Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mid February Update, Part 2

As mentioned in my previous post, I've been a busy little gamer this past month and have been having a lot of fun. In addition to the annual MLK Day gaming, I was able to play a session of Pathfinder and several other "lite" games this past weekend, mostly with my son and others.

I actually made it through a gaming session this year with my character in tact, a Bard. I've had a lot of fun playing my halfing and have been pretty potent with my sling staff which, with my high dexterity, makes me a deadly shot. I've also been able to sing my companions to victory over an assortment of beasts.

This last session was rather uneventful as we had to meet our new companions and explore a simple dungeon. It was a nice break from the massacres we've faced recently.

I may write a different post on my Bard, Luten, later.

Gaming Weekend
This past weekend, a holiday weekend, I was able to play three games in three days.

First, Star Trek Catan. As you can imagine, Star Trek Catan is Settlers of Catan in space, with the addition of some specialist cards that we opted not to use the first time we played--especially since those we played with were new to the Catan world. I found Star Trek Catan a refreshing take on a game that, frankly, really never gets old. The components were nice--little starships were roads, outposts settlements, and starbases cities. Outposts were converted to starbases by the addition of what they call a "habitation ring." A nice mechanic.

Star Trek Catan (toward the end of the game)
Instead of the usually supply of wheat, bricks, etc, players went after resources such as dilithium, tritanium, water, oxygen, and food. Surprisingly though, food didn't correspond to wheat, but instead corresponded to sheep. Still, it was an easy game to pick up on and easily transition from standard Catan. Maybe next time we'll play with the specialist cards.

I liked it,except that the starships were too high and bulky for the game and it was hard to see what was going on with the game and the map. Also, the dark hexes made it difficult to see the entirety of the game. Still, it was fun and a nice variant on this now-classic game.

Next up was a game of War of the Ring with my youngest son. We had been wanting to play this for a while, but never found the time (due to the rules and set up) until this weekend. We had fun. We played the introductory game.

Frodo and Sam are forced to take the long way
He played the Shadow Forces and I played the Free Peoples. I immediately attacked north for a quick victory, but he was able to shore up his defenses and whittle down my forces. I could only take one Shadow city. He quickly moved in on Gondor and rolled them up rather quickly. I was hoping to hold in Rohan but he activated Isengard and pressed the attack there and in Lorien. it was a quick victory for the Shadow Forces. In hindsight, my inattention to the ringbearers and to Gondor/Rohan cost me the game. Had I pressed the ringbearers more, he would have devoted more dice to the hunt pool (as it was, by the end of the game he was only putting up one die in the hunt box and when he did role, he rolled well.

He also blocked my middle path, forcing Frodo and Sam to take the long way around Middle Earth) and worked to activate my nations more. I was counting on him to attack and push my political track toward war, but by the time he did (and I did spend a few musters to move them down) it was too late to mount an effective defense.

Victory for the Shadow Forces
The last game of the weekend was a quick Settlers game with my mom, youngest, and old son. It was fun and close, but my youngest was able to score four quick points (largest army, VP, and city upgrade) to win his third game of the weekend. After that, I took him to buy some lottery tickets. Not really, since he's only 13, but it was a good thought.

That's it for now. Next blog entry will be a "meet Luten" post about my new Halfling Bard and the joys of playing that race and class.

Roll well and live!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mid Feburary Update, Part 1

Been a while since I've updated this blog and I have been playing quite a bit of games (for me at least).

First, I've not been able to start my 1944 APBA replay of the Cardinals, but hope to start soon.

Other than that, I've played several games during the past 30 days or so since my last update.

Martin Luther King Day

My group has a tradition of gaming on MLK Day. It started a few years back when we realized we were all off on that day, and with it being a holiday, our schedules were rather flexible. We've had some great game days over the years and usually have a pretty good turnout. Usually, we play one of those "if only we had the time" type of games (for example, Sword of Rome or Napoleonic Wars, or Twilight Imperium). This year we decided to do something different--two things actually. First, we decided on a "light" game--Formula De--and decided to play at the local game shop. It was fun.

Formula De
MLK Formula De Race Near End of First Lap
There were five of us there (AW, DMW, PS, TS and SE) and it was a good race. We raced Monte Carlo since it was the track we were most familiar with and only raced two laps. We've done three laps before but honestly, most of us get bored after two laps. The only plus side to three laps is the need to pit (for almost all of us) which really factors into the strategies employed. We never play with weather or tires (or should I say "tyres"?).

Well, two of us, AW (me) and PS got off to a good start, while DMW struggled. Toward the end of the first lap we were split into two groups: AW and PS out in front, TS, DMW and SE taking up the rear. And that was it for pretty much the rest of the way, although TS managed to close the gap a bit and finish in a solid 3rd.

Castle Panic
After that we grabbed Castle Panic off the shelf and played that. It's a fun coop game we've played before. Basically, players work together to fend off creatures and protect the castle. Sometimes it's an easy go, and at other times the creatures/monsters can overwhelm the castle. The game is always close, but this time we had a good handle on affairs throughout the game.

Victory is Ours!
The next posting I will update you on the life of my Bard (yes, I did say life--he is still alive), my first play of Star Trek Catan, and my first game of War of the Ring in many years.

Thanks for reading. Roll well and live!