Fields of Arle
Uwe’s work has been hit and miss for me, well, nothing has really missed as much as aggravated, I’m looking at you Agricola. But we’ve enjoyed our time with Bohnanza and Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, and I did enjoy my one play of Caverna so far. Which is why it quite surprised me that when I first started hearing about Fields or Arle, I kind of knew I’d end up picking it up and trying it. Everyone seems to be right about this one so far, it’s a fantastic sandbox. Fields of Arle is a 1-2 player game that is largely biographical based on Uwe Rosbenberg’s life. You are running a farm, but to me, this one owes much more to Caverna as an inspiration as opposed to Agricola. As such this one has a huge table presence, as opposed to the other two player Rosenberg games. And when I say huge, I mean huge, it eats up a table, even as a single player game which is how I played it on Friday night. I managed to score 72.5 points in my first go round and when I was finished, I felt like I worked my butt off for those points, but I also realized there were lots of other ways I could have gone, and I might have managed to score a few more points had I done so. Really hope to get this one to the table again soon and I’m hoping that I can convince Kerensa to try it out but that 2 hour time frame is going to make that a bit difficult, maybe I can convince her to try it out one night and we’ll finish it the next.
Saturday brought us to “International TableTop Day”, which is basically a holiday made up by the fine folks at Geek & Sundry in order to try to get folks out and into their Friendly Local Game Stores, and make Geek & Sundry a little money as well selling promo packs to stores. It’s all fine and good, and who doesn’t love a reason to get out and game, right? So Saturday I hosted a makeshift TableTop day at our local public library where I host our group’s quarterly Saturday meetup and had a fantastic time. We were down a couple regular members as they were out of town and such, but we had a couple new folks come in and join us as well, so I think at the most we ended up with about 12-14 people playing at once. So thank you to everyone who came out, I had a great time!!
We started out our day with a 4 player game of Volt with myself, Mark and his two daughters. Brad taught them as I moved around everything in the room and we sat down to some robot mayhem. Game moved pretty quickly with me ending up winning. For as random as this game can be with the programming actions and such, this one went my way fairly easily, which isn’t the normal case. It helped that we played this one without any of the extra modules since it was their first time playing, I think it made a positive first impression on them and once again, this one really makes me want to break out and play Robo Rally.
After that first game of Volt, we played a couple rounds of One Night Ultimate Werewolf. If we don’t count online plays, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is easily our most played game at around 32 plays that I’ve logged, and I know that with a game like this I’ve missed a few games so it’s probably closer to 40 plays. But my game is so well worn that we can’t use the Seer any more as the card is so marked you can’t help but notice it, so the villagers are usually at a little bit of a disadvantage I think, but this time, they won out both games as the Werewolves just weren’t sneaky enough, with the second game ending because we had a bit of a giggly werewolf. Fun fun game that if you haven’t tried out yet and you enjoy quick deduction type games, you should definitely do so. I need to pick up some opaque backed sleeves for mine though so I don’t have to go out and buy another copy or spend 5 bucks to have Bezier send me another tile.
After our couple rounds of 7 player One Night Ultimate Werewolf the group broke up again and we had another local gamer join us. We had a 4 player game of Spyrium going, a two player game of Rhino Hero that had a spectacular tower going until the last card to win and the whole thing came crashing down and I sat down with Corey and we played Summoner Wars. I played as the Guild Dwarves and he was the Sand Goblins and I was doomed by some of the absolutely worst dice rolling seen this side of the Mississippi river, I could have rolled ones and twos on three 20 sided dice I was rolling so horribly. And thusly the Sand Goblins just swarmed on me and defeated us with little to no issues. It had been about a year and a half since I’d played Summoner Wars, and I am not sure why, it’s went from a game that I request specifically on my birthday to play with Gabby to something that just doesn’t see the table, I need to remedy that. I’ll have to see if I can talk Gabby into sitting down and playing that with me on Sunday mornings if I can get her to get up with me and play before everyone else gets up.
