Delving Thur – Being a Drax Report

Mini Me-2

Hello Group, I’m an evil overlord

Hello Victor !

I guess it all started with Avon from Blakes 7 then Darth Vader and before I knew it I couldn’t stop trying to bend people to my will.

It’s a textbox story but I digress….

It was Thur night and we decided (well I decided) we would have another pop at Descent, having gone to the trouble of painting a few of the models and more carefully reading the rules.  Someone had to be the evil overlord and funny enough I jumped at the chance.  Being the evil character is always more fun in games.  it’s more fun to be a werewolf in werewolf, Dracula in Fury of Dracula, Jack the Ripper in Letters from Whitechapel, the list goes on.

Descent unlike say Dungeons and Dragons is a competitive game. The overlord is actively trying to murder the adventurers not entertain them.  We played the first scenario “The Fat Goblin”, there was a small group of adventurers and here’s where I found the first flaw in Descent.  It sometimes doesn’t scale well.  From the off the good guys were under pressure.  Goblins were half inching the crops, spiders were harrying them, dice we’re betraying them it was a hard slog and things went from bad to really really bad in the second half

Descent adventures are played in two halves, act 1 and 2.  The second being tougher than the first.  In this case armed with

  1. Years of experience as being and evil overlord
  2. A relatively new group of gamers
  3. A slightly broken scenario
  4. a better command of the rules
  5. Tips on how to be Ireland’s next top Overlord

I wreeked havoc in the second act

The game doesn’t allow for the adventurers to die, they get knocked out and can recover, HOWEVER if an evil overlord wedges them in a spot with say oh I don’t know a Shadow Dragon and bunch of Poisonous giant spiders and just hammers them into unconsciousness every turn, they’ve had their chips and it’s an early shower for the party.  That’s what happened.  They we’re too small a bunch and they were overpowered early on.  So much so that the Fat Goblin in the scenario could swan about and complete his evil plans without the unwelcome attentions of the adventurers.  Game Set and Match to the Evil Overlord.  Evil Chuckle.

I’ve since checked into this and it seems this scenario is the one in the whole game that doesn’t work well with a small group.  It’s just unfortunate we had to pick it and I do hope we revisit the world of Descent again soon, it’s too good a game to be consigned to the shelf of no return.

Next up was a game I’ve successfully avoided playing for a long time

Agricola

I don’t particularly have a problem with this game, I did play it briefly once and it made some sort of sense to me.  Having played a few other games since it now reminds me a bit of Lords of Waterdeep and maybe Farmsville 🙂  No that’s unfair it’s a fine game.  It rates very highly in BGG and it is fun to play but I need to play it a good bit more before I get my head around it

That said… I did WIN the game with my limited knowledge of it but my insistence on blocking the most experience player whenever possible.

Agricola is a worker placement’s worker placement game.  It couldn’t be more work placement  if it tried.  The game starts with each player having a small holding (oh err missus) and slowing trying to increase the size and composition of their farm to score points.  A dozen or so locations on the map allow you to gain resources and spent resources to improve your farm.  As the game progresses more and more options open up and it’s a juggle between feeding your family and improving your lot.  Eat the cows? Upgrade your house to Stone? Build an oven?  While this is going on everyone else is doing the same.   The interaction comes when someone takes a space that you desperately needed that turn.

We played the standard game without the extra cards but all in all it’s a solid game, very playable.  Personally I’m more of a direct attack sort of person but this is fine.  If you want a bit of both btw I highly recommend Wealth of Nations with the War Clouds expansion

Then is was all over bar the banter

More of that soon

Huzzah!

Vic

 

Descent Thur – Being a Drax Report

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It’s become a tradition on the Drax report not to show people faces in the pics, it’s not that we don’t want to be identified and have our kidney’s stolen it’s more that we don’t want one of the lads wives to be kidnapped and forced to cook cakes for their gaming night, as she does for ours. Thur was no exception.  Millionaire squares.  far too good for the likes of us.

After a bit of a mix up detailed in an earlier post I finally received my copy of Descent, second edition.  I’ve quite fancied this since the first edition.  I’ve always been a fan of Heroquest type games and this seemed to be the grown up version of it.  It is.  It’s rather good.  It’s got expansions and I want them all

I’ve played two games of this now and I really like it.  It’s a Fantasy Flight game so the production quality is superb.  The Cards and map pieces are very high quality as you would expect but it’s the models that really shine.  After last weekend at MrSaturday’s my love for painting has returned and I’ve started to paint up the models for this game.  I’m very impressed with them.  For plastic, the detail is superb.  Like Mansions of Madness the models are good and chunky, more so truth be told than MoM and you get a fair selection of them in the base game.  About two dozen or so.  They are about Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle game size so you could use those in your games if you wanted to, although the base size is a good bit smaller for Descent characters.

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The rules are very straightforward, pretty much what you would expect and if you’ve ever played either Heroquest or Space Crusade then you’ve a head-start.

