Recently, the Toledo Tuesdays Gaming Club has had time for some serious gaming! Here is a selection of some of the most recent sessions.
Big Book of Madness
The start of the game. It was all downhill after this point!
We got in a game of Big Book of Madness (You can find my review of it here). It’s a cooperative game where each player is a novice spellcaster and together they must defeat the monsters that spill out of an opened book of madness. We have played it a few times, and we know that it is a hard game to win. But this time we really got on the receiving end of the hard knocks and couldn’t recover.
By the second turn we were already suffering from our inability to get rid of the curses before they inflicted their pain on us.
In short, we seemed incapable of getting 4 of any element together to banish a curse. Thus, the curses kept hitting us, and most seemed to drop Madness cards into our decks (see the picture above).
My hand just before the end of the game: full of madness and weak element cards.
By about Turn 3, Bob and Neal were drawing loads of Madness cards. Without many playable cards, it became tougher and tougher to banish curses.
The end of the game…it came quick!
By turn 4, we had already run through the entire Madness deck and lost the game. Particularly nasty were the multi-element curses (as seen above under the #2 spot) that kept adding additional elements to the other curses.
I highly recommend Big Book of Madness, because if you want a tough game to win, try it out!
We tried out a new game that Stewart got for Christmas: Monarch.
The box cover of Monarch
In Monarch, each player tries to earn the most victory points by acquiring different titles and objects (represented on cards) related to the monarchy.
The basic layout of Monarch. The 9 fields/villages, apples (red tokens), gold, and titles/objects. I have a Pomeranian in the foreground. Note that I am getting spanked! I have 1 object while my brother (in the background) already has 5.
Each player must harvest apples from fields and use them to upgrade fields and villages. Apples also are used to force villages to pay taxes (the gold coins) which are used to acquire cards–and it those objects that have varying victory points. The game also has a faction mechanic and a few other subtleties.
It was the first time that we played it and Stew beat the rest of us down pretty good. Bob and I competed for resources and also seemed to waste time upgrading villages only to have Stew upgrade them last and switch them to his faction. The game was fun and with some more plays I am sure we will figure out exactly how to maximize our strategies.
7 Wonders Duel
Stew and I got in a couple games of 7 Wonders Duel.
7 Wonders Duel with the new Pantheon expansion!
We played a couple games with the new Pantheon expansion. For those who haven’t tried Pantheon yet, it adds 5 different Mythologies to the game (Mesopotamian, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian). You can recruit Gods to lend their special powers to your side. Most interestingly, when you recruit a God you do not have to burn one of the discovery cards. This can change the turn order so it adds a new tactical wrinkle to 7 Wonders Duel.
Stew won both times, typically by pursuing a strategy of collecting Civilian buildings. I got really close to a Scientific instant win in our second game, but came up just short.
Stew really loves this game, as it is on his Top 10 list (Stew’s Top 10 Games click here), so anyone looking for a two-player game should check it out.
Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Rumble at Castle Tentakill
I got the new Rumble at Castle Tentakill expansion to Epic Spell Wars and was burning up to try it out.
Lee dealing out the cards. Castle Tentakill standing ominously in the middle of the table
Rumble at Castle Tentakill introduces two new mechanics. First, now some delivery spells are Creatures. Creatures have a chance of staying in play from turn to turn. They also can jump in front of damage, sacrificing themselves so that you don’t get hurt. Second, the standee now has a purpose! Certain spells move the standee to a player (or take it from another player). Other spells give you bonuses if you have the Standee while some spells inflict more pain on the player who has the Standee.
We got in a few turns but unfortunately we had to end the game before the finish.
King of New York: Power Up!
I also received the new expansion Power Up! for King of New York.
King of New York with the new Power Up! evolution cards
We played a three-player game. I was the Sheriff (in the foreground above). The new Power Up! evolution cards added a twist. Now when you roll 3 hearts you can draw 2 evolution cards and choose 1 to add to your hand. Each monster has its own set, so in this expansion choosing which monster to play actually can make a difference.
Anyway, I played the Sheriff and I quickly got into Manhattan. I slapped both Stew and Bob mercilessly turn after turn. I eventually got driven off, but by this time everyone was quite banged up and when I left Manhattan Stew had to enter it. This set of a cycle whereby Bob eliminated Stew, and then I eliminated Bob to win the game!
I can’t emphasize how fun King of New York is. If you haven’t played it, run out and get a copy and give it a try as soon as possible. You won’t regret it.
Tiny Epic Galaxies
Stew and I got in a game of Tiny Epic Galaxies.
The situation early in the game. I am in the foreground with the red units and Stew is on the left with the green units.
Well, this game turned out to be a nightmare. You can check out my review (click here for TEG review) of TEG to see why. In short, probably a game to be avoided unless you want to play it solitaire, in which case it is fun enough.
Anyway, that’s it for now. See you next time!