Tuesday, 9 May 2017

May 13th. The CG Realm May Game Night - Featuring Plague Inc

The second Saturday of every month is board game night at The CG Realm!

Free open gaming from 5 pm until 10 pm. All ages welcome. No experience necessary. Curious about the growing popularity of board games? Come on out! A veteran gamer since the days of the Avalon Hill bookcase games. Come on out!

Every event will have a theme or a featured game. There will be people on hand willing to teach the featured game. This is an open gaming event though and there's no need to stick to the game/theme of the night. The store has a large selection of demo games and many local gamers bring games from home they are excited to teach and play. 

The CGRealm is located at 1311 Tecumseh road east. Right on the corner of Hall and Tecumseh. At the site of the old Party Warehouse. Diagonally across from Family Video. Parking available on the street (free after 6 pm) and in the back.

Featured game: Plague Inc.

Plague Inc: The Board Game is a strategic game of infection, evolution and extinction for 1-5* people - based on the smash-hit digital game with over 85 million players. Can you infect the world?

Each player is a deadly disease and they must battle against each other to spread their plagues, develop new symptoms and ultimately wipe out humanity.

Starting with Patient Zero, you spread your infection across the world by placing tokens in cities - earning DNA points and preventing other players from becoming dominant. Players choose which countries are placed on the board but you must be both climate resistant and connected to a country before you can infect it. Eventually, as countries become fully infected - you try to kill them using the Death Dice.

Each player’s unique pathogen can be upgraded by evolving trait cards onto an evolution slide (with DNA points). At the start, your disease is weak and unspecialised, so you will need to add new symptoms to make it stronger. Choose carefully and plan ahead in order to react to the changing world and exploit opportunities created by other player’s actions.

A simple nosebleed could accelerate things early on, whilst diarrhea will help you thrive in hot countries. Sneezing can infect new continents by air but Total Organ Failure would allow you wipe out multiple countries each turn.

As countries start to fall, use powerful event cards to alter the balance of power. You might try to eradicate a dominant player by bombing their diseased cities, or hold the Olympics to cause huge numbers of infected people to travel to a healthy continent.

When the world collapses, who will be the ultimate plague?

While at The CGRealm check out The Windsor Sandwich Shop. They provide quality sandwiches, soups, salads, coffees, chips, smoothies, desserts and more! All available in a fun gaming environment!

Check out their menu: http://www.windsorsandwichshop.com/menu.html

Personally, I recommend the potato bacon soup when they have it and the oreo cheesecake.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Reducing The Pile of Shame Update - April

A look at what games came out of my Pile of Shame and got to the table in April. 

This is the latest in a series of #ReducingThePile, here are links to the rest of the series so far:
#ReducingThePile Update - March
New year, new games. Further reducing the Pile(s) of Shame

April was a good month for gaming. 37 plays in of 19 different games. Here's a look at the ones that were completely new to me with a short review of each: 

Mighty Monsters - 2 plays - This one was dirt cheap on Amazon along with a bunch of other Queen games so I figured I would give it a shot. It's not bad for what I paid for it and it's simple enough I think my girls might enjoy it. Each player plays an army of monsters attacking the castle. Each round you play monsters onto the board to take part in one of the battles. At most two players can play in each battle. You don't know how hard the fight will be when you play. After everyone has two monsters up you resolve the battles from the gates to the throne room. If the combined strength of both monsters beats the defender then the owners of those monsters split the treasure. If the monsters lose though the entire siege fails and the turn ends and players have to pay to heal all monsters that are in battles that haven't resolved yet. Push your luck, co-op yet competitive reverse tower defence.

San Francisco Cable Car - 1 play - Another Queen game that was at a silly low price. This one is like an improved Tsuro. Actually, I don't see why I would ever play Tsuro again owning this. The basic mode is pretty simple with players trying to create the longest routes for all the cars in their colour. The game really shines with the advanced rules which add a Train Game style stock mechanism to the game. With these rules no players own any particular colour of cable car, instead, they buy stocks in the various colours and try to make sure the best routes are made for the colour they have invested the most in.

Raise Your Goblets - 1 play - The concept behind this game sounded awesome. It's basically the poisoned wine goblet scene in The Princess Bride but with more players. Every player has a goblet in front of them, each round they get two actions. These include adding something to the goblets, rotating them clockwise or counterclockwise, swapping your goblet with someone else's or peaking in your goblet. When you add to a goblet you have to decide if you add poison or an antidote. Once enough rounds have passed a player can call for cheer instead of taking their action. At this point everyone "drinks" by seeing what's in the goblet in front of them. More poison tokens then attitude you are dead. Each round players are randomly given another player colour as a target. You get points for staying alive, and if your target dies. Play three rounds and see who has the most points. To make thing interesting each player is assigned a role at the beginning that gives them asymmetric powers. This was good, but a bit fiddly. Three rounds we had to start over because someone spilt a goblet. Plus it's hard to add things to the goblets without someone seeing what you are adding. I love the concept but it just doesn't play out as smooth as it should. I'm thinking of investing in a lazy susan just for this game.

