Christmas Cardboard

Santa has been particularly kind to me on the board-gaming front this year… here’s what I was lucky enough to find under the Xmas tree, along with some random first impressions:

Isle of Skye – From Chieftan To King

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Isle of Skye has been attracting a lot of complimentary coverage on Board Game Geek lately. It’s a light/medium tile-laying/territory-building game, with randomly-configured victory conditions and a very slick auction mechanism holding everything together. It’s the latest release from Alexander Pelikan & Andreas Pfister, the designers of this year’s KSDJ-winner (“Broom Service”) …and, as it turns out, a very good game indeed. It’s got simple, fast-to-teach rules, and plays in under an hour (more like 30 minutes with 2 players). Mrs S is already a fan; I think this one is going to get a lot of plays in the Shepherd household.

This is the second Andreas Pfister game that I’ve played in recent weeks (the other one being Mombasa at December’s Newcastle Gamers meeting), and on the strength of those two (very different, but equally-impressive) titles, I think I need to seek out more of his work. Recommended!

My Village

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This is a bit of an oddity; “My Village” has the same theme, and the same branding as Inka & Markus Brand’s previous (SDJ-winning) game, “Village”, but entirely different game mechanisms. So: same designers, same theme, almost the same name, but a completely different game(?)

The core game mechanism of this new version of Village is action selection via a dice pool (as seen in the likes of La Granja, or Panamax), driving a build-a-tableau-for-VP style game … but with a couple of interesting refinements on the genre:

Firstly, actions are selected using TWO dice from the pool, rather than a single die. I’m not sure that I’ve seen this approach used in a dice pool game before, but it makes things a lot more interesting, introducing a bell-curve of scarcity on available actions, and affording some interesting blocking tactics and dice-taking dilemmas when multiple 1s and/or 6s appear in the pool.

Secondly, as you expand your tableau, you unlock new dice-triggered actions, and some classes of actions (cards showing a white banner) ALL trigger simultaneously when you get your hands on dice of the given value. This gives a nice machine-building / chain-reaction element, with big chunks of your tableau paying out resources when you lay your hands on the correct dice (thereby giving your opponents incentives to STOP you laying your hands on those particular numbers, or to force you to take black dice (think of plague cubes from the original Village) to get the magic values you need…)

My Village is a deceptively thinky sort of game — heavier than the other Village, IMHO … and a bit different from everything else I own. It’s possibly my favourite of the heavier-end games that I’ve acquired this Christmas. It’s only downside is the game EATS table space (see the picture above of a 2-player game in progress)… you can mitigate this to some extent by overlapping your cards, as all the important bits tend to be conveniently clumped onto one side of each card… but your tableau won’t look nearly as pretty πŸ˜‰

Trickerion

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A heavy worker-placement euro game (in ALL senses of the word — it’s got loads of components) where players compete to become the most famous stage magician in a fantasy victorian/steampunky sort of world. It plays a tiny bit like a distant cousin of Dungeon Lords; there’s a card-driven simultaneous action selection phase, which then determines which area of the board you can place your workers in, and you’re collecting resources for an end-of-round point-maximisation puzzle (in this instance, performing a magic show with the best tricks you can muster, at the most prestigious theatre you can book yourself into)… but, unlike Dungeon Lords — where the end-of-round dungeon raid is essentially a solitaire puzzle for each individual player — there’s lot’s of player interaction / screwage in Trickerion’s “performance” segment. Which definitely knocks things up a notch in the thinking department.

I’m not sure I’d want to play this with anybody particularly AP-prone (it’s a bit of a brain melter!) … but it looks great on the table, and — while we only played the trimmed-down “beginners” version of the game — first-play impressions are good.

The Bloody Inn

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The Bloody Inn is a card-based euro maxi-filler, with a particularly grisly theme that’s loosely based on historic events. Players are a group of french farmers, who open an inn, intending to lure in rich tourists, murder them, rob them, and dispose of the bodies without attracting the suspicions of the local gendarmes. I bought this on a bit of an impulse, because the theme seemed (darkly) fun (especially for a euro), the art is *lovely*, and both of the games that I’ve previously bought from the same publisher (“Troyes” and “Bruxelles 1893”) are amongst my very favourites. Oh, and also because the first edition seemed to be selling out pretty fast, so it was a bit of a buy-it-now-or-not-at-all type thing πŸ˜‰

We’ve played it once, and it was… well, …fine. A perfectly good game, but it didn’t particularly rock my world either. I’m guessing it works better with more than 2 players — plus, some of the more interesting cards were — by complete chance — removed from our game (you randomly remove quite a lot of cards before you start playing).

