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Raine's been gaming for as long as he can remember. It all started back with his video gaming roots, and as he got older he transitioned into tabletop. A lover of all games, some of his favorites include Pathfinder, Battlestar Galactica, Magic: the Gathering, D&D Attack Wing, Regnum Angelica, and Warmachine/Hordes. Raine's been writing for many years, and loves being a part of the gaming industry.

Guest Post: The Plan – Part 40: Gang Wars

I knew that we would eventually have to play some of the games people bought at Gen Con instead of games off the list. It’s not so bad since I really wanted to play them as well. That did however completely stop the number of games played from the list this week – this has been a scary trend in the last couple of weeks, but I am not worried – yet. In other news, there is a game auction at one of the local game store this weekend. I haven’t decided if I am going to put some stuff in it or not. I can’t see that the stuff that I couldn’t sell at Gen Con having much chance of selling at a local auction, but you never know. The only real issue is that I will be at the store that weekend for an unrelated reason and will have to really force myself not to bid on anything!

Games for the week:

First game played was Sons of Anarchy. We have played this before but since there were so many games we played off the list, I didn’t really comment on it. The game has each player in control of a biker gang from the show. I admit that I haven’t seen any of the TV show, but I am told that this game captures the feel of the show with the game play. Play is pretty simple – you move about the board and if you control the only gang at a location, you can exploit the place. Even though the game has three main currencies – money, drugs and guns – the player with the most money after 6 rounds is the winner. We did get to play with the advance rules that give each faction different starting assets and a couple special abilities which I really liked. I finished last in this game with all players having doubled the amount of money that I had. I figured that I wasn’t going to win (pretty early in the game honestly), but I didn’t think I was that far back from the rest of the people. I must say that Gale Force Nine has done a huge feat having three solid games each using an intellectual property.

Sons of Anarchy – Played a four player game with the advance rules. This can be a brutal game if everyone decides to pick on a single player (photo from Publisher).

Sons of Anarchy – Played a four player game with the advance rules. This can be a brutal game if everyone decides to pick on a single player (photo from Publisher).

The second game that we played was City of Remnants. This game has each player as a crime boss trying to have the biggest renown at game’s end. This is a deck builder with area control and combat – which is a weird mix, but the game just works. We played a four player game which filled the board with a bunch of gang members and we had a bunch of player interaction in the game. The board is just not really big enough for everyone (isn’t that how all area control games are really).

Gameplay is split into four phases. First is the reset phase where you may reset your hand, gain 2000 ARCs (the money in the game) and replace the black market and gang member offers. The second phase is player turns – each player has four actions to buy developments or black market items, hire/bid on new gangers, sell goods and move about the