SO…. Who’s coming?

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https://www.facebook.com/events/162186061072223/

If you’re coming jump onboard the facebook event and let me know so we know. don’t you know.

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Knavecon 11 Grande Raffle

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Ok Knaves,

I’m delighted to announce the Knavecon 11 grande raffle,  rather than faff about here’s the first item, the out of print and hard to get

Chaos in the old world – Still in Shrink (bonus contains 9 year old unsullied air)

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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?  Well because I like you so much I’ve made it simple 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
  • 100 x raffle tickets for €20
  • Larger quantities can be arranged if you have a problem

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

2017 – 2018

What a year 2017 was for gaming. Two of the best Knavecons yet. A magnificent Knavecon on tour to the uk games expo. So many new games played. So many new sets of rules learned*. A new podcast launched “the generic boardgaming podcast”. Damn you 2017 for setting the bar so high. Just going to have to outdo it in 2018!

To all the Knaves a very happy new year and happy gaming.

“May we game a thousand years!”

Huzzah!

Vic

Never give the drummer a Mic

So for those who follow this blog you’ll have noticed I haven’t posted a whole lot in the last few weeks. That’s because I’ve been working on something completely different. And now it’s time for the big reveal

“The Generic Boardgame Podcast”

https://genericboardgame.podbean.com/e/the-generic-boardgame-1-intro/

https://genericboardgame.podbean.com/e/the-generic-boardgame-2-holiday-time/

A merciful brief podcast from Vic and my good friend Phillip from the boardgame group on all things board gaming. But mostly ramblings, back slapping, insults and opinions.

The podcast will be kept to a half hour or so and will run for the next 100 years or so

The intro is just a quick who we are and the second one is the real deal. So I hope you can join us on iTunes and all good podcast platforms for The Generic Boardgame podcast

Huzzah!

Vic

A rum cove

I had high hopes for Jamaica. I figured it would be at least as good as Pirates cove…. for sale in perfect condition Jamaica.

It’s very easy to describe a game as a kids game If it’s a bit simplistic. We do children a disservice if we do that. There are plenty of games out there that are perfect for kids but are equally good for adults. Jamaica isn’t one of them or if it is it will be short lived.

Jamaica is a lite race game where up to six players race pirate ships around the outside of the eponymous island. Each turn the first player (who cycles around each turn) rolls two dice and places them in the night and day section in the centre of the map. Players then in order pick one of their three drawn cards and activate their day and night action.

Actions can be move, increase food or increase gun powder. The amount they add is dictated by the night and day dice results so the first player has an advantage over the other stooges. The sizzle here is you only have five holds and you have to put the haul in it’s entirety into an empty hold or chuck overboard a hold’s content to make room. I can only assume this is to comply with health and safety Pirate code.

Moving to any spot on the map costs resources so landing in the open sea burns food, harbours gold and the occasional free pirates den gives you bonus treasure if you’re the first to arrive. If you land in a square and can’t pay the cost you stick on the hazards and reverse back square by square until you can.

Combat occurs no if buts or maybes If you move into a space containing another ship. Both pirates decide in advance how many plus ones to add to the dice by burning gunpowder tokens then add them to a d10 roll. Defender does likewise. Highest value wins. The map contains a couple of treasure cards that grant overly powerful reroll abilities, extra cargo space, hand size and pluses onto combat rolls along with plus and minus points at the end. The whole thing rattled on until someone passes the finish line then everyone freezes and scores bonus points for being close to or over the line.

The game is nicely produced. Colorful cartoony graphics, decent pieces and card stock. Good solid board and nice box inlay.

The problem with this game is it’s just too random. There’s no possible strategy and very limited options. I’m not against random in games but in this case you could save yourself an hour and just roll a dice each to decide the winner. Battles are hit and miss (ho ho). You could be lucky and get around the board hitting the right resources and spaces a bit like snakes and ladders. It’s crying out for a decent set or advanced rules.

