After Knavecon Thur – Being a Drax Report


I’m not ALWAYS a Cylon when I play Battlestar Galatica BUT I always want to be and when I am people tend to remember because I revel in it.  So last night.. Well I was a cyclon.  HAPPY DAYS!

Just like werewolf being a Cylon is great fun especially if you’re an evil fecker who likes to ruin people day.  What’s not to like?

If you haven’t played this game it’s based on the TV series which is several years old now but still crackin Sci Fi.  I’m going to start on the basis that you KNOW BSG and go from there.

Each player takes a character from the series, each with some special traits and during their turn they take a good action then have to take a bad action which everyone else tries to help them with…. UNLESS they’re a cylon in which case they want to screw up and make happen that bad action.

Obviously no one knows who the bad guys are but during the game they may deduce it and of course it’s all about paranoia and mistrust.  What’s really cool is half way through the game is people get additional loyalty cards and may or may not become a cylon.

The game does a fantastic job of matching the series and racking up the tension.  last nights game was particularly close being one a step or two from winning for the humans against some tough odds but… they didn’t.  They lost and it was mighty 🙂

I love this game, I love the series and it’s still a cracker after a number of years.  There’s been no less than 3 expansions released the latest one only recently.  I’ve had the pleasure of playing the first one “Pegasus” which introduces extra boards, a second battlestar and a host of new play mechanics.  It does lengthen a game that already is hefty if you don’t keep it rolling around, but it improves an already excellent game so it’s worth the time.  The second and third I haven’t tried yet but it will happen.

I thoroughly recommend this game.  It’s a fantasy flight game so very good build quality and artwork.

More of this and I’m sure next time I won’t be a cylon….



Stormy Thur – Being a Drax Report

It wasn’t actually called Stormy Thur but It’s late and I’m not checking my mail so with that in mind it’s back to 1888 for more MURDER MOST FOUL!  it’s Letters from Whitechapel

I’ve had an interest in this game for a long time and wanted to like it, so it’s great that I do like it. a lot.

As I said last week it’s a bit like Dracula but it’s simpler but it’s in no was less of a game.  In fact it’s a damn fine game on par with the Fury of Dracula.

Last week I was caught short, in the middle of my second murder (jack has to complete 4 to win) and each gets tougher to complete as the police start to close in on his hideout.  So this week a new Jack replaced me (a man used to wearing black) and boy did he lead us a merry chase!

It would have been charitable to describe the investigative team as bumbling.  the first murder happened quick sharp and jack we had NO clue where he was.  We attempted to up our game by using cheesy quotes from cop shows but even this bold step didn’t help.

Murder two happened quickly and the mayor was chewing me a new ass when we started to get a clue as to where the coffee cups in the kitchen were.   I was going to crack this case if it cost me my badge

Murder 3 (a double header) kicked off and we had at this stage used most of the clichés.  It was desperate times so we applied more brainpower to the problem and despite me getting the backup to move in and let jack free we eventually caught up to him and it came down to a 50/50 shot for him to make it to his hideout.  he lost, we won.  Brilliant detective work all around and much back slapping

Fun little game, well worth the entry fee.  It’s a definite btw for Knavecon

In a repeat of last Thur and a need to do better we washed the first game down with a Notre Dame Chaser

It’s pure worker placement with a certain amount of cock-blockery.  It’s a better game than it appears and the whole plague thing is great fun.  Can’t bate rats for entertainment.

Last week I lost on 58 points with the winner (drax) /spits on ground  getting 59

This week, he RACED ahead with a neat set of points from supporting the church early on and often.

There’s going to be a third game of this and next time it will be different (He’ll probably beat me worse and I’ll burn the game and bury the ashes)

I have a hankering for Struggle of Empires.  Once I figure out the rules (HA!) We’ll have a lash of that, maybe even next thur




Thur Most Foul – Being a Drax Report

“He’s Hardly gone back to the scene of the crime to hide in plain site has he?”. Thus ended my promising career as Jack the Ripper in the game Letters from Whitechapel

It’s a deduction game in the vein of Curse of Dracula (highly recommended) and Scotland Yard (no idea).  One player takes the role of Jack and has to commit a number of heinous murders whilst the others take the roll of the police and try to apprehend him

Jack has to be sneaky (check) and resourceful (check) and more importantly in last nights game sneak past the Sauron like view of inspector Drax (no check).

I’m a huge fan of Fury of Dracula having played it many times and always enjoyed it.  Although the rule book looks daunting this is a simpler affair but no less fun for that.  Apart from the theme it could be easily played by youngies so maybe scotland yard which is quite similar could be substituted for this.

