Saturday, 28 November 2015

All quiet on the Mash Tun front

It's been a quiet few weeks at t'Mash Tun and a decidedly relaxed more cosy air has settled on the weekly gaming. We've seen a spread of new gamers and new games both, but by and large it has been business as usual for NoBoG Tuesdays with classics such as Lords of Waterdeep and Ticket to Ride getting plays as well as the lesser spotted things such as Cyclades and Study in Emerald.
Hal, Pete and Sam enjoy a quiet game of Unfeeling Creatures
Dark Moon got a play a few weeks ago to a largely new group who wanted to sample its delights, and for once the game wasn't a horrendous car crash for the survivors. Welcoming Jack to his first NoBoG evening, he got to be one of the treacherous infected players, and on Sam's opening turn was pretty much revealed to be a filthy evil doer. Which isn't ideal. In fact I'd go so far as to say it's if not game breaking, then game disrupting. You can get the same thing happen in Battlestar Galactica ( of which Dark Moon is the stripped and dipped clone ) when Gaius manages to luckily pick a Cylon to reveal on one of his first turns. In BSG the impact can be even worse as by and large the revealed gets to spend the next 3 hours apart from everyone else.

I was the other infected in Dark Moon, but there was little I could do to help my fellow traitor, and the survivors had a remarkably good knack for rolling positives on their dice and passing all the challenges. Despite a good deal of suspicion going around the table, the survivors cruised home without hardly breaking a sweat, but the table talk was still great, and laughs and accusations were had.

Spyfall. I have seen less bad answers and more bad answers.
I'd say there were an average amount of bad answers here.
Sam also picked up Spyfall and we gave this a go with an expanding and contracting group for the rest of the evening in something of a marathon session. Spyfall has visited NoBoG before but surprisingly it's quite a rare sight and almost all the players at the table this time were newbies. The challenge of figuring out a question on the spot was as ever a fairly tough proposition until at least half a dozen games had passed and some stock questions started doing the rounds... along with some stock answers that turned into a running gag..."I have seen less X, and I have seen more X. I'd say there is about an average amount of X here"... and an easy way for a spy to evade detection by playing for a laugh. At one point during play we also had Luke the off duty barstaff at the Tun to join in and fielded questions about what to do if a squirrel was present and the unspecified horrors of what happened at the "show at 4". Great fun.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig
The castles of Mad King Ludwig is getting to be very popular at the Tun, several people have picked up the game for their own collection, and this week we saw two simultaneous games of it being played. I still haven't played this, looks good fun, and judging from its popularity, it must be getting something right ( as it stands it's now much more popular than Suburbia of which it bares a passing resemblance ).

The Imperial Assaulting team got their fortnightly game in too, but in something of a bid for worlds shortest Assault managed to finish the game before you could say "scruffy looking nerfherder". I think they took as long to get themselves sorted and setup as they did in playing it. They then decided to bust out some flicking type of game - Flick 'em Up I think - which looked great, however I have something of an aversion to game pieces flying off tables - too many scenes of people scrabbling under darkened pub tables with the flashlight on their mobile turned on ( and the things they can return from Under The Table with ) have scarred me.

Terra Mystica
This week Pete busted out Terra Mystica to teach a whole bunch of people who had never played it. Despite Chloe having the broken over powered halflings ( which are now errata'd to not be as over powered ) and Pete taking the less than spectacular Giants, Pete inevitably won. In a post game commentary he declared that against any decent opposition he would have lost, I laughed at his attempt to downplay his score whilst inadvertently and hilariously insulting the capabilities of everyone else. Possibly this was made even worse by Hal - one of his fellow players - standing next to him at the time. It's a good thing Hal is so laid back.

Also this week I got to play three cracking games, all new to me, Lewis and Clark Discoveries, The Grizzled and Harbour.

Lewis and Clark Discoveries is to Lewis and Clark The Expedition, as Roll for the Galaxy is to Race for the Galaxy. Same theme, approximately the same mechanics, but replacing the key bits of the engine with dice and dropping everything else. And it works really nicely for Lewis and Clark Discoveries.

