February 27, 2014

One and Two-Player Board Gaming

I've been working on a lot of Deadzone figures from my massive shipment before Christmas, and have made good progress. On the other hand, I've been too lazy to actually take pictures of said figures. So I'm posting this in lieu, until I get off my butt and take said photos. Enjoy or ignore. Or whatever.

Let's start with more Mantic Games stuff: Project Pandora - Grim Cargo.

I picked this up mid-week and was able to put the figures together Saturday afternoon. They're the same resin-plastic material that makes up most of Mantic's models. The Veer-myn figures were really quite easy to construct. The squad of ten came with three different bodies, which would result in two different troop styles, a toxic weapon dude and their leader. I did a few part swaps among the troopers and ended up with some decent variation among them that I was quite happy with.

The Corporation trooper squad was quite similar but took more work. These ten figures came with three different bodies, an assortment of heads and a sprue of three special weapons. I mixed up the arm and head combinations amongst the bodies, and chopped the basic rifle off of three of them in order to use the extra weapons. The material is a little tough to cut through with a hobby knife, but the location of the weapons meant that a saw wasn't going to be accurate enough. I wouldn't want to do a whole bunch of these conversions but they turned out to be a nicely varied squad.

Although they're not primed or painted yet I decided to give the game itself a dry run to see what I thought. I tried the first two scenarios in the book twice each. The tokens and boards are serviceable but thin, but overall the game is pretty solid, with better tactical depth than I'd expected.  I will be ordering some round bases for the figures to help their stability. I'm looking forward to trying the game with a real opponent. I do wish the box was more sturdy...because it's good looking, but thin, thin, thin!

Topic change!

Last week I had arranged to have several folks over to do a day of gaming on Sunday, but due to various work plans, scheduling and other people being flaky it ended up being just William and I as always. It was pretty disappointing in that sense, because I was quite looking forward to getting some larger games on the table like Spartacus and Risk Legacy. On the other hand we were still able to get a few new games on the table and have a good time.

We ended up playing a few rounds of Will's new game Dungeon Attack, that he'd received through a Kickstarter pledge. It was a decent game with two players, and is sort of a semi-cooperative game...NOT a fully cooperative game like it says on the package. I can see it being good fun with three or four players, but there will be some down time with that number.

Second on the agenda was a game of Arcana. I picked this up used at last September's Fallcon game auction, and had been waiting for a good chance to try it out. Being our first game we played the basic two-player rules, and found it a little frustrating that you'd often have cards in hand that couldn't be played to any good effect due to the major arcana on the face up stash cards. There are several extra options that can be added to the game, like guild leaders, deck clean up and a few other things. We both agreed that we'd like to try it again and add in a few of those more advanced options to see if it would improve the game experience.

As an aside, the artwork in the game is really outstanding. I also think that it would be more interesting with a third or fourth player. (Hm, I say that a lot don't I?)

I'll finish up with Okko: Era of the Asagiri. This is a game I'd long had on my wish list, and was able to procure the core set and first expansion (Era of the Karasu) as a used package deal from Starlit Citadel. In the interest of learning the basics I set up the introductory scenario to give it a try.

After the first play through I didn't really enjoy it, but I had missed a few rules about the inspiration dice, and was playing the forward movement incorrectly so I tried it again. The second play was much more interesting and I quite liked it. The artwork is very nice and, although quite simple mechanically, there is some good skirmish gaming to be had here. The inspiration dice add some chaos, but can prove to be very interesting as well. I'm glad I was able to pick this up and look forward to trying it with a real, live, opponent.

Hey, it could happen...

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