owns the other two floors.
KoNY adds the Empire State Building, which works the same way as Tokyo Tower.
And, of course, there are the evolution cards for King Kong.
Cthulhu also adds cultists. If you roll four 1’s you take a cultists, which can be discarded for 1 energy, or 1 HP, or a 1 additional roll.
As pointed out by @COMaestro, you get a cultists on any 4 of a kind.
Actually, for the cultists it’s any four of a kind.
Right! Good call.
My neighbor-and-regular-game-night-cohort has been battling a flu-like symptom or two for the last couple of weeks; and while he’s able to function on a day-to-day basis, he has been avoiding meatspace interactions with those that he cares about. As such, last week we opted to not meet for our Tuesday Game Night. This past Tuesday he was still out-of-order but, lo and behold, our
escapee former member, D, who had fled to the sunny shores of Colorado, was back in town to load up the U-Haul and finish packing after rushing out of state a couple of weeks ago to start his new job. I invited him over and we, the two of us, engaged in what would be a very productive Game Night.
We started off with The Fox in the Forest. He was familiar with trick-taking in general (oddly enough, one of the only people I know outside of my family that knows Pitch and, no less, the same variant that I play: Oklahoma 10 point Pitch). It had been a few months since I had last played Forest Foxes but I quickly refreshed myself on the rules, realized a rule I had been playing wrong previously and then we began. I was off to an early lead but, in a brilliant display of strategy, he managed to hold me to only 2 points when I was sitting at 18 to his 10; in the same hand, he pulled in 8 points, leaving me at 20 and bringing him up to 18 and setting us up for a sudden-death round. In our final hand, I grab only 5 points after an early feign to shoot the moon and a mistimed switch-up and he manages, to our amazement, another 7 points which puts tied at 25. The tie-breaker gives the game to the player who gained the most points in the final round, so to D go the foxy forest spoils.
After we had played a three-player game of The Estates a few weeks ago, I was interested to see how it played with two-players. So, that’s where we went next. The rules of The Estates are so simple that I didn’t even have to refresh myself or D before we began. Very quickly, I became confused by my own nefarious strategy and after just a few rounds and, due to brain things (or not), I ran out of cash which left me crippled to stop a few decisive plays that guaranteed D’s victory. It was fine with two and it’s possible that if I weren’t incapable of braining, it could be a really interesting tactical duel-puzzle; as it was, we both decided it wasn’t really our thing as a 1-on-1 experience.
At this point, it was only 10pm and we had already knocked out what felt like 2 hours on the brain-treadmill. D was intrigued by the tiny box I regularly carried with me to game nights: The Great Heartland Hauling Company is a wonderful big game in a pleasingly small box; I just can’t help but throw it in my bag where ever I go. In addition to being a great game, GHHC is also super easy to explain and setup (assuming you remember the 8-cube limit rule which is super annoying). If I had a complain about the game, it would be that the cards are so luxuriously thick that they are very difficult to shuffle- this in particular may have decided the game. Due to some hand-management issues, D began to struggle about the time we both hit $30 (out of the target of $50 for a 2-player game). He had to mulligan in order to even have a legal play while I raced ahead and threatened to end the game, sitting at $44. It was at that point that I had to mulligan (spending a $1 to discard any number of cards), giving D one final glimmer of hope before I ended the game, expending $2 for movement and then a sale of two soybeans for $8, landing on $50 and triggering the end of trucking, sorry career truck drivers… time to stop, I made $50.
We checked the wristclocks (haha, who am I kidding… we checked the pocket computers) and determined that hauling corn and pigs across nondescript midwestern highways only took us about half an hour and we still had plenty of time left before calling it a night. Out came ICECOOL (which I’ve come to realize is supposed to sound like “High School” and I… I really wish I hadn’t realized that). Playing with just 2 players seemed pretty lame, so we decided to each play 2-up and take the lower of the two scores. It’s an interesting strategy to playing two, knowing you’re only as good as your worst penguin. At a couple of points, it was obvious that counter-intuitive play was the optimal strategy but, in general, I don’t feel the game suffered for it. In the end, my scores were 37 penguin points and, sadly, 12 penguin points, whereas D had managed a much tighter spread, taking the win with 18 and 15.
