Thursday, 8 August 2013

Your Mission, If You Choose To Accept It...

Thirteen this week, some old hands, some not so old hands, and some still lemon scented daisy fresh new hands on hand to lend a hand. Too many hands ?

Tom blustered in late complaining about 20,000 football fans trafficking up Norwich, and carefully deposited a large black box in the corner of the room. I saw it. Mysterious. Then ignored it.

Dean, Tom and myself then sat down to a late start of Yedo, a worker placement game I had just picked up, set in feudal Japan in Tokyo. Or Edo. Or Yedo. The game is a pretty standard example of its genre, you get to place a limited number of disciples onto the board at certain spots, each spot having a choice of actions related to it.

Manipulate your actions and your resources to gain other resources, complete missions, and ultimately earn victory points. Throw in a bidding mechanism at the start of the round to see who gets to buy what, mix with some player interaction that allows you to trade, block others, outright spoil turns with unhappy cards and you can see you have a fairly typical Euro going on.

Some randomness is injected in the form of decks of cards - from events that can alter the game board or give advantages or disadvantages, to missions, actions, weapons and bonuses - just about all of which can be snooped on and rearranged *before* you get to pick a card.

The bulk scoring method of the game is in the completion of missions Missions are graded from the easy, to the ridiculously tough and their rewards follow expectations. Representing a powerful clan with all the usual Samurai shenanigans, you might expect these missions to be particularly Samurai-y and of derring do. Tom's first mission however was to 'find out what was on the menu at the local restaurant'. Really. Less Samurai. More Chinese Takeout Delivery Person.

Not wanting to be outdone, Dean then quickly followed up with a mission of his own - 'find out where the market stalls were in the market'.


Not standing for such ridiculous stuff of these lesser clans, my first mission was to kill the Tailor's son - the Tailor had not been paying his protection money, and so, therefore, quite reasonably, it was time to bump off his one and only child.
Yedo, surprisingly Euro for a Japanese City

Dean admiring my underhand handiwork then went to pray at the local Christian church, only to knock the clergyman over the head and run off with the collection box to complete another mission. Shocking behaviour.

Missions were completed, VPs were assembled, I had a nice lead all game only for Tom to romp to a victory with some lovely bonus cards that left me in the dust. Poor Dean had a tough time of it, consistently cursed himself for his own stupidity, the woes of fate, and revealed at the end of the game that he had been trying to kill the Shogun since turn 7, but someone was always getting in his way - the red light district closure, the market closure and so on. If he had been able to kill the top guy, the game would have ended prematurely and in all probability Dean would have taken the win.

Not a bad game. Dean compared it to Lords of Waterdeep but much more complicated. I didn't particularly find it complicated, but then I haven't played Waterdeep to compare it.

Meanwhile elsewhere, Archipelago got a run out - it's been a while since the islands have been up for contest, and this time it was Richard, Fletch, Rich and Pete that shook out their governors and tried to make the best profit out of the colonies.

A peculiar game ensued where there were zero - ZERO - rebels present despite there being a filthy separatist hidden in the ranks. I queried whether they had even been playing the game right, but apparently a nice mix of churches, pretty much all the rebel reducing crises appearing, and some rebel reducing characters in play conspired to keep the colony a place of happy sublime servitude.

Not sure who won, but Fletch as the separatist managed second place by going for the normal win as opposed to trying to destroy the islands. Interesting stuff.

The last table had an epic round of Arabian Tales - six players, Matt, Alina, Robin, Sam, Ewan and Nicky competed to have the most wardrobes, colourful fish or angry slaves in their adventures, with Nicky finally managing to outdo all others and be crowned the master of the Tales. Sam spent most of his time in prison apparently. And Alina wandered around Very Lost for quite a bit. It happens. If someone isn't Terribly Lost at some point in a game of Arabian Tales, then you're probably doing it wrong. Cool game, having played it myself at the weekend I am not entirely sure there is enough meat there for the time it takes, but definitely an experience. And worthy of a play, just for the insane story telling going on. Ewan enjoyed it, but noted that six players was probably pushing it a little with downtime. I can see what he means. I think the game's sweet spot might be three or four.

As ever of late, the evening finished with those damn subversives trying to undermine the government again. The Resistance made it to table, and this time, the rebels managed a flukey final round win - not because they had intelligently figured out who was who, but just by chance the spies needed a double fail at the end, and only spymaster Sam was included on the mission.

Cool stuff. I have recently picked up Resistance Avalon, with its expanded roles. Although my heart belongs firmly in the near future theme of the original Resistance, it might be nice to see what the expanded roles do in Avalon. Still, I'd much rather be some sci fi futuristic freedom fighter or corporate spymaster than a Knight of the round table.

So. Tom's  mysterious box. What was it ? As it turned out Tom had brought a Bond like piece of kit with him - no, not some homebrew setup from Bondy's dungeon, but rather a large box to take long exposure shots of... stuff. In this case, a long exposure shot of the games in play. Who knows if the picture came out very well, but Tom is working on it, and if it comes out half decent, we can post it up for all to enjoy the surreal blurry Ribs antics.

1 comment:

Mr Bond said...

I feel the same way about Tales of Arabian Nights. And I thought five players was pushing it to it's limit last week.