Portsmouth On Board - 23 April 2014 - Religious Fanatics, Egyptian Gods and Late Knights

I couldn't attend the previous session so it was good to get back to the Pompey gang - where it all started for me again in the board gaming world. To top it off, I knew that a member would be bringing Clash of Cultures along which has been high on my playlist for a while given that I enjoy a good civilization board game. No need to mention that lots of members turned up tonight (oh wait I just did, so never mind), but we are certainly getting a large following lately.

"Clash of Cultures"

I was hoping to get in some quick Netrunner fun before hand, but most people were willing to chat about their week. I think it's becoming an obsession now, I want to get more practice with that game, it's just that much fun right now. It's already worthy of a Top 20 position in my collection but at this rate it could even make the Top 10. . . . possibly a little spoiler for the inevitable Top 10 Best Games list that could be coming to a blog near you come The Broken Meeple's anniversary!

"Bruges"

Clash of Cultures eventually arrived and Ed, Stu and I got all the plastics out and it didn't take very long to explain the rules at all. A lot of the icons and reference sheets are intuitive and if you're a gamer you'll pick it up fast. We quickly got through the first few turns as it became evident what strategies everyone was going for based on their technologies. Stu was working towards efficient resource collection and engineering with the aim to build a wonder, Ed was opting for a more scientific and militant route mostly due to a large quantity of nearby barbarians and I for a laugh thought it would be cool to focus on spirituality and theocracy and create a nation of religious fanatics.

"The Village"

Across the tables, some very well known titles had got started including Shadows over Camelot, Bruges, Village and Nations. It was actually cool to witness first hand how the drop-in function of Shadows Over Camelot worked when two new members arrived late and yet were able to simply jump straight into their early game and continue on even though some turns had already elapsed. Seriously more designers need to consider this for their gateway games, obviously for a die-hard Euro this is going to be tricky.

"Shadows Over Camelot"

The first thing to notice about Clash of Cultures as you play the game (particularly the short game variant that we were doing) is there really isn't enough actions to do what you want. Every single turn you want to do lots but you only have 3 actions per turn which really limits you. It's not a bad thing as you have to think hard about being efficient and picking your battles, but my strategy turned out to be a little too "long-term" then the game was going to allow me!

"Saboteur"

The barbarians must have been in "derp" mode for the game as no matter how many events we went through, they wouldn't move. We had famine and earthquakes and food booms, but no barbarian advancement - though that was partially a good thing as I found one too close to me as well and I wasn't going for military defence (a mistake that cost me dearly late).

"Munchkin Quest"

The technology tree is great though. I'm not convinced that it's balanced as some tech routes definitely seemed better than others, but it certainly does allow you a wide variety of choices. I enjoyed splashing out on temples in the hope I could go out and convert the other players cities later. I also created a port by the river so I could sail around the board and set up trade routes. Good ideas, but sadly not enough time to make them really work and it turned out from reading the rulebook that conversions have a major flaw in that they only work against Size 2 cities (i.e. ones that have been upgraded). There was a total of 9 foreign cities on the board and only 2 had an upgrade so that plan didn't go to well, but at least I was able to steal a city from Stu with a quick boat carrying my army which was amusing!

"Battlestar Galactica"

The game ended with Ed taking what he termed a "hollow" victory as we had some confusion with some of the combat rules which had affected our civilization's development. But credit where it's due, he still won and it was a fun game, maybe not one I'd buy myself, but certainly one I'd happily play again. The expansion due at the end of 2014 might sway me the other way though, looks pretty good.

"7 Wonders"

While I got together our fighting force for a game of Sentinels of the Multiverse, other tables had whipped out some well known games such as 7 Wonders and Battlestar Galactica and Galaxy Trucker in descending order of my personal views on them. But Sentinels, awwww man, Sentinels, it's really rising the charts in my most loved games. Starting off as another good co-op, it's getting more fun every game and expansion that comes out.

"In Her Majesty's Service - prototype"

I recruited 3 other players to the team, Jim, Graham and Stu. Ed sat this one out, he's not a fan of cooperative games! Sacrilege, but it's all down to opinion at the end of the day! The Visionary, Parse, Tachyon and The Wraith suited up to take out The Ennead at the Tomb of Anubis. See, come on, so much flavour and I'm only talking about the setup. Mainly because I forgot to take a photo of the game - my bad!

"Nations"

The Visionary kept our hands full of cards, my Parse boosted the allies damage and manipulated the Villain deck, Tachyon dealt out the big burst damage and The Wraith reduced the damage potential of the enemies. We were a well oiled machine and we managed to defeat the enemy with only the starting four enemies present to stop us - score one for Parse for keeping the Villain deck under control so that damage was mitigated and no more of the Ennead showed up to ruin the day.

"Galaxy Trucker"

It was a great fight and one of many reasons why Sentinels is one hell of a great co-operative game. I look forward to the next battle. Working my way to the Level 4 villains such as The Matriarch, Iron Legacy and eventually the 5 Man Villain team posed by Vengeance. As for the POB event as a whole, another successful night, looks like it's going to be 3 weeks until the next one.




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