The ideas are roughly the same - a journey that requires traversing rivers and mountains and encountering native tribes along the way which will provide aid. Instead of the fixed race like board you get in the original Lewis and Clark however, Discoveries simply uses victory points for each leg of a journey you complete. So for each journey leg card you complete, you get to add its victory points to your pile. If you step back and think about it, the race board and the legs for victory points are in fact the same thing - the difference being that in L&C the original it's a sprint to reach X victory points first, whereas in Discoveries the game timer is the globally available number of journey leg cards.

Lewis and Clark Discoveries.
One of Joe's workers has come to work for me.
Our expedition has cookies.
There is some elegant re-use of cards going on with the game ( something FFG designs could woefully do better on ) where the cards are double sided and fulfill native tribes and journey legs ensuring that no two games will ever be the same, and exactly what mix of natives and journeys you get is very open ( this is important when you are going for the exploration set collection ).

Dice form your workers for worker placement, and with these you will be able to befriend natives, change dice, or complete journey legs. Some of the time the dice will go back to a global pool, and sometimes they get to be recycled back into your worker pool. The interesting - and somewhat borrowed from L&C - thing here is that the global pool of workers can be picked up by *anyone*, meaning you can swag other peoples dice and use them in your own placements. However. At any time instead of placing workers a player can retrieve all dice of their colour regardless of where they are. Natives are extra neutral coloured dice - and hanging onto these as opposed to having them recycle into the global pool for others to grab is a key part of the optimising and decision making you will be doing.

The global dice pool is a lovely little spin that means picking up a whole bag of dice from the pool can be very enticing but also situational. If you can get in and out, use someone elses dice before they are ready to pull all their dice back all to the good. When someone has just one or possibly two of their dice out of their pool, is it really worth them doing a recall ? Probably not. So if you've got their dice, you're probably safe.

Great game. And it's really interesting to start seeing these dice games where dice are being used in clever ways - not just some yahtzee / King of Tokyo variant ( yeah that's right, I went there, I dissed King of Tokyo ).

Second up was The Grizzled, a French co-operative card game set in the trenches of World War I, with some lovely cartoon art done by one of the gunned down Charlie Hebdo artists ( Tignous ). Which, although passes unnoticed by many a gamer, is probably something to think about. Legacy. Mortality. Tragedy. Murdered man's work in your hands. Cheery, I know.

The Grizzled. We failed. Tim's fault.
The Grizzled is fairly simple - try to collectively exhaust a deck of cards before the game timer runs out - the game timer being either exhausting a different pile of cards or one of the players receiving too many wounds. Set *avoidance* is the order of the day with players playing into a global tableau trying to avoid three of a kind of anything. Failure to do so shuffles all the cards into the Pile That Needs to be Exhausted, whilst success bins the cards to the discards. Keeping cards in your hand at game round end will put them into the Needs to be Cleared pile - and one of the key balances of the game is how many cards should get dealt out at the start of a round ( it's up to the players ), and how many are going to be forced into play or onto the needs to be done deck.

The sets have a lovely theme, well, lovely is the wrong word, they are lovely pieces of art about a miserable existence, bullets, whistles, snow, rain, gas masks. Players each get a unique solider to play who have their own one use powers - clearing certain set types from the tableau - and also a speech power up which can do the same. Injuries can be picked up which have varying impacts on gameplay and your choices, such as forcing you to play all cards from your hand whether you like it or not.

A nice little filler game with lovely art, and one of those games you should definitely get round to playing at least once. And if you're into your French themed fillers, then this and Guillotine could be the start of your collection ! Now if only there was a Napoleonic filler...

 Lastly I got to play Harbour with Joe, which is another nicely condensed Euro squished into the size of a quick filler. Even though the games are utterly different, this reminds me of Artificium, which condenses a lot of Euro goodness into a very quick and simple filler based around card and resource management. In harbour the order of the day is worker placement and resource gathering / selling. In some ways it feels like a super cut down version of Le Havre in so much as the goods interaction is global and changes turn by turn as to their attractiveness, and behind all that you are trying to build things and score points in a port kind of theme.

