Game Night Report #24

Game Night Report

In the last week I have managed to play some awesome games! Featured in this edition of GNR are Kodama: The Tree Spirits, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game: Force and Destiny, and Greedy Greedy Goblins!

Kodama: The Tree Spirits

Kodama Banner

Kodama is a beautiful card game where players are competing for the attention of the adorable tree spirits, called Kodamas. Players must grow their trees and match symbols along the way to score the most points. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game will win the love of these spirits and be remembered for all time! At our last Board Game Night at The Jester’s Court Trudi, Jason, Lisa, and I gave Kodama a spin, and we had a lot of fun!

Kodama 2

In Kodama players start with an oversized trunk card and then add branch cards which have a combination of the game’s six symbols: fireflies, clouds, stars, caterpillars, flowers, and mushrooms. Players score points by matching symbols on the newly chosen card to previously connected cards. The more cards that have each of these symbols in a line, the more points the new placement is worth.

The game is played over 12 turns, divided into 3 seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall. Each season has a decree which has a special effect. The decree might be as simple as clearing the available cards to be chosen from or it might offer an additional way to score points. At the end of each season players also get to play a Kodama card from their hand that also offers additional scoring.

The winning tree from our game!

The winning tree from our game!

The scoring was close the entire game when we played our maiden game of Kodama. For the vast majority of the game the player in the lead and the player in last place were within 5 to 10 points of one another. The decree cards and kodama cards, especially at the end of the game, were a huge factor in determining the victor.

Outcome – Jason won with me coming in second. I seem to come in second place A LOT!

SWRPG: Force and Destiny

Photo from fantasyflightgames.com

Photo from fantasyflightgames.com

My sons, Ayden and Dagon, had expressed interest in trying a roleplaying game recently so naturally I dove headfirst into the Star Wars Roleplaying Game and bought a bunch of stuff for it! I had heard good things about the game system and since my kids like Star Wars it was a no-brainer!

The SWRPG is divided into 3 different compatible core books, each with their own supplement books and accessories. The games, however, use the same dice, and players can mix characters from each book into 1 game without too much difficulty. The games are Force and Destiny {which focuses on post-Death Star (1st) force sensitives), Edge of the Empire (all about smugglers and bout hunters and other fringe dwellers), and finally Age of Rebellion (with an emphasis on the Galactic Civil War). I choose Force and Destiny because I knew my boys would want to swing a lightsaber eventually.

Force and Destiny 2

The core Force and Destiny book (and presumably the other 2 books as well) is chock full of beautiful artwork, characters, skills, vehicles, creatures, and planetary destinations! The book is a pleasure to read, game play aside. As for game play, the narrative dice used for the system is amazing and keeps players and the game master on their toes. A player can succeed in a task but  still have something very bad happen, or vice versa. The unique symbols on the dice provide narrative options, system tool activations, and most importantly, a lot of excitement. Sure beats a D20!

Star Wars Roleplaying Dice

Normal Person – “Let’s get the core book and see if we like it.” Me – “Let’s buy 3 of everything they offer and see if we like it!”

Outcome – The boys and I set on an adventure on Krant and the boys enjoyed the heck out of it! I am planning our second session now.

Greedy Greedy Goblins

Photo from alderac.com

Photo from alderac.com

Greedy Greedy Goblins, by AEG, was designed by Richard Garfield, as the above photo suggests. Trudi, Jason, Lisa, and I gave it a go after playing Kodama. In GGG players are frantically trying to take loot tiles from the center of the table, place them on the mine cards, and then claim the mines for themselves before the other players. Why do they do this “frantically” you ask?

Greedy Greedy Goblins 3

The answer is simple: there are no turns in GGG. Players all play at the same time, grabbing tiles and slapping them down on the mines. Players are required to look at the tiles and then they can choose where to place each individual tile. Some of the tiles have shiny treasure, some have monsters that eat said treasure, some have minions that give the players helpful cards, and still others have torches to allow the player to flip a tile on a cave tile to see what’s already there. There’s also dynamite. Dynamite in small does (1 or 2) multiply the claiming player’s score, but 3 or more will blow the mine up with the owner inside!

Players can place all of the good tiles on one mine and all of the bad tiles they draw on another in the hopes that they will get the “good” mine, but they have to be careful. Each player can place their drawn tiles on any unclaimed mine, so another player may place something nasty on the one you’re hoping to claim for yourself. Another player might frantically place all the tiles (good or bad) on one mine hoping that another player will think they are hoarding treasure and claim it, essentially walking into a booby trap.

Greedy Greedy Goblins 2

At any time during the round a player may place one of his claim tokens on a mine, as seen above. Once all players have claimed their mines the mines are resolved. You might get a lot of treasure, or you might not back it back to Goblintown after a not-so-freak mining explosion. If you’ve waited to long to claim a mine, there’s also a Guild Hall card that players can play their token to which allows that player to draw a helpful minion card.

Outcome – The score was close between Jason and I for the majority of the game, and it came down to the wire. I had the lead and to ensure my victory I played a card that would give me the edge over him. The result? Lisa, who had been trailing and who I was not paying attention to, swooped in at the last second and stole my victory from me! Second place again, I swear…

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