All in all this is a dull affair I was nonplussed and don’t be shocked to see if for sale at the next Knavecon because you know it’s a wonderful game well worth buying

Huzzah!

Vic

Green tentacles no knickers

Cthulhu is the boy band of gaming. Add him (him?) to any game and it will sell like hot cakes.

Lovecraft letter is yet another flavor of love letter, the original small footprint card game. It’s a lavish production very similar to love letter deluxe edition. The game is beautifully produced, features oversized cards with natty card sleeves and a nice furry insert (oh err missus) and decent poke chip pieces. Art work is good and the even the box it comes in is swanky. That’s the good bit

The game allows up to eight which is neat and adds an insanity Cthulhu mechanic where you can use the more powerful insane action on some cards but risk an early shower for messing with powers man shouldn’t mess with because you know, the whole early shower thing. The insanity mechanic however Is weak sauce. It makes winning a hit and miss affair

Cards on the table? (Hi ho) this game is nothing new. It’s like a version 1.2 of the original. If you have the base game or one of it’s many skinned twins you don’t really need this unless you’re a precious fan I wanted to like the game. I figured there was a little bit more depth in here but what there is is more luck in a game that’s already luck rich and way too much sudden death. I’m a big fan of love letter. If you don’t owe it it’s well worth getting. If you want to play it with eight players and don’t have the original then go for it. It’s a looker but it’s all show and pricey. Move along. Nothing to see here

Huzzah

Vic

The Expanse

No Fur coat, all knickers. That’s the expanse. First and foremost let’s talk about the flimsy elephant in the room. This is a terribly produced game. The gameplay is fine and dandy but if it had have been printed on the back of a corn flakes box it would have been a superior product. The artwork is dull. The board and cards are too dark. The text too small and the card stock only adequate. I’m not usually one to sleeve a game but it’s essential in this case. One game in and the whole thing will look like it was played in a doctor’s surgery for ten years. I also laminated the player boards. Which are also way too small. The ship tokens are a joke. Tiddly winks would have been superior. If you buy this game you will be disappointed by the build. At €55 or so it should be WAY WAY better. Shame on Wiz Kids you could have ruined a good game. You didn’t but this game demands to be pimped out, something I’ll write about in a further post. Okay rant over.

So it’s not a looker but it does have bags of personality. The game is an area control affair. The functional map is split into three sectors. The inner planets (Earth and Mars). The belt (asteroid belt) and the outer planets Jupiter and Saturn. Each of these locations house one or more space stations. Space stations are where you place your limited influence cubes and try to out influence others come the scoring round.

There are a number of mechanics from other games in here. All of them good. A card conveyor belt like Through the Ages. Dual use event and action point cards like Twilight Struggle. Score round activation cards again like the mighty TS and a few things I haven’t seen like secret bonus scoring and card initiative.

The game itself is really quite simple. You control one of the games factions, Earth, Mars, the OPA or Protegen. If you’re not familiar with the setting I highly recommend the books and the TV Series. This is hard science fiction no teleporters, artificial gravity or warp drives. It’s all believable tech from 200 years hence.

The game is card driven. You can pick from a list of five shared cards on the conveyor. The first card is free to pick the rest cost between one and two control points (CP). CP acts as both the in game currency and your current score. I’ve always liked this way of doing things. When you pick a card you either use it’s event (if it’s applicable to your faction) or use it for it’s action points then a faction that can use that event and is next in line in initiative has the option of kicking it off. This is very similar to Twilight Struggle where as the Americans you played a Russian card for the action points but the Russian player got to use the event. With four players it makes for a very interesting set of choices. Being high up on the initiative track means you get first refusal of an event if it works for your faction but taking the action pushes you to the bottom of the initiate queue. It’s a cracking mechanic

Each player starts with a limited amount of ships which can move between orbitals that have one or more stations near them. They can place influence cubes on stations in these space stations and build new ships at their home station. That’s it. That’s all the basic actions you can do. Surprisingly there’s no fighting action everything else has to be achieved through card events.