The jury is very much out on this one until I get the chance to play it with more people.

Orleans: Invasion – the Big Expansion

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Orleans is, IMHO, a pretty good game… but, for many people, it falls short in one major aspect: player interactivity. To a large extent, it’s multi-player solitaire. Sure, there’s a bit of contention over trading post spots … but it’s not a significant part of the game.

And, in some instances, that’s fine. I quite like a bit of Multi-player solitaire from time to time.

But if you don’t…

Invasion seems to be an attempt to address this issue. Or, rather, six attempts to address (or, sometimes, embrace) this issue, as the box contains the components to play the game in 6 very different / new ways.

Firstly, there’s the title module — Invasion, provided by “guest” designers Inka & Marcus Brand (of Village fame!). This tackles the “problem” of multi-player solitaire in a somewhat surprising/left-field sort of way, by turning Orleans into a co-op! …players have to work together to prepare the city of Orleans for a siege by building up supplies, assembling the city council, fortifying the district, and other such tasks before the invaders arrive. It looks like a pretty interesting variant (and adds yet *another* gorgeous big Klemens Franz board to the table) — I’m looking forward to trying this one with Mrs S. once we’ve got over our current Pandemic Legacy addiction πŸ˜‰

Next, there’s a variant called “Prosperity” (also by Inka & Marcus brand), which — as far as I can tell, from a quick flick through the rules — tries to make the territory acquisition element of the game more prominent, introducing new buildings and a travelling “carpenter” character which the players are competing with each other to control. This one seems like more traditional “expansion” fayre (possibly the only old-school expansion in the box!).

The original game designer, Reiner Stockhausen, adds a 2-player “Duel” variant, where players take the roles of merchants, racing to complete a checklist of objectives in order to win (with some nice player vs player interference actions added into the mix). Looks interesting, and seems like a good contender for a Corbridge Gamers session one week (not that we have any shortage of games to play at those meetings already…).

And finally… Stockhausen has also furnished three solo scenarios (Well, that’s one way to fix the multi-player solitaire criticism, I guess … simply take away the other players!). I tried a couple of these out earlier this week (mostly because Mrs S. had to go to work one day, and I was home alone but keen to christen the new game) — the picture above shows me winning the easiest scenario (“The Dignitary”, a scenario where you tour the region recruiting followers) … I was far less successful with my second game (“Captial Verizon” – a complex scenario where you’re trying to make city of Verizon the capital of the region through various point-scoring activities). The solo games were a pleasant enough way to while away some time, but I don’t think I’d want to play them regularly; there are better things to play if you want to game solo.

So… that’s this year’s haul; a pretty good bunch, all told. Hopefully I’ll get another play with some of them at this weekend’s Newcastle Gamers all-dayer. Fingers crossed :)

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Games played: September

September stats

A bit of a quiet month this one, with only a single trip to Newcastle Gamers, and an awful lot of solo gaming.

Having clocked up quite a few plays of the new “art box” edition of Onirim in August, my most-played title of September turned out to be its Oniverse successor, Sylvion.

Sylvion

Sylvion is, essentially, a Plants vs Zombies clone in single-player card game form. Bad guys appear at the right of the playfield, and march towards the left. You drop stuff in their way to hinder their progress, and if too many of the bad guys make it through your defences, bad things happen.

It plays well, but it’s a lot of effort to set up (at least, for a solo game) and processing each turn takes a fair bit of card manipulation and concentration. Plus, it requires quite a chunk of table space too. If it wasn’t for the psychological inertia involved in getting past these hurdles and taking the game off the shelf in the first place, I expect this would probably have got even more plays πŸ˜‰

Aside from Sylvion and Onirim, my other solo-gaming experience of the month was the 1-player variant of Uwe Rosenberg’s old-school cube-pusher, Merkator. Disappointingly, this didn’t turn out to be a particularly edifying experience; I wouldn’t recommend it that way. (The multi-player version, on the other hand, is rather good!)

