That it will never come again...

...is what makes life so sweet. A blog about my new job working in a boardgame establishment... Living the dream?

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...we spend more time developing means of escaping our troubles than we do solving the troubles we're trying to escape from...

Will Brasher
United Kingdom
Birmingham
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Played a quick solo of my copy of Lift Off! Get me off this Planet! Expanded Deluxe Edition, well my upgraded version of Lift Off! Get me off this Planet!, technically...

Reads a bit like a kids story (if you aren't a good author, obvs..)

Thought I'd pop it on here, you know... for kids...

From gallery of Rillian

The Pinkies have slept through the alarm! They awaken to find ONE DAY LEFT until the end of their planet... why did no-one think to wake them? Mind the nasty Garglore he is not happy...

From gallery of Rillian

Two of them get a quick start off to the wormhole, the rest make a plan whilst the Garglore naps!

From gallery of Rillian

Early success! The 1st two Pinkies get taken through the wormhole and picked up by their escape pod!

From gallery of Rillian

The next starts a long climb to lower orbit up the ladder, long for little legs! Don't worry, it's only a small planet, doesn't take much height to reach a point they can hop off in to orbit...

From gallery of Rillian

Other scouts check out the elevator and geyser options... repairs begin on the elevator...

From gallery of Rillian

Oh no, the Garglore is getting ready to charge... just in the nick of time the Pinkies still in the core offer him a cup of tea as a distraction...

From gallery of Rillian

'How many sugars?', the Garglore is ready to rage, that's not a proper cuppa! Luckily the stereo still works and the Pinkies have an impromptu disco... 'What's that coming out of the core! Is it a Garglore? Is it a Garglore?'

From gallery of Rillian

That was a long but healthy climb... Time to jump, here comes the lift!

From gallery of Rillian

The stereo ran out of batteries... Garglore YELLS! The poor Pinkies waiting near the wormhole run all the way to the Geyser, scared out of their wits!

From gallery of Rillian

Garglore not happy... the last Pinkies dash outside... he blames them for ruining his planet so BREAK! Ha! Need to fix the wormhole and elevator again, that'll teach them for not looking after the planet!

From gallery of Rillian

A quick fix later and three more wormhole travellers make it off the planet!

From gallery of Rillian

GARGLORE STOMP! A tumble of Pinkies fall from the geyser...

From gallery of Rillian

Just in the nick of time, the Garglore stomp must have set the geyser off, strong enough to escape!

From gallery of Rillian

GARGLORE SAD! Huge yells of loneliness come from the Core, the escapees calm him by singing his favourite Elton John song... 'Rocketman'...

From gallery of Rillian

Climb, climb, climb... Hurrah! But what about the Garglore?

From gallery of Rillian

Just as the planet explodes, they feel remorse for the poor Garglore... luckily Gurglore, his significant other had borrowed the Reds ship to rescue the love of her life! Even monsters deserve to live! 2 the stars!

...and they all lived in space, with limited resources until... well.. you decide
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Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:33 pm
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...I just try to live every day as if I've deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life...

Will Brasher
United Kingdom
Birmingham
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That's the plan... times being what they are it's not easy to do so but I try and enjoy the moments that life brings me.

Apologies for not posting more regularly, until I'm back at my side gig for good these will stay pretty random and few and far between.

A visit yesterday to the locale of my Wizardly ways, Chance & Counters, prompted me to write this blog post so I'll start with that and work backwards since last time I wrote here... (hence the timetravel move quote above)

It'd been far too long and I'd built up a selection of games for the collection, mostly from charity shops, my travel pass through work has now been cancelled as it's not being used but as I had to pop to the vets to get my darling, crazy cat's stash of nightly drugs topped up (addict!) I had a bus pass already so thought to make the most of it.

I'm house-hunting right now, another reason for lack of blogging, just had me a confirmation of mortgage in principle so I now know what I can afford so I needed to spend the time on Saturday looking over houses I had bookmarked. Why not go to work and do this? Sit there with some tasty food, coffee and wot-not and soak in the atmosphere and see some friendly faces. Plan.

In I pop, how long have I been away? New employee behind the counter, don't know if I like this! How can they change so much since I've been gone? Ah well... things change. the business has to go on without me... *sniff*

So, here's the stash...

From gallery of Rillian


What do we have here? The classic Mouse Trap, alcohol and a trip down memory lane? Seems like a perfect fit for the clientele. Still getting familys in so another family game (you know, for kids!) and another classic in a kid friendly form would be Junior Labyrinth. Next we have a non-charity shop purchase but after coming across this and realising it's another Zoch Verlag I knew I had to have it, purchased at a reasonable price, played it and realised it would be more suited to work, a co-op pseudo dexterity/strategy communicating game? Menara now belongs in the work collection! Finally another charity shop purchase, A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King, well themed set collection with a puzzle twist and variable character powers, quick play time and has the geeky cred, I'll be recommending all these when I'm back on the floor getting my Guru on...

An afternoon of analysis of various properties, shortening the list and writing my thoughts on ones that stay on the list in a new notebook for reference later and potential viewing. Space this out with conversations and tasty food and drink. Still to decide do I go near here for ease of visiting/playing or my fulltime job? We'll see what comes up I guess...

Here's a snippet of the day...

Coffee
Dirty Fries
Gamespeak with Jacob
Catching up with Adam
Busy, busy store (be back soon?)
House Cola
Upsold on Beer!
Beautiful Sunshine
Happy faces
Catching myself singing along to the songs
Regulars upsold to a stein
Greetings with Chris
'Oh what an atmosphere...'
Flying words from Nathan


Icing on the cake? At the end of the shift of the face I knew not, Victoria sat nearby, we struck up a conversation, had a good laugh, she had another drink to 'warm up' for her evening gig and I made a new friend, it helps she had 'heard' about me from the others! All is now well, I look forward to working with her in the future and socialising once things get back to a new normal, if/when? who knows right now...

So a productive afternoon... Lets wind back the clock and review my Instagram (game.guru.wizard is my handle!) and cross reference with my list of shame and book of plays! Yup, I have a good old fashioned pen and paper book that I log scores in of the games I play! It's just my thing...