The game is in essence a dungeon bash where a team of adventurers work together (the first question from the team btw was do we HAVE to work together, can’t we just stab each other in the back?)(it was a proud moment, I’ve taught them well).  The team work together and try and complete a quest whilst another player (guess who that was?) plays the evil overlord trying to thwart their efforts.

Each game consists of two halves of a predefined quest, act 1 and act 2.  The second act being a bit tougher that than first.  In between Act 1 and 2 you can visit the local shoppe and buy ice cream, breakfast rolls and Warhammers.

The game scales nicely so depending on how many players are in the party more numerous and or tougher version of monsters will appear.

There’s a fair bit of variety in the quests, rescue these guys, defeat those guys, defend against these slavering guys and so on and if you like you can play the whole thing as a campaign with leveling up and all that sort of good stuff along the way.  There’s also a number of expansion which I’m sure we’ll never get to but would be nice to have.

This is the second edition of the game and a lot has been simplified from the first edition.  There’s now a very concise and easy to understand set of rules to follow.  A lot of thought has been put into how the game works and it really shows through, at no stage did anyone not know what to do or where to go after just a quick explanation.

The combat system is very neat, each weapons has a specific colour of die associated with it and have the potential to deal a range of damage accordingly.  players roll specific coloured shield dice depending on their Armour to counteract this and theirs a few extra abilities throw in for good measure.  Combat is fast and nasty, it’s quite possible to be knocked out in your first battle if you don’t work as a team or you rush in without backup.

There’s a nice variety of characters to start with (eight) and the game features a fine variety of monsters to go up against.

This game demands more play and the fact that I’m taking time to paint up the models (never done this before) should speak volumes of how good it is.  This is a lovely game and I’m eager for another lash of it.

Next up was Turfmaster

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/384/turfmaster

There’s been a bit of a racing theme going on for the last few sessions and I’ve had an urge to play horse racing for a good while now, don’t ask me why, maybe it’s the whole xmas racing thing but we’ve already had “the Really Nasty Horse Racing game” and now we have something a bit more serious, Turfmaster.

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The first thing that strikes you about the game is the box, it’s very simple and austere with a drawing of a jockey in mid-flight.  Very IBM.  So I was expecting dull, complex and not very fun at all.  not so!  Turfmaster is a cracking little game and it’s got expansions.  It’s also like hens teeth to get for some reason which is a pity.

Unlike The Really Nasty Horse Racing game this is purely about winning races, nothing at all to do with odds or types of horses.  Everyone starts with a single horse (1-8 players) and it’s a straight forward race to the finish.  Points are awarded for coming first, second, third and forth and the highest points after three races decides the game.

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The rules are very simple.  Each player starts with a finite amount of cards which dictate how far forward they can move every second round. They play them simultaneously with the other players and the pack (is that the right term?) is adjusted accordingly.  Every other round it’s determined by dice but the player who changes each time can decide to slow or speed up the race to their best advantage.

The set of cards used for the game must all be played through over the course of the three races so it’s quite possible to wind up with fast cards for the first race and have to nurse your horse through the second and so on.  It was very neat.  I found myself slipping into first then running out of steam half way around the track.  Whilst others were hanging back and attempting to storm forward late in the race.

The game is very simple and functional graphically.  It comes with pre-painted metal horse and jockeys which are lovely to play with and add a good bit to the quality feel of the game.  We had a large group on Thur so we got the game in it’s fully glory.

I liked it.  It’s simple but it plays very well and there was excitement from start to finish in the game.  Just a quick tip, read the rules carefully, it’s possible to make a school boy error from the start and spend the rest of the race playing catch up 🙂

All in all a good nights gaming.  Hope to see this game at Knavecon, It and Descent are winners

We finished with a bit of Coup and Skull of roses

More of that soon

Huzzah!

Vic

 

 

 

Swopsies

I’ve been swapping boardgames on Boardgamegeek for a number of years now.  It’s a great way (if you’re not the type who thinks every game should be a hostage) of getting new games cheaply.  I’ve done it over forty times without a hitch.   I’ve had delays (It seems that Canada sends it’s packages to Ireland by sea whilst we fly them) but I’ve never lost or not received a package…. Well until now.

I got involved in a trade before xmas for a game I’ve been after for some time (but didn’t want to shell out for), Descent, second edition.   My trade partner received my package before xmas and then it went silent….

I contacted him, we waited, waited and then realised something was up.  Since there was no tracking on these packages it wasn’t possible to find them so he contacted Royal Mail and there’s a long process of recovering the value of the package which takes months to complete.  The hell with that.  I kept in touch with my tradee and we agreed a deal…

This morning true to his word this arrived

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For me this reinforces what I think of gamers, they are (in general) a decent sort

Now I reckon after we warm this game up on Thur it will be front and centre for Knavecon

Huzzah!

 

Vic

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