That's What She Said

The continuing adventures of the After-Work Fun-Group. Who knew that a free copy of Chaos in the Old World would springboard into a regular gaming group and some of the best friends I've ever had.

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An Evening of Woodland Might and Right. And Cheating. And an Asterisk.

Charlotte Malone
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And just like that, it was game night again. Welcome back!

We’ve been off the rotation of late, and have just been collectively choosing games. This week I yelled “Root” louder and faster than anyone else. (Actually, I just typed it. There was no actual yelling. I got some thumbs-up emoji responses and it was decided. I may have over-dramatized.)



But wait! There’s more!



We haven’t played Root since the fall when I was all in love. I’m still in love, it just hasn’t hit the table in a while. I was excited to play again.

We picked factions. Workman, having yet to win with the Birds, wanted to be the Birds. (I hate him, but to his credit, he doesn’t give up.) Leon took the Vagabond and Steve took the Woodland Alliance. That left the Cats. And I really didn’t want to play the Cats. So I took the Lizards.


Check out the sly grin. Just like the lizards you find in the wild.

I have played the Lizards twice in two-player games with the Hubz. In the first game, I barely made a dent in the board. In the second, after I understood what to do, I dominated. I figured I had a 50/50 shot.

The Lizards are a weird faction, but they are thematically amazing. They collect everyone’s discarded cards each round to create a Lost Souls deck. They go through the Lost Souls deck at the start of each turn and determine what suit (bunnies, mice, or foxes) was the most often discarded. That suit becomes the outcast suit and is the focus of all the Lizard actions that turn. (Sound like any cults you know?) Also, any Lizards who die defending in battle become acolytes, which can perform more powerful actions than the standard actions. (Again, very cult-like, yes?) I love how thematic all the factions are, but the Lizards seem particularly clever.

There’s something else about the Lizards:


Ironic, don’t you think?

They hate Workman. I mean Birds. They hate Birds. They can’t use bird cards for their main actions. And guess who drew a whole grip of bird cards to start the game?

While I struggled to get a hand of cards I could use, Workman and Steve and Leon got busy earning VP. Workman took the early lead, but they all stayed very close for the most part. Then Steve and Workman started getting a solid lead. Steve shit sympathy all over the board and Workman avoided turmoil pretty impressively. It was neck and neck for a while.


Posting this, I realize we should have played on the winter side of the board. Because winter.

Workman got to 24 and was about to fall into turmoil. Steve had a monster turn and got eight points all at once to win handily. He commented that he’d played the Alliance a couple of times before but this was the first time he really knew what he was doing.


I love the adorable little mice meeples. Spoiler alert: too bad they’re lying, cheating, sons of bitches.

As we were boxing up the game, I checked the rule book because it seemed odd to me that Steve had amassed so many points on that last turn. And it seems that he had misplayed. He was taking an action he could only take in an unsympathetic clearing and he had done it in a sympathetic clearing. Umm-hmm. Well, no worries. He could have easily moved to an unsympathetic clearing and done it. Same diff. Then Leon picked up the Alliance faction board and discovered that Steve wasn’t supposed to have more than one sympathy token per clearing. Umm-hmm. Then Workman read the faction board and discovered something else he had misplayed. So yeah, this was the first time he really knew what he was doing. Good game.


Obligatory adorable card art pic. I mean a mouse? With a crossbow? I can’t even.

And if you’re wondering how well I piloted the Lizards this game, well....I won’t be threatening any of the major world religions any time soon I don’t imagine. I got five points. Five. I hate those damn birds.

After Root, we played two games of Cockroach Poker. Steve yelled “YOU’RE DUMB!” when Leon got stuck with a card, and I could not stop laughing. So we yelled it every turn. Because we’re just hilarious. And guess who wasn’t the fucking loser in either game? Yeah. Me. That’s who. First fucking loser was Steve. Second fucking loser was Leon. Fun times.


I only got stuck with three cards in game one. Three!! I’m so good at this game now. I may never fucking lose again.

After La Cockerelle, we played Love Letter. And I fucking won that too. What a night I was having!! (Minus the five point debacle of a performance in Root. I mean, not counting that of course.)

And then we played the obligatory two games of High Society. Workman won one, Steve won the other. (We think. We haven’t checked the rules.)

And then it was over. Another game night in the books. It was a fun one. Even though Steve cheats.

Check back next week for more cheating and insults. And until then....thanks for reading and happy gaming. And YOU’RE DUMB!
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23 Comments
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:59 am
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He Shall Be Leon

Charlotte Malone
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I heard “Levon” on the commute one day last week. And it got stuck in my head something crazy. And then, just like that, it was gone.

Until tonight. Tonight was game night. And it was just me and Leon. Leon likes his money. He makes a lot they say. Spends his days counting.....

You’re welcome.

But you’re not here for Elton John. (Wait, are you?) No, you’re here for me and Steve and Workman and Leon. Except Steve and Workman aren’t here for you. Suckers! I kid. They weren’t here for us either. “Too busy” they both said. “Priorities” I say. (“Fuck you” I also say, but only under my breath, all quiet like.)

Leon and I played anyway. Another 2P card game night where we only played my favorite 2P card games. (Funny how that happens.) We started with Crystal Clans.



I had two new clans I hadn’t played with: Moon and Gem. Here’s a fun fact about me: anytime things release in twos (new clans, new Ashes decks), I’m always excited for one and “meh” for the other. And the “meh” one always turns out to be my favorite. Apparently I don’t know myself very well, even after all this time. Because I was super-excited to try the Moon clan.


