Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Toshiro Mifune wants his money back

Poor Toshiro, all he wanted was six stout and sturdy warriors to help defend the poor helpless villagers, and what he got instead were a motley bunch with questionable competence, one of whom smelled suspiciously of bear. Read on...

Thanks Tom for the following reports!

Tumblin Dice

I was really quite shocked at how much smaller the retail version of this feels compared to Jon's home-made version. As a result, it's quite a bit more forgiving in terms of the lower regions - not that that stopped Paul from knocking me off the board three or four times. The negative scoring for the equivalent of "not getting past the ladies' tee" is good fun and I liked Tom 2's idea of a variant involving negative scoring for dice off the board.

The game itself was wonderful amounts of fun as always - improved no end by Phil's thesis work into random playing of filler/dexterity games. Helped that I won!

Tom 1: 110; Tom 2: 105; Phil: 90; Paul D: 71 (serves him right)

James says: FYI This was the smaller edition, there are 3 sizes available. Jon's version was made to the exact measurements of the largest commercially available edition.

Paul A says: My bargain basement copy of Tumbling Dice finally saw the light of day. I picked it up at the Game Expo last year for a massive £10. And while it doesn't meet the standard of Jon's lovely homemade version, it is certainly worth what I paid. Tragically however, my lack of coordination is not obscured by the smaller board. Clearly, I should stick to Phil Eklund games. 

Arctic Scavengers 

Very nice to have a game with 4, even though it was with Paul D, Dan and Tom 2 (kidding boys). It was decided to include the character cards and certain of the additional tools but not the buildings, as it was the first time around fro Paul and Tom 2.

The game was improved no end by references to DLT, the extended German family of Hunters named by their parents after boardgame designers and the Butcher's various ways of preparing dead refugees.

Despite Dan somehow managing to acquire two early Field Crews (the best contested resources by some margin), this simply drew him into the firing line of the saboteurs and snipers of Tom 1 and Paul D. Meanwhile, Tom 2 was quietly putting up with the others table talk, slowly but surely acquiring Thugs and Tribe Families to boost his final score.

In the end, Tom 2 triumphed by a surprising large margin with myself pipping Paul to the wooden spoon by one point. I simply ate too many of my team whilst Paul put his to work in the junkyard (the devil).

Tom 2: 40; Dan: 32; Paul: 28; Tom 1: 27

Samurai Spirit 

Have played this a number of times solo (using three Samurai) and it makes a really nice solo puzzle with a real thrill when you manage a win. Yes, this is a typical Bauza co-op - hard as nails. As it proved this time around, with Neil's defeat in the third round heralding the destruction of the last hut in the village. Tom 2 did get to become a bear though so all's well that ends well.

Personally, although quite thematic, I feel that six players is at least two too many when so many were new to the game. Would be interested to hear the thoughts of the others who took part.

Sushi Go!

To round off the evening, a game of Sushi Go, the copy of which had been thrown in my bag at the last minute.

A wonderful little filler which really scratches the card drafting itch. It works especially nicely with the full complement of five players due to the reduced tableaus and increased fighting over Sushi Rolls and Puddings.

This game was an especially close affair with only two points between all of the players!

Tom 1: 34; Dan: 33; Luca, James & Tom 2: 32 

And now for the evening according to James...

Definitely an Asian themed evening last night... during the evening I was either running a restaurant Wok Star, Sushi Go!, fighting as a samurai Samurai Spirit or creating kimono's Colors of Kasane...

To get the negative stuff out of the way I wasn't so keen on the samurai game... felt too long for what it was, probably due to the number of players. Although others might accuse me of sabotage, my bad gameplay was indeed unintentional (I personally would blame Neil for the failure, but that's often my default position anyways)... but the game coming to a premature end was not something I was too unhappy about. Nice idea, 6 players def too many... not on my shortlist

Wok Star 

This was a new game for me and Lucas, and was good fun, although pretty stressful experience trying to make sure we had all the right ingredients to get the recipes made within the 30 second time limit allowed for each food order... The game rules suggest 20 seconds is the default, and 30 for starters, which feels like a daunting prospect for future games. Somehow, and to be honest more by luck than skill, we managed to save the restaurant earning exactly the required $40 in the 4th round... I'd play this again... but not when I feel like a relaxing evening.

Colors of Kasane 

This was also a first, and a long overdue first as I've had this since Essen and been itching to get a game in... an interesting set collecting game with shades of Bohnanza... it worked really well. Enjoyed this a lot and just a shame it doesn't play 2 as I could see this getting far more games this way. Great components, some good push your luck tension, over in 20 minutes... I'd certainly be looking to get this in again another week. As to the scores, I think Paul won this one... not sure... I'm much better at remember scores when I won

Sushi Go!

