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TableTop Day – Views From the Tables

Saturday was International TableTop Day.  On this day, board gamers around the world come together to play board games.  The Meetup group I belonged to, Game On: Chits and Giggles (yes, yes, I got the pun), decided to celebrate this by gaming for the full twenty four hours at the Portal in Manchester, CT, which was open for the full twenty four hours as well.  It was a crazy undertaking, but we got quite a bit of gaming done, with a few observations along the way.

Longest Game I Was Glad I Was Not A Part Of

Our group started the night by splitting off into a couple of smaller groups.  The group I joined pulled out my copy of Stone Age and played the worker placement game.  Other members decided to take on a game of Battlestar Galactica, with a third group starting a game of Elder Sign.

Five hours later, two of the groups had finished their games and joined together in playing a few games of Blood Bound.  When I say a few, I mean four (more on that later).  That Battlestar Galactica game was still going on.  Now, according to BoardGameGek.com, Battlestar Galactica has an average play time of one to two hours.  This particular game had gone on for five hours.

Quote of the Day

“Hold on… dammit, we’ve been playing that wrong.”

Uttered by me the many times I tried to explain how a game is played.

The Fourth Time’s The Charm

Blood Bound is one of the few games in my collection that is designed to play with a large group.  I recently picked it up at my local comic shop knowing that I would eventually be playing with a large group, thanks to the above mentioned meetup group.  The game is a hidden role game where players are members of rival vampire clans trying to kill the leader of the rival clan.  We played this four times early in the morning Saturday.  Three of those times we played it, I managed to realize I missed a small but vital part of the rules.  Thus, by the fourth time, we managed to actually play it right.

Granted, we were able to do this while another part of our group was still trying to find the Cylon in Battlestar Galactica.

Finally Got To Play It

My plan for TableTop Day was to play a few of the unplayed games in my collection, whether they were my copy or not.  I did manage to play Blood Bound (my copy) and Small World (not my copy).  I played many more games, but these are the two that I had in my collection that I had not played yet.

Perfect Game For 6 AM

Two Room and a Boom is a hidden role/deduction game played with a large group.  Players are assigned to two teams with two players playing the president and the bomber respectively.  The goal is for the bomber’s team to get the president and the bomber in the same room.

It turns out that at 6am, there are not the huge numbers of gamers at the store yet, allowing for the two groups to split up into two actual rooms.

That Game Kicked Our Butts

The Portal held two Pandemic Survival tournaments on TableTop Day.  Pandemic Survival is the same as Pandemic with a few alterations.  First, the roles are pre-picked for the tournament.  Secondly, each turn is timed, so you have to think fast or be left behind.

Needless to say, Pandemic kicked our butts.  A lot of us were taken out when outbreaks got to be too much to handle.

Worst Game I Partially Played, Part 1

Ground Floor is a worker placement game where players are trying to build up their companies from the ground floor (get it?).  Unfortunately, I found the game far too complex and a bit boring to boot.  Thankfully, we were saved when the Pandemic Survival tournament was about to begin.

We had planned on coming back to the game after the tournament.  We ended up playing Cockroach Poker instead.

Best Game I Had Hoped To Buy on TableTop Day

Prior to TableTop Day, I had pre-ordered three games that I was planning on buying and playing that Saturday.  Two of the games, Dice Town and Survive: Escape From Atlantis both came in: San Juan did not.  Fortunately, the store had a copy in their game library that I was able to play (though I had played it many times in App form).

San Juan is a tableau building game similar in vein to Race For The Galaxy.  Players work to build their towns and acquire victory points.  Once one player reaches twelve buildings during a building phase, the game ends.  I like playing the app, and really liked playing the actual game.

I just hope that my copy comes in soon.

Worst Game To Play After Staying Up Eighteen Hours

Ultimate Werewolf Inquisition, or any game where you need to close your eyes for any period of times.

Worst Game I Partially Played, Part 2

The last game of the night (or day, however you look at it) was Heroes Wanted, and it really did not click with me.  You could argue that it was because it was 11pm and I had already been gaming for 23 hours.  I would argue that I thought that the idea of forcing players to do stupid gimmicky “personality quirks” or they lose victory points is irritatingly stupid and unneeded.  Thankfully, the late hour forced the game to wrap early, though I pretty much checked out of the game pretty early.

Disappointment of TableTop Day

The store had been holding raffles throughout the day for special TableTop Day promotions.  There was only one promotion that I really wanted: The Felicia Day character card for Dead of Winter. 

Guess what I did not win?

Karma Pays Back Moment

The Portal was having a Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing tournament Sunday.  Since I had just stayed up 24 plus hours for TableTop Day, I had not planned on participating on the tournament.  But, Sunday came around and I said, what the heck.  I figured I probably won’t win, but I’ll get a figure out of the blind booster.

Except I won the whole thing.  I went undefeated.  Well, technically, the last match was a MAD moment (Mutually Assured Destruction, for those who do not remember the cold war).  I killed his last character on the field, but in this particular game, characters do not leave the field until the end of the round.  Thus, that character does get one last attack, and he did.  That attack took out my last two characters.  I got the win by the simple fact that I had the highest level character left on the field when we all died.

