Thursday, 12 June 2014

Sad looking doodahs

Varied games on offer this week at the Ribs, one table indulging in nothing but fillers all evening ( those games that are typically lighter and can be played in 30 minutes or less ), with many of the  tables busting out at least three slightly longer but still pretty quick games.

A couple of longer games did take place - both card games, Blood Bowl Team Manager, which surprisingly lasted all evening, and Arctic Scavengers. I am unsure how they made Blood Bowl Team Manager last 3 hours plus - I actually thought they had played it twice.

As for everyone else, we got to see Quantum, Race for the Galaxy, Havana, Royal Palace, Coup, Regenwormen/Pickomino, Istanbul, One Night Ultimate Werewolf ( multi tables ), Avalon : Resistance, Get Bit and Frank's Zoo. I might have missed one or two.
From top left clockwise
Dave, Nicky, Stu and Nate play Royal Palace

After beating everyone at Quantum, Pete then managed to slip Race for the Galaxy onto the table, and proceeded to beat the entirely newbie players into bloody submission over the course of a few rounds, all the while intoning in monastic chant that Race, is the best game ever. It's good to be the King.

On our table we welcomed two newcomers, Mark and Kat, recently moved from Glasgow and looking for something game related to do on a Tuesday.

Istanbul was first up, a nominee for the 2014 Kennerspiel des Jahres, which is a quick playing Euro that has you travelling around the city in pursuit of gems. The city is made up of 16 tiles, each of which allows you to perform an action - picking up resources, selling resources, buying gems, improving your cart and so on. The key mechanics to the game are that you are limited to only moving one or two tiles from your current location a turn - and that everytime you visit a location you leave an assistant to actually carry out the action. Once you have run out of assistants you can't do anything else.

Thus the game challenges you to make best use of your moves - you can't move everywhere - and to backtrack efficiently to pick up those assistants. Other merchants encountered on a space require you to give them cash for the privilege, whilst run ins with their criminal accomplices will give a reward, which adds another layer into the calculation of just what the most efficient route through the city is.

Add to this multiple paths to gem victory and you have a nice Euro with very little down time that plays nicely up to five. Definitely a nice game to ease people into more complicated games, there is strategy there for the most hardcore of gamers, and speed and ease of play for the most casual.

South Atlantic Seal
The Sad Looking Doodah
A few rounds of One Night Ultimate Werewolf followed, where Mark challenged Rich for the position of Worst Liar in NoBoG. When confronted about why he hadn't chosen a role and whether he was in fact the werewolf, Mark couldn't answer. Frozen, like a rabbit in headlights. Outright accusal of being the werewolf and a terrible liar, Mark still couldn't answer, not even to erect a hastily assembled defence. At the very last minute before everyone agreed to lynch him, he chose to declare himself a villager, but it was all too late. And he was lynched. To add insult to injury even Kat his fellow werewolf player voted to lynch him.

Frank's Zoo followed and Kat turned out to have her own very particular way of playing. Announcing cards as she played, we got treated to "Sad Looking Doodah", the "White Towelie Thing", and the "Spikey". I can only guess that Kat is a trained Zoologist and was informing us of the animals scientific classifications.

Keeping with an animal theme we then got to try out Get Bit - a game about "robots" swimming away from a ravenous shark. I'm going to take a guess here that the robots bit was inserted in order to sell an otherwise brutally bloody game to all ages and sensibilities. A bit like the computer game Carmageddon patching the red blood of people you run over to green blood of "zombies" and thus avoiding some of the more aggressive censorship regimes ( Germany seems to be particularly squeamish, not even allowing innocent zombies to be run over - robots being dis-membered is A OK however. On the face of it I would think it more likely in future that there was a Robot/AI equal rights movement as opposed to a Zombie equal rights movement. I think Germany might have some explaining to do when the Robots rise... )
Get Bit ! Myself, Kat and Rich IV have already been eaten...
The shark is savouring the remains of my leg here.
Get Bit is a very simple game - each player gets a hand of cards with numbers from 1 - 7 ( or less depending on player numbers ) and a robot playing piece that has detachable limbs. The robot closest to the shark at the end of a turn will get bit and lose a limb. A robot with no limbs has been completely eaten and is eliminated from the game.

Each turn a player chooses a card from their hand, places it face down at which point everyone reveals their cards. In numerical order from lowest to highest, each player than gets to move their robot to the head of the line - furthest from the shark. Players that selected a value that someone also selected do not move at all. Cards played stay discarded, reducing choice for the next round - unless you are bit or have a single card left, in which case you take back all your discards. The game then is a question of trying to play a card that no one else will play, trying to stay away from the shark, and in certain key moments trying to guess what card the person behind you will play so that they stay right behind you. After all, in terms of being devoured by a shark, it's not about winning, but just about staying ahead of the person behind you.

Great little filler, fun with the lego dudes.

Oh and 28 people for those who are counting.

1 comment:

Mr Bond said...

Who bought Nate the flowers?