Area control, old friends and vampires

That was the content of last night’s meeting of the BAD Gamers.

Tom, who hasn’t been around for a while, and is now secretary of the Banbury wargames club, NOW Gamers, came along and had a game of Wrath of Kings with Darren A. The RPG’ers played the dark ages version of Vampire and the rest of us played a range of board games with a loose area control theme.

We kicked off with a game of King of Tokyo, which Chris and Lee took to a bitter end. Then we moved on to Alien Frontiers and new game Inis. This is an interesting mix of a 7 Wonders style drafting, an expanding map, an area control system and a choice of three victory conditions. It looks beautiful, plays fast, and after the first few turns players will understand the mechanics. After one game strategy will be understood.

The evening then rounded off with one of Frank’s favourites, Onward to Venus, which has a strong tactical rather than strategic play but is also area control in nature. Martin, playing the German Empire took the win after playing a “very quiet let everyone else get on with the game” approach.wrath-of-kings-feb-7-17-2 wrath-of-kings-feb-7-17 inis-feb-7-17 alien-frontiers-feb-7-17

 

Next week looks like Frostgrave and Inis plus no doubt, more.

Sharp Practice and Dystopian Wars

Last games of January 2017

Only five of us out last night at the BAD gamers, but we got some good games in nevertheless.

Ben took Darren S and Mark H through a starter battle of Dystopian wars with the East India Company coming to blows with the Polish- Lithuanian Confederation. Not sure how the geography on that one worked out, but the game was bloody and close, going down to the last ships on each side.

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On the other table Steve and Frank played a game of Sharp Practice ACW. Set in 1864, Steve’s Yanks were attempting to sweep Frank’s Rebs from the table. Steve pinned the Rebs on his left flank, avoided those in the centre, and broke through on his right leading to the collapse of the rebels morale. Frank blamed his lose on poor positioning and early deployment of his main unit. Both agreed the game was great fun.


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Both were good games, and it was great to get the toys to the table.

Next week is RPG – modern Vampires and Boardgames. Possibly Inis and/or Conan.

Crom.

January catch up at the BAD Gamers

With January about to leave us, its time to catch up on some of the games played recently at the BAD Gamers

Mark, Lee and Frank took Merchants & Marauders for a spin. Been a while, and it showed in Frank’s ability to remember the rules! Still Lee created a good narrative as a merchant who found fortune through trading and then fame through taking down the local pirate (and in so doing winning the game).

At the all day January session, Pete took Paul, Graham and Frank through Conquest of Nerath. A dudes on the map game set in one of the D&D worlds. The strategy needed to play the game evolves over time, making this more than a fantasy version of Risk. Indeed the euro situation of having too much to do and not enough to do it with came out in the middle of the game, meaning that every attack had longer term consequences.

Also at the all day session Mark ran two games of Frostgrave, with his new gaming mat. Both games proved great fun, what with teleporting wizards stealing treasure, other wizards using telekinesis to move treasure about, and yet other wizards blowing themselves up while miscasting spells. A fun miniatures game, and one that will hit the table again in the coming weeks.the-undercity merchants-maruders frostgrave-2 frostgrave-1 dd-board-game conquest-of-nerath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally we played Carcassone, 13 Days, the Undercity, D&D Boardgame and Warhammer Quest.

Its been a good January of gaming.

If you go down to the sewers tonight, you’re sure…

RPG night at the BAD Gamers last night, so while that group battled as vampires in the Dark Ages, the rest of us, and a new guy, Lee, took Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game for a walk around the table.

WH:TACG is a card based dungeon crawl based on the Warhammer Quest boardgame from the mid-90’s (in much the same way that FFG produced Space Hulk the card game, based on the GW board game).

We started with the intro mission which required our intrepid (but stereotyped) group of adventurers – a wizard, a cleric, a dwarf and (you guessed it) an elf, to investigate a terrible stench and resulting disease coming from the sewers on the edge of town.

We managed to battle through four areas to then get a final confrontation with the big bad – Grumpy something.

The game plays really well, with the mechanics being simple but comprehensive. We worked as a team, and although we finished up very bloodied, we were successful.

And it tells a story – putting the game somewhere between the boardgame narrative of a dungeon crawl like Descent and a full blown RPG like D&D (but without the need of either of them for an overlord/dungeon master player).

Overall then a good game, with the only downside being that with the GW-FFG split it will be out of print very shortly.

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Halo Fleet Battles gets an airing

First night back at the BAD Gamers for 2017, and Paul and Frank took Halo Fleet Battles for a try out, using the two player starter box and the Fall of Reach Campaign.

This campaign is designed to teach new players the game in a video game tutorial manner – i.e. start simple and add complexity as you progress.

We managed to play the first two scenarios, which both went to a UNSC victory. Looking back we got a fair few things wrong, but also picked up the game mechanics and unit buffs fairly quickly, so by the end mechanically the game was flowing well.

So what did we think to it?

Frank gave it a 7 out of 10. It was fun, but didn’t really grab him. HOWEVER we think this is down to the restricted nature and small forces of the early scenarios, rather than the game itself. It will shine when it’s being played with all the elements and bigger forces, giving the players more to think about, more options to consider, and more choices on what to prioritise.

Should hit the table again, and hopefully soon.

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Christmas Gaming Session

Five of us made it a long to the inaugural Christmas afternoon games session, last Wednesday (28 December)
 
We played a tough game of Last Night on Earth, with Mark H as the Zeds taking the win in the last fight of the game. If the heroes had won the that fight, the game would have gone to them
 
As ever with LNoE there were some stand out moments;
 
– The teacher, fleeing from the high school pursued by zombies and being saved by the pilot firing a signal flare into the lead zombie, from the nearby woods
– The waitress, after battling two zombies in the diner, found a lighter, turned the gas on, pushed past the zeds, and threw the lighter behind her, to blowing them (and the diner) to hell
 
Later we played Scythe, with Ben taking the victory through a fast play strategy. The rest of us (apart from Darren) had pretty much figured out what we were doing when the game ended!
 
Scythe is a good game, with both a strategic and tactical balance needed to win, and gets better the more its played.
 
We rounded out the afternoon with a couple of games of Tsuro.
 
All in all a good afternoon of gaming, hanging out with friends, and a welcome break from the seasonal festivities. Plans are to do the same for the 2017 Christmas break.

Escaping from Colditz and nostalgia

The re-imagined classic, Escape from Colditz hit the table for the end of term game, at the BAD Gamers last night. A few of us remembered it from our youth, and this new version while an improvement, still has some flaws from days of yore;
– Several times an escape officer’s turn would be spent trying to roll a double on 2D6 to get out of solitary. Dull.
– The roll and move mechanic denied Mark victory – “If I roll anything but a 3, I win”

HOWEVER, was the game fun? Did we talk about it when it was over? Yes to both – which in our experience are symptoms of a good game.

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Highlights include;

– Darren making a break for it through the Chapel tunnel, with one of his escapees sacrificing his opportunity for freedom by assaulting a guard, only to have the other escapee shot dead by another guard
– Pete sending his escapee out the front gate, straight past a guard, capitalising on the confusion caused by other escape attempts. Then capped it off by getting a now pursuing guard sent off on an errand, so that he could make good his escape
– Mark racing like a flying Dutchman to get away from a guard, failing, and then doing exactly the same escape again, and succeeding
– New guy Martin, quietly plotting away to make a break, and then stealing the win from t’other Mark thanks to Mark’s “If I roll anything but a 3” curse.

For a six player game it was ultimately a laugh. Probably not something that we’ll want to play often, but one we’ll be happy to play again.