Junk Art - 4 plays - This has become my favourite dexterity game. The first time I played I thought it was great. The second time it was even better. The fourth time with a completely different group of people had this one cinch my top spot for dexterity game. What I love is that it's like 20 games in one box. Each game you draw three world cards. These determine what cities you will visit and each city has it's own unique way to play the game. In one city you may be building the tallest tower, in the next city, you may be getting points for having a structure build only in one colour. The next city it could be a real time build with the first person to build a tower with 10 parts winning. Each of these games is the equivalent of one standard dexterity game like Bandu. Added to that the components are top notch and are really get shapes that sometimes fit together in very interesting ways. Love Junk Art. This is a must buy if you dig this style of game.

Paris Connection - 4 plays - Did I mention there was a big sale on Queen Games. This one so far is the best of the lot. This game is fantastic. It's a heavy economic game that can be played in about half an hour. It takes the route building and stock trading elements of an 18xx game and manages to give you that feeling in about half an hour. This still blows me away. There are 6 train companies. Players start with a random selection of trains (drawn out of a bag) based on the number of players. Each train represents one stock in that company. Each turn you have two choices: either take 1-5 trains from a company and play them on the board or trade in one of your trains (behind a screen) for two trains of a different colour. Each company only has so many trains (they all have the same amount). When playing on the board you use the trains to represent routes. Every city a route touches is worth points for that company/colour. Once only one company has stocks left the game ends. Players reveal what trains/stocks they have behind their screens, then multiple the number of each to the score that colour hit during the game. The player with the most points wins. It's so simple, so easy to teach but totally scratched that stock trading economic itch.

Colony - 1 play - One of the people playing this with me called it Yahtzee meets Dominion and I don't think they are wrong. It also has a bit of Favor of the Pharaoh in it. It's a resource management engine building game where you use a lot of dice to represent your resources. Thematically the number on the die tells you what resource it represents but really you just collect sets of numbers to buy cards and add them to your tableau which either gives you more dice or lets you modify your dice so you can get the number you need to buy more cards so that you... I'm sure you get it. Each card you buy is worth points and every card can be upgraded (which requires that you roll a straight) which causes them to be worth more points and generally makes the card more effective. It's a race to a point total that varies depending on the number of players. Like Dominion, the most expensive cards are cards that do nothing but give you points. Also like Dominion, this game comes with a tonne of cards and you only play with a subset of them each game. Colony was good but not great. I was expecting more from it.

Dr. Eureka - 4 plays - this one technically comes from my kid's pile of shame, but it was my first time playing so I'm including it here. This is a really fun dexterity game that's fun for all ages. Players start with three test tubes in front of them. In each are two balls of the same colour (so three colours one in each tube). Each round a card is flipped up that shows three test tubes with the balls in a certain orientation. It's then a race for each player to try to match the pattern on the card. The player who matches it first yells out Eureka! and, assuming they were correct, they take the card. The first player to collect 5 cards wins. There's one neat rule where test tubes can be placed on the table upside down that really adds a new level to this game.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Heroclix: Mouser Mayhem Starter Set - 3 plays - Winner for the longest title ever. I've been trying to get into Heroclix with my oldest daughter for a few years now. The problem is that the game has grown so much since launch that it's a huge learning curve to jump into the game now. This starter set helps with that significantly. This set includes a simple introductory version of the full Heroclix rules. Added to that it has three co-op scenarios for playing with up to four friends (actually you can even play 5 where it becomes a one vs many game). To keep things simple the game uses tokens for the bad guys so there's nothing to click there. Also, the heroes (The Turtles) have rather simple combat dials compared to many of the modern clix we already own. They only have two different sets of stats and they each only have two different sets of powers on each dial. This makes learning the powers much easier than the standard game. Full Heroclix rules are also included for those wanting to go beyond the box. Personally, right now my daughter and I are having fun just playing with the contents of this box. Lastly, this set includes the most beautifully painted Heroclix I've ever seen.

Dogs Of War - 1 play - this one is going to be hard to describe. Players are mercenaries in the middle of a Game of Thrones like a medieval power struggle. 6 different noble houses are going to war and the players need to decide who to support each year. In each of the four rounds of the game players use their money to buy soldiers, then use their generals to assign these soldiers to battle. When assigning these players need to decide which of the noble houses to support. Each round there are three fights happening and the houses involved in each is randomised every time. After all the players are out of generals to play the battles are resolved. Players get points for being on the winning side and each house gets points. At the end of the game players, multiple the amount of influence they have with each house by the number of points the house gained during the game. In that way, it plays like many train based economic games. Really this one needs more space to explain. It's a very neat game and there's a lot more to it than I indicated here. This one's heavier than it looks and very AP prone. I dig it and look forward to playing again.

Adrenaline - 3 plays - Normally a first person shooter board game wouldn't interest me but the reviews for Adrenaline have been very positive so I decided to pick it up. What was even cooler is that the copy I got from Brimstone Games even included the Chainsaw promo card. This is a very quick very well done simulation of a first person shooter in board game form. I don't think anyone can realise just how well this works until they play the game. There's something magical about the way things work together in this game. How cool the weapons are as well as how different each plays. How simple the line of sight rules are. How they figured out how to punish people for picking on one player. Everything in this game is just brilliant. I'm loving it.

