I don’t imagine they are going to change, and it’s no real surprise, so I added them to a geeklist earlier today. The short form:
- Mage Knight
- Everything Else
OK, I made it to gaming (I had the day off).
Blood Bound — A cute hidden team game where your basic action is to attack someone, which wounds them. As people take wounds the tend to reveal themselves (which side and which character # they are). Each player can also intervene (take a wound for someone else), which reveals their number (so it’s a once/game thing per player). When someone dies, it’s game over and you win if you killed the leader of the other team (determined by number). If not, the other team wins. This is like a much simpler, much faster Kutschfahrt. Which makes it better, IMO. Also, this plays 6-12, which is usually a tough number, and the 6 and 8 player games are fast … maybe 20 minutes. This got played three times in quick succession. The only downside it that the theme and art is incredibly dorky. Even by gaming standards. (This looks like a Flying Frog game, despite being done by FFG).
One excellent touch — the player aid card is used to cover your card, but reveals your clan id (werewolf/vampire). So you get your card, show your neighbor your clan id while hiding the details (of course, a few cards lie about clan) and then flip your card down and use the aid to see the distribution of symbols.
Suggest if you like the werewolf, resistance type games.
Bang Dice — Bang. But with Dice. More random. Faster.
Also played — Race, Rallyman, FFF, Pax Porfiriana. All still good.
I’m burned out. I’ve been going to gaming, playing for maybe an hour, and then heading out for several weeks. So I’m taking a few weeks off. Given my already reduced publishing schedule, you won’t see much difference. Although I may write up No Retreat 2 at some point, and I’m wondering whether to take advantage of the GMT 1/2 off sale to buy anything. I suppose I could get more Combat Commander scenarios, but I haven’t played it much recently. I’m tempted by lots of stuff, but honestly, would I play it?
So, open thread on that.
And I did notice that the computerized WiF is supposedly coming soon. Again, not something I’d desperately get, but it’s tempting. This is the sort of game I tried to play, but it was just too damn big.
I’m still playing games at home, though.
I printed out some of the Sentinels Promo characters — Team Leader Tachyon is a straight improvement over Tachyon (more HP, better power). Bunker of War can be amazing against the right villains (killing an ongoing is huge). The new Tempest seems like a downgrade. The new wraiths are situational. I like Young Legacy. The Fanatic Redeemer can be nice, again, situational. I’ll be trying the rest soon. This will hit 50 plays probably in next week.
I’ll get the Krang expansion for MK as soon as I see it. (I may still run by the store to get it). The combo of today’s earlier game against Legendary Volkare was fun:
- Play the emerald ring for infinite green and black.
- Play a black mana with the Altem Mages (I think) to turn all my attacks into Siege attacks.
- Play Into the Heat (with red mana) to give all my units +3 to their attacks.
- Spend 24 attack from units, plus
- Spend a blue (with a green and black) for 8 more attack from Manabolt.
- Use a variety of other cards and skills for about 16 more attack, all siege.
- Wipe out all 12 tokens facing during the ranged attack phase.
- Because it’s Volkare and cooperative, that’s only half his army. (The TaoLing faced the other half, and dealt with 3 of the four big units, but left the rest), so then … discard the Banner of (Courage?) to ready all of my units, so that I can do Steps 2,4 and 6 again next turn….
I defeated 20 units in two turns while taking a single wound. I think that’s a record. Then again, since we were holed up in the Red city, and the Taoling had +5 Reputation and +3 Influence (with Wolfhawk) and 4 markers on the city, he could recruit a free artifact every turn. He ended with 8. Combo-tastic.
Playing the semi-finals of a Knockout Match against strong opposition, I pick up:
S:JTx H:AQJT9x D:Qx C:Ax
I have an easy 1 Heart opening bid. My Left Hand Opponent bids 1 No Trump. My partner passes and RHO bids 2 Clubs, stayman (asking for a 4 card spade suit). I could rebid my hearts, but my hand certainly can’t make game so I may as well see what’s what. I pass (in tempo, I think). LHO bids 2 Diamonds, denying one, and RHO bids 3 No Trump.