Most recently was a visit to Nathan and Emma's, there little one Theo is 6(?I think?) weeks old now, how much he has changed! Anyway, we chat, catch up and I get fed (nom!), we continue our Quest for Planet 9, yup still going on with The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine currently 40 levels in for 60 plays (we do play a bit loosely, but we're enjoying it, that's the key!). After that was a new one to me and them... Fort

From gallery of Rillian


My opinion? When theme and mechanics meld so beautifully I love it! This tells an epic story of childhood revenge, betrayal, friendship, pizza eating, cat destroying toys... I want more! So many mechanics that I've seen before from various other games but a new meld and something inspired on top, the 'yard' mechanic is just genius... I could keep going, I'm just going to say I did my usual, try something different than the seemingly obvious route (ie, building your fort) and doing alright but I was outclassed by Emma and Nathan, got me a 29 point score for trying to destroy as many toys as possible using Kitty and getting Penny to pack everything away neatly for points too... 30 points to Nathan and 34 for Emma. We shall play again, we did mess up a rule and me and Nathan both gained from it whilst Emma did not and she still managed to own us!

Re-rewind (when the crowd... STOP IT!)

A few days previous and I had a stressful day at work so I unwound after with a little roll and write in the shape of Kingdomino Duel

From gallery of Rillian


What a pleasurable way to unwind! I scored 93 on one sheet with 59 on the other, loved the race to use the spellbook and the limiting of the neighbouring coat of arms choice, great sized game too, one to carry around on the off chance of a short game with a friend, once things change for the better out there. This was also the day I played Menara and on what would have been the final placement... well... pictures speak a thousand words...

FROM...
From gallery of Rillian
...TO...
From gallery of Rillian


So much fun with just one, can't wait to see what the guests make of it!

Going further back... we're back to 10th September now...Quick honorable mention of a 4 player Terraforming Mars with Terraforming Mars: Prelude and Terraforming Mars: Turmoil... First play for Sam and Emma with Terraforming Mars: Turmoil. All I want to say is I'm getting a bit of a name for comedy moves... I held 'Sabotage' for ages and Nathan had the choice of any of us to take plants from, he chose me so I took away most of his Titanium that he just got specially for 'Security Fleets', oh, how we laughed! (except Nathan). IYKYK... previously on another game I let Nathan eat my fish with his predators and then played Virus on them! I love a bit of 'friendly' IN YOUR FACE moves. devil

Continuing on my journey in to the recent past, 8th September I managed to play one of the UKGE WINNERS, Solar Storm...

From gallery of Rillian
From gallery of Rillian


...and what an enjoyable, tense game it was too! It was a learning game on easy mode, I won too which is always nice playing on the simplest mode. Another puzzle when playing solo, ramps up the tension very well with the way the damage deck is set, glad I got the Solar Storm: Neoprene Mat as it makes it extra special, worthy of a winner!

Wibbly-wobbly --- more The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine --- Timey-wimey --- getting Nathan addicted to Star Realms (we always have a game on the go on the app now, yay!) --- ball of STUFF! --- 3 player Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power birthday treat for as friend before the new lockdown regs were put in place...

Finally... a game I played but forgot to photo, we had a few rounds of Dungeon Drop!

If you read my blogs, you'll know I love my dexterity games and tactile stuff... this fits the bill perfectly, a quick dungeon crawl all about making a triangle between specific cubes you drop on a table, collecting gems for hidden bonus points, racial and class abilitys and goblins/trolls and a Dragon cube too (to name but a few)... excellent game, would love to play more and get more, I'll be backing their next expansion Dungeon Drop: Dropped Too Deep and possibly the sci-fi remake and game changer Drop Drive as I saw these online at UKGE Virtually Expo this year and could not resist!

So my little time-hop is over... we are all caught up, things will probably quieten down even more with the house hunting kicking up a gear so I know not when I'll be back or have the time to comment, but I'll check back just in case when I can...

I'll be seeing you, some time, this time in the future... make sure you stay and play safe, my regards to you all, thanks for reading!

I LOVE YOU ALL!
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Sun Sep 20, 2020 6:49 pm
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...you have to cherish things in a different way when you know the clock is ticking, you are under pressure...

Will Brasher
United Kingdom
Birmingham
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The saga continues... (Part 1 here)
~#~

Damn that Killmonger...

It seems I may have underestimated him, plan B is not a phrase I would normally use let alone resort to but, needs must...

Taskmaster retires to his place of contemplation. Whilst he is in Training his plans form a new arc and the resources he has ready spring to mind... Jagged Bow's area of expertise is elsewhere so he won't be required, perhaps Anaconda and Death Shield are more suited for the task at hand?

Sending them to the Armory, knowing that Black Widow will be listening to them, he gives them cryptic codes to keep Black Widow busy, for now.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

A planned meeting back at the Institute with the leader of the Armored Rhino contingent of the Wakandan armed forces is fruitful. They will put their weight and power behind Killmonger as they align with his ethos.

As a sign of good faith they had send a fake contingent to Warrior Falls and a meeting with T'challa. Under a false meeting of friendship and support, they get close enough to reveal a ceremonial spear is actually real and use it to wound him. Sometimes a pawn has to be sacrificed for the greater good.

Further Weapons Caches are known to Erik using his Stolen Wisdom, not what the plan calls for but useful none the less.

The king will soon be in checkmate...
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Whilst Taskmaster keeps a close eye on developments in Wakanda he continues to build his forces with a seemingly impromptu Conducting of various Exercises. He considers opportunities to hire himself out to the soon to be new King of Wakanda and decides against it.

His position may look weak but what is seemingly fractured can be made whole in an instant, stronger than before and more powerful than any Avenger...
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Now is the time, a new king will rise.

The wounded T'challa stands on Warrior Falls ready to be challenged. N'Jadaka cares not for the rules, he arrives, mounted on an Armoured Rhino and instead of dismounting signals for the Dogs of War to use the Weapons Cache and rides the Rhino straight at Black Panther. Being wounded and under fire there is nowhere to go and the Rhino strikes him and he topples from the Falls into the raging torrent below.

The King is Dead! Long Live The King! Fate has truly turned in Killmongers favour... the Wakandan people may not like it but N'Jadaka just needed T'challa out of the way so he can put his final plans in to motion.

Preparation of another set of Explosives, ready for export begins in the Institue of Technology...
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Another pesky do-gooder has taken an interest in my plans... Hawkeye is staking out my Training Room so I move to Camp Hammond and train the Trainees further, they are turning out to be quite a formidable force.

With the loan of my shield to my allies under Black Widow's surveillance I believe I can stall her as she waits for me to show up before making her move.

Another offer is made to hire me out and, again, I refuse. Instead I fan the flames in Wakanda by making sure the 'defeated' Black Panther is found by loyal followers and he rises again on the throne in the Golden City. This should slow Killmonger down. 'Wakanda Forever' indeed...
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

T'challa rises again... I smell the influence of Taskmaster's lackey, Crossbones. I must focus on removing the threat of Black Panther. Again.

