Thursday, June 1, 2017

May 2017 Boardgame Round-Up

April ended with a weekend of gaming (International Tabletop Day!) and I wondered if the game playing would peter out a but due to gaming exhaustion, but it turned out to have the opposite effect – it kind of reminded us how much fun we have gamin and inspired us to get gaming MORE! Well… at least for the first week or so… Towards the end of the month we got wrapped up in kids activities that were wrapping up for the (skool) year.

I have to admit I started writing this post at the beginning of May and tried adding a bit to it after each game – hoping to jot down some notes about each game AS THEY WERE PLAYED rather than trying to remember what the hell happened at the end of the month. Sometimes I remembered to do this… other times not-so-much… hence more detail about some games than others.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Kicked off May with another game of Hero Realms! (forgot to take a pic during the game). Finnegan played the Cleric, The Girl took the Thief, and I played the Ranger. I crushed them… and made them cry… Looking forward to the launch of the Co-op version of the game!! I think the trick to the game is to try to get as many champions as you can and focus on one or two of the colours – I mostly went for green and red and laid down some serious hurt. Though early in the game I did pick up a few bribes and a blue guild mage (or something like that) to give me some buying power – to get the big nasty heavy hitters from green and red – giants, trolls, vampires, etc…

On the Second we played Roborally (with a soundtrack of Chemical Brothers and Le Tigre cranked on the stereo). This was The Girl’s choice, but I love Roborally too. We don’t pull it out often largely because Amanda isn’t fond of it – but she was away in BC at a Yoga Nedra workshop, so…

The Girl played Twonky, Finnegan played… um… I forget who he played…  and I played #5 (whatever his name is…? I always thought he looked like that robot from… dang what was that movie called…? With Ally Sheedy and a robot named Number Five…? Short Circuit?

Finnegan had the worst game – he drove his robot off the board or into pits THREE TIMES!? He only ever made it to the second marker (out of four). He took it all rather well and laughed the whole time – which is a HUGE improvement from previous games we’ve had when he was driven to tears of frustration!

I had a pretty commanding lead for the first bit. Got to the first marker while Finnegan was still floundering on the first board. Made a clean getaway before The Girl’s robot got there.

I made a mistake trying to get to the third marker and got turned around on the conveyor belts surrounding it. I still got there before The Girl, but I kind of took the long way around trying to extract myself from this mess while avoiding The Girl and her robot’s presser beam option/upgrade – which could have spelt disaster with all these conveyor belts leading into pits! Then she had a couple of turns with hands full of Forward Threes and Twos while I had a couple of mitt-fulls of nuthin but Turn Lefts!?

It was a REALLY close race between me and The Girl – it came down to the very last turn and THIS register above (I think it was the third register of the turn) where she would have shot forward to claim the prize, but mine went first and bumped her off her path so I was able to turn and get to the final marker on the very last register!!

Didn’t play games again until Friday when Bruce, Bob, and Brian came over to play in our bi weekly Primeval Thule D&D 5E campaign. We didn’t get up to much as three players were missing. Still on our way back to Quodeth from the Slavers city – ship got attacked by a mososaurus – or something like that. Lost a crewman and had to put into shore to do repairs. One of the parties sent into the woods didn’t come back and so we had to go search them out and got ambushed by some strange golem-like creature…

On Saturday Dragon’s Den Games was having another 20% off sale… apparently because it was Free Comic Book Day… but they didn’t have comics to give out… because they’re not a comic store… So they had a sale… Whatever, I went and bought a copy of Codenames: Pictures and Kingdomino. My mom had asked me to get a couple of games that we didn’t have, that we’d be interested in playing, that thaty could keep at their place and that THEY’d be able to play… not too tall of an order.

We happened to meet my folks for dinner at Amigos and we tried out Codenames: Pictures while we waited for out meals. It’s okay… our game was a bit rushed… I ended up buying this one because I had a few promo tiles for it from International Tabletop Day. I’m beginning to feel like I like the Words one better (which I played a year and a half ago…). A well… this one is fine. Perhaps I need to give it a few more tries.

