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Tag: santorini (Page 1 of 2)

Gen Con 50 Recap Day 2

As I said in my Day 1 report, seeing the Time of Legends: Joan of Arc display case had me ditching events to check it out in the dealer hall.   My friend and I lined up at the appropriate entrance and bee-lined to the Mythic Games booth to sit down for a demo as soon as the hall opened.

This game isn’t a full tabletop minis game but it really tries to blur the line between board game and miniatures game. The design immerses you in the setting by adding physical terrain pieces instead of cardboard templates or drawn in graphics.  The miniatures themselves help limit the need for any text or rules on the actual play surface as every thing it taken care of on stat cards set off to the side.

The system is supposedly set up to handle full-on tactical combat scenarios where the goal is mainly combat focused, as well as combat light or even no combat “investigation” scenarios that will play more like a deduction board game.  This second type of game wasn’t really explained in much detail and no purely deductive scenario was available so I’m not sure how that will really work.

Instead, they had a hybrid scenario that combined the combat elements with the investigation style mechanics.  This particular scenario centered around a werewolf hiding in the village and the local Lord called in to help deal with the issue.  All the scenarios in Joan of Arc are rich in historical mythology of the era and this scenario was no exception. The rules will talk about an actual legend from the time period that the particular scenario is dealing with this one featuring a village overrun by wolves and stolen church artifacts.  The priest in the village asked for the Lord of the area to help and so we have one side playing the French Lord hero coming into the village with the priest.

The other player is playing the werewolf.  The wolf is hidden as one of the villagers, secretly chosen at the beginning of the game. The wolf player needs to survive 6 rounds and the French player needs to discover the werewolf and kill him.

The game is played in game rounds, each player taking their entire turn before the other player takes their turn.  Turns are given a set number actions depending on the unique card that is revealed at the start of the round. These actions are then allocated as the player sees fit until they are either done and want to save actions for later or they have no more actions to spend.  The actions available vary per scenario but basic actions are moving and interacting (or attacking).

What struck me as interesting in this game were the varied action options.  In this scenario, I could ride in with my hero and priest and talk to a witch living in a nearby glade (on the map). Talking with her was done through a randomly drawn card by the opposing player. That player read the two discussion options I had and then, after I chose which path to take, told me the result.

Later, I had the chance to interrogate the villagers, one of whom is the werewolf.  If my knight is doing the interrogation, he rolls a die and a positive result means the other player must answer my question truthfully (yes or no questions only). If the result fails, they can lie or ignore me.  If I want to be ruthless, I can just start cutting down the villagers but this is risky in that each villager I kill that isn’t the werewolf burns an entire turn, accelerating the ending and my loss.  I must confess, I grew frustrated with these stupid peasants and their lies (couldn’t roll a success to save my life) so I did chop one innocent down. It didn’t bring the others in line…

The priest, however, can ask villagers questions but they can’t lie (no die roll).  These questions are always yes or no answers (no “who is the werewolf” instant win questions).  Finally, I asked the right question and the werewolf was revealed. The options in this game expand ever more as the buildings aren’t just pretty terrain, you can go inside them (via a cut out template depicting the interior) and gain clues or items or more. The werewolf turned out to be a villager that had made its way into a secret crypt in the church and was busy praying to it’s dark God.

I surrounded the church and fought my way in, past the werewolf’s wolf pack guards and cornered the beast in the crypt.  With one turn remaining, I was able to score the killing blow on the last die roll to win the game.  It created a very epic story and my friend and I enjoyed the game so much, we cleared Saturday morning to race over and play the other scenario.

While I was standing around chatting with the designers, another of the werewolf scenarios was wrapping up and ended in equally epic style with a last round, last die roll werewolf kill. Bodes well for game balance, at least for new players.  The game comes to Kickstarter October 10th and I will definitely be backing this excellent game.

Having wrapped up what will end up being the best new game at the Con, I walked around the Mythic Games booth to see the Monolith Games side as they had another game I was interested, their new Batman game.

They had a great looking display and with the game “engine” based on their Conan game, I thought it might be pretty interesting. I checked out the models in the display case and they all looked great.

Probably having nothing to do with the great diorama they set up.

Then something struck me.  That diorama looked great and really set the tone for the game I’d really like to play.  But when I looked over at the demo table…

Hmm… I want to play the scene that is going on in that display case, not the drab 2D map with board-gamey lines all over it.  Then it hit me, I do play the game in the case with Knight Models’ Batman Miniature Game.  With this (obvious) epiphany, I moved on without even trying a demo.

Having ditched my only event, for the day, I had plenty of time to wander. So I went searching for some industry friends and checked out some other interesting dealer hall items.

Pandemic Legacy Season 2 had a preview demo going on but I avoided it to not witness any spoilers.

Santorini had a great giant version of the game set up for play.

The event hall had a massive 54 mm fantasy pirate game going on with this awesome 3D ship detailing multiple levels.

I jumped upstairs to see if CGE had anything to show for the new Adrenaline Expansion but all they had was this oversized mock up model of the 6th player pawn.

