Monday, May 1, 2017

March/April Boardgame Roundup

I didn’t end up doing a lot of boardgaming in March because I was busy working on the Vimy Project… well…for the first half of the month before I abandoned it… I’m not sure why we didn’t do much gaming for the following three weeks…? General malaise after abandoning the project I’d worked so hard and so long on…? Maybe it was all the catching up on other things I had let slip while working so long and hard on it…? maybe a bit of both…? Anyway, gaming picked up in April..

Amanda and the kids and I played a game of Nations on the 5th. My friend Kurtis left the expansion nations from the Dynasties Expansion for us to try out.

I totally can’t remember what everyone else was playing… I’d played the previous few games with China – determined to find some way to win with them…

But it looks like I was playing with Japan this game… I have no idea who won. I just know it was fun. Because Nations is always fun. (Except when Amanda complains all game that she has no idea what she is doing and that she’s certain she’s not doing well and then UTTERLY CRUSHES US ALL by a landslide… Oh, wait, that’s EVERY game of Nations… Ah well, it’s still fun to play).

The following Friday (the 10th) we played Abyss. Abyss is an interesting set-collection game. The Girl got it for X-mas from my folks – she’d asked for it because she and Amanda had tried it out at International Tabletop Day last year and really enjoyed it. It’s fun.

These games were almost two months ago, so I don’t really remember how they went down… I should stay on top of these monthly Boardgame Roundups – even if I don’t play many games – just so I can remember what the heck happened in the games!? Or maybe even type a few lines about each game immediately after the game and then just post all the comments at the end of the month…?

We didn't get in any games again until the next Saturday (18th) – when Bruce and Brent joined me and Finnegan to try out Pax Renaissance. It ended up being a “figuring it out” game and all I really remember about the game was I ended up playing King Maker for Brent – I took… something…? Away from Finnegan one turn – which set me up to declare victory on my following turn, but I hadn’t been paying attention as Brent ALSO had the requirements for the same sort of victory and started his turn by saying “Uh… I think I win…”

This was one of the games that my in-laws got me for my birthday, which had arrived earlier in the week. They live in Windsor (Ontario!) and my sister-in-law lives in Detroit (part time… sort of… long story…) so when Amanda said he mum was interested in a list of ideas for things she might be able to get me for my birthday I send along a list of a few things that are either impossible to get in Canada or prohibitively expensive to get in Canada – but are easily available through – with free shipping within the US! I sent a list of a few things  thinking she could maybe get two (which would be enough for free shipping) but tacked on a couple of extra options in case one or the other weren’t available… well she ended up buying ALL of the things on the list!?

Later in the evening some other friends came over to try out Secret Hitler - another of the birthday games. It’s a party-ish games – sort of along the lines of Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow (in that there are people with secret identities – the fascists - which the other players – the Liberals - have to root out before they are destroyed by them..?). I think we played two or three rounds. I ended up being a fascist EVERY SINGLE TIME. The game involves bluffing and lying – which I am TERRIBLE at. It was a lot harder game for the Fascists to win than I imagined (But maybe that’s just because I’m such a terrible liar…).

The picture was probably taken AFTER a game – because I kept forgetting to take pictures because I was too involved in PLAYING the games…

We also played Are You The Cultist? - another similar game where the players are supposedly a group of investigators trying to stop cultists from summoning some dark god – but their group has been infiltrated by a couple of cultists who secretly try to foil the investigations. I totally don’t remember who was who, or who won… I seem to think there was a random element to the game which really messed things up…

I think both of the games play better with MORE people!

On the 28the Amanda and I played in our bi weekly Primeval Thule D&D 5E campaign. The game that should have been played earlier in the month was cancelled for some reason…? I think this session was the one where the stars aligned and an island not on my chart rose from the sea and we were attacked by Deep Ones…

A week later, on the 31st we I finally got in a game of The Pikeman’s Lament with the kids – a full report of the game (with loads more pictures) can be found here:

Earlier in the week my copy of High Frontier 3rd Edition which I Kickstarted almost two years ago

So on Saturday (1 April 2017) we set it up to have a go at it.