Heading to my Institute office I forego potential Weapon's Caches and send a threat to Black Panther to lure him back to Warrior Falls, further Stolen Wisdom allows me to source further Explosives and another opportunity to Wound Black Panther, hopefully this time more permanently. While he stands, the mines are lost to me and I am unable to smuggle the explosives out of the country in Vibranium shipments... I know just the man for the job, it takes a king to down a king.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

I enter the Armoury, I had already sent redeploy orders to Black Ant and my Trainees, Black Ant to leave Hawkeye to his own devices and the Trainees to meet me at the Armoury.

As I do Black Widow reveals herself but I have overwhelming forces present and I use this as a further training exercise. Anaconda steps in and looks to be capable of dealing with Natalia, at the last moment the Trainees step in for the final blow and with the tactical use of my Shield are able to protect themselves as Black Widow is taken out of the picture.

My secret message to Crossbones has also been received and he has lured Tony Stark to Wakanda. Where Stark Industrys goes, Iron man is not far behind, let's see how Killmonger deals with that!
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Black Panther & Iron Man must be dealt with, only one man is to blame, Taskmaster and his underling Crossbones. I must deal with him first and perhaps use the others to my advantage.

I sow the seeds of rumour within the Institute and Tony Stark, who is snooping around looking for the source of the Explosives soon hears rumours that the Solomon Institute is involved. I intercept a commnication between him and Vision, another thorn in Taskmaster's side.

A small manipulation of a mining automation process as Crossbones is present leads him to take a serious wound, depleting his usefulness with Taskmaster and setting back his plans for his own Cabal of Supervillains. Have I bought myself enough time?
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Ha! Vision was the obvious 'hero' that Stark would send my way, knowing this I had installed a small part of the Institute that would confuse his sensors and allow me to run just what I need to in peace without him locating me...

One more relocation with Anaconda to Camp Hammond and my plan can not now be stopped by any foreseeable issues!

I have won! My Cabal of Villains is almost complete...
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

With great Fury comes great Destruction!

Killmonger knows he is beat, in a rage he orders the destruction of Crossbones and attempts one last time to send further Avengers Taskmasters way to try and throw one last thing at him that may halt his seemingly inevitable defeat. it is not to be... T'challa's stubborness, rising from defeat put halt to showing the might of Wakanda to the world, no longer will they be a country to feared as Erik had hoped. T'challa will steer them the way of peace and Taskmaster will enevitably be the puppetmaster behind the scenes...

He slumps on his throne, awaiting Black Panther's return, his rage subsides to the inevitable incarceration that is to come...
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Now... let me see...

Death Shield, with a simple relocation to my Armoury he is now strong enough now to withstand She-hulk...

Anaconda, as powerful as any Avenger that may trouble her...

Black Ant, trained and ready to strike at Vision when I but say the word...

...and finally, my Trainees, an army none would have thought could achieve such heights... beware Nick Fury, SHIELD may have withstood HYDRA but Taskmaster is coming for you...

My Crossbones gambit paid off, as I knew it would. Whilst Killmonger thought he had one of my operatives in his domain and could wipe him off the map with ease, he did not notice me building up forces too great for him to stop.

Now my real plans can move in to motion...

From gallery of Rillian
From gallery of Rillian

~#~


Well, that was fun...

...& fitting that Killmonger was thwarted by Black Panther, even if it was Taskmaster pulling the strings...

If you made it this far, thanks for reading

I can cross this off my list of unplayed games now.
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Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:30 pm
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...everybody is the hero in their own story...

Will Brasher
United Kingdom
Birmingham
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After the sad news earlier this weekend, there is only one game I could play... With https://open.spotify.com/album/2VoZ1APXjzAvYM5roMmcyX?si=QrU... on repeat... Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power.

From gallery of Rillian

Wakanda Forever


Taskmaster vs Killmonger


A training room, dead of night. The sound of punches landing on a heavy bag, the lights flicker, the camera pans. Light catches on the sweaty figure pumelling the punching bag in controlled blows, kicks, punches, elbow hits... Clearly this is a master of the physical art. He pauses and slow clapping echoes around the echoing room.

Crossbones stands in the doorway, 'I'm early.'

'Yes, your services are not yet required... go and be ready for my call.', Crossbones leaves and two figures pass him in the corridor.

'You better be on time', says Crossbones to the masked men.

Black Ant checks the time, they are 5 minutes early. He holds Blood Spider back, 'Best we wait.'

The figure in the training room puts on their attire, body armour, hooded cape. At the appointed time two figures appear in the door way. Taskmaster is ready for them.

'Ahh, Black Ant. I see you have arrived, on time, with Blood Spider... Good, my plan can begin in earnest. You are to go to the Armoury and familiarise yourself with what I have left there. Blood Spider, Trainees await your infiltration at Camp Hammond. Leave. Now.'

Black Ant moves as if to question Taskmaster's plan but Taskmaster knows that stance and stops him, 'Do not think to question me, all will be made clear in time.'
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

The majestic mountains and plains of Wakanda... the camera glides past wild rhinos and grazing zebras, following a river through a ravine it swoops up and a masked figure stands on Warrior Falls. N'Jadaka learns the lie of the terrain ready for the fight that he knows is to come. He feels Fate hover over him and a vision fills his mind. K'Liluna, the Betrayer stands before him in the air and he feels his rage and thirst for power grow strong. Her rage filled smile is presented to him and he stands strong and unbending as her spectral form pours into him and he awakes on the edge of the precipice and screams his rage in to the night that has fallen.

'I'm coming for you, T'Challa'
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

A figure swoops through the skys, Falcon has taken on a one man mission to track down Taskmaster and the sensors he set up at the gym Taskmaster supposedly frequents have gone strangely silent. Landing on the roof he makes his way inside. Nothing here but his sensors have been deactivated. He sets to work replacing them in more tamper-proof locations. A security camera silenty turns, following Falcon's every move..

We are looking over Taskmaster's shoulder at the view through the camera on a bank of screens. He has relocated himself to the Solomon Institute, where he can control the threads he has woven. Another monitor shows Blood Spider, his agile antics on a training dummy earning him the prais of the trainees he has infiltrated. A report on Crossbones flashes up on another screen and various views of the inside of Avengers Tower cover most of the other active monitors. He activates a switch and sits back to wait.