Regardless, I won first place and the first place prize.

Games I Want To Play Again – TableTop Edition

With International TableTop Day roughly a week away, there are a ton of gamers who are building their lists of games they want to play.  Naturally, I am one of those people.  I’ve already posts a short list of some of the games in my collection I have not played but would love to play on International TableTop Day (April 11).  I say short list because the list has grown slightly since I posted it… to fifteen, well sixteen if you count one of the games I picked up today.  And, as I said, that’s just the list of games I have not played yet that I want to try out that day.

On top of that, there are a few games that I have played in the past that I would love to get to the table again.  Okay, that list is also fifteen as well.  Naturally, I know I will have to pare down this list, along with the other one as well.  In the meantime, here are five of the games I’ve played before that I want to get to the table again.

1) Sentinels of the Multiverse

Courtesy: playunplugged.com

Courtesy: playunplugged.com

Sure, there are other card based superhero games like DC Deckbuilding Game and Legendary.  But, neither one really gives you the feel of being a superhero pitted against a super villain like Sentinels of the Multiverse.  And, with all the  heroes and villains (and environments) that have been added over the years, Sentinels has a ton of replayability.  I can see myself playing a couple of games on TableTop Day just like I did last year.

2) Eldritch Horror

Courtesy: Fantasyflightgames.com

Courtesy: Fantasyflightgames.com

One of the many Cthulhu based games that have come from Fantasy Flight.  Eldritch Horror has players traveling the globe trying to stop the elder ones from destroying the world.  Like it’s sister game, Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror can be played solo.  But, I would love to give it a go with other players.  And, an event like TableTop Day allows for this game with its two hour play time to hit the table easier than on other days.  I picked this one of the two because Eldritch Horror is more streamlined than Arkham Horror, and I like the globe spanning play a bit better.

3) Stone Age

Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org

Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org

TableTop Day would not be complete unless there was one worker placement game on the list.  For me, that game is Stone Age.  This game scales well for two to four players, and a lot of fun to play.

4) Mice & Mystics

Couresty: Amazon.com

Couresty: Amazon.com

The best thing about an event like TableTop Day is that gamers are usually in it for the long haul.  So, longer games hit the tables more.  Mice & Mystics is one of those longer games.  This fairy tale like game has the players enter a fantasy world of heroic mice and vicious rats.

5) Arctic Scavengers

Courtesy: riograndegames.com

Courtesy: riograndegames.com

I really like deck builders.  And I’ve played quite a few of them.  Some deck builders, like DC Deck Building Game, barely hold together a theme, even if they are fun to play.  Others, like Legendary, just take too long to set up.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy them, but for an event like TableTop Day, I want something a bit more… well, more.  Arctic Scavengers has the players assume the roles of leaders of survivors in a post apocalyptic frozen wasteland fighting for what little resources are left in the world.  Eventually, players must face each other to get the good stuff.

5 Games in My Collection I Haven’t Played But Want To (TableTop Day Edition)

I have been slowly working through my collection of games that I have that I have not yet played.  Granted, some of those games have not actually been played, but I have played other people’s copies of them (and that counts for something).

And, with International TableTop Day just around the corner, it seems like a great time to look at that collection and pick out a few from the pile that I have not yet played, especially since I am planning on making TableTop Day a 24 hour event.

1) Zombies!!!

Courtesy: horrorcultfilms.co.uk

One of the oldest games in my collection (at least, one that I have had the longest), Zombies!!! is a game that just has not ever made it to the table.

The game itself is pretty simple.  Players try to escape a zombie infested city that grows with each tile the players draw on their turn until they find the helipad (and rescue), or kill 25 zombies.

It is not the best zombie game out there, having been surpassed by the likes of Last Night on Earth, Dead of Winter, and Zombicide.  But, it still sits in my collection waiting to be played at least once.  And TableTop Day seems like a good time to pull out this lighter, yet sprawly board game.

2) Pandemic Contagion

Courtesy: Initiativetabletop.com

Pandemic has become well known, spawning many expansions and a few spin-off games.  Since Pandemic is cooperative, I have been able to solo my way through that game.  And I have managed to play Pandemic The Cure a couple of times.

Which leaves Pandemic Contagion, the game where the players become the diseases they have fought to wipe out in the other games.  I’m hoping that TableTop Day will finally be the day I can get this one to the table.

Then I’ll start worrying about the expansions to the original game, and Pandemic Legacy when it comes out.

3) Mr. Jack

Courtesy: Boardgamegeek.com

I have managed to play Mister Jack Pocket and Le Fantome de l’Opera, which some people have described as Mister Jack in Paris.  But I have yet to actually play Mister Jack itself.

The game itself is a deduction game pitting two players against each other in a race against time.  One player is the notorious Mister Jack, trying to escape detection, while the other tries to discover who is Mister Jack really is before he (or she) escapes.

