February 29th, 2016: HP and H.P.

Crew Members: Nuri, Zevvy, Dima, David, Nima

Happy leap day! We were finally able to meet at Nuri’s again, which of course meant lots of Cthulhu goodness. Something about that phrase sounds wrong.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Zevvy – K.N.Y.F.E, Nima – Haka, Dima – Omnitron X, David – Mr.Fixer, Nuri – Nightmist

Villain – Gloomweaver: DEFEATED

Environment: Realm of Discord

Faye Diamond was a normal girl with normal girl parts and normal girl emotions. But when she came in contact with magical artifacts, part of her body turned to mist! Sensing her despair, the Nightmare Walker Gloomweaver attempts to materialize in our world by tempting any willing cultist to assemble his three relics: a purse (full of bones!), a diary (full of curses – how mature!), and the Darbuka of Despair, with which he plays annoying rhythms in public places until you pay him to be quiet.

Gloomweaver played his Grimoire of Curses pretty early on, forcing us to discard while we began taking out his Zombies. . Well, everyone except Nightmist who was just sad and cutting herself. Haka took a lot of hits initially, but his bulky frame allowed him to brush off the attacks as mere scratches But when a few Cultists showed up and Haka got cursed by a Voodoo Pin, Nightmist channeled her emotions into the form of an Oblivion spell, destroying pretty much everything.

IMG_20160229_210920054.jpg

In the nick of time we destroyed the book–Knyfe punched it, Haka smashed it, Omnitron blasted it, and Mr. Fixer chain whipped it, bloodying his knuckles. Nightmist made it feel so bad about itself that it hit itself and died.

Time was flying, allowing us to get well set up. By the time the third relic came out, we had moved to the Negative Energy Field, and everyone began suffering from emotional issues. But we managed to take out the final relic with just a few HP left each, sealing Gloomweaver in the Realm of Discord and preventing his access to our material plane. For now…

Cthulhu Munchkin

Nuri and I were professors, Nima was a Cultist, and Dima was an Investigator. David got the Tommy gun, but didn’t want to change his name to Tommy for the rest of forever to get the bonus. David and Dima kept helping each other, and Nuri a bit too, while I refused help on my first battle and had discarded most of my cards. Nima didn’t encounter many monsters either, so he and I stayed at a fairly low level. Everyone used their cards to prevent David from winning, but eventually he won by killing a baby

Cthulhu.

On the way home we passed the scene of a drive-by-shooting. It may have been internal gang violence, the details aren’t clear. There are real forces of gloom and despair, but there will always be good men with man parts and good women with women parts to combat the evil in this world. Would you kill a baby Cthulhu?

Advertisements

February 25th, 2016: Let’s Start a War

Crew Members: Martin, Zevvy, David

Martin had us over to play Nations. I though that since Martin and I knew how to play already, and David would pick it up quickly, it wouldn’t take too long. We were there for over six hours…and it was awesome. We also added some expansion content.

Nations

Zevvy – Korea: 41, David – America: 39, Martin – Mali, 32

There were very few military options in the first age, so I led in military and wars while Martin and David competed in books and we all began developing our empires. Martin appointed Sun Tzu as his leader, giving him two turns in a row each round. I built Solomon’s Temple which gave me a point at the end of every age as long as I don’t lose a war, which I managed to make use of throughout the whole game. David had a lot of stability which protected him from the wars and some bad events.

IMG_20160225_233339578

The dynasty cards made a huge difference, allowing me to put resources into storage and recover from bad events. I built a synagogue because I felt I had to, but I never used it…and almost built over it with a mosque. For a while I was the only one with colonies, but David got some in the third age and Martin picked up some powerful colonies near the end of the game. The last few rounds saw a huge arms race, with Martin building enough submarines to max out his military. David’s Democratic Republic caused havoc with our dynasties and got him a lot of books. In the last round I managed to build the Statue of Liberty and pick up Florence Nightingale, who protected me from losing several points by not being able to feed any of my workers.

The final tally was very close, and any number of small changes would have allowed America to come out on top. Until next time, all hail the Korean Warlord!

We did take a break for an hour in the middle, but it’s still a long game, even if you know what you’re doing. Lot’s of fun though.

February 24th, 2016: Gardening – In Space!

Crew Members: Zevvy, Roman, Martin, Liz, Dima, David, Max

Even with short notice we had a good showing, and though our first game dragged on my roommate Max was finally able to join us for our second game.

