Not exactly stellar photography, I know...
Yesterday we had another board game night and managed to work our way through three games; Ad Astra, The Name of the Rose and finally Space Alert. As I mentioned in my High Frontier session report we have been playing quite a lot of wargames this past month or months so I've been in the mood for something different. We hadn't played Ad Astra in quite a while even though we've always enjoyed it, so it was fun seeing it hit the table again. Anders also used his Hotz space mat to enhance the visuals. Nice touch!
Good game which was fairly close between all players. I really felt like my lack of resources would come back and bite me in the ass but I managed to hold off until the end. Fun to see the Omnibus Rebus make an appearance as well. Hehe!
The Name of the Rose
The space mat theme didn't work as well this time around. Monks in space?
This is one of those games that I rarely suggest myself, probably because of the games dry-ish theme, but always have a blast when actually playing! As you might have guessed from the title the game is based on Umberto Eco's novel of the same name. In it you take the role of one of monks of a benedectine monastary and you have tro try and avoid suspicion as you do your daily choirs (or not do them as the case might be). At the beginning of the game you are each dealt a card that tells you which colour monk you are and you need to keep it secret from the other players. During play you want to keep your colour monk low on the suspicion track while you try to push the others up. Of course, you have to do this without raising suspicion as to your own identity. It's all very sneaky and reading the other players is a large part of the game.
The HMS Sitting Duck on her maiden (simulated) voyage!
I first played Vlaada Chvátil's Space Alert while living in Tokyo and actually played it rather intensively for a while. It was always a lot of fun with the players stressing out trying to take care of all the incoming threats, malfunctioning missile batteries and infiltrating saboteurs. In the game you play the crew of a new experimental spaceship and you need to survive for ten minutes while it comes under attack from exterior as well as interior threats. Oh, and don't forget to jiggle the mouse now and then so the screen saver doesn't crash the entire ship's electronic systems! Yeah. During play you use a CD that plays the current mission for 10 minutes and during this time you need to decide what everyone is doing by laying down order cards (go left, push button A, take the elevator etc.). These 10 minutes are very frantic as you're scrambling to make sure you have enough shields for defence, that you fire when you need to to kill the attacking space amoeba and that you have enough juice in the reactor to power everything up! When the 10 minutes are up the mission is over and you go through all the order cards one by one to see what actually happened. Hilarity often ensues when you realize the mistakes you've made and things rarely goes according to plan...
All in all a great night, although in hindsight I guess we should have switched The Name of the Rose with something more spacey to keep the theme going. Race for the Galaxy or (my game of choice) High Frontier would have been grand! Speaking of High Frontier both Martin H and Jimmy seemed intimidated by it and they thought it seemed very complex, something I've been worried about. However I'm confident that once they actually try it they'll realise that it's not as tricky as it looks and that there's a fun racing/resource game at its base.
In other news, we're playing Diaspora on Monday! You might remember the Kaulback cluster me and a few others created way back that didn't go anywhere. This time we have an all new crew and starting from scratch, so cluster creation it is. I dare say all of us are more motivated than last time so I'm really looking forward to this. Anders picked up Dust Warfare yesterday as well, so it'll be interesting to see what it's like. Finally I'm most likely getting a copy of Lords of Waterdeep next week. Sure it might just be a watered down combination of several "proper euros" but it does have a theme that appeals to me so I'll give it a try.