Thursday Nights

These are my reports of the games we play and our views of the weaknesses and strengths of the games. I will be blunt, truthful and not always kind (except about my D&D Campaign!)

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7 Wonders

June 2012Posted by Sir Lard Mon, July 15, 2013 22:45:36

June 27

Game Played :- 7 wonders with 7 wonders Expansions, wonder pack, Cities and Leaders

7 Wonders: Wonder Pack includes new wonders for use with the 7 Wonders base game, with the wonders in question being:

· The Great Wall of China, with the owner being able to build the stages of this wonder in any order (since the wall is, of course, a long horizontal wonder and not a primarily vertical one)

· Stonehenge, with the amount of stone you have being important during its construction

· Abu Simbel, in which leaders can be buried and mummified for bonus points

· Manneken Pis, which is a revised version of the wonder first released as a promotional item at Spiel 2010.

7 Wonders: Cities, the second expansion for 7 Wonders, includes optional team rules, a new type of card (black, representing the remains of cities), and new cards of old types (two new wonders: Petras and Byzantium, new guild and leader cards associated with black cards). This expansion is more aggressive, with greatly increased interaction between players, who are still trying to score more points than anyone else.

With the team rules, you can play with up to eight players, with the players divided into teams who sit next to one another so that they can kibitz and choose the cards of most use to them.

The new black cards have a variety of effects, with nine cards being available in each age. Effects include:

· The active player gaining gold, with his neighbours also gaining a bit.

· Increased military strength in age 1 at a greater cost.

· Embassy cards that remove you from the military competition for that age.

· Cemetery cards that earn you points at the end of the game while costing opponents gold.

· Spy cards that copy symbols from green (science) cards.

· A secret warehouse that doubles a resource and a black market that generates a missing resource.

· The ability to build cards for free by copying building chains from other players.

7 Wonders: Leaders adds 42 new cards to the base game of 7 Wonders, comprising four new guilds, one new wonder card, and 36 (+1 blank) white "Leader" cards. At the start of the game, each player takes a hand of four leaders and may play one at the start of each of the three Ages. Unlike the standard cards, leaders cost money (not resources). The expansion comes with a new Wonder - the ancient city of Rome - and contains 6-gold tokens made of cardboard for more efficient money-management.

Game Results

Game 1

Sir Nick 89

Squire Phil 83

Sir Keith 81

Sir Animal 62

Sir Lard and Gareth 60

Malcolm 58

Game 2

Sir Animal 77

Gareth and Malcolm 58

Sir Keith, Sir Nick and Squire Phil 56

Sir Lard 50

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28th - The Wonder of Seven

June 2012Posted by Sir Keith Sat, June 30, 2012 11:54:19

It was a strange night last night… Firstly Sir Steve was late and so we started to prepare to trial a new game (more of that soon). As we set up, a knock on the door heralded what we thought was an early arrival but actually was the return of an Thursday night regular Malcolm, with his son Gareth. Many years had passed since their last visit so it was good to catch up with old friends.

As there were six of us (still no Sir Steve), we started with a game of Dalmuti. We played this a few weeks previously but again soon got into the swing of abusing the peon (me from the start) and moaning about the bad draws. I was soon moving upwards, from lowest peon to second peon, to master merchant and finally prince! Meanwhile Sir Nick just stayed in the peon chairs…. The good thing with six playing was that we could use the optional merchant rule (both pass a card blind that may help each other). However after only four hands Sir Steve turned up and we abandoned this game.

Now the dilemma, seven players….. What could we possibly play???? The obvious answer was of course Seven Wonders!

We had never played this game with seven players and it was going to be interesting to see the dynamics of playing with the optimal amount of players. As neither Malcolm or Gareth had played this game before, we stuck to the basic game – no Leaders or the optional Wonders. We played a first open game, to show the cards, symbols and tactics. We then started the next game in earnest. The first observation has tp be that with the limited amount of Wonders, it was easy to play the same Wonder (and the same side), so we had to swap through a few times.