Newcastle Gamers on the 12th saw a long-overdue outing for my copy of Dungeon Lords — I think this was the first time I’ve played Dungeon Lords since getting all the Anniversary Edition extras almost a year ago(!). We stuck with the base game, and it was a really enjoyable session… I definitely need to get this one out a bit more regularly.

New Dungeon Lords coinage!

Dungeon Lords was followed by a game of Mogul, an old (2002) game, and the origin of a push-your-luck auction mechanism which was subsequently re-purposed for the (very popular) filler game, “No Thanks!”. Sadly, aside from the neat auction aspect, Mogul is pretty dry, and tricky to get your head around on your first play. I’m not sure the board element (new for the 2015 edition) adds a lot to the game either. It was interesting to play for the historical perspective, but — having now ticked it off my list — I’d probably just choose to play “No Thanks” in the future.

My Newcastle Gamers visit was rounded out with a 2-player game of Trambahn, and a 4-player game of “Onward to Venus” – the game of 19th century interplanetary colonialism. The last time I played Onward to Venus I enjoyed it a lot… but this session was a bit… “meh”. I think the mix of action chits we drew from the bag this time simply wasn’t conducive to an interesting game. It’ll probably be a while before I can convince people to play it again. :(

Other September plays included a few goes at The King of Frontier (a game so good that it warranted its own post!), a second outing (finally!) for my copy of Russian Railroads (which was very enjoyable), a 2-player try of the Neuhauser Bockerlbahn scenario for Snowdonia (I’d previously only played this solo; it worked great with two), a deathmatch playthrough of Tash Kalar (I enjoyed this far more than my previous experience with Tash Karar, where we’d jumped straight in to the advanced “High Form” of the game), and my first ever play of Battle Line, a 15-year-old Reiner Knitzia “classic” for 2 players, which I’ve somehow managed to avoid playing until now.

Which was fine.

For a 15-year-old game.

Highlight of the month: Finally getting my hands on a copy of King of Frontier. It’s a lovely game!

Lowlight: Solo Merkator. Should probably have just cracked open Sylvion for one more try instead πŸ˜‰

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Demon-free

A few weeks ago, I changed ISP. This was sort-of-a-big-deal for me, as I’ve never actually changed my ISP before. Unbelievable as it may seem, I’ve been with the same provider — Demon Internet — for the best part of 23 years… pretty much constantly, since the days that a domestic internet first became a viable option.

Back when I first got online, the choice was easy. You basically had two country-wide UK dial-up providers to choose from. One was expensive, and aimed at business users. The other was cheaper, and aimed at geeks and enthusiasts. No prizes for guessing which one I selected.

It turns out that nowadays, things are a bit more complicated :)

In their heyday, Demon were an excellent provider; they gave you a quality connection with lots of nice-to-have extras, customer service was pretty good, and all was rosy. Sadly, somewhere along the line, they got bought by a slightly bigger company. Which was acquired by another company… then sold off to another company, and then… well, basically, all they are now is a legacy brand which seems to have somehow fallen into the lap of Vodafone as a bonus extra when they acquired something else. And, unfortunately, Vodafone clearly don’t have the foggiest idea what to do with it.

As a soon-to-be-ex customer, I had many gripes with Demon Internet — though they were mostly the sort of things that crept up on me gradually over time, in classic frog-boiling fashion, and never quite seemed annoying enough to prompt me into jumping ship. Never, that is, until their traffic shaping / “fair use” policy finally started to become a recurrent pain for me.

Here’s the problem: Demon’s current usage policy is based on rules and assumptions set under a previous corporate owner, the best part of a decade ago. Essentially, if your 30 day rolling average of downloaded data exceeds 50GB, your internet connection is throttled to a point where you can do nothing more than send emails and (just about) browse the web. Which sucks.

A decade ago — before the era of Netflix and 6GB operating system updates getting pushed to every machine in your house — this was actually a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Nowadays… it’s madness. Even more infuriatingly, Demon don’t give you a way to “top up” your allowed quota even if you want to …and because your usage figure is a rolling average, it never resets to zero at any point; once you’re hovering around your limit, the only way to recover a few GB of quota is to pretty much stop using the internet for a day or two.

Or, more sensibly, you could finally get over the sentimental attachment that you’ve got to the demon.co.uk email address that you’ve been using for the last 23 years, and to go and find a new ISP instead. Which is what I did.

