Saturday, 9 September 2017

We Now Return to our Regular Program.

Cough cough cough hello? Oh, eurh, ah! I remember this thing. Let's see if I can remember what to do. I think we played some games at the pub, possibly drank some beer, then we went home, the end. How'd I do?
Pffff OK fine. We played many games, some of which were Takenoko, Cyclades, Vikings Gone Wild, Evolution and Arctic Scavengers. And also a bunch of other ones that I was far too lazy and having far too much fun to write about.
The first of the aforementioned games, Takenoko, looks like a sort of Chinese Catan, but instead of a robber, there's a panda. Damn thievin' pandas. Somehow I've managed to miss out on playing this NoBoG perennial, so the players gave me the lowdown. The aim is to complete objectives, the first person to complete a few getting a bonus, the winner then being determined based on number of points gained from objectives.
Hexes + Sticks = Catan, I will accept no
disagreement. Fite me.

Ominous hand of doom casts a doom-laden
shadow over panda-thief of doom.
Objective cards of two kinds
Objectives can take one of three forms: having certain formations of irrigated tiles, certain amounts and heights of bamboo or making the pandathief eat certain bamboos. All of thse different things are accomplished through actions which you can take two of per turn. You have to take two different ones, so it's a good idea to take different goals so that you can work towards more than one each turn. It's difficult to purposefully screw people over because you never know what their goals are. Lewis shows me everything in an excited manner, and when I come back around there's looaads of bamboo growing. Maybe the Panda got full?
The bamboo grows taller.
Box art modelled by Lewis
Bonus card modelled by Lewis
Then I cycled over to a table playing Cyclades. (I didn't actually, that would be weird inside.) Cyclades is "World Domination slash Island Hopping," apparently — though I'm not sure if that's the kind of island hopping that Caledonian Macbrayne offers between the various Hebrides. You're fighting over fruit or "prosperity croissants" as the players call them (I'm not sure whether that's down to overactive imaginations or this is a colourfully named part of the CalMac breakfast option). They are actually cornucopiae and supposed to represent revenue but to be fair to the philistines they do look a bit like croissants. So the croissants give you money (they do always seem to go quickly at Tesco) which you then offer to the cash-grubbing Gods of ancient Greece. Whoever offers the most money to a particular God gets to take the corresponding action, such as obtaining or moving boats (Poseidon), getting or moving troops (Ares) and so on. If you lose the auctions you can always fall back on Apollo who'll get you more baked crescents. Another thing you can do with the Gods is summon awesome-looking mythical beasts like krakens and all sorts, though for some inexplicable reason no-one had done that yet. I mean, if I had been playing then who cares what the best tactics were, I'd be summoning myself a kraken at the very first opportunity!
Island Hopping: not just for MacArthur!
Gods to whom you can tribute money.
Three warriors defending a
prosperity croissant
Cthulhu wakes! Whoops, wrong mythology.
The objective of the whole thing is to get buildings and merge them into metropolises. The nice thing (depending on which end of it you're on) is that you can let someone else build the metropolises and then walk in and nick them. Easy peasy! Though apparently you have to actually win the fight before the guys on the island just give up the city — so much effort!
Wild-eyed from playing Vikings Gone Wild, Hannah declared that she had been drinking all the beer. Specifically she is "a very aggressive drunk Viking." In fact they've got so wild that James has fudged the win conditions so that they could carry on playing for longer! Crazy!Wild! As an excuse, Hannah said they were "having too much fun," though I suspect that James just needed a bit more time to win. Hannah has tons of chicken towers which (for some reason) add defence, and also the ability to tax everyone else's beer. This is particularly unfortunate for David whose economy is based around making beer.
There sure is a lot of stuff on this board.
That's a lot of gold.
That's a lot of beer. Would be shame
if anyone were to... tax it.
Next I popped along to the primordial soup of Evolution. Now, some people would say Sam has only just crawled out of the primordial soup himself but that would be rude and unfair. The objective is to get as much food in your food pouch at the end of the game. Though of note is the fact that food goes into the pouch after you've eaten it — but for some reason the game didn't see fit to describe it as the poo pouch, or as I'd call it, the poouch. You have to add traits, body size and population among your species in order to accomplish this. Some critters can become carnivores in which case the others need to evolve defences or the ability to run away if they are not to become someone else's poo. You can even make one of your species a carnivore and have it eat one of your others! By the end of the first turn though I realised just what kind of game it is as Luke evolves a "hard shell" and Sam becomes "fertile." One can only assume that their species are, respectively, birds and bees. Tortoise-birds, I guess.
Primordial soup
Curse your sudden but primordial betrayal!
We always knew it, Sam.
Heheh. Hard.
Well, let us scrape together an account of Arctic Scavengers. It was my first time playing this deck builder that takes place in a typical post-apocalyptic nuclear winter or something. Your goal is simply to accrue as much population as you can, which is achieved by recruiting new people to your cause. There are three ways of acquiring new cards: digging through rubbish (which can turn up tools and assorted junk, but not people), directly recruiting people from the pool available to everyone, and fighting your opponents for a powerful card unknown to everyone except one player. Each card contributes some amount to zero or more actions: digging, recruiting, fighting and also drawing more cards from your deck. If a person has a particular ability, they can be given a tool to enhance it, as well.
Available cards for scavengin'
Tim considers his options.
Thankfully there aren't too many so we
weren't waiting that long ;)
Whatever cards you don't use on your turn are saved and then, at the end of the round, all are revealed and whoever has the most fighting ability wins the secret card: though to contribute, tools must be attached to a person and a person can't use more than one tool at once. The various ability scores cap quite low, so it's not likely for someone to get an unassailable advantage, but as you start upgrading your cards you do gain quite a bit — Ewan was able to handily defeat everyone else in the end-of-round fights by the end of the game. This set him up for a clear win, as many of the rewards from the fights are cards with massive population numbers (up to 5 compared to 1 for most regular cards). Having only played one game it's difficult to tell what alternative strategies are available — I don't see how you can win without doing well at the fights since they give you such large bonuses. However to win them you do have to set aside cards to win which you could be using to recruit cards with known strengths. You are prevented from really shooting for any single strategy though because you can only do each action once per turn — so if you stack up on cards which allow you to recruit you're going to be disappointed when a future hand allows you to dig ten times but you can still only keep one of the resulting cards. This is great for a deck-building moron such as myself but might frustrate people who are good at them and enjoys picking a particular strategy. In the end I came joint second with Eliza, which I consider quite respectable due to the aforementioned moronitude, although I think Eliza was a bit miffed about being caught in the crossfire of such self-deprecation — sorry!
And that's all I got! Catch you next time, gamers!

Friday, 1 September 2017


There's now a NoBoG instagram you can go check out amongst the other social media type places you can hang out for your fix of NoBoG.

Your NoBoG social media life has never been so full !

If you're on mobile you can find the links in the drop down nav below the logo. If you're not on mobile you'll see 'em over on the right.

Or just go check out the instagram thinger right here !