At that point, Mark’s daughters were leaving and his two sons were going to join us but they were eating lunch first so I taught the five of us that were ready to play some Dungeon Raiders. I mentioned Dungeon Raiders last week and I will hope to have a review up for it this week on the blog, and I may have something up in audio as well. I will say this much, I enjoyed the plays with 5 people a lot more than our plays with 3 and 4. It’s a game made for more people as that ups the interactivity between the players and it makes for some interesting choices in the games. Look for the review this week!
Qyhrrae from the library had joined us and played some Dungeon Raiders and Mark’s sons were ready to hop into something so we broke out Bang! The Dice Game. It’d been awhile since we had last played this one so after a quick rules runthrough I taught it and we were ready for some 7 player shoot em up fun. For those that don’t know, Bang! The Dice Game is a dice rolling game where one person is the Sheriff, there are deputies, there are Outlaws and there is a Renegade. All the Renegade wants to do is survive longer than anyone else and make sure that he’s killing the Sheriff last, since if the Sheriff dies the game is over. All the Sheriff wants to do is get rid of all the Outlaws and the Renegade, while the Deputies just want to keep the Sheriff alive long enough to do just that. The outlaws merely want to kill the Sheriff, that’s their sole purpose. So everyone is dealt a role card and the Sheriff reveals himself to the group and the game is off and running. On your turn you roll 5 dice with different varying abilities on the sides. One side allows you to shoot the person immediately to your left or right, one side allows you to shoot the person two spots away from you on your left or right, one side is dynamite, that’s the locking side and if you hit 3 dynamite you take a point of damage and your turn is immediately over, one other side has a beer on it, that allows you to heal anyone at the table, even yourself and the final side is an arrow. If you roll an arrow you take an arrow from the supply in the middle of the table, if the arrow that you take is the last one, everyone with arrows in front of them takes damage up to the amount of arrows in front of them and then discards them back to the middle of the table. First game through I was a deputy and our Sheriff took some early damage and I revealed myself as the deputy a bit too quickly and we were fairly quickly eliminated. Second and final game I was the Renegade and things were going so well, but on my final turn I couldn’t heal the Sheriff enough to survive till it got back around to me so the very next person took him out and the Outlaws won. It seems to me that in each of my five total plays of this game to date that the Outlaws have won each of them, I don’t think I’ve had another role win yet. But it’s definitely a fun game, and from what everyone at the table who had played Bang said, it vastly improves on that game.
So after Bang! The Dice Game, I caved in to Qyhrrae who had brought in Catan in hopes of getting someone to play with her, so myself and Marks youngest son obliged and I played my first ever game of Catan. Yes, I know, it’s weird that I never played Catan, but in my defense, I skipped right past it. I wasn’t board gaming when Catan hit our shores and when I first started up board gaming 3-4 years ago, I picked it up in an auction, from Undead Viking I believe, but I may be mistaken, but moral of the story is that it sat there and never got played. I finally loaned it out to my sister, who’s had it since and I don’t know that it’s even been played by her either. But, I try to make it a point to at least try every game once that’s offered to me and much to my surprise, there really hasn’t been a game that I’ve played that I absolutely hated and never wanted to play again, and that held true with Catan. While, it did seem a bit dated compared to other games that I’ve been playing, it does have it’s value in the board game world. So thank you Qyrhhae for making me sit down and play it, AND for kicking my butt while doing so. While we played that there were three other groups going, one playing Betrayal at House on the Hill, another playing King of Tokyo and the other playing some X-Wing, so we had some variety going at that point.
Last game of the day for me was a game of Deus that I played with Mark’s youngest son and Tim’s son. I was walking around and Tim’s son was looking at games and he had picked that one up, I asked what kind of games he enjoyed playing and he said “Games with lots of Strategy” so I said let’s go, and I sat down and taught it as best I could in the time we had to get a game in and finished. Both of them picked it up pretty well and I was struggling to get any Temples out that would net me any points, so the game kind of stretched out a bit. Mark’s son and I had trapped Tim’s son on his corner of the game board so he basically just milked points through sacrificing as much as he could while producing as many goods as possible to end the game with a good chunk of points. I ended up winning this one in a low scoring battle by 4 points over both of them, so it was really close and I think both of them enjoyed it. Now, if I can just get my family to try it out.