Space Station

Roman  – 10, Zevvy – 10, Dima – 9, Liz – 9, David – 8, Martin – 6

Gameplay elements similar to Alhambra, players add modules to their space station and score points for having the most modules of each color. The game is played over 6 rounds, but points are doubled in the last round, which ended up being the deciding factor in the final score. David built a lot of Military modules in the first year, and everyone managed to get some points except myself and Martin. I screwed myself over the following year with a Global Economic Crisis, since everyone else could still afford at least one module, while I did nothing. I also played an Uneventful Year, slowing everyone down, especially Roman. Martin played a Launch Delay one round, also slowing me down. But until the last round, Martin and I were both doing pretty poorly with 4 points, while everyone else had 6-9 points. However, being in last has its merits, as everyone ganged up first on Dima and damaged many pieces of his ship, then on Liz and David. Though it was our first time playing and we missed some of the rules at times, in the end the double points just barely brought myself and Roman into the lead.

IMG_20160222_205336348.jpg

The most entertaining module is probably the ‘Garden’ – spend one crew and 1 MC to receive two crew members. This is the kind of Garden that makes it so that there are more people.

Betrayal at the House on the Hill

With six players we decided to play this game again, since it’s pretty easy, and different every time.Before the Haunt, everyone had very successful rolls, and many of us increased our stats somewhat. The Haunt revealed me, the Father, as the traitor, plotting to turn my friends into fertilizer for my creeping vines. Most of the other explorers were in range of being grabbed by vines, but they succeeded in creating the plant spray on the first attempt. By the next round, most of my Creepers were destroyed, though one of the managed to eat Ox Bellows, who ventured too close. Meanwhile my character was also killed, but the explorers had to find and kill one more Creeper to win. A bit more exploration revealed a sixth creeper which was promptly sprayed, granting victory and safety to the surviving explorers.

This is the kind of Garden that makes it so there are less people.

So far I don’t think we’ve ever had seven simultaneous players, which would force us to split up into two groups for most games. Even with six players, games where every takes their turn separately can drag on, especially when we are all learning a game for the first time. Though the chaotic fun of games with many players is a plus, there may be a balance which changes depending on the game and the general mood of what type of game everyone wants to play. Fortunately there is no shortage of games nor good people to play with, and after four months we’re still going strong.

February 15th, 2016: ‘Junta-ed’ House

Crew Me bymbers: Zevvy, Martin, Liz, Albert, David, Dima

Though Nuri wasn’t feeling well, she let us borrow a haunted house game which was perfect for the six players we had tonight. We did not play in the dark using pentagram candelabras, but it was still fun.

7 Wonders – Duel

Zevvy – Victory (Science), Martin

Martin came by early and we played a quick game of 7 Wonders. In the first Agewe both picked up a lot of Production buildings, and I picked up 3 different Science buildings. In the second Age, I though I would succeed in building a large Military, but Martin succesfully countered with the help of his “Strategy” token. Martin built several Yellow buildings and had quite a lot of money. Fortunately I was able to build my wonders, which were worth a good amount of points. In the third Age, Martin was actually close  to achieving Military Victory, but I managed to hold my ground. I bought a fourth Science building, revealing a face down card which was a fifth Science symbol I did not yet have. Martin was distracted by a valuable guild, and I picked up the Science cards along with the “Law” token, sneaking in a Science victory. Having never witnessed such a thing, Martin was not thinking about the possibility. Had we played the game to its completion otherwise, Martin would have won by at least 10 points.

Betrayal at the House on the Hill

Zevvy  – Professor, Martin – Young Boy, Albert – Young Girl, Dima – “Flash”, Liz – Woman, David – Other Woman

We started exploring the house, when Albert was bitten, and the floor collapsed beneath me and I fell into the basement. Dima found a Spear and a Bell and went upstairs to workout. Liz also fell into the basement via the Coal Chute, and shortly afterwards the haunt began. The scenario: Liz was the traitor (as predicted by Martin), and she had buried our friend alive in the basement. Dima used the Spirit Board to immediately divine our friend’s location, and as I was in the basement I started digging, successfully. Everyone else slowly made their way to the basement, while I struggled with my Bloody Dagger to fight Liz, who soon overpowered me. Lost in the dark in the Statuatory Room was not so safe for me, but Martin was more interested in safe-cracking than helping a poor old misogynistic Professor.

Despite some unsuccessful digging attempts, Liz had taken quite a beating. Though she was shortly done away with, it wasn’t long before our friend died in his final subterranean (or sub-pistachio, as the case was) resting place. We did not save our friend, but we preemptively avenged his death. Now we know–the woman is always the traitor.

Junta

In honor of David’s Venezuelan heritage, we played a game where greedy Golpistas compete for dominance in the Banana Republic. Martin began as Presidente, and after wa got used the game decided he was amassing too much power and had to be taken down. Dima became Presidente and actually almost won, but Dima and Albert both had to leave before we could finish. Albert had become Presidente, but despite his spy network David too the role for the last round. It’s a pretty funny game–students can even sign a petition, but it has no effect.