Pirates!!!

Leon played with the Shadow Clan. And he destroyed me. In two straight games. He was all stealthy and aloof and bobbing and weaving, and I was all big clunky dead pirates.


He hung out in my home zone a lot too. Rude.

I didn’t dislike the Moon clan, they just didn’t sing to me. Like, they were doing these basic things while the Shadow Clan was all next level.

Guess who did sing to me?


This guy. This guy sang.

As foreshadowed earlier, I wasn’t expecting to like the Gem clan, but I really did. They gain abilities based on the crystals that have been scored and crystal zones and the like. (They’re the Gem clan, get it? I didn’t get it.)


Check out Boldo. What’s not to love?

Leon played the Flower clan (my all-time favorite clan) for our third game, and he beat me yet again. But I enjoyed the game a lot more. I think the Gems are going to be fun to play. (I wish I’d played two games with them and just one with the Moons, but what can you do? I never learn.)


The Charmed Caravan: excellent against the Flower clan’s “Sleep” ability. Oh and freaking Leon, hanging out in my home zone again. So rude.

After three games of Crystal Clans, we played one game of Ashes. I played Rimea (which I always think is Crimea for some reason) and Leon played Xander (the one of the two latest Ashes decks that I didn’t expect to like but ended up loving. I can’t figure me out.)



And even though we only played the one game, it was a really good one. We were point for point the whole game. It came down to the wire, we both had 18 out of 20 health. I had a spell that let me ding him one point at a time, and I wore it out, but I needed a unit in play and he killed all my guys. I decked him, so I could have killed him if I could have lasted the turn. But he killed me first. So close!!

When we were cleaning up, I realized that had I meditated to get a horse head, I could have used that dice power and would have drawn my Ancestral Army. I had the dice to play it, which would have let me keep on dinging him one health at a time. I might have won had I done that, but who knows. It was still a really fun game. I do love me some Ashes.


The Ancestral Army that I might could have drawn and then...oh never mind.

And that was game night. A bit quieter than normal, but still fun. I did miss Steve and Workman, but 2P nights are a nice change of pace. (And if they ask, I didn’t say I missed them, I said “fuck you”, got it? Good.)

Hopefully we’re all back next week for a more raucous evening of fun and frivolity. And games. Always games.

Until then though....thanks for reading and happy gaming!!
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21 Comments
Thu Feb 7, 2019 3:41 am
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Poor Unfortunate Souls

Charlotte Malone
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Greetings and salutations! Welcome to the wonderful world of Disney!! Spoiler alert: it’s not all that wonderful.



A few weeks back, I left Workman and Leon alone with my game shelves. When I discovered them, they were looking at Villainous. I said it was a good game. I said I liked it. I said it was asymmetric but simple. I thought that would be the end of it.

Then last week when we were planning this week, low and behold, they wanted to play it. I said I didn’t think they’d like it. They still wanted to play. OK, but if you don’t like it, I don’t want to hear about it.

The thing is, I really didn’t think they’d like it. I thought they would find it too simple or too basic or too....meh. And I was a bit worried about the fate mechanic. We tend to spend more time in our games stopping people from winning than actually winning ourselves. Villainous could potentially go on forever.


I really like the player pieces. Big, heavy, artistically interpreted. An unexpectedly nice set of components.


This cauldron, by contrast, is one of the shittiest things I’ve ever seen. It’s paper thin. I think I could eat and digest it easily. I mean why even include it? Component quality = push.

Before I get going with the game play, I need to explain something. Some of you may have already figured this out, but I’m the rules person. I read rules, I watch videos, I learn to play the games we play. Even when it isn’t my pick, I generally always know how to play. And I’m fine that.

What tends to happen though, is the guys either hate my rules explanations or they have ADD but generally about halfway thru, they start asking to play. And some nights, it rubs me the wrong way. Tonight was one of those nights.

See, when you don’t know how to play, it’s easy to say “shut up, let’s just play” because you can ask questions when you don’t know what to do. But when you’re the person who is constantly answering those questions, it’s hard to concentrate. And it’s easy to get frustrated. And tonight, I handled that frustration poorly. I was pretty hateful.

And now that everyone’s gone and I’m just sitting here, eating the last half of the one cookie they left me, I feel bad for getting pissed. It’s just a game for chrissakes.

So Steve and Leon and Workman, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. For realz.

But enough about me, you came here to read about game night. Let’s get to it.

We picked villains. Workman was the Queen of Hearts, Leon was Captain Hook, Steve was Jafar, and I was Ursula.


The Sea Witch. Two tons of fun, amiright?

I fate decked Leon on turn one. I drew Peter Pan. “You won’t be needing THIS I don’t think.” And thus Peter Pan was put into Leon’s discard pile. He would spend the whole game trying to get thru the fate deck, reshuffle, and get Peter Pan back. Hey, they wanted to play.

Workman was lining up guards and tapping wickets. (I’m sure there’s an off-color joke in there somewhere but I’m tired.) He was doing OK, but whenever he got close, someone (me for example) fate decked him. He also discarded the card he needed to win on about turn two, so that was a challenge. Hey, they wanted to play.

Steve and I had more convoluted win cons. We both had to get this card to that location with this thing and then do this other thing. Not hard necessarily, just tedious to set up (that’s what she said).


