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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Tentacles and Tablecloths


Today started with a disaster. Where was the tablecloth? The first week Muir left early so I took it home with me. Muir had assumed I'd become the cloth guardian and would be taking it home the next week. I assumed he was still the custodian of the cloth and would be taking it home himself. A stale mate occurred and neither of us took it. We arrived hoping it was picked up by the bar staff and would be residing in it's clothy glory behind the bar. Our hearts raced when we found out this wasn't the case. Thankfully IpBoG regular Dan had picked it up on his way out. The crisis was averted, hearts slowed down to their regular pace, and the sticky purple table was usable once again.

Muir and Guru arrived early and played a quick game of Netrunner, waiting for others to arrive. Darren turned up with Ancient Terrible Things, a recent Kickstarter acquisition that I'd been nagging him to bring for a while. Theo had brought A Study In Emerald, a Martin Wallace game that, due to its limited run, was on my list of games that I wanted to play but didn't think I'd ever get the chance to. I opted for Ancient Terrible Things, with Theo promising to bring A Study In Emerald another week.

Ancient Terrible Things feels a lot like a competitive version of Elder Sign. A bit of worker placement and a lot of dice rolling, trying to get the combos on the cards to claim victory points. I did terribly, coming in last, but still enjoyed it. I'll need to practice my dice rolling skills if I'm to stand a chance at this game another time. Chris won, just beating Muir by claiming bonus points for collecting the most yellow cards.

Dan had brought his copy of Power Grid in. Enjoying the game so much, Theo has increased his rating on BoardGameGeek from a 7 to an 8. Although I'm sure, being an upstanding citizen, winning had no influence on this.

The others played a couple of games of Star Fluxx before embarking on Battlestar Galactica. This can be a pretty long game and the last time it was brought out at IpBoG, last orders were called before the game was over. This time was no exception and the game was again ended unfinished but a couple of the guys arranged to meet up the following night, determined to play a full game.

After Ancient Terrible Things we played a quick game of Dominion. Having not played it in a while I forgot my footing and bought way too many action cards at the start, clogging up my deck. I like to win at all games but I especially like to win at Dominion. However, there was no way I could win this time, or so I thought. I adjusted my strategy and adjusted my deck, somehow clawing a victory.

Thirteen year old boys and thirty year old nerds everywhere have been getting over excited about the new Marvel Dice Masters game. Darren managed to snag himself a copy of the base set and went head to head with Muir. The game itself plays very similar to Quarriors which doesn't come as much of a surprise considering they're by the same designer. It's a kind of tweaked, two player variant. The base set sells dirt cheap at about thirteen pounds and it shows. The dice bags are made of paper and look like they would be better suited as receptacles for aeroplane induced vomit rather than superhero based dice. Designed to get you hooked, you'll soon be foregoing school dinners to spend your lunch money on booster packs. No longer will angry comic book fans have to argue about which super hero would win in a fight, this game can answer that question once and for all (at least, if they're fighting in pairs). We now know that Captain America and The Beast would beat Spider-Man and The Human Torch.

I moved over to Theo's table for Expedition: Famous Explorers, a remake of an older game but with advanced rules. As it was our first game we opted to stick with  the original, standard rules. Moving across the world, you strategically lay your route, hoping to explore more locations than your competitors. Certain locations let you lay an extra path, as does making a loop or spending previously earned tickets, allowing you to pull off some sneaky combos. I was the first person to reach all my personal objectives, ending the game. Steven and I were tied for first place but any objectives left in a player's hand at the end of the game count as negative points. Steven still had a single card left resulting in my stealing of first place by a single point.

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