Black Ant receives the signal and makes his way back to the training room, after activating his suit with Pym particles. He is fully aware he is still at risk as the enhance sight of Falcon may still pick up the smallest of movements but caution is key at this stage of the plan.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Erik walks in to the Wakandan Institute of Technology, smiling scientists and researchers are unaware of him. He will reveal himself in due time and help them all to make Wakanda strong as it should be. For now, he must work alone. He keeps his rage inside and glances briefly at a conference room where they discuss the alternative uses of the Heart-Shaped Herb of lore. Today that is not his purpose. He heads to the research area and puts in place security technology that he designed himself so he can gather information when not here that will move his aims toward fruition. He is not above using stolen wisdom in this way. As his strength grows, so will the opportunities for Wakanda.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Taskmaster sees the Trainees take what Blood Spider has taught them and assimilate it into their fighting style, they grow strong, just as Taskmaster knew they would. Blood Spider is also recalled and makes his way back to the training room where Falcon has almost finished his spycraft and Black Ant watches on. Things are falling into place, Falcon will be an unknown participant in this training academy of sorts.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Setting up a temporary base in the Institute for Technology, N'Jadaka turns down a chance of a Hacking Rig technology, it just doesn't suit his plans at the moment, instead he communicates with his forces in the general population and moves his troops into the Golden City. A unit of Dogs of War and a Rook to lead them they close in on his rivals position. The first step in taking the Kingdom is to remove Klaw from his future domain. He has served his purpose getting Erik here, now he must be dealt with.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Relocating back to the Armoury, Taskmaster moves his pawns into position. Fate seems to be on his side.

Black Ant grows back to normal size and Blood Spider reveals himself to distract Falcon whilst the freshly activated Crossbones takes him out of the picture in a Crossfire of devastating yet not quite deadly proportions. Seriously wounded, Falcon activates his flight harness and he launches upwards and crashes through the skylight as he loses conciousness.

'Training complete, Avengers 0, Taskmaster 1.', Taskmaster allows himself a small smile, things are moving forward optimally.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Releasing the order for his forces to Overpower Klaw in the Golden City, Killmonger keeps a low profile as Okoye and the Dora Milaje are searching the Institute building by building. Needing resources to assist in his escape he uses the Stolen Wisdom and comes up with an experiment in a neighbouring lab that can be used as explosives and a weapons testing lab that may as well be a Weapons Cache, as far as he is concerned, now to use this knowledge to his advantage...

With the news from his troops that Klaw is out of the picture, he is poised to Challenge for the Throne.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

With the immediate threat passed, Taskmaster returns to his allies as a well timed meeting will keep them on track and further his plans smoothly.

He has heard of disturbing news from Wakanda of an uprising against their King, this may put his plans in jeopardy as he needs access to the Vibranium Mines. Line of sight on this Killmonger upstart is required...

Assessing the situation he hones his Photographic Reflexes to prepare them for the inevitable and sends Crossbones to Wakanda to set up a Shadow Initiative outreach there. A minor set back that can be easily dealt with.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Okoye and the Dora Milaje continue their search of the Institute buildings, they seemingly luckily stumble across a masked figure and give chase through the buildings, they try to outflank him but the layout of these rooms forces them into a chemistry lab. Too late they realise it is a trap...

The explosion rips through the lab, Killmonger does not look back, he has already ordered the relocating of a Weapons Cache to Warrior Falls to assist him in his plans, these fools will no longer bother him. Nothing can stand in his way now.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Back to his base of operations at the Solomon Institute, further training of Black Ant continues and Blood Spider is set to patrol the Armoury. It's certainly not glorious or exciting putting his plans into action but slow steady steps are key in peparation and keeping under the radar of the various Heroes that may interfere.

Crossbones is settling in to Wakanda well, his suveillance of the Mines is going smoothly, everything should be in place when it is required.
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

Now is the time to make my moves.

Taskmaster, I see you and yours. A slight misdirection and my contacts back in the States within the illegal arms trade drop hints of your plans where Natalia Romanov can pick them up, goodbye little Spider.

Next I set another Dog of War unit to stake out the Warriors Falls, this goes unseen as I enter the Throne Room in the Golden City and lay down my Challenge to T'Challa. Black Panther readies himself for our showdown.

Further Stolen Wisdom, prepares me nicely to take what is rightfully mine...
From gallery of Rillian

~#~

As our hero has entered the fray, this seems an apt place to leave be for now...

I will continue tomorrow...
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Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:39 pm
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...in the middle of difficulty lies opportunity...

Will Brasher
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Another slightly different post today just a little bit on my experience of Virtually Expo, should I be hashtagging that? Meh, whatever...

10 weeks before this weekend the process of getting it all set up began, now I'd say for something of this size only having such a short lead up was pretty darned good, especially as the organisiers were not the most internet savvy by the sounds of things... Despite this, they pulled it off with minor technical glitches and got the community online as after all 'Life is Better Playing Together'.

So, what did I get up to over this long weekend?

Well, I was there for 6pm on the Friday as I'd booked the time off so had prepped with food and drinks. I had played about with Tabletopia a bit and realised my computer isn't the fastest so decided not to use this resource unless I just had to. I probably missed out on a lot due to this but my time was still choc-a-block with things to do all weekend.

I laughed while the site struggled with the amount of traffic as they 'opened the doors', not in a bad way mind, just happy so many people wanted to join in the system brokedown due to demand, didn't take them long to get it up and running again mind.

I watched seminars, people teaching games on twitch, Knightmare Live, Dark Room, Marvel vs DC, Starwars v Star Trek... to name but a few. Knightmare and Dark Room were the obvious highlights, going on 'Raids' too was fun!

I browsed websites for bargains and got games from publishers after watching their demos. Did my voting for the awards in the categorys I had an opinion in.

Got suckered in to the Badges... (https://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/account/badges/XmK65WnO/) .. but allowed myself to be, enjoyed hunting down the cryptic ones and happily partaked in the donation to be able to pass Jeffdogs and Beers in a virtual way, hey, I'm not complaining as they had to make some kind of money for their effort in putting this together...

The instant gratification of having things to take home was missing but I was probably just a bit more selective than I usually would be with the retailers. I still got over a dozen games for me and a few for presents too. The standard Genki Gear purchase too, it wouldn't be a UKGE without them for me.

Zatu have already delivered the games I ordered from them... this has taken my game total over 500 for the first time ever so I just got my Golden Collector badge... Nice to level up I guess!

Quick photo from one of the games I got...
From gallery of Rillian

Well, it was very likely I was always going to get something Marvel based at some point, something Asymetric seemed like a fine idea

Finally, sad news... for the first time in a very long time I'm not going to be going the Expo next year... Not sure if it will cause a problem with my Guru work but I promised a friend to take them to Download, got the tickets and then realised this weekend that the Expo and Download fall over the same weekend. Maybe after 500 games I'm due a break? I was planning on volunteering this year any way so I'm thinking I'll take a break for a year and then hopefully be in a position to volunteer the year after... I imagine I will be missed by my friends who I go with every year and assist in their hunting for bargains and the such, still things change...

