Games Played WABA Thornlie 23 August 2014
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Another week, another WABA. Here's what we played and what we thought of what we played.
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1. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:404]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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We opened with this game that Mal's been wanting to try for a while, one of my favourites of recent years, so I was happy to oblige. We were joined by Tegan and Steve.

It's a worker placement game building a train line up a mountain. It has a few interesting ideas, such as a weather track that changes how much work can be done on a turn and also an event track that cause the game to build track and stations etc, causing it to potentially move faster than you want it to.

We got mostly sunny days and lots of events, so the game moved quite quickly.

We all laughed at Mal while he took a massive pile of contracts, but somehow he managed to fulfill so many of them that he had a very impressive win.

Fantastic game. I've never played anything except the basic scenario even though I have about five more of them to get to the table. Maybe soon?
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2. Board Game: Pax Porfiriana [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:427]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Next up we played this some-what-complex, but then fairly-accessible-when-you-consider-the-designer, tableau building card game. Players are rich business men looking to gain enough power/influence etc to topple the Mexican dictator Porfirio Díaz.

You need to build businesses, and crush the businesses of the people around you.

It's a fantastically clever game, on a day where I played some of my favourites, this was the best thing I played.

Not hurt by the fact that I won.

It's out of print currently, and I am considering paying too much to get a copy.

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3. Board Game: Rent a Hero [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2454]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Next we played this simple drafting filler.

The goal is to get six of the seven heroes in front of you in your tableau. They are numbered 1-7. You can never have two of the same hero, if you go to add one to your display and you already have it, you discard both.

A player passes a hero based on the criteria of that round (card between 1-3 or an even number etc) and it moves around the table with people either taking it or passing it to their neighbour. The catch is you can't look at the card.

You can pass the player a card and they can say yes or no, if it is or isn't the card they sent out. Also the cards face up have a power each you can use, such as discard the wandering hero, or look at it etc.

Light, but pretty good.

I won this one too, in a tie breaker because I had less discards than Steve.
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4. Board Game: Igloo Pop [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:2872]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Steve left, so Mal, Tegan and I played this light game. Shake igloos and try to figure out how many beads are in them.

I won by playing fairly conservatively.

It was pretty OK, but I am guessing better with more players and probably would go over really well with younger players too.
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5. Board Game: Walnut Grove [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:1064]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Next Tegan, Mal and I sat down to this Agricola/Carcassonne hybrid by the designer of Eclipse.

It moves very fast and you have a very limited set of actions while trying to earn some points. It's also pretty easy to block people (mostly unintentionally) and on top of all that, you have to feed and heat your people.

I like it quite a lot, it works great as a two player game. I think it can get too frustrating with four, but three was good, I thought.

Mal and Tegan didn't really get into it though.

I won, but it was pretty close.
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6. Board Game: Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:79] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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When Mal, Tegan and I returned from dinner, Ian and David had arrived and we launched into Dead of Winter (the second play for all of us except Tegan, who played her first and probably last).

It's a semi-co-op with hidden goals and a potential traitor survival game that can ramp up in tension very quickly. Especially if people think you might be the betrayer.

Everybody needs to contribute to a crisis every round, and feed the survivors and keep the moral up. On top of that, the Crossroads mechanic the game debuts means that if you meet a secret criteria on a card that is drawn on your turn, you are interrupted and something happens. Often bad. Or at least often a tough choice.

Plus you have to keep your people alive, fight zombies and keep an eye on the other players at the table.

Unfortunately we haven't played yet with the correct rules, and this particular game was really hurt by the fact that we had the zombie placement rule wrong and we took a whole lot of survivors that we wouldn't/shouldn't have.

There are concerns that it is way too easy to tank the game in the last round if you are the betrayer. Having said that, if you're not the last player, it's possible you'll be exiled and find yourself with a new goal.

I almost wish the player order wasn't set. There should be some way of shuffling that...

Anyway, in the last round, betrayer Mal tanked the game, but failed his objective and everyone lost. If we hadn't made the earlier rules mistake and taken way more survivors than we could handle, the game might have gone differently. As it was, it was a fairly unsatisfying experience.
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7. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:686]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Then Mal, Tegan, Ian and I played about a half of a game of this before we were swept out the door.

I was ahead when we called it, but who knows how the full game would have turned out, it ended before any real struggle started.
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8. Board Game: In Security [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:8884]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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Started the day with a 5 player game of In Security. The game consists of 6 player cards and 12 six-sided dice in 2 colors. 6 of the dice are used to form a dice pool which gets passed around the table. Players take turns either selecting a die from the pool and using it to take an action or adding more dice to the pool and rerolling the whole thing (after which you can select one to take an action).

It was simple to pick up and there is a fair amount of luck involved but it was a fun quick game.
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9. Board Game: Antimatter Matters [Average Rating:4.63 Overall Rank:16260]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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After In Security we played a game of Antimatter Matters. This is a roll-and-move, collect-all-the-things-and-race-to-the-centre game. There are different cards that you can use to control your movement and reduce or even eliminate the luck aspect of the die rolls.