Dare I say, it feels better than Le Havre to me ?

Le Havre is a cool game, and something you can sink your teeth into, Harbour is a filler, light weight, less complexity, and yet, by and large the games hit the same spots - resource collection, optimisation, building synergies, build to win, yada. Harbour plays in 15 minutes. Le Havre, not so much.

Check it out anyway, Harbour is a lovely condensed euro filler.

A study in Emerald - a study in cube placement. With tentacles.
 Last week I got to play Study in Emerald, a game I have seen occasionally pass through NoBoG but have never got to sit down and play. It's something of a collectors item these days with some seriously inflated prices ( although a second edition reprint is on the way which will no doubt pop that balloon ) which I am kind of at a loss to explain - perhaps because it has a passing tie in to Neil Gaiman - the game is based on a story of the same name.

Study in Emerald is a Cthulian Victorian Sherlock Holmesian mash up set in a world where the Cthulu lot rule the world, and an underground anti Cthulu lot want to depose them. The game is a simple area control and deck building game with a couple of twists, but by and large it comes down to having more cubes in a location than anyone else - which allows you to draft a new card into your deck and or score points. The cards form what kind of action you can peform - but there isn't a huge breadth of options here, you will be picking up cubes from the stock, placing them down into areas, cashing areas in for cards or assassinating someone else at a given location.

So the game comes down to place cubes, pick up cubes, cash in areas removing all cubes and obtaining a card. Rinse and repeat.

The main twist to this game is that the players are split into two teams, the pro cthulu and the anti cthulu, and the way you score points for each team is different - some things will only score for one side or the other and a global track of victory points for each team also adds into your personal score. Despite this team aspect, the game is won individually - and for an extra kick, the lowest scoring person penalises everyone else on the same team by a handful of points.

The game has excellent presentation and a cool theme, mechanically it does its job, but realistically there is only a certain amount of wiggle room you have in promoting your team - and your fellow players - and demoting the enemy. So, your hands can be tied if someone on your team is struggling and pulling your points down. No one likes to have their points pulled down in public. There is a balance there in trying to help your team whilst kicking the other AND also making sure no one else is beating you points wise that you get to play out, but, it's muted, the actions largely play themselves, and your influence on what is going on globally is limited.

The filler codenames has also been doing the rounds. James was somewhat miffed when I couldn't help but describe his clue as possibly the worlds worst codename clue ( the clue was heel 2, one of the answers being socks, the other being part.... because a heel is PART of a foot.... um... that logic means that just about any word would fit PART ... leaf... well its PART of a tree innit... money... well... its PART of the global economic model innit... ), and post round demanded I be made spy master as it wasn't so easy. For the record I guided my team to a win - helped enormously by the opposing team continually getting our answers. Good work lads. That game session also saw Sam pull an answer out of his ass in 5 seconds flat with "satellite" for the clue "desynchronisation". Satellite and belt. Huh. And that won them the game too. Outrageous.

Lots of other games played. Cthulu wars again. Blood Rage. Machi Koro. Luna. Blood Bowl Team Manager. Steam punk rally. Phew ! So many games, so little time.

32,36,42 for those who are counting.

I'll leave you with an epic three week sized gallery.

Luna. With a very thematic blue cloth for the sea.

Lords of Waterdeep

Cthulu Wars

Machi Koro

Blood Bowl Team Manager

Ticket to Ride


Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Blood Bowl Team Manager

Ticket to Ride India

Game of Thrones LCG

Yet More Castles of Mad King Ludwig

Lords of Waterdeep


Galaxy Truckers

Blood Rage

Steam punk rally

Friday, 6 November 2015

Ra Ra ah-ah-ah

Ro-ma, ro-ma-ma. Well, I expect that reference to split the audience.

This week - possibly in a fit of indecision about what to play - we had the old school and noted giant of euro gaming Ra in the house, a classic title by a classic designer Reiner Knizia. If you're into your board gaming and haven't been in the gaming wilderness for the last 20 years then you're very likely to know who Reiner Knizia is, and if you have your proper board gaming chops, have at least heard of, if not played Ra.