Now with an influx of new games starting to trickle in, let the shelf of shame grow and I will get to shrinking it down again! Mixing in the old wit hthe new... keep me going! Until next time...
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Tue Aug 25, 2020 4:59 pm
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...life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings....

Will Brasher
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Ooof. Deep and dark quote there Mr. Guru.

Guess it suits the times, things get on top of you occassionally and you just have to get back on the rollercoaster when you can.

Those of you who subscribe, welcome, it's been a while, apologies... being on my computer fulltime doing my day job and being distracted by inconsequential (read non-boardgame) stuff this has taken a backseat and so has my playing of the unplayed.

In fact this post is just going to be wax-lyricalling (is that how you past-tense that? Too late, I've done it now) on stuff since I've been here last with you, I will then write another post on my experience of #virtuallyexpo, the online 10 week in the building replacement for this years UKGE, probably not today though, I'm off for most of the week from work (good job really as I've various parcels coming from stuff I ordered from the Expo!).

First mention would be another visit to Chance&Counters with friends on the first of this month, sticking to the 2 households rule per table it was my bubble and a chap from Helen's work called Irving, first time meeting him, good times, love to meet another avid boardgamer, will hopefully see more of him and his partner (more on this later)...

As is my usual, I've been scouring the internet for games the cafe should have in the collection, located some classics...

From gallery of Rillian

Side bar: found Mastermind44 for a steal online much cheaper than the standard editions of Mastermind so went for it, went Charity Shopping on the way to C&C and find a copy of Ultimate Mastermind for an even better steal, typical!

The other games (Drag Strip! & Rebound) are more dexterity games as I love them so and it seems to suit the clientele. Almost enough that we could organise a mini-decathlon of dexterity games! Sounds like a a plan for the future...

So, what did we play? As we had Helen's 3 (almost 4!) year old with us we started with Bugs in the Kitchen as she enjoys the frantic nature of it and it's a great ice-breaker for adults. Enough of this tired her out somewhat so we went on to some Letter Jam as I thought it a good fit for the group. Went down well, mistakes were made and there was a rude word or two that I immediately thought couldn't have been due to the source but was! Cracking word game and co-op too which is a good thing in socialising. After that Irving asked for Magic Maze which he had played before, few too many drinks maybe as it took us a while just to get passed the first mission! We left but didn't want to stop playing so had a quick Paranormal Detectives or three to wrap up the evening. After I led as the ghost I managed to guess the next two games. Guess I was just in sync with the ladies!

From gallery of Rillian

My ghost-writing skills leave a lot to be desired!


The very next day I was supposed to go continue playing The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine with Nathan (Kitchen Daddy) and Emma (Better half) but I had news from Nathan during the day, Emma was in hospital as she was nearing the end of her pregnancy and had high blood pressure. Due to restrictions Nathan was not allowed to be inside the building with her so invited me around to distract him so I took my copy of Terraforming Mars: Turmoil as he hadn't played it yet, we added his copy of Prelude (a must) and the variant board too for good measure.

From gallery of Rillian

Hides his worry well doesn't he?


Good game, I was Terralab and he was Credicor, we wrapped up Terraforming in 11 Generations and both got 89 points, Nathan beat me 69 to 58 on left over cash. He thanked me for the distraction and we got to know each other better too, good stuff.

Days later Emma gives birth to their first son, Theo. Once he was allowed in as she was in the maternity delivery section they played Terraforming Mars on a laptop! A truly special couple!

A surprise invite by some of my Chance&Counters colleagues and it was a trip out later in the week...

From gallery of Rillian

Another addition to the work collection, Lift it!, saw this at a previous UKGE and was gutted I missed out so when I found a copy I went for it, another crazy game that I think will go down well. I'll certainly play it some time. Looks like it will go well with alcohol!

Me, Steve, Jacob and Rhys met up and as I got there they were just setting up Bärenpark. Recently having crossed it off my list of shame I settled in and managed a quite convincing win. I may have shown my evil side for the first time vs these guys. I noticed a number of them needed Toilets to fill their parks so snapped up 3 in one round leaving one left. Only needing one myself. Seemed a bit rude but I don't get to win too often vs. a work group. I was 9 points ahead at the end, maybe I should have gone easy on them as they were playing for the first time? Nah!

After that was Jacob's copy of Escape the Dark Sector, having played the earlier Castle vibe game with Chris and Helen, this was a nice step up with some interesting additions. I was the only player to Flank all game, carefully and well timed too (but I would say that!). We won and enjoyed it. I like this as a social thing, not sure of the longevity of it but I guess that's why they have expansions on the first game and I'm sure they will on this too.

A bit of a dry spell followed here... Usually I Wednesday night game with Chris and Helen and then at the weekend get some Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game on with them with Bryony joining in from London online. For various reasons this kind of dryed up this month, it happens! Still the next time was the aformentioned Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game followed by a gaming session.

From gallery of Rillian

So in the afternoon we did case 3 of the base set of Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game. Very enjoyable experience this one. Tense and fast paced, can't wait to see what else comes up in what we have left, not going to go into it much as not willing to spoil it for those who have not played.

Once we wrapped up, Irving and his partner Adam came over and we had an late afternoon/evening of gaming. The plan was Scythe but Helen hadn't played before and we all had so we decided to go for various smaller games instead, luckily I had prepared and bought a few along. Dexterity to break the ice and a quick JamSumo (Second Edition), won convincingly by Adam. Can't say enough about how awesome this game is, it deserves a bigger following and another print run! I tried them on The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine next which surprisingly didn't go down well, perhaps it was me teaching (out of practice much?) or maybe just not the right fit, too thinky and not enough chatty. Lightened up the mood a bit with a quick Second Chance, always a crowd pleaser this one, Adam won again! We then settled down for an evening of co-op fun with One Key. We played 4 times, won 2 and lost 2. Great game with a few drinks and the app really doesn't get in the way and makes the game run smoothly not like some earlier app involved games. A fun evening had by all.

The very next day it was time to meet Nathan and Emma's little one, Theo and continue with our The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine!

From gallery of Rillian

So, who has their priorities straight in this shot? and cute much? (Theo, not I!)


Loving this game, so much so we played through another 10 missions so have now completed 21 of them after playing 31 rounds. Not too shabby. Also a pleasure to meet the next generation of gamers

~#~

So, that's me up to date, next blog will be Virtually Expo! Ciao!
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Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:36 pm
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...I think I'm gonna be sad, I think it's today, yeah...

Will Brasher
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That one's just for you Chris... I know how it gets stuck in your head when we play...

Onwards!

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

Forgot to snap a photo whilst playing this Wednesday night... Ah well, can't always get the visuals I guess...