I’ve long maintained that Ursula is not a villain. I mean, Ariel signed the damn contract.

I actually had all the cards that I needed in my hand for a few turns. But the right combination of actions and power eluded me. Everyone was very focused on fate decking Steve, so I flew under the radar for a bit. But then, all the pieces fell into place. I unlocked Ursula’s Lair, moved King Triton there, executed the binding contract to defeat him, took the Trident as my own, and placed it safely next to the Crown. All I had to do was keep it there until the start of my next turn. (I mean, there was no fucking way that was going to happen, but a Sea Witch can dream, right?)

Leon fate decked me and drew Ariel. She took the damn Trident to the Palace, which was locked, and kept me from moving it until I defeated her. Which meant I needed another contract and another.....oh for fuck’s sake, when will this game end?


Flotsam, Jetsam, now I’ve got it boys! The boss is on a....dammit Leon.

I lost the will to try after that. I went through the motions of turns, but I wasn’t going to be able to put my win con together again. Steve got close, but he kept getting fate decked. Leon finally got through his fate deck, but don’t I think he ever found Peter Pan again. Workman finally got his Take a Shot card back and he took a shot. And he won. Thank god.

I do like Villainous, but it can go on way longer than it has a right to. I think I like it with no more than three players. And not with assholes. Definitely not with assholes.

Ok, so I lied. We actually played Biblios first. I should have mentioned it, but I like the continuity better telling the story this way. Steve was delayed so me and Leon and Workman played to pass the time. And I won!! Yay for me. I’m so awesome.


Penitent monk card was the MVP.

Now back to the actual chronology of the evening....

After a lengthy debate over whether Workman disliked Guillotine because it is a bad game or because he just sucked at it, we played Guillotine. Steve won. It was a fairly uneventful play, but it’s still a good game, even if some people suck at it. (“All you’re doing is picking the best card from your hand.” “You’ve just described every card game ever.”)


Isn’t this guy the National Security Advisor?

And finally, we played a game we could all agree is a phenomenal game.....High Society. And I won, due to one horse, $41, and an early end game. Woot.


My game winning horse. I call him 9.

And that was that. Four games, a melt down, cookies, and a bunch of villains. Some of them from Disney movies. I guess it was a good night?

At any rate, thanks for coming along. I appreciate you. I’m not just saying that. You get me and you get my writing style and you get what I’m trying to do here. Not everyone does. I really enjoy the community that follows this blog. Sincerely.

So please come back next week! I think we will. I hope so anyway.

Until then...thanks for reading and happy gaming!!
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32 Comments
Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:44 am
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I Smell of Tacos and Failure

Charlotte Malone
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Hello and welcome to Game Night! Glad you made it.

New Guy Steve was back. We may keep him. He has some amazing friends - they bought him a copy of Through the Desert for his birthday last month! How cool they must be! I hope we get to meet them some time. Anywho, he brought it so we played it.



I have played TTD on the iPad but it’s been awhile. All I remember is that you put camels out in a line and try to cordon off areas for points or something. And maybe something about oases. (Yes, I did just google the plural of “oasis”, why?)

Also, I sucked at it. Hard. I remember that clearly.


Little pink camels for you and me. Mostly me though. (Fun fact: Little Pink Camels was the original title of the JCM song Little Pink Houses. It was changed because Little Pink Camels makes no sense.)

New Steve had already learned to play and explained the rules. (Old Steve didn’t believe in reading rules, so New Steve is definitely an improvement.) We took our player pieces and took turns putting out leaders. ICYMI, I was pink.


Starting positions. Notice all the little pick camels in one spot on the board. What an ass I am.

The amount that I sucked at this game came back to me almost immediately. The rules, not so much. It was over in no time and I had amassed a measly 37 points. Green player won with maybe 70 something? We don’t know who green player was because green player is a diva and refused to put the “I am this color” marker in front of him.

So we played again.


This time, I put green player’s “I am this color” marker in front of me in case he won again and I could take the credit. (Also, that shit I said earlier about Little Pink Camels and the JCM song was a lie. I’m a terrible liar. Forshadowing.)

This time I did better, but still never moved the needle past “suck”. And the bastards kept blocking me. As soon as I would think of a semi decent move, someone took it. Just like that. I mean honestly.

I did break into the 40s, but this game Leon and green player tied at 63. And there is no tie breaker. Bwaa-Haa!

Through the Desert is a quick and painless abstract. I like it as much as I like any abstract, but I would play it again. It’s a repeat.

Since both games took less than an hour, we had plenty of time for more gaming goodness. We picked HMS Dolores.


Loot.

I managed to get five points in black and exactly one point in every other color. I was the favorite to win most of the game. And then Workman flipped the game-end card and that bastard Steve had 12 to my 11. But then not so fast, that bastard Leon had 13! Workman only had 6. Poor bastard.


Actual photo of Workman fucking Steve over.


Actual photo of Workman planning to fuck Leon over.

Next we brought out Cockroach Poker. I was the fucking loser yet again. I am yet to not lose that game. I’m such a bad liar. Also, I can’t ever remember that when you elect to pass a card and not flip it, it isn’t enough to just say “this isn’t a spider.” You have to actually say what it is.

“He lied. This is not a spider.”

“But what is it?”

“Uhhhh...”

See? Terrible liar. We played twice. I fucking lost both games.



Finally, we played Love Letter. And for reasons I can in no way explain, Workman drooled on a card mid-game. I mean wth? This is why we sleeve cards I suppose. Steve won.

