Portsmouth On Board - 26 March 2014 - Dinosaur Pirates, Renegades and Nuggets Of Purest Green!

Lately I've been having many games nights where due to late starts or playing epic games I've been unable to play more than one game in a night, or at least more than one memorable game. Portsmouth On Board has come to my rescue by giving me an evening where not only did I get to play some of my favourite games in my collection, I got to play MULTIPLE games. So refreshing!

After clearing my sore throat out from the sickness that arose in it when I discovered Kingdom Builder was being set up I got a 3 player game of Spyrium going with Graham and Jim. Only one new player in the mix so rules teaching was easy and quick. I am used to playing this game with 4 or 5 players and I usually don't recommend playing it with 5. You get a lot of meeples surrounding the market and money is a little easier to come by (but by no means easy, it's a tight resource). With 3 players I was expecting less money to be around. BOY was I right in that assumption. Coupled with the fact that obtaining money is harder with less players, we had two rounds where little to no events or buildings that help to acquire workers or cash came out in the market.

"Spyrium"

This was a cool dimension to the game that I hadn't encountered much before, but this is one of the many reasons why I rate this game so highly. There is a lot of variation in the game in how you play, how you can win and how the game plays in general. I'm not alone in my thinking as a second game of Spyrium was being played that evening.

"Kingdom Builder. . . . . . shiver"

Graham was learning the game but quickly adopted the strategy of mass construction with the engineering patent. When a mistake was made in his calculations he made it very obvious to us that this was the case, in fact I think he literally drilled it into our subconscious - too much guilt maybe? Relax, it's your first game, not life or death! Jim held back on the workers but seeked to obtain tokens and use the biggest factories around. My plan used the patents for mine automation and dual building use so my Spyrium production was plentiful even for one mine. I only used a factory once but made full use out of the events and characters in the market that traded Spyrium for points.

"Defenders of the Realm"

The game ended with a clear victory for me, but I was impressed to see Jim finish comfortably second despite only using 4 workers for the whole game and Graham broke the 50 point mark which isn't common for first-time gamers in Spyrium. I don't think he latched on to the game too much in the end, but another fun play for me! It needs more love!

"Carcassonne"

We inherited one new player to the mix and at first I was going to bring out Innovation, but my friend Jim fancied a change as we'd both been playing it a lot lately. Now I can play a good game lots of times, but not everyone is like that so I resurrected an old favourite that hadn't got much playtime lately, which was Smash Up, my card game contender to offer something different to King of Tokyo. We took up our forces and we ended up with Dinosaur Pirates, Robotic Killer Plants, Ninja Wizards and the Bear Calvary of Innsmouth . . . . now come on, are you not in the least interested to read on and play this game when you can control forces like that?

"Smash Up"

The game quickly got going and degenerated into the usual mad chaos, but I felt that again, people take a long time considering actions in this game - granted there's tactics to be had and combos to make up, but it should really be treated as a simple light game of fun without over-thinking it too much. My faction combination didn't do too badly, but for a long period I was getting beat on by every other player - what was this, beat up the game owner night? Points were very close though, but in the end the Dinosaur Pirates took the trophy when I was only one point away! What was more weird was that Graham had stated and I quote "I could do that move, but I don't know if it's worth it really". . . . . despite the fact that the aforementioned move was to place a minion down which would cap a base, putting him in first place and thus winning the game. . . . . right winning the game isn't worth it these days? I think Spyrium had an effect on him with all that thinking!

I felt sorry for others playing Lord of the Rings Confrontation as I was been asked a lot whether I had room in my games but sadly they were restricted on player count. Enter one of my new hot filler games to save the day. BANG. . . . . . . . . . The Dice Game!

"Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation"

The maximum number I had used before was 7, so to get my first 8 player game in was exciting enough and 7 new players to teach as well! The rules were taught quickly, the roles explained and we kicked off with the Sheriff who was able to heal himself at the start of a turn. This meant he was going to be a tough nut to crack and when I saw I was the Renegade, I didn't have much hope for surviving. But worry not, what I love about the Renegade is that he can adopt multiple stances and play the others off against each other. Deputies tend to get left alone so I quickly expressed my services to the Sheriff, though I doubt I was believed by many!

"Munchkin"

Unfortunately I was sitting next to Jim who was an Outlaw, a dangerous combination as not only does he want the Deputies dead, he just wants me dead out of spite so a lot of bullets came back my way. I held on though, avoiding the bullets of the Gatling Gun (my special ability) and avoiding arrows to a large extent. Some of the others however felt that being pin cushions was a valid strategy. It took a while before anyone died though which is a first.

As players got killed off, roles were revealed and eventually my attempts at faking a deputy position weren't going to get me anywhere. However I held on long enough for the remaining Outlaws to get killed by the Sheriff and the Indians made short work of the other Renegade leaving only the two of us left. I pointed my pistols and emptied the last two barrels into the Sheriff taking him out. Victory for the Renegade, which is a first for me. I've never seen that happen in over 10 games because the Renegade has a harder win condition than everyone else. Felt pretty proud of that!

"Bang The Dice Game"

And so ended another Portsmouth On Board session - nice to get multiple games in, some of which had been long overdue for some play. Before the next session we have Tabletop Day which is going to involve 8 hours of gaming with the Portsmouth crew followed by at least 16 hours work with the Mini-Stab convention. But will I be taking a sleeping break in between or going the full 24+ hours in a marathon - well that depends on whether my donations target is met. . . .

 Games Played

Spyrium
Smash Up
Bang: The Dice Game
Defenders of the Realm
Carcassonne
Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
Kingdom Builder
Munchkin
and many more!
 

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