Ra, Ra, ooh la la. A classic Knizia game.
If you don't know who Reiner Knizia, then suffice to say he is a prolific game designer of the euro type , and is part of a stable of game designers that cemented the term "euro" into the gaming dictionary in the first place.

If you want to get fancy about it, then maybe you could consider Reiner Knizia a crucial fuelling part of the Renaissance era of gaming ( where pre 70's ish would be antiquity, 80's and prior are medieval and say, post late 90's are modern ).

Ra is a simple Egyptian themed auction game, where players compete to out bid their opponents to pick up auction lots of tiles. Tiles are scored on some simple rules, set collection, bonus points, penalty points, and with the game split across three rounds ( or epochs ), scoring is performed three times, with a bit of overlap between rounds as some tiles stick around for the whole game. So the whole art of the game is in assessing whether a group of tiles is something you'd like to bid on, getting your scoring sorted out into some semblance of brilliance, and a bit of jockeying for position in timing of bids, availability of tiles and what exactly your bid strength is. The game despite being known as an auction game, and talking about auctions, and bids, and yada, isn't really anything of the sort - it's a trick taking game where your bids are fixed amounts determined by the tokens you are holding ( effectively everyone is playing with a single-ish suit from a deck of cards, and playing highest card wins, which kinda is an auction, but in the same way that playing Top Trumps is kinda an auction - IE no one ever refers to playing card trumping games as an auction . Oh you nicely outbid me there with your King of Hearts on top of my Jack of Hearts... this is never said. ).

Ra is a classic beloved by many of the gaming cognoscenti, but for my money, it's too dry, too simple, the theme makes me want to stab my eyes out, and I'd rather be playing something other than Ra. Not that it's bad by any means. Inoffensive. Like porridge. With no sugar. Or salt. Or anything in it. That makes you sit up straight before you eat it. And recite your 12 times table. Just. Yeah. Next ! Ra combined with Tigris and Euphrates - another well beloved Reiner Knizia game - are enough to make me throw up my hands in despair and go and find other things to do, such as beat my head against a wall.

Planet Norwich in the Norfolk System.

The clans have returned from distant stars to invade the Inner Sphere, the til now peaceful Commonwealth planet of Norwich suddenly finding itself the target of a rapid and brutal clan assault. Clan Ghost Bear landing advance forces onto the planet have already decisively engaged with the defenders, where despite being outnumbered have succeeded in pushing through defences and leaving a trail of destroyed enemies behind them.

Having broken through Inner Sphere lines, roving Clan scout forces now fan out in a rapid advance seeking to strike directly at the enemies capability to conduct and supply a war - ending the fight before it can really begin. Commonwealth forces in the form of the Davion Guards scramble to close the breach in the front lines whilst simultaneously reinforcing all strategic points behind the breach in danger of being overrun. But the task is a difficult one - the clans with superior mobility and firepower can strike at will and fade before a significant defence force can be assembled.

Reorganising the reserves into fast response defence lances, Davion Guard forces are distributed widely across the breach pocket with a hope of forming an anvil to delay Clan raiders caught in the act, before landing the hammer blow of a fast response.

Sector QF, just south of the Dereham lowlands - a call distorts across counter measure disrupted frequencies. Clan forces spotted, heading inbound towards the Unthank industrial zone. The Guards force on point scramble to their mechs, the brave pilots prepared to face the onslaught of the clans and provide the anvil. Meanwhile 60 klicks away, turbines spool up and thrusters ignite as the fast response drop ships pick up their mechs and prepare to speed to the battle to support their defences and deliver the hammer blow.

 Elsewhere I got to suffer play through another session of the even older than Ra - Battletech ( a game from the medieval period of gaming if we are keeping up the analogy, so, similar-ish to modern games, except no plumbing or toilets, other than a hole in the wall to stick your arse out of, giving rise to odd smells, suspicious lumps of matter loitering in odd places, and a certain air of unwashed, inelegant, grime about it all ) , Sean was dead keen on giving this a go being a bit of a Battlemech fan ( and who doesn't like big stompy robot things.. ), and having watched it being played a few weeks back.