In with the new…

So, I went searching for a new provider. Ironically, the best source of advice on escaping demon seems to be the demon.service newsgroup — a group originally set up as an official support channel by Demon themselves. It’s been long-abandoned by staff, and is now mostly occupied by ex-demon customers reminiscing about the old days / moaning about the ongoing decline of a once-decent company. I strongly suspect that the current owners of Demon have no idea that the group even exists — that’s how engaged they are with their user community. :(

Common consensus in the demon.service group seems to be that either Zen Internet, or Andrews and Arnold are the two current-day UK providers that are closest in spirit to the sort of company that Demon Internet once was … and following a bit of further research, I decided that Andrews and Arnold were the provider for me.

Why?

Well, taking an unfiltered, unshaped connection with a flexible bandwidth limit as a given, three main factors influenced my decision to go with A&A:

(1) They offer a minimum contract length of 6 months. There’s a good chance that I’ll be moving house in that sort of timeframe, and the idea of not being tied into an ISP contract at around the point where I could be be moving seemed like a good thing. Plus, I think it’s a sign that a company has faith in its broadband product when they only feel the need to lock you into a contract for half the time that everybody else does.

(2) A&A have very outspoken views on data privacy, the snooper’s charter, internet censorship, and other things that matter. This, IMHO, is a very good reason to give them my money.

(3) A&A give you access to all kinds of tecchie analytics and line control settings that are normally only accessible by an ISP’s own technical support staff. So you can self-diagnose all kinds of problems and even tweak your line settings from the exchange end of the connection, if you feel so-inclined. Which, to a user like me, seems pretty awesome :)

Can you guess which day the new version of OS-X was released? ;)

Line stats. Lovely!

The Change…

I had a vague idea that switching internet providers involved calling up your current provider (an awful menu-driven call centre in some distant land), having to endure some kind of tedious conversation with their retentions department, and then — if you’re lucky — getting a magic authorisation code routed to your spam folder a week later with which you could start the migration process. As it happens… this is no longer the case! By some fortuitous co-incidence, OFCOM had changed the rules for the whole process just a couple of months before I decided to shift providers. Now the entire process is driven by the ISP that you’re migrating to. All you need to do is sign up with a new ISP, and your old ISP will be automagically notified, cease billing you, and the connection will shift without any further work on your part. Which is excellent :)

And, indeed, that aspect all seemed to go very smoothly… emails arrived from both parties confirming the shift, and a migration date was provided by AA. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly…

But then… Open Reach got involved. You know Open Reach?… the company who have a government-granted monopoly on maintaining the country’s telecommunications infrastructure, and don’t have the least bit of incentive to be commercially competitive in any way? (As you may guess, I’ve had many negative experiences with Open Reach in the past). Well, to cut a long story short, they needed to send a guy to my local exchange on the appointed date to switch me from a 21CN backhaul line to a TT backhaul line. And they didn’t. They then promised to do the work a fortnight later. And they didn’t. Then a week later. And they didn’t. Then they promised the work would definitely be done by Friday, or an engineer would go in on Saturday to do it. And he didn’t.

Eventually, at tea time on a Sunday, almost a month after I placed my order, the work was done and my migration was complete. Hooray! (I should point out that I don’t hold A&A responsible for any of this delay — I’m sure they get as frustrated by dealing with Open Reach as everybody else does!).

Results…

So, how did it all work out? Well, The connection is stable, consistently runs at maximum capacity (something the old Demon link rarely did), and having full access to my line stats and usage figures is really insightful.

I’m also impressed by A&A’s customer service. Due to the trials and tribulations with Open Reach, I probably had more contact with customer support than the average new user does during my migration process — and, on all occasions, I was happy with how the interactions went (and particularly impressed by the fact that A&A’s staff lurk on an IRC channel outside of regular working hours, and will quite happily tackle support issues off the clock if you contact them there — that’s *seriously* above and beyond the call of duty as far as I’m concerned!)

