Sunday, 2 August 2015

Everyone's a toaster

Battlestar Galactica. Unless you've been living under a rock for the last decade - or are a very careful non observer of anything sci-fi - then you'll know that a TV series called Battlestar Galactica came along to reboot what had been an of its time cheesey 1970's sci fi show and re-introduce everyone to the word Frak and also the popular theme that AI is really a very bad idea indeed - AI's tend to be implacable, oddly huffy and list as one of their favourite past times other than building robots, killing everything that isn't an AI.

So all of that. But in Spaaaaaaaaaaaace. With gratuitous levels of grit. And misery. And pew pew. And some new messianic malarkey which to be frank all gets a bit weird and makes you just want them to show more ships shooting shit at each other with it's charmingly jerky "dude who has no steadycam available realism" filter. Apparently you can have a society with technology to build massive battleships in space that can jump light years but also completely skip steady cam technology.

And of course someone made a board game about it. Well not the messianic or steady cam bit. Just the misery and paranoia and shooting shit and AI. Which as James - and to a lesser extent Pete - like to point out ends up as a 5 hour version of Resistance ( the difference between James and Pete here being that James inserts the word crap at several points in that sentence ).

Generally speaking however, people are keen on it. And some even love it. Whether that's because of the mechanic of not knowing which human is actually not a human and instead a secret robot ( cylon / frakking toaster, replace as you please depending on your geek level ), or whether it's the theme of getting to play your favourite character from the show or all of the above, the game is popular. Despite the fact that it is a little clunky in places. And can run appallingly slow at times. 7 hour games are not unknown.

Battlestar Galactica. Two base ships right at the start.
So this week we gave the game a run at NoBoG. Which in my opinion is not the wisest of all moves. Because it runs long. I blame myself for this - I jokingly noted that with the extra time available at the Mash Tun, it wouldn't be long before we had someone bring along BSG for a bash. At which point everyone got excited and demanded that BSG was brought along for a bash. Ironically this meant I was the one bring along BSG. Oh truth that is often said in jest.

I thought I'd set the thing up early to get us going - only to be stymied by the ridiculous football going on in the city meaning I was struck in traffic for 30 minutes behind people in yellow and green and claret and blue shirts. Don't talk to me about council traffic planning. Or the wonderfully complacent attitude of parking management by local footie clubs.

Six of us sat down to this - one a complete newbie - which as a result meant that Monika set all the resource dials to maximum instead of their usual 75% start mark. This makes the game hella easy for the humans. Ironically the newbie turned out to be the only cylon at the table initially. Oops.

As is not untypical for me however, I managed to cark up the role selection, seeding too many cylons into the mix - I blame a rushed setup, a Mutineer ( add one card ), Boomer ( add one card ) and Baltar ( add one card ) for the balls up. The game progressed smoothly despite the surplus of toasters - only one was present at the start, before Monika got given a cylon role at the half way point. Richard IV as the amazingly untrustworthy Mutineer Baltar ( he had a marvellous four role cards instead of the normal two ), cylon detected Monika and revealed she was a cylon with a single cylon card.

Surprise then when she revealed only to give me an extra cylon role card.

Either Richard IV misread the cards, and he swore he did not. Or Monika stuffed another Cylon role card into the mix just to shake things up.

The end game went a bit peculiar with multi Cylons being revealed, but to be frank by that point the humans despite their head start were struggling, and everyone had an enjoyable paranoid game. The humans lost. Richard IV upset that none of his four cards were a cylon - he loves being a traitor - declared the game a moral victory for the humans.

So it seems that BSG is perfectly playable within the time frame of a pub evening. We had a couple of quick jumps of 3 distance to speed things up, but the game slowed significantly at the half way point as everyone started arguing about who the traitors might be ( before any revealed cylons ). All in all play time probably came in around the 3 hours 15 minutes mark. Setup time was a good 30 minutes.

Because of all those shenanigans I don't have much of a clue what else was going on at the Tuna. I remember walking past Thunderstone....

Eclipse with the hardcore guys
Lewis got to play Marvel Legendary ( I think his first time playing it ) and successfully beat off the evil Red Skull before having a go again this time with the rather spiffy Guardians of the Galaxy set.

Pete engaged in an epic 5 player Eclipse game - no ranting this week though - which was still ongoing as I left the pub and Elliott played one of his faves, Lords of Waterdeep and got to win.

And then there's James

Four of us sat down for Crusoe this week.. Last week was a lucky win it turns out, and the party was a glutton for punishment, so scenario 4 was selected..  Things went badly; very badly in fact and we quickly found out why this is one of the harder scenarios.  We had horrendous luck with the card draw, and the first few events made it almost impossible to actually get any food each round.  even when we managed to get a decent enough weapon level for our soldier to set off hunting we managed to draw the beast with the highest strength to food ratio. 

Robinson Crusoe & The Island of Endless Misery

We were hit hard in the 4th round, where all of a sudden our camp moral nosedived as we all took wounds; and on the turn after the carpenter took three hits from not having moral tokens to discard.. by the time the carpenter dies everyone was pretty low; and with camp morale at rock bottom our explorer decided to throw himself into the volcano in the center of the island.

we were 50% of the way through the time alloted for the scenario, and had completed around 30% of what we needed to.  maybe if we had remembered to use our starting items we may have survived a bit longer, but tbh i think we would have utterly failed..

Atta Ants
afterwards we settled down for a game of DIE FUCKER!   actually its called Die Fuegger (pronounced Dee Few-Gurr).  its a rather simple trading game where you play several rounds attempting to get to market some of the common items.  There are five resources that you are trying to get out: Silks, Gold, Sugar, Gems, and Red Wine.  But that would be boring, so instead we traded Cocaine, Baked beans, Heroin, Meth and Blood (Virgin blood in the case of the higher quality wines).

each action you draw a card or play a card in front of you. when there are five of any particular resource on the table (in front of everyone combined) the round ends.  The top three goods go up in price according to the number of them on the table, the remaining two go down one.  the catch being that prices range 1-9, and start on 5.  anything that goes above 9 crashes in price to 1, and nothing can go down from 1.  so you have to be careful, get to many of the most common resource in the first round and you get sod all points.. anyway, you play to 100 points, and martin was a clear winner this time round.

we played atta ants after this, although had to cut it a little short..  Its hit the tables before, but it really plays best with 3.  Four players really drags it out far too much, and you get a lot of ‘Meh!’ turns in the end game.  i won this, although the last few rounds had to be played superquick as i needed to get off.

A lovely relaxed evening of gaming all round, fabtastic stuff. But we really do need some table lamps.....

As ever the Gallery, this week supplied by Monika and one from James.

Elliot beats allcomers at Lords of Waterdeep

Castles of Burgundy with Dean, Guillame, David and... a mystery empty fourth seat ! ( Martin II at a guess )

A worried Fletch. Fletch always looks worried in photos. I think Monika must shout something in polish at him before she takes the photo. Uwaga !

Marvel Legendary

Excitement abounds with Sean getting Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards to table. Looks cool.

China ? Luke plays China again after having a sad the last time that no one appreciated it....
45 (7) people this week for those who are counting.


Anonymous said...

Great writeup as ever Admiral. Not that I'm going to comment or anything. Speezy

Minitrue said...

Lol. Thanks. I've been waiting weeks, nay, months for that.