Sunday, 2 February 2014

Gaming Highlights - January 2014

I’m not sure where January went, I’m pretty sure I was present for most of it but I’m not sure how it disappeared so quickly. Anyway, I did mean to post again, so I thought a quick wrap-up of my gaming highlights for January were in a good idea.

So in no particular order my favourite bits of gaming were….

This one continues to just be a huge amount of fun for the five of us who invested in the game. We’ve managed to avoid any spoilers, and have slowly opened the various packs as required, and the whole thing has been huge buckets of dicey, warmongering silliness. I’m still uncertain as to how much replayability there will be now we’ve pretty much unlocked all the secrets, but even if we only play the fifteen games on the board I would be more than happy with what it has cost us.

Can’t say too much more about it without spoiling it, it’s Risk, it definitely rewards aggressive play, the dice hate me, grrrr bears.

Have been wanting to try this one for ages, and thanks to our friendly local game pimp we had the chance to try this one out recently.

 It has a lot of the things I like in games…worker placement, trying to read other players, being able to mess with other players plans, ways to build little scoring engines. The theme is a bit pointless, though I do like the art and the shiny gems. The placing workers between cards is genius, leading to a lot of thought over where to place and what possible options are available if you don’t get the card you want. There are a lot of tactical placement options if you keep an eye on what the other players are trying to achieve, which works pretty well with our group’s often aggressive yet friendly style of playing.

Overall, loved this one, just a huge amount of game in a small, cheap box.

Had the opportunity for a two player game when a gaming night fell apart so Karl and I got this one onto the table for a second time after our first learning game. I think Karl has pretty much come around to the idea of pushing small counters around so we’ll definitely be getting some more wargames on the table, but at the moment this one strikes a good balance of complex gameplay without too much rules overhead. The rules came back to us surprisingly quickly and at its heart it really is quite a simple system, with the only real fiddly part being the paperwork required to track income and technology.

It plays very much like your traditional 4X game, you spend the first few turns exploring and building your economy, a few more building bigger ships and things and then it’s all out war whilst trying to do all the other things at the same time. It’s yet another game that really rewards aggressive play and says so much in the rules…though I’m sensing a theme here with my friends. The paperwork really isn't too bad, but it does slow things down a little and that combined with the hidden units makes for quite a long playing time as it’s easy to lose track of exactly what ships you have where. The combat is simple and effective, with a variety of options to use technology and terrain to your advantage, you can sway the battles but there is room for crazy die rolls to make heroes of tiny little ships.

We've still only scratched the surface of this one, still haven’t moved beyond the basic rules, but it’s clear that it’s a game that requires a long session to make it work so it probably won’t hit the table all that often. Still I’d like to get some of the other rules in place, and possibly get a third or forth player involved for a really huge game.

There were a few more but I’ll stick with those three as highlights for me…now on to February and some more gaming, and hopefully some more posting.