Now, I could double this, which demands a heart lead. The downside is that they may have 9 tricks off the top (4 spades, 4 diamonds an a heart) before I get in with the club ace. And the spades are ominous. LHO may run to 4 spades on a 4-3 fit. If doubling pushes them into 4 spades, it could make. That would be ruinous. I pass quickly (I think).
Now something odd happens. My LHO is thinking. Quite seriously.
I’ve heard the auction 1N-2C (Stayman)- any response-3N thousands of times. It’s one of the most common in the game. It’s almost never disturbed. And yet, my LHO is apparently given serious consideration to pulling 3N to some other contract. Presumably 4S on a known seven card fit.
What. The. Hell.
Four spades looks to be a great contract. How can he know this? Finally, after an eternity, he passes 3N. I get a heart lead and dummy hits with something like
S:K9xx H:x D:ATxx C:Kxxx
On that auction, partner is pretty much broke, but we open light so declarer may suspect partner of a stray queen. I put in the HQ (since I know declarer has the king). Declarer rather quickly plays the Spade ace and the Spade Queen. I’ve followed with the two then the jack (somewhat randomly, I hope). Partner has played the six then the eight. He’s playing randomly as well; he knows I know he’s broke. Declarer leads a small spade, partner plays the three and, after a long consultation with the stars, declarer shrugs and follows the principle of restricted choice. He finesses the 9, I win and cash my tricks for down 3, +300.
As it turns out, the other table did double 3N. Declarer (another strong player) took the exact same line for the exact same reason, and went down three doubled, for -800.
Sadly for our team, declarer was 3=3=3=4 instead of 3=3=4=3. Because then declarer can delay the decision and count out the hand completely. Even after winning 4 spades you’ll still need four diamonds, so why not hook the diamonds first? On the run of the diamonds I have one easy discard, but once I stop discarding clubs and start discarding hearts my hand is an open book. (Actually, with Jx of spades and Axx of clubs I can give declarer a real problem by discarding only one club and then pretending the other is a spade. I must remember that). But with only KJx of diamonds, declarer didn’t’ want to start with low to the ace, because he’ll only get to run three rounds and in any case, he’ll still have to guess the spades. So why risk the queen offside.
Still, I’m wondering — I don’t double and yet declarer almost pulled to 4 spades anyway (which makes on any number of reasonable lines).
Seriously, do I have a tell?
Anyway, we were exactly tied at half time, but in the second half partner and I have twice as many good results as mistakes, and our teammates pull out a solid session with one huge positive, so we win handily. Later, we rolled through the finals with nary a problem. So that makes me second KO sectional win this year. I recommend having strong teammates.
Via Popehat, I discovered an interesting (and long) series of posts regarding Gallileo’s relative unimportance in the switch to heliocentrism.
Anyone into Here I Stand, the history of science, and/or Italian politics should spend a few good hours reading The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown. I’ll be playing bridge, so you’ve got nothing better to do. At least, not here.
Playing a cooperative game of Mage Knight, my opening move was to go to a magical glade and kill some easy orcs (the expansion ones that have two single point attacks). Not enough to get me a level, but it was just a waystation to the ruins. Double orcs for four crystals (and likely enough fame to get to level 3). With the perfect draw (A gold mana from the glade, concentration and swiftness) I figured I could range attack one of the two orcs, and then maybe eat a wound or two and kill the other the following turn. Disaster ensued as I drew both Ironclads (which have physical resistance, so I’d need a range 6, not a range 5) and with a brutal attack. I lost most of my hand, so that I only took four wounds, and had to crawl back to the glade to heal. I ended the day still at level one with no followers and only a single crystal.
Hardly a good start on a game versus Volkare at Legendary Strength. Amazingly, we won, thanks to the TaoLing having a good run, and to a few lucky artifacts (the Shield of whatever and the Sword of Justice) that I earned in the next two rounds. (Coupled with camping on a dungeon for a few spare turns to race up to fame).
First time I’ve beaten Volkare at Legendary strength. Amazing after such an inauspicious start. It came down to a very tight ending, helped out by the fact that, as Athyra, I had 4 automatic points of attack each turn and could spend 1 wound a turn as 2 points, so once we’d taken out the larger units, I could just take the 3-4 wounds and then kill a unit with a wound I’d gotten (and any others that I had cards for).
I did suffer a 52 point penalty for wounds at the end, though.