Mister Jack is strictly a two player game, which has not worked all that well for larger groups.  I am hoping that TableTop Day will allow for some time where I can break out this two player game for a couple of plays before diving back into the big group games that will tend to dominate the day.

4) Zooloretto

Courtesy: Fairgamestore.com

Zooloretto is a bit different than some of the other games previously on this list.  There is no killing zombies, no infecting the world, or even trying to find an infamous murderer.  Zooloretto has the players building and populating zoos.

Each round, “trucks” are loaded with animals and concession stands.  Players will take one of these trucks and place the objects in their zoo.  If they do not have room, then they go to the barn.  Points are scored by filling areas and lost by having animals in the barn.

5) Mansions of Madness

Courtesy: weirdtalesmagazine.com

Courtesy: weirdtalesmagazine.com

Another of Fantasy Flight Games’ many Cthulhu based board games.  Mansions of Madness looked really cool when I picked it up.  But, it has since sat on my shelf unplayed, mostly due to the extremely difficult set up and the need for at least two players.  But, with the plan for TableTop Day to be an all-day event (literally), there is a good chance that a longer game with a long set up could hit the table.

On Dragons and Starfighters

As many of you know, I have been quite the Star Wars X-Wing player for a while now.  I have a number of squads created and prepared to bring to the table.  But, lately, I just have not been all that into playing it.

Part of it is just burn out.  For probably a year or so, I have been playing X-wing on Sundays, which is convenient for me because that and Monday are the days I have off during the week.  Even not playing a few Sundays for holidays or because I was called into work, that’s quite a few Sundays.  And while I have played many different squads, the battles are usually the same: straight on dogfights to the last ship.  Even varying what squad I play, or even what faction, it is the same thing over and over.

It did not help that store tournaments got moved to a day I can’t participate in either.  Not that I really competed in them.  Usually, I would lose those, mostly because it was a straight up dog fight and I would end up out flown and out gunned.

Courtesy: wizkidsgames.com

The big reason why I have not been getting into the X-Wing games lately is that I’ve started up with the Dungeons and Dragons Attack Wing games.  The two games have their similarities, but lately I have been liking the DnD Attack Wing stuff so much more.  There is a mix of ground and flying creatures that adds in an aspect that X-Wing just does not have.  And, while the price point for the Attack Wing minis is roughly about the same as the X-Wing minis, I do not feel the need to buy six Sun Elf Wizards to make a good squad, where I had to buy multiple TIE Fighters just to make a competitive squad.

Even the tournaments are different, and better.  X-wing has you build a 100 point squad that is either Imperial or Rebel (or Scum, now that that faction is out).  Attack Wing has you build a 90 point squad, with an additional 30 points coming from a blind booster.  So, even when you don’t win a DnD tournament, you are still getting a figure that is not out on the market yet, along with the various spell cards that come with that figure.  The DnD tournaments are also set up around scenarios.  You are not just destroying your opponent, but trying to complete a mission that is different for each tournament.

Even the prizes are different… and better.  First place for the last X-Wing tournament I played in was a plaque.  Nice, sure, but it’s just a plaque.  First place for the DnD tournament was a dragon, one that can be used in future games and tournaments.  Even second place was better than the “medal” that they have for the X-Wing tournaments: it’s another dragon.

So, I see myself potentially drifting away from X-Wing and more towards Attack Wing unless something really cool comes out.  At this point, I really am not sure what that really would be.

Games Falling By The Wayside

As I have been picking away (slowly) at the number of games I have yet to play in my collection, I have noticed that there are a few of them that, frankly, I have a lesser desire to play.  Some of the games I have played, and some I have not.  Many of these games are not really have I hate.  They are just games that I just really don’t want to play.  At least, they are not games that I want to play a lot.

And, for the record, there are 102 games in my collection that I have not played in some way or another.

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Picks of the Week – February 4, 2015

After a few weeks of snow storms, delayed deliveries, and just not having anything to write about, the picks are back.

spoilers

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5 Board Games I Have… But Never Played

Recently I watched an episode of Board Game Breakfast (part of The Dice Tower) that had at least two segments talking about board games that have never been played.  This, naturally, got me thinking.  In the short period of time that I have been collecting and playing board games, I have picked up quite a number of games.  And a lot of them, for various reasons, just have never been played.

And there are quite a few of them.

Some of them just take too long to bring out and set up.  Some of them take too long to play, or rather, more time than I can really dedicate to playing them.  Some of them need more than two people to play, which for me is sometimes difficult to gather.  And some of them I just have not made it through the rulebooks to feel comfortable bringing them into the play.

Now, there are certain caveats to this list.  I have not played my copy of Last Night on Earth, but I have played the game, so games like this I’m leaving off my list.  Others are expansions which I have not played (like Nightfall: Martial Law), so I would not count them, even if the expansion is standalone.

And really, this is a list that I can easily add more and more games to.

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Picks of the Week – January 14, 2015

It’s been some time since my last post.  I needed a little time off, but I do have a couple of picks for this week’s comics.

spoilers

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Picks of the Week – December 31, 2014

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