It was not my night. But I had fun!! We also went to a new taco place that was really good and really pricey. Probs not a repeat. But good. But pricey.


Mural in the taco place. She just saw the bill.

And that, as the kids say, is that. (The kids don’t really say that.) Thanks for stopping by! Come back next week for pumpkin spice lattes and Ugg boots!

Until then, thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:46 am
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Yay Ireland!

Charlotte Malone
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Preface: I have been rocking a head cold all week and haven’t slept. Like at all. I have also just ingested the vast majority of a bottle of NyQuil. All of the things I’ve been kicking around in my head to include in this week’s post seem absolutely hilarious to me at the moment. Which means they probably aren’t funny at all. I just wanted to provide a friendly head’s up. Probably not going to be my best work. But I’m sure I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it. Let’s do this.

Before we start game night proper, I would like to share that I have been all about Ireland lately. Son the Elder studied in Dublin last semester and the rest of the clan (get it? clan? I kill me) went to visit him over Thanksgiving. (The Irish don’t give two shits about Thanksgiving, btw.) (Actually it’s two shites they don’t give. I speak a little Irish now.) And it was absolutely charming. I just loved it there. The people are delightful, everything is quaint, and the coffee is devine (I mean whiskey, first thing in the damn morning? And everybody’s on board with it? What’s not to love?)

And while we were there, we were driving across the island on a bus and I see this road sign:


Excuse the big noggin obstructing the view. People.

Yay Inis!! I’ve been itching to play ever since our trip, and tonight we played. New Guy Steve was a no-show (of course), but we played with three. I’ve always heard it scales well.



I started the game as the Brenn. I plopped myself down in the capital on the moor. I was excited. It would be my last happy moment in the game. Also Workman can die of boils. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


Look at me how happy. Also orange.

Workman and I had a few dust-ups early on. Actually he attacked me right out of the gate for no good reason and I just grudge-attacked him after that. The problem with a grudge-attack is it often isn’t well thought out. I kept getting myself into battles where I had nowhere to withdraw to so I had to keep fighting and eventually got wiped off the board. Like seriously, I think I got removed from the board three times this game. (Which now that I know the rule, getting eliminated isn’t actually terrible. You get to add two clans anywhere you want and the only real penalty is losing a deed if you have one. But I digress.)


Obligatory photo of my hand of cards where I say “Damn I love the art in this game!”

So while Workman and I were all tied up with grudges, Leon was building sanctuaries like it was his job. He did some shenanigans where he played the Sanctuary card, then played the card that lets you pull a card from the discard and then played Sanctuary again. He did this like fifty times. We blinked and he was sitting on five sanctuaries.

At some point early in the game, Leon asked what the sanctuary win condition was. And I said you have to be present in territories with six sanctuaries. And Workman said you have to control six sanctuaries. And I didn’t argue. (I really need to be more assertive.) So we all set about the task of taking control of Leon’s five sanctuary swamp.


Lots of shite about to go down in the swamp.

So first Leon had control, and then Workman had control, and then I had control, and then Leon got control back, and then I think Workman took control again. It was a whirlwind of fighting and discarding cards and moving plastic and swear words. And then I checked something in the rulebook and discovered I had been right before. You did only have to be present in, not control, territories with six sanctuaries. Workman said “well fuck me, I could’ve won last turn.”

We have such a hard time with the win conditions in this game. I mean honestly. What is wrong with us?

So we went one more turn, Workman grabbed his pretender token and managed to stay in six sanctuary spots and won the game. Because of course he did. Even when he doesn’t know what the win condition actually is, he still wins.

After Yay Ireland, we played Leon’s new favorite game Biblios.



For the first time, I went into the auction with no cards of a certain color (blue) and ended up buying into that color such that I almost won it. I got a 4-point blue that I didn’t want, I was just driving up the bid. Then I got three 2-point blues because Workman ran out of money. So ten points in blue, all during the auction. I still didn’t win it. Workman won blue and the game because of course he did. With three dice even. Wasn’t even close.

Then we drug out our old favorite Love Letter, which we haven’t played in some weeks. And I very much enjoyed it. Mostly because we don’t play it every damn week now. And Leon won. Because of course he did.

And then we closed with High Society. Two games. Second game was weird because the last three cards were the X2s. Never had that happen before. I think Workman won both games. Because that seems like something he would do. Also “tricloptic titties.” Trust me when I say this is hilarious. So much hilarious. And that’s not the NyQuil talking.

And that was our Irish game night. Also our monastic, French, and love game night. Actually no, there was no love. Just French and monastic. And Ireland. Yay Ireland!

Thanks for coming along. (Ireland is a long way away. I appreciate the effort.) Hopefully we’ll be back next week with more profanity and grudges.

Until then....thanks for reading and happy gaming!!
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Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:10 am
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To Hellas and Back Again

Charlotte Malone
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It’s game night! Who’s excited? No one? Really? Huh. I was excited. I thought there’d be more buzz.

We had a new guy tonight. His name is Steve. He seems a bit high maintenance but he might work out. Fingers crossed!!

As you may have guessed from the title, we played Lords of Hellas again. New guy hadn’t played yet, and the rest of us were anxious to play it again, now that we have the rules down. (Well, most of them.)



