What Have We Been Playing – 7/21/17

In our weekly feature, we recap the games we’ve played over the last week!

7/15/17 – Winter is nearly here and our Rockford gaming group was so excited for the new season of Game of Thrones that we decided to host a day dedicated to the theme.  So Two Board Meeples packed up their most Westerosi games and headed on down to the land of Ice and Fire.   We started with a meeple versus meeple match of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, with House Lannister against the The Knight’s Watch.  In the Game of Thrones Card Game, you build a deck with base set and expansion packs, choosing which house you want represented in your deck.  You can then play against up to 4 different players and try to become the best house in Westeros.  After a little bit of rules reminder, the Meeples begin to battle it out, with eventually Amber and House Lannister winning the Match.  We then moved on to playing Game Of Thrones: The Iron Throne, a Cosmic-Encounter like game that again pits the houses of Westeros against each other to spread the most influence to the other houses.  Battles were fought, promises were broken, and eventually House Martell and House Lannister tied for a victory.  Needing to brush up more on our Seven Kingdoms facts, we moved on to Game of Thrones: The Trivia Game, a game which allows you to use your knowledge of the TV Show to gain control of the Castles of the Seven Kingdoms.  After realizing that we were much like Jon Snow and knew very little, we decided to end the day outside of Westeros by playing A fake artist goes to New York , a game much like Spyfall where everyone knows the secret word but one person.  One by one the players take turns drawing one line of the secret word; after everyone has gotten a chance to draw two lines, players must guess who the “fake artist” is.

7/18/17  It was tiring travelling from Westeros to New York, so we took a few days of rest before attending the weekly meetup with the Rockford Pegheads.  The Meeples got there a bit early, so we snuck in a quick game of Dreamwell, a set collection game where players are navigating dream worlds to gain the most points.  After a harsh victory by Ethan, more people began to join us and we had a large group to play Werewords, a cross between Bezier Games’ Werewolf and 20 Questions.  In this game, the Mayor chooses a word that the werewolves and the seer know, while the villagers are trying to figure out what the word is.  The Seer has to be careful not to let themselves be know too much, because of the word is found, the Werewolves still have a chance to win by eliminating the Seer!  After a few fun rounds of word guessing, the Meeples split into two groups, Ethan playing Facade Games Salem (which we have reviewed here) and Amber playing Century: Spice Road, a engine building, card buying game which some in the group consider to be a solid replacement for Splendor. The Meeples got back together again to play a game of Bruges, a game that we have visited before. In Bruges, you are working to building up your canals, create houses in your personal village, and gain successful societal members to place in your houses, gaining points for completing canals and gaining important people. After a while of brain burning, we ended the night with a few games of The Chameleon, a Target Exclusive game by Big Potato games. Another game similar to Spyfall, everyone except one person has access to the secret word from a sheet of similar words. Then every player takes a turn quickly saying another word related to the original word, while after players vote to find the The Chameleon.

This week we were able to play a lot of different types of games, which always makes for a good week!

What Have We Been Playing — 7/14/17

In our new weekly feature, we recap the games that we’ve played since last Friday!  Join us as we look back in the week of gaming.

7/8/17 – While not a traditional board game, we were invited to participate in an Escape Room with 10 of our friends from our Janesville gaming group.  We haven’t been to the Janesville Group as often lately because of scheduling conflicts, so it was nice to see everyone again.  We arrived at the same time as another couple, who ventured into what appeared as the store front of a candy store.  After looking around for a moment, a crackle came in over a speaker and we were encourage to find the hidden entrance to the room.  Surprise had us fumbling, but not for long as we entered a space age lounge to find our friends waiting for us.  A few other groups were waiting for their times as well and we discovered that four different groups would be doing four different adventures that day.  After the guide briefed us in the rules of the escape room, a man with a funky eye makeup began to escort the groups back to their rooms.  One by one the groups went back as a soft “psst” of air flowed in the doorway.  When it was our turn to enter, we were lead into a hallway with 6 different doors, all of which lead to different escape rooms.  All the way in the back corner was our room, where our guide told us that it was the 1960s, we woke up in a warehouse surrounded by blood, and we could hear noises from the next room.  We were given an hour to escape and were ushered into a small, dark, creepy room, dirty and splatter with blood and body parts.  We worked together diligently to be shocked (literally at one point) and amazed at how well we work together.  Out of the four groups that went in, we were one of two groups that made it out on time, so we were pretty proud of ourselves!

