Another busy week at work and home gone by, and here I am trying to get my game night report finished, once again, just in time for the next week’s session. But I had an especially good time last week, so let’s see how well I can remember all that went on…
Sentinels of the Multiverse [BGG]
with Rook City
Hypermind finally got in copies of both Sentinels of the Multiverse and the Rook City expansion (which was immediately sold out), so it seemed like every table had someone either playing or just looking through SotM cards. Thankfully, I actually got to play in a game, in which four of us faced off against The Matriarch.
I had looked through her deck a bit before, but didn’t necessarily read a lot of the cards, so I was quite surprised when “fowl” cards began erupting from her deck all over the table. And since we took damage both from killing them (given her special power) and from leaving them on the table (from their own powers), it was really ugly. We had a number of ways to clear them from the table, and did so strategically at times when certain characters could soak up most of the damage, but then she’d just vomit forth another whole batch on the next turn. And worse than that, so kept healing all the damage we’d deal to her, so it never seemed like we could make any progress.
Lots of annoying little birds…
Overall, Expatriette (my character) was probably the most fragile and vulnerable to her attacks, so I was the first to fall. And even when things got a touch easier after she flipped over, we were all in such a hole by then that it didn’t last much longer. And when Keith’s Bunker was the last person standing and realized that he had no real way to damage her, the game was conceeded as we all sort of asked what we could do to help our new avian overlords more comfortable.
Time: 62 minutes
Score: The Matriarch (in Rook City) – Utterly Victorious, Heroes (Chris – Tempest, Norton – Expatriette, James – Tachyon, & Keith – Bunker) – Dead
Ratings: Chris 9, Norton 8
Expatriette empowered… and then Expatriette eliminated.
Once again, Rook City continues to show that it has a lot more teeth than the base game, and I really like it! Chris told us later in the week that he and some others had actually beaten The Matriarch, and I understand how in theory some conditions may make that possible, but we certainly didn’t see them in any way during this play. But for a coop game, things should be hard, and this is making me really happy!
with the Palace/5-6 player expansion
It’s been freaking forever since I’ve played Revolution! (like, 2 and a half years), and I really don’t know why. In fact, I had never played my own copy, and it wasn’t until I was sent a review copy of the expansion that I was pressured into bringing it back to game night. But all my memories of it from before were good, and we had an absolute blast playing with it last week!
In addition to adding one new building (the Palace), the expansion also offers more people to threaten, bride, and/or blackmail around town and opens the game up to 5 and 6 players. We only had 4, but the expansion still works for that number as well.
I basically ended up getting in a fight with Chip over both the Palace and Fortress (the two highest scoring buildings), and really screwed up in losing both of them. Josh, meanwhile, did an amazing job in his very first play of both doing what other people weren’t doing, and won his battles with Tom over the Market and Harbor. But Josh already had such a big lead from influencing people that directly gave points throughout the game that he was able to stay ahead of Chip and take the win.
Time: 54 minutes
Score: Josh* 182, Chip 174, Tom 95, Norton 82
Ratings: Josh 8, Chip 8, Tom 8, Norton 8
Okay, so from what I remember before and obviously the results of this game, I’m pretty terrible at Revolution! But I still enjoy every freaking minute of the game. It’s just so quick and fun, regardless of whether you’re doing well or not. You can certainly put a lot of thought into making your bidding choices each round, but while I like this “psychology” element to the game, there’s also enough chaos in how it plays out that there’s no point to spend too much time with it.
Some people complain about how they dislike the fact that you lose your bid even if you “lose” the auction for that person. And in most blind-bidding games, where you actually lose the resource forever if you were beaten out, I’d agree. However, I just don’t see the big deal here, because you’re still guaranteed to have at least 5 gold each turn to use, regardless of what you had before or how much success you had in the last round. Plus, from a thematic standpoint, it’s a little silly to think that you could fail to blackmail one person this turn and then turn around and use that same sensitive information on a different person on the next round.
There are a number of guys interested in Revolution!, so maybe it’ll be able to find some new life in the coming weeks and months at game night.
For Sale [BGG]
It’s For Sale!
Time: 12 minutes
Score: Josh $67k ($5 cash), Norton $67k ($4 cash), Chip $55k, Tom* $48k
Ratings: Josh 8, Norton 8, Chip 8, Tom 7.5
When the guy from Steve Jackson games sent me the Revolution! expansion, he also threw in Nanuk sort of as a little surprise (probably because shipping just that little expansion seemed a little silly). I was pretty excited about it, in fact (especially since he could have thrown in the latest Munchkin expansion or something like that), since I’d heard some pretty good things about Nanuk.