Before we played, I watched a how-to-play video. And I actually devised a strategy. I wanted to start in or near a space with a quest, and in or near a space with a monument. My hope was to quest early and get a glory token for a region with a monument and then work to control that region. That could work, right? Trigger the monument timer, hold the region if I could and if I couldn’t, swoop in with my glory token in the final turn and take it back. Bit of a long game maybe, but I thought it could work.


I was Helen again. More importantly, I was green.

If I was playing the long game, Workman was playing the short game. And by short game, I mean we all looked down about 30 minutes in and discovered he was one Crete away from controlling two lands. What an asshole.

We scrambled. I sent Helen on a fool’s errand to try to take back a region. Workman had me out-numbered by a lot, but I had good cards. I prepared one hoplite and started battling. And I hadn’t realized that Workman’s leadership was the same as mine, negating one of my combat cards completely. I rethought my plan. I had cards, but I forgot I didn’t have the man-power to play the cards I needed. I couldn’t win. So I passed and kept my cards and killed my hoplite and shamed myself and my family. I felt very stupid.


There’s Helen in Achaea on the afore-mentioned fool’s errand.

After completely wasting my turn, I remembered I had the Zeus artifact. I could have wounded Workman’s leadership and would then have been able to use my “if your leadership is higher” card. I’m such a dumbass. I actually said “I wish I wasn’t so stupid” out loud. And I thought to myself “Workman never does anything stupid like that. God I hate him.” (Truthfully, I’m always thinking that last part.)

(Editor’s Note: here’s a fun fact about me. I was an English major. I’m not particularly proud of that fun fact, but I’m sharing it just to say that as an English major, I do love a good literary device. Like, say, foreshadowing. Stick a pin in that “Workman never does anything stupid” thing I was thinking. That’s going to come up again.)

But back to the game. I was not able to reclaim one of Workman’s regions, but New Guy was able to get down to Crete and set up shop and keep him out and keep him from winning. Yay New Guy! And then I pulled my head out of my ass and moved Helen and prepared in a region where Workman didn’t have an entire army and took a region away from him. So we had stopped the Workman train for the time being. Go team!

I re-focused on my strategy. I had the red glory token, and I had set up quite an army with the Zeus monument. All I needed to do was complete Zeus and start the count down.


I had some green dudes hanging out with Zeus. I managed to get even more in there before all was said and done.

Except Workman started the countdown instead. He completed Zeus. I wasn’t expecting that, but I thought I could still make it work? Me not taking the last turn wasn’t ideal. But I was still hopeful.

New Guy tried to stop me once. I beat the shit out of him. Literally. I had a blessing card that upped my hand-size to six and I had some awesome cards. And a crap ton of hoplites. But I still needed to hold on for two more turns.

And then, something amazing happened. Workman fucked up. For realz. A thing he never does. Like ever. He had a blessing that forced him to take another special action any time he took the “build a temple” special action. And he built a temple. So he had to take an additional special action. Which removed the final counter from the monument tracker. Which ended the game. So I won? Yeah. I won.

Now, long time readers know I never win real games. So me winning a game like this was a big deal for me. And none of those assholes said a word. No “GG” or “Congrats” or anything. So I’ll be looking for new friends I guess.

I suppose it was tainted by Workman just fucking up. Like, no one thinks I would have won if he hadn’t? He was close to getting five regions with temples, and Leon was close to winning with two lands, but still. I could still have won. Some props would have been nice.

Oh well. I was proud of myself.

Then we played You’re a Bitch, previously known as Cockroach Poker. New Guy hadn’t played yet. He was a fan. He ordered a copy as soon as we finished.


I dated this guy in college. I mean it.

I lost. I was the fucking loser. I got all the credit for that one.

All in all, it was still a GGN. I really like Lords of Hellas. And I really like You’re a Bitch. And I really like winning, even if no one believes I would have. I believe it.

And I believe we’ll be back next week. Hope you’ll join us!! Until then, thanks for reading and happy gaming!!
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Wed Jan 9, 2019 3:37 am
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Workman can go to Hellas

Charlotte Malone
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Happy New Year you fine folks! It’s been a holiday, yes? In the middle of all that frivolity, my BFF Leon had a birthday. So we celebrated tonight with tacos and cookies. And games! One game in particular. A game that one reader described as “too nice for your group”.

Leon considered backing Lords of Hellas when it kickstarted. But he decided against it and when it released, all I heard was how freaking great it was. So we got it for him for his birthday and tonight we took it out for a spin.



But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We were a party of three, which is the new normal, apparently. (I don’t even remember what Steve looks like.) Mark agreed to round us out again, but he was a little late leaving the office so we passed the time playing our fillers first.

We started with Biblios. Having finally won, Leon had a taste for monk victory. He won again tonight with 7 points. I came in second with 5 (?) and Workman finished dead last with so few points it didn’t even matter.

Then we played High Society. I wasn’t doing spectacularly well, but Leon had $4 and Workman had no points so it was pretty hard for me to lose. I do love to win High Society, even if only due to the ineptitude of others.

By that time Mark was home and we were ready for the main event.

Let me preface the main event by saying this was 100% a learning game. I’m not saying that to take anything away from the person who ultimately won as that person played well and deserved to win. I’m simply saying we weren’t super-prepared to play, we got a lot of rules wrong and we didn’t try to fix anything after realizing our mistakes. We just rolled with it and kept playing, correcting as we went along. It also must be said that even though it was a learning game, some people can still suck it. Now....on to the main event.