Secondly the resources became very difficult to capture. Those Wonders (such as the Pyramids) were more difficult to complete due to the amount of resource required. Double resources were that much more valuable as well as the Second Era Yellow cards that allowed players to choose either resource. I found that where resource was missing, the cards allowing only playing one gold to get a neighbours’ resource equally important. Finally a new tactic of denying a neighbour the resource he needed or building it yourself so he had to pay you a premium came to the fore!

Another observation was that science was not quite so dominant and if a player was not going military then easy points were available for minor investment. Guilds were equally more reverent and seemed to generate more points than in previous games. All in all a really good and fun few games. It was also interesting to see how quickly the newbie’s picked up the game and the tactics and both acquitted themselves really well!!

Hopefully we will see more of both of them more often as there are a number of games that we can play with a lot of players that would be really interesting. A seven player game of Battlestar Galatica would be great….. Watch this space…..

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21st - It's a game Jim (and we know it)

June 2012Posted by Sir Keith Sat, June 23, 2012 14:03:29

Starfleet Captains

For 2-4 players ages 14+, from Wizkids/NECA

No Sir Animal as he goes off onto his hols, so tonight was a chance to play Star Trek Fleet Captains. We have not played this since December and then Sir Nick (owner and Trekkie) didn't get a game. It was a nice surprise to find it all set up ready for us this evening.

We rolled for partners and sides, and I ended up with the squire, playing Kingons (just like the first game). We drew the ships and I ended up with the flag-ship and two class 1 ship, while the squire had three mid ranged ships. Sir Nick was opposite me and Sir Steve closest by (both Federation scum) so we rolled and the mighty Empire started….

The squire moved out but straight into a black hole! This was déjà-vu from the first game and meant the end of a ship straight away. I moved out, scanning ahead to check but then cloaking the battleship and heading toward Federation space. I found some riches and took them back to base for the first points to the Kingons. The Federation moved quicker and picked up quick exploration points, encountering different species but able to finish some quick missions. I de-cloaked and sped towards a lone federation vessel. However disaster struck as I encountered a mirror-universe and had to swap hands with Sir Nick! I was left with pathetic federation cards that were weak and unworthy of a Klingon fleet.

The squire moved into deeper space and begun to brush against Federation expansionist fleet. It could not go on without a response, so after another federation go, my Battleship swept in and attacked, damaging but not quite destroying the Federation ship. The other vessels rushed to the aid of his stricken vessel and I was then ambushed by the cowardly fleet. A slight scratch to my vessel (a victory point to me!!), I retaliated by destroying the crippled ship. I then joined up with one of my weaker vessels and attacked Voyager (who had rushed to aid the other vessel). They had no answer to my fire power and a quick battle left it a mass of floating junk in space. I then checked with the squire, only to find his game was not going well. He had no victory points, had lost two ships and had no been able to complete one mission!! We were behind on the points and Sir Steve decided to move away from my fleet and head over towards Sir Nick where they were able to work together to attack the other ships.

I repaired the battle ship and rushed at full speed towards the Federation battle ships. However before I could arrive, the Federation declared victory and the game ended. Very frustrating as I wanted to see how well they would cope against my ship, rather than threatening the smaller birds of prey.

I like this game, however the squire was very frustrated as a poor start could not be corrected and he was not able to influence the game as much as he would have liked. The game also played slowly as we had only played once (6 months ago) and it took a while to get the rules and the plays correct. This is one of the problems with four player games in our group and also the amount of games we have to play still….. However the Empire will have it’s vengeance!

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14th - A New Hope (Dnd Next)

June 2012Posted by Sir Keith Sat, June 16, 2012 14:01:06

DND Next is currently undergoing open Test play. You can sign up to it here.

So tonight was the night to finally put Dungeons and Dragons new edition through it’s paces. I got the pack just before UK expo and this was the first opportunity to actually bring it to the table.

