Monday, 23 May 2016

Ghosts, Superheroes and Mad Inventors

Board Games for the weekend

I'm going to have to finally accept that my Birthday week is over, and that I should get back to actually concentrating on real life for a little while at least.  However, just to prolong things a little further I'm going to do a short collection of reviews for the three games I played this weekend.  I managed to join a couple of reasonably local friends on Sunday afternoon and we rattled through 3 different games.

Steampunk Rally

So this was the first time our little group had played this game.  I picked it up from Sanctuary Gaming Centre a while back, but just hadn't really had chance to play it.  The way the game works isn't overly hard, but it isn't overly easy either.  We certainly found that we learnt it quicker by playing it, than by trying to explain it to each other.

Its played in multiple stages, but to be honest it feels like two parts that repeat.  Part 1 is drafting "component" cards, and either fixing them to your vehicle, or selling them for dice or cogs for use in Part 2.  Part 2 is then "venting" dice from your card, rolling dice and adding them to your card (allowing you to move, or gain shields etc) and then finally taking damage.  I personally think that Part 2 is the most complex section of the game, knowing that dice that are already on your vehicle are basically just taking up space now and don't mean anything at all, venting isn't about removing dice, but just lowering the value on them til they hit 0, damage is done after everything so you can deliberately damage your vehicle before you roll dice in the hope you can get enough shields to ignore it all.

Having said all that, it was a lot of fun.  I lost, by a mile, but seeing one tiny vehicle getting by with just one type of dice and a lot of careful shielding, while the other person up front (who won) having tons of parts, and at the end letting the entire back end of the invention get blow to pieces so that he could cross the finish line before anyone else could get to him.  Was good fun, and certainly something we worked out quickly enough that we could have a lot of fun as the game progressed.


This game is really good.  We've played this before, so it was really just a chance to indulge in a game people wanted to mess around with.  It is also quite a pretty game, with all the components, especially the ghost screen, being really well made.

Firstly this is a co-op game.  With three players (the minimum) you get one ghost and two mediums.  The ghost is going to try and give the players clues in order to identify a murder, location and weapon (each) and then finally information to point at the actual murder from the suspects (in a three player game the mediums have to play two characters, thus you end up with 4 suspects).  However, to do this the ghost can only use Dream/Vision cards.  These are a lot like the cards from Dixit, so its all very particular combinations and the artwork is slightly surreal.  Through the cards, the Mediums have to guess which Person, then location, and then weapon they are being given.  If you can  get all three right in seven turns (and all the other characters do as well), then the ghost gets another set of cards and can choose three to try and direct the players to the correct combination (the ghost picks which combination they like).

With more players the game gets more involved, but we have only played this with three so far.  I do like this game a lot, there is definitely a few interesting moments where the ghost (having to stay quiet) will get a little bit freaked out by what the players think they are trying to say with the Vision cards, and it definitely helps to know the way that someone else thinks.  It can be a little slow for the players while the Ghost tries to work out which Vision cards they want to use each time, and I think that is the only real downside of the game.

Overall though, Mysterium is a cracking little game, and its quite sedate, doesn't involve confrontation, and its quite funny to go through the process of chatting as characters about what the ghost has given each player.


Specifically the Marvel version of the Legendary franchise.  We've played this one a few times, only once have we really struggled with it when we tried to take on Apocalypse.  This weekend we ended up going through three separate runs of the game and thankfully we finished each one, normally with a massive flare of face smashing as one or more of our decks fit together to produce some sort of obscure killing machine.

There are a lot of components in this game, so I'm going to be quite brief on its workings.  You build a Hero deck, which is basically the "powers" of five different heroes, some of which are fighting based, so which are recruitment based (allowing you to buy other powers), and added in there are special combination abilities that make cards better if you play other cards with certain symbols on them, or other cards with certain costs etc.  There is a Villians deck, which is the bad guys you have to fight, and then there is a Mastermind who you have to kill to win the game.

Again, this is another game I like, though I do sometimes wish you played as a set hero each and could buy in your own cards, rather than mix and match.  Having said that, this is why we have Sentinels of the Multiverse (another game we should play more).  It is good when you get the powers from multiple heroes working together into some sort of massive unstoppable machine, its just reminding yourself that you are basically playing each "scene" of the adventure, rather than playing one of the heroes.  The cards are very nice, the whole set up takes a while but it does work really well, and the play board keeps everything organised really well.


So it's back to the millstone now, which is work and then getting models painted up and ready to play with.  My Alchemists are pretty close to being done now, just a little bit more NMM work and then the "little" bits like flasks, vials and stitching.  I'll be then moving on to doing work with the commission work, with a sneaky bit of work done on the Bushido models.  Hopefully those can then be completed really soon as well.

I'll also be onto the Nostalgia post (either later today or tomorrow), looking at Earthdawn.  Plus there will be a Kickstarter post done as well in the next couple of days considering I've not done one for two weekends now.

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