I was Helen. I’m not sure if I was the super-attractive Helen that dudes went to war over and inspired that whole Trojan Horse incident, or if I was just some rando Helen. But I was Helen. She was alright.




I think Helen has a certain amount of sass. I dig it.

Also, I took the green pieces without apology. Helen don’t give a....

We had no idea what we were doing when we took our starting positions. I was down in the lower left corner, down in Green land. (Get it? Greenland? I crack myself up.) I had no game plan. I just started recruiting and marching and taking more green regions. I went on a quest, which was nice. But I only did so because I could, not because I had any grand strategy.


Helen in quest mode.

Mark also went on a quest, but Leon fought monsters. He really took one for the team in that regard as monster-fighting was a learn-as-you-go experience that first time. I mostly learned I didn’t want to do it. Leon mostly learned not to take a shitload of torches to a monster fight.

While Mark and I quested and Leon was getting his ass beat, Workman was doing....something? I’m not even sure he knew.


Workman’s yella dudes. Facing a bit of a head wind.

But I wasn’t too focused on Workman or anybody else for that matter. I was actually on my way to controlling greenland and grayland. I needed to dip down into Crete and then move into Achaea. And then I’d win? Really? Yeah? Maybe?


Look at all those beautiful green armies. Mine. All mine.

And then that son of a bitch husband of mine thought it would be a swell idea to complete the Athena monument. So he did. Keep in mind, no one actually understood how that win condition worked. But Leon just happened to control the region with the Athena monument. And by control, I mean his entire freaking army was there. It was a literal sea of Leon in Athena land. We consulted the rulebook and learned that all Leon needed to do was hold on for three turns and he’d win. Well damn.



Except not so fast. I could win in two turns. I needed to take Crete, which I could do by praying to Athena and raising my leadership so I could move two hoplights at a time. Except not so fast again, because the inadvertent monument shitstorm the Hubz created also prevented me from praying to Athena anymore. So no two hoplight movement. Now I had to move Helen down to Crete and prepare a hoplight in addition to moving one in to get me the two I needed for control.

Except not so fast one more time because Workman realized I could win and decided to stop me. Not stop Leon, who would win by default, but stop me. Because he’s just a dick I guess. See, if I was king-making, I’d totally take into consideration who had actually prepared for me not one but two kinds of tacos and had welcomed me into their home and had put out a clean hand towel in the guest bath. If I was king-making, I’d consider it a massive breach of etiquette to not repay all that hospitality. But I guess I’m just not a dick in that way.

So Workman and I mixed it up in a couple of battles and I drove him out and then he drove me out and then he teleported one of his yella dudes into my back field and my dream of ever winning a real game died. Along with any hope of me ever giving Workman anything even resembling a scrap of food ever again. And you don’t even want to know what I’m going to do to that hand towel before he comes back over.

So then Leon won. And that was game night. GG Leon. Suck it Workman.

The good news is Lords of Hellas lived up to the hype. I think we all enjoyed it, after we grokked the rules. There’s a lot to do and a lot to think about. I like games with multiple paths to victory. And I like games that force you to choose between several actions when you really want to do all of them. Lots of interesting decisions to be made. I dig it. Even if it clearly brings out the worst in certain people.

But I’m not really bitter. And what I mean by that is I hope I’m not still bitter tomorrow. Or at least next week. When (hopefully) there will be even more spite and malice for your reading pleasure.

Until then....thanks for reading and happy gaming!!
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Fri Jan 4, 2019 5:06 am
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We Suck

Charlotte Malone
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So yeah. The title pretty much covers it. I don’t even need to post anything else. Just know that we suck and come back in January.

Are you still here? You really want details? Fine.

It’s game night, like you haven’t figured that out. And #steve #bullshit, like you haven’t figured that out. My son the younger is home for winter break and agreed to be our fourth for our second attempt at Heroes of Terrinoth.



If you recall from last week, we accidentally picked the hardest quest in the game and got slaughtered. Something something healers, and it was all my fault. This week we tried again with a mid-level quest. (The game calls it “challenging”. Spoiler alert: I don’t think that word means what they think it means.)


Insert the obligatory ObiWan/Vadar jokes here.

We mixed up our roles a bit. Leon was the Warrior this time, and Workman was the Scout. I was still the Healer (I’m like that guy at work that no one can figure out how he still has a job) and son the younger was the Mage. Leon took the mantle of Party Leader.


My new healer. Much like the old healer in terms of suck.

We had decided last week that our mistake was not doing more aiding and exploring. We were too focused on attacking. We needed to help each other out and better plan out our actions.

So we got under way and immediately started attacking. Like, that’s all we did. Workman died in no time.

“Workman, what’s your health?”
“Eleven.”
“And how much damage do you have?”
“Eleven. Oh.”

Son the younger died right after, and Leon and I scrapped playing it out in favor of a restart. (I mean, the night was still young.)


The shadows.

We talked it out. We’re obviously doing something wrong. This quest is just about running out the clock, we don’t have to defeat monsters, we just need to stay alive. And we need to explore. We need to get 12 progress and maintain it and get those buffs. Ok? Ok? Agreed? Let’s do this!!

And then in game two we just attacked, same as in game one. It’s like no matter what we set out to do, we get overrun with enemies and just try to beat face.


This must have been early in game two, before most of those damage tokens were on us.

I died first. (Workman said “Wait, you’re dead? I didn’t die first? WHOO!!”) Workman and son the younger died soon thereafter and Leon held on for like one more turn. And then he gave up the ghost as well.


