Thursday, 10 October 2013

A drubbing for Team Good

Nineteen this week, and yes, more newcomers to share in the fun and games - Alina's exasperated cry of "Oh no, not more !" on seeing more people turn up for gaming should be taken as wild and unruly thought. Rest assured that she has been taken to the very deepest depths of NoBoG HQ to receive special thought re-education on the matter and is now well on her way back to normality as a card shuffling and cube counting drone welcoming member of NoBoG.

In all seriousness newcomers are always very welcome whenever you turn up, and as numbers grow we simply expand to fill tables upstairs in the pub, so not a problem. There are even plans for what to do when we fill up the pub / Norwich in general, although I am doubtful the "Norwich is full of Gamers Apocalypse Plan" will ever get put into place. There are shotguns, cans of gasoline, general anti zombie equipment and details of how to fortify the shopping mall in those plans. Hmm. Maybe that's the Day-Z NoBoG plan. *Quiet Year Flashback* *zombies* *heads on spikes* *Agnes the OAP* *Quiet Year Flashback*. Arrg. Ah well. No matter the plan, fear not, NoBoG is prepared whatever the eventuality !

This week Trains made it to table, which as the running joke goes, is a game about Trains. Once you open the box and start looking around however you might actually think it's Dominion... with a map. Trains is a light deck building game where you improve your personal deck of cards over time to either buy victory points for end game glory, or actually provide you with actions to do something useful on the map... which provides you with victory points for end game glory. Points are scored for pure VP cards in your hand and for having a track running into a station or off board distant location.

Building track and raising stations on the map can be achieved by playing an appropriate action card, but crucially, each time this is done waste is placed into your hand ( useless cards to interfere with your sublime deck build ), and, if you are building on top of someone else you get even more waste.

This means Trains has a certain benefit for people that build early or first on the map but in the process are perhaps sacrificing building and optimising their deck early. Which is a nice additional problem to juggle.

The various trains in the game provide you with money - and in an exact replica of Dominion the 3 standard trains are valued at exactly the same values as copper, silver and gold, and for each game a random set of optional cards are added in that provide additional actions and money.

Game ends when either a certain number of card piles are exhausted, someone runs out of track to place or all the stations have been placed. We managed to get two games in for a run time of somewhat over 2 hours - including a rules session.

The game plays nicely and for me is an interesting and welcome variant / extension of the Dominion mechanics, and I can see that this game could go the way of Dominions with perhaps a bazillion card expansions ( and also board layout expansions ), or even a complete re-theme and created as some other game.

Martin took both wins in our time with the game, thus proving that he is the Trainiest of Train Masters.

Elsewhere in the Ribs, Tales of the Arabian Nights flourished its way across Europe and Asia in its inimitable You Are Now Lost / Insane / A Frog type way and entertained five for the whole evening. Sam was apparently doing well this time out, but I have no specifics to offer. You can insert your own 100 wardrobes, Menacing Djinn, rubbish fish reward tales here.
Cosmic Encounter. No sign of space Goats.. yet...

The classic Cosmic Encounter bounced out for some of the more experienced hands, where I believe that Ed#1 possibly won. It can be very hard to tell with Cosmic Encounter however and it's possible that the bar maid - who wasn't even present - could have won instead. Or maybe the game ended with a Goat. Cosmic Encounter eh ?

Stu talked up playing Ra on the last table - not sure if he actually managed to get this out (*crackly NoBoG radio communications tell me that Ra was indeed played* ), when I walked past mid evening it was Kingdom Builder that was being contested over.

As the evening drew to a halt - those not playing with Insane Fishy Wardrobes - split into two groups to play The Resistance - Avalon and Cash and Guns. Excellent ! If you've never played either games, and more to the point, if you've never played either games with the NoBoGers then you should - it's possibly one of the greatest most fun ways to end a gaming evening. So long as you like lying and attempting to foil your compatriots plans. Or pointing foam guns at people. And let's be honest, who *doesn't* like pointing foam guns at people ?

In earlier weeks there has been a spate of the Good Guys winning at The Resistance - a shocking and immoral turn of events - but thankfully this week, the Bad Guys were back in form and gave Arthur's Round Table a thorough drubbing with three consecutive failed quests. The poor lady of the lake hardly had time to wake up and smell the coffee before the game was over.
The Resistance - left to right, Bondy bag of Cheese & Onion,
Hand of Matt, Silver Tongue Pete, Ed#2, Rich, Ed#1,
Clive Shoulder, American Pete bag of Ready Salted

To confuse matters we elected to play Resistance with two Eds and two Petes. Because it's not confusing enough when you start throwing accusations around about who is trustworthy when everyone has a different name. Next week we may decide to play with *all* of us adopting the name Ed, thus making the statement "I think Ed is a spy" guaranteed to be correct.

Evil Ed#1 managed to foul up some good guy questing early on but bought endless amounts of heat for his actions. Fingers pointed and his desperate verbal defences became shaky, beaten into the submissive statement of "Well, just bear in mind there's a remote chance I might *not* be a spy". Oh dear.

On the other hand Evil Ed#1 did absorb much heat from the other Evil Doers - myself and Matt - and any Good Guy that unwittingly copied Eds actions was then subject to tarring with the same Ed shaped brush. Excellent.

Wily American Pete slammed the accusation hammer down on Ed#1, and started pointing fingers at innocent old me too - I never really clocked that Pete was actually Merlin with inside information, instead, vocal Silver Tongue Pete seemed like the favourite for the bearded one. So good job there !

Alas, despite Merlin's best efforts, the bad guys won, myself and Matt managed to keep a fairly low profile, and even at the end after the final failed quest, I was being named amongst the most trustworthy of good guys ( and got to burn the last quest ).

Muah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.


I love it.

Roll Call -
Adam, Alina, Barnaby, Bondy, Clive, Ed, Ed, John, Martin, Matt, Paul, Pete, Peter, Rich, Robin, Sam, Stu, Tim, Tom.

( That roll call seems like a failed Dwarf name list for the first draft of the Hobbit... scratched line and a hastily scrawled comment... needs more '_ifurs', '_ofurs' and '_alins'..)

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