Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Some Like It Hot

Alas I was not able to attend this week, and Mr Bond also bunked off, so instead, the NoBoG minions were roused to do a sterling job of organisation and reporting. Ewan and Lewis provide their insights into the week, and I think Richard and Elliott can be thanked for the pictures. Thanks to them and Pete and Rich for making sure everyone got a game and fitting in the always turning up new people. Good job guys.

With Nobog this week lacking the usual firm hand of its leaders, you would have thought chaos would reign (several scenes of apocalyptic films come to mind, or the playing of munchkin). However this was not to be the case with Pete and Rich IV taking the reigns and managing to herd everyone into a game.

A total of 28 NoBoGers sat down to enjoy the range that was on offer. At the table I was on I [Ewan] managed to rope 5 others to join me in a game of Scoville; a kickstarted game all about chilli peppers and trying to breed/make the best and hottest chilli.

Scoville is the name of the scale that rates chilli peppers on their capsaicin content (this being the chemical that causes people’s faces to melt when eating a hot chilli) and was created by an American called Wilbur Scoville back in 1912. The game Scoville takes place in the fictional town of Scoville and holds an annual day of celebration to Mr Wilbur; awarding prizes to town folks who can breed the best chilli peppers or cook the hottest chillies. The game is broken down into a morning phase and, based on the actions on the players, can move onto the afternoon phase.
Scoville, with handy fields perfectly dug to fit a chilli

Within the rounds of the game players start off with blind bidding to decide turn order during the round. However simply competing for first may not be the best strategy over all. This is because there are three parts to the round, Planting, Harvesting and Fulfilment. Going first for planting will mean you are last for harvesting and as such makes being in the middle a viable option.

During the planting phase you are grabbing chilli peppers from the auction house and planting a chilli on the field ready to be harvested. This leads onto the harvesting phase, in which players move their farmer meeples round the field and attempt to harvest more chillies based on the two chillies you walk between by cross breeding.

The use of a reference chart will show you what colour chilli you get out of it. This is the fastest way to create and get hold of new chillies which can either be planted and score points if you are quick enough to be the first or make hotter chilli recipes. This movement can cover coveted spots and block others from getting them. The round ends with players fulfilling orders or making recipes for points and afterwards checking that the game either moves to the afternoon phase (where better chillies appear in the auction house and more orders become available).

Scoville - the blinds remind me of footie ground hoarding
The game overall is a point salad, with lots of ways of scoring points and having to do a bit of everything to rack up your point totals. Deciding where you go on the turn track is vital and does take a lot of thought, as certainly with harvesting and fulfilment, you end up being blocked and getting nothing at all.

During our play there was many a shout of frustration coming from Ed about incorrect decisions. There is a nice amount of planning and strategy and the turn based mechanic along with a nice theme (I grow chillies so am biased) is a real positive for this game.

However there is a little bit of downtime (certainly playing with 6) as everyone rattles their brains about what to do. But this could be helped with either more experience or maybe putting out fewer recipes (24 in a 6 player game) which can be a lot of information to take in.

The components are really cool and all good quality but certain colours can be hard to distinguish between the two.

Overall everyone enjoyed it, well almost everyone, Sam stating he could have been playing Netrunner this evening. Maybe a new challenge could be involved by players eating ghost chillies then having to play through the game would be interesting, and probably make decisions being made much quicker.

Lewis and Clark
Downstairs alongside our table, Lewis and Clark was broke out again, with Elliot shouting about his need for wood and wanting four skins. Personally don’t understand the laughter that followed, it is a real issue and should be supported as wood and skins seem to be important with in the game. Elliot also gave this game a thumbs up and it seems that Lewis and Clark is getting favourable reviews from NoBoGers ( although there was some grumbling from Dean via Owein about it being a foregone racing game halfway through, but that might be if you don't include the fix to the broken resource hoarding strategy rule errata ).
Lewis and Clark was then followed by a game of life boats, which personally have never played but have heard many a tale of it being very cut throat.