Afterwards we walked back to my folks and tried out Kingdomino. I thought I was doing rather well, but in the spirit of her mother (who was still in BC at the yoga workshop) The Girl complained all game that she wasn’t doing very well… and then CRUSHED us all… well… I think she had 43 points, my mom and I were tied in second with 39… I forget what Finnegan had. I don’t think he was much behind…

If that weren’t enough for one day Brent and Kurtis came over in the evening to play Pax Renaissance. It’s been a little too long since we last played and I’d pretty much completely forgot the rules. I took them with me while I was out all afternoon running The Girl around to her Saturday dance classes – but I was SO TIRED I could barely keep my eyes open all afternoon – let alone read Phil Eklund rules! I remembered the basics – two actions, buy cards, play cards… I was a little fuzzy on how a lot of the ops worked…. And had no clue how to put it all together to put oneself into a position to… y’know… actually come close to achieving anyting resembling any of the victory conditions…

Brent seemed to have it figured out and got this incredible juggernaut of European renaissance high finance rolling and I had no clue how to even create so much as a speed bump, let along STOP HIM!?

I feel like I need to play this game every night for a week – like we did with Race for the Galaxy when we first tried to figure it out – then MAYBE I’ll start to get a clue how to play!

In the morning I had originally planned to go for a bike ride with the kids, but one thing lead to another and we didn’t end up going out… but we DID play another game of Hero Realms! This time The Girl played the Ranger, Finnegan played the Wizard, and I played the Fighter (which I’d picked up earlier in the week…).

From this moment on I pretty much knew I would now forever be the first one to die in Hero Realms – in this ONE TURN (pictured above) I put out 15 points worth of guards, dealt about 30 damage and healed myself for 30… yeah… from that point on it was pretty much GANG UP ON DAD, HE’S TOO GOOD AT THIS GAME!

Thursday the 11th was The Girl’s 11th birthday. While waiting for supper we introduced Amanda to Hero Realms. I’m not sure we even finished the game…?

After Supper we played a game of Super Dungeon Explore: The Forgotten King - as The Girl wanted to practice before running the game for some of her friends at her Birthday party the following evening. I played my Wandering Minstrel and Amanda played her Fallen Succubus (pictures of those from when we last played). Finnegan played the Deeproot Druid. We didn’t get through a complete game, but The Girl got the practice she needed.

The following evening was her birthday party and the game went over really well. Over the two weeks preceding the party I painted up a bunch of Super Dungeon Explore Heroes and a few of the forgotten King’s Minions.

On Saturday the 13the I wandered over to Kurtis’ to play another game of Pax Renaissance with him and Brent again. This time I was a bit better rested. I played the Fugger bank of Austria and… I can’t remember who Brent and Kurtis played… I could look at these pictures and look it up... but I'm feeling too lazy to do that at the moment. 

My first stab at victory. I think I had three kingdoms here and the others only had one – the feudalism victory condition was in play, but I didn’t have an action left to declare victory. The situation would change drastically before I had another turn. It was back and forth between me and Brent for a number of turns – I came close to winning a few more times, but Brent always had LOADS of money and was always able to foil me before I could declare victory. Finally he took enough away from my that he was able to declare victory. Seriously, I think he had just about every empire on the map in his pocket by that point…

Out of three games, we’ve only ever had feudalism victories…

Fugger bank sucks. (Or maybe it’s just that I do…). I feel like at the time I’d thought out some actual reasons why it was no fun to play.. they have to go first and start with less money…? I can’t remember… Need to play it again. And Pax Pamir

On Sunday (the 14th) we met my sister and folks at Amigos Cantina for a supper with them to celebrate The Girl’s birthday. They brought along Codenames; Pictures again. We played a couple quick games while waiting for food (boys vs. girls – with me and The Girl as Spymasters, we started a third with Amanda and me as spymasters, but the food arrived before we really got into it.

On Tuesday we tried out Monarch. Ever since we watched the Tabletop Season Four episode about Monarch back an the beginning of February, The Girl has been super stoked about tracking one down. I’d actually added it to the list of games my Mother-in-law could look for to get for my birthday – but when Amanda told be she went and got ALL of the games on the list I suggested she could hold onto Monarch until May and give it to The Girl for her birthday. So she did. The Girl was SUPER EXCITED to get it!!!