7/11/17 — Slurpee Day! (We unfortunately did not partake.)  It was weekly gaming at the Gaming Goat and the gloom and doom outside brought out the murderous side of us, which lead us to play The Last Friday, a one-versus-many game which takes place at Camp Apache, a stereotypical 80s slasher movie camp.  The game plays out in four chapters, with one person portraying the serial killer “The Maniac,” and all other players taking roles as movie trope campers.  In the first chapter of the game, the camper players are running from The Maniac, trying to find keys to 5 different color cabins and hide away to safety while The Maniac is trying to kill all the campers, which would cause The Maniac to win.  Our campers were diligent and made it into safety, but not without two casualties in the camp.  In the second chapter, daylight is about to break and The Maniac must seek shelter until night falls again, while the campers seek out The Maniac and attempt to put him to rest.  The campers succeeded and the blue player had the pleasure of killing the killer, becoming The Predestined, but what kind of horror movie would this be if The Maniac were to just stay dead?  In the third chapter, The Maniac seeks vengeance against the predestined, spending the entire chapter attempting to kill the predestined and win, while the other campers are helping keep the predestined safe.  If the predestined survives this chapter (which she did!) then we move onto Chapter 4: The Final Chapter.  In chapter 4, dawn is breaking yet again, but this time it’s the camper’s final opportunity to seek revenge against the mayhem The Maniac has caused.  Like chapter 2, The Maniac is try to seek refuge from the campers, but this time it’s real for the campers.  If the predestined can kill The Maniac in this chapter, the camper team wins.  If The Maniac escapes, he is the winner.  The campers in our game were able to surround The Maniac, making his moves very obvious and causing a fantastic camper victory!

Since The Last Friday is a bit longer game, we only had time for one more short one this night, so we decided to pull out Garbage Day.  In Garbage Day, players are roommates in an apartment and unfortunately, no one likes cleaning or taking out the garbage.  Players draw cards from the deck and either place them in their room or on top of the garbage can depending on what type of card they draw.  If you have to place your card on the garbage can, you must carefully balance your card on the existing garbage, if you knock over the garbage, you could be out of the game!  There are also a few mischief cards in the deck, which allow you to place garbage in another person’s room or mess with how they place their garbage. The garbage was flying with this one, with Amber and another player “getting married” to try to preserve the win, but in the end someone else prevailed, becoming the king of the apartment and not cleaning their room!

7/12/17 Wednesdays are Masterchef Night at the Two Board Meeples household, and while waiting for Chef Ramsey to critique those home chef’s dishes, we decided to make it a Cthulhu Night (because what’s scarier, than Gordon Ramsey’s criticism, right?).  We busted out Cthulhu Dice first, which didn’t really go very well with two players.  To be honest, we didn’t even check to see if it could be played with two, but since we’ve played it before and wanted to knock it off our unplayed list of the year, we decided to chuck the dice and take each other’s sanity anyway.  We segued from that into Munchkin Cthulhu, a classic game with an Elder God theme.  While it was fun to revisit the game that got me into the hobby, there were very typical frustrations in game: someone running away with the lead, being the target of attack after attack.  There was definitely a feeling of, “when will this game end” coming from Amber, but it was a fun revisit and a nice laugh at some of the old jokes that were forgotten.  Plus, it gave us a chance to use our cool new countdown dice!

That’s all our gaming for this week, join us next week as we report back with more “What Have We Played!”

Chronicles from the Crow’s Nest — Pathfinder Adventures #1

Welcome to a new feature on our blog where we recount the adventures of one of our regular Pathfinder groups as we navigate through the Skulls and Shackles Pathfinder Adventure Path.

Please be advised that this post will contain spoilers for the “Skulls and Shackles” Pathfinder Adventure Path.  If you are currently playing or plan to play this adventure path, caution is advised to prevent spoilers.

