Do not go gentle 

I like Dead of Winter. I don’t LOVE the game. It’s good. It’s very good but there’s so many very good games out there this game often gets overlooked. Enter Dead of winter long night. Last Thur to be precise. It’s a stand alone expansion. Let’s be more accurate. It’s Dead of Winter 1.5. 
It can be played with the first version but I didn’t see a reason to. It’s already got all the elements of the original with a number of extra rules and locations added on. I say added because it doesn’t feel like a bolted on expansion. It feels like a revised version of the base game. 


Everything from the base game is there but there’s just more to do. If you’re not familiar with Dead of Winter. It’s a semi coop with a possible traitor in there. Every player starts with a secret agenda they need to complete to win the game for themselves. They also have to win the group objective drawn at the start. Usually these individual agendas don’t conflict terribly with the group objective unless you draw the traitor objective and you want the group to fail. In which case it is as ever oodles of fun. 
The game sees players protecting their compound, trying to gather resources and control zombie incursions over a number of turns until they complete their mission. It’s set in Winter and frostbites as well as zombie ones are a constant danger. Like every zombie game it looks straightforward at the start then something unexpected happens, it all goes pear shaped and half of you are zombie chum with a mission still to do. 


The map is made up of a central compound and a number of key locations nearby like the police station, school, library and so on each containing resource cards and themed to that location so you’re more likely to find weapons in a police station than a library and so on (or at least I don’t think it’s set in America). 
Ok that’s the base game in a nutshell what long night adds is extra benefits and hazards. A new location Raxxon corporation has been added. These rascals are the ones responsible for the zombie outbreak in the first place and what’s worse their location needs to be minding or it spits out nasty weaponized zombies like hunters and witches. These are much harder to kill and more bitey and stabby than the normal Zees. The flip side of raxxon is searching there can turn up super weapons like plasma shields and warp cannons (actual names may vary). 


Another feature is the bandits. These turn up and stand around like father stone at various locations and if a player gets kicked out of the compound for being a dickish traitor they get to use these guys for their own gain. The bandit hideout is another visitable spot that accumulates face up cards which can be pilfered. 
All in all I found long night good. Not excellent. I forgot how many tokens and cards were in this game. A few more have been added. 
The new features were fun but some of them like the experimental weapons seemed a bit overpowered and finding them was luck so by extension these added more luck to the game which I’m not for. The key question would be should I get this if I own the original? I wouldn’t but the only way to see if it’s a fit for you is try it at Knavecon. If I didn’t own Dead of Winter and wanted it. I’d definitely go with long night. As I said it’s like version 1.5. A fine game improved on average by this release
Huzzah!
Vic 

Despite all my rage

Hamsterolle sounds like something hilariously funny you could order for lunch in a hipster bistro. It is in fact more like an infinite game of jenga.  
The upoyumous hamsterolle is a wooden hoop about 50 cm across and about 10cm wide. A scale mode of Halo if you will. In the inside of it are a dozen or so uprights and when the game starts the black cone or spike of Doom as it was named by my 5yr old is placed in the center and a direction of roll picked. Don’t worry it doesn’t shoot off the table. Gravity is our friend for once here. 


Players start with a selection of New Order True Faith pieces and have to take it in turns to place one of them going away in one direction around the inside of the hoop on a Ledge where the previous player placed one of theirs or on a higher ledge up. They can pass too. Passing is a tactic. If they get rid of all their pieces first they win. If pieces fall off while they’re placing they have to take them (after a few requisites swears and mutters).
It’s piddly simple. That said it’s not without skill and I’d be pushing it if I said strategy since the only strategy is to get rid of your bits faster than your opponent but tactics center around getting rid of one of your pieces and making it difficult for the next person. The ol’ shitting in the hot bunk ploy so often used. 


Games are pretty fast. Five or ten minutes maybe. There is a fantastic one more go element to it. The game is a looker. It will attract people in for sure at a convention because it looks so different. The pieces are nice and Germanic chunky. It’s a sweet game to play. It’s also a big game. The box is a half size again above most Fantasy Flight games. 
I’m curious to see how it goes in Knavecon but I reckon it will attract a lot of curious gamers
Interesting game, try it on the 4th March
Huzzah!
Vic 

Knavecon Raffle Pt 6

Now adding the following to the Raffle, what is it?

Don’t forget in there too we have

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MORE TO FOLLOW

SO! how do I get tickets early and beat the rush on the day and benefit from the 2 for 1 offer before the friday before the Knavecon?  Simples just paypal my Swiss bank account at

victorgannon@yahoo.com

Prices are currently

  • 2 x raffle tickets for €1
  • 20 x raffle tickets for €7
  • 50 x raffle tickets for €12

Should you feel inclined, feel free to pre-book your tickets for the event too.  Tickets will be available on the door on the day as usual.  It’s going to be a busy con!

  • Adults €18
  • Students and unwaged €10
  • Accompanied Children Free

Huzzah!

Vic

We’re Hiring !

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Due to the high turn over of staff we’re once again in the market for someone to help out with Knavecon on the 4th.  It’s a paid gig with pretty much no advancement prospects.  So if you’re interested in working with a dynamic team of intelligent, motivated, mentors you’re shit out of luck.

Apply on Facebook messenger

Huzzah!

