Monday, 22 October 2018

Boardgame session: 21Oct2018

We have not played Dungeon Petz for ages and have never tried the Dark Alleys expansion, which I received for my birthday. During the week Elaine and I tried the game/expansion to refresh our knowledge. We are not convinced the 2-player version works particularly well; it just seems a bit clunky and takes too long to finish. Anyway, we played again, using the Dark Alleys, when Val and Chris visited this weekend, and the 4-player game is much better. Chris emerged as the clear winner.


I have a mixed view about Dark Alleys: Some elements simply expand the base game (extra cages, add-ons, artefacts, customers and competitions), but the best additions are the large range of additional monsters! A major flaw in the base game is the limited number of Petz available. I think these new Petz are really good and quirky, especially the House Vampire and My Little Pony. The alternative turn tracker is OK and I doubt we will ever play the extended game tracker. The Black Market board works with 4-players, allowing all players the chance to buy a Pet in the first turn (solving another criticism of the base game). No-one has yet bought the Bodyguard, nor the extra add-on or artefact, but the food and cage options are good. The ‘slug-shop’ is fine and was used, as was the ‘fortune teller’ when things got tight. The ‘industrial zone’ was not used by most players, but I can see it could be useful. Overall, I don’t think Dark Alleys is an ‘essential’ expansion and I don’t think it will always feature in our game sessions, but it is worth getting simply to add those important extra monster options.
Last week we visited Oxford and called in at Thirsty Meeples. I managed to buy a copy of Ganz Schon Clever (German version). We have played a few 2-player games and then tried 4-player game today. I think this is a great ‘Roll & Write’ game, and could easily become a regular favourite with us. The rules are so simple but the choices become tougher as the game progresses. Really nice combo’s can occur that feel very satisfying, even if they do depend on the luck of the dice to large degree. The luck of the dice is possibly the weakness in the game, you may start to feel the game is driving itself depending on the numbers you roll and that you, as the player, are not making choices other than the obvious ones. I think this game represents the best £10 worth to date!

Thursday, 18 October 2018

AAR Rome vs Germans (Impetus) 14Oct18

Ian and I met up for a game of Impetus featuring my 28mm EIR and Hairy Barbarian armies, who have not been out of their boxes for a couple of years. Sorry, no photos of the actual game again; I forgot my camera, which is a pity because I think these armies look nice. Ian got the Germans using the FP (heavy infantry) option, rather than the FL (light infantry) option I normally play with. I was using Romans and opted to not take artillery, which proved a mistake.

What neither of us realised was that it was the club AGM, which lost 60-90 minutes of gaming time! Therefore I decided to go with an unsubtle battle plan to ensure game completion; normally I would use the Roman mobility to force the barbarians into uncoordinated attacks. This time I ploughed straight ahead, squeezing through a gap in some wooded terrain.  As a result, Ian was able to hold back his main body and release them as a single block at the time which worked best for him. This is where some artillery would have been useful, I could then have peppered the enemy and broken up this impetuous body of troops. Instead my main block of 3 Legionary units were hit in a coordinated manner by 4 enemy ‘large’ units. I did manage to destroy 1 of the enemy blocks and weaken a couple of others, but the Romans were ground down and destroyed losing 3VD points each!

On the plus side, my Auxillary units did good work beating the single strength warbands, but this was not enough to achieve victory. Anyway, after 5 or 6 rounds the Romans reached the 50%VD loss point compared to only 35%VD loss for the Germans. So, victory went to Ian (again!).
The next game will be ‘To The Strongest’ ancients, which Ian bought at Colours, and use armies supplied by Ian, so I’m not sure what will feature. Really looking forward to this and comparing how the rules differ from those for ECW we have previously played.