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”

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/134466/spartacus-the-serpents-and-the-wolf-expansion-set

spart

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)

spart2

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

Huzzah!

Vic

Zombie Dice

zombie

Have been trying to find games I can play with my 5 year old (have to think of the next generation of gamers) and I think this could be a hit

1. it’s cheap €12

2. It’s easy to play

3. It’s quick

4. It’s got Zombies in

More importantly he’s OK with the fact that the players will be the zombies in the game. He inquired and  I had no idea why zombies LIKE brains but he didn’t press the matter.

If you haven’t played zombie dice it’s a very simple push your luck filler game.  Well worth a look.  It’s also out on iOS but that doesn’t capture the whole feel of the dice.

 

Thur Night Gaming – Being a Drax Report

Constantinople (Not Istanbul) was the weapon of choice on Thur night thanks to one of the Tue night crew and a damn fine game it was too, but before that there had to be a warm-up,  Incan Gold.  Some gamers forget to mentally stretch beforehand and this can lead to confusion and general malaise in the game proper.  Take my advice, always warm up with a simple game beforehand to get the ol’ brain spinning up to playing speed.  Right Incan gold. Boy of Boy It really is a weak game.  Even as a filler it just raises it’s head above Letter of Marque 🙂

incan

With our resident archaeologist all present we figured he’d take an early lead and as he explained one of the biggest issues with working on road projects just like Incan gold are the ever present dangers of zombies, giant spiders and rockfalls.  We had always figured this to be the case however it was great to hear it from a professional and everyone nodded sagely and muttered ‘damn zombies’ before starting.

Well it ran for a few turns and someone won.  can I be more specific? sure it was one of the lads who won and it happened before now. Enough of that it was time for Constantinople and I won’t be stopped

constantinopolis_1

The first thing you notice about Constantinople is the spelling and the fact that it’s not actually CALLED Constantinople.  This in my opinion is clever but let’s not dwell on this.

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/31483/constantinopolis

Constantinopolis as they insist on calling it is Puerto Rico for grown ups.  Don’t get me wrong I love Puerto Rico, it’s been good to me and mine but this is better and that’s damn close to burning heretic talk.

 

constant

(the Mars bar was a prop and not a part of the game per se)

Being a Fantasy Flight there are many many fine pieces to it and the built quality if very nice indeed.  It’s a semi solo game with a certain amount of cock blockery but the real skill is in managing your resources and scoring points and this is where it’s fun.  Every point is hard won and there’s a lot of tension from start to finish where you every so slowly edge past your opponent (Drax, always Drax).  Since this was our first game a lot of the strategy was lost on us but that didn’t matter, the game is a joy to play and I’m eager to play it again.

I have to say we’ve been having quite the run of good games and this is just another example with classic written all over it.

The game itself? oh it’s standard fair, you gains resources, stick em on ships and try and ship them, scoring points as you go but several routes all of the valid can help you on your quest.  There’s a lovely flow to the game, for me it reminded me of Puerto Rico certainly but also through the ages and one or two others I can’t put my finger on.  This is a damn fine game, it’s also fiver player not bad thing at all.

Definitely gets two thumbs from me

Huzzah!

More of that Next Thur

Sunny Thur Gaming – Night of Horror- Being a Drax Report

inns

Well we finally got to play Mansion of Madness after several Thursdays of false starts and it was as good as I had hoped and more. The Mansions of Madness is a very nice model/map game set in the HP Lovecraft universe. 1920’s, unspeakable horrors from beyond, maniacs, tommy guns, hats. It’s got it all. The game itself in essence is a dungeon romp in the tradition of heroquest and it’s ilk but it’s very clever and the setting is magnificent.

photoz

Unlike say the excellent role playing game, this is competitive with the GM trying to kill/drive insane the investigators whilst the investigators are trying to solve the mystery against the clock. The game contains a lot of clever ideas and unlike some others games like this none of these are superfluous or counter productive. Despite being story driven the game has a fantastic replay value. Each of the six scenarios that come with the games have multiple branches so it’s quite possible to play the same scenario over and play a very different game.

A lot of thought has gone into this game and it’s obvious from the start. Like all FF games the quality is superb. like all FF games there are a LOT components, in the case of MOM there are a L O T of components and separating them out is a chore. Once bagged and tagged there is NO air in the game box.

The rules are excellent, straightforward and fast. The one thing against it is the setup time. It took us a LONG time to setup however if we all shut up talking shite (we could hardly do that) and got on with it I’d say we’d be up and going in under a half hour. what IS nice in setup is the invetigators have to setup the map whilst the GM sets up the pieces within.