Yet again, we looked to the pocketcomputers and found yet more time awaiting us to exploit for fun and (non)profit. Men at Work emerges and we setup the Crane variant to make things interesting. I’ve written before about how I am terrible at stacking games due to extreme jitteriosity; fortunately, D has seriously wronged some wooden sticks in his past (or something) because he consistently struggles to balance tiny wooden sticks on the shoulders of tiny wooden men (a medical condition that, until recently, was undiagnosed due to the fact that Men at Work had not been published and available in North America until February '19…). Rita did not become a big factor in either of the games we played; this was interesting since the last time we played (that time with 3 players), Rita was effective at increasing the rate at which people did stupid things, thus keeping the games from running too long. Apparently between my shaking
oscillator hand and D’s tragic yet-to-be-discovered backstory with tiny wooden beams, our games were even shorter. We ended up splitting the two games, taking one win each.
While I was writing this post, my pregnant wife approached me and asked if I was busy. “I don’t know how long this will take, but I don’t have to do it right now. Was there something you wanted to do?” I responded. She had asked a couple of nights ago about playing a game of Fluxx and, due to chores and routine, it never happened. Tonight, however, we had nothing stopping us so we broke out Firefly Fluxx, our recent favorite in the line of bad-games-that-we-play-because-they-don’t-require-lots-of-braining.
For what it’s worth, I will say that Fluxx has some redeeming qualities. We played two games back to back and they felt completely different. The first game, I played a “Play All” on the first turn and it became a fun, low-intensity flip a card and see what thing you have to play. After I won that game with a clever use of a New Rule card synergizing with one of my keepers, we played another game where a “Draw 3” was played on the first turn and we slowly began filling our hands with tons of options and contingencies. After what felt like a very intense 30 minutes (but it was probably only about 5 minutes), she took the win with a well-played hand, catching me in the middle of a plan of my own to give her the tempo she needed to get a Keeper and a Goal out before I could stop her.
After that, I asked if I could show her ICECOOL, this time setting it up and playing it just as a 2-player, introductory game. I demonstrated the basic moves and we got started. With two players (unless there are special instructions for 2 players in the book, I’m guessing there are but I didn’t bother to check), the game is so short and so fast; we each took a turn as the Hall Monitor and it was essentially a race to see how many fish you could grab before you were Hall Monitored. In less than 10 minutes, we were done and she eeked out a win, 7 points to 6.
Today was a bit busy, but we still got a few games in.
Played a match of Aristeia!. We called it after the forth round, as my son had a lead I couldn’t catch in 1 round.
After later in the day we played a couple of quick matches Gekido Battle Bots. It doesn’t shine at 2, but it’s fun for what it is.
After that we introduced my mom to My Little Scythe. We tied on trophies, but she took the win with friendship aww, and my son took a slight second (off by 1). I was a trailing last as the least friendly among us.
We finished up with a game of Century Golem Edition. Mom got to 6 golems first, but my son took the win with 5. I was clearly last again!
Tomorrow my son and I will be attending out first board game con. Not sure what to expect, but I’m sure it will be fun. Will report any gaming later!
I got in two games of two player Welcome To: on my lunch break and won both. The first game I won easily but that is always the case when your opponent is playing their first roll & write. The second game he actually completed his three streets but I still beat him 108-107.
After work, I played Arboretum once and won a very close and cutthroat match 5-4.
We then tried for the first time The Mind, we both loved it. We got better at it, but lost all five tries. In two player you have to complete level 12. We died on level 10 for our best game. Both of us can’t wait to try again and with more people. I just loved getting fake mad and yelling “You have to read my mind!”