We were attempting to build hydrogen atoms from quantum particles. I quickly realized that Photons and Electrons were only available in the low energy area (a sentence I never thought I would say). I managed to get quantum entangled with another player (which meant our movements were mirrored) and gather all of the ingredients to build my Hydrogen atom and headed for the centre space. I managed to get within one turn of winning when one of the other players finished his atom and dropped a "Jump to the centre" card.
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10. Board Game: Elevenses [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:3107]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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After Antimatter Matters I taught this in a 3-player game that got surprisingly cutthroat. Elevenses is a chaotic little card game about putting on the finest morning tea. I did amazingly poorly in the first couple of rounds and we ended the game a round or two early at 6-4-4.
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11. Board Game: Sentinel Tactics: The Flame of Freedom [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:2577] [Average Rating:6.73 Unranked]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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So this is the one I really wanted to play. I love Sentinels of the Multiverse and a tactical combat game featuring the same characters where someone can play the bad guy is right up my alley.

The game is quick to learn but offers plenty of tactical choices. We played the first scenario from the base set which has Baron Blade teleporting around the map destroying power stations while the heroes try to stop him.

The heroes in this case were Ra (who stayed in the centre of the map generally being a blazing inferno of fire) and Tachyon (who can zip around the map to reach the teleporting Baron but generally hits like a really angry mosquito).

Things started badly for Baron Blade as he tried to go toe to toe with the heroes and suffered his first incapacitation (of two). He then discovered his teleporter and decided to concentrate on his objective. Tachyon managed to pull a power that ended in a burst of speed most of the way across the city and a punch to the face that brought 6 hits of 6 a piece. Enough to knock the Baron down for the second time and end the scenario.

The scenarios are linked into a campaign of 3 scenarios with each being affected by what occurred in the previous one. And the campaigns are actual comic books featuring a story up until combat happens, then you get a page showing how to set up and go. The base set has 3 of these campaign comic books (each focused on Baron Blade, Omnitron and Citizen Dawn respectively) and the first expansion (which I also have) features The Operative, Proletariat (who can split into six copies of himself) and Ambuscade.

I really enjoyed this and would love to get it out again.
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12. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:77] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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After dinner I played in the X-Wing scenario that Jason ran. This scenario featured 4 TIEs and Slave I vs a Z-95, an E-Wing and 2 X-Wings in a field of 19 moving asteroids. After some (inevitable) early game collisions with one another, we all moved into the centre for some all collisions with asteroids. Some lucky early focus fire took out the Slave I a lot quicker than I expected but left the two X-Wings in a bad state. A quick cross over with the TIEs led to some handbrake turns that put the rebel ships parked perfectly in front of moving asteroids and kept the game balanced on the knifes edge. One X-Wing was taken out by an asteroid and another by one of the TIEs that were left at this point. In the end the Z-95 and the E-Wing was left against a single TIE who surrendered.

This scenario was a lot of fun and the chaos of the constantly shifting death-trap of asteroids kept everyone on their toes. I have a scenario written up which I need to bring to one of these meets as I've participated in a few of them. For me, this is the way to play X-Wing. Around a table with a ton of other pilots.

Great fun. Then I went home for sleep
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13. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:66]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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It is rare that I turn down a game of Battlestar Galactica and it was the case that my often repeated but rarely taken suggestion of playing this game was actually met with agreement. Once we managed to find a copy (contrary to popular opinion, I don’t always bring it to every WABA meet) 5 of us, including 1 new player, sat down to play the base game. I was happy as it is my opinion that any new player should be taught the base game first. Apart from Jason and myself, I'm sorry that I can't remember the names of the other players

I think I sufficiently explained the game to the new player and we were off. I remembered playing Laura Roslin, Jason was Bill Adama, the player on my right played Starbuck, the player to my left Saul Tigh and the other player I think was Zarek (?).

Notable moments included Starbuck continually launching and flying out only to then be sent to sickbay numerous times, mistrust (as usual) being high during post sleeper, no brigging attempts, a reveal by Zarek, Zarek's actions making it clear (at least to me) that he had both cylon cards, Zarek passing the other card to Bill Adama who revealed next turn and the cyclons winning by population.

As usual, it was a good session of BSG (although it has now been some time since I was on the winning side!).
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14. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:247]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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I played in a 4 player game with Richard, Warren and name unremembered (sorry!). We called it once the 2 games of Eldritch Horror were set up, I think with Warren winning at that stage.
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15. Board Game: Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.30 Unranked]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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I played in one of the two games of Eldritch Horror. The 5 players in my game (Mark, Richard, Jason, myself and someone else I can't remember (sorry!)) played the Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore expansion as we fought Yig. I played as the musician, Jim Culver.

Despite getting mocked for getting many negative conditions, I did manage to contribute and not die. Unfortunately, our efforts were in vain as Yig awoke and we quickly lost after that, within 1 or 2 turns.

I believe the other game involved Andrew, Aidden, Warren and others. I don't know whether their parallel world survived or was devoured.

I really enojyed this game and I think future plays are in order.
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16. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:727] [Average Rating:7.03 Unranked]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Mark taught me and two others this really simple deckbuilding game. The trade-off from making it simple is that it sort of doesn't really make thematic sense, but it is light, quick and accessible enough that it doesn't bother me (just) to be too frustrated and give it up.

I enjoyed my two plays of this game, the first where Mark easily won over the four of us, and the second where I won over the three of us (one of the players leaving after the first game).
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17. Board Game: Island Siege [Average Rating:6.77 Overall Rank:3948]
Luke Phillips
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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I also played my PnP copy of this game with a guy whose name I forget .

Longest game I've played that came down to an economic win in the end.

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18. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:75]
Luke Phillips
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Played this classic with a group of four.

Black looked threatening early on but good use of the medic and dispatcher kept the board under control until we won.
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