It’s a cracker of a game.  It’s brain meltingly hard for the police who are constantly scanning for traces of jacks movements or where his hideout might be (he has to return there after each murder).  I got to play Jack and I loved it, sneaking, backtracking, leading the police in the wrong direction, epic stuff.

The game is back in print with some minor tweaks (not to the rules) and it’s definitely one that will be replayed again and again, like say next thur

After my swift demise it was a revisit to Notre Dame

No not that Notre Dame, the other one

Notre Dame is pure worker placement.  I liked it when I played it first and I like it a bit more.  I did NOT like scoring 58 points and having Drax score 59.  That aside it’s still a nice solid game, a little different and it certainly need a number of plays before you get the swing of how it works and more importantly what’s going to come up.  Like Whitechapel this one will definitely make a reappearance , losing by 1 point aside it’s a very interesting game, theme works and it’s the right length of time to play.  I like it, not as much as Whitechapel but I still like it

More of this sort of thing next thur I say



Outdoor Thur – Thur – Being a Drax Reporte

Since there’s no sign of the wasps it seemed appropriate to play HIVE

Hive is very neat little chess like game, but with fewer pieces and fairly simple rules.  It’s also very portable and robust.  Perfect little game for a caravan or tent (although these are not essential), great one to bring on holidays out foreign and sit out on your balcony with along with a drink and bad light



The theme is very well done, it’s all about a swarm of insects trying to surround each others queen whilst protecting their own.  So capture the flag with insects.  Recommend it,  it’s also cheap.

Next up was a favourite of mine since I borrowed it and didn’t return it



This is very much Rock/Scissors/Lizard/Spock/Paper type game.  It’s two player, fast moving and surprisingly good.  you fill various spots on the board with your cards grabbing points, but also setting up the next player to grab the cards you just placed.  It’s simple, fast and I sometimes win.

next up as old favourite


One of our gamers had never played it.  What never played it? seriously? never played catan? Despite asking this a number of times it turns out he had still not played it in the past so there was nothing for it but to the catan box and play a game of it.  he won as it turned out…. ah well


Catan is a great little game, it was a great game when it came out a decade back and it remains good in person on the smart phone (although that cheats), online.  it’s just a simple neat game and it’s one you really should play if you haven’t like john.  what you’ve NEVER played it? never? ah come on….

More of that next thur





Winning Legend Thur – Being a Drax Report

It’s a rare thing for me to win a game let alone ALL the games in a night.  Some people may claim a mistake in the rules but we all played by it and haters have got to hate 🙂 But I digress

First up was



I swapped, well let’s be honest I pawned off a game of mine (silk road) for this and letter of Marque.  Never trust a gamer. Doubly so if you think you’re getting two for one.  Sultan is a simple bidding game where you attempt to score points for bidding with a limited set of ‘coins’ for various valued gems.  get sets of them and they become worth more.  it’s a plain and simple filler game.  it’s quick and if you can be bothered card counting you have an advantage.  BORING.  it may never see the table again.  oh If I’m swapping it to you, it’s a GREAT game, well worth swapping something for 🙂

photo (11)

Next up was

Lords of Waterdeep.

photo (12)

Lords of Waterdeep is a VERY good game. Having played it a half dozen times I’m eager to play it again.  For some reason the gods (one of the one that probably likes me) gave me good luck in this one and I was able to sneak ahead and stay there pretty much to the end.  Usually I lose this game so I think I took the group by surprise by sneaking ahead and they probably thought it was a fluke.  it wasn’t 🙂

Great game, I’ve spoken about it a before

Get this game it’s a winner.

Finally we decided to have a crack at


I had read the rules carefully for this so we had no idea how to play it and having handed the rules over to Drax and put on more coffee we shakily made our way into the game.  Notre Dame is a worker placement game in the classic euro sense.  You attempt to gain as much influence as possible (score) through a variety of methods.  Placing workers in your boroughs and hiring professionals to assist you (sets of which change round by round).  The big negative is rats (the plague) which you have to control before they overun and reduce your influence.  It’s a lovely little game

Card Counting – YES

Worker Placement – YES

Rats – YES

All those who took part (and lost to me) were eager for more of the same (apart from the losing to me bit), never a bad sign

photo (13)

so I reckon next thur we’ll be visiting notre dame.  Practically no quasimodo jokes were harmed in the playing of the game




Sudden Death Thur – Being a Drax Report

2-4 Players can often be just like the pirate code a Guideline rather than a rule.  We proved that to be the case with Bloodbowl Team Manager – Sudden Death Last night.