As I do not own a tablet, I printed off all the material and put them into sleeved files for ease of access. This meant I was able to hand round the rules to the players and they could review and look up anything they wanted to review (especially the spells). One thing I would say is that preparation was a lot easier, even though I used figures and a flip mat (with dry wipe pen). The amount I had to carry round was reduced significantly than the last game of 4E I ran! I will go through the rules, thoughts and changes I would recommend in the D&D section of the site. Here I will run you through what actually happened!

So here was the cast: Sir Animal – The Cleric of Pelor, The Squire – The High Elf Wizard, Sir Nick was the dwarven fighter and Sir Steve was the Halfling rogue. This meant we did not use the dwarven cleric and it was interesting that this was the build that was rejected by all the players.

The party had been contacted by agents working for the lord of the city in which they were based. His son had been kidnapped and while negotiations continued with the perpetrators, the Lord wanted to try a rescue attempt as he was afraid for his son’s life. A magical or martial response could lead to tragedy so a stealthy option with a party of adventurers (that had good deniability) seemed a logical option. So the party got their equipment and head off the Caves of Chaos (stopping at a keep near the Borderland enroute).

Reaching the ravine where the caves were, the party took stock. Which of the many caves housed the prince? How would they choose? In the end a quick vote and they went into the nearest cave. Following a tunnel to the left, the quickly came upon a small group of goblins. A quick and bloody battle ensued where the only thing was the goblins shouting out “Bree Yark” before they succumbed. Rushing down the corridor, another group of goblins were discovered and (though these were more prepared), they were quickly despatched. Again though “Bree Yark” was the battle cry of the goblins. The party regrouped and continued down the passage with a bit more caution. Reaching some stairs heading up the rogue went ahead (stealthily checking for traps). At the top of the stairs the tunnel twisted and ended in a stout wooden door.

No traps – but the door was barred from the other side. The dwarf fighter stood forward and attempted to batter the door in! First attempt and the door bowed but remained intact. The next attempt and the dwarf flew into the next room, closely followed by his companions. In this room were a group of larger goblinoid creatures with reddish skin – Hobgoblins. There were female, juveniles and males but they were not interested in fighting unless they had to protect their kin. A hurried bit of diplomacy and it was discovered that these creatures had prisoners near by. A male was taken to lead them to where the prisoners were held. A journey through several passages and turnings and soon light ahead showed that the party was close. Sudden screams and the sizzle of burning flesh, followed closely by laughter from the jailors and the party sprang into action. Charging the room they saw several prisoners chained to walls or in cells. Two jailors were torturing them and were quickly despatched. The guide also tried to escape and was also killed during the melee.

The party freed the human prisoners (a female trader and her guards) and the prince! However the prince complicated things with the fact that his fiancé was also taken that night and was in the grip of the cultists somewhere in the caves. It was agreed that the guards and the trader would escort the prince to safety while the party looked for the missing lady. Tow other prisoners were in the cells – an orc and a gnoll. The orc was named Ishrak and explained he was captured by the traitorous Hobgoblins while foraging in the valley floor. A humorous discussion took place and eventually the orc was freed to return to his tribe. However the gnoll was in no condition and crazed by his capture. The only recourse was a quick death.

Back into the tunnels and soon the party came across the common hall where the hobgoblins held their feast. However the part did not rush into combat but negotiated firstly with the caves inhabitants and then with the Warlord who soon arrived. It turned out the caves were filled with different tribes and races, gathered by the cultist to wage a war against the kingdom. The Warlord was well aware of how difficult this would be and was sceptical of the cultists’ power. He agreed to show the party out of his caves and where the cultists were based. He also told the party that he would see if the four could defeat the cultists and their minions (thus showing they were not worthy of his help) or die in the attempt (and the hobgoblin would not lose anything). However the hobgoblins would watch the valley for signs of the party and would want one of the red jewels from the eye of the statue in the cultists’ lair as proof of the party’s success and payment for letting them go now. As part of the discussion the party discovered the Bree Yark was an ogre that sometimes assisted the goblins. It was lucky the party had not hung about in that part of the tunnels.

