Never tell me the odds!


I’ve spoken before about X-Wing miniatures game.  It’s a cracker.  Fantasy Flight have really nailed it with this.  It’s Skylanders for grown ups.

When I say they’ve nailed it they’ve gotten everything right.

  • Gorgeous pre painted scale models of the ships – CHECK!
  • Great game play – CHECK!
  • Captures the feel of Star Wars – CHECK!
  • it doesn’t stray near episodes 1-3 – CHECK!
  • It’s relatively  inexpensive – CHECK!

The more I play this game the more I like it and to be honest I had better, I’m pot committed on it having been swayed by the beauty of the models.  Between myself and my x-wing buddy (there are no buddies in gaming) we’ve amassed a good collection of models and last Friday night was a chance to get in a few games.

I’d picked up a few new models from the second and third waves over the last few months and they’d sat gathering dust on my gaming shelf.  Time to crack them open!

Coming to the party were the B-Wing and the New Imperial Phantom.    I’d played a few small games of it at Brocon and had a thirst for more.  The games at Brocon were straight out of the starter kit, One X-Wing versus Two Tie Fighters.

If X-wing were a Massive Multiplayer Game then the B-Wing would be a Tanker.  A slow slugger than can take one for the team.  It’s dog slow and gets stressed very easily.  You can equip it with a range of missiles and it can really pack a punch.

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In hindsight showing my hind was a mistake

Now the phantom is a fighter in MMO parlance. It’s nimble. It can deal out a paddling like it was making butter but it can’t take too much abuse. It’s also got a natty cloaking device which is new and despite what you might have in your head about how that should work from watching too much Star Trek it’s more a big move boost than a cloak in the traditional sense

Now I’m no expert on x-wing so were still at the learning as we go stage as far as what’s a good squad build.  In gaming I find this the sweet spot, where the game is new enough that you’re not sick of it or stuck in a rutt but you know the rules well enough that you don’t make basic mistakes.

For the first few games I took a tie fighter (backstabber)(who’d have thought) and the phantom whilst my opponent took a B wing and an A wing

Just like him I love the A wing. I’ve never seen it do anything outside of running around excitedly like a my little pony but it does look real purdy.  I’ve two of them now so they can run together all giggly and no doubt fall down a bit.

The combo of tie and phantom was fantastic. In retrospect my higher pilot value for both ships was what did it.  The four attack dice on the phantom coupled with a high pilot value was devastating. In the three games we played I was able to deploy last then zoom in with both and take out the A wing then dance around the B wing like it was a fat mall cop

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Oh OH!

In fairness I was fantastically lucky with dice rolling. At one stage I rolled a crit on my first shot at the A wing and scored two hits directly on the hull taking it out effectively with one dice

The same went for evades. I was having a great few games up until the last where cockiness showed me what a B wing can do up close and personal

After that it was a few A wing v Tie fighter battles. All good

X-Wing is impressing the hell of me.  It’s been a slow grow since I haven’t gotten to play it that much.  It is essentially a two player game and that doesn’t fit well on thur nights.

My next port of call with this adventure will be X-Wing on VASSAL

If you haven’t looked at VASSAL you need to have a google.  I’ll be doing a full report on it soon

For now Huzzah and happy gaming



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Stay on Target


Always wash your Gi before an assasination


Ninjas didn’t Actually wear black. Think about it, if you’re going to sneak up on someone and kill them you’ll stand out like a bad guy on CHiPs if you’re dressed completely head to toe in black. and you unlike everyone else is wearing a mask.  Brought to you by BroScience.

Ninja Dice is a nice little filler game, players take it in turn to be the Ninja and break into an increasingly difficult set of houses which consist of a number of guards, locks and citizens all of which must be overcome either through stealth or violence.   Now while the ninja is stealthily doing this the other ninjas are obviously helping him…. NOPE, they’re trying to cock block him big style.  Stop there I’m sold

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The game is very new, I’m not sure you can get it yet except via kickstarter but it’s worth looking for.

The first player takes a number of black House die and rolls them, in the first round this is four dice but in the next three it will be five then six as the houses become harder to break into.  These house dice have symbols for locks, guards and citizens or multiples of these.

The crafty ninja now rolls their white action dice and try to match up with symbols on the house,  So if they roll keys it opens a lock, sneak icon they can match them with guards and citizens,  Throwing Stars against guards and the wildcard ninja symbol that’s anything you like.

Ninjas get to hold and reroll whichever dice they like but there’s a time limit which I’ll explain badly later.

