Saturday, 7 June 2014

Thirty is the new Twenty

This week was another busy affair, I turned up to a packed Wherry Room where chief head counter and useful person Ewan informed me 28 , no now 29 had arrived for gaming.

After the chaos and confusion of sorting out who was playing what had subsided, another two turned up ( hello Max and Emma), pushing NoBoG numbers over the thirty mark for the second week running.

Thirty is the new Twenty apparently ( remember when we breathlessly trumpeted that we had twenty people turning up... ). Mr Bond scoffed at the news that 31 NoBoG souls were in the house, intimating that the numbers were disappointing given last weeks 33.

New people ? Yes, Max, Emma and Sam... and that was just on the table I was playing at.

Defectors. Yes. Darren from IpBoG. Ssshh. Mum's the word.

Tables - Six. Bondy actually managed to misplace one of them entirely, missing an entire game of Pillars of the Earth going on in the corner of the pub upstairs.

Games - Senji, Arctic Scavengers, Kemet, Castle Panic, Pillars of the Earth, Frank's Zoo, Avalon : Resistance, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Dobble, Bohnanza ( I think ).
Senji. The Egg Timer dictates how long you can trade for.

Rich brought along recently acquired Senji this week which played to a packed table of six. Despite playing to its maximum six, the game played out in nice time and received nods of approval from those I grabbed for an opinion. It's quite a nice find to get a heavier kind of game that plays to large numbers without getting too bogged down or stuck in some never ending downtime hell.

As far as I can tell the game involves a lot of horse trading involving cards - obtaining sets, obtaining others cards - all in the name of getting end game victory points and or immediate help in battles - yep, there's also some direct, in your face, dice rolling combat interaction when fighting for control of a territory.When I looked in towards the end of the game, Pete was particularly high on the score track, but despite this ended up being trampled over by Jeff who took the Senji Crown.

Arctic Scavengers. Colourful drink not included.
Next table over had deck builder Arctic Scavengers - another one new to me. The game is set in some post apocalyptic frozen Earth, which finds up to four players trying to lead their merry band of dubious morality survivors onto success.

Success is determined at game end by how many warm bodies you have in your frozen tribe - and you do that by scavenging for items in the junk of civilisation long past and also by fighting and screwing your neighbours over for precious supplies. In terms of game mechanics you can pull blind from a "junk" deck when digging for items in the detritus of the apocalypse, send people out hunting to gather food with which to entice mercenaries to your cause, or lastly, compete against everyone else for contested resources by sending a bunch of ( possibly useless bluff cards ) into the scrum of melee.

No clue who won this, and the only facts I gleaned was I think Sam had succumbed to the joys of cannibalism, Tim was a butcher ( unclear just what was being butchered... Delicatessen ? ) and the two allegedly had some very shady synergistic things going on.

Castle Panic was played at a table of five complete with expansion. The castle survived with a single burning tower. Less of a castle. More of a housing estate impromptu junk fire. But survival is survival. Perhaps the survivors went off to form the tribes in Arctic Survivor.
Pillars of the Earth

Pillars of the Earth got another round of play - Nicky professed to having enjoyed the game and denied it being linked in any way whatsoever with her triumphant win.

Kemet also got a look in downstairs, Luke once more opting for this, and defector Darren trying his hand at the fighty desert shenanigans.

For myself I got to play a whole evening of filler types, with Frank's zoo and a gaggle of Resistance rounds ( with no less than two different groups ) making an enjoyable blast.

Several chaotic rounds of One Night Ultimate Werewolf were played, with some serious clangers being dropped on more than one round - players forgetting who they were, what they had done, and even what the winning conditions were. A gleeful Luke was excited about snatching the werewolf win, only to be suddenly downcast when he realised the role he had been swapped with - the Robber - was not actually part of Team Wolf. Oops.

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