See You At The UK GAMES EXPO!!

As many of your board gaming fanatics are aware, this weekend is the UK GAMES EXPO being held in Birmingham from Friday to Sunday. 

When I got back into board gaming in a serious way, I was a week off the last Expo and so couldn't attend it - I'm not making up for it this year by attending all 3 days and I'm even driving up on Thursday afternoon so I can meet some Twitter folk ahead of time, catch a swim in the hotel and settle in (not to mention get a decent night's sleep before all the mayhem begins). 

As a result blog and YouTube activity will be non-existent until I return, but content is planned for then and my next podcast episode will be devoted to my experiences at the Expo. However keep an eye on my Facebook page and particularly to my Twitter account where I'll post up comments and occasional photos of the event when possible - shame I didn't have my new phone delivered in time for it so I have to make do with what I've got! 

As for those of you going to the Expo, send me a message on Twitter or Facebook and I hope to play some games with you soon. On some of the days, look out for me in a Broken Meeple T-Shirt as well. 

Signing off for now, got to carry on with work until it's time for me to drive up! Look forward to gaming with some of you soon! 



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Too Bad The Post Office Isn't As Efficient As The Weather Service - Seasons Review

One thing that can grab me about any game is the quality of the dice. I like chucking dice as much as the next person, providing that the whole basis for the game isn't purely based on luck of what you roll - i.e. you need to be able to mitigate it. 

But rolling a basic six-sided dice with pips on it gets dull unless you make good use of them (see Alien Frontiers or Kingsburg for example). Custom dice however always look cool, I mean look at how Marvel Dice Masters is taking the world by storm lately. And of course who can forget the classic King of Tokyo or the recent Bang: The Dice Game, the murderer of its predecessor?

Seasons is a game which can almost be called "Magic The Gathering With Dice". You are archmages competing in a 3 year tournament showing off your skills and collecting crystals by playing power cards with different abilities and manipulating the elements with the help of an innovate timer mechanism and custom dice. Very popular in the gaming meta and being expanded each year so far, let's dive in.

"Libellud were also responsible for publishing Dixit - oh yeah you know the artwork will be good!"


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Unboxing - Amerigo

This video I recorded all the way back in March on the old equipment but I completely forgot about it! Sorry about that subscribers! I couldn't leave it out though, you have to see just how much stuff you get in this box as well as see my "epic fail" at putting together the Cube Tower!



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Unboxing - Alien Frontiers 4th Edition

Alien Frontiers has come out with a brand new edition - I'm now going to dig into the box and see what's changed from my previous experience playing the older version. And there's a little bonus at the end!



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Episode 18 - The Euro Edition


In today's episode, I focus on Euro games, starting with my first impressions of a Euro style Cthulhu game "A Study In Emerald", followed by my opinions on what defines a Euro game and then finishing off with my Top 10 Euro Games!





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Ignore This Expansion At Your Own Peril - Key To the Universe Review

Right, well you've hopefully by now already read my review on Empires of the Void. And if not. . . . . . . WHY NOT? Go and read it now!

Those who have been keeping up to date with my geeklists and podcasts will remember that I put this at my No 1 for Essential Expansions so there's a bit of a spoiler for you there. But I'm here to explain why that's the case.

"It's Print and Play so there's no fancy box cover!"


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Ghost Stories: White Moon - Video Review

Hi everyone! Sorry that it's been a while, been very, very busy with gaming and dating life! Back to work!

Ghost Stories is already a very difficult, yet very entertaining Co-Op game. What does the first expansion, White Moon bring to the table - short answer, quite a lot!

Now this video I recorded prior to getting my volume experiments done and dusted so apologies for that, but I've made good progress to improve future videos. I might be wrong on this, let me know either way! :P 





01:09 - So What's In The Box?
12:45 - Changes to Gameplay
15:06 - Verdict



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The Thing About Space. . . . . Is It's Black - Empires Of The Void Review

When we think Space 4X games, typically the three names that come to mind (at least in our area) is Twilight Imperium 3, Exodus Proxima Centauri and Eclipse. Now all have their pros and cons, with TI3 having more pros and Eclipse having far more cons, but one big con for all of them is the time length of each game. When you get a proper game of them going with multiple players and/or expansions, it's going to take you a long time. Exodus will easily take a whole game night, games of TI3 have to be planned out as a day event and I've had the misfortune of sitting through a 6+ hour Eclipse game including explanations which was maxed out in players and expansions. 6 hours of balancing your cheque book in space, god that was boring.

They also tend to be pretty complex, featuring all kinds of weird and wonderful rules and giving the player a plethora of options available to them each turn lending themselves to Analysis Paralysis. So what if you want a balance between the two? The feel of a Space 4X game but without the obscene time length and making it still accessible to many players. Well Red Raven Games has jumped to the rescue with Empires of the Void, dubbed as a light 4X experience, but was it justified?

Now a quick disclaimer first - this review is going to discuss the base game only. The Print & Play expansion "Key To The Universe" will follow shortly in a subsequent review. Observant followers may remember that this made No 1 in my Top 10 Essential Expansions list on the podcast. I strongly urge you to read both articles and find out why. Also the pictures here are from BGG - I've been somewhat busy lately, but want to get this content out!




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Episode 17 - The Best Of 2013!

On todays show, I give my first impressions of Clash of Cultures and Tsuro, followed by a discussion on Local Game Stores and Cafes, finally ending with a highly anticipated Top 10 list - The Top 10 of 2013!




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How 2 Play - Flash Point Fire Rescue


In this video, I give you a full tutorial of how to set up and play a typical non-family game version of Flash Point Fire Rescue!