We finished off the night with a game of Villainous. I played Jafar and my girlfriend played Malificent. With Jafar I have to find the scarab to unlock the cave of wonders, play the lamp, which brings out the genie, Hypnotize the genie, and move him back to the palace. With Malificent you have to have four curses. The Scarab was my fourth last card, and the lamp was the last card. I really felt like I was playing my heart out but was fighting a losing battle as it just seemed it was far easier to win as Malificent. I did lose, but still had fun playing. This game has six characters we have played four of the six and read the objectives of the other two. There seems to be only two types of winning objectives. The more complicated, unlock a level, play a hero, move the hero across the board and defeat them. Or, reach a plateau of either play four cards or reach a certain power. The latter seems to be far easier to obtain. And one thing we noticed was when one player plays a hero with very few exceptions the other player can just ignore that hero and it barely affects them. In my opinion, the hero’s need to cause more havoc and I can think of a few house rules I may want to try out. In saying that, the game took 35 minutes to play currently and if you say have to defeat a hero or move them before you can say lay a curse or move another character then the game could easily double in time play. We still had fun, but I think it was because it was still new and we both love Disney.
If the “beneficial deeds” board (the one where your folks go when you send them away via the town hall) had places on it where you could pick up goods, get place tiles, get tech wheels, and so on, you were playing the board from the “Trade” expansion. If all you could get was money, then you were playing the base game board.
If the events had all sorts of wacky things in them (including stuff like “Indulgence”, “Tax”, “Sabotage”, “Peasant Uprising” - not that you would have seen all of them because only about half of the possibilities make it into the game) then you were playing the events from the expansion. If on the other hand the events were fairly samey (6 different events, 3 times each) then they were the base game events.
Hope that helps!
On our way home from Breakout Con in Toronto. It was such a great time! My only regret was not finding out about it early enough to budget for a night stay, and going for 2 days.
Most of the time was spent playing new to us games, and a drop in painting workshop.
Dice Throne Season 1 (Barbarian vs Moon Elf) This was a blast! Easily our game of the day. Can’t wait for my copy of Season 2 to arrive.
Santorini This was surprisingly fun. If the rumored deluxe reprint/edition ever happens, I may have to grab it.
Barenpark This was a pleasure to play. So peaceful and relaxing. I was surprised how much my son enjoyed it. I’ll have to consider adding it (or something similar like Cottage Garden) to the collection.
Food Fighters this was suggested as a quick 2 player game when we were struggling to find something we could learn in a short time. It was fine, though I have no desire to ever play it again.
Space Base This was fun, but we quit early. My son and I both vastly prefer Valeria Card Kingdoms.
After attempting Burgle Bros. and realizing it was too much to learn with the time we had, we grabbed both Santorini and Dice Throne (Pyromancer vs Monk) again.
In between the games we attended the mentioned painting workshop. That last a little over two hours, but was a good time. We learned alot, and the people were great.
Next year, we’ll hopefully go for 2 days, and I’ll plan ahead so that I can download and read instructions for a few games that look interesting (as they have the library posted). Having to focus on games we could learn quickly at the time, slightly limited our options.
Edit: Added Barenpark after my son reminded me that we had played it.
Played a little homebrew domino game with my wife, and settled on calling it Tamarack.
It’s inspired by several awesome games - Schotten-Totten (Battle Line), Magnate, and Hanamikoji - and is part of an ongoing effort on my part to make some modern domino games and get some use out of the set of bones on my shelf.
Looks great. I’ll be sure to give it a try!
Hey thanks, pillbox!
My wife went out baby sitting so a flurry of a few invites to my house gave me two opponents.
One had recently acquired 504. Herr Friese usually gets interesting things going in his games so we settled on The world of exploring road builders with production needs. Enjoyed the experience immensely but it felt like 70% of a game. Glad they own it as I can try this curiosity with some frequency.
One then left so was able to show the remainer Quantum and in return we tried the abstract M. Reminded me of Qwirkle with Coloretto scoring.
