Saturday, 21 March 2015

All mouth and no trousers

Not much to report this week - we'll call it the All Mouth and No Trousers edition. Not because there wasn't anything going on, but more because I had One of Those Days on Tuesday, where things conspired subtly against me. The upshot of which is that a) I don't have any fancy pictures of what went on, and that b) I couldn't really tell you a lot of what went on either.

Which makes for a fascinating weekly blog post that is usually concerned with a) fancy pictures and b) what went on.

Oh dear. I partly blame Pete. And IT things. And the outrageous solar storm that hit the planet that day.

This week we had some 32 ish in the house, spread upstairs and downstairs, with some particularly virulent outbreaks of game choice apathy ( where gamers stand around wanting to play something, but entirely unable to actually pick something to play and instead stand waiting, endlessly waiting, for inspiration on high ). Caroline noted that the pre-game organisation was indeed like herding cats. I could only agree.

Not being anything like resembling cat herding, a decisive group went upstairs and Dixit made a show - which to my memory despite being something of a bit of a classic, hasn't actually made it to the Ribs before. Half a dozen enjoyed the impromptu matching words to drawings malarkey, made all the better because of the game being very generously donated to Lewis by the G Man. We shall call him the G Man from now on. You know. Alternate names being given for hotel check ins and all that. My name ? Why yes, it's Barney Rubble. Room 1042. Or if you're Johnny Depp then you like to use Mr. Drip Noodle, Mr. Stench, and Mr. Oddpong. No, I didn't make that up. Google it. Then you can waste the next 30 minutes of your day finding out other celebrity names. Wasting time not doing the things you should be doing - You're welcome.

Bondy challenged a group to some Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal is, or was, or at one time for a short period, was one of Mr Bonds favourite games. A bit of a classic. Ticket to Ride also got a showing followed up by Betrayal at House on the hill, whilst downstairs NoBoG veteran Chaos in the Old World was fought over with some Mad King Ludwigging next door. I still want to give Mad King a go.

The last table. I have no idea what they were playing. Strip Poker Carcasonne for all I know. Shameful.

My table played a disastrous game of Dead of Winter where everyone died due to zombies overrunning the camp, which was more of a logistics error than anything else, and then we managed to squeeze in a game of Arcadia Quest which quickly devolved from beating up the bad guys, to beating up each other. At one point my team was surrounded by the other three players all of which were trying to smash my brains out. At some point this turned into a 2 on 2 fight, but it was all a bit of a blur. I scored an epic 4 gold coins. Pathetic. Top score was something like 16 gold coins. Very reasonable. A pity we had no time to level up our teams and go on another run.
A gorgeous pimped out Arcadia Quest. Image courtesy of BGG

So what is Arcadia Quest ? Arcadia Quest is a very simple dungeon romp, not very far away from the likes of the old school Heroquest, where you move around a small randomified map, killing monsters and picking up Stuff. Each scenario will have a number of quests to achieve - kill the troll, rescue the leaders and so on, as well as player versus player quests of kill a member of another players team. Quests are scored 1 point for each done, plus an extra point if you were the first to achieve it. Optionally some quest completions may give you a title which will allow you to do something special in game.

In a four player game there can be as many if not more player kill quests than there are goals on board quests. Inevitably this means that knifing your buddy on your right is going to feature in your future.

The interesting schtick to this game is that each player gets to choose three characters to form their team - the roster of which vary greatly in capabilities. Balancing capabilities, play styles and tactics is quite an enjoyable process, and a large part of this is that the game is designed to be run as a campaign where your team get to spend their loot on ever better equipment and thus effectively level up.

Arcadia Quest. Nice Minis. The player characters are amazing
It's incredibly simple, almost too simple, and yet, the gameplay is fun. Having the other players mixed in as possible frenemies adds a certain zing to the game, but with death being only an inconvenience ( and a penalty for the next scenario ) , there isn't an overly dramatic source of hurt feelings and kicked over tables for even the most sensitive of players.

The game is also miniature heavy, a miniature for everything, and all of them are a work of art. The quality of the mini's is phenomenal and they really do cry out for some TLC painting and presentation.

Lastly our thoughts go out to Stu who has been adventuring in the name of business career corporate monotony down South amongst the wilds somewhere around Swindon. He had vowed to give the Swindon Board Gamers a call - who's web page seems to be dead. Perhaps it's all a front for a sophisticated human trafficking ring who trade gamer dudes into slavery to work on such things as optimising your banana republics logistics, or getting the most out of your worker placement slaves in your gulag.


michael jones said...

Hi, just found this thanks to the power of Google. I am a lonely lonely gamer :(....... Long story short: any one wanna start a descent campaign?

Minitrue said...

Hello Lonely Lonely Michael Jones, welcome on board as a possible lurker.

My amazing deductive powers tell me that you have already found the nobog facebook page and posted there. Good stuff.

Assuming you are around about Norwich, you could also pop along to the Ribs of Beef on a Tuesday - a great way to alleviate feelings of lonely gaming.

Exact details of what and when can be on the joining in page here on the blog.

michael jones said...

Wow such poweršŸ˜§! I will do just that.

StuartG said...

Sadly didn't make it to Swindon Boardgamers but did teach a bunch of corporates whores Six Nimmt!

Minitrue said...

Ha ha, good job Stu, spreading the cow joy* to everyone.

* not a euphemism.