But before that could happen we had to have a few warm ups whilst the players assembled

First up was ZOMBIE DICE with the expansion

I ordered this for my son who’s a fan of the game and it’s GREAT fun.  adds a surprising amount to a simple game.  The expansion itself is three dice

The Hunk – Features double shotguns and double brains

The Hottie – Runs away a lot but still packs a punch

Santa – Gifts for all the zombies in the audience

Each of these ‘characters’ can rescue each other should they be brained and the game becomes a little (not much) tactical.  If you have the original, you need this expansion

I ordered it via Parcel Motel (more on that in another post) and it cost €6 including postage. So great value

Next up was….

Letter of Marque.



Since trading for this at the last Knavecon, I’ve wanted to like it.  it’s got ships. so I should like it.  After several games last night I DO like it.  It’s a good little filler and after a few games we started to learn the subtleties of it.  It’s simple it’s fun it’s a good filler. no more no less



NOW twas time for the meat in the sandwich.

Sudden Death.

I’ve been warming to Bloodbowl Team Manager and this expansion adds more of the same to it.  That’s not a bad thing.  There’s three new teams  Vampires, Undead and Dark Elves.  The first two were trotted out last night and both proved great fun.

Undead are all about regeneration (if you can roll the dice)

and Vampires are all about gaining blood points for attacks which increase they’re star power  (no connection with super mario)

We played it six player, bypassing all safety protocols and it proved to be very nice indeed despite a longer game.  We played three rather than four rounds and it rounded out the evening nicely (before more zombie dice)


The Expansion doesn’t add a whole lot of new rules, the rule book for it is a four pager.

It does add extra match ups, extra events and a few more powers for the existing races.

I would have liked to have seen more but it’s a fine expansion and there were no complaints from the group.  The game is straining for a few more expansions and I can’t see Fantasy Flight leaving us too long before there’s another.

All in all a good fun game as good as the original.

Evening rounded out with some more zombie dice and the threat of Tichu but we were all a bit sensible and left it with dice

More of that next Thur

Thanks for those who prebooked for Knavecon




a bit of THIS thur night – Being a Drax Report


Have I read the rules? Of COURSE I’ve read the rules.  I don’t REMEMBER any of the rules but I’ve read them.  a common enough theme for a gaming night.  I was shocked at how much I forgot about Bloodbowl Team Manager, but help was on hand

It was summer, we had a smallish group and young Borys had brought Augustus

“It’s up for a speil award”

“it’s a bit like bingo”

“how long does it take?”

“30 mins”

“bang it out so”

Augustus plays a bit like Stone Age if you can remember that.  Each person gets a set of three which have a number of icons on them.  One person draws random icons cards from the bag and everyone tries to match them up.  If they fill their card they shout out “AVA CEASER!” and collect a reward either in score or extra ability or a bit of feck up your neighbours plans.  Now this is the way it’s supposed to work however the group being the mature people they are couldn’t help but shout out BINGO! when they completed a card or “BINGO MAXIMUS!”.  Once you complete a card you get another one from a communal picking track in the centre and you rinse and repeat. First one to seven stops the game and you count up your score.  There’s shades of Stone Age, little bit of Settlers and it’s grand and dandy. There’s a little bit more choice wise to increase your score and decisions to be made.  NOT a huge amount of cock blockery which is a pity.  I’m not a fan of solitaire type games.


Not a fantastic game, not a bad game.  A very good kids game I reckon.  I’d play it again definitely but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it.   We couldn’t see it winning awards but what do we know


Next up was…


Blood bowl Team Manager.  Now I must admit I didn’t remember a whole lot of rules for this game. I THOUGHT it would come back to me but it didn’t so I punched the game and JUST as we were assembling the dials fortune shined on us.  A passing gamer and his son who knew the game inside and out from many rainy days play dropped by to say hi and coached us in this nice little game.

Bloodbowl Team Manager is a clever little game in the style of Iliad.  You have a limited amount of player cards and you try and score as highly as possible in a match to carry off the prize.  It’s a funny one insofar as it’s difficult to explain but once you’ve played a game it sinks in and you can play away without issue after that.

We’re BIG fans of Bloodbowl (we’ve a new big league of the computer version just kicking off) and this captures the spirit of the game nicely without becoming bogged down in the long game.  It’s fairly short (If I can stop talking long enough to take my turn), it feels like bloodbowl, the production quality of the game is excellent and it’s very much a direct in your face game…… and for some reason I still can’t warm fully to it.  I don’t know what it is but I should love this game and yet it falls short for some reason.  Not sure why.  I think it’s a blip I need to play it more and I’ll tell you what, I REALLY want to get my hands on the expansion.