The last thing I saw before my unfortunate demise.

We clearly haven’t figured out how to win this game. Don’t get me wrong, I like co-ops to be hard, but it’s like we’re not even doing what we’re supoosed to be doing. It’s like this game is a puzzle and we aren’t anywhere close to even solving it. I’m planning to re-read the rules and make sure I’m not missing something.

I do really like it though. I hope we keep playing it. Maybe we should drop back from “challenging” to “trivial” and re-solve the Goblin Problem (yo). Or maybe we really do just suck and we should accept that. Either way, I still like it. Solid game.

Son the younger decided to watch a basketball game so we scrapped plans for Cockroach Poker. We played the birthday game we hadn’t played yet instead: Latice.



So, the version of this game that I actually have isn’t in the BGG database. BGG has Latice, but this is actually Latice: Elements. Which I think is the same game, just without animals and with tiny cards and board. I think the rules are the same? Maybe?


See? Tiny cards.

This is an abstract strategy game where you play cards adjacent to other cards whose color or element match. The more cards you play adjacent to, the more turns you get (essentially) and the first player out of cards wins.

What has two thumbs and was the first player out of cards? Yeah, you know.





I dug it, and not just because I won. It’s a strategy game but it’s very simple and not too thinky. Unless your name is Workman and you can’t just play casually and your have to over-think everything and you can’t stomach the idea of me winning. If you’re not that person, this is a good closer. Also, pretty!!

And that’s a wrap for 2018. We’ll regroup in January. Until then, have a great holiday if you’re into that sort of thing. I hope you play lots of games.

Thanks for sticking with us this past year. Here’s hoping 2019 is a bit more consistent. We’re looking at you, Steve.

Happy gaming!!
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Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:53 am
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In which I suck at healing. I mean, I had one job.

Charlotte Malone
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Let’s get right to it. It’s game night. #steve #bullshit, which left me, Leon, and Workman on our own yet again. But no worries, we had already lined up Heroes of Terrinoth which promised to be playable with three in case Steve bailed. Which of course he did because as stated previously, #bullshit.



But turns out we didn’t need to play with three as the Hubz, who normally plays Heroclix on Wednesdays, canceled his plans and was available as a fourth. He and I had done a “learn-to-play” play on Monday. We’d played The Goblin Problem, so I was looking to try a different quest. (But if you have a goblin problem yo, we’ll solve it.)

I read all the quest titles out loud and Leon picked The Siege of Asthill. Because it sounded like Ass hill which is, you know, hilarious.


Do you see this symbol? Because we didn’t.

I got a bit tripped up over the location instructions in the scenario. It didn’t follow the normal location deck rules. Workman, who didn’t even know the rules to any part of the game, much less the location deck, had to figure it out. He really is smart. I really do hate him. We eventually got going.

We chose heroes. Workman was the Warrior, Leon was the Scout, Mark was the Mage, and I was the Healer.


Me. A healer. And I mean that in the loosest sense of the word.


My starting actions.

Things started out simply enough. We took some actions, we spawned some monsters, we explored some locations. We were trying to manage the progress tokens on our locations but we were a bit scattered. We didn’t really work together. We just did stuff.


Progress.

And then.....monsters. Followed by more monsters. Followed by mean monsters. Followed by more mean monsters. Things escalated quickly with the monsters.


Monsters.


Our nemesis monster. He was quite the ass hill.

Peeps started taking damage. Everybody needed healing. Everybody looked at me. “Umm, yeah, I can heal myself. If I upgrade my rest action, I can heal someone else, when do we upgrade? Not for a while? Huh. This is bad.” As Leon said, it’s always the healer’s fault.


I did upgrade my attack. Isn’t he adorbs?

We had three or four rounds to go when we all died. Workman first, then Leon, then me. Mark was still alive, but there were so many enemies left to deal with, we didn’t even play it out, not really. He was toast.


The end game situation. Most of those monsters were actually in the shadows but still....holy shit.

In the post-game analysis we agreed that we played poorly. We didn’t look at what each of us could actually do with our individual activations and come up with a plan. We just tried to beat face on the monsters. (And everyone seemed to think I would be able heal them. Lol.)

We also noticed that the quest had the “formidable” icon in the top left corner. I knew the enemies had difficulty levels but I hadn’t realized the scenarios did too. Whoopsies. It appears that we played the hardest quest. Ass hill indeed.

But the good news is....I really like this game. I like that the quests are contained within one game and not part of a campaign. (I don’t need anymore campaigns in my life.) I like how the phases play out (particularly the enemy phase), and I like the upgrade paths (which I didn’t really talk about but the upgrade choices are interesting). And I like how I imagine we should have approached playing this game, even though we didn’t.

And can I just love on FFG for a minute for what I hope is a growing trend in box sizes? Heroes, Battle for Rokugan, Whitehall Mystery.......all of these are a whole lot of game that they are selling in a whole lot less of a box. I can’t love this enough. Those of us who refuse to outgrow our current shelf space (me, I’m talking about me here) appreciate the lack of air that comes in these boxes so so much. And I know Heroes is actually a card game so maybe the box size is to be expected, but I still love it. And the other two are full-on board games. Like with a BOARD. In a small box. Heart emoji, kiss emoji, hug emoji. Second heart emoji.

But back to HoT...solid game. We may play again next week. I hope we do. Maybe just with a not formidable quest. That might be a good idea.