We all got to play sister princesses filling up our courts to score crowns (victory points) which, it think, were to gain the favour of our mother the queen..? It's kind of a card drafting game - most card go into your "court" and you play until someone has seven in their court. Other cards you buy improve the lands which benefit everyone. To draft/buy these cards from the market you need to have gold which you get from taxing villages, but to tax them you have to have food to feed them - which you get from harvesting. You can either tax or harvest once on your turn and then buy as many cards as you like (actually you can buy cards before and/or after doing your taxation or harvest - which allows you to buy and improvement and then make use of it before anyone else does!)

The first game we played without banners because The Girl had read in the rules that it was suggested to play without them for your first game or so – honestly, we could have thrown them in. It’s a pretty easy game – for seasoned pros like us it wouldn’t have been too much to just play with them for the start…

I crushed the kids going heavy on Bounty.

In the second game I hammered them again – I had some pretty incredible luck, though – One of the first cards I got was the one that allowed you to get culture cards for 2 less gold and two other culture cards in the first turn and then snapped up the Culture Banner which meant pretty much anytime an unwanted guest showed up in the market, it was going into one of their courts for free (except the one that The Girl managed to buy and put into mine, before I could put it in one  of theirs…). It’s a bit of a double-edged sword of an ability, because it makes all the other players want to buy the unwanted guests and put them in YOURS! If playing with four players it could have gone much worse for me…

Later in the evening we introduced Amanda to the game.

I didn’t make note of how that game went. I think The Girl won.

The third weekend in May was the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada and I’d originally hoped to get in a LOT of gaming – at least seven games – Friday night, Saturda Afternoon, Saturday Evening, Sunday Afternoon, Sunday Evening, Monday afternoon and Monday evening… but then Amanda was feeling super behind at work and ended up going in for the day on Monday. Saturday and Sunday she decided we needed to get caught up on a bunch of chores and errands… booooo… we did get in a few games…

Friday Evening we played Legendary: The Marvel Deck-Building Game with the Deadpool expansion that Finnegan had bought some time ago and never got around to playing with. We played with mostly Deadpool hero cards… and some incompetant Agent of Hydra… and our mission was to stop Macho Gomez from stealing all the Chimichangas. It was weird.

Saturday evening I convinced the family to try out Faustus Furius - except with jet bikes! A full report of the ensuing shenanigans can be found elsewhere on this bolg:

Finally on Monday a couple of the kid’s friends came over and played Star Wars: X-Wing. I didn’t play in this one, and I’m not really sure how it went down. The Girl played with one of the Imperial Veterans these same lads gave her for her birthday (the crazy looking red interceptor thingie) and the younger of the brothers played a pair of bog standard Tie-Fighters with Academy pilots. Finnegan played the B-Wing and the elder brother played the Y-Wing. Once again it was a victory for the Forces of the Imperium – furthering their cause to promote peace, justice and ORDER in the galaxy by preventing the radicalized, terrorist Rebels from spreading their hokey weapons and ancient religion…

As I mentioned, the last week or so of May has been CrAzY busy with dance classes at the Uof S School of dance wrapping up and final rehearsals and recitals and getting a garden in and a bunch of other stuff going on. So we didn’t play any games as a family for over a week! Hopefully in June – and through the rest of the summer – we’ll find some more time for gaming.

I did get in one last game at John’s on the evening of the 31st. We played Quartermaster General 1914. QMG 1914 is a lighter card-driven game of the Great War. John actually called it “not a wargame, but an area control game with a war theme”. I liked it – I wish I’d had this to play with the kids instead of Axis & Allies 1914 back when we were boardgaming our way through history…. (I am reminded that I never actually FINISHED the last two posts about our boardgaming through history… maybe I should get on that…).

I played Russia, John played the UK and the USA, Brent played France and Italy. Opposing us were April, who played Germany, and Darrin playing Austro-Hungary and the Ottomans.

It was a weird game – The United states was in the war quicker that the British!? In fact the British never landed an army in France – but the Americans did! Italy marched through Tyrol and marched on Vienna and captured it! This happened quite early in the war and kind of screwed Darrin for the rest of the war as he was unable to do much of anything (all his units being out of supply and unable to build new ones…).

Near the end of the game – I used up all of my little men half way through the game and thus could expand no further – I could have used guys to attack into adjacent areas (on the rare occasion that I HAD land battle cards) but I wouldn’t have been able to take them over – just remove enemies from the areas denying them victory points – But the Germans had so many readied defence cards, I figured it would be pointless and tried to look for other ways to gain victory points (mostly through the use of event cards).