Wednesday gaming night request by the lovely Helen was some TTR so this was my opening to get some of this on the go, UK would be the obvious choice.

For those of you who don't know what the UK map adds to the classic game, a tech system is introduced. Therre is no 'tree' as such, you can develop whatever, whenever you can but to get tech cards in play you need to sacrifice Locomotives or 4 cards of any type. At the start of the game you can't build across water or any route greater than 2 as the locomotives aren't powerful enough to do the long journeys. Tech opens up different countries and gives various bonuses like extra points when you complete a route or the ability to sacrifice onoly 3 cards for a locomotive effect rather than 4.

Helen absolutely OWNED us on this. Mid game she got the ridiculously high scoring Transatlantic route AND she closed the game down about 3/4 turns before me and Chris were ready, a resounding 121 to Chris's 76 and my 54. I shouldn't have picked up 2 tickets right toward the end, silly me... knowing I was not winning though you have to go for the gamble, don't you? I do like me an epic all or nothing tactic in games, it's my thing! I'm a player of games, not a winner of games...

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

From gallery of Rillian


Remembered (this time) to get a photo... not the most exciting but, hey...

Thursday was time for some C&C loving... popped over to meet up with Nathan and Emma for a catch up since lock down and some gaming. Took me a few games and I mentioned this one first and we ended up playing it all evening.

Nathan is our 'Kitchen Daddy', it's his fault the food is so good and ridiculously tasty, he's also a big time boardgame lover and jumps at the chance to play when he gets the chance, Emma is his significiant other, they adore a game of Terraforming Mars in the evening, currently with friends over the internet. I look forward to playing more games with them as they have just moved, quite close to me. They do have a little one on it's way too, I got to know them a lot better and I can't wait to spend more time with them as they are both sound people

You probably know all about The Crew and it's winning ways... I can tell you this, we really enjoyed it. Nathan is not a co-op kinda guy and tricktaking is something neither of them has had a lot of experience in. I used to play tricktaking games as a kid with the gaming side of my family.

Despite this the group really got into playing it, we were maybe a bit chattier than we should have been during the game, about the game, but if everyone is enjoying it, where's the harm? Talk was pretty minimal though and we tried to suppress it where we could. It's kinda stressful though which is part of it's charm. The worst we did was three attempts to win a hand, we played 17 times and completed round 11. They are really psyched to keep going and see what the game has to throw at us next.

I'd like a copy for the cafe as it's a quick game to teach and play and it being a Kennerspiel winner doesn't hurt at all. We shoudl get more games with 'buzz' in the cafe, it can't hurt the coffers especially in this trying time.

Gormenghast: The Board Game

From gallery of Rillian

What's the difference between 14870th and 19160th in the BGG ranking?


Well, I was ready to hate this as much as The Hobbit: The Defeat of Smaug but it wasn't THAT bad. Don't get me wrong, it's bad, it's just not that level of bad.

This is a pick up and deliver game where you have cards that tell you who you need to get where with what, normally so you can snuff that character out. If you get the trinity it's 3 points, if you just get the person to the place it's a single point. Discarding the other cards you have allow you put influence tokens on people so you have control over them or you can take them away from others, move them or do special things, mostly to do with moving and influencing. There is a Ritual card that comes up often and these are used to roll a D30, yup you read me right, a D30... and read an entry in the Ritual book that does something you have no control over.

Playing solo was dull as very dull dishwater with no bubbles in and bits of floating food in it. Not even interesting food. With others I imagine lots of king making and 'take-that' (Could it be magic? No. Not at all) play with the wrong people and you'll probably end up losing friends because someone screwed over someone else something chronic or realised who someone else was trying to get somewhere so just mucked about with them until they ran out of choices. It's more game than The Hobbit: The Defeat of Smaug, but only just. Yeah you can play the odds and obfuscate but wouldn't you rather be playing something with a bit more meat to it? There ARE 14869 'better' games out there.

Steam Time

From gallery of Rillian
From gallery of Rillian


I like me a little time travel as you may well know... I probably told you already, at least in your time line. I may not have actually done the telling yet, but I'll get around to it as no one wants to cause a paradox...

So this one's a worker placement with some nice ideas and carrys the theme well. 5 turns to show the time travel bosses who is the most awesome at their job with their steampunk style air and time ship. You mostly take turns taking turns and have to place your marker further up the time stream each placement and can reset at the end of the round as well as shift the board so the board at the top becomes the one at the bottom, it's all a bit timey-wimey.. At the end of the game points are everything and all the other items you have collected are worthless (apart from crystals IF it's a draw on points.

There are 6 different action types on the board and each has a bonus section on your airship mat that gives you a boost on doing each one IF you have the right crystals. As an example the pink spaces on the board let you try an upgrade on your ship and if you have pink crystals your time portal power increase, get to 5 and it's an extra turn where you don't have to worry about the flow of time and can go to any space using 'Mr TIME'.

Nice game, would like to play with more players, love the little touches that add more theme, missions are historic locations, encounters are historic figures, all the boards are decorated differently, missions let you trade items on your board for points at the end game, all very cool.

~#~


Nearly 4 months in to this clearing of the shelf of shame now, 54 games left to go (currently) out of 105 on the list. At this rate it'll all be over by Christmas! Although I think there will always be something left I haven't played... I keep telling myself, the more games I have played the more experience I have in games and the better I'll be once the Game Guru job becomes a reality again. Even if they are games not in the work collection getting used to differing mechanics in different ways should still make me a better Guru...
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Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:46 pm
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...disappointments are to the soul what a thunderstorm is to the air...

Will Brasher
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Ominous title... you'll see!

New game playing has slowed down a bit for me at the moment, I intend to pick it back up again soon, bit of a lull though whilst things settle from the recent changes for people in the UK. So, right on to the two games played this week...

Scythe: The Wind Gambit
From gallery of Rillian

In case you are wondering, the stands used for the expedition counters are some of the hundreds from Arkham Horror and all it's expansions...


Well, it's been far too long since playing Scythe, a surprise change of plans on a Wednesday night meant that I could set this up on my table at home, clearing away the computer to one side. With a little more time and effort I could have set up the extended board as I have the Art Connoisseur Collectors Edition, but alas, it was not to be, maybe next time!

Still playing again after so long was simple enough, we got into the flow of it easily enough. Adding the Wind Gambit was not too difficult, with just the 2 of us they didn't really get used much but... they do look cool! We added in the Resolution module too for a slight variation on end game and seemed to play toward this.. The extra rule randomly picked was 'Spoils of War' which gives a $5 boost to anyone who gets the first star on in each category and lets you end the game if you have $40 on your turn.

I pushed for this and managed to pip Chris to a win, 76 to 72. I would certainly be interested in playing this more often and getting the other expansions too. Maybe in time...