Battletech, the filthy Clanners hug the edge of the map.
And that was cool, I found it pretty riveting, the time whisked by, a fair bit of analysis paralysis, a lot of thinking, a bit of taunting, and a good deal of ineffective fire. Highlights included a jumping mech making a bad landing and falling over in the river, and then me deciding to jump on top of their sorry ass to try and kick their head in, followed by a graceful pirouetting jump out of a cauldron of fire into a back flopping landing in a lake. All performed in a 55 ton mech. There was also lots of gratuitous use of the laser line of sight checker.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, albeit, such is the way of things, it was a harrowing session, and I think it's fair to say everyone felt like they'd gone ten rounds in the ring with a heavyweight champion by the time we called halt to the game.

For the record, the clan pushed up to the edges of the industrial zone, then were perturbed by my jumping shenanigans and some supporting fire from Andy ( notably Sean spent all game waltzing around without firing a shot until the last rounds - we had assumed until the very end of the game that he was some kind of pacifist handing out leaflets.. albeit in a 50 ton walking mech ) .

Battletech - in the distance the clan raiders pull into sight
The clan advance crunched into a confused rabble, sidled along the edge of the map in comedic hand holding fashion ( Sean did a very good spontaneous mime impression of this which you had to be there to appreciate ), before just getting into the industrial zone as the reinforcements arrived and the hammer blow dropped. We stopped one turn after that. But it was fair to say that things were looking grim indeed for the Clan, although Andy's Warhammer had by then had both it's arms blown off. Just a flesh wound. I'm invincible !

More miniatures and dice rolling were going on on the table across from us, where David hosted his quasi regular Imperial Assault game, with his Empire once again facing off against the heroic rag tag Rebel team. Pete playing as ever the wookie reports that he had great fun charging into the fray,
Imperial Assault. One of the monsters seems to have
had an unfortunate incident with it's knicker elastic.
running screaming down corridors in the way only wookies can, and laid about cleaving stand in bad guy extras left and right. Causing chaos and confusion the hairy hero bleeding profusely stumbled to the macguffin console, only to fumble through the blood and tears the activation sequence and fail the mission.

There is a reason they don't give wookies medals. At the end of Star Wars watch closely. There's Han. Here's a medal. There's Luke. Have a medal. There's Chewie... screw you buddy, we're fresh out of medals ! You and your hairy ass can just stand in the back being generally unappreciated ! Harsh. And it's all Pete's fault. They've never forgotten the time he fumbled that console roll. Do you know how many Bothans died for that ? Many Bothans ! Many !

As this is the second failure in a row for the Rebel team I have come to the conclusion that David is facing off against the B Team of the Rebel Alliance. These are the guys that you never see in the films, the one's they don't tell tales of derring-do about, the ones that generally screwed something up in the first place that then made the presence of the A Team Rebels a necessity. The Death Star ? Yeah. The B Team screwed that up by failing the mission to steal all supplies of Imperial hammers to deny the building work from ever starting. Resulting in one blown up planet. And a last minute emergency mission to blow the completed Death Star up. That's why there's no medals for Wookies. A failure to delete the hammer invoice order from the death star construction console. Peeettteee ! Or in character. "aaarrrrarrarrr-arr-arrrarr-arrrrr".

Moving on from Rebel debacles, Sam got to try out the excellent Colt Express with the new stagecoach expansion, which brings hostages, whiskey, and victory points for getting shot ! It all sounded pretty cool, and I absolutely have to give this a go when I get a chance and am not playing
Thunderbirds are go ! F.A.B !
Battletech until midnight. Prior to this Sam busted out the FAB game - ah ha ha - Thunderbirds, a brand new spanky offering of this now 50 year old... we'll go with classic. To be honest I have no idea what goes on in this game. It's co-operative. It has miniature depictions of the Thunderbird vehicles. One can only presume you go around the world saving people whilst displaying very little face movement and refusing to walk anywhere where you could instead build an unfeasibly complex mechanical system to ferry your sorry ass around in an automated chair, thus avoiding the burdensome necessity of actually getting up. International rescue is one thing. Being bothered to get your ass out of your armchair is a whole other ballgame. I'm with you there buddy !