All in all a good evening
Burano, a game of big chunky cubes, which you build on the main board. Depending on the colour of the cubes, it allows you to do one of three actions: Ship (to fish), Lace making, and get coins. Each round starts with you building up your pyramid of cubes, and each turn you can only take a cube without any other cubes on top of it. So you can plan your round, after seeing which colour cubes do which action (its randomised each round). You’ll also be putting a roof on the cubes on the board, which gives you bonuses. There was a lot to think about in this game.
Wingspan X 2, a card driven tableau game. Each turn you have a choice of 4 actions: play a bird card from your hand, get food, lay eggs, and draw cards. Each bird is beautifully drawn, which is a high point of the game. To play a bird you need to use food resources (fish, invertebrates, seed, rats, and fruit. As you play a card on your player board, the action for that row gets better. You’ll start only being able to get a single food, or 2 eggs, or draw a single card. When you do the action on a row, you get to activate all the birds on that row. Birds can have either an activate ability, a when played ability, or an ability that triggered on someone elses turn.
Its a pretty quick game. You start with 8 cubes, and use one for each action. At the end of each round you put a cube on the goals card, which is randomly laid out. So, for example, you might get end of round points for having the most birds in a certain habitat, or the most birds with a particular nest type. You place one of your cubes on the goal depending on how well you did (first, second, third), which means you get one less cube (action) for the next round. So the game goes quicker and quicker. Not sure how I feel about that really.
All up its a pretty cool game. The art is just gorgeous. Its a light/medium game, very easy to learn and play. It was so good we played in twice in a row, and one player wanted to have a third game.
Carpe Diem, another new one to the table. Its a tile laying game. The board is seeded with random tiles, with 11 different possible buildings. Finishing a building gets you a reward, like coins, or resources. And then you play the pieces on your own player board, in any orientation you like – but your must match all sides, which makes it a bit trickier. There are 28 tiles laid out, so at 3p you get 7 turns (in 2p/3p games, tiles are automatically removed from the board). The end of round scoring is quite innovative. Scoring cards are laid out at the beginning of the games. When you score, you’ll play one of your discs between two scoring cards, and gain the rewards from each. But you HAVE to place a scoring disc, and if you cant meet the requirements of a scoring card, you lose 4 VPs. Ouch.
At various points on your board, there are banderole tiles, if you build on those you get to move up on the banderole track, which gives you end game points, but, more importantly, it determines the order of placing scoring markers. Do you know what a banderole is? I had no idea (apparently its some sort of flag).
Its a good, relatively quick game. Some colour choices are a bit strange. I marked the back of my dark green tiles so they are easier to sort before and after the game. Theres also two shades of brown on two buildings, which can be a bit confusing. But overall its a great game, and I want to play again.
In the weeks leading up to our weekly game group member, D, moving out of the state we discussed the idea of doing a weekly roleplaying session via video chat. The other regular member of our group, B, already has a regular D&D group via video chat on Monday nights where he is typically the DM. D fancies himself more roleplayer than boardgamer, and so he is always keen to run adventures and regularly does so at FLGS’s and conventions where ever he goes.
Two Wednesdays ago we convened for our first session (Session 0). We weren’t sure if our 4th invitee, H, would join us so we spent a good amount of time checking our tech: mic levels, codec settings, etc. After giving up on H for the evening, we decided to begin and dug straight into our previously assigned homework: freshening ourselves up on Star Trek Adventures. D knows quite a bit about the game and is a huge fan of the 2d20 system in general. And while we’re all fans of Star Trek in general (thought none of us would likely label ourselves as Trekkies), B demonstrated a considerable knowledge of the Star Trek tech stuff based on an old game he used to play obsessively (Star Trek: Starship Tactical Combat Simulator).
None of us were really sure what kind of characters we wanted and so we began the Lifepath character creation, all three of us rolling up a character (even though D would not be playing his; consider it a spare). I stumbled into a young Vulcan XO (a real straight shooter with upper-management written all over him) gunning for a captain’s chair but happy to operate a Conn when needed. B rolled up a Betazoid Scientist and D ended up with a Andorian Chief of Security.