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Southampton On Board - 28 April 2014 - Cylons, Nukes and Baltar To The Rescue!

Only one game to talk about tonight, but was it a doozy! A 7 player game of Battlestar Galactica with all 3 major expansions though not using every single module from them, but what we left out was pretty minor. This got a lot of hype from players wanting to try this, I suspect mainly because most of the SOB members haven't yet played this game and have heard many good things about it.
I played this for the first time on Tabletop Day and it was a 5 player game with only the base set. I found that really, really boring. I was playing a pilot that barely got to do anything, there was little discussion in between turns, one Cylon stupidly made it obvious that he was an enemy on the first turn and the other Cylon was the President/Admiral who owned the game itself so let's just say that ended badly.

"Battlestar Galactica"

Most of the players were new, but even with the expansion bits it didn't take long to get the rules and extras sorted. I was mainly waiting for the character selection with the intent that I never chose a pilot ever again - I find them to be a very boring class. The crew on the Dice Tower gave Gaius Baltar some stick when talking about the series which I've not watched so I thought I'd take the character and see what's what - naturally I got the same reactions from the others at the table who had watched the show so I figured I was already half way to my goal of wanting to be a Cylon traitor.

"Discworld"

The loyalty cards were dealt and I got two of them. . . . . I took a look in suspense and. . . . . <sheesh> honestly WHY can't I be evil or a traitor or the bad guys in ANY game I play with loyalties? Resistance: Avalon, Shadows over Camelot and now Battlestar Galactica - I just can't ever get to be on the bad guys team, I'm bored with being the goody all the time. Naturally I was internally frustrated, but there was always the half way stage to get one last chance to become the enemy so for now, go with the flow and fight for the humans.



The game got off to a good start, but with all the usual banter of mis-trust, half of which directed at me for playing Gaius Baltar, but I was a good guy so I was having none of that. We managed fine until the Cylon fleet started piling up literally on one spot on the table due to a misfortune with Crisis cards. Best solution for that, send a nuke over to their location, but we needed the Admiral to launch them and that called for some Executive Orders from me. All well and good yeah, except it turned out that the Admiral was a Cylon from the beginning and proceeded to nuke half of our civilian ships with his two actions. . . . whoops! Though he had some crazy dice luck there because in order to hit our own ships he had to roll an 8 each dice roll. So the humans can hardly be blamed for him rolling two 8's in a row!

One Cylon down and a rather battered population counter and we weren't even half way. A few stern eyes in my direction, obviously from people forgetting that they AGREED with my plan so we were all to blame, not just the voices in my head. Our Cylon leader in the party was contemplating whether playing his Human allegiance card was such a great idea.



The game continued with increased tension - every time the giant Basestar fleet appeared we had to quickly hit the FTL controls to jump across the galaxy and elude them. But resources were getting drastically low and we had a centurion rampaging through the ship. We were one turn from death, but my Gaius Baltar leapt to the rescue with a last ditch effort to take him out . . . . 8!! Gaius saves the day, kills the centurion and keeps the humans in the game!

On top of that the armada returned to annihilate us, but as my Gaius had fulfilled the repairing role this game, I managed to construct a new nuke and hand it over to the newly appointed Admiral who proceeded to

"Android Netrunner"

A failed Crisis card made all of us gang up on the Doc for being a traitor despite his pleas and shove him in the brig. . . . which turned out to be a big mistake as the real traitor was the pilot who hadn't been doing much useful in the second phase of the game. Turns out the Doc had failed to remember that he had given some Engineering cards to him in a previous turn and those cards were what screwed us over in a crisis. . . . .yeah that MIGHT have been useful information for the rest of us MAYBE!!!

However the second Cylon didn't have long to do any more damage by revealing himself as we all rallied to stick him in the Pegasus airlock and blast him out into space! Yay, we got to use the new airlock! That alone would make even a defeat worth it!

"Elder Sign"

With two of us stuck in the brig, the rest of us were struggling to keep the resources in check and we had not only a return of the ships, but also THREE centurions in formation heading through the ship. Finally however we ended up at a point where we needed one more jump to win the game and we only got that far due to my Engineering card testing the limits of the FTL drive. The Centurions were about to overrun the ship after my turn under the Cylon's control and I had one last action to save the day - Make The Jump!

"Blood Bowl: Team Manager"

The problem was, we had little to no population left and a failed jump result would mean a loss for the humans so I had to make this roll - yeah talk about tension, Gaius Baltar saving the day for the humans, who would have thought it as a BSG fan eh? With some card assistance the target was a 4+. Now if anyone knows my dice luck you know never to assume that probability falls my way! The dice rolls and up comes . . . . 4!! Loud cheers from the human side as the good guys take the game and even our Cylon Leader plays his last human allegiance card to win the game with us. Oh thanks for siding with me now, oh ye of little faith! Turned out he could have easily switched to Cylon if I rolled badly so his inclusion in our celebration was a hollow one!

"Gaius Baltar To The Rescue!!"

This game made me realise that with more players and the expansions, that there is potential here. I didn't like my first game of this but that was a very tense and fun game. Granted the downtime is a bit long but for a fair chunk of it you're involved in other activities so it's not as bad as die hard Euro's. It is also dependent on the group, you need a fun group that you get on well with to enjoy this game - I almost wouldn't recommend it for a game with people you've never met before. But when it works, it works really well and I look forward to the next game. . . . . please, please, please can I be a Cylon?

Other Games At The Event

Blood Bowl: Team Manager
Elder Sign
Android: Netrunner
Discworld




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