Spin Master Games is making a nice version of Hnefatafl.  Talking with the production team onsite, I learned they are also making a realistically priced version of Kubb.  I’m really interested to see where this goes.

I caught none other than Lord Snow playing the new Game of Throne themed Catan.  He’s playing red, smart man.

Having exhausted the afternoon in the dealer hall and environs, it was time for me to get to work.  I decided to run a few events of my own again this year, starting with Pitchcar in a “death race” variant I made up.

I’ll do a write up about these custom pieces later but this event featured my new 3D cut car discs.  These were created in CAD and then CNC’d on existing crokinole discs.  Some easy painting later and my complete set of eight cars were ready for this premiere event.

The group loved it and the rules variant held up very well.  I even ended up overselling the event because someone really wanted to join in the game.  It was great fun and had a ton of lead changes and disc flicking shenanigans. After Pitchcar, I went straight into 4 hours of Catacombs games.

These events were also sold out and filled with a lot of fun gamers ready to delve into the flick-filled dungeon.  A couple of surprises were in store for the players as I had some early promos to hand out from Catacombs Conquest (the recent Kickstarter) and I premiered my 3D board that made earlier.   Halfway through the event, Aron West of Elzra Games stopped by and was able to talk to some of the players and even finished out the finale of one of the games.

I brought out the custom Rat King disc that the Catacombs Artist, Kwanchai Moriya, had made for me.  And I also was able to provide the Wyverns of Wylemuir expansion for some enthusiastic Catacombs fans to try out.

The players seemed to have a lot of fun and it was great seeing them all enjoy the games. The event finished a little after midnight so I packed it all up and headed back to the hotel to crash.

6×6 Gaming Challenge: Mid-year recap

Now that we’re in July, I thought I’d take a quick moment to recap where I’m at with my 6×6 Gaming Challenge. I always keep the running total up-to-date at the top, under my “About” header.

The good news is every game on my list has been played at least once. Even better news is I’m sitting at 20 games/sessions played out of 36 for the challenge so I’m beating the curve by a good 5%.  Let’s look at the details:

The Walking Dead: All Out War:
Dropzone Commander:
Santorini:
Batman Miniature Game:
Pandemic: Legacy:
Championship Formula Racing:

As you can see, Dropzone Commander and Batman are a bit behind the curve.  Batman may be the toughest to get all the way through before the end of the year since it is completely self-driven.  Dropzone Commander still has regular monthly get-togethers so I’m not too worried about finding a game.

CFR, Pandemic, and The Walking Dead have been going quite well with a lot of interest still peaking for those games.  The next few months are going to be a little tough as I prepare for Gen Con and a vacation later this summer but I still have a lot of plans for all the games on the list so at least the drive is still there.

Tiny Racers

I recently spent some time painting up something besides my black and white Walking Dead collection (shocking, I know).  I talked earlier about receiving Championship Formula Racing (CFR) and my 1976 F1 cars from Shapeways and I decided to start painting them up.

Before I get into that though, I also picked up a game I’ve had my eye on for a while now. This game also deals with racing but of a completely different era: Chariot Race by Eagle-Gryphon Games.

Chariot Race is a light game of, well, chariot racing and while the components are a bit lacking with standee chariots and flimsy player boards, the game seemed fun and can work as a nice filler or evening-ender.

The standees just weren’t doing it so I found out about Irregular Miniatures, a UK-based miniature producer and found this awesome little 6mm chariot racers.  Not only were they a great fit but Irregular Miniatures offers painting services at very reasonable prices so I jumped at the chance to not have to try to paint up these super small minis.

Ian and his team did a great job and I’m glad I finally have the game to show off his great work.

Back to my own painting, I had some fun getting back into color painting and started working on my 1976 series F1 cars.  I’m using ideas from some of the stock photos of these cars as well as BGG User, Ghost95, for his excellent work on these models.

I haven’t done any numbering yet so they aren’t technically finished for me but they are basically done. My game of CFR has enough components for 8 drivers/bots so I’ll probably do another five cars to complete my set and work up more cars if more driver decks are released for the game.

Damn these guys are tiny though. Those are standard 3.5 inch construction nails those cars are mounted on and the aren’t even as wide as the nail head.  Going this small does mean that the crappy craft store acrylics I use really show their limitations, especially when photographed from so close but I’m happy with the start of these.

And they look great on the track as well.


I was also able to throw Santorini down onto the table this weekend before we got into some heavier games.

I went 1 for 3 in a quick set of two player games (no God powers).  I don’t think I’ve developed any sort of rhythm with this game yet but I plan on putting it to the table as often as I can to get a better feel for the game.  Sadly, Inis and Rum & Bones: Second Tide didn’t hold as well as I’d hoped and Santorini was the highlight of the evening.

 

6×6 Gaming Challenge Update

I’ve had a concerning item on my 6×6 challenge list for a while and wasn’t sure if it would even release with enough time to get in my six plays but I was finally able to pick up this interesting item: Championship Formula Racing.

