It’s that time of year where the weather is getting colder and we’re starting to spend more time inside. Ok, let’s face it, the Meeples aren’t really outside people anyway, so we cranked up the heat and busted out a few games. What have you been playing this week? We’d love to hear in the comments below! Otherwise, please enjoy this weeks boardgame musings!
On Friday, we headed down to our home away from home in Rockford for another chance to tackle the epic Arkham Horror LCG scenario The Labyrinths of Lunacy. We had gotten to play this a few weeks ago, but ran out of time and didn’t finish. This time everyone came prepared, and twelve of us divided into three groups of four, ready to take on the labyrinth. Our group was aided by an early Christmas present from Santa — bases and path markers to arrange the rooms and more easily see what connects to what. And for this scenario, they were definitely needed, as we ended up with about a dozen different location with some pretty complex interconnectedness. This time around we played in a different group than we had in the past, so it was a completely different experience (even though we had only made it 2/3 of the way through before). This time, all of the groups made it through the three phases all intact, all though our group was a little worse for wear by the end of it. But this was certainly a unique experience, having three different groups playing the same game and story at the same time, with a bit of crossover of what each group did affecting the others. It was a long evening, but definitely worth it!
Not content with calling it quits even after 3+ hours of Arkham Horror, we capped off the night by heading over to our good friend Eric’s house to finish up our Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 campaign! As you may remember, we had finished up 11/12ths of the in-game year, with only December to go, so we hoped we could make it through successfully. We got everything set up and kicked off the game, learning what the final objective we must complete would be. And then things went… horribly. We made it through two turns before losing our first December game. Amber didn’t even get to play! So we took a step back and reassessed the situation and reset the game for what would be the last possible attempt we’d get. The second try went a lot better, and we managed to get a good system going to complete the final objective (vagueness to avoid spoiling anything!). It came to a point where we realized there were only three turns left before we would win the game, but we’d had enough outbreaks that we weren’t entirely in the clear. Each flip of the player deck was done with bated breath as we hoped not to reveal a dreaded Epidemic card. And lo and behold, having a few early near back-to-back epidemics granted us three Epidemic-free turns, allowing us to end the game victorious! We finished all of the end game steps, read out the rest of the story, and admired the results of our campaign. We have defeated Pandemic Legacy! Now we just have to wait until probably 2019 for Season 3… (and the next season of Game of Thrones. At this point, can we just skip 2018?)
On Saturday, after sleeping in after our late morning, we decided it was a good opportunity to play Exit: The Forgotten Island, which we had just recently picked up. As usual, I won’t get too in depth into the game to avoid spoiling anything, but this was another excellent entry in the Exit series. We didn’t do as well as we have in the past — we were stuck for a long time on one puzzle before realizing that we didn’t have everything needed to solve it, and for another one we needed a couple of hints to figure out exactly how to approach it. But even though we took a little over 60 minutes and stumbled through 2 puzzles, we had a great time, as we have with all of the Exit games. We still have The Forbidden Castle to go through yet, as well as The Polar Station, which we haven’t even bought yet, so there will definitely be a lot more Exit-ing in our future!
After a relaxing weekend at home, we decided to wind down and gear up for the week ahead with one of our Black Friday acquisitions, Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn. We own and have played the original Civilization a couple of times, but it’s a bit of a bear to set up and play, so it hasn’t hit the table too often. This new version advertised itself as quicker and more streamlined while still giving the same epic civ-building feel. Right off the bat, I’d say I like the hex-based board a lot more than the original square tiles, and the artwork on all of the components is definitely top-notch, as could be expected from Fantasy Flight. But after setting up and reading through the rules, I learned that apart from the name and theme, this game doesn’t really have too much in common with its predecessor. All players start with one capital city on the map, a civilization they represent (for instance, we were America and Scythia), and 5 focus cards detailing the actions the player can take on their turn. The focus cards are lined up in a row, the order of which is determined by the player’s civilization, with the cards on the right having more powerful effects when they’re resolved. On a player’s turn, they can increase their technology level, place out their control tokens, spreading their influence and friendly occupied area, attack other players or the wandering barbarians, trade with other players or city-states, or build new cities and wonders. There are three goal cards for each game (out of 5 possible), and to win, a player must complete one of the two goals on each of the three cards. For example, either max out your technology dial or build two science wonders. In our game, we were pretty even with accomplishing goals throughout the whole game, and didn’t really attack each other or see the need to, though I can definitely see how the game could be played aggressively if that’s your style. Likewise, I’m really interested in playing a full 4 player game, since the map is the same size for all player counts, so it seems like that would lead to a lot more fighting over territory and goals. In any case, this was definitely a great game, and I’m happy to have it in our collection!
Another Tuesday, another game night with the Rockford Pegheads! We started with Enchanters, which one of our group members had just gotten from Kickstarter. This is a sort-of-tableau building game where you are collecting items and enchantments to boost your attack and defense to defeat monsters and dragons. It was fun, but there were some turns I felt like there wasn’t really anything I wanted from the card row (or couldn’t afford the one card I did want), so had to rest to get more money. I did like that the items and enchantment cards were meant to be read in a combined manner (which even carried over into their flavor text), so I went through a good part of the game with my Buckler of Leeches. Altogether it was fun, but not necessarily a game I’d want to own.
We then continued onto London Dread, which one of our friends has really been wanting to try out. It was a lot of fun, and we were pretty successful in our investigation… except for the final showdown at the end. We had amassed 9 dice as a group and needed 5 successes to pass, and we ended up with 2. There are 2 successes on each die, so I would’ve expected at least 3 out of our 9 but, no dice (ha!).
We finished the night off with a new game we had just gotten, When I Dream. This is an interesting game where one person is blindfolded and everyone else is trying to clue them into a series of keywords on beautifully illustrated cards. The catch is that some of the clue givers are trying to mislead the dreamer and get them to guess incorrectly, so you have to figure out who to listen to. My only regret is that I didn’t get any pictures of people wearing the blindfold, but I’m sure we’ll be playing this again in the near future, so there will definitely be another opportunity!
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