Who knows if Sam's intrepid team won or lost ? But really, playing Thunderbirds the Game in your automated chairs, I think we can all agree that everyone is a winner, regardless of game outcome. I'm not sure, but I could swear at some point I saw Sam with serene face gliding past in an automated chair headed for the bar. FAB !

Another old school classic was also on show at the Tun in the form of Alhambra. They played a pretty full six handed game of this I think, with I'm going to take a guess at a pure vanilla setup. So none of the bazillion expansions on offer.

Elsewise the lovely Suburbia got a turn on the boards, Lewis got vanilla Smash up out and Codenames and a host of other fillers also got a play through. I had my head buried in Battletech so I probably missed a lot.

For those counting, 43, another quiet night.

The Gallery...

Smash Up



Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Random Number Generator - RNG

Random Number Generator. A device, process or action that can generate a "random" number, or at least close enough to random so as to be indistinguishable from true random to a human observer, used for encryption, scientific study, games, and upsetting certain gamers with it's non deterministic bullshit. See reference Roll to Move is a travesty, Monopoly blows, and This Game makes no Sense. Most popular physical incarnation - dice.

A quiet week at the Mash Tun last week, possibly due to Halo 5 releasing on the very same day, or possibly just those random fluctuations, in any case a very Douglas Adams 42 turned up to get their gaming on. And yes. 42 is now officially a quiet number. Previously this same number may have been viewed as "bonkers busy", but context is everything. 42 for the population of your bathroom would be "unacceptably busy and there's no bloody hot water left"*. 42 for the population of China would be "there's no one here".

Cthulu and friends go on a world tour.
Pete had Cthulu Wars out on table for a second week running with Richard IV also joining in again declaring he knew what was going on now and would fare much better. With the heady scent of chinese plastic permeating the air ( it really was very apparent... that's what you get for having all that plastic ) Richard was the man to beat, getting into a strong position and fending off attacks from all comers. The game went on considerably longer than it's first outing, mostly due to a good deal of trepidation about deploying gates for fear of having them stolen. I think Richard won this in the end, clearly he did know what was going on.

Whilst Cthulu and his chums were devouring the world, on another table a whole different kind of
Zombicide -A sim for teaching you the basics of the Zapocalypse
devouring was going on with Zombicide, a game all about tooling up and killing zombies B movie horror style. Mechanically there is not much to look at here and it follows all the other point shoot, roll a dice type games, but thematically does a great job of having nice miniatures and an attractive modular board setup which really looks the part. If you ask me this is about typical for many of those kind of kickstarter games. Long on the eye candy. Short on everything else. Perhaps I am getting kickstarter fatigue. Nevertheless Zombicide looks good fun, and who doesn't like gunning zombies down !

Last week I got to partake of the Francis Drake euro board game ( another kickstarter ), which pits the players into a competition of exploiting the West Indies in the 16th century of gems, goods and uhh looting towns and castles and sinking ships. It was an ambivalent age, what can you say. The game runs for three identical rounds, so you get three cracks at the Euro puzzle, where first you pick up "stuff" which amounts to fuel for your upcoming worker placement, with things such as guns, crew, trade goods and barrels, and after everyone is done loading their ship you get to place your actions out - up to four of them by default. Actions are then resolved in player order and action number order, with a competitive edge of the first person getting to act in a place gets the bonus rewards.

There are the usual spread of Euro things going on here - points for set collection, points for action set collection - as well as just plain outright points for doing things.

Nothing we haven't seen before, and packaged and themed in a nice way.


One huge bugbear for me.

The game has a small RNG contained within it that determines whether you'll actually be able to afford the actions you are selecting or not - they'll vary in "price" from 0 - 6 resources ( and on average you'll probably pick up 3-4  resources of a particular type, less in some, more in others ) And you won't know if you can afford it until it's too late - you've already collected your resources, and picked your actions. And therein lies the rub.