After that, we all decided it would be fun/interesting to be assigned to a refitted Nova class (U.S.S. Penelope) on it’s first trial to correct some of it’s catastrophic design failures (you know, like blowing up when entering warp).
And that’s about as far as we got before we called it a night.
This past Wednesday, D was in town to take care of some things as he worked towards the sale of his house; I invited him over and we setup with us two sharing a camera where everybody else was in their own video chat. Everybody else? Oh yes, I forgot to mention. B had asked if he could invite his friend J who was very eager to try STA and D had asked if his friends Mr.K and Mrs.K could join us. And, of course, all were welcome! (well, assuming we don’t hit the 10 person limit that Discord has for video chat)
So many new faces! So, what else could we do? Another Session 0! This time I rolled up a Human security officer. D didn’t roll a character this time due to his other duties coordinating this many people. B rolled up a Vulcan Conn-specialist. J introduced us to his Trill Scientist (who knows so much stuff! Nothing useful… but so much). Mr.K had already worked out quite a character offline before we started but ended up remaking much of him as we went to better suit the group: a veteran Engineering officer with palpable retirony potential. Mrs.K accidentally became our fearless leader with her Trill Commander, despite her character being deeply annoyed by the charge.
After the second round of Session 0, we had about an hour left (we thought, turns out J is in Pennsylvania (B knew that but failed to mention it), so we have EST, CST, and MST timezones to worry about for future session planning!) So the proud new crew of the USS Penelope disembarked on it’s first mission: test-bed for new computer systems and updated warp drives as a trial refit for the Nova Class of starships.
When I have some more time, I’ll highlight the adventure so far if there’s anybody interested.
Quacks of Quedlinberg last night. An enjoyable game. Probably a bit light for me to go crazy about, but pleasing and I’m glad it’s in the collection.
My D&D games involve PST and whatever Newfoundland time zone is (4.5 hours ahead!)
Played another game of Twilight Imperium last night.
I was playing the L1Z1X (El-One-Zee-One-Ex) for the first time in 4th Ed. My opponents included Graham playing Winnu, Will playing Saar, Chris playing Naalu, Karan playing Jol-Nar, and Sam playing Sol.
The game started with our modified Empire Setup (we do a snake-draft for the first 2 Blue tiles and then randomly deal out your 3rd, and then a single draft for 1 of the 2 Red tiles you end up with) and Chris was completely and utterly hate-drafted. His homeworlds had asteroids and 2 empty sectors, and a Supernova between him and Mecatol Rex… basically to get any planets he would have to drive deep into Jol-Nar space. Now, the tradeoff with that is the Karan is a really reliable ally, and Chris and Karan have a history of playing nice, so it wasn’t impossible…
Anyway, 0,0,0 (my home system) ended up surrounded by lush, resource-and-influence rich double systems, and one of the first objectives was to control 4 planets of the same colour while my secret objective was to control 4 hazard planets… of which there were 4 within 1 sector of home.
Early game saw the Saar build a 2nd Spacedock and divide their fleet in 2 (last game they were rapidly surrounded and isolated, and Will wanted to avoid that eventuality), one driving deep into Winnu space and gobbling up all of Graham’s systems while Graham drove for Mecatol Rex (which he held from Turn 3 until the end of the game). Graham retaliated by taking the Saar home systems (a symbolic gesture, since the Saar don’t need their home rocks to score points), but shortly thereafter Sam and his Sol armies captured Graham’s homeworld.
A quick aside: Sam twice failed to complete one of his Secret Objectives to blockade a spacedock by “accidentally” invading… once in Graham’s home system, and again near the endgame.
The early objectives mostly hinged around area control (have 6 non-home system planets, have 4 planets of the same type, etc…), with a few Tech objectives popping up near the end.