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So far so Yahtzee but there’s a couple of dice I didn’t mention (drip feeding the rules you see).  The ninja can also roll a (can’t remember the real name so I’ll make something up) Abundance dice  that you put with a sneak/star/lock/wild dice to give you four of them.

In addition to all this the aforementioned palsied ninjas are flinging arrows at you. the DIRECTION the dice lands in (in a similar fashion to an artillery dice in warhammer) determines whom gets hit.  The weasel like ninja breaking in has a final symbol he can roll a catch arrow one that stops him from being skewered by an arrow.

Since the arrows are flying nilly willy it’s quite possible to hit another spectator ninja.  Hitting someone will reduce their score by one and it’s the DICE of the other players you’re aiming at, not as we first though the players themselves who squirmed and moved through the first half of the game to avoid incoming fire.

If a spectator ninja rolls an hourglass symbol they lose their dice and if all the spectators roll them it’s time up for the thieving ninja.

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If the main ninja succeeds in breaking into the house they get a score for what they overcame and a bonus if they did it stealthily rather than with ninja stars.  They can at any stage of course wimp out and leave the house but they lose out on score.  So it’s a push your luck game.

This is a great little game. I’m going to try and pick up a copy.  It’s quick, it’s simple and the whole position on the dice is a nice mechanic.

Dice are all in now, Marvel Dice Master, Luchador! Mexican Wrestling (more on that in another post).  Quarriors! eh… not so much.  But anyway, this is a nice little filler dice game and it comes in a rather natty holder.  It’s gets a solid two thumbs up from me.

Should have a couple of copies to play at Knavecon come the day





Snake in the grass


I’ve played some bad games in my time. I’ve often bought some honkers of games but it’s certainly been a while. Snake oil is a return to bad form. It stinks. Really really stinks. Two games is more than enough for a lifetime. One is bad. I played it twice. I’ll never get that ten minutes back

The idea is fine. You play the part of a snake oil salesman and try to use a combination of two single word cards from your hand of six to pitch a sale to another player. Players take it in turn to be the customer by drawing a customer card which sets them in the role of a Student, Builder, Policeman or some such. Having listened to each pitch they decide who’s was best and that player scores a point. Yes you can see the canyon like flaw in the rules. It’s not a hidden pitch nor can it be

I remember playing a game called scruples donkeys years ago and it was the same sort of thing and just as much dog shitty as this

I can’t help but feel a few things would make the game better (brain damage being one of them). Maybe if it had an adult theme like cards against humanity. A change to the rules to stop players from blatantly cheating, being able to flog multiple cards to empty your hand.  I don’t know

I loved the idea of the game but the execution is terrible. Opening the box was a big  “is that it?” moment.

However not one to give up easy, I’m going to try and improve on the game. I really think I can’t make it worse and I’m going to make it a long term project so expect results in the next twenty odd years but I may push that out

Snake oil. Don’t ask for it by name. I’ve saved you buying a turkey.  Yes yes we’ll play it next thur

Don’t thank me



snake oil

Brocon 2014







Once again the good folks at Brocon put on a fantastic Convention.  A big thank you to the hospitality of the guys, the entrance and the rather sweet T-Shirt.  Great days gaming and it’s still rocking on the whole weekend.  Get down there tomorrow (Sunday) and you’re guaranteed a good time.   Great to catch up with the gamers from all around the country and do our thing.  a report on some of the games I got to play on the day soon



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This ship is very small, THIS ship is far away


Constonopolos is the grown up cousin of Puerto Rico. Bohemian and edgy, what Puerto Rico wishes it could be

If you’ve played Puerto Rico you’ll be in familiar territory. It’s worker placementy but with a different cock blockery. If you haven’t played Puerto Rico you’ve missed out on a classic game and should get thee to a game shop and try it.

Constantinopolis is a five player game that in theory can be played in 90 minutes, by a silent order of monks on speed who have spent the last several years learning the rules. Our group didn’t tick any of those boxes. I refuse to be drawn on how long it took to play out and I ask the jury to disregard any evidence they may have heard

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The game plays out over ten turns in which a number of sub steps happen. The first is like Puerto Rico where you pick a role however in this case roles are bid on so it’s very possible to force others into overpaying

Buildings are bought which come in a variety of forms and functions. Resource producing, ones you cash in resources for money and fame (the games score), ones that give you a few extra swapping abilities or cost reduction. Ones that score you bonus points at the end

Key to the game as well are contracts which are drawn in various quantities and take the form of supply this or that resource or transport this person. In what you wonder. In ships of various sizes I say which you previously purchased.

