J. R. Tracy(jrtracy)United States
We had eleven gamers Tuesday night, including a couple familiar faces from the bear-infested wilds of New Jersey.
Bill and John cracked open my copy of FAB: Sicily, stickering it in the process - pretty sweet deal for me! They were able to dig in and complete the tourney scenario from a cold start. During setup, Bill's mobile assets got mixed in with the static Italian garrisons, which hamstringed his defense a bit, but the game still had a good ebb and flow. Bill even launched some counterblows at a couple key junctures. I think their appetites are whetted for another session in Sicily or a trip to the Ardennes for FAB: Bulge.
A good-looking game
Counterattack at Caltanissetta
We played our second game of Risk Legacy, with the bitter aftertaste of last week's session still lingering. Beneath Sean's cool demeanor lurked a thirst for revenge. Dr. Rob had a great opening, gaining control of Europe before smashing across North America and into Kamchatka. From there he took my base in the Japanese home islands, beating me to within an inch of my (game) life.
Japan under the harsh rule of the Seulowi
Sean had a chance to take a territory in Europe to deny Rob control, but opted instead to push across southern Asia toward Nate's base in Australia. Nate, careful readers may recall, stabbed Sean in the back last week without provocation, and soon found himself beneath Sean's vengeful boot. Rob had a crack at a win on his next turn but fell short, leaving the door open for Sean to seal his victory with a drive from Africa to Britain for his fourth and final VP. Another good game, very short and furious. We all know how to win, but now we have to work on preventing *other* players from winning!
All Nate’s bases belong to Sean
Dutch showed off his Space Cadets: Away Missions game to Chris Storzillo and Dan Dolan, our Jersey interlopers. They played the Bug Hunt scenario, where the individually feeble bugs propagate and coalesce into lethal swarms. Thanks to Security Chief Dolan’s mighty combat dice, they were able to burn their way through to the bug queen and put an end to the threat...for now. Watch the skies!
Calm, cool, and collected
Campoverdi brought out the cooperative Yggdrasil, where the players represent Norse gods defending Asgard from a cast of villains and monsters of Norse Mythology (Loki, Nidhogg, Fenrir, Surt, Hel, and Jormungand). The bad guys advance relentlessly down a track toward Ragnarok, while the players try to beat them back. Each player turn a card is flipped which advances a particular villain while triggering its special ability. Loki introduces frost giants, Surt summons fire giants, etc. After that, the player executes three actions, with each of the nine worlds of Yggdrasil representing a distinct action. These include recruiting Vikings via the Valkyrie for fighting, asking help from the Elves (+1 die roll tokens), fighting front giants, and more. Each god has a special power - as Tyr, I had four actions, while Heimdall is a more effective recruiter.
The Nine Worlds
The villains have several 'touch lines' that may trigger Ragnarok and a player defeat - if five advance across an early line, three across a middle line, or one across the deepest line, all is lost. Also, as they advance their special abilities become more powerful and debilitating. We had decent success with our fighting rolls but fell down on strategery - I don't think we did a great job coordinating our own special powers. We felt good about our chances but it suddenly all went pear-shaped and after a flurry of desperate turns Asgard fell. I found the game very flavorful and I like it as much if not more than Ghost Stories. Both are challenging with a good sense of heightening tension and tough decisions.
Frejya is a little too into it
Finally, we had a nightcap of Caveman Curling. This is a flicky game with a couple added twists. Tokens are flicked down the board toward the target, six per side (we played two two-man teams with Chris offering sage advice). Each side has four axes, two long and two short, that are used to adjust shots (and then set aside for that round). Tokens can also be 'capped' by smaller tokens - if the cap is knocked off by another shot, that token is returned to the available pool. So, if you have a great shot to the center of the target area, you cap it in case an opponent's shot knocks you out. The resulting extra shot offers some compensation for the loss of position. The game is played to six points. Campo and Dutch went up 5-1 on Dan and me before we launched our ferocious comeback, and we prevailed 6-5 in glorious fashion. This is another fun flicky game for fans of the dexterity genre.
A perfectly placed stone
Your narrator lines up a shot
Next week, maybe a break from Risk to make room for wargaming.