Sunday, July 9th began our second session into the world of Skulls and Shackles, but before we tell you about that, we’ll have to tell you how we got to where we are.  In our previous adventure, our characters found themselves mysteriously swaying on the floor after a night of debauchery.  However, this was not (entirely) due to the alcohol imbibed the previous night, but rather because they were in the bilge of a pirate ship!  Never having met before and with no time left for introductions, the Captain bid us welcome.  Captain Harrington informed us that we had been shanghaied from a local tavern and were “willingly” conscripted into service aboard the Wormwood.  Based on our talents (or lack thereof) we were given duties aboard the ship and set off to do a day’s work.   Some of us choose to work diligently, while others snuck about the ship, trying to discover its secrets and sometimes getting kicked out of the Captain’s Quarters.  Day turned into night and there was a little free time, where we got to know each other a bit better and socialize with some of our fellow conscriptees.  Our party consisted of Sadie Di Morte, the roguish pirate; Worm, the grapple-happy monk; Avar Clan Killer, aasimar cleric of Sekhmet; Broma, a half-elven ranger; and Maximillian, the catfolk swashbuckler.  During the cavorting, Sadie snuck off to search people’s belongings and found a bit of gold, while others gambled, discovered other parts of the ship, or further fraternized with the crewmates who had been aboard slightly longer.  The sun rose yet again and our band of misfits were awoken to an attack by three other members of the crew, who roughed us up a bit before we were able to make our way up to the deck for morning duties.  Here we faced lashings from the captain’s right-hand man and discipline officer, Mr. Plugg, due to our tardiness.  Some of our gang didn’t take kindly to this and began plotting for the demise of Plugg, but for now we were stuck with our daily duties.  Worm, who had demonstrated considerable climbing skill, was tasked with clambering up and down the masts and securing ropes.  Broma was established as the cook’s mate.  The other three were given general swabbing duties and other such menial work needed to keep the ship afloat.

This routine continued for several days: wake up, work from dusk until dawn, and spend the evenings socializing with or entertaining the fellow crew.  During one of these evenings, Avar, who had been harboring the strongest and most vocal anti-Plugg sentiment, found himself in a tangle with Owlbear, a hulk of a man and Plugg’s “pet”.  Avar took a bit of a beating, but eventually triumphed over Owlbear, and seemingly won some respect from the strong but simple man.  Meanwhile the highly charismatic Maximillian had made a favorable impression upon and gotten to know most of the other crewmen, especially taking a liking to Rosie Cusswell, the short but fierce Halfling fighter.  Rosie was particularly perturbed that her prized fiddle had been taken from her and locked in the quartermaster’s storage, so Max began to hatch a scheme to get it back, both by enlisting the help of more of his newfound compatriots and by currying favor with Grok, the tough-as-nails half-orc quartermaster.  Sadie meanwhile engaged in more general sneakiness, trying to discover every hidden nook and cranny on the ship, which ended up landing her in the brig for a time.  Broma and Worm used their time to rest up and not cause too much of a ruckus.  Then one day, after a small fishing expedition off-ship proves more challenging than intended as we were beset by a couple of reefclaws (but managed to fight them off and bring them back amongst the crabs we’d collected), the captain rewarded our loyalty by returning the gear that had been taken from us upon our capture.  It was good timing too, because it wasn’t long after that we came upon another ship, a merchant’s vessel that the captain decided to take as a prize.  After a brief but successful skirmish, we managed to board the ship, the Man’s Promise, and take it as our own.  Since Captain Harrington obviously didn’t need two ships, he tasked our group, under the captainship of Plugg, to sail to Port Peril to salvage for gold.

The days on the Man’s Promise were similar to those on the Wormwood, but with about half the crew, making our daily jobs that much more strenuous. We managed to survive, though, until one day when we were assaulted by a massive storm that blew us off course. As the crew frantically scurried about on deck securing ropes and battening hatches, Avar saw his opportunity to strike back against the distracted Plugg. However, his efforts were in vain, as Plugg effortlessly knocked him down in a couple of blows. Avar attempted to confuse the situation by using his clerical magic to change himself into Plugg’s image, claiming he was the real captain and Plugg was an imposter that attacked him. Unfortunately for him, nobody bought it, but to his favor the crew was so slim, Plugg couldn’t afford to keelhaul him, so Avar just earned himself some time in the bilge. Then, as the storm cleared, we found ourselves shipwrecked on an island and missing a few crewmates. Plugg, ever the taskmaster, sent our small party out to the island to find materials to repair the ship as well as our missing compatriots. Fortunately, Avar was released to be able to join our landing party. Upon ascending the shore, we happened upon an abandoned village, where we made camp and ended the session. 

Tune back in next time as our pathfinders explore this mysterious island. What will they find? Only time will tell!