Lastly, to complete a week of all new games. I've already played Sushi Draft but this adds more to the game. managed to lose by a point to Tom, but if I allow myself an extra 2 points to cover for lack of experience I can pretend I won...

And thanks to Paul A for the following reports:

Then onto a game of the classic, Ra! It was very Ra-like, although scores were surprisingly tight. I think Neil took this by 2 points, having assembled a devastating large collection of monuments. And I saw a single flood in the entire game (sob).

Finished with the (new to me) Colours of Kasane. Like many Japanese hipster games, it combines an impenetrable multi-coloured exterior, with pictures of doe-eyed kawaii maidens and interesting quirky mechanics. I liked it although I suspect that experienced players would have a much different game to the one we had. 


On our Boardgamegeek guild page James has initiated an open Q&A session with a new question each week. Feel free to play along at home, and even if you are not a regular IBG attendee you are more than welcome to join in with your own answers!

Last weeks question: Let's find out a few back stories here, so time for a one of the big did you get into gaming... ? What was the trigger to bring you into the gaming hobby ? Who do you blame for losing years of your life to moving cubes across a piece of cardboard..?”
It's a long one this week so you might want to grab a cuppa first!
James: "I'd always been into games, as a kid I had copies of Spy Ring, Go For Broke, Railroader, Careers anda flight game called 'Go' that I can't find on the database... but then as I got older I never beyond the standards such as party games (Balderdash, Scattergories, etc) and in my student days a lot of Monopoly/Risk/Diplomacy... I still remember visiting the 'double-6' club at Rathbone Place back in 1996 for a birthday evening playing Loopin Louie etc with friends.

Fast forward to 2009 and I think the combination of playing the Xbox 360 demo of Ticket To Ride, stumbling across a copy of Settler's at a car boot, and then seeing how much more was out there via BGG made me realize that my concept of games was not aligned with what was available... from here the only remaining step was an email from Gareth inviting me along to the Isleworth club and here we are today...

Now I have a house full of cardboard, an aversion to anything being scheduled for me on a Wed evening and a whole new group of people I call friends What's not to like !"

Dan: "I've been a gamer all my life. My first experiences of 'proper' gaming were the Judge Dredd game and Samurai Blades/Cry Havoc with one of my brother's friends when I must have been eight or nine. I remember trips to the original GW store in Dalling Rd Hammersmith back when they were still importing and rebranding designs and therefore had a broader range of games. One time I very nearly picked up a crayon rail game (Dragon Rails I think) but was persuaded not to by my brother who sensibly pointed out that you had to ruin it by drawing all over it while playing. I wonder if my tastes would be any different if I had started off on economic train games rather than wargames and nascent ameritrash.

It wasn't long before I discovered the joy of little plastic GW space soldiers in my teens, although I was mostly into sculpting and painting with them than tabletop battles, preferring to play the GW line of 'specialist games' instead. I then took a break altogether during my college years totally due to being so incredibly studious and attending every lecture, so let's scotch any fallacious rumours about mostly being drunk, chasing tail, and other less salubrious activities.

About fifteen years ago a friend who worked as a juggler in a traveling circus (no BS!) came home from a tour of Germany with a copy of Settlers, and my interest in gaming was rekindled. Over the next few years I went head-first into Eurogaming, discovered cheap deals on and bought far too many rubbish games, then fell out of love with Euros and in love with full-on Ameritrash. I had just got back from living in Cyprus where I had started what must be the islands first and only game club and was pointed in the direction of IBG when the Feltham club suddenly folded after the first meetup.

Since then I've played more regularly than at any other time, with my tastes mellowing to a broader acceptance of design styles; closer in fact to my earliest experiences of gaming.

And they all lived happily ever after, or something."
Paul D: "I've always been into playing games as a kid, but they were mainly kids games. I've got really good memories of loads of games, including Shing Shang, Intrigue, Push Ups, Othello, Plumb Crazy, Cluedo, Monopoly, Microdot, Cul de Sac (recently repurchased for me by Jimbo - thanks mate) and probably a whole host more.

Then I only played games when back at home for Christmas when my Mum would ask if we wanted to play this Sherlock Holmes title which really wasn't too good, but I still enjoyed it.