For all the usual careful euro calculation and plotting of X actions, and Y points ultimately your game can hinge on whether you've luckily or unluckily hit a roadblock. And this isn't trivial, a full fat 10 bonus points await someone who can get all their planned actions swinging correctly, 4 points if you can half do it, and a single point if you limp across the line. This unfortunate RNG to see whether your plans work this turn tends to make everything else a bit of a sideshow.

And god forbid you actually have bad luck to foul of this two turns in a row ( out of three ).

Which is exactly what happened to me. You can only look on and watch as someone else picks up mucho victory points whilst expending ass all, and your own action cripples you for half as many victory points.

Blah. In our game, my third turn was spectacularly good as I managed to get into an area uncontested, and then sat back and let the turn play itself. I literally had no choices to make - and earned big points from doing so.

Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable game, nicely turned out, and if you can avoid or just plain ignore the lurking RNG devil waiting for you in the background, then it's a nice race to see who can grab the most things.

Agricola however, it ain't. Perhaps Agricola should put an RNG on each of its action spots for extra excitement. On a 4+ sorry pal, you trip on the way to plough a field. No ploughing for you this turn. And on that day, a thousand Euro gameplayers cried out as if in pain. . .

We finished with Isle of Skye which went down very well. Darren and Dave got locked in some mental high priced bidding war between the two of them, and switched lands on just about every round for outrageous prices.

BSG. In a surprise to no one move, Monika was the cylon.
There was also some fantabulous Battlestar Galaticaing, which rather confusedly went from four players to six, to five, to four. But through all this. The inevitable. The perpetual. The predictable. Monika was a cylon. It's amazing she still plays the game to be fair. Anyone with any experience would just push her out of the air lock. But you just... can't... quite... tell... I mean. Surely. SURELY. No one can be the Cylon that often. You're a good guy this time, right ? Wrong. Pete suggested she rigs the cards to always be a cylon.

7 Wonders. This table is a wonder in itself.
We also had the most epically large table 7 wonders on the go. It was fantastic. With a crazy seven people. There were so many players that some were in different weather systems and time zones to other players. Amazing. You couldn't even tell - or care - what the player on the other side of the table was doing. Lots of military ? Who cares ! I am 3 neighbours removed from that filthy warmonger ! Good stuff.

Elliott brought along Cauldron again, and on the front tables some Lords of Waterdeep got a bash. It's been a while since Waterdeep was out. Once upon a time that was almost a permanent fixture on one table of the ribs. That and Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Some end of night Resistancing went on. And Lewis complained that there wasn't enough time left in the evening to play fillers. Despite this, Lewis left early, and played his own main game til late. I noted he was actually just complaining about himself rather than anything else . . . .

The gallery...

* making the assumption that you do not have Roman Emperor levels of bathroom space and aren't in the habit of inviting 50 of your closest allies, senators, their partners, their offspring and assorted livestock around for a bath.

Monday, 2 November 2015

NoBoG Secret Santa

James - no not that James, the other James - has decided to organise a NoBoG Secret Santa, allowing NoBoGers the chance to buy their fellow gamers some random, but hopefully appreciated game.

For those with purse holding significant others, what better way to hide a game purchase than exclaiming that you didn't buy this game, someone else bought it for you, thus eliminating any wasteful spending lectures or arguments about how much you've spent on stupid cards this month.

From the NoBoG Facebook -

 NoBoG Secret Santa signup sheet. as far as the donation goes, please give me donations on tuesdays. If im not there then Bork has kindly agreed to be a money man.

 I will endeavour to bring some slips on Tuesday so let me know here if interested so I have an idea of numbers. You can be 'in' for any amount you like and I will let you know well in advance who you are buying for. I suggest everyone has a BGG collection done so your Santa at least knows what not to buy etc....
I suggest a 50p administration fee. I won't keep this. It will be used as an insurance (in case anyone buggers off) and any remainder will go to charity.