Wednesday, 13 July 2016
The one where David made a lot of noise in a short space of time.
Contributors: Daniel, David, Jon
A rowdy game of the old classic Pit was underway when I arrived and despite how tempting it was to join in I instead settled into a slightly more refined game of Deep Sea Adventure with Jon, James, Paul D, Paul M, and Milda, the latter two having their first go at this perennial favourite.
Jon and Dawsey raced ahead in the first round with their prudence paying off as the only treasure hunters who made it back with some loot, while James and Moosie started to catch up by just scraping through on the last dregs of Oxygen on the second dive. It looked like a lost cause for Milda and myself, with both of us stymied by chucking high numbers on the way down and snake eyes on the way back up (not to mention Milda's determination to pick up every shiny trinket she encountered - ahh, that first game of Deep Sea Assholes...)
However, tables were to be well and truly turned as the shortened treasure trail enabled us to grab some of the stacks at the bottom and provided an easier route back to the boat. While everybody else quickly ran for safety our deep-diving tactics paid off - at the final counting Milda had picked up a massive 35 points on that one dive and I just pipped her to the win with 37 that I likewise collected in that single haul, the other chaps knocking about in the teens and twenties.
We then broke off into two threes playing Glen More and Ra (plus something else?) and a six-top adventuring into a haunted mansion in Betrayal at the House on the Hill.
After David got his chopper out and bashed Philippe over the head with it, we transitioned to a different kind of bloodshed in Blood Bound which is some kind of 'Vampire Masquerade' style hidden role game. We were split into two teams with everybody knowing which team one of their neighbours was on and the objective to slaughter the opposition leader, stabbing the wrong person resulting in a loss. Cue political satire here if you will.
For some reason we all took a liking to attacking David on spec and had to pull up short before inadvertantly tanking the game unecessarily early. Each time you get attacked you have to reveal a piece of information about your character (no I don't know why either, I think 'because game' is the reason), so everyone is destined to get a shanking at some point. Eventually, we figured out who everybody was at which point it became apparent that the blue team had a slight advantage and were guaranteed to win... so we stopped playing... erm...
I'll be kind and say that this one probably needs a big table of ten or more (if you can find that many people who are into Vampire fan-fiction) where it takes longer to figure out who the leaders are and maybe some additional character powers can mess with people's heads... but I think this will still fall down to whichever team's leader has one more life point left than the other at the point of reveal and constantly end in a bust.
More Happy Salmon ridiculousness followed this, then I sat down with the two Toms to play Valeria, which is really just an activity wrapped up with some pretty pictures. It's a total rip on Machi Koro except this game is tilted so that everybody collects far more resources as the dice are rolled around the table. As a result there is very little tactical edge in which cards you decide to buy into your tableau, and with even fewer and less interesting decisions to be made you just roll dice and pick up stuff until you run out of stuff to pick up. Someone eventually throws their hands in the air and yells "woo" at all the victory points they have accumulated. Total shite. This really ought to have spent a lot more time in development before being dumped onto Kickstarter.
Realising that this was one of those occasions where we were taking part in an activity rather than playing a game, I abandoned ship and allowed Phil to take over my spot so that I could go and play Legendary: Aliens with James instead. We set up in what passes for 'easy mode', using objectives and characters canonical to the original movie with two 'drone' cards in each objective deck, and as a result it was a bit of a cakewalk if I'm honest. We encountered two face huggers along the way which were dispatched with ease and toward the end were able to wipe out pretty much anything that came our way while we kicked our heels waiting for the big bad to appear. Think we need to dial up the difficulty quite a bit for the next time we play and introduce some of the 'advanced' content with the Weyland Yutani 'traitor' and the Alien player involved.
San Juan and Coup:G54 were also on the go at the end of the night.
The first of my noise creation came with Billionaire, which is a nicer looking variant of Pit. Along with a small bell came a lot of shouting, in the midst of which Philip made and then lost a fortune and Philippe continually added to his winnings. After much shouting and grabbing someone won and it must have been Philippe.
Then came Betrayal at House on the Hill, I was relatively quiet during most of this until Tom triggered the haunting and I became the traitor. Facing insurmountable odds...ok everything was perfectly laid out for me....I managed to chop Philippe with an Axe and haul his lifeless corpse into the Chasm to open the gates of hell, all the while being chased by a knowledge draining statue. Victory came with the last roll of the dice and at which point I decided it was appropriate to make more noise just to let the others know I had won. This wasn't a great haunting, the rest of the players were effectively ruled out of the game and everything was laid out for me to grab victory.
By this point I had used up most of my energy on a quick game of punching, slapping, tickling with Happy Salmon and I was more restrained for the following game of 7 Wonders. A great game where Paul pipped Jon and I to win by 60 points to our 57 by being the only player to build science and score nicely from it. I should also mention that Paul and I were the only players who did not build any military and were happy to co-exist (there's probably a life lesson in there)
After Milda's first experience of IBG a few weeks ago, where she found herself involved in an evening-long game of BSG, it was nice to see that she actually returned! And as a reward, she was asked to choose which game she wanted to play, which turned out to be Glen More. Jon & Paul were her co-gamers, neither of whom had played before.
Glen More is a nice little mid-weight Euro - not particularly complicated, but with plenty to think about. It has echoes of Alhambra, with its tile-laying mechanism, and a nice little 'choose a tile from a pathway, and whoever is furthest back on the path keeps going until they overtake someone' mechanism.
Milda was a little taken-aback that the game played very differently to how it did when she played with her husband (no comments about the OAP nature of her opponents required, thank you Dan...) as players built more tiles than she was used to. Paul ended up taking his time to build the most efficient tableau of Scottish landmarks (and when I say 'take his time', I mean, enough time to allow Jon to visit the bar, return with a drink, converse with gamers at other tables, return to his game, to find Paul still taking his move. OAP indeed....) Jon came second, and a bemused but happy Milda came third. Glen More - certainly one of the best Scottish-themed euros out there....