Each turn ships are loaded and launched with contract goods and previously launched ships move closer to harbor and payment in fame and money

There are half a dozen ways of scoring fame and money and no foolproof strategy to secure victory. It’s fast (ha) and scoring is close from start to finish which I really like.

I got to play this game a few months back and was instantly hooked. I acquired a copy of it soon after as a swapse. My copy was in German but it’s multilingual and all icon driven. We as per tradition got a few rules wrong but not enough to effect our evenings entertainment.

I prefer this game to Puerto Rico and I’m a big fan of Puerto Rico so I highly recommend it. If you only buy one worker placement Puerto Rico type game this year make sure it’s Constantinopolis

I’ll be wheeling it out at brocon if you want to take it for a test drive



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At Brocon I will Mostly Be Playing…


Planning to bring the following to Brocon for people to try out.

  • Roll through the ages
  • El grande
  • Ribbit
  • Lotr confrontation
  • Constonopolis
  • Fury of Dracula
  • Lords of waterdeep
  • Twilight struggle
  • Netrunner
  • Hey that’s my fish
  • Robo rally
  • Zombicide
  • King of toyko
  • Modern art
  • Skull and roses
  • Werewolf
  • Eight minute empire
  • Cards against humanity
  • Hive
  • Connections
  • Zombie dice
  • Study in emerald

Will throw in a few others if they take my fancy between now and then



If it ain’t BROCON don’t fix it



Limericks Games and Anime convention is rolling around once again on the weekend of the 19th July in UL.  Bigger and Better than Ever

Myself and some of the Knaves will be there running boardgaming sessions if anyone wants to drop down and say hello and try a few games out.

See you there




Thursday Child is full of Win – Part 3 (finally)


Who doesn’t want to take over the world?  Certainly I do and first against the wall would be those that insist I use the word WHOM at the start of a sentence like this

We got to play Imperial 2030 on Thur night too.  For those who haven’t tried this or the earlier version (just plain Imperial) you are missing out.  Imperial 2030 is a glorious map based conquer the world type game.  Playing it is like being a football manager (without the chewing gum) insofar as you never know when you’ll be given the heave ho and another bungee manger will be appointed in your place.  Them’s the breaks.  You can be doing a fantastic job of managing Europe and WHAM! someone likes it so much they buy the company.


I’ve spoken before about Imperial, it’s a game that returns to our table again and again, with a good sized group (six) it becomes the ideal desert island game.  It also plays out in a relatively short time for such an epic undertaking.  It’s quite possible to get a game completed in under three hours and that’s no bad thing.

The mantra of this game which is oft repeated is that you don’t OWN a country….. you invest in it.  Anyone who has the largest share in a country is the manager of it and controls it’s armies, production, taxation and pockets any bonuses associated with same.  What I love about this game is it’s a valid tactic to allow another player to take ownership of your country and run it better than you can and still profit from the experience.  The Ferengi would be proud.

The game is not so much about taking over the world (which is practically impossible), it’s about carving out the biggest empire you can and leeching as much tax money from it as you can before some other keen nation nips in and puts you back in your cage.  Do it right and everyone will want to buy shares in your empire, do it too right and they’ll want to muscle in and take over your operation.

There were a few new players to the game on Thur and like me first time around they struggled to get a strategy.  Although the mechanics are not that complicated and the tactics are fairly obvious an overall strategy to win the game is stupendously complex.  Mine has always been black and white.  Do your best.  Kill Drax.  It’s worked fairly well for me.  I came second so maybe my strategy needs a tweek

As players invest in countries and take ownership of them it quite often happens that they wind up controlling two or more countries and some players wind up with none in which case they become Swiss bankers (I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere).  As a Swiss banker you get to invest more often however it’s a dangerous limbo to inhabit as you no longer get bonuses for taxation when you don’t manage the country.  That said you get to invest more, but you don’t get tax bonuses, invest, tax bonuses, invest/tax…. it’s a balancing act.  I’ve seen players win purely as swiss bankers but it’s a tricky feat to do

That said owning multiple countries can be a burden, especially if they were two countries that were recently at war and you now have to untangle them and make them both profitable again.

There’s never a dull moment when you play Imperial.  When you leave the table your mind is still spinning like a gyroscope trying to figure out how to play it better and THAT’S the measure of a really good game.  /cheesy grin and wink

More of that next thur.  Hopefully I’ll have learnt the rules for Constonopolis, but there’s a fair chance I won’t




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