Iwari: Deluxe Edition
From gallery of Rillian


Just arrived and so I thought I'd add it to the list of shame and cross it off just as quickly!

First thing that strikes you is how gorgeous the game is, I have the deluxe version so everything is pimped just that little bit more. Plenty of boards to play on and variation to the rules too, should be a decent amount of play in this.

Secondly are the rulebooks unfortunately not the best layout for a Deluxe version. You get the basic rulebook that among it's many little niggles doesn't refer to the basic boards by name, on Kickstarter each map has a thematic name and in the Deluxe book it lists the new boards by name but in the Basic rulebook the names of the basic boards are missing. Then you get the Deluxe rulebook which refers to itself in the rulebook as an expansion except it's not... it's a Deluxe version... Hello my old friend semantics...

On reading the rulebook, not the most user friendly clear enough (you think) until you realise one paragraph is overwritten by the next...

Here's an example...

On page 4 under 'Playing Cards' it states

Quote:
On their turn, the player may play up to three Biome cards from their hand to place Tents or Totems on the board. The color and symbol of the Biome cards played indicates in which territory the player may place their pieces.
This implies:

d10-1 only Tents OR Totems may be played in a turn.
d10-2 they can only go in the Biome that you play the card of.
d10-3 three Tents or Totems can be played per turn in multiple areas?

The very next section 'Playing Pieces' goes back on these three implications, this means if rules skimming during a game to check rules you could easily get the wrong idea.

d10-1 the fourth bullet point under this section uses the term Tents and/or Totems. So multiples allowed of the same kind if desired.
d10-2 the fifth bullet point confirms two of a kind can be used as any Biome.
d10-3 the fourth bullet point also advises two is the maximum pieces played each turn and they must be in the same territory.

Once you read it all, it's pretty obvious but I would suggest the whole 'Playing Cards' section is redundant and could have easily been put into the 'Playing Pieces' section so as not to mislead.

The Player Aid cards are MUCH clearer and better written so just using them should lead to less issues. To start with they start with the 3-2-1 Golden Rule where as in the Rulebook it's left to the end of the section on 'Playing Pieces'.

Any way, enough of 'Rillian tears into sub par written rulebooks'. The game itself is simple, clever and quite gorgeous, as I teach games to people, they need never know the rulebook oddities, unless they read my blog!

Seems quick to play, I certainly enjoyed the thought space and when you play 2 player there is a third dummy player that you have to play if you don't use all your cards. they score the same and in my game the player in second was only 1 point ahead of the dummy player! Maybe as I don't know the game that well, that's why that happened... time will tell...

I do feel the BGG rankinga are going to be skewed, the Deluxe is listed as a seperate entity as it adds so much to the base game but there seems to be a lot of images on the base game profile for the Deluxe, this may cause people to complain about it being misrepresented on here, which is a great shame. Not sure what can be done about that, perhaps the images should be reviewed and placed under the correct game?

Another thing, the Deluxe box says 2-5 players but has solo rules and couldn't you use the Void peices as a 6th player so isn't it really 1-6? Why didn't I play with the solo rules? Same as above, the rules seem cobbled together and contradict themselves, eg. first line of Void Action states you MUST play a turn on behalf of the Void, two paragraphs later it then gives an example of when you don't play a Void Action, THEN 2 PAGES later it tells you in additional rules how you can skip the Void Action!

I'll stop bitching about this now... I'm sure you can tell I'm slightly diaappointed... you'd have thought by now I'd be used to kickstarters not hitting the mark 100% of the time? I am used to it, it's such a shame when a company lets itself down, perhaps I shall be more cautious in the future? Probably not!

I will reiterate to say such a good looking game on the table but such a shame it's been let down by slightly off presentation, mostly in the rules department. Still, first verdict? The game is beautiful, seems well balanced and has a good sized table footprint, not too big, but big enough so as everything is clear. I'll be interested to see how others take to the game.

~#~

Here's a thought, if you've made it here as you've been to Chance & Counters in Birmingham and somehow you've kept up with my inane ramblings for those odd nuggets I throw you occassionally, how do you fancy a game?

Reach out to me on here if you do and you're more than welcome to have your own personal Guru for a gaming session, as long as you don't mind me playing along! I could bring a game off of the list if you like or we could play something from the collection there... This is a limited time offer as I'm sure I'll be back at work soon enough and when that time comes around I doubt I'll have the time or energy to be able to keep it up... but in the meantime I'm all yours...

GM me!
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Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:52 pm
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...there is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered...

Will Brasher
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Well, clearly not TOTALLY unchanged...https://www.chanceandcounters.com/2020/07/10/covid-19-and-ch...... as you can see here! Still it's a familiar location that I have missed over these strange times we are existing through and also the reason for this blog in the first place!

Plenty has changed, food menus online to save physical copys changing hands and spreading germs...https://www.chanceandcounters.com/birmingham/menu-birmingham...... the game list I put together on BGG has been moved over to the website so people can look what we have and decide what to play before they get in or at their seats... https://www.chanceandcounters.com/birmingham/birmingham-game...... the friendly service remains the same, except there are little flags on the tables that you can raise when you would like attention, be it placing an order or any other assistance. Sensible ideas all. We even now have some seats outdoors! Gaming in the sunshine? That'll do nicely...

Bristol and Cardiff are not in a position to open from their local regulations and the size of the store just not being condusive to distancing. I'm sure the teams there are biting at the bit to get back in and serve the communitys gaming needs... as am I! The guru service is suspended for now but I'll be back soon.

In the meantime... gaming can be done! I guess I'm restricted somewhat as mixing in large numbers on a table isn't part of the course... still, me and my social bubble were missing the yummy food so 4 hours of gaming were there to be taken!

Where to start? Howabout letting the ladies decide? So Snail Sprint! it is then
From gallery of Rillian

Someone is eyeing up the tasty food not on their plate!

Haba game? Always a good choice to start with when you have a 3 year old on your table! Basic premise? Snail racing, you each have a card with three snails on and aim to get as many as possible on to the podium, more points for a higher position. On your turn you roll 2 dice and they indicate which snail can move to which location. So pink circle and green clover lets you move the pink snail to the next clover or green snail to the next pink circle, unless the coloured snail of the location you are moving to is in the way, in which case you stop on that snail and it can't move! Simple as that, good for colour and shape recognition and basci games skills too.