The main thing that I’ve heard about it before is that it’s sort of a card-game version of Liar’s Dice, which is incredibly accurate. There’s also a bit of a social team-choosing mechanic thrown in, so the game has a little more depth and variety from turn to turn.
In our game, it turned out to be a mistake to side against the tribe elder (Alton, who’s actually an old man in real life, not necessarily in the game), who was on the winning team in all but one or two rounds. I’m just glad that Josh and Keith did even worse than me so I wouldn’t have to be embarassed as the big loser two games in a row…
The boasting board, showing a boast of 5 deer in 5 days
Time: 48 minutes
Score: Alton* 14, Tom* 12, Kenny* 9, James* 6, Norton* 5, Josh* 4, Keith* 4
Ratings: Alton 8, Tom 8, Kenny 8, James 8, Norton 7, Josh 7.5, Keith 7
There’s a lot of things I liked about Nanuk. I’m a huge fan of Liar’s Dice, so the whole “boasting” vs. proclaiming the hunt “doomed” thing was just great. And once someone called “doomed!”, you sort of had two team captains (the “Hunt Leader” who made the last boast and the “Doomsayer” who refuted him), but then they could make a case trying to convince everyone to join their side, which was done simultaneously and turned out to be pretty cool as well.
Everyone liked the game, and the only real thing that bothered me about it was how long it took to draft the trophy cards after each round (which seemed to take about as long as the round itself). We also had some discussion about the optimum number of players, and for the sake of having a more interesting boasting round, we figured that having a lower player count (5 or 6) would probably be better. But the team-choosing part of the game would probably be better with more players, so I really don’t have a final opinion about that. I look forward to maybe investigating it further and getting an answer through experience!
The Resistance [BGG]
And then to finish up the night, we had a pretty awesome session of The Resistance. The first 4 games were played just “vanilla”, but we included the “The Plot Thickens” cards in the last game.
Time: 14, 12, 8, 7, & 19 minutes
Game 1: Traitors (Keith & Kenny) – Win; The Resistance (Alton, Norton, James, & Tom*) – Lose
Game 2: Traitors (Alton & James) – Win; The Resistance (Norton, Keith, Kenny, & Tom) – Lose
Game 3: The Resistance (Norton, James, Keith, & Kenny) – Win; Traitors (Alton & Tom) – Lose
Game 4: The Resistance (Alton, James, Kenny, & Tom) – Win; Traitors (Norton & Keith) – Lose
Game 5: The Resistance (Norton, James, Keith, & Tom) – Win; Traitors (Alton & Kenny) – Lose
Ratings: Alton 8, Norton 8, James 8, Keith 8, Kenny 8, Tom 8
1) It seems like most of the wins by The Resistance team have a notable element of luck involved in them, such as the random locations of where the Traitors are sitting in relation to the order of Team Leaders. The game feels tilted in favor of the Traitors, so maybe it’s just that I have a sense that the loyalists are getting lucky when they make the right guess and win.
2) I really question the assumption in my group that a Traitor should always vote for the first mission to succeed. Doing so gives the Resistance players a big head start, and tainting at least one loyal player as a possible traitor can also work in their favor.
3) I would do a lot better in the game if people would just start believing what I tell them (especially when I’m lying, of course).
4) I can’t figure out if the Plot Thickens cards give extra information for players to use in making decisions or if they just add more chaos through their effects that is a detriment to play. My initial impression is more the latter.
And since we had just finished playing another team-based game that night, I can’t help but compare The Resistance to Nanuk. Overall, I definitely like The Resistance better, mostly because I’m a little more attracted to the style of game it is, but also a little because it’s quicker and more efficient. But they’re very different games for the most part, and I’m glad that they’re both in my collection.
Other Games Played
Puerto Rico (the fancy-pants version)
Time: 80 minutes
Score: Sceadeau 76, Sean* 47, Tom 38, Alton 36
Ratings: Sceadeau 10, Sean 8, Tom 9, Alton 9
Race for the Freaking Galaxy
Time: -11 minutes (Start time 5:26, end time 5:15 ???)
Score: Chris 64, Alton 54
Sentinels of the Multiverse (with Rook City)
Time: 62 minutes
Score: Heroes (Chris – Expatriette, Devin* – Wraith, & James* – Tachyon) – Win; Omnitron (at Pike Industries) – Lose
Ratings: Chris 9
Space Hulk (Mission 7)
Time: 60 minutes
Score: Keith (Blood Angels) – Win; Kenny (Genestealers) – Lose
Ratings: Keith 9.5, Kenny 9.5
Time: 64 minutes
Score: Sean* 78, Chris 66+4, James 66+3, Alton 60
Ratings: Sean 9, Chris 8.5, James 9, Alton 9
* First play for that Person