Bruce, Finnegan and I went through the “READ THIS BOOK FIRST – Training Guide”  because… well… it said to read it first and seemed to be a walkthrough of the rules (and also I hadn’t had an opportunity to read through the actual rules earlier). It turned out to be not all that helpful… I probably would have don’t better reading through the rules and puzzling it out on my own… anyway…

I think Bruce actually successfully managed to launch a rocket and get somewhere…

The following Saturday (8 April 2017) Brent joined us to have another go at the game. Bruce and I had both read the basic rules – and Brent had actually played before – so things went a BIT smoother. I still like I feel like I have NO IDEA what I’m doing – but I LOVE the game! I NEED TO PLAY THIS MORE!!!

On the following Tuesday (11 April 2017) I got in another game of The Pikeman’s Lament with the kids – a full report of that game (with loads more pictures) can be found here:

I’m really enjoying The Pikeman’s Lament and have been painting a lot of stuff for it this past month.

The next day (12 April 2017) the kids just set up a game of Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King while I was doing chores, but invited me to play for a bit when I took a break.

I got to play the Ember Mage. She’s pretty cool. With all the goodies she’d found she was blasting stuff right, left, and center.

I had to step out of the game before we finished, but the kids left it set out and I think finished it up after supper.

They just had a riot playing it. I hope we get to play this again soon!

Thursday and Friday (13/14 April 2017) We set up a game of Star Wars: X-Wing. It was really just one game we played – we set it up on the Thursday and got in an turn or two, but then had to stop for some reason… but we left it out overnight and finished it off Friday morning.

The Girl had picked out a TIE Interceptor with a named pilot and a couple of bog standard TIE Fighters with Academy Pilots. I took one of the TIE Fighters.

Finnegan took a Y-Wing and a B-wing

Finnegan’s Y-Wing took out The Girl’s Tie Fighter pretty quick in the game.

But then my TIE fighter took out the B-Wing!?

And then he took out the Y-Wing!?

An Academy Pilot… well he’d probably been promoted!

This turned out to be a WEEK-O-GAMING as one of the kids came over the following day to play a few more games with us.

We played a quick game of Ingenious.

I totally played my BEST GAME EVER – I ended up with 18 in ALL colours!?

Later we set a game of Onward to Venus I played France, Amanda was America, Finnegan played Germany, The Girl played the Russian Empire and the kid’s friend played the British Empire.

Since we had a bit of a Space theme going for the weekend I had hoped I’ve be able to introduce Amanda and The Girl to High Frontier, but then Amanda remembered she was teaching a yoga class in the afternoon and we ended up having to play a shorter game.

Trying to keep with the Space theme we played Race for the Galaxy. Amanda’s looking a bit gloaty here… She did end the game – putting out 14 developments and planets (she had a development that allowed her 14 in her tableau – rather than ending at 12). She’d played a FAST game getting things out as quick as possible. She didn’t end up winning though, so the celebrating was perhaps a bit premature…

The Girl was really upset by this – she’d needed a few more rounds to get out all the things she had in hand.

I didn’t get everything I had into play, but won the game anyway. I had a pretty solid theme going. I like that more than winning – it just happened that I got one of those 6-cost developments that gave me HUGE points for having all those Alien cards in play.

After Amanda left, we played another game, which I think I also ended up winning – this time with a bit of an uplift theme (I had originally thought of going for Imperial worlds – there had been a “First Goal” for imperium/military worlds – which I did end up getting, but not in the way I originally planned…)

Later in the evening I went over to my friend Kurtis’ to try out Wings of the Baron. Players are competing manufacturers of airplanes in Germany during the Great War. We were actually playtesting for a new expansion.

I played Albatross. I really enjoyed the game, but I really only felt like I was starting to get a clue how to play as the game ended… There are about six different actions you can take, but must select only a few of them to do each turn. These include researching new technology (giving you cards), implementing new designs (playing those cards), espionage (stealing technology others have already designed), building new factories, and banking (converting paper money into gold – because paper money is devalued throughout the game due to inflation – and becomes absolutely worthless if Germany loses the war).  Whoever has the best planes gets the most contracts. More contracts means more money, but you are limited in the number of contracts you can fulfill by tthe number of factories you have. So there is a lot going on in the game! 