In other news…

I had a talk with John  - who is the chief-organizer-guy for ToonCon - and I’m going to be running either Pax Renaissance or Pax Pamir on Sunday afternoon as part of their new “Learn to Play” series of games – Games that they figure very few people will have played  - some of which may be “heavier” games (ones that can be a bit of a slog to try and read through the rules without having played something similar before) - that people can sign up with no previous knowledge and know that the person running it will basically walk them through a game (and hopefully not have one super experienced person show up and crush everyone else because they had no clue how to play). My Faustus Furius game (which I’ll be running on the Saturday evening) will be part of this series. There might be a COIN game in this series or High Frontier 3rd Edition - both of which I’d be excited to play as well.

We have a few more weeks of furious activity – two or three more violin lessons, two more Irish dance classes (then two rehearsals and the final recital) and then our year-end homeschool reporting on the 20th. After that we are free and clear (mostly) for rthe rest of the summer… well… okay, we are renovating the kitchen – and I’m doing a lot of that… and the kids are each taking a week long theatre class at Persephone Theatre and Finnegan is going to Diabetes Camp and we’re all going on a short trip up to Prince Albert National Park for a few days of hiking and mountain biking… but OTHER THAN THAT – we don’t have much planned through the summer and I hope to get in a lot of biking and playing games!

Through June I do hope to get Saturday games in on at least three of the weekends… maybe even four (if Amanda can take the kids to one of the Irish rehearsals)…? This Saturday we’re planning to play Arkham Horror. As The Girl is done all her Saturday dance classes she’ll actually be able to join us, unfortunately Amanda is at a conference all weekend – so it’ll just be me and the kids and my friend Jasper who said he’d come and maybe I’ll be able to get one more player…

On two of the other Saturdays in June I’d like to get in games of Pax Renaissance or Pax Pamir - so I can let the ToonCon peoples know which one I’m going to run.

I’ve been feeling the urge to run a role-playing game again. I’m pretty stoked about the idea of running a Cthulhu Invictus campaign. I’ve been considering running it with a very simple system based on A Song of Blades and Heroes or Fear and Faith (I’d been thinig if I’d run a more modern Cthulhu campaign I could have called  it Fear and Faith and Fthagn!). I’d really like to run it for the kids – and maybe some others… I’m not entirely sure WHEN I’ll run it though… Ideally I’d like to get started over the summer – like, right after we’re doing with the Homeschool reporting!

Bruce, who has been running the bi weekly Primeval Thule D&D 5E campaign, has said he’s hoping to wrap it up by the end of the summer and then he’d like to take a break and has asked if my or Bob (one of the other players) if we’d step up and run something. I could possibly run Cthulhu Invictus then (perhaps a separate second campaign – or rerun the games I’ve already run with the kids?)… or possibly I could run something else entirely. I did just back the Astropolis II Kickstarter - the Astropolis figures look PERFECT for a Rogue Trader….

Bah – I’ll worry about that after ToonCon. I need to get building some Jet Bikes!

I've noticed that these Boardgame round-ups are my most popular posts - they are getting almost double traffic my regular posts of painted miniatures and miniature game reports!? Is it the labels? Searches for boardgames? If you're not a regular and you popped by to read this - leave a comment and let me know how you got here - I'm just curious. 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Probably some pictures of Dwarves I’ve painted for the Highland Dwarf Dragon Rampant warband – not to be confused with the Mountain Dwarf warband (yeah, I’m working on two totally separate dwarf warbands for Dragon Rampant). The hopefully a Giant Robot and the onto some Jet Bikes and more game reports!! 


  1. Tim! You have been busy at the game table!

    1. Yeah, it's good to do these and realize: "Hey I HAVE played some games this month". This month simultaneously feel like it dragged on forever and flew by!? Before the QMG1914 game last night it was twelve days since I last played any games... feels like For-EV-ar... but it really hasn't been. Hopefullythings will slow down/calm down in the next week or two and I won't feel so PANICKED all the time...

  2. Wow, lots of games! Looking forward to the jet bikes!
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain! Me too! Except right now I'm assembling a boatload of white plastic miniatures (Reaper Bones III Kickstarter arrived today!)