In my 20s and 30s I used to have some mates who'd get together for weekends away, when we'd go walking, camping, biking, but in the evenings we'd often play cards (mainly '500' if anyone's interested - which is a very fine game. And one day one of of them bought Settlers of Catan and I followed the well trodden path of falling in love with the kinds of games we now play via Settlers. We then got together on evenings just to play Settlers, and got various flavours of that. That lasted for a long time, and then we slowly expanded the collection to include Tigres and Euphrates, Ra, Pandemic, Ticket to Ride and so on. Then I moved to London, was pining for more game time, so I looked and found IBG just down the road. That was a little over 4 years ago. And I've loved it ever since" 

Tasha: "I've also been a gamer all my life. I remember organising a load of Risk games with my friends at primary school... graduated to Axis and Allies at secondary school... and then Diplomacy at University, where I got involved in that hobby, from which there is no escape. I was at University when the modern board games hobby as we know it was born, with Puerto Rico etc.

Pity I couldn't have a passion for something more lucrative, like sovereign risk or differential calculus. Whatever. Gotta roll with it. " 

Peter: "The big post-kid gaming revolution came for me with the German invasion of the late 80s when that gaming nation invented "German Games", which by the late 90s becaming "Eurogaming". Just Games in London would have a small import section which was irresistible: Hoity Toity, 6-Tage Rennen, Die Macher, Wildlife Adventure, Kremlin were found lurking there at the birth of today's scene. Finding English rules was often the challenge.

I've just noticed that Die Macher is game number 1 on the BGG database. Maybe that masterpiece was an inspiration behind BGG?

Will see you at Tringcon tomorrow (today?). Hope to make Isleworth next week (8th)."

Noel: "A 2009 Christmas playing Monopoly every day with my in-laws sparked memories of games I played as a kid - Cluedo / Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs / party games and I started a nostalgic google. Found BGG shortly after that and the amazing list of games that are now available. Settlers and TTR were ordered and within a couple of years an Ikea bookcase was full!

I stalked out the brilliant IBG blog for about 9 months before encouraging Tanya along to a Wed games night. A game of Traders of Genoa with Scott and Keith and Chinatown with Jon, Vicky and Maynard in the first week or two were really enjoyable and welcoming to 2 newbs and IBG has been a great place for making new friends and playing some fun games ever since. "

Paul A: "How I got into gaming? Some time around when I was 12, a few boardgames found there way into a local newsagent. I got fascinated with them, and eventually badgered my parents into getting me one for a birthday. It was Blitzkrieg, and my father was a saint for actually playing that huge, lumbering monstrosity of a wargame with me.

Over the years I drifted into miniature gaming, roleplaying and other permutations. Eventually, I started hosting weekly gaming nights at my place, and that ran for nearly 10 years. We all had eclectic tastes and worked well together, dabbling in CCGs for a while, going through a burst of Eurogaming, diving into RPGs and wargames. Then I followed work to the UK. Academia makes it all too easy to just do nothing else and regular gaming left the menu for a number of years. I finally vowed to make gaming a regular part of my life again. And here we are. "

Tom: "In terms of IBG, it was all thanks to a chance visit to the Apprentice where Louise spotted the notice referring to a certain board game club every Wednesday night. Despite ending up walking an hour from Isleworth station due to my own terrible sense of direction, I was hooked and my shelf space hasn't been the same since.

As a young lad, I do recall loving my games of Ravensburger classics such as Journey Through Europe and Enchanted Forest and constantly trying to get my Dad to commit to a game of Risk. But then, I've always been a gamer of sorts - many an hour was spent in front of my computer playing Lucasarts classics such Sam n Max Hit The Road, Day of the Tentacle and Indiana Jones & The Fate Of Atlantis or getting halfway through the latest Final Fantasy. "

Neil: "My historical gaminess was indulged by my parents buying us a game each Christmas. We had the usual Monopoly, Cluedo, Game of Life, Sorry! Halma, Newsdesk, and played a ton of chess and card games. Also fortunate enough to play Escape From Colditz in those days, usually solo, and the whole of Subbuteo, Subbuteo Cricket, Subbuteo Rugby, and Football Express too.

When Mrs Hora and I hooked up at school I was still playing lots of cards and Bridge too. We played Scrabble and Boggle, and, because of her linguist bent, also bought several games on trips to Europe, Das Malefiz Spiel, Inkognito, Mah Jong through a French/Vietnemese friend, as well as 221b Baker Street.

In 2005, working from home with far too much time on my hands - somethings never change - I found the geek and signed up, getting into Carcassonne: The Castle, Ticket to Ride, Memoir ’44, Quoridor, Hive, Pandemic. ’Twas only in 2012 that I discovered the IBG, stumbling into some of the loveliest people you could ever wish to meet. I wonder what ever happened to them? As for the rest of you weirdos, thanks for taking over my parents’ indulgent responsibilities. "

Soren: "I played all the classic children/family games as well as the Danish/Swedish Derby horse racing, share holding, betting game tiredlessly as a kid.