Boss Vic

Knavecon Raffle pt 5

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Once again ZOOKY MODEL’S will be offering their services to pimp your minis.  Diarmuid has generously donated a prize to the raffle of a minis makeover of your chosen minis (not your entire warhammer army). Have a look at the great stuff he does at the con and if you’re lucky enough to win be the envy of your “friends” with fully painted minis. Wow the girls/fellas. Delight onlookers.  Let your opponents know you’re not to be messed with.  Remember for all your painting needs ZOOKY.  Tis a quare name but it’s great stuff

https://www.facebook.com/ZookysModels/

Huzzah!

Vic

 

Rise of the Cyber gamer

I haven’t done this in a while, but I’m delighted to have  a guest writer do an article on what is a very interesting subject.  Boardgaming online.  I’ve been a fan of VASSAL for a long time but haven’t delved into the newer online stuff.  So whom better to speak about it but Leon Kelly who’s been playing quite a bit with a couple of regular knaves and ne’er-do-wells from the interwebs.  Here’s his take….

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Digitally playing board games? Hersey I say, Hersey
This is sometimes the reaction you hear from people when you mention playing some of your favourite board games online, surely this goes against the point of a board game? So one of the main reason I play games is that I enjoy the social aspect of it, the jokes about that last game you played or how such and such is always a Cylon etc. It’s an activity that doesn’t revolve around just drinking in a pub with the exception being Knavecon 8 where copious drinks were required to just get through the stress (and backstabbing) of a 6 player game of AGOT the board game…..Yes Mike king in the north and all that…..Go Canada!

However sometimes it’s hard to schedule a time that suits everyone to play a game and that’s where online playing of a board game comes in. Today I’m going to focus on Tabletopia as (A) it’s the one I have used the most and (B) we would be here all day if I was to mention all the others. Tabletopia is a virtual sandbox for board games with free to play with premium versions available ($9.99 P/M) and works on PC/Mac. Its 100% officially backed by the game designers so unlike Tabletop Sim where a “moder” workshop and community exists the games have all the official artwork of the finished product (most of the time). 300+ games already exist including some of my favourites like Champions of Midgard, Villages of Valeria & Scythe.

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I have used the premium version of Tabletopia as well as the “fermium” and both have worked flawlessly, yes the occasional drop out of a person in a game has occurred etc but that’s more peoples WiFi connection rather  than the programs fault.

The in game chat function works very well however my gaming group tends to use Teamspeak as it provides the most clear connection that is extremely stable. As soon as you enter one of the many current titles on Tabletopia and select from the broad range of online players to have a game with via its handy lobby system or add your steam friends directly, the game board replicates itself in virtual space so no large set up required which is great for some games, let’s use Scythe as an example as I’ve played it multiple times online and in the “real world”.

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One of the best things about this system is that the rulebook is also replicated in digital format on the left hand side so you have access to this and it allows for you to learn the game and its phases not just tell you what to do. Interestingly enough I purchased Scythe but it was online where I had my first games with friends and we all learnt the system which meant when we played the “real version” everything was so much faster and smoother.

The pan, tilt, pick, flip, roll and all of the controls you use are obvious to any pc user and a neat controls page within the game explains how to do them all.  All the images including the cards, boards, rulebook and more are created in extreme high detail so everything looks fantastic.

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The physics based engine that runs the system allows for the game to feel more “real” as you pick pieces and stack them or hide cards and coins in your private digital “hand” space and all of this capable in a system that’s free! Yes premium allows for unlimited games to be played at once or gives you access to some expansions of games or extra games but the joy of Tabletopia is that only one member of the party needs this and invites all his friends to join him.

Another fun aspect of this online system is that you can have something like YouTube running in the background not effecting other players. I like to get into the theme of a game and a good friend of mine had the great idea of sending us all a link to a playlist of classical Russian music and WOW did it add to the theme of playing Scythe, and best yet players that preferred to not listen to music didn’t have to, it was my own personal “mod” to the experience.

I mean this system allows me to play games with my uncle in cork, me in Dublin, my Friend in London and others from all over Ireland at the click of a mouse……… so what’s the catch?

Well there isn’t one really. I mean it’s free what do you have to loose, download it via steam so give it a go. What I will say for its cons which aren’t many and are kind of obvious, is that it can never beat the “real thing”.

Those eyes of death another player gives you when you attack him to backstab your alliance, or the hysterics from a table when a young child assassinates the “secret hitler” just when we were going to win because he listened to his dad and never trusted Jimmy, can never be replicated in digital space. Games that require diplomacy or something like Sheriff of Nottingham where bluffing and bull**it are part of the game just don’t work online not just Tabletopia. Having a small pool of games is limiting Tabletopia at the moment but if the likes of Fantasy Flight, Asmondee or Z Man games were to get involved this system could become phenomenal due to the detail Tabletopia put into these digital sandbox recreations.

Overall Tabletopia is a well-polished system that’s enjoyable to play and as it’s free what’s the harm give it a go and see what you think! See ya online fellow Knaves…..

 

To quote someone I now consider a friend through a mutual appreciation of board games.

Huzzah!

Leon

 

 

 

Cards Agin Humanity

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The problem with Cards Against Humanity is after several games it can become a bit stale…

We can’t have that !

I’ve ordered 900 new cards for the game so we now have

  • The Base Game
  • Expansions 1-6
  • The new Red Expansion
  • The new Blue Expansion
  • The new Green Expansion

That should make for one hell of a game come Knavecon 9 !

Huzzah!

Vic