James, Jamie, Jonny, John (that totally didn't get confusing at all), Rhea and I [Lewis] partook in a fantastic emulation of the experience of gambling in Las Vegas, in Lords of Vegas. On this occasion, Jonny created a green Pacman casino (I'd go if that were a thing), odds took a beating with James attempting a 3-versus-1 casino reroll to reclaim the casino I had taken over, to no avail for James, and we witnessed latecomer John go from optimism, to joy, to dread, to victory... all emotions felt while in 1st or tied-1st place. Typical Vegas attitude. Twas a round of too many emotions to list. 
Someone suggested this as the perfect replacement for Monopoly as the typical family board game. 

The world would be a happier place... then again someone else suggested suicide was better too, which is hard to argue with. 
A few adjustments to the line-up and One Night Ultimate Werewolf, with the increasingly-popular Daybreak and Promo Pack 1 expansions, was broken out - in particular, a scenario suggested by the Daybreak guide called 'Information Society.' 
Round 1, Martin the Mystic Wolf's plan to hide as some sort of Seer collapsed quickly. Round 2, Martin and Davy's Werewolf plan of making me, the Seer, out as the Mystic Wolf fell on deaf ears. With two rounds belonging to the village, round 3 would surely belong to the werewolves, right? 
While the Doppelganger had been introduced in the previous round, it stuck around as the Daybreak favourite, the Curator, was also brought in. I, as a Doppelganger - and able to copy whichever other player I pick on, was overjoyed to find that Jamie was the Curator, and moreso later in the night when he had gifted me an artifact. As a Doppleganger Curator, it seemed rude not to respond in kind and give an artifact back to Jamie. 
Waking up to a surprised room, Jamie and I viewed our gifts to one another. 
It's usually at this point that you pretend to've obtained the Mask of Muting, like Jamie decided to, but now I had ACTUALLY received. Suspecting at least one of us to be hiding a gifted Claw of the Werewolf ( because we couldn't have the mask of muting  and therefore one of us was telling lies ) - and with me unable to legitimately defend myself - the village decided to slaughter both of us. Reveal, my Mask of Muting... and Jamie's Cudgel of the Tanner, meaning he'd stolen victory from both the village and the werewolves for completing the Tanner objective of getting himself murdered. WELL THEN... gg Jamie. gg. 

More scenario-based games of ONUW: Daybreak in the future for sure, especially since there's one called 'Total Chaos.' Yesss.

Upstairs the tables were turned in Marvel Legendary Villains, a game using the legendary system and seeing players play as the marvel villains against the heroes; who from reports ended with a very amicable draw all around.

Dead of Winter I believe also got the table but I am unsure whether the survivors won or simply became a walking smorgasbord for the ever hungry zombies.

We finished the evening with a few rounds of skull of roses, a nice bluffing filler game, that becomes very random when you don’t look at the cards you play as I tried.

International Tabletop Day !

Athena Games ( they can be found down St Gregory’s Alley ) are hosting International TableTop Day this Saturday. It's free entry, and fellow NoBoG'ers have expressed interest in attending, so you'll be sure to see some familiar faces! 

Details can be found at this Facebook event page:  

International Tabletop Day


Minitrue said...

Lifeboats showed up. How awesome, that's a great game, I've only ever see Tom bring it - don't know anyone else that has it !

Mr Bond said...

I was chatting about Lifeboats with G-Man the other week. Maybe he tracked down a copy?

Minitrue said...

Ooh really, how cool. Last time I checked it was kinda tricky to get your hands on.

Very cool if there's another copy floating around NoBoG now, I'll get to play it again maybe !

Mr Bond said...

The G-Man has confirmed he doesn't own it. Not sure who does other than Tom.

Alfonso said...

Scoville sounds fun. I'll be up for trying that next time I'm there.

Ewan Craig said...

I'll keep bringing scoville down for you and anyone interested then :)
I think Hal brought life boats, though I could be wrong.

Mr Bond said...

Sounds like typical Hal.

Hal said...

I do enjoy games which create misery, but it wasn't me with Lifeboats. I had two other, unloved, misery inducing games.

I thought I heard someone say they had Lifeboat, (no s), though rather than LifeboatS though? Lifeboats is the one with a reputation for being super cutthroat I think, Lifeboat not so much.

Also played were Hansa Teutonica, Resistance, and Land Unter.

Minitrue said...

Ah, no lifeboats then. Uh huh. Figures.

Hansa Teutonica - also figures. Leave Pete in charge and he makes everyone play Hansa.

Peter Chinkin said...

The game was Turn The Tide