The party left the caves and headed to where the cultists were reported to dwell. Here they found Black and red tunnels with vaulted ceilings. The first room was filled with shambling zombies! The cleric of Pelor called on the power of his god to drive them back while the remainder of the party attempted to destroy the remainder. In the room opposite, the party found a room with a throne and surrounded by skeleton remains. As the halfing inspected the throne the skeletons sprung into action. This time the power of Pelor was not as affected and a tough fight ensued. The cleric and the fighter were both in a bad way by the end of the combat so they decided to rest.

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7th - night of the Mage Knight

June 2012Posted by Sir Keith Sat, June 09, 2012 11:57:48

Mage Knight

WizKids/NECA, For 1-4 players, ages 14+

Tonight Sir Steve was away with his family so we played one of the games bought at the UK expo - Mage Knight. Sir Nick had spent a lot of the week reading the rules and played a solo game to ensure his understanding. We played a three player varient of the first scenario, which was about finding a city. Sir Nick decided not to play but to oversee the game and explain many of the rules, as they came up.

Sir Animal had the honour of going first. He moved his character directly to a mine to gain a crystal (which are needed to power your better abilities). His turn then ended and it was my turn. I moved my knight to a village, near the end of the first tile, which meant that I could hire a guard. This guard would help to block any attacks against me, or help me by adding to my attacks. On the squires first go, he rushed in a straight line - attacking and defeating a horde of Orcs and uncovering another tile. The experience he got from all this meant that he went up a level straight away.... Was the squire going to beat the knights??

The next turn and the card draw was not kind to Sir Animal. He drew a lot of combat cards so his movement was limited and he could just limo into another village to the south. I also drew a lot of combat cards, but in Sir Animal's turn I looted the village I was in to draw more cards and was able to move north, to fight Orcs in the woods. My guards stopped the orcs swift ability (making them easier to block) and also stopped their attack. I was then able to kill the orces and went up a level myself. I also uncovered a tile and found a desert with a wizards tower.... Seemed a bit strong for me at the moment! The squire's next turn was a bit quieter as he was in the mountains and movement was slowed.

Turn 3 - Sir Animal had looted a village for more cards, moved forward but was satruggling to catch up with the rest of us. I decided to stick to the plains, played a powerful movement card and then rushed to another tile and uncovered a monastry, dungeon and forest with a ruin and monsters. I ended my turn in the monastry and the squire continued through the mountains. However the keep he found was too powerful for him to attack so he continued to move and uncovered another tile - more forests to move through. He made his way to a monastry and bought some help there, in the form of a powerful card.

By now we were all out of cards and so Night was declared and the board was set up for night time (movement in deserts and forest changed). Dice were re-rolled for mana and we shuffled our decks.

This time I went first and moved back and down the dungeon. However I went down without my guards, found a were-creature and had a terrible battle in which I lost three wounds, but killed the beast and was able to find an artifact. The dungeon was shown as cleared by my knight and I was able to limp to a fairy glade to try to heal. However this pushed me up another level! Sir Animal then went and fought orce in a wood. However his bad luck continued and he was not able to win, taking wounds and forced to retreat to a glade to heal. The squire moved forward, uncovering a tile, and with it the City! This meant that there was one more round before the game ended. Could the squire defeat the dragon guarding the city and ensure his victory??

My turn first.... Not a great draw. I would be able to move but not very far and i was still hurt. I healed a wound, went to the monastry but there my turn ended. Sir Animal knew he was out of the reckoning so it was down to the squire.....

The Squire had a decent hand, but the dragon had many resitances to hot and cold. This rendered a card useless and the squire was unable to kill the dragon by one point!! He retreated to the monastry and bought another card......

We then tallied up the points... Sir Animal finised with 0 points (actually should have been a minus). However as I was the only one to clear a dungeon, get a follower and an artifact and was already the highest level, I emerged victorious. The squire was a close second and it was a close run thing.......... I was the Mage Knight.

Got to say that it was a fun game and I look forward to the next game that will be less of a rush to explore tiles and able to interact with the tile you are in. Sir Nick was good to oversee the game and run through the rules and the reference cards were a real boon. Overall a great game and one to bring to the table very soon....

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