On the downside (and it’s not a significant downside) my connection seems to negotiate at a VERY slightly slower rate than it did with Demon. I use an ADSL2+ connection, and my Demon service connected to BT’s 21CN backhaul at the exchange, typically negotiating at 12 to 13Mbps. A&A use TalkTalk backhaul by preference — i.e. different hardware at the exchange end of the connection — and I now seem to get a consistent modem connection speed of 11.5M, irrespective of when I connect, or what ADSL modem I use (I happen to have two modems with entirely different chipsets to experiment with, so, naturally, have experimented a bit). In reality, thanks to BTs automated line profiling nonsense, I’d never get throughput anywhere near the actual connection speed when I was routed through 21CN anyway, and both of these connection speeds are above the “predicted” line speed to my house, so it’s not really something to complain about or a particularly big deal. But, it’s a comparative metric, so I thought I’d mention it.

In summary: A&A deliver what they promise, have UK-based clued-up tech support people who go the extra mile, they pro-actively oppose the UK government’s ludicrous position on encryption + privacy rights, and — while they might be a shade more expensive than other UK ISPs — you seem to get what you pay for.

On early impressions, I’d recommend them :)

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King of (the wild?) frontier

King of Frontier (and expansion)

King of Frontier (and expansion)

The King of Frontier arrived in the post this morning. I’ve been keen to acquire a copy of this ever since Tony Boydell started making frequent references to it in his BGG blog, but — despite scouring amazon.jp + other Japanese stores for a copy that they were willing to ship internationally — my efforts were fruitless. Fruitless, that is, until copies showed up out of the blue on the Board Game Geek store last week :)

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It’s a *really* nice filler-length game, for 1 to 4 people… and could perhaps be best described as Carcassonne-style kingdom building mashed up with the “leader decides” expand/produce/consume mechanism from Puerto Rico, with some cute/distinctive stick-man graphic design in the mix. It feels like a “proper” euro, yet plays really briskly; I can imagine the 2-player game taking about 15 minutes with a bit more practice. (We’ve already played three times this afternoon … it’s proven to be quite a hit with Mrs S).

Translations courtesy of BGG user "sparkplug" (thanks!)

Translations courtesy of BGG user “sparkplug” (thanks!)

There’s a tiny bit of language dependancy on the handful of Agricola:ACBAS-style “special building” tiles that you use to spice up each game, but not enough to be a chore, and there’s a useful set of downloadable translation cards on BGG which make this aspect play smoothly for ignorant gaijin πŸ˜‰

All in all, I’m really impressed. If you didn’t have to pay such a premium to import it, I’d be recommending it unreservedly; it’s a smashing game in a little box. As it stands, expect me to be twisting people’s arms to play this at Newcastle Gamers in the non-too-distant.

The King of Frontier @ Board Game Geek

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Newcastle Gamers – 22nd August

Saturday saw an all-day convening of Newcastle Gamers. We usually have a couple of these all-day sessions each summer (mostly because the Circus School goes on holiday and there are no weekend classes using the hall), but this was the first one that I’ve managed to attend this year. All-day sessions are usually a good excuse to bring out the games that take a little bit longer than average to play, and for this particular meeting I’d arranged to bring along my uber-pimped-out copy of Antiquity, to play with Olly, Camo & Michael.

Due to a last-minute crisis concerning some mislaid (/ tidied-up) car keys, I arrived 10 minutes after doors had opened … and Olly, Camo & Michael had already cracked open a copy of Kigi to play while waiting for me to arrive.

Kigi - Photo Credit @ollybh

Kigi – Photo Credit @ollybh

I missed the rules explanation, but it didn’t take much effort to pick up the basics: it’s a pretty-looking tile-laying (or, more-accurately: card-laying) game, where you add branches to a tree in an effort to create a contiguous row of flowers and/or insects with each card you place. Gameplay is almost entirely tactical — and there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of substance to it truth be told — but it does look nice πŸ˜‰

Next up was the day’s big game… Antiquity. Just setting up (which involved at least 3 changes of table before we found an arrangement which would fit) and explaining the rules (Camo and Michael hadn’t played before) took until lunch time. Antiquity is THAT epic!

Antiquity

Antiquity

With all the preliminaries out of the way, and a brief trip to lay in supplies courtesy of Sainsbury’s next door, gaming finally commenced…

The last time I played Antiquity, I won the game with a San Christofori victory (collect 3 of each food & luxury commodity). This time, I was determined to explore a different aspect of the game, so went for San Nicolo instead (win by building 20 houses in your cities).