I recommend this game.  It’s pretty cheap for a boardgame, it’s got quite a bit of variety and it’s clever. nicely different to other games.  I have a hankering to play it again so I reckon we’ll be seeing a lot more of this and the expansion soon

More of this sort of thing



Conclave Eve Thur – Being a Drax Report


Had a small group on Thur so we played those games you never get a chance to play normally.  In this case we got to play


For some reason ‘got to catch them all’ keeps coming to my head when I see the adverts for this game but it couldn’t be further from the reality.  Quarriors is a fair bit like Dominion with Dice

Possibly a bit unfair but there you go.  I LIKE dice games.  I like liar’s dice, I really like roll through the ages and I WANT to like Quarriors but it’s doing a damn fine job of evading my love.  Granted we had too few to really give it a lash but it doesn’t seem to scale that well.  I reckon it’s a full cast or no game.

Just like Dominion you start with two ‘hands’ of dice, this time in a bag, representing money.  you draw six dice roll them and depending on what turns up you pay ‘qudditiy’ (gold) to power them or use your GOLD to buy creatures and enhancements.  it then becomes a bit like Magic the Gathering where you attack your opponent and they defend possibly sacrificing their creatures.

Creatures surviving a round score glory (points) and the first to a set point target wins.  it’s all harmless fun and the skill is in picking a winning strategy whilst defending against your opponent.  NOW here’s the thing, I reckon we must be missing something because it’s all a bit weak.  you build the biggest creatures you can afford and attack your enemy.  Rinse and repeat.  Fastest to get to the highest score wins.  There was a distinct lack of strategy in this game so I’m going to hold off my opinion (It sucks) for now.  As I said I like dice games (this one sucks) and want to like this so watch this space.




Now THIS is more like it.  I must admit I had no idea about it outside of the fact that it was a 4x game and it had spaceships in.  As the saying goes, you had me at spaceships.

Ascending Empires is a very different game.  You move around the map land troops, conquer planets, fight battles, carve out an empire.  All standard stuff but movement of the ships is achieved by flicking your little round ships.  If they collide with an enemy both ships die, if you outnumber your opponents ships within a certain range you destroy him.

Ships can be converted to troops to land on a planet, to build structures and to summon more troops.  Structures can be used to score end game points or allow research of better stuff.

I LOVE this game.  its simple, the flicking mechanic works perfectly.  The board could be better.  The joins between sections are a bit iffy in places and can affect your flick but it didn’t when we played it.

I’m going to bring this to Conclave (and possibly everywhere I go) and show it off.  It’s a cracker and I’m surprised it didn’t make a bigger splash when it was released.

It’s no longer in print but there’s a few copies out there so you’ll get it secondhand easily enough.

So after Conclave tomorrow it’s back to thur and more Huzzahs



Conclave 2013


I’ll be making an appearance at Conclave 2013 in Thomand Park this year (15th June).  Looks like it’s going to be a good one.  I’ll be there from 2pm onwards on Saturday running a number of board and card games.  If anyone’s about give me a shout


My Thur Rages on – Being a Drax Report

Spartacus a big favourite of the group (and more importantly me) was supercharged on Thur with the addition of the first expansion for it “The Serpents and the Wolf”


The group had been watching this with anticipation so when it was released we pounced on it like a starving cat in a lifeboat.  first up, it’s good, it’s very nice indeed.  This is definitely worth getting and they’re giving away a promo card (or two) with it.

I’d put money on it (not mine) that if they reprint the original this would be included, it screams “should have been in the original box but we were saving money to make the base version popular”

For your dolla you get two new dominus (it’s now six player), a stack of new gladiators and slaves, some very small rule additions and most importantly the ability to field teams of two v two.  THIS is the whole sizzle of the expansion and not wanting to wait I forced the first match to be a 4 player.

The rules are that if your influence is 10 or over you can call a Primus (a 4 player) and an intrigue card can force this too.  it makes for some very hairy races to the finish.

The game plays a tiny bit slower and you tend to analyse the 4 player moves a bit more carefully but it doesn’t slow it by much and I believe you would be back up to normal speed for the game pretty quickly.  Because of how the game works even with six (and we had six on thur) it doesn’t leave people waiting too much, we flew through intrigue and market.  With six in the running anything can happen.

The only thing I was unsure about was you can’t stab your team mate in the back unless you have a specific gladiator but I think a house rule would fix that.  We’re ALL about the backstabbing on thur nights 🙂

This is a cracker of an addition.  if you’re a fan of the original it’s pointless me saying but GO get this. it’s well worth the entrance fee. Oh yes and it’s NOT suitable for kids but it says that clearly on the box (as I’m sure an actress may have said to a Bishop)


a few rounds of Zombie Dice rounded out the evening.  I didn’t win that either but I’ll still



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