May 31st, 2016: Danger? Sorry, I was tuning my magical Lyra…

Crew Members: Zevvy, Nima, David W.

Today we go to dangerous places. Because those are always more fun.

RoboRally

We played on the Chop Shop, a map with upgrades, lasers, and scattered pits. Some poor card dealing left Nima in a pit on more than one occasion, and after the third time his poor robot was out for good. I got stuck among the lasers going in circles, but managed to power down in time before exploding, though at one point all my registers were locked. David somehow managed to actually hit all four flags, making this the first completed game of RoboRally I’ve played, albeit with a small number of people.

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Forbidden Island

David – Messenger, Nima – Explorer, Zevvy – Navigator

Nima hadn’t played this before, but ended up as the hero. David and I sat in our comfy offices while Nima braved to dangerous waters of Forbidden Island, collecting 3 out of the four treasures while the Temples sank around him, swimming to safety while David and I plotted comfortably. Getting the last treasure required me to do some actual legwork, and I was the last one back to Fool’s landing before we flew to safety.

Sentinels of the Multiverse

Zevvy – Argent Adept, David – Ra, Nima – Expatriette

Villain – Kismet: DEFEATED

Environment: Pike Industrial Complex

 

Our heroes caught up to Kismet in the dangerous Industrial Complex. Grabbing her Talisman early allowed us to get lucky with the environment, taking out the mutated rats as they showed up. In the dark corridors, Expatriette could not find her guns at first, but soon lit the halls with an SMG and some Lightning Rounds. While Ra kept Kismet at bay, Argent Adept removed her jinxes while setting up his instruments. When the music room was all set up, Ra began with the pyrotechnics, and pretty soon Kismet was just another pile of ash to be washed away by the irradiated cyclohexane.

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Lessons learned? Being the fire god in a room full of dangerous chemicals is better than being a robot in a room full of lasers.

January 26th, 2016: Robot Kibbutz Empire

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

With so many people tonight, we borrowed some chairs from Liz’s apartment in exchange for some chocolate. Considering the type of games we play, I think we should use the barter system more often.

Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small

Zevvy – 49, Martin – 47

Martin came over early and we played this 2-player adaptation of Agricola. Each turn players choose 3 actions, which include collecting resources, animals, or building their farm. I immediately built a small enclosure and got a pig and a cow. Martin began a bigger enclosure which he later populated with a few horses. I built a couple of stalls and filled them with sheep, and I also expanded my pig farming operation. Martin was breeding horses and also picked up some pigs and a few sheep, but had only one lonely cow living in his Cottage (which was upgraded to a Half-Timber House). By the end of the game I had some of everything, while Martin had many horses, the most valuable animal in the game. After tallying up the bonus points, it was a close match, but I was ahead by two points. It may be largely illegal in this country, but tonight I was a Jewish pig farmer. So there.

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RoboRally

Zevvy, Martin, Liz, Albert, Roman, David

Each turn, players choose commands to be executed by their robot. The robots rotate, move around, hit other and fire their lasers, while being shuffled to and fro by conveyor belts. Needless to say, this is quite a wacky game.

Liz struggled to make into the main arena, learning that a wall can be quite an unrelenting obstacle. Martin seemed to make some early progress towards the goal, but a miscalculation left him and Roman tumbling over the edge and sent back to the spawn. This was too much for Roman to handle, and his circuits fizzled out. Albert was stuck on a rotating gear for a while, spinning his wheels. David made it to the upgrade spot, but it didn’t seem to do him much good. I got pretty close, though after sustaining several hits, three of my commands were locked in place. Liz finally made it onto the board, only to be shuttled off by an express conveyor belt into the abyss. After a few more rounds we decided to end the madness. The game would work equally well with the theme of chickens with their heads cut off.

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Imperial Settlers

Zevvy: Egyptians – 39, Martin: Romans – 29, David: Barbarians – 27

There isn’t much imperial about this game, and it is nothing like Settlers of Catan. Players build a civilization combining ‘Common’ cards with their unique ‘Faction’ cards. Using stone, wood, food, human capital and military opportunity, players try to get as many points as possible in five short rounds.

I got off to a good start in terms of production, and quickly had an engine set up whereby my Missionaries earned me four points per round with the help of my Sphinx. Martin did end up defeating my Missionaries, and had a few buildings giving him points for each Roman building constructed. As the Barbarians, David had many Meeples but no way of producing Raze Tokens, so he couldn’t do much barbarian-ing. In the end I had produced over 25 points before the last round, and after adding up points from buildings I had a clear lead.

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Martin: Egyptians – 33, David: Barbarians – 33, Zevvy: Romans – 26

Once again the Egyptians were victorious, though just barely, and with a different early game strategy. Martin got out his Chariots in the first round, and quickly supplemented them with some cards to give him more points for Razing. Though these were later destroyed, as David got a much better setup with the Barbarians this time, allowing him to Raze and Pillage as his nature dictates. I had a hard time setting up production, and though Rome relies more heavily on Razing, I was slow on this front as well. By the end of the game, I had a a good number of cards giving me points for my stones, but Martin had two Sphinxes and a Goldsmith, netting him five points each round, not counting the additional actions from his Royal Bath. The final tally resulted in a tie between David and Martin, but the tiebreaker was leftover resources, so Martin won. David was one resource short from getting two more points, so it was close, but tonight, the Egyptians took a double victory.

As much fun as bartering and socialism can be, it seems such ideologies (held by the Jewish pig farmers who built the country) can result in a country of poorly programmed ‘Robots’ running around like headless chickens, trying to expand their ‘house of cards’ empire. Or maybe I shouldn’t use tonight’s amalgam of board games to analyze Israeli politics.