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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July 2012Posted by Sir Lard Mon, July 15, 2013 23:06:07

11th July


Another new game purchased at the Expo by Sir Nick, and as there was only 4 this week it was a good opportunity to play a four player game.

The Blurb about the game.

The greatest sorcerers of the kingdom have gathered at the heart of the Argos forest, where the legendary tournament of the 12 seasons is taking place. At the end of the three year competition, the new archmage of the kingdom of Xidit will be chosen from among the competitors. Take your place, wizard! Equip your ancestral magical items, summon your most faithful familiars to your side and be ready to face the challenge!

Seasons is a tactical game of cards and dice which takes place in two phases:

The first phase "Prelude" consists of a card draft: the goal during this phase will be to establish own 9-card deck for the main part of the game and with it the strategy.

Once the Prelude is complete, each player must separate his 9 cards into 3 packs of 3 cards. He will begin the second phase of the game with his first pack of three cards, then gradually as the game progresses, he will receive the other two packets of three cards.

Next comes the Tournament: at the beginning of each round a player will roll the seasons dice (dice = number of players +1).

These cubes offer a variety of actions to the players:
- Increase your gauge (maximum number of cards you may have placed on the table and in play)
- Harvesting energy (water, earth, fire, air) to pay the cost of power cards
- Crystallizing the energy (during the current season) to collect crystals. Crystals serve both as a resource to pay for some cards, but also as victory points in the end.
- Draw new cards

Each player can choose only one die per turn. The die not chosen by anyone determines how many fields the "time track" would move forward.
In addition, all the dice are different depending on the season. For example, there are not the same energies to a particular season. Throughout the game, players will therefore have to adapt to these changes - also the "exchange rates" of energy to crystals vary during seasons - the energy not present on the dice in any given season is also the best paid during the season.

At the end of the game, the crystals are summed with victory points granted by the cards (minus some penalties, where applicable). The highest score wins.


Sir Nick 126

Sir Keith 123

Sir Lard 108

Sir Animal 103

I will have to play another game of seasons before I commit to which side of the fence I sit, as in this game I knew halfway through I wasn’t going to win (I know its not all about winning but !!!!)

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27th - It's good to be the King

July 2012Posted by Sir Keith Fri, July 27, 2012 19:54:07

King of Tokyo

Boardgame, players 2-6, ages 8+. IELLO

Tonight we played the Richard Garfield game – King of Tokyo. It is a great little game, with giant monsters fighting each other to either be the first to 20 victory points or last monster standing. As there were only four of us tonight, this game was a good game to play. Also as it was new to us, we had time to learn the rules and the nuances of the game.

However another point has to be made that the rule book was very small (only three pages) and there were a lot of ambiguities that we has to rule on. Next stop will be Board Game Geek to check the errata and play sheets, to get clarification on these.

So firstly the monsters – Sir Animal was King Kong, Sir Nick Meccazilla and I was Godzilla. OK they are named differently but that was what they were. Oh and the squire was a giant pink bunny – nothing new there! We rolled for start (Sir Animal was on fire – nature compensating for having a broken arm) and off we went.

The first game was very much a feeling of how to play and reading cards etc. Initially we were very careful not to hurt too much as we got into position. Indeed Sir Animal was not killed early on as we found out the effect of the cards. We were to regret this as he finally got a good collection, sat in Tokyo and happily destroyed us all!

The next game was the opposite. Though we tried to destroy each other and there was a lot of swapping of position, Sir Nick began to look quite powerful. The use of the jump power and poisoning us all whilst sitting in Tokyo meant we were sure he would win. However suddenly it was realised that Sir Animal had gathered up the victory points and was rolling to win. He missed the first time and we all had certain chances to win, however on his next turn he got the rolls required and there it was 2 up to the big guy.

All in all this is a good little game. As we get used to the rules, something that will make a good filler…. As normal the one who bought the game (me) played the worse and got well beaten!!

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20th - Horror in the Highlands

July 2012Posted by Sir Keith Fri, July 20, 2012 20:01:24

Call of Cthulhu – Shadows over Scotland adventure

Tonight Sir Animal (with broken arm) ran our first Cthulhu adventure. There were six in the group and we used pre-gen characters in an investigation into strange disappearances on a remote Scottish island.

I played the rich head of a firm of investigators, looking into strange paranormal events. As a bored rich girl, in 1920’s, I headed a team of friends and employees. Contacted by Sir Robert, the current lord of the isle, we went to investigate the disappearances of the island inhabitants and his servants.

We had to explore the house and grounds, question the staff and discover the hidden secrets of Sir John (Sir Robert’s father) and the dreadful pact he had made. Things came to a head with the death of an innocent stable lad and a terrifying encounter in a cave on the island.

It was a good introduction of the system, especially for Malcolm and Gareth, as Gareth had never role-played before. CoC is a simple system to learn as it runs off a percentile system. Though at times sanity was tested, no one went insane. However what will happen the next time, as I run an adventure about the Shadows over Luxor?

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13th - The cultists strike back

July 2012Posted by Sir Keith Sat, July 14, 2012 10:21:31

D&D Next Play test report

This continues the play-test adventure in the Caverns of Chaos, following on from the first game on 14th June.

