Wednesday, 22 October 2014

No Cake, Plenty of Hats

Despite there being rumours of cake for this weeks shenanigans they turned out to be greatly exaggerated. As Portal players know, the cake was indeed a lie. In place of cake however there were a great many admiral hats to be had, which lead NoBoG to take on something of an 18th Century Naval feel, despite there being no 18th Century Naval games to play. The hats were part of some beer promotion, and were being given to those who I can only assume looked dashing enough to pull the look off. Of course I had one - Lewis kindly gave me his. Wait. Does that mean I wasn't dashing ? And Lewis was ? I demand a recount.

I am ashamed to admit that I failed to take a picture of anyone wearing the jaunty headgear, Richard the IV in particular wore his with aplomb.

Ticket to Ride Marklin
But enough of hats. This week Elliot was back with Ticket to Ride Marklin - presumably after he had calmed from his rage that totally did not happen you guys - and this time managed to redeem himself in good order by thrashing everyone at the table. Particularly Lewis. Who's cheesy Marklin winning grin from a few weeks ago meant that he deserved his thrashing.

On the table over we had the cool and yet simultaneously hot Tragedy Looper, a game about manipulating time to prevent bad things from happening. Like suicides. And murders. Uh huh. It's a dark little anime game, what can you say ?

The game with its locations and characters comes off in a way like a modern Cluedo with a heavy anime vibe and a reset button. If you get it wrong about who is doing what to whom you get to try
Tragedy Looper
again - hopefully with some information gleaned from your failure. Unlike Cluedo the players all pitch in together to match wits against a single mastermind character. By manipulating the characters via such things as increasing their paranoia ( and potentially making them commit suicide... ) tragedies can be overted or instigated.

A deduction game that is driven from a number of scenarios to setup the puzzle ( with rules on how to make up your own scenarios ) it presents a fresh style of gameplay that is rarely seen. With its modern incarnation and funky anime style ( the game is originally japanese and has only just recently made its way into the Western markets ), it's an interesting cool game that will please those who like to use deduction, logic and misdirection to win games.

On the last table downstairs Lords of Vegas got another play where Mr Bond had a possible case of beginners luck and took the title of the Lordiest Lord of Vegas. Despite winning he wasn't entirely sure what rating to give the game, good, ok, ehhhhh were all words he used. I suspect the Random Number Generator that is active in the game was putting him off somewhat. Lords of Vegas is a good game, but sometimes the luck can be kind of crazy and end up making a bit of a foregone conclusion of a 2 hour session.

Upstairs the clean aesthetically pleasing art of Tokaido was on show where everyone travels along a single path and decides where they would like to go. Where you move to determines the way in which you can score points and how many there are on offer. Stringing together a decent strategy whilst working around the other bumbling idiotic players that are getting in your way is the crux of the game.

A nice light game created by the same guy that did amongst other things Takenoko, Ghost Stories and 7 wonders.

Finally Dead of Winter got another try, and once again the colony collapsed - this time amidst raging hunger as Richard the IV plunged the knife in. An epic three betrayers were at the table of five, with poor Caroline and Tom facing a very uphill struggle.
Dead of Winter
The betrayers all won I think - once you take into account there was some rules questions - and I am now beginning to think that Dead of Winter is just too hard for non betrayers. It's too easy for a betrayer to sit largely unseen before at a critical juncture upending the table and causing the colony to tank. The game is plenty hard enough that often the betrayers don't need to do much if anything to weaken the colony to where it becomes vulnerable to a sudden upset. Perhaps Rich IV is right and more exiling needs to go on. Hard to say.

The game has a lovely narrative nevertheless and the crossroads cards really inject a story into the play. I had a great card trigger that I had never seen before - if someone at the table yawns, trigger this card. I failed to spot anyone yawning however.
Boss Monster !

To finish off some fillers were played - Nates table that were playing Tokaido also played Hanabi ( same designer ) and I think Skull & Roses. Downstairs Boss Monster got a blast and finally we had an epic eight handed game of Avalon Resistance, which saw Lewis as Merlin possibly the most upset / stressed I have ever seen him ( he recounted that he had nightmares about the last time he had played Resistance 8 or so months ago ) as Pete a filthy evil doer labelled him a spy. Pete was doing a great job playing it straight but towards the end perhaps his one too many accusations at everyone else made too many fingers point him out and the table turned for a good guy win.

Despite Luke and Pete being sure that Lewis was Merlin, it was Tom as Percival that got stabbed in the face, securing the win for the good guys.

Pete then spent the next ten minutes whilst exiting and standing outside the pub logic ranting about mistakes made. I think he was slightly miffed at losing when he knew Obvious Merlin was Merlin.

Nevertheless another really enjoyable, very noisy and pretty stressy game.

25 this week.


Sjel said...

Dear Norwich Board Gamers,

I stumbled upon this blog looking for a board game store in Norwich as I'm traveling over there this weekend.
First: Very nice blog! We should do the same, but who has the time?

I read your part about Dead of Winter, (a very good game) and noticed a rules error which might take some of the fun out of it.

The next part is copy&paste from the online rules on the Plaid Hat Games website:

Shuffle the non-betrayal secret objective cards and set
aside 2 (facedown) per player. Return the rest of the
non-betrayal cards to the game box. Shuffle the betrayal
secret objective cards and add 1 of them (facedown) to
the non-betrayal cards that were set aside. Return the
remainder of the betrayal secret objective cards in the
game box. Shuffle all of the set aside cards together
and deal 1 to each player

So there can only be a maximum of 1 betrayer and there is a slightly less then 50% chance that there is a betrayer in the game.

I hope this game will get another well deserved try in your group.

Mr Bond said...

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. And even more thanks for letting us know about the rules error in Dead of Winter. Our rules reader has been stripped of his responsibilities and left out in the snow to be eaten by Zombies. Harsh but fair.

Enjoy your time in Norwich. I hope you found our retailers page. There are three games shops worth checking out - The Games Room, Athena Games and Langleys.