In the mid-late 80s I started playing Risk, Illuminati, Hacker / Hacker II: The Dark Side, Nuclear War, RoboRally etc. with a group of programmer/hacker (Trilogy/Paradox) friends. As well as, of course, Settlers Of Catan which seemed to be bought by and played in every home in Denmark back when it was released."

Gary B: "Life as a single child (well, I'm not technically a single child but my sister is 9 years older than me and I have no recollection of playing games with her) meant little in the way of boardgames for me. There was the occasional family game of Exploration down the caravan and basic family card games such as Kings at meet-ups. I also remember once playing Escape from Colditz with a friend and loving it. I put it on my Xmas list and behold my Aunt bought me the wrong version (there was another much inferior version with a light blue box!)

Childhood did include an obsession with all things Subbuteo however - tragically my parents sold all my Subbuteo (70 teams, cricket, rugby, even the 5 a side) at a car boot sale for £25 while I was at Uni! I've never properly recovered, though Ebay has helped....

I bought a copy of the 2 player Carcassonne for my honeymoon holiday to the SW of France in 2003, which my wife and I played. But it then sat gathering dust on our return. She is no gamer. Children arrived and so did UK holidays once more. One walk around a cold windy rural town resulted in a perusal of a 2nd hand shop and the purchase of a copy of Narnia Risk Junior. When I tried to play it with my 5 year old, we could not make head nor tail of some of the rules. It went back in the box! A couple of months later, bored at work, I decided to try a Google search for some answers to those pesky rules! I was directed to Boardgamegeek, required to register to download some updated rules by the designer himself and a whole new world opened up....

Unrestrained purchasing, and rather less playing, has ensued....

First, it was quite a few co-op games to play with the children (Forbidden Island, Flashpoint) then some fun card games (Loot, Archaeology etc), but it quickly became clear that playing boardgames just with the children was not going to scratch the itch on its own. More googling, blog discovered, email sent (to Gareth who hadn't yet been replaced following his desertion...)....

BTW I think I first came along in spring 2013, two years ago. My first session was with Canadian Barry, Woody and American Sean (all now gone?) playing Tinners Trails and then London - both since purchased). I gained the impression that most of you had been gaming together for years so I have been shocked to see how many stalwarts only proceeded me by a year!

Obviously I now attend Richmond regularly and Isleworth rarely (due to family timings more than anything), but I still feel I can pop along whenever an opportunity arises and find friendly faces to game with.

And I feel privileged to have contributed a few efforts to that wonderful blog... "

Jon: "In terms of my journey into gaming, I grew up playing the usual games with my family at Christmas - Cluedo, Monopoly, Boggle and The London Game. My brother then got Risk, which was great, except that World Domination was the only victory condition, meaning that it went on for ever sometimes.

At university, for some reason, I picked up Axis & Allies, which was a nice step up from Risk, but still required an investment of time and other wiling participants.

It was then basically party games all the way, until about 2004, a few years after we were married, when some friends invited us for dinner and they brought out Settlers of Catan. I was instantly hooked, and when another couple mentioned a game called Carcassonne, the slippery slope had begun. I discovered BGG, and my first purchases were Carcassonne, San Juan, Bohnanza, Tikal, Attika, For Sale, Lost Cities, Battle Line, Jambo and Caylus.

Can you remember those days when you thought that as soon as you had 10 games in your collection, that would be enough? Sigh...... shake

Anyway, in 2007, I met Barrie and Gareth in a pub in Richmond, and 2 years later, we formed the Isleworth Boardgamers. Since then, there has been much cube-pushing, even more spy-accusing, the odd car trip to Germany, the making of many friendships and even the acquisition of a god-child for me. And no more opportunities to pass 'Go' and collect £200..... "

DLT: "Gaming for me started with video games which I still love. In between some collecting warhammer and playing the traditional monopoly and clued. Around my first year of uni I started to play warhammer again and lotr risk. After nonstop playing of these 2 games i wanted more. So I bought zombicide. I was hooked. I loved it. I had to get more and play games I've heard of but never played. So I bought more and started to really enjoy the hobby. Helped that my classmates loved it too. We played it too much.
Now. At the end of uni I've developed my tastes of games and enjoy all types. My collection has now grown and just want to play more. And to help with that I have the lovely folks at isleworth

This weeks question: What is your favourite artwork in/on a game...? If you had to select something to put in the Louvre (or the Tate) what would it be?”

No comments:

Post a Comment