Everything went swimmingly at first; I got San Nicolo’s Cathedral up and running nice and early (which accelerates your house-building rate), and a Faculty of Philosophy (which lets you ignore pesky late-game building rules about needing different types of luxury items amongst your building materials), and spent a few rounds successfully churning out new houses … but then … something went a little bit wrong. I hadn’t really been keeping an eye on my food production, and territory expansion; famine hit me hard (not helped in the least by Michaels aggressive exploration of new and interesting foodstuffs driving up the world’s appetite for food!), and then the lack of anywhere to dump the pollution generated by my civilisation triggered a tidal wave of graves into my newly-built second city. From that point onwards, all I could do from round-to-round was wrestle with my wildly-out-of-control machine in a desperate attempt to stay in the game… and by the time I’d started to get some semblance of control again, it was far too late… Olly was creeping up with an imminent win for San Christofori.

This, therefore, was the final state of the game world, in all it’s filthy, polluted, high-resolution glory… (clockwise from bottom left: Me, Olly, Michael, Camo).

Antiquity - end game

Antiquity – end game

Once Antiquity was cleared away, everybody fancied something a bit lighter as a bit of a breather — and a 5th player (Owain) had joined our group, so we played a hand of Coloretto. I definitely felt a bit rusty playing this … and a subsequent check of my BGG stats reveals it’s (amazingly!) 18 months since I last played. Hmmm. That’ll be why then.

Then: Last Will. I bought the “Getting Sacked” expansion for this some time ago, but it’s been sitting on a shelf gathering dust while other — more exciting — acquisitions got played. Recent interest at Newcastle Gamers for an earlier VladimΓ­r SuchΓ½ title – 20th Century – had piqued my interest in finally getting the expansion played, so I’ve had it in my bag for the last couple of trips… just in case πŸ˜‰

Last Will - Photo Credit @ollybh

Last Will – Photo Credit @ollybh

I enjoyed this… it was probably my favourite game of the day. I’m not so sure that the modular actions board from the expansion is a particularly compelling addition (it doesn’t really improve the game nor make it any worse as far as I’m concerned), but the new cards and the getting-sacked-from-your-job mechanism make this feel like a much more “finished” game, IMHO. A good expansion!

Final scoring was very close… Camo beat me into second place by a single point, and Owain was only a few points behind me.

The rest of the evening was spent playing lighter fair. Ticket to Ride – Legendary Asia, Scream Machine, No Thanks and 6 Nimmt!. TTR Legendary Asia was new to me, though it’s a fairly straightforward variant — there’s just a slightly odd twist where you end up trashing an extra carriage marker on certain routes in exchange for 2 points a time. At first, I just interpreted this as a way to accelerate the game for strategic purposes — but it’s actually a pretty good way to ramp up your score. A subtlety which I missed out on. Entirely.

TTR: Legendary Asia

TTR: Legendary Asia – Photo Credit @ollybh

The other new-to-me game was a set-collecting card game, called Scream Machine. Thematically, this should’ve been right up my street (I *love* theme parks / roller-coasters / roller-coaster-tycoon-type games), but — even as a filler-type card game — it left me a bit cold. There was a lot about the game that just felt mechanically loose, and I came away with an overwhelming impression that your chances of winning are a direct product of how the cards are randomly drawn in the one specific round where you’re playing in last (and therefore most influential) position. Now, I _do_ try not to write off a game purely on the strength of my first encounter, and an online scan of the rule book this morning suggests we weren’t playing it entirely correctly … but it’s not a game that I’ll be rushing back to.

Scream Machine

Scream Machine – Photo Credit @ollybh

So… yeah… it was a bit of a so-so end to the day, with the evening dominated by fluff + fillers. Fluff + fillers certainly have their place, but I think I would’ve sooner preferred squeezing in one more triple-A euro title.

Nevertheless, it’s always a pleasure to get out for a full day of gaming and catch up with the regulars at Newcastle Gamers. It was also good to finally put a face to / have a chat with Madison Hanks … a user of Board Game Geek who has been causing a bit of a stir with his proposals to set up a new board gaming cafe in central Newcastle. His plans seem pretty good to me; it’ll be interesting to see how they pan out! :)

Newcastle Gamers (usually!) meets on the second and last Saturday of the month. Usual cost is Β£2 (or Β£1 for concessions), but your first visit is free. Check out http:///newcastlegamers.net/ for more info.

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