Saturday, December 21, 2013

Catchup on what's been going on...

So, I didn't get a chance to update our board game night over here, last Sunday. There were five of us present, and we decided to give Steve V's "Atlantic Storm" card game a try. In this game, the players switch back and forth between playing Allies trying to protect North Atlantic convoys during World War II, or Germans trying to sink them. The idea is to get the most victory points (downing convoys or opponents' ships/aircraft). If you think you are better served playing Allied one turn and then Axis the next, you do so.
The most interesting aspect is that players have a hand of cards, but can only play ones that are in the correct theater (North Atlantic or Arctic), and the correct year (1939-45). So, you may have several cards to choose from, or possibly even no cards to play. In that case, you can discard a card and draw a new one, but you will not affect the outcome of the game. Whichever player does the most to protect or defeat the convoy wins the hand. Opposing card are sometimes worth victory points, which must be divvied out relatively equally to those who joined the winning side.

Steve V and Mike S jumped out to early leads and held on for most of the game. I was competitive early, but then fell out of contention quickly towards the end. There is a "rich get richer" component of the game that those with more victory points accumulated get a larger hand of cards (which of course gives them more cards to choose from to play to win still more hands). Luckily, we forgot about that until the very end of the game or it could have been even more lopsided! It was a fun game, though, and a nice, relatively-quick moving 5 player game. To be honest, I don't remember whether Steve or Mike won -- but I'm sure it was one of them!
Since Steve had to duck out after the game, we were down to 4 players. We decided it was time to give Pandemic another go. This is my favorite cooperative game, though it takes a maximum of only four players. Also, the more players, the harder it is to win as a group. Allen was hoping to score his first victory as a player. Myself, I think I've played where the group won less times than I have fingers on one hand! Our first game got off to a great start, and I was confidently predicting a victory for us. Then, we were hit with a round of cascading "outbreaks." Before we knew it, we'd gone from coasting to what looked like a comfortable victory to losing. D'oh!

Allen insisted we play again, as it is a quick game. This time we managed to win. Instead of staring off quickly, we seemed to be moving slowly. But the tortoise ended up being better than the hare, again. We picked up steam towards the end and won relatively easily. We were helped by having one of the four diseases (yellow -- Africa and South America) come up rarely. So, we were able to concentrate on smacking down black and red whenever it popped up. Also, our one missing occupation (5 possible roles, so each game the four players don't have one) was the "Researcher," who's special ability is to build new research stations. That is the weakest of the five, in my opinion. So, it ended up being a good scenario for Allen to notch his first group win.

Next week, rumor has it, we will be playing the new Ogre board game -- all 25 pounds and umpteen million counters of it...! Otherwise, I've been working on my cannibal cookpot terrain piece. It is fairly close to being done, so you should see an update on it soon. Mike S had mentioned electronic votive candles with flickering LED lights when I was talking about how it would be cool to "light up" terrain pieces with integral lights. So, this piece is designed to go over one and conceal all of it except the flickering light. So far, it looks great, and I can't wait to see it completed. I've also been working on pieces to uses as "plot points" for my 28mm Pulp Alley games. I did a selection of idols, supplies, books, secret maps, etc. Those are all but done, too.

So, look for more updates here soon...!


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