Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The one where Jon was well and truly Goosed

Contributors: Daniel, Jon, David

A warm welcome to newcomers Andonknee and Antoinohn, otherwise more normally known as Andy and John, who had no idea they would be making flipper hands with strangers when Philippe invited them along to a game night.

The four of us totally crushed some Aliens in the much improved transfer of Marvel: Legendary into Ridley Scotts cinematic universe, despite the dire warnings that we would struggle by not playing the intro setup. Philippe was the medic and did some good work in holding off the worst of the damage that we suffered, and as the versatile android character I leveraged card bonuses to get my attacks up to 20+ damage which was more than enough to take out the worst that came at us, occasionally clearing out the encroaching Alien conga-line in it's entirety. Everything about this game seems to make much more sense in the Alien-verse than in the original Marvel superheroes setting - for example, having Aliens creep in through a breach in the ventilation shaft and make their way toward your hold-out is far easier to parse than a horde of Super Villains mysteriously appearing inside a bank vault before parading through the city streets and disappearing, pied-piper like, across a bridge which you are unable to cross yourself. Having the cards face down adds to the feel of ominous skittering noises approaching, and I also love how the facehuggers are present in all their explosively gory glory. Top marks for a cinematic reboot that is better than the original!

Then onto a proper IBG gaming welcome for the new boys with Rhino Hero, Good Cop/Bad Cop, Fake Artist, and mucho Happy Salmon nicely filling out the end of the evening. The latter was an absolute blast and turning into a sure-fire hit for ice-breaking filler material. What a great night!


I walked in late, and had the choice of playing Tin Goose with John B, Neil and Phil, or going to watch the second half of a thrilling Ireland v Italy match. Being the social animal that I am, I chose to be goosed... surprise

First things first - this game looks a bit dull. The board is a map of the US, but doesn't contain anything innovative (probably a bit hard with a map, to be fair...) and apart from the cute 'planeeples', the rest of the components won't win too many beauty pageants. The fact that a segment of John's board had already snapped off, and the tiles were all badly miscut didn't help much either. It looked like a victim of Jon's 'deferrystration' regime, if the ferry in question had been in dry-dock at the time....
It looks like it's going to be quite a complex game, and the box states '30 mins per player' - so I settled down with the sinking feeling that he was in for the duration. However, it turns out that the game is relatively simple. Each player gets to auction a card in turn (once around auction, which speeds things up nicely)and then take 3 actions (which are all pretty straightforward). Rinse and repeat 7 times and you're done. In fact, it took less than 90 mins to play, which included 3 newbies, so a pleasant surprise there. 

As with many auction games, it's almost impossible for newbies to gauge the worth of anything at the beginning (or in my case, at the end either...), which did give John B an advantage. Neil took the strategy of "buy anything, whatever the price", and soon had a fleet of airplanes that BA would have been proud of. Phil was more considered, and also seemed to be surreptitiously picking up tokens that would defend him from adverse events. I wasn't buying any planes at all until John advised that I might want to start purchasing, seeing as that was the point of the game. Even with this sage-like advice, I was still reticent to part with any cash (probably as a reaction to my debt-fest during Railways last week...)

Anyway, the game sped by a quite a canter, and it turned out to be quite 'friendly' by John's estimation - only 1 event card played all game. It semed very difficult to call the winner, but it turned out that my frugality had paid dividends, and I won (to my, and everyone else's great surprise) by a reasonable margin from Phil & John, with Neil coming in last, although he did have the most impressive air force...

This was an 'ok' game, that I wouldn't be in any rush to play a second time - and, as Dan remarked, it probably means that he won't be in any rush to play a first time... whistle

But the big news of the evening was that in James' absence, John B somehow metamorphosed into the persona of our resident 'rules-killer' and got not one, but TWO major rules wrong!!!! Unheard of....... surprise


I've had Village kicking around for a while but never got around to playing it so thought I would bring it and see if I could get a game. James B and I arrived a little earlier and TomToo shortly after. Having played it before TomToo offered to teach it to us for our first game. It's a surprisingly simple game with multiple paths to victory. There's a nice balance to it and you never feel as though you've run out of options. The ageing villagers are also a nice touch as most actions cost time and knowing when you let your villagers die and where is key. During the game I concentrated on sending my villagers out into the world to travel to other villages as well as sending some to the church. TomToo meanwhile sent his villagers to the Council Chamber and James worked both the Market and Church. It was a close game and when it came time to score we were all separated by a point. I ended first with James B second and TomToo third. A great game but one downside are the cubes, which are meant to represent various attributes which are impossible to remember so we just refereed to them by their colour. Not the most thematic part of the game but the rest makes up for it.
After that was a quick game of New York 1901 with myself, Tom, TomToo and James B. There was a bit more blocking this week compared to last week's game as we fought over the same territory. Tom managed his space well and it was clear he would claim most of the end of game bonuses. So it was a race for the rest of us to try and catch him. I ran out of steam towards the end and had to sacrifice a few turns building as the others had successfully blocked me. When it came to scoring Tom won with 70 whilst TomToo and I were tied in second about 20 points behind and then James B some place further back. Those end of game bonuses really made the difference. 

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