A Study in Genius

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When gandalf said the words “I have no memory of this” he may well have been referring to the rules for a game he’s not played in over a year

Thus we found ourselves stirring the cold treacle of rules for a Study in Emerald. One I’ve spoke about before. After the requisite amount of “oh yeahs” and “I remember now’s” we were underway and I found myself playing a good and not yet insane loyalist (all hail the overlords) hoping to snatch victory from the rebel scum.

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In the game we played (four players), it become clear mid game that two others in the group were also loyalists leaving a solitary restorationist to fend for themselves and here’s where I realised just one of the reasons this game is so damn good. It’s not enough for your team to win, you really want to be the one in the lead. It’s also not going to be a win if any of your team come last (the team of the lowest scoring player is removed from the game at final scoring, no ifs buts or ah come ons). So the game becomes a case of helping your allies but not helping them Too much. I love this mechanic. It’s to the forefront in A Distant Plain and Fire in the Lake. It’s there too if you look really hard in Castle Panic. If you play with the right group (evil) it becomes a fantastic tension ratchet, more so when players threaten to take out the whole team rather than let someone else win. Couple this with the possibility of jumping teams if the right permanent effect comes up (it had) we had one hell of a game.

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I’ve played a study in emerald a dozen times now. I was lucky enough to snatch a copy of it on release, it’s never been the same game twice. There are several different mechanics working at once in this game and unlike say Warrior knights or Android all of them are integral and none of them feel bolted on.

When this game comes back for re-release in the next few months I’m going to be eyeing it up closely. A combination of Martin Wallace and Neil Gaimen has made someone sublime and one of my favorite games to date. I’m going to be running games of this at Knavecon IV and I urge you to give it a go. It’s unique, it’s fresh and it’s never the same game twice. More of this sort of thing

Huzzah!

Vic

Trees Down Thur – Being a Drax Report v1.1

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Coffee Coffee and more Coffee was the order of the evening, at least for me.  I have a coffee problem, actually I don’t I have any issues with coffee, more correct to say I have a STOP coffee problem.  In my quest for awesome coffee my radar has pinged several times to the shape of the Aerobie Aeropress coffee maker.  I finally bought one and tried it out.  It’s very impressive.

http://aerobie.com/products/aeropress.htm

If you squint at the picture you’ll see it’s effectively a large syringe that forces air and boiling water through the grinds up against a paper filter and out into your cup.  It makes damn fine coffee, way better than drip filter, it’s cheap, easy to use, easy to clean and unexpectedly it’s not a gimmick.  It does use more coffee than normal but I found I was making a pot of coffee with the machine and not drinking all of it so it balances out.  If I had a larger group of gamers I’d go back to the pot but for a few or just one this is just perfect.  so now.

Truth be told I can’t remember the actual name of the Thur, I just tend to differentiate them as best I can.  It was Thur and after a long week of travel it was time to game, we we’re not found wanting.

First up for me was a quick game of Netrunner.  It’s surprising how after nearly a dozen games I’m still not 100% there with rules.  Okay maybe it’s not.. it’s probably a good thing I’m not involved in law enforcement.

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I found myself still referring to the rules for a couple of questions.  But I’m getting there and I still prefer being the evil corporation than the runner.  surprise.

After that we had on offer some very nice new games but opted to play once again A Study in Emerald.  This game hasn’t worked for everyone, it can be over very quickly indeed if you’re not careful and some people don’t like the whole card drafting mechanic.  I think it’s awesome and the fact that it’s getting a lot of playtime speaks of it’s quality.

aSiE is a game you need to play a few times to get your head around, it’s also a game that changes every time you play it.  Thur’s game had a LOT of agents on the board, the most I’ve ever seen.  We also figured out a couple of rules we hadn’t come across before, again no surprises there.  As we become more familiar with the game we’ve started to become a lot more devious in our play, specifically in how we hide our secret faction.  I was in the dark with a couple of players as to whom they worked for up until the very end.  I was also on the losing end from the start to the finish.  I can’t imagine why but a lot of people we’re picking on me 🙂

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BUT I still enjoyed the game from start to finish.  It’s a great game from a great bunch of people and I wholeheartedly recommend it.  I’m also excited about it’s longevity, there’s a pile of mechanics like vampires and zombies that haven’t appeared or played any major part in the game YET.  Looking forward to seeing those in the future and I’m confident just like Imperial 2030 this is a game that will be hitting the table often and long into the future

 

Next up was Android Infiltration

The biggest enemy in this game is not the NPC, not the traps, but the timer. AGAIN we all, well most of us bar one sneaky player, got caught by the timer and very very quickly.  I’m not sure we’ve ever gotten to the second floor and I really am starting to think we are not cut out to be cyber thieves.

We got into FOUR rooms of a possible sixteen +, four, just four and the game ended but not before one keen player nipped out the elevator shaft and triggered more alarms and got us all arrested.  well played that cyber thief.

Android Infiltration is a nice little (and short) game.  I’m going to revisit the rules on the alarm, we keep getting hit by it, I’m sure we’re (against all odds) getting the rules wrong, we have to be.  I’d blame certain players in the group but they’re weren’t even there so I can’t.  But I will.  Great game, surprising more fun than it thought it would be.  This one is going to appear again and again I reckon

After that is was the normal warm down of Turtles, discussions on what’s going to happen at the next Knavecon and what games we want to play next

More of that sort of thing soon

Huzzah!

Vic

 

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