As usual, GNR is a mixture of dates, times and locations. I will dispense with the dates entirely because I honestly can’t remember and I doubt anyone cares too much. This edition of Game Night Report is ignoring all of the games that I mention/play on a regular basis, and focuses instead on four games that I had never played before. I do not own three of them at this time (at this time being the operative phrase), but the last entry I DO own; there will be a review posted of it very soon!
The Jester’s Court
The first entry is from International Tabletop Day. The other entries from The Jester’s Court weren’t on Tabletop Day, but instead at various other times.
Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island
My Friendly Local Gaming Store hosted International Tabletop Day (of course) and while I was late to the party due to the fact that I work graveyard shifts at work and had to get sleep, I did get to play one game; Robinson Crusoe. My friend, Jeremy, was demoing the game so I jumped in along with 2 people who had never been to the store before. I chose The Soldier; the image on the soldier’s character sheet suggested that he came equipped with a rifle. He does not come equipped with a rifle.
My soldier did a lot of things (except soldiering) over the course of the game, including:
- Straining himself carrying an extra large pile of firewood
- Injuring himself killing a chamois (antelope-looking creature) for food
- Hurting himself while trying to build a spear (cut himself maybe?)
- Injuring himself due to the roof of the shelter not being strong enough (rain damage)
- Getting lost
- Failing to build simple tools while have an abundance of easy to assemble items
- Generally being a klutz
It’s probably a good thing that he didn’t have a rifle, because that idiot would have shot someone for sure. Although… doing so would have made the food stretch a little further…
Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island did a great job of making me feel stranded and helpless. Everything could go wrong, and everything did go wrong, although I’m told that it could have went worse. Robinson Crusoe is a lot like Firefly in the Age of Sail; It never goes smooth. And not once did I see Robinson Crusoe. What’s up with that?
Outcome – Our group of ragtag castaways actually managed to beat the intro scenario and get rescued. If Robinson Crusoe was somewhere on the island, we left him there.
Dark Seas was supposed to be played on International Tabletop Day, but we didn’t have time to learn it in order to demo it. It came in to the store too late and so it wasn’t until later that I got my first taste of the game. On Board Game Night we opened it up, read the rules (which was an adventure in itself) and then hacked our way through the game. My friends, Jeremy and Brian, along with another fellow I didn’t know too well, joined me.
The game, as I understand it, was a little rushed to make the Tabletop Day deadline, and the game reflects that. The dice are misprinted (which made the rules incredibly difficult to understand) and the misprint occurs in such a way that if you do not know they’re misprinted, the rules make no sense and you’re pretty much at a standstill. However, after 20 minutes of so of arguing that there is no way that AEG (whose games I love) could make that big of an error and that the problem was with us and not the game, we finally Googled it. Yep, misprint, and luckily there was an easy fix; ignore the symbols and focus on the symbol colors and all was right with the world.
Dark Seas (at least the version that was sent out for TD) is plagued with poor production quality, with the tiles falling apart and the score markers being ridiculously over sized for the scoring track. Again, it was rushed. I understand that. As for game play we raced in a circle visiting our ports and building our “port engine”, with the game finally actually picking up pace RIGHT before ending. I can’t say that we were sad to see it end.
Outcome – Second place! I swear, always a bridesmaid, never the bride!
After Dark Seas the same group plus one of the store owners, Trudy, sat down to play the very ‘zen’ game, Tokaido. We needed it after the headache that was Dark Seas! I chose Umegae, the Street Performer for my first trip down the legendary road that the game is named for!
Having neither played Tokiado, and having only ever seen it played by Wil Wheaton and Company, I jumped in headfirst with not much of a strategy. Umegae, I noticed, would receive a bonus Victory Point and Coin for visiting Encounter Spaces, which allow a player’s character to attract a follower/friend, so I decided to try and do that as much as possible. Trudy, having a character that also benefited from visiting the Encounter Spaces, had the same plan. She beat me there almost every time so I had to change gears quickly and focus on painting.
I managed to be the first to finish 2 out of the 3 Panorama Paintings, and got the bonus Victory Points for those. I did a little shopping, ate a new food at every Inn, and did a little farm work along the way. It truly was a relaxing journey, and I look forward to playing Tokaido again.
Outcome – Second place again! You see what I mean!?
Age of War
Age of War was a game that I thought didn’t look like it could have enough strategy when I first saw it. The game consists of a handful of cards and 7 dice. That’s it. ‘Surely, there can’t be too much to this game’ I had thought, but I was wrong. Age of War is a lot of fun, and even though the dice rolls are random, one must learn to play the odds and use the rolls wisely.
I’m not going to go into too much detail except to say that my family has truly enjoyed playing Age of War over the last week. I have played it with 2, 3 and 4 players, and the game supports up to 6, which I imagine would be a blast. The game allows for player-vs-environment and player-vs-player so to speak, with players on their turn being able to attack a neutral castle or a castle under someone else’s control. This pvp has decided the outcome of the game many times in all of our play time with Age of War.
The full review of Age of War including contents, game play demo and final FDR score will be posted soon, so check back to see it in action!
Outcome – I’ve won some and lost some, and had fun doing both!