IMG_20160215_215144368

Star Realms

Martin – Victory, Zevvy

This is a cool deck building game with a currency element similar to Dominion but totally different game play. I build a few Blue buildings early on, but Martin got way ahead of me in Scrapping with the Red buildings.My Blue Buildings were increasing my HP significantly, which can go above the original 50. While I upgraded my Blue cards and tried to begin getting some Red, Martin went with Yellow which aimed to make me discard cards, crippling my effectiveness. Martin also had several nice bases in his deck, and my Attack forces soon became unable to handle it all. Finally the game reached a point where Martin was dealing damage faster than I could heal, the inevitable result being his victory.

We played quite diversely themed games tonight. Though there isn’t a Junta style game modeled after the American election system, my family does have a real-estate game back in Boston called ‘Trump’. Other than his picture on the cover, it doesn’t have much to do with Trump. It wouldn’t be fun to play games with him–he’d probably buy the House on the Hill and turn it into a Hotel-Casino.

 

February 9th, 2016: A Time to Build, A Time to Destroy

Crew Members: Zevvy, Martin, Albert, Liz, David

Good to be back, and nice to see Albert again this week. I got lazy not writing up last week (though Martin and David did meet for some San Juan and 2-player Agricola), but we played a bunch of games tonight so I’ll make up for it.

7 Wonders: Duel

A two player variant where cards are picked from an array rather than drafted. There are also alternate victory conditions for excelling in Military or Science.

Zevvy – 64, Martin – 31

Martin picked up most of the Age I Production buildings, but I ended up with a fair amount of gold. In Age II i was able to buy some powerful Production cards and from there built up my wonders pretty quickly. Martin had a powerful Military, and nearly took the Military victory in Age III. Martin also had more Science, but the Science Tokens didn’t help him all that much. I build the Money Guild and by the end of the game had more points in nearly every category.

IMG_20160209_191648554.jpg

Martin – 57, David – 45

At the end of the night Martin and David played. David picked up some Resource Reserves and Martin wasn’t lacking in production, but as it turned out the two Age I brick production cards had been remove. Martin picked up the double Brick card in Age II, making it quite expensive for David, but David’s paper production cost Martin a fair amount as well. Towards the end though, David felt he had no real direction and did not end up with organized Guilds like Martin did. Martin also had more Science, though David picked up a token at the end of the game. David was unable to build his Mausoleum, as the game only allows building “7 Wonders” between the two players, and Martin built first. Though David had more points in Blue and Green, Martin had more Yellow, Red, Purple and Money.

King of Tokyo

Game 1: Liz – Victory as Alienoid (Elimination)

Game 2: David – Victory as Pandakai (Victory Points)

Yahtzee with giant super-powered monsters. Players roll dice which allow them to attack, collect energy to buy power-ups, heal, and get points. The first game went pretty quickly. Albert started in Tokyo and took quite a beating, resulting in early termination. With four players only one can be in Tokyo at a time, but after the dust cleared, Liz was the only survivor, quite proud of her dice-throwing rampage.

IMG_20160209_210109662.jpg

The second game introduced character specific ‘Evolution’ cards, and we all spent more time trying to power up then trying to kill each other. Albert was unlucky enough to be taken out pretty early on though, and though she picked up some poisonous power-ups, it wasn’t long before Liz was finished as well. David picked up ‘Complete Destruction’ and an ‘Extra Head’, and after a certain point kept trying to win by victory points. Martin and I had a sort of arms race (or heads race), buying power-ups until the deck ran out. With his Parasitic Tentacles Martin could slowly steal my powers, but after a few rounds David managed to pull off the ‘Complete Destruction’, letting loose his Panda Power and leaving the city in ruins.

IMG_20160209_210113874.jpg

San Juan

Zevvy – 44, David – 37, Martin – ??, Albert – 25

Puerto Rico meets Race for the Galaxy. I got a Library and Prefecture pretty early on, allowing me to collect cards without many production buildings. Martin built a couple Silver Smelters and David was producing everything else, while Albert had the Aqueduct but not enough buildings to produce on at first. In the end Martin built the Triumphal Arch and all three monuments, and David and I both had Guild Halls and City Halls, with plenty of points from both. Albert and I both got early Chapels, and it was the 7 points from my Chapel that put me in the lead over David.

Zevvy – Victory – ??, Martin – ??, David – ??

Martin and David both got Libraries, but I went with my Prefecture again, and a Carpenter. Martin had a Trading House, and David even built a second Indigo Plant, while I built up my Purple Buildings, including the Monuments. I didn’t get the Triumphal Arch, but I built pretty fast and ended the game with a City Hall before the others could catch up.

IMG_20160209_215909967.jpg

It was nice to play a bunch of quick games, so players have a chance to try different things. Martin also tries to brings games with different mechanics each week, and various people seem to adapt well to differing mechanics, so there’s always something for everyone.