Championship Formula Racing (CFR), has been struggling to release and when it did release, its struggles continued.  The game seems to have some unclear packaging where the game box lists contents that aren’t quite what is inside.  To try to avoid this mess, I picked up my copy from Cardhaus as they had a retail version of the Kickstarter campaign and was guaranteed to have the thing I was most excited about the game- automated drivers based on historical legends in the sport.

image by Punk Reaper on BGG

There was another issue as well where the car miniatures and the spaces on the race track aren’t in sync.  A lot of people on Boardgamegeek complained that the miniatures are too big but after seeing the game on my table, I contend that the track board spaces are too small.  The publisher is already looking at ways to redo to the boards so the track spaces better fit the miniatures and I think that is the best call. It does, however, leave current owners in an awkward situation.  Luckily, I was anticipating replacing the cars anyway so I also picked up a great set of cars on Shapeways that will fit the small track spaces.

These cars were printed in Ultra Detail and are pretty darn tiny but they fit the game boards perfectly.

I’ll start painting them up and then it’ll be race time.  The game looks like a lot of fun and I’ve already heard a lot of good things about the historical racer AI so I look forward to getting this thing on the table soon. Now it’ll be just finding time to paint up those little cars.


I also recently got in another session of Santorini.

This time we tried out a couple of three player games.  We started with a pretty wacky power set where one player (me) made it so if you could go up a level, you had to, another player said you could never descend, and the finally a player that made it so you couldn’t build adjacent to her player pawns.

It was brutal as my opponents kept having to climb up and not descend and once they were cornered on their side of the board, my extra pawn was free to do whatever it wanted on the opposite corner.

We scaled things back in the next game and went with three players without powers.  This game felt a little more in control but three players in an abstract game like this runs into some funny interactions where you force the next player to act, lest they let the next player win.

I was able to get off to an open corner earlier than my opponents and after forcing them to try to stop each other, gained the positioning that led me to the top. Great board and components and fun to throw down and hash out some nice clean abstract gaming.

6×6 Game Challenge 2017: Dropzone Commander and Santorini

It’s been a crazy busy week but right before hell broke loose, I was able to get in my first session of Dropzone Commander for my game challenge and was able to hit a little Santorini at the end.

Funtastic Games is about the only place in town that is hosting anything Dropzone related and last weekend they had their monthly Dropzone Commander get together.  My friend and I stopped by and threw down a quick 700 skirmish game.

We decided to try a new scenario that featured a focal point in the center and two objectives on nearby tall buildings. We also decided to mix up the terrain and have the center dominated by low undergrowth to surround the focal point, in this case a nearly intact high yield orbital ordnance that both sides were desperate to claim.

I truck out to the center as fast as I can with my Hovercraft forces and Lifthawk but I soon realize I’m severely outclassed in activations (my 3 battlegroups to his 5) and speed (my 16″ lifthawk vs his two 30″ quick troop carriers).

His Hunters get the drop on my choppers even though I won initiative (sneaky scourge devils).  Luckily, I somehow only lose the one chopper.  I end up taking out one of the hunters in reprisal but it won’t be enough.  With this small of a force, this was to be my dedicated Anti-Armor unit.

I focus on the left tower for objectives hoping my right flank can mess with the scourge occupiers in the right tower long enough for my last infantry group to get in there and make a stand.  This tower was a slaughterfest.  My infantry dominated at 2:1 and the dice showed.  We wiped the scourge threat with barely any casualties.

The victory was short-lived as the last hunter gunned down my Chopper.  The nerfed Freerider biker squads were now playing tertiary role as anti-armor and actually weren’t doing too bad against the weak-armored scourge armor units. My Attack ATVs were peppering the right tower with chem ‘nades to piss off the scourge occupiers but it wasn’t enough.

My troops raided the tower full of chem gas and tried to stop the scourge but got slaughtered with even odds 1:1 then, in a bit of irony, the chem gas finished them off.  If it could have went the other way, I might have had a chance.

The last bit of control I had to desperately pull something off was to drop the scourge Overseer.  I got it down to 1 last damage point and even though those scourge tanks lit up my hovercraft, I survived with two Gun Wagons left and enough movement to get a bead on the Overseer again.  My luck held and I won initiative to try to take out the main command piece of the scourge force but dice failed hard and I couldn’t finish the Overseer off.

The clean up was quick, efficient, and brutal. The last hunter that I could never seem to kill dropped my Lifthawk, the scourge tanks wiped my Gun Wagons and the only thing I had left were my Left Tower heroes who, for the life of them, could not even find the objective.  Too much partying and celebrating their lopsided victory to notice that we also apparently lost the war.   Maybe humanity just isn’t ready to reclaim the surface.  Ah well, there’s always next month…

Later that day, we ran over to a little game party and threw down some Santorini.  I chose Hypnos while my opponent took Hermes.  This was an interesting match up with Hypnos’ power to force the opponent to always be on the same height before ascending making it very hard for the Hermes player to get much traction.  Hermes was able to run all over the map and easily thwart my attempts to build out towers out of sight but eventually I found the trick.  If you wall off Hermes, he can’t run around as fast and that sealed my victory.


In other news, I’ve been working a little bit on this bright idea for the Batman Minis Game:

….more on that to come.

And finally, this big monstrosity dropped on my doorstep:

…definitely more to come on that bad boy.

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