Monday kicked off a week of High Frontier 3rd Edition (well… two days.. originally it was to be three days, which is pretty close to a week). For the first game I talked the kids into trying a play through of with me. I played the European Space Agency, Finnegan played NASA, and The Girl played the UN. Finnegan’s starting to figure it out and managed to lay claim to all of Mars and build a factory there, he also built set up a factory and colony out in the asteroid belt. The Girl made a number of claims out in the asteroid belt and build two factories out there – one with a colony. I got a manned mission to Mercury and back – scoring a quick (well.. not really so quick as I effed up my first attempt 6 points claiming the glory for return trips to  Mercury and a Science site) Later I build a factory out in the belt – where I managed to do and Extra-terrestrial construction of a more efficient solar sail that I was able to bring back and use to take enough stuff to set up a factory and colony on Mercury! Finnegan and I tied at 26 points, and The Girl wasn’t far behind with 20…

Tuesday (18 April 2017) we tried to walk Amanda through it. I played Shimizo, The Girl played the European Space Agency, Finnegan played NASA again and Amanda tried the UN. After a great deal of explanation we got a game underway around 8pm or so… but had to call it quits just after 9pm as Amanda was exhausted from her day at work (and hadn’t been sleeping well the last few nights). The Girl had already laid claim to a couple of Asteriods and has left a Robonaut floating in space waiting for a refinery to arrive for her to complete a factory on one. I was a turn away from claiming all of Mars! (MWA-HA-HA-Ha-Ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaa….). Finnegan Has been about to launch a mission to Mercury, but I pointed out he was about to make the same mistake I had at the beginning of our previous game – going there without enough fuel to afterburn to get enough thrust to land and take off again! He decided to wait until he got a more efficient thruster to get his rocket TO the Venus zone where he could abandon it and carry on with his solar sail. Amanda had JUST gotten a PILE of equipment boosted into Low Earth Orbit, but then we pointed out she’d need to collect income for four more turns to have enough fuel to get to where she was planning to go… AND that she didn’t actually have a good enough ISRU to actually prospect at the location she was initially planning to go… and at that point she called the game and went to bed. She did think it was interesting and promised to have another go at it – on a weekend when we had more time and she was better rested!

The following day – Wednesday, 19 April – I was supposed to go over to Brent’s in the evening and play High Frontier AGAIN! Brent was planning to run us through a full Colonization game. I didn’t make it… I can’t remember what came up…?

Thursday was the start of the annual Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra Book and Music sale (people donate books and cds and records and DVDs which members of the symphony and volunteers sell at this annual event - which now runs a whole week and a bit – to raise money for the SSO). I happened to find this old copy of Acquire.

This was Day One’s purchases – The Girl’s, Mine, and Finnegan’s piles. The whole shebang was about $50…? This was our biggest haul of the week – except for the second Saturday – the last day – when everything was 50% off…

Friday was our usual biweekly Primeval Thule D&D 5E game – and Amanda’s birthday! ( a couple of our regular players were missing...) 

The evening’s escapades brought us to the climax of an adventure that took us to a slavers city to try and free some Dwarf merchants and a master craftsman. We had a show down with a particularly nasty wizard of some sort that planned to sacrificed the dwarf in some dark ceremony. My fighter dude shot him out of the sky – I got a natural 20 and did 20-something damage… it was pretty epic…

The next week was pretty busy and we didn’t get to any gaming at all until Saturday, 29 April 2017 – International Tabletop Day 2017!

This was the beginning of an insanely busy weekend. Amanda was away at a yoga instructors workshop in British Columbia, so I was doing stuff on my own with the kids… now, as I mentioned this Saturday was the final day of the SSO book and Music sale (everything 50% off the already insanely low prices…) it opened at 10am. We spent about half an hour there – gathered up a pile of stuff – mostly DVDs and then split.

Luckily it was a beautiful day. I think the forecast was for rain – which would have sucked – but it ended up being sunny and warm. After the SSO sale, Finnegan made his way to Dragon’s Den Games, and I took The Girl to one of her dance classes. She normally has three dance classes on Saturday. But I convinced her to play hooky from the two in the afternoon so we could all go to Tabletop Day and play games all afternoon. (this picture above is from where I was sitting and waiting for her while she did her class – in the Williams Building – in the distance there). It was nice to sit out in the sun.

After the class we headed over to The Den. Locked up our bikes – to the only place to lock bikes up to within half a block of the place…

When we got there things were well underway.

Finnegan was playing a game called Colosseum..? maybe…?

