So after nearly a month of not being able to attend a Thursday TABS gaming night at Meeplemart, I got to go last night. And was it ever a good one! I managed to play three games there, before heading out to Andrew’s to play another. Let’s get to them.
The first game was my copy of Ascension, which includes both Chronicle of the Godslayer and Storm of Souls.
Finally getting to play a second game of this, I am happy I picked up one of the expansions. While some of the card art is a little meh, as well as the overall design, I like the themes within, and the gameplay is not bad at all. I’ve actually done some tweaking to my set, namely taking out all of the doubles from the Centre Row cards, including the Monsters and all of the Heroes and Constructs. This provides a much smaller deck to play out of than there would normally be with all the cards mixed in. Also, everything becomes unique, and therefore special. And you won’t see three of the same card pop up. I felt this worked out well.
We played a four player game (Rob, Scott, Christopher and myself), with a 50/50 split of new to familiar players. Throughout the game, we marvelled at how well Rob was collecting victory points from Monsters he was defeating and one of his constructs that kept giving him 3 points. He had so many gems in front of him, it looked like he was the clear winner. Well, when score-time came, it turned out he didn’t do so well, as he hadn’t collected a lot of Centre Row cards throughout the game. I won with 49 points, only 2 ahead of Scott. It was close. And enjoyable.
I’m probably going to pick up the other expansion, Return of the Fallen, at some point. I think the game requires the variety that more sets provides, especially when you’ve taken out the doubles. Sure, that ends up being a crud-load of unused cards, but I personally think it’s worth it. Then again, I have a spending problem when it comes to the hobby, so…
The next game I played was Dungeon Run, released by Plaid Hat Games, the same guys who make Summoner Wars.
When this game was first released last year, I didn’t think anything of it. I wasn’t too interested, but then again I didn’t notice it was in the Summoner Wars setting, which helps its cause. We played with four again, but this time it was Josh, Steve, Christopher and myself. I took the Phoenix Elf Ranger (of course!), teaming up with a goat man, a genetic mutator and a Tundra Orc.
Well, by the end of the game I was really enjoying it. It felt like a way to dungeon crawl that is a less-involved and less-fiddly game than, say, Descent: Journeys in the Dark. It also feels like Cutthroat Caverns in that it is mostly co-op: you work together throughout the dungeon on the same side, with opportunities to hinder them, but hope to come out on top in the end.
My single-play verdict is that I’d love to play this again. I’d even consider picking it up. I like the Summoner Wars setting, and the gameplay is great. Set-up and take-down are a breeze, unlike some other dungeon games with pre-gen maps.
Next came Kingdom Builder, one of my more recent purchases and only my second time playing it.
As Christopher said afterwards (it was him, xombe and I in the game), it’s a lot less complicated than it looks when setting it up and explaining. And to be honest, set-up and rulesplanation are quick and easy. The game is has that nice simplistic feel that Queen Games games tend to have, as well as being visually pretty, which is also the norm. It’s a game that gamers and non-gamers can enjoy. I lent the game to Christopher to try at home with his wife, and probably with his other gaming buddies.
While I do enjoy games of all types, genres and complexities, I tend to like the ones that play simply the most. I would rather have fun playing, than having to be quite as people wrack their brains for the best move. ‘Paralysis Analysis’ is something I deplore, and would rather avoid as much as possible, and games like this are good for that.
I would like to bring this one out some more, get a few more plays with it. I can see myself keeping it for a while. I think it’s more accessible than Fresco, another Queen Games game that is pretty and not very hard to play. Plus it plays pretty quick, which is a bonus. It’s more than a filler, probably something I’d consider a ‘light’ game.
To end off the night I hit Andrew’s place where Scott and Rob were spending the evening playing games. We all had time for one more, so I brought out Sentinels of the Multiverse, the comic book-themed co-op card game.
This game has been well-received both times I brought it out, both times with different players. In this game the four Heroes – Tempest (Andrew), Bunker (Scott), Tachyon (Rob) and Fanatic (myself) – took on Grand Warlord Voss, who centred his attack on Megalopolis.
Well, with a lot of teamwork and some laughs throughout, we managed to stop the Thrathian invasion. And we were all hurting at less than 12Hp! So it was getting close. I think the major highlights centred around Rob’s Tachyon, who spent turn after turn drawing and discarding, doing no damage, before getting in a huge attack for 22 damage, and again at the end dealing the final Sucker Punch strike to knock out the Warlord. We all joked at how Tachyon was running around in circles during the huge battle, while the rest of us fought tooth and nail.
Again, the game was very cinematic, very comic-booky. I love playing games that I can envision as if on the screen, and Sentinels delivers this well. I still have a couple of Heroes I haven’t seen tabled, as well as one Villain and one Environment. And that’s after three games now (the first time I tabled it we played one after the other). That’s pretty good for replayability. And the game plays enjoyably enough that you’d want to replay it.
This is definitely a good co-op game, a good card game, a good comic book-themed game, and a good story-telling game. It’s a good game!
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And that was my return to Thursday night gaming! Very productive, very enjoyable.
Thanks for reading.