Just a quick reminder of the cast and what had happened previously…. Sir Animal the cleric, Sir Nick the Dwarven fighter, Sir Steve the Halfling rogue and the squire was the high elf wizard. The party had been hired to try to find the son of a local lord that had been kidnapped by an evil cult. They journeyed to the caverns and after several encounters freed the son. However it then turned out that the fiancé of the son was also captured and the son wanted her returned. He asked the party to go further into the complex to see if they could determine her fate. As they adventured, the party met the hobgoblin chief. He gave them vital information where the lady was being held and how to find the cultists. The party went into this part of the caves and fought undead. However they were all pretty beat up and so decided to hide up and rest…

The party took an extended rest in the caverns, hiding from the evil cultists. Luckily they chose an unused part of the complex and were not disturbed. Once they had prepared, they went further into the complex. They came upon a door in the eastern wall and a passageway to the west. They went through the doorway and down into the depths. At a crossroads they followed a winding passage that led to a cell door. Looking through the bars, the party could see the figure of a lady, huddled up and gently weeping. Had they found their goal already?

The rogue unlocked the door and went to free the lady. However the lady stood up and turned out to be a medusa! However she was still bound to the wall and wanted to be freed. There was a tense stand off, broken by the cleric being turned to stone. In the end the medusa was freed, the cleric was restored and everything was fine. The medusa left the party and seemed to vanish! The party explored the small complex, battling wights and cultists. Finally, bloodied and bruised they made their way back into the main complex.

As they explored they came to a main tunnel leading northwards into darkness and southwards, ending abruptly by a large, black, curtain. The Halfling went to explore and discovered an unholy shrine behind. Black and red floor tiles, an altar with artefacts that glowed in a sickly purple haze and a tapestry behind. The remainder joined the Halfling and after looking at the unsettling tapestry, they decided to set it on fire!

The blaze soon consumed the tapestry and the smoke went up the tunnel. However the remainder fell down onto the altar, scattering the artefacts and a loud bell chimed throughout the tunnels. Anyone about would be alerted and some would come to investigate. Time to set-up an ambush.

Eventually the party saw cultists, led by a priest clad in red plate mail. They were obviously prepared and could not be surprised and so a bloody battle ensued. The priest had a serpent staff that he used to hinder the party and the other cultists used smite and command to stop the heroes in their tracks. The party were hurt and then the wizard fell, mortally wounded. The Halfling and cleric also fell, but the cultists were also paying a heavy price. The Dwarf fighter, enraged by the price being paid, delivered a heavy blow the high-priest, who then collapsed. The final cultist fled in terror as the dwarf returned to see the state of his fallen companions. Luckily the thief and the cleric had stabilised and were soon back on their feet. However the wizard was dead……

The party found the rest of the complex deserted. There were several statues so obviously the medusa had been here and they then found Lady Lydia and escorted her to freedom. What the also found outside was the remains of an ambush by the hobgoblins, goblins and an ogre. However all were a mass of stone statues and from other caves there were screams as the medusa tightened her grip. Eventually the party would have to return to stop this evil from growing, but that was for another day.

That was a close thing. At one point three of the four party members were on minus hit points and both Sir Steve and Sir Animal stabilised at the last moment. Sir Nick was down to three hit points so a TPK was a real possibility. The squire died as his wizard found himself surrounded. However this is the end of the testing in this current version. WOTC have announced that they have taken all the reviews and are now making fixes and changes to the system. A new play test event is expected in August so watch this space.

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6th - Betrayal by a knight

July 2012Posted by Sir Keith Fri, July 06, 2012 17:44:08

Board Game; 3-6 Players; Ages 10+ by Fantasy Flight Games

Tonight Malcolm and Gareth were in attendance so we decided to play a game of Battlestar Galactica. The favoured board game from Fantasy Flight seemed an ideal way to spend an evening, with it’s clever psychological game play and intense drama, it captures the series ideally and is one of my favourite games.

Firstly we allocated characters: I was Admiral Adama, Gareth was Starbuck, Sir Animal was President Roslayn (he is in touch with his feminine side), Malcolm was chief Tyrol, Sir Steve was Apollo, Sir Nick was Helo and the squire was Baltar (which meant he got two cylon cards at the start of the game).

The first few turns started well and everyone worked well to defeat the crisis. However we were then hit by two waves of cylon attacks and things got interesting…. Accusations flew as we tried to keep the fleet intact and fight off the ships. I managed to damage a Base Star and we were able to jump just as the odds were becoming overwhelming. After the jump things seemed to calm down. The crisis were being dealt with, though there was some occasional sabotage (who was the traitor – accusations flew). I thought it was Baltar, with two cards the odds were there…. Rosalyn also thought it was also Baltar, but was not sure of me and I was uncertain of Helo. However Apollo then launched for no real reason and no apparent threat. We then got hit by several waves of attacks and needed to jump quickly. I launched a nuke to keep the cylons occupied and we then jumped….

Halfway through…..

The final cylon cards were dealt – now we knew traitors were about and we had to destroy them. The frst to reveal themselves was Baltar. Our suspisions were right and the cylon scum managed to get me unfairly stripped of command and into the brig. Helo commanded the fleet.. was he human? Could I trust him? Rosalyn helped me to get out but then lost the presidency to Helo… We were all waiting to see what would happen.

What happened was that Starbuck then announced her cylon heritage. We had been a bit suspicious as to how the cards were coming out, but was this to do with being new to the game? Nope – it was pure cylon treachery and soon Starbuck organised for a one of their fleets to attack us and stop us from jumping. It was touch and go, but the Chief was able to fix some of the damage incurred and proved his human allegiance as we desperately tried to overcome the mounting pressure and the loss of vital resources. Fuel in particular was becoming more desperate. Also we were still losing challenges. Was Apollo also a cylon?

The answer was yes!! (a knight betrayed us to the squire!!!!) He continued to defeat our skill challenges but eventually declared as we tried to get Apollo sent to the brig. With three cylons and four humans, things were looking grim. Morale was dangerously low and so was fuel. However we reached Kobol and was just priming up for the final jump when our morale finally failed us and the cylons were able to claim victory…….

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