Friday, August 20, 2010

More Thunderstone

Thunderstone has hit the table again this week. It seems to be one of the most talked about games and I am really enjoying it. Although the next time I play I have vowed not to use the suggested starting set of cards.

I had the same problem when Dominion came along, followed by its expansions and promos. The base set of cards suggested do a good job of bringing people into the game. There are enough cards to add variety without adding too many that have either too much to read so they are ignored. OR change the game around too much to make it confusing. The trouble is I have all these other cards that I am dying to add into the mix and it never happens. I like to make the first play of Dominion not too overwhelming for new players, so after a game with the recommended set of cards I will then swap in 2 or 3 other cards to add a little to the mix. Usually the Witch and a couple of others to add a little interaction. Hopefully after that they have a better understanding of the game and I can add some new cards in the next time.

Unfortunately Dominion has become a monster and its impractical for me to cart 4 boxes of cards to play one or two hands. I could really do with a carry box that I can use to bring over everything I need to play a couple of pregenerated hands.

Thunderstone is going the way of expansions, and the first one looks like its going to be a winner. Not only can it be played stand alone so you don't need the base game it has solved this storage problem. The original storage for the cards was weak, just a few holes in the box and no real strategy of what to put where. Divider cards were supplied but they were not great and after I have sleeved my cards they are just lost in the box. Now the new expansion will hold all the cards from the base set and provides some foam inserts to break up your cards plus some sizable divider cards. This sounds perfect, I will be able to bring along all the cards in one box and get things setup efficiently. Now I just have to wait for it to be released.

Other gaming has been mixed. Last night I had a half game of Memoir 44 using Vassal. Normally it works but technical problems hit us after half an hour of play so we gave up and moved onto Dominion on BSW so the night wasn't a total disaster.

Dice Tower awards are looming and will be interested in what people think of the winners. Till then I'm waiting for my Dwarven Thunderstone from the Geek. Not that it will get played ;-)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Orc Rush in the cold

Another night another game meet for the P.O.B. group. Last night I managed to get a game of Ur in. It's a new game to me and one that I have just started playing on mabiweb. To be honest I was confused on the online version but after the game was explained to me it made more sense. I came last mainly due to building two Zigurats near the start on my Agriculture tiles and then shafting my cube production. Live and learn eh!

Next up was Thunderstone, second play and it really clicked this time. I lost by 1 point but it was an enjoyable game. We used the starting set of cards again as I was the only player out of the three who had played before. The Sphinx card has tripped us up both times now. Needing a magical attack of 8 seems really harsh. We all struggled to combat her and having the thunderstone behind it made it the game winner. I bought as many fireballs, wizards and flaming swords as possible but they just didn't hit my hand at the right time. In the end I ended the game using the Elf wizards ability to put a monster to the bottom of the deck. I thought I had killed enough monsters but hadn't leveled up enough of my hero's. A really good game and I will look out for the expansion now.

Lastly I managed a game of Summoner Wars. This is getting lots of love at the moment. The Dice Tower guys really like it and with the Dice Tower awards being revealed soon I am sure its going to get something. It got my vote!
It's a nice quick miniature battle game that uses cards instead of miniatures. Contradicted myself there but it works really well. The rules are simple but playable. However the Orcs seem to have won every game so far. I am not sure what I am doing wrong with the Elves. I know they have better range attacks but its difficult to get them in position without being overrun by the Orcs. More plays and a rethink required on this one.
The play mat still annoys me on this one. For the cost of the game I would prefer something better but then games seem to be getting more expensive anyway.

Friday, August 6, 2010

To Sleave, or not to Sleave?

I usually only sleeve cards in games if they are going to get repeated use. The character cards in Citadels were some of the first non CCG cards I sleeved. Mainly as they are continually being used, shuffled and swapped around the table.

Other games I have sleeved have been Combat Commander as I wanted to pimp out the game with coloured sleeves and card decks for the forces. But I don't really play the game enough to really warrant the sleeves.

Thunderstone arrived last week and inside are 530 cards and I chose to sleeve them all. I have dominion and haven't sleeved that mainly because of the large number of cards so I have no real excuse here. Other than the fact I have all the expansions so the number of cards is now well over the number in Thunderstone.
The main reason I sleeved Thunderstone is that our gaming group, P.O.B. meets in a pub in Portsmouth. We get the room for free which is great but sometimes we have to use a room where the tables are a little grubby and sticky. I wanted to protect the cards from the wear and tear of this environment. It's a bit harsh and I have thought about sleeving some other cards as I am loathed to bring them to play.

Maybe I am to O.C.D. but I like to keep my things as mint as possible.

Sleeving has its downsides. The cards are a bit more tricky to shuffle now, but I can put up with that. Extra cost was negligible, about £4 for the sleeves from ebay. Maybe not the best but they do the job.

As for the game, well it's no Dominion. It's not as slick or polished as the daddy of the deck building games but it was enjoyable and I am looking forward to giving it another go next week.

More on the game will follow as I think it needs a few more plays till I can really comment on it.