The Girl and I joined a few others to play a game called Shadow Hunters, which was pretty interesting. Players have a secret identity and are either Hunters, Shadows or Neutrals. Hunters and Shadows win by eliminating all of their opposites. The Neutrals have weird victory conditions. Part of the game is deducing who is on your side and who are your enemies and then destroying them before they figure out who you are… I ended up being a Hunter and The Girl was a neutral – her victory condition was that she won if the person to her right won…!? I figured out who the other Hunter was pretty quickly and then figured out who the Shadows were – but I think they pretty much figured me out about the same time. We took down one of the shadows, but then the other one finished me off. One of the Neutrals finished off the second Shadow to fulfill HIS victory condition – which made us Hunters win as well (including me, even though I was dead?!) AND The Girl was counted amongst the victors, as she was sitting to the left of the Neutral who ended the game and won…

The we joined in a game of Kemet. followers of different gods in ancient Egypt battling each other for control of temples and stuff… It was okay…

The Girl kind of looks bored in most of these pictures – she wasn’t – she was just very, very tired. It was a long week with a lot of activity, followed by a late night Friday evening, followed by and early morning on Saturday and a lot of running around – to the SSO, back home, over to Campus, 45 minute dance class, over to the Dragons Den (all by bicycle – tires an 11-year-old out…)

I spotted my friend Other Tim playing a game of Nations.

I had heard someone was going to be running a game of Terraforming Mars, which I’d really wanted to try out. But there was a sign up sheet and only four spots available and it was all full up before I got there… looks like a fun game though.

The kids played a game of Sentinels of the Multiverse with a couple. Actually Finnegan had played another game of Sentinels earlier in the day.

I tried out another game called Kingdomino. It was fun and quick. Probably be a good one to play with my folks.

There were doorprizes handed out throughout the afternoon. The Girl won a weekend pass to ToonCon in the fall and Finnegan won a game called Costa Rica.

There was also a bit of a sale going on and I ended up buying a copy of Neanderthal. My mom had asked me to pick up a game we could play with them over at their place. I thought about getting Kingdomino, but then the couple I’d played it with bought it… I had thought about Codenames… but the kids seemed pretty interested in Hero Realms, so I ended up picking up that. Finnegan also bought himself a game – something to do with Red Dragon Inn… but not actually Red Dragon Inn…? I think it might have been Battle for Greyport..? I’m sure we’ll be trying it out soon enough.

We stopped by my folks place for supper afterwards and actually ended up trying out Costa Rica and it was actually quite fun – and my folks could even play! Players took turns leading expeditions through the mountains, forests and wetlands of Costa Rica in search of critters. Each expedition initially has a one meeple of every players colour, but as players collect tiles with animals they are removed from the expedition. It’s essentially a set-collection game. This post is already WAY TOO LONG to really get into it… I’m sure we’ll play it again soon – maybe when Amanda gets back from BC.

 When we got back home we played YET ANOTHER GAME - Just Desserts. This is one of The Girls games and she loves playing it and she was feeling like she didn’t really get to play a game she’d wanted to play – she didn’t mind playing any of the games – but didn’t really feel they were ones she chose…? I don’t know… So we played a quick game of Just Desserts and she was happy.

I ended up Staying up  waaaay tooooo laaaaaate trying to get some patches sewed onto wone of The Girls dance costumes, and then we had another early start to get over the the Universities Physical Activity Complex for the U of S School of Dance’s Picture Day….

Picture Day. We were there from 9:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon…. The Girl takes FIVE different dance classes with the UofS SoD… (and Finnegan takes one too!)

In some of the longer breaks between pictures we got a couple of games of Star Realms.

This was my last round of one of the games – I went pretty heavy with the BLOB forces. I think I did 28 damage! Finnegan had already been knocked out and The Girl only had about 13 Authority left, and maybe an outpost worth four…

After we were finished with pictures we scooted on over to Irish Dance (at a different dance studio) I caught the last 15 minutes of my class – which just about did me in (I was running of fumes at this point having had only 4.5 hours of sleep). I’d brought Neanderthal with me thinking I’d sit and read the rules, but I couldn’t even focus my eyes to ready ANYTHING so I sprawled out on a couch in the basement and trie dot rest a bit.

After class it was pouring rain and the ride through the rain woke me up a bit. We went to my folks for supper again.