After HoT, Mark slipped out and we played High Society. I started strong, but then got really tight on money. Cards really. I had plenty of money just on very few cards. Leon won, which Workman seemed to think was my fault? Because I didn’t have enough money to keep him from advancing to the end? Yeah. That makes sense. That was all me.

We closed the night with my 3P favorite Biblios. Leon won. His first ever Biblios win. Which I’m sure was also my fault somehow? (Actually, it kind of was. I stuck it to Workman late game with a double “lower the dice” card and I lowered his reds AND his greens. It was pretty sweet.)

And such was game night. A colossal team loss and two Leon wins. Fun times.

Hopefully, we’ll see you again next week for more HoT and more fun times. Until then....thanks for reading and happy gaming!!
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Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:28 am
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Working title, something something rubies

Charlotte Malone
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A few days ago, there was some Twitter discussion about the idea of comfort games. You know, like comfort food just with games. My game in point at the time was Gingerbread House - a light tile-laying game that feels cozy and makes me want to eat cookies (an admittedly easy accomplishment I know). It’s one of the few games (if not the only game) that feels Christmasy to me. As you can imagine, I’m playing the holy hell out of it right now.

Another comfort game for me is Caverna. I just love how this game feels to play. So much to do, so much to think about. Build out your cave, collect things, plant, harvest, go on adventures. It’s just so....calming. And we played tonight. Yay us!

By us, I mean me and Leon and Workman. Steve had some bullshit. And Workman may have realized the lunacy of hitching his game night wagon to Steve’s star. Whatever the reason, Leon and I had suggested Caverna as a 2P option and Workman chimed in and said what the hell, he’d play. So 3P Caverna....excite!



Leon and Workman got right to it. Very focused, very serious. I, by contrast, mostly wandered about, doing a little farming, doing a little cave building, picking up rubies, oh there’s some wood, I’ll take that wood, and how about ore? Sure, I’ll take some ore. I’d really like some sheep oh hey, are there any buildings that go well with sheep? I swear, I have Caverna ADD. I think “I’m going to do these three specific things this turn as they drive me toward my goal” but then ruby mining comes out and I’m all “Oh god, give me all the rubies!!!!”





I also wasn’t quick to procreate. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Leon and Workman both had four workers out before I even got my third. Every time I thought to get busy there wasn’t enough wood (that’s what she said) to build a room or the love space wasn’t available or “Oh god, give me all the rubies!” There’s just never a good time to make dwarf babies.


Rubies!! Also, Ass!!

Mostly I spent the whole game digging through the weapons tokens to find the numbers Workman needed. That fucker went adventuring every turn. “Give me a four. Now give me a five. A six. I need a seven.” I totes should not have sat next to the weapons tokens.

In the end, I finished last with 51 (sad!), Leon had 61 and Workman had 71. I liked the symmetry of the scores even if I hated the scores themselves.

And I love Caverna. So much. “Oh god, give me all the rubies!”

OT, my birthday was two weeks ago. I am some years old. The guys very generously got me a gift, which was apparently quite the challenge to pick out. Steve told me they debated back and forth for a while and Leon even said “Can’t we just get Charlotte to do this?” But they gave it to me tonight, wrapped professionally and everything.


Best. Wrap job. Ever. (Which sounds a bit like a porno when reading it on the edit.)


Look at all the games!!

I’d heard of Heroes of Terrinoth but don’t know too much about it. It was chosen based on my love for Arkham Horror: The Card Game. I’d also heard of Cockroach Poker, so much so that I almost ordered it for myself a few weeks back. And Latice? I’ve never heard of it, and I may not even be linking to the right game, who can say. It may be the most uniquely packaged game I’ve ever seen. It all came in this envelope like thing but when you punch it out, it fits in this tiny tuck box (minus the play mat). Seriously tiny, like 1”x1”x1”. Definitely different.

Anyway, I’m super excited and surprised, mostly because I thought they forgot my birthday, but also because NEW GAMES!

Cockroach Poker has an easy enough rule set, so that was the only one we cracked open tonight. The Hubz had come home at that point, so he joined us.

It’s a bluffing game with eight kinds of bugs. You can lie about your bugs or not, and you can say the names in French or not (that last part is a house rule.) There is no winner, there is just one loser called “The fucking loser” (also a house rule).


That top card is a mouche. Really. It is. Would I lie?

This is a fun filler. I suck at lying. And French. And this game, as Workman very deftly stuck me with my fourth rat, costing me the game.


It me. The Fucking Loser.

Finally, the Hubz and I introduced everyone to Guillotine, also a fun filler, similar to Parade but with the hilarity of the French Revolution. Play an action card, manipulate the line, and collect the head of the noble that just got whacked. Fine family fun. We love this game. I think the guys liked it. Leon did. He dominated. He won with 23 to my 12, Mark’s 11 and Workman’s 3 (you read that right.)


Leon’s winning heads. He may or may not be plotting an overthrow of the 1% based on his success.


Workman’s fucking loser hand. He is the 1% and should watch his back/head accordingly.

And that was game night. What a fun evening. I’m glad Leon and I let Workman back in the club even though I hate him. And I’m glad I have friends that remember birthdays and poorly wrap gifts and beat me at games. It’s quite nice, really.

We’ll probably be cracking into Heroes of Terrinoth next week (fingers crossed!) and I hope to see you then. But until then....thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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Wed Dec 5, 2018 11:31 am
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