Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Board Game Extravaganza!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Share it Please
Gaming wise it's been a busy couple of weeks since I got back to Sweden. I've been meeting with my old buddies playing everything from Puerto Rico to Runewars! Let's see if I can recall what we've gone through...

We started out with an evening of Puerto Rico, Race for the Galaxy and Age of Conan. It was actually the first time I had played Puerto Rico and it was a lot of fun! I managed to come in first by building up a coffee empire that made me a lot of money which I used to construct buildings which in turn netted me quite a bit of points! It was also interesting seeing the parallels with Race for the Galaxy. Two great games with similar themes and mechanics, but still different enough to scratch two different itches.

In Age of Conan I took control of the Aquilonians while Anders was Turan and Micke the sly Stygians. It started out well for both Aquilonia and Turan while Stygia had a hard time with the wild savages of the Black Kingdoms. By the Second Age I had amassed quite an Empire in central Hyboria and I felt it was fairly secure, my armies outnumbering both Turan's and Stygia's. I was planning for a couple of pre-empive strikes into Turan during the Third Age, but before I had a chance the sneaky Stygians managed to crown Conan as king and Micke actually won the game! He ended up with one point ahead of me while Turan was one point behind! Overall a fun game that really showed that Conan can have a great impact if used correctly.

I really do think Age of Conan is an underrated game. It might not be as fast and flashy as, say, Runewars, but the kind of slow more "realistic" feel to it definitely fits the original Howard stories. It made me want to finish my AoC painting project...

Then we had two games of Middle-Earth Quest. First I took the role of Sauron against Anders who controlled two heroes. Although Sauron dominated most of Middle-Earth the free peoples still managed to win in the end, which seemed kind of weird to me. I did however discover that there was a number of things I played wrong and most of them were to my disadvantage. I'll get you next time you stinky heroes!

Except, the next time I was one of the heroes, Beravor to be exact. Micke also took the role of Argalad against Anders as Sauron. This game was a little bit up and down and although Beravor grew quite strong at the start of the game I accumulated a bunch of corruption cards which really slowed me down towards the end. It looked like a clear win for Sauron, but thanks to some sneaky play from me and Micke and a fair bit of luck we actually managed to win in the end! Weee!

And then... Runewars. I was browsing through my FLGS considering if I maaaybe should get some smallish game like Endevour or Mystery Express when I suddenly was possessed by the horrible daemon Geimkollectour who made me buy Runewars instead! Granted it's a game I've been eyeing for a while now but I thought I'd hold off a bit longer.

It's a far cry from the amount of plastic you get in Twilight Imperium or Descent but what you get is really of the hightest quality! Beautiful minis and a beautiful board! I had only glanced at the rules before but after reading them through once I was quite impressed. I think FFG has really started tightening up their games as of late. Chaos in the Old World is probably the best example of this, but Runewars and Middle-Earth Quest are not far behind. It makes me really excited to try Horus Heresy!

Anyway, I played a game against Anders who (naturally) chose the undead legions of Vaiqar the Undying while I controlled the daemonic Uthuk Y'llal (you can see the board after the first turn above). Basically I had the upper hand when it came to military strength while Anders managed to get the full amount of heroes and then kill all mine! I think he could actually have pulled off a win thanks to that since questing with your heroes is the main way of getting more Dragon Runes. In the end however my daemonic horde proved too large and too fast as I managed to conquer the last couple of areas with Dragon Runes in them that I needed in order to win. Vaiqar had some trouble getting a balance of resources, having mostly Food (great for skeletons, eh?!) but lacking Wood and Ore which hampered his military campaign. Below is the penultimate turn of the game. The giant was great! Although I actually had a mission to kill 'em all...

I think Runewars was a blast and I can't wait to play it again with three or four players! The mechanics are very slick and most of them feel very natural and logical. I love how all the rules come together in an elegant way to really make an attractive whole. It's hard to choose a favourite part, but if I had to pick one it'd have to be the battle system. You don't just line up your troops and roll a fistfull of dice but instead line them up at their respective initiative and then fight rank by rank. Since all troops have different special abilites this makes for a very engaging battle where it's important to plan ahead. I also really like how battles are not about killing every single enemy unit but rather that routing units play a big role. Hmm... I could go on about stuff I like about Runewars, but it's getting late so I won't. Suffice to say I think it will hit the table in our group a lot from now on.

I also played a quick game of Firestorm: Armada. Neither me nor Anders had our models ready so we used the cutout fleets provided by Spartan Games. Not having models really makes the game... unfulfilling, but since this was mostly about getting to know the rules we persevered. We had one cruiser and three frigates each, me playing Dindrenzi and Anders Terrans. I lost my cruiser early but Dinzdrenzi ships are tough and after mowing down the opposing frigate squadron frigates outmaneuvered and ganged up on the lone Terran cruiser, blowing it out of space, netting me the victory. This was just a small taste of the full game though and I'm looking forward to playing it "for real". Oh, and speaking of which, my magnets just arrived which means I can start basing my ships. Which will lead to painting! Yay!

We've also played Race for the Galaxy quite a few times and then we began... Descent: Road to Legend! I've been wanting to try Descent for a loooong time and now I've finally done it! It was fun but extremely slow going. After our first session we realised how much we'd played wrong so we decided to start over from scratch, and so far the Overlord is only slightly ahead in points. I won't go into it much more since I'm planning to make a separate post about it later. Below was the first dungeon we entered in the now aborted campaign. A named master giant with 28 wounds and 7 armour took a long time and quite a few deaths to kill. Urgh...

That's all I think. I might have missed something. We were about to try 1960: The Making of a President, but never got around to it. Oh, and Micke made his character for WFRP; a Grey Wizard!

Well... that's all!

2 kommentarer :

  1. Awesome!

    I'd love to get that much gaming in - although I do usually manage one night a week. We've been playing Descent lately and it seems pretty tough on the Overlord, but I guess it takes a while to learn how to play properly.

    Firestorm: Armada looks great - and it's from a UK company - how does it play compared to Full Thrust?

  2. Hehe! Yeah, I think I've been gaming more these last two weeks than the last two years. Hehe!

    We're just starting out so I think we're kind of finding our feet as the heroes, but as we learn how to play more effectively I'm sure we'll be more of a trouble for the Overlord.

    F:A has some similarities to Full Thrust, like exploding dice, but it definitely feel kind of like an "updated version". It plays a lot faster (especially since you don't write orders) and you quickly get into the flow of it, so I think it's more suitable for larger fleet engagements than FT is. Also, I haven't played with fighters yet, but from reading the rules they seem quite interesting and balanced.

    However, if you want more individual details for your ships and like writing orders for your ships Full Thrust might be more for you. I'll probably keep playing both depending on my mood, although I expect F:A to hit the table more often.


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