Fantasy gaming to the fore

Descent continued its journey towards the end of the campaign with part two of the Wyrm Turns scenario. This saw the (so called) heroes try and stop the Overlord’s minions escape from the dungeon with the Red Dragon Skull.
Despite Overlord Frank now playing with a little more organisation (he has a spreadsheet!) allowing him to target the heroes more effectively, the heroes continued their drive to complete the campaign with no losses. But it was a closer run thing than many of the proceeding adventures (the magic of Excel?), with one dice roll probably deciding it. On the positive side, for the Overlord, the heroes didn’t get much loot from the dungeon (cue Evil laugh).

The crew then moved onto the fun pre-programmed wild west themed game, Colt Express, which saw the wacky fight for the loot on the train. Always a fun story and inevitably, why doesn’t this hit the table more often.

On the other table a four way game of Frostgrave raged on with Olly, Mark and Chris taking new comer Andrew through the streets of Felstad.
This is always a fun game, with a D20 mechanic that can both make and ruin a Wizard’s day. Couple it to the fantastic terrain collection that the crew have, and its also a good looking game.

Next week there is no meeting of the BAD Gamers as the School Play is on. But we’ll be back on July 4 with games of The Walking Dead: All out War, and D&D the adventure board game to name a few

 

 

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.

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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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.

Last Night on Earth: Salvage Mission

A firm favourite at the BAD Gamers is the boardgame Last Night on Earth. A story driven game, with a roll and move mechanic, and a zombie movie theme, it never fails to deliver a great time, with experiences being retold many times over.

On this occasion the brave (stupid?) heroes had landed their plane on the outskirts of Timber Peak, up in the forest and mountains. Their goal was to search for the rumoured super zombie behemoth and kill it to get samples. While chemistry teacher Mr Goddard and Alice the waitress searched the buildings around the airfield for supplies, veterans, Jake Cartwright and Sally started searching for the behemoth.

It didn’t take long for the Zed’s to appear, and they headed for the airfield drawn by the sound of the plane landing, no doubt. Meanwhile Jake and Sally made good progress in their searches, picking up both supplies and event cards, while narrowing down the location of the big one.

Sadly, Alice, while holding off a wave of zombies was killed when the building she was in caught fire. Luckily, a train drew into the town shortly after, carrying Jake’s old friend from Woodinvale, Sheriff Anderson, who rapidly joined in the search (what are the chances?)

With the airfield on fire, the zombies beginning to swarm, and time running out, things were not looking good for the heroes. But, in the best tradition of B-movies, at this point, Sally, the high school girl, came across the super behemoth near the cliff edge in the forest. In what was a David v Goliath match up, Sally emulated the biblical hero, side stepping the behemoth’s attacks and flooring it with several sharp blows that sent it tumbling off the cliff to its demise. Quickly descending the cliff, Sally grabbed the samples, and started to race back to the airfield.

Now the race was on. Could the heroes get to the plane, and escape before the zombies could finish them off? Hell yes. In spite of the raging fires around the airfield, Jake, Mr Godard and Sally got to the plane (with Sheriff Anderson heading back to the train), and started the take off procedure. All were wounded, and sadly fate would play one more card, as the plane pulled up into the heavens, young Sally succumbed to her wounds*.

And so ended another GREAT adventure and once again proved why Last Night on Earth is such a favourite at the club

*Sad as this was, especially given Sally’s achievements, Jake and Mr Goddard had no compunction in throwing her body out of the plane. You never can tell who will turn, so better safe than sorry.

 

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