September 03, 2013

Prepare to be Boarded

Needing a break from my painting table the past few weeks, I've been playing (and buying) more board and card games recently. These won't be in-depth reviews, just what I played and what I thought of it. There are plenty of reviews available online for all of these games.

First up is Lords of Waterdeep. I'd looked at the game several times in Chapters/Indigo thinking that the box was unique, and pretty spiffy looking too. It's essentially a Eurogame with coloured cubes and meeples. The artwork, box insert and components (cards, tokens, etc...) are fantastic. The game looks great from the minute you open the box. I've only played it once, as a five player game and I thought it was simple, but excellent.

The theme is sort of just there, and if you play with people who aren't interested in the DnD theme it can be largely ignored. That's how our game went, and personally, I'd rather try to embrace the theme a little more. I think the game would be a lot more fun if all the cubes are referred to by the players as the proper adventurers (warrior, cleric...). Say you're sending an agent to the harbour to stir up trouble, or tell us about the quest you're sending your adventurers on.

There's an expansion just recently released too, and I really want to buy it even though I've only played the base game once!

Escape the Curse of the Temple is another new game in my collection. A real-time game, and it's cooperative too. I blame my purchase of this game on the hilarious folks over and Shut Up and Sit Down. This was another one where I had picked up the box to look at a few times, but in this case I always promptly put it down. The art on the front isn't very good, and the box contents don't look that amazing.

However! This game is simply a riot. The price tag seems high when you buy it, but there is a ton of stuff in this box. You'll start out with the basic game tiles, and then start adding in curses and treasures. I also added a promo "The Pit" to my original purchase, but have yet to include it in a game. Escape truly is real-time; you play for 10 minutes to an included CD soundtrack that does a fantastic job of being both thematic and stressful. It makes you feel hurried and rushed, which makes the game even more fun.

This one has been played TEN times in the past week, which is the highest recommendation I can give it. Sure it's only ten minutes each play, but it's a tense and fun ten minutes every time! There's an expansion for this game as well, and you can be damn sure I'm going to buy it ASAP.

The same day that I bought Escape, I also purchased Pandemic: In the Lab. Unfortunately I didn't read the back close enough, and didn't realize that I also need to have Pandemic: On the Brink in order to play it. So this one is still in the shrink wrap for now.

A small box game from Matagot (same folks that made the excellent Cyclades) that I bought on a whim was Room 25. The premise is pretty much the movie "The Cube". I've tried the game solo and as a four player game. There are no dice, and no cards in this game. It can be played solo up to six players, and with four to six players can also include a "guard" (or two) who secretly try to prevent the others from escaping the maze.

The tiles and components are quite nice and the game itself is pretty fun. The action choices each turn are limited, which makes choosing what to do each round difficult. I was able to play it twice, once solo and once with four players. The game is good (and chaotic), but I think it would really shine with five or six players. Communication between players is important to get out in time, and also the enhance the traitor-among-us vibe.

There are nice miniatures in the box too. One of mine had suffered a broken arm, but that was easily fixed with some glue. I'll likely be painting these figures at some point.

The Kickstarter campaign for Incursion 2nd edition finished up over the weekend. I had considered buying the original edition about a year ago but had opted not to, and boy am I glad I waited. Early on in the campaign I had gone in for "Buckets of Blood." Mid-way through I started wondering if I should lower or cancel my pledge but decided to stay with it. During the last few days things went gangbusters and they hit all of their stretches.

Although it won't be shipping until spring of next year, I'm quite excited to see it arrive. Yes, more plastic WW2 figures / Nazombies, but I'll probably start playing the game long before (if ever) the figures hit my painting table.

Last up is Star Trek: Attack Wing. Yes, WizKids new game based on Star Trek. This uses a modified version of the game engine from X-Wing: Attack Wing, but with capitol ships rather than fighters. I've never played X-Wing, but seen it played and thought it looked a lot of fun. The downside to X-Wing was simply that I'm not a huge SW fan. I like the universe, but am not gaga over it by any means.

When I heard about ST:AW however I was instantly interested. Miniatures? Check. Missions/scenarios based on the TV and movies? Check. Options for crew and captain complements for my ships? Check. TOS, TNG, DS9 characters and ships all available? Check, check and check.

Now the paint work on the minis isn't great, and in some cases neither are the sculpts themselves, but after our first game I can certainly say that it feels like starships battling it out in space. Or rather, in Star Trek space. I picked up almost all of the expansion ships except for one, but have only played with the Klingon and Romulan ships from the starter box. We only played a single ship each, which was a little slow, but still good fun. I could immediately see how each player having two or three ships each could make for some thrilling games.

 Now if only I could find the Enterprise expansion...I need Kirk and Spock and help me rescue the Kobayashi Maru!

*None of the images above are mine, I was too busy playing games to take photos. Thanks to all the folks who posted photos for Google to find. :)


Simon Quinton said...

lots of cool games going on then. Lords of Waterdeep seems like a good game.

Obsidian3D said...

It's fun and simple enough that almost anyone (even non gamers) should be able to pick it up right away. After the first round it makes perfect sense.