And this evening we tried out Hero Realms! I’d also picked up a few of the expansion started decks, so Finnegan tried out the Ranger, my dad tried the Cleric (which he always played in D&D as well….), and The Girl and my Mom teamed up to play the Wizard. I just played on of the generic starter decks from the base game. It was fun. My dad had to split to go feed my sister’s dogs – he wasn’t quite grasping the whole idea of deck-building – kept thinking the cards he bought in the turn he should be able to use then and there, but my mom followed along and pretty much had it figured out by the end. It is pretty much identical to star Realms – with different names and art – but it works. We had a lot of fun – it’s a good filler game when you don’t want to have to think too much. I’m interested to see what they come up with in the Co-operative campaign sets they’re planning.

Well! That’s a lot of gaming… I need to stay on top of these updates and do them monthly… or perhaps fortnightly!?

In addition to receiving my copy of High Frontier 3rd Edition this month, I also kickstarted a couple new games in the last month or so - Cytosis: A Cell Biology Game and Bios: Gensis (2nd Edition)… because… SCIENCE!! I do really like Phil Eklund games and I’d been really interested in Bios: Genesis when it came out last year. I didn’t pre-order it though, thinking it would get to my local game store (Dragon’s Den) eventually – but it sold out before they shipped any to any stores and initially it sounded like they weren’t going to reprint anytime soon – so when they announced they were kickstarting a SECOND EDITION already, I jumped in on that on!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Some painting perhaps…? 


  1. That is a huge board for High Frontier! Good to see so much gaming going on.

    1. It is a HUGE board (though it is in two parts and on the back side of one of the halves is a smaller version of the board - on the back side of the other is the interstellar board).

  2. Wow, that's a massive amount of serious gaming.
    It's been rather quiet on the gaming front here since a massive three-day dose at Swedens biggest gaming con, Gothcon, during easter. Was there with the kids and tried out a lot of new games. Great fun!
    Now I have to find Race for the Galaxy, as it is so much fun. You seem to have most of the expansions, as there were quite a few cards I didn't recognize.

    1. Yes, I think we do have all of the expansions for Race for the Galaxy - though we haven't played with either of the Alien expansions (Alien Artifacts or Xeno invasion) - mostly because neither can be played with any of the other expansions and I would be a huge pain in the butt to sort through all the cards to separate out the original game cards and the three expansions we have mixed in with them at the moment.

      The third one in the Galactic war series (Brink of War, I think) was my least favourite. It adds "Prestige" which is a new way of gaining victory points - and feel a little unnecessary and a bit like "double dipping". Whoever happens to have the most prestige points at the beginning of the turn gets a victory point. If you can get a prestige point early in the game when no one else has them you can gain points every turn - also the prestige points themselves count as victory points at the end of the game (hence the "double-dipping"). I think it's also the one that added an optional ability to capture certain cards from other players tableaus - which adds a whole new level of interactivity - which we didn't really dig and just don't play with. I think one of the things we like best about RFTG is that you are just doing stuff on your own and trying to "Get there fastest with the mostest" and there isn't a lot you can do to mess with the other players. But if you're into that sort of thing - you might love it!

      My family really enjoys Race for the Galaxy. It did take us a week of playing it every night to finally get our heads around how it all works. Now we got it down to the point where we can use it as a light "filler" game - when we have an hour to kill and want to just play a light game that everyone knows what they're doing - we know we can get through a complete game in that time... Dominion is the same - though we don't seem to play it as much...? I think that's largely because of the decision-making about which cards to use from which sets during set up.

      I know a lot of my friends despise Race for the Galaxy for some reason, but they all seem to love ROLL for the Galaxy? I have tried Roll for the Galaxy and it's okay - I find it very similar. I'm not going to run out and buy it, though, as it is essentially the SAME GAME as Race for the Galaxy, which we already have.

    2. I think it's also the simultaneous action element that we like - there's little waiting around someone to decide what theyr'e going to do next because we're ALL making those decisions at the SAME TIME.

      7 Wonders it like that too... which we also haven't played for a while... I think we'll have to bust out 7 Wonders and Dominion this week!

    3. Thanks for the reply. Me and the Boy have it as our (easily transportable) summer-game when we're in the summer-place. Far to little gaming with it between summers, though :-(
      I will certainly look into what expansions to buy - great tips above.
      The Son is very tempted to buy Roll for the Galaxy and he's got some birthday money for just that sort of thing.
      7 Wonders Duel is also a great game, but haven't tried the base game.
      The most played game now is Star Realms. BGG says I've played more than 40 games the last months. Excellent and both the Girl and the Boy likes it.