Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Greed of Med "Shoot 'em til they stop twitching and then shoot em some more" Ed

This week we counted 22 NoBoG souls ready for gaming. Which turned out to be a wildly inaccurate count as eventually 31 people were playing at tables. I'm not naming any names *cough* Ewan *cough*, but I feel as if the counting was slightly wonky. This may not have been helped by a slow trickle of stragglers entering the pub. Excuses.

But no matter ! With a bit of patience everyone - even the latecomers - can be accommodated. If you turn up late, you might have to wait a bit for someone to lose horribly with an incompetent playstyle win with a clever strategy and start something else.

First up this week Pete got to give his prototype now in its second printing a go with a full table of six. Pete nobly took a small handicap given all five other players were completely new to the game - and as far as I know had not even played Race for the Galaxy which helps a lot when it comes to Pete's game - and proceeded to bamboozle everyone with rules.

Pete's prototype Galaxy M101
or as I call it, Chink In the Galaxy
Heads were swimming by the end of the rules explanation. It seems few had managed to grasp the finer points and all just wanted to get on and play to get a grip of it by playing a few rounds. The game is pretty straightforward, play systems for a cost ( cards also serve as currency ), deliver goods, put developments into play and creep influence into other systems in much of a cross between Race for the Galaxy and Steam, but if you haven't played either, then it could all be a bit alien at first.

Tom II won this with a triumphant 78 points and a hardcore deliver strategy ( pick cubes up, deliver them where they are needed ) with joint second limping in at 58 points. No one opted for military. A pity. Most enjoyed it thoroughly and thought it was an excellent game, whilst a couple were more on the fence with their experience. Six player is a pretty tough shark infested count for the game, and with all new players at the table it's likely that not everyone is going to have a happy clappy easy existence. Four players with new people would probably have been a good sweet spot.

Stu was back with us this week and gave Kingdom Builder - a Stu firm favourite - another bash. He followed this up with Camel C/Up ( annoying goddamn name that refuses to be one or the other ) which seemed to go down better than Kingdom Builder. Camel Cup is certainly a barrelful of fun and tends to leave the more serious, analytical and buttoned down Euros standing alone in a corner wondering where everyone has gone.

Lewis busted out Lords of Waterdeep at the final table downstairs, with Tom the First mixing it up and showing all the young 'uns ( technically everyone is a young 'un to Tom.... ) how to play with a solid victory. Quest finishes were at an all time high, the deck being one card away from exhaustion. No fillers for them this week as Lords played the whole evening.

Upstairs, Alhambra got a play, and if I have my facts right, Chris won this, with Kittens in a Blender being played afterwards. Kittens in a Blender according to Lauren was tense. Incredibly tense if you were one of the kittens I imagine. No idea who won this, but really, what does it matter who wins when you have a chance to stuff kittens in a blender ?

Elsewhere Darren brought Legendary Encounters - another card game in the Legendary family that this time sees you working your way through the Aliens franchise. We've already seen the Legendary Marvel game at NoBoG a couple of times, but the Encounters game is new this year and new to NoBoG. The rules are the same, but the theme is switched, no super heroes here, you get to play characters such as Ripley or Hicks ( not sure whether Hudson is in it... Game Over Man, Game Over ! ) and have to survive and engage with the acidic horrors from Geigers imagination. I didn't pay any attention to this as it was played but I suspect the theme is probably a good fit for the game, even though as a whole the Aliens Franchise has generally produced some awful games based on its IP - bewildering given that many knock off Alien copies are great games.

Dead of Winter got another bash. Everyone lost. Again. Two betrayers. But they didn't stink up the crises, they played nice. We played with an objective of too many mouths to feed, and started the game with 8 useless helpless survivors. The game seemed to be on punishing mode however, as helpless survivors sky rocketed - we ended up with an utterly bonkers 15 helpless survivors eating 8 food a turn - zero weapons were found, and much to the annoyance of all players, there were absolutely no options to eat any of the helpless survivors. Or leave them out in the cold. Or accidentally move base and forget to give them a forwarding address.

Despite the colony devouring 12 food a turn by game end, a heroic effort to salvage food saw us easily swing the food in the third round, only to be woefully betrayed by rampant resource burning which saw a flurry of zombie attacks eat people and plunge morale to a game ending -5.

Tough was an understatement.

Moving on we had a shot at Cash and Guns second edition and joined up with the Legendary table. Second edition Cash and guns makes a few changes to the original, notably it removes the Bang Bang Bang card ( which gives precedence over Bang cards ), changed loot division - it's now round robin instead of evenly split, and finally introduced the Boss who gets to pick loot first and also gets to change a single shooters target in the shooting round.

Adjustments have also been made to the player powers - simplifying them and making them all visible at game start - and the loot now has some set collection mechanics, with art and diamonds giving bonuses for who has what at the end.
Cash & Guns 2nd Edition. Ed toys with his gun...

Med Ed won the first round of this in his nice, easy mannered, I am not a threat, under the radar kinda way, and then proceeded to state that back to back wins in such a game were almost impossible. Little did we know he was just seeding the group think at the table for his shenanigans.

Darren got shot to bits in the second game with an astounding four out of four guns being loaded with bullets and pointing at him - and being brave or foolhardy he attempted to brash it out - but despite being dead and out of the game, this didn't stop Ed from later attempting to shoot Darren again. Because you know. Keep shooting them until they stop twitching. Or perhaps playing zombie filled Dead of Winter had trained Ed to double tap his victims. Just in case.

Admitting his incompetence - which may have just been another smokescreen ruse to lower his apparent threat - and having directed Ed not to shoot dead people in future turns, or anyone else at the bar / Norwich in general who weren't in the game, Ed cheerfully kept on sucking up double loot with his greedy character power and by game end had an impressive lead and had indeed won back to back at Cash and Guns.

The morale of the story is, don't be suckered in by Med Ed's nice ways. And also, never pretend to be dead. He'll still shoot you.

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