New York Slice - 1 play - I have a feeling this one is going to see a lot of play around here. It's a pizza based retheme Piece O' Cake. Each round the active player builds an 11 slice pizza. They then divide that pizza into a number of servings equal to the number of players. Then each player, in turn, picks a serving which they take and place in front of them. The person who divided up the pizza picks last. This is the very seldom used: I split, you choose mechanism. Players are trying to collect sets of pizza slices with the same toppings. At the end of the game, only the players who have the most of a set get points and they get points equal to the total number of slices there are with those toppings. To keep things interesting there are special order cards that can be collected and there are special rules for pepperoni and sardine toppings. This one is light, easy to teach, fun and still pretty tactical.  dig it.

Tales & Games: The Hare & The Tortoise - 3 plays - I brought my youngest daughter with me to the FLGS to celebrate Tabletop Day this year and this was one of many games we played together. This is a very solid kids game that is just as enjoyable for adults. The game includes basic rules for playing with kids and advanced rules for people looking for more of a game. I suggest just diving in with the advanced rules. My 7-year-old had no problem figuring them out. At the start of the game, players are randomly assigned one of the animals they want to win the race. They also pick one card from their hand to place a second 'bet' on who's going to win (yes this can be the same animal). Then players play cards from their hand trying to make it so that their animal crosses the finish line fastest. The neat bit here is that each animal moves a different way. The turtle is slow and steady, the rabbit is fast but will take a break if in first, the lamb is even faster but stops at rivers to drink, the wolf can howl causing the other animals to stop for one turn and the fox is the most balanced moving almost every round. All this movement is based on card play from the players.

So there we go, 12 new to me games played in April. How many new games have you gotten to the table?

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Brimstone Board Game Nights - May - Kharnage and Castle Panic

Hey Windsor area gamers, come out to Brimstone Board Game Night! Meet other gamers, play some great games and maybe even win a game to bring home.

Brimstone Board Game Nights hit on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. These events run from 5pm to 10pm and are open to all ages.

Every event will feature at least one game. There will be demo copies of the game available and someone on hand willing to teach the game so you can try before you buy.

You can win games just by coming out to play. At every Brimstone Board Game Night, you earn tickets that give you a chance to win free games. Every event we will be giving away a copy of the featured game and some events will feature even more. 

Players earn 1 ticket for playing games, 1 ticket for purchasing a snack or drink, and 1 ticket for bringing 1 or more board games for people to play. Earn 5 more tickets for each game you purchase. First-time players will receive 5 additional tickets.

You can find Brimstone at 1421 Tecumseh Rd. E. There is parking in back and there is a municipal lot across the street that is free after 6pm.

May 6th - Kharnage

Kharnage is a fast and fun fighting game in which you are the warchief of the mighty humans, the strong (and alcoholic) dwarves, the amazing horde of goblins, or the ferocious orcs (and their giant!). Your goal in Kharnage is to take control of something strategically essential, astoundingly beautiful, and envy of all other nations: a hill. Yes, just a hill. Admittedly, it is a nice hill. It may have a very commanding view of the surroundings, or it may not. You won't know until you get up there! To do so, you're going to have to drive off the armies of the other players by simply causing as much mayhem and bloodshed as possible.

Each turn, you choose one battle card. The player with the lowest initiative value begins and: Deploys new units and applies skills if needed, or Attacks (shoot or assault) one opponent with all points, or two opponents by dividing their points.

The next player then begins their turn, doing the same. After all players have taken their turn, the player who destroyed the largest number of units wins 5 domination points, the second 3 domination points, and the third 1 domination point. The last one has only their eyes for crying.

Each time a player totally destroys an opponent army, they must yell "KHARNAGE!", loud and clear, and stomp the table. They then take a Kharnage token worth 1 domination point. The other players must cheer them on by yelling "YEAH!"; if not, they lose a Kharnage token if they have one.

After four rounds, the warchief with the most domination points wins!

May 20th - Castle Panic

The forest is filled with all sorts of monsters. They watched and waited as you built your castle and trained your soldiers, but now they've gathered their army and are marching out of the woods. Can you work with your friends to defend your castle against the horde, or will the monsters tear down your walls and destroy the precious castle towers? You will all win or lose together, but in the end only one player will be declared the Master Slayer!

Castle Panic is a cooperative, light strategy game for 1 to 6 players ages 10 and up. Players must work together to defend their castle, in the center of the board, from monsters that attack out of the forest at the edges of the board. Players trade cards, hit and slay monsters, and plan strategies together to keep their castle towers intact. The players either win or lose together, but only the player with the most victory points is declared the Master Slayer. Players must balance the survival of the group with their own desire to win.


2010 Golden Geek Best Family Board Game Nominee
2010 Golden Geek Best Children's Board Game Nominee