SO how did it go?

The investigators stumbled in the house of lynch learning the rules as they went (which turned out simpler than we thought) and immediately did the thing demanded of all horror movies/games. Split up and go separate ways (possibly with candles and night dresses). Within a very short time axe weilding manics, zombies and other assorted bad stuff was all over them like a Brian. In fact one luckless investigator was like a maniac magnet, you couldn’t leave him alone in a room for five minutes to search but an axe wielding maniac would splinter the door and come for him. Despite the best efforts by the GM (me) to drive them mad, hack them to death I was unsuccessful but more importantly so were they and the time ran out for them and in the case of the scenario I picked that was all she wrote for the hapless investigators. Queue Thunder and Lightning and manic laughter.

Overall this is a fantastic game, definitely one of the better games I’ve played in a long time. We seem to be having quite the run of good games lately with Spartacus, Waterdeep and this.

More of this sort of thing I say

and now that I’ve learned the rules (mostly)

It’s going to be hitting the table again soon

Hail Cthulhu !

madnesscover

B*stardcon Lite

backstab

No games last thur but the big news is, B*stardcon Lite is green lit for the 27th of April in the Southcourt Hotel in Limerick.  this is going to be fun!

Plan is have not just boardgames but a lash of Dreadfleet and X-Wing as well

Don’t miss it!

Thur Night Gaming – A New Hope

Thur Night and it was time finally for an epic battle of X-wing

The Rebel Fleet Lines up
The Rebel Fleet Lines up

We got to play a big game of x-wing last night here’s the rundown

The Bad

Takes a bit of setup, partly we were learning the game and partly there’s a lot of pieces and of course we were playing a large game 175pts, so lots of models, add-ons etc.  The game NEEDS a good storage system, if you look on boardgamegeek you’ll see a lot about storage solutions.  End of the day it’s a fantasy flight game so if you like your tokens you won’t be disappointed.   Also it’s quite easy to mix up pieces and cards if you’re sharing sets.  Myself and Kieran’s sets are not so much married to each other as a bit engaged.   Again I don’t see this as a big problem as chances are you’ll be using your own models in the future, or one set, as it was a bit battle and we wanted the  maximum amount of models on the table it was quite the orgy of cards and tokens. The game was long.  Again we we’re learning it and it was a big battle.  Took a good 3.5 – 4hrs to finish but we DID finish it and it was excellent all the way through, especially towards the end

The Good

It’s a great little game.  It’s snappy, there’s a nice bit of strategy to it, guesswork, luck, planning, all that sort of good stuff.  It’s simple, the manoeuvre dials are clever and on top of that the models are GOREGOUS.  Have a look at the big photo.  The millennium falcon is a work of art as is slave-1.  In fact all the models look really well and they’re pre-painted. Very important.  You don’t need to get the expansions for it, you could quite happily play with the base game (or two).  I really really like it.  The models all act the way you would expect.  The tie fighters are agile but fragile, the falcon is a tough cookie, the y-wing can take and give a pounding.  The tie interceptor is nice and fast.  The a-wing didn’t make it but lurked in the background.

The game is balanced, the point system is simple and concise.

Slave 1 + Falcon Square off

The game itself

The Imperials took a mix of middle of the road and elite pilots (vader) while the rebels went mostly elite (han solo, Chewbacca) and a few extra weapons The imperial went straight in (well a bit to the right) and let rip with everything on a lone x-wing taking it out first turn for very little return fire.  Swung around and lined up with the converging rebels and it was wild west stuff.  The Y-Wing dishing out a lot of hurt while the falcon hung back and took pot shots.  The imperials concentrated on the fighters and started to take them out whilst the rebels concentrated on slave-1 (a slippery beast).  Y-Wing was destroyed followed by a tie fighter and it was looking very good indeed for the imperials UNTIL the falcon slipped up behind it and let rip with everything doing some serious damage to it.  The show on the other foot slave-1 slinked off hoping to avoid further damage persuaded by an x-wing.  Vader took out another x-wing and 4 Tie fighters harassed the falcon.   The last part of the game saw slave one avoid damage and the falcon eventually cornered and taken to pieces.

GREAT GAME

I would recommend it.  I would also recommend a smaller game and I think next time we’ll go with one of the scenarios from the manual.

Thanks to all those how took part and I reckon next week it will be to normal programming!

Huzzah

MrTimewalk

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