And that wrapped up our TableTop Day at Missouri River Regional Library, thank you to everyone who came out! Mark and his family, Tim and his family, Bern, Brad, Kate, Corey, Qhyrrae and two other gamers who for the life of me I can’t recall their names, but they were at our Millennial game night at MRRL a month or so ago and decided to join us on Saturday as well, so hopefully everyone comes back on June 6th when we host our next quarterly meetup and we get to play some more games!!
I have been continuing to play Star Realms via the app this week, so shoot me a challenge if you feel the need to buff up your record(VacaBCK), and I continue to go along in the Terra Mystica online season. Once again I’m trying to predominately be the Darklings and once again about midway through the game, I am scoring fairly well, but this is just about the time that I always fall apart, so we’ll see what happens. My engines just never seem to be large enough to provide the workers, gold and priests that I need late in the game.
Absolutely nothing!!! Nothing came in, I didn’t order anything and I wasn’t even tempted by the TableTop Day sales or the Barnes and Noble clearance, well that’s a bit of a stretch, I was tempted but I didn’t bite on anything. I did catch a preview for Barony on BGG from Matagot and it looks really interesting, hoping to get a chance to read the rulebook sometime in the near future. This one is Marc Andre’s follow up to Splendor and this one once again looks like it’s pretty easy to teach game, but this one seems to have a little bit more meat on it’s bones than Splendor, so I’m looking forward to more information on it and reading that rulebook.
Oh, I take that back, I did have one acquisition this week, but it was a contest winning from the Gaming Nonsense Uncensored Podcast, I won a copy of Tiny Epic Defenders which I hope to get to the table soon!
While I didn’t acquire any new games this week I did back a new one on Kickstarter, well it isn’t a new one, it’s an expansion to one that we quite enjoy around here, Evolution. Evolution: Flight Expansion gives you the ability to create avian species, looks like it adds a lot of variability to a game that already had a lot to it. Plus, since the stretch goal was hit, everyone who backs the expansion gets the 2nd edition cards for the base game to go with it. What’s odd to me about this project is just how long it’s running, it’s a 45 day Kickstarter so by the time it’s over, I’ll have forgotten that I backed it quite possibly.
Also of note, Best Treehouse Ever ends its Kickstarter campaign in 5 days. If you haven’t read our review of this one give it a read, we quite enjoyed this lighter weight card drafting game about building the coolest treehouse on the block. Right now it sits at just over $36k and needs a bit of a push to get to that final stretch goal of $37.5 to get unique art for every room card, the art is a huge part of this game, it really fits the theme and brings it out wonderfully, so the more art, the better!
Geeklist & Thread
Everyone brought it to the geeklist and thread on BGG once again, fantastic stuff you all! And I expect even more this week due to TableTop Day and The Gathering of Friends! Tiago wrapped up their Formula Motor Racing season after 18 races and Team Tiago took home the trophy, really makes me want to try something like that, except I’m wanting to try it with Thunder Alley. Saw a mention or two of Mottainai, the new card game from Carl Chudyk, really eager to try that one out, but I think I’ll hold out to get the actual game instead of doing the PnP, but it looks really typical Chudyk, semi difficult rules with cards that do a multitude of different things, which reminds me that I really need to play Uchronia. Kirk is really selling me on picking up a copy of Strat o Matic baseball, I’ve always meant to do it but just never pulled the trigger, but it sounds like he and his son are having a fantastic time with it. Doug had a fantastic session report of USAC Auto Racing, really liked that and it really reminded me of when I used to keep stats on those silly football games I used to play on the Commodore 64, lots of fun and memories. I continue to be impressed by the reaction to Three Kingdoms Redux and I really really want to pull the trigger on it, but that three player only limit is kind of a good and a bad thing. The geeklist even had a Stop Thief mention, which is a game I haven’t seen since I was a kid. Oh, and Kat Tastrophy, I’m still waiting on seeing photos for Dungeoneer! The thread version of What Did You Play Last Week continues to grow. Seems these past couple weeks we’ve started hitting 3 pages of reports and chit chat. Good to see it growing and I try to be over there as well to talk to folks!!