The deck is preconfigured into three sets of cards each with two scoring cards mixed in, so a scoring round is in the post in few rounds and again and again until the sixth arrives and it’s game over. Pulling the scoring card from the conveyor of cards let’s you secretly choose one of the sectors (inner, belt, outer) as the bonus sector. These sectors when scored give extra CP. There are six bonus sector tokens two for each sector. When you pull a scoring card you pick and burn it, so pretty much every sector gets scored twice. Everyone else gets to play their turn before scoring happens btw. The bonuses increase each scoring round so towards the end it’s a race to control the most lucrative sector before the end game.

Each faction plays out a little differently, outside of not all the events being applicable to them. Each has got a special ability and each scoring round they acquire a new one. I particularly liked protogen who gets to deploy the protomolecule late in the game in two locations and wipe out nearly all life in those spots. It’s going to take multiple plays to see how each faction plays. They certainly seem true to the books. Earth being all about diplomacy and influence, Mars able military. OPA about terrorism and protogen all evil scientisty.

Holden and his crew also feature in their coming to the aid of the worse off player with some special abilities. This is another fantastic mechanic and adds to the excellent theme.

If you can get past the component build this is a cracking game. One of the best I’ve played in a long time. I highly recommend giving it a go. After one game which played out in two hours or so with the full four players I was gagging to play again.

Bad components. Great game. Stick on the sound track and get gaming

Huzzah!

Vic

Blandings

I can’t actually remember the movie Brusters Millions which is funny (I’m sure) because I have a near encyclopedic memory of movies I saw when I was a kid. So I mustn’t have seen it. Doesn’t matter. It’s been done a number of times. Your uncle has died (Hurrah!) and left an enormous inheritance that he will bequeath to his favorite nephew (it’s Victorian Times so he hates women) the one who knows how to have a good time because seemingly uncle never had fun and regretted it on his deathbed.

To be sure of whom that is he’s giving each of them a smaller but not inconsiderable sum to blow in a week or less. Since Kickstarter wasn’t around back then players will need to blow their wads on lavish meals, the opera, boat trips, property, slavery, watching lunatics and bear bating. The last three are lies but I’m checking you’re reading.

To kick off a round players pick a plan for the day from a shared selection. A plan consists of drawing a certain amount of cards, employing a certain amount of errand boys and taking a certain amount of actions.

Errand boys are send off Scrooge style to grab spots which grant you more cards, manipulate the housing market, hire sycophants, get more actions. Basically prime the pump for opening the financial flood gates if you’ll pardon the mangled metaphors .

Cards come in a number of stacks. Events which tend to be one offs like posh Meals, trips to the opera and numerous other gadding activities. Another stack of cards have either dogs, ladies, horses or chefs on them. These are used to make an event even more expensive, so going to the opera with a lady friend is more expensive than going on your own. Likewise bringing your horse for a meal or your dog on a boat trip hits you harder in the wallet.

Property forms another stack. There’s a number of different types, farms, estates, mansions and something else. The trick is to buy it when it’s expensive (you can manipulate the market a little via your errand boys) and sell when it’s worth less. With some properties you can piddle through money by letting it go to rack and ruin, employ grounds keepers or organize expensive visits to it (possibly with your lady friend, dog, horse etc all of which demand the best)

The whole sizzle of getting rid of your wad sounds on the surface gimmicky but it works really well. The game looks great, lovely artwork, decent card stock, solid pieces. The game is fairly quick depending on the number of players. However….

The lack of player interaction is a negative for me. You can pretty much take your turn while someone else is taking there’s which speaks volumes. The whole affair is a bit dry. It doesn’t get the pulse pounding when you play and all in all I found it a bit dull. I’d definitely play it again but I’m in no mad hurry to

What Ho!

Vic

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