The Naalu leveraged their relationship with Jol-Nar to get a very early Light Wave Deflector tech (as well as maxing out their Fighters, as one does), but the only real fights were between Will/Saar and Sam/Sol as I slowly and steadily built up a commanding fleet (all 5 Dreadnaughts, my Flagship, and shortly thereafter the first and only Warsun of the game, plus a handful of Destroyers to insure I always got my Assault Cannon kills).
End of the game came with Naalu at 6 points, and both myself and the Universities at 7… I could win by spending 16 Influence (for 2 points) and my 3rd Secret Objective… which involved completing both of my racial techs (of which I had one, Super Dreadnaughts II)… except I didn’t have a Yellow Tech requirement. Graham took Imperial, scored his point, and I took a new Secret Objective… and I had to get ships onto both Wormholes… which, due to a Flank Speed card, I could do!..
Long story short(er), I needed a bunch of absolutely unrelated things to go exactly perfectly, and they did. I needed Graham to not move his fleet of of Mecatol (he stayed, although I had to accidentally destroy his flagship and two dreadnaughts that were on a wormhole system), I needed Sam to not move his fleet anywhere near the second wormhole (he didn’t), I needed Will to not spread out for some reason (he didn’t), and the final law of the game, Wormhole Technology, absolutely positively could not pass (if it did, I would lose the exact ships I needed to claim the secret objective!).
Now, when that second law was revealed, everyone at the table realized the implications: if I claimed my secret objective (which everyone easily guessed, me having jumped through insane hoops to get fleets on both wormholes), I would win. If I didn’t, Jol-Nar would win.
Will threw 7 votes at Jol-Nar, since I had spent all game harassing his fleets.
Graham threw 7 votes at me, since I had spent all game harassing Will’s fleets.
Sam abstained, not wanting to Kingmake.
Karan voted all 9 of his votes for himself.
Chris asked Karan for all of his Trade Goods for his votes in exchange for the win… except Karan needed some of those trade goods for one of the Objectives, and so couldn’t (had he done so, nobody would’ve won on that turn and Chris would win with his Initiative Zero the following turn). So Karan declined, and Chris abstained.
I think voted all my 9 votes for myself… and was speaker, so broke the tie in my favour.
There was some discussion after the game about the unfortunate situation of Kingmaking in TI4… I’m okay with it (I think good play includes being good politically, and Will giving Karan his votes because I was attacking him… technically, attacking him BACK since he kept taking undefended systems from me and I would then sweep in and reclaim them almost immediately while razing his fleets in the process… made a lot of sense. As did Graham voting for me for keeping Will off his back by continually wiping out the fleets he sent against me (which then couldn’t be sent to do more damage against the WInnu). Others were unhappy that the game came down to other players deciding who should win… enh, what can ya do?
One more note: Chris game within a stone’s throw of victory despite his AWFUL starting location due to solid, consistent play, and Graham did shockingly well with the Winnu (who we both now agree are by FAR the worst race in TI:4).
I love this game. It’s probably my favourite currently. My main problem is having people to play with. 1 friend can’t remember prepping a cube is an action and another reacted badly to the market of bonus tiles from roofing. It’s such a shame as I could happily play this one a lot. I really could go on for pages about how good this game is and how misunderstood it is. Plus I like the cubes. I hope you enjoyed it.
Today I played Herbalism for the first time. Really interesting. Decidedly deductive.
2 games of The Legend of f the Cherry Tree That Blossoms Every Ten Years. Fun little push your luck game. Very sedate pace, but still results in some serious levels of mirth.
Chicago Express was up next and managed to squeak a win. One of the opponents over bid on an auction and then had to underbid to give me control of blue and getting it to Chicago early I rushed game end with the advantage of that extra dividend and boost before anyone else got going. I’m still interested by this game, I’d like to keep giving it runs out to see what it can do with a group of practised players.
To round of the day we had a quick Barenpark build. It’s still a charming game. 4 turns from the end I chose the wrong bears and lost first place by 1 point. I wonder if a core strategy of bear park is don’t have toilets. Victory goes to those with guests who piss themselves.