An expanded version of my weekly gamelog on facebook.
Played Red Seven, Five Tribes, and Shadow Hunters at the Ballard Board Game Meet-Up at Card Kingdom/Cafe Mox. The games were good, the group is very welcoming, and the venue is pretty amazing. Much better than staying home and watching TV.
Red Seven is good filler or warm-up material. Solid, but not particularly exciting. It's an interesting retooling of the old trick-taking mechanic, but the lightness of play and absence of a theme keeps it from truly moving me. A game I'm always willing to play, but not one I'd go out of my way to schedule.
Five Tribes is a really deep game, with lots of moving parts and a
fairly daunting learning curve. I spent the whole game feeling like I
was doing horribly because I could never identify moves that were
actually splashy enough to be worth bidding the victory points to get
first player status. I think I only bid 3 times, and took my turn at
the back of the pack round after round. All game long, I thought for
sure I was going to come in dead last. Then we totaled the final scores,
and I was second place and just a couple points behind the leader. I
had 143 points, the winner had 146 points, and fourth place was 112 if I remember correctly. So there really were very few turns where it was worth spending, that
wasn’t just me being confused or overly cautious. We were all
new to the game, though, so there's some hope that more experienced players would have
weighed the value of their bids better and left my penny-pinching
play-style in the dust. I'd like to give this one another try, and see how my strategy develops over repeated plays.
Shadow Hunters is short enough to be party-game filler but intriguing enough to be something more. It's a perfect game for a large meet-up, as it can handle a large number of players easily and is short enough to let people join and quit as they please.
It starts with a puzzle, and generally ends with a beat-down. It’s got some
“aha!” moments, and excitement, but is very random and at times unfair.
Luckily the game is usually short and speedy, so if you’re getting the
short end of the randomness stick at least you don’t have to suffer very
long. Overall, I enjoy it quite a bit. It's got a little in common with both Are You A Werewolf? and Betrayal At House On The Hill, but is faster and shorter than either. I dig it.
I played an unpublished scenario of Shadows of Brimstone with Jeremy, Chris, and Sarah up at the Flying Frog Productions studios. Brimstone continues to be a great co-op experience, and has grown more challenging with the expansion previews from GenCon. We’ve been playtesting some amazing content that I'm not at liberty to discuss, other than to assure you that the game keeps getting better and better.
I wish I could fit more plays of SOBs into my schedule right now, but it requires a fair chunk of time and table space. In addition to the playtests, I have two other groups that I specifically schedule Brimstone games with. It's hard to get everyone's calendar's aligned with the days when my table is clear, though perhaps that speaks to my housekeeping just as much as it does the the requirements of the game. This was extra complicated by mass of boxes (over a hundred of them) that was occupying my living room for the past couple weeks. I had to cancel two gaming events this week to stay home culling boxes of old stuff I no longer need in my life. If I don't get a box or two done every single day, I'll never get through them all.
Goofed off with some Rock Band 4 at a Halloween party. We traded instruments and parts in and out every few songs. Rock Band is more an activity than a game, but it's highly enjoyable... especially when there's enough players on-site to feel like an audience. Scott rick-rolled us all (but especially Jim) during one of his turns on the microphone.
You'll notice no RPGs this week. That's something I have to rectify soon. Workplace exhaustion and the aforementioned boxes kept me from attending a couple of usual gaming nights, plus there were some non-game events on my calendar. Other cool things I did this week included seeing a friend's short film play in a movie theater, and participating in a long training and team-building session for the Dragonflight board of directors. I've kept myself busy.