Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Rage Against The Caramac
Contributors: Daniel, Soren
Downstairs at The Apprentice this week, but we had the whole back room to ourselves and the lighting is so much better now it was almost better than being up in the Riverview Room!
I had an early game of Too Many Cinderellas with Neil, Sandra, and Peter, followed by Jon joining us for No Thanks (Sandra claimed she had never played before yet managed to hammer us all in a convincing win) before saving the Multiverse with Neil (oblivious), Paul (disgruntled), Tasha (ecstatic), and Gareth (Hamster). This was then followed by the Dan Lester red-eye breakfast hour, largely comprising an epic rant about the state of the Diplomacy world championships, but also some revelations about his prior relationships with Texan death row inmates (you'd be surprised at how little hyperbole there is in that paragraph).
Things then got serious with a few rounds of Fake Artist, joining the dots in Traxx, and arguing over card placement in the IBG Pictomania Cup (sponsored by Caramac). Heavy stuff indeed.
Also seen doing the rounds were Council of Verona, Stone Age (I'm guessing that Philip had already secured victory by the second turn), Shakespeare (no monkeys, but plenty of wooden blocks on a beige board, plus an interloping pawn that looked like it had snuck in from Jame's car-boot sale copy of Cluedo. How did it play? Very seriously apparently, but at least they got the rules done and dusted before closing time for a change). Meanwhile, the five Toms crushed innocent Vikings with hairy storm gods in Blood Rage. They liked it so much they were at it all night, so it must have been a good one.
As we all know from the Nordic mythology and sagas, the vikings invented the drafting mechanism now widely used in many board and card games as the way to divide the spoils from their raids. So very appropriately, card drafting is the core mechanism which drives the epic, build your own special powers engine dudes on a map game that is Blood Rage.
Over three ages players have to make agonising decisions to choose between the many cool special powers and quests to put together an efficient combat engine. The viking clans and their house-trained giant monsters then slug it out for glory in the provinces around Yggdrasil while the whole world is falling apart in Ragnarok. "We need a bigger Valhalla". The casualties pile up high in Valhalla, often with a sneaky happy grin on their players' faces as they wanted them to be slaughtered in battle for the glory of being resurrected from Valhalla at the end of each age.
Tom and James, having played the game before, drafted some very efficient cards and avoided obvious operational and tactical mistakes and quickly pulled away ending with a runaway victory for Tom. First-timer Raj also did very well with Soren and Patrick trailing some way behind.
Very good, in your face confrontational game with lots of hard choices to be made throughout and with great miniatures (bigatures?/maxiatures?). Highly recommended Eurotrash game. Definitely a keeper to sit proudly next to Kemet and Cyclades.