August 30, 2011

A Post Without A Witty Title

We got an early start on Monday, as I was able to get most of the day off. Over the weekend I had picked up a copy of an older Fantasy Flight game from the Silver Line called Scarab Lords. The game is essentially a two-player battle game. Each player takes on the role of the ruler of a house in a fantasy-based Egyptian realm, bidding their minions and their gods to take supremacy and rule all.

I had looked the box over on the shelf several times before finally deciding to buy it; and I'm glad I did, because I think it's a lot of fun. The artwork is really nice and the components, while simple, are good quality and provide a great game in a small box. The decks at first seem a little unbalanced, with the blue deck appearing the weaker of the two. I did determine afterward that we had missed an important rule that allowed a player to essentially skip their turn, and for a discard, replenish their hand.

I also came up with a modification to the advanced rules that replace the deck-building aspect with a shared-deck idea. I was able to test out the following day and found that it works out very well. It does have the side effect of making the game a little bit longer, but it adds a nice way to avoid decking out the opponent so quickly, as well as adding some more chances for random swings in power.

After William arrived, with cold beer to compliment the pizza, we sat down to a three-player game of the Call of Cthulhu LCG. I had set up a sort of draft box using the core set and the two larger expansions "Secrets of Arkham" and "Order of the Silver Twilight". We each chose two factions, dealt out an equal number of cards from each, and added a few neutral cards to flesh them out. As the decks were composed entirely of one-off cards, it added to the randomness of play.

The game is overall a very good one, but it does fall down a little bit in terms of multi-player friendliness. It takes a little bit longer and tends to get a little lopsided. Sebastien suggested that it might play better with four players as opposed to three. William eventually pulled out a victory taking a third story card. Sebastien and I each had two but were simply unable to stop his final push. By the end we were getting a little tired of the game and started throwing strategy out the window in favor of big swings with all or most of our characters just to see what would happen.

The final game was William's newly arrived copy of Quarriors. Yes, you read that right. The game's name sounds like an explosive sneeze but it is actually pretty good. It's a sort of deck-building game with dice. The artwork has a fun cartoony type style, and it and the dice are very colourful. The first few rounds took a little while to get going because we were harassing William as he read through the rule book. A few beers and a long day turned almost everything into a joke at that point, so 'scoring with the dragon' took on a wholly inappropriate meaning beyond the regular game terms. I enjoyed the game though and would certainly be inclined to give it another try.

For VS System on Thursday we're playing a sealed constructed format which I'm also looking forward to. The format lends itself well to a nice, even playing field for all, and gives everyone a chance to make use of cards that you might not otherwise. I'm expecting to see some interesting stuff hit the table. It should be fun.

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