Helen and Isobella nailed it and got all their snails to the podium, no better way than getting a win as a youngster to show you how awesome gaming is!

next on the list? One of the games I took with me.. Bugs in the Kitchen...
From gallery of Rillian

What's going on here then? The idea is to manipulate the maze of cutlery to get the bug in the mdidle to fall in to your trap. The bug is a Hexbug and by meand of a small battery and vibration skitters about like a mad thing. On your turn you throw your dice and spin the represented cutlery to help or hinder the bug's progress. Then it's straight on to the next player to throw the dice as quick as they can to do the same. Keep going until the bug falls in a trap and give that person a point!

I've got to say, Belle's face lit up when she saw the bug moving around and was first of all scared to reach in as she thought it might bite her. By the end of the game she was occassionally reaching in and giving her 'buggy' a tap, not strictly in the rules but, hey, it's all good. Cuteness overload! Yes, Isobelle won this too laugh

Rhys (Deputy) watched this with interest from afar and was not surprised it was the kind of game I had, little did he know...

Another one of Isobelles favourites next...Tumblin-Dice.
From gallery of Rillian

The look of concentration...

Yeah, couldn't resist getting a bit more of this on the go, cracking game, just the kind of thing that would go down well in this enviroment. This time, apart from on the first rounf where Isobelle got a 4x6 AGAIN, I nailed this one... My current secret? Just get them on the board. I will add Helen was playing left handed being on the wrong side of the table so fair play to her!

Finally, it didn't seem right to not get in a staple game I recommend all the time as a Guru, Santorini.
From gallery of Rillian

Helen and Chris had not actually played this before, Helen nailed it both games, first as a simple game and secondly with God Powers.

Time was running low so we took our time tidying up and just chatting a bit aroud the table and with mu colleagues. I then gave them the good news...
From gallery of Rillian

Tumblin-Dice, Bugs in the Kitchen, Trivial Pursuit: Netflix's Stranger Things – Back to The 80s Edition and Disney Villainous had been purchased by me to add to the collection.

My reasoning is simple... I've been getting paid and I wanted to give something back to the business. What better than games I think would be ideal to expand the collection and that the guests would enjoy?

Tumblin-Dice, ideal dexterity game for the environment, I know it'll get a lot of play and it's a quick rules teach too, just what's needed sometimes.

Bugs in the Kitchen, a modern family and kids game, another ideal choice, eye catching to boot. Sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Trivial Pursuit: Netflix's Stranger Things – Back to The 80s Edition, people do like to play a game they know. they are British and sometimes don't want to learn something new. What better way than with a 1980's themed version of a current popular IP with a twist?

Disney Villainous, really, do I have to explain this? People have been asking after this so I bit the bullet and just went for it, Disney villains? Nice simple design? What's not to like?

One last thing, just as I was leaving I was stopped by a chap whom I had shown Tokyo Highway and Carcassonne to as a Guru, shot the breeze for a minute of so and RECOMMENDED A GAME (Ticket to Ride: London)! Man, that feels better now, things are getting back to normal... meeple

Well, that's the lot for now. Not sure when I'll be going in next, I might put feelers out and see if anyone else wants some personal time with the Guru in residence whilst he can play!

Be safe, be kind, game on!
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Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:24 pm
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...a short saying oft contains much wisdom...

Will Brasher
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Just a short one... for reasons that will become obvious!

First on the list, 'technically' not one from the list of shame but I think I can get away with it for other reasons...

Tumblin-Dice
From gallery of Rillian

Action shot!


Belle, my Best Bud's 3 year old is gonna be a gaming demon! She really got in to JamSumo (Second Edition) when I took it around to play the other week so I've been on the look out for this for a while, so much so, as regulars will know, that I am currently trying to make a copy.

Now, it just so happens when one for sale came up on BGG's Facebook I jumped at the chance and purchased it. Now if I'm making my own copy then what to do with this? The idea is to give it to Chance&Counters as it so fits the bill of a great social game for the Cafe environment.

Knowing Belle may enjoy it we had a few rounds Wednesday night. & a few more. & a few more... I don't think Belle wanted to stop playing!

We were lenient for Belle and let her re-flick when the dice didn't go too far or went off the board. For those of you who don't know this it is super simple... 4 dice each, a board of steps going down and multipliers from 0 to 4 on the board. On your turn, place the dice on the upper launch pad and flick/shove/generally eject your dice across the board... At the end of the game you score the points on the dice multiplied by the multiplier it's on. Easy!

Whether you want to knock other's dice off the board or just try and get a good score yourself is part of the joy of the game! Play a game of skill or be a goit, you decide!

Round 3, 2nd dice... Belle flicks and the dice lands on the small low step with the highest multiplier... with the 6 on the dice! Mental! She was very helpful too though and if the dice went flying she'd be off under the table to try and find it and bring it back! Bless

Me and Chris got at least one win in each and for the last two rounds Helen played, and won both rounds... now we know where Belle gets it from!

London (Second Edition)
From gallery of Rillian


Here we have one from the collection, recent acquisition though it may be. I may have mentioned this before but I do enjoy a good Martin Wallace, and this game gets a lot of love! Well made game, cards, tokens, a small board... that's your lot.

It's a tight balancing act as are all his games, you're basically building London back up after the Great Fire, trying to be the most prestigious architect to leave a legacy! Great balancing act here where the number of stacks of cards and the number of cards in your hand increase your poverty when you 'run your city' which is one of the few actions you can do on your turn (TTR stylee!). Running your city is normally a one shot of activating the cards you have played in front of you. Poverty is bad (obv!) but it's relative as at the game end you'll compare poverty with the table and reduce it by whoever has the least then take a prestige penalty for bringing more poverty than your colleagues.

The interactivity comes mostly from you having to discard cards of a similar colour to a face up pool where others can pick them up, so if you don't want the card, do you throw it as it might fit your opponents plan or hold it in your hand to act as a poverty penalty when you run your city... hmmm... The cards don't stay there forever, a bit of a manipulation though gets rid of the cards permanently out of the game, play smart!

On top of the basic mechanisms there are Burroughs you can buy up that can give you prestige, cards, other special effects thast kick in at various times. Some building cards have special effects too. as well as the Paupers that you need to try and get rid off of your streets, somehow... otherwise they'll sit in you hand just increasing your poverty when you run your city...

As always there's a lot more to it but it's got a small table footprint compared to many games and I imagine gets better with more plays, difficult to judge it on the one play through but the reviews are mostly favourable and it's ranked well for what it is! I certainly enjoyed (winning) it.

~#~


So, why the short blog?

I've got a gaming session at the cafe tomorrow!

It's back open as of today with restrictions for public safety in place. Can't wait to get some more gaming on the go, I'll report back after, clearly.

I'm going with my social bubble to be extra safe too, 4 hours with Helen, Chris and Belle with a big library of games and tasty food to boot!

I may also have a few surprises up by sleeve...

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Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:14 pm
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