Hello everyone, welcome to you. Today I am going to talk about a trip I recently took to visit a friend, and the gaming that ensued as a result. Buckle in, this is going to be a rollercoaster of emotion. Or maybe not…
One of my friend’s from University recently finished his degree in Nursing and got a job on one of the Channel Islands (Islands that are part of the UK, but are geographically closer to France). He wanted to not lose touch, and as he didn’t know how many gamer geeks there would be on the Channel Islands he wanted to do a gaming day as a bit of a send off. So, myself and two others travelled varying distances to visit him, Steven in the seaside resort town of Blackpool.
Upon arrival we were presented with a luncheon of chicken, salad, corn on the cob and tiger bread. The chicken was ripped apart and this appealed to me as I have recently been watching the TV series Vikings, and they often eat bits of torn chicken. I got to pretend to be Ragnar. Moving on.
Steven presented us with his games, I brought Scythe, my friend Bambi brought a huge case of games and Steven’s friend Aaron was in attendance too. We started with Star Wars Timeline, a quick game where players have to create a timeline in chronological order of scenes from Star Wars. I did ok, until there were some really awkward early episode 4 scenes and that is what lost me the game. We then went onto the first of Steven’s two new Kickstarters, Bears versus Babies.
With a similar humour level to Exploding Kittens, Bears versus Babies is a game where players compete to build weird creatures to fight the various armies of angry babies hell bent on our destruction. The game was straightforward, and most of its charm came from the humour.
Players take cards each turn from draw decks and play cards in front of them, to build creatures or they can provoke a Baby Amry forcing anyone with a creature capable of fighting into a fight. The ability to backstab other players in this game is more prevalent than Exploding Kittens, and that was the second biggest contributor to its charm. My only complaint was that the game was too long. Something silly like this should play in twenty minutes to half an hour and this was probably closer to 45. Still not ridiculously long but longer than I would have liked.
The next game we played was Endangered Orphans of Condyle Cove.
This was a cool game I will relay as best I can, though since I was the first to go out after 2 or 3 turns I didn’t get the full experience. Players take the roll of Orphans in the creepy town of Condyle Cove who are pursued by a creepy Gentleman, let us call him the Child Catcher. (He is actually the Boogeyman, but Child Catcher works too)
The players basically try and escape the villain by building and exploring Condyle Cove before their limited deck of options runs out. However, it is not quite as simple as a race to the exit. The game is last person standing, which thematically is quite brutal.
The production quality of the cards, and the art style is amazing, doing a cracking job of keeping things just a little bit spooky.
This game was quite fun once I understood it, though it was sadly too late for my miniature this time. Maybe next time I will prevail!
Next it was on to some cooperative gaming, as firefighters. We played two games of Flashpoint.
Flashpoint is a really fun game where players take the roles of different types of fire fighter/rescuer dealing with a disaster. We decided to do a challenging map first, a hotel over two floors. The game is won by players fighting the fire and investigating points of interest throughout the building to determine if they are people in need of rescue. I requested to play the Paramedic, my favourite roll. The Paramedic is rubbish at fighting fires, but very good at getting people out of danger once they are found. On our team we also had the Veteran who gives a bonus to anyone near him, the fire Captain who can give two extra movement actions to other characters and one player changing between Hazmat Specialist and truck driver/operator. The Hazmat Specialist as there are hazardous materials that can explode within the structure, and the truck operator because it has a rescue lift that can get to higher floors to retrieve people, deploy firefighters or even fight the fire.
We did really well on this game. The Fire Captain and Hazmat/Driver did an outstanding job on fire attack, whilst the veteran cleared a path for me to get people out. The scenario was oddly easy and we completed without breaking a sweat.
The next scenario was a single floor house. I decided to offer paramedic to someone else, for a change. No one took it. This time we had in our team, the Fire Captain, the Generalist Firefighter, the Rescue Specialist and I played the CAFs Firefighter. We decided this game would be more about aggressive fire attack. CAFs is a slow moving firefighter that is good at dealing with fires, but not much else. The Generalist has more actions than other characters thant can be used on anything, and the rescue specialist is fast, and can chop through walls quicker to find people. With this aggressive approach, and a single floor it should have been a cakewalk.
It wasn’t. Every time I knocked a fire down, I rolled for fire advancing and an explosion inevitably happened at the far side of the property meaning that I had to clear one area and then slowly trudge to the next crisis. We only just managed to complete this scenario, partly as our captain switched over to driver and unleashed the firetruck’s hoses on the worst areas I couldn’t get to.
We won, but it was harder.
We stopped for food and a quick game of King of Tokyo, a Yahtzee based monster fighting game.
Players roll 6D6 dice that are numbered 1 to 3, have a heart, a lightning bolt and a claw on them. Claws damage opponents, hearts heal, lightning bolts are used to buy upgrades and the numbers give victory points if you can get 3 of a kind or more. The objective is first person to get 20 VP, or last monster standing.
One way to get victory points is to remain in Tokyo, where you get 2 VP a turn and every claw you use wounds everyone. However the drawback of being in Tokyo is that you can’t heal and everyone can attack you.
After food and King of Tokyo, it was time for Scythe. As I have written about Scythe before, I won’t go into too much detail here. You can read my previous article HERE.
This was my third game of Scythe, and weirdly, it was the third time I played as the Crimean Khanate, and the second time I had the agricultural faction. I claimed a massive victory on this particular game with 87 points, compared to 40 something in second place, however I would point out that 40 something is more than I got in games 1 and 2, and the other players had never played before. Add to that the fact I know how to play the faction inside and out, I had huge advantages this time round.
The final game of the day was Plague Inc, based on the videogame of the same name. Players take the role of diseases, trying to destroy the world. Each turn you gain DNA points based on the number of countries you have a majority of disease cubes in (or are tied for biggest majority). These DNA points are used to spend on mutations which increase the infectivity, transmission capability and/or lethality of your bug.
Players spend the game trying to balance the needs of DNA with the fact that everyone else is trying to spread their lethal contagions and be the person that wipes out the most. Which, is a fine balancing act, let me tell you. Aside from the moral issues with a game that teaches you the value in balancing infectivity with lethality in pathogens, Plague Inc is a fun game. I came second in that game, though folks thought I was winning as I had managed to cook up a nasty little bacteria that took out the largest country on the map. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough ongoing DNA production which caused me to lag behind.
Star Wars Timeline – Lost
Bears vs Babies – Won, by half a point (and it was unexpected)
Endangered Orphans (Lost, badly)
Flashpoint – We won
King of Tokyo – Won, on points
Scythe – Won, but I had major advantages
Plague Inc – came second, and was pleased with that since I didn’t learn how to win until the game ended.
We played from 14:00 to 01:30 – not a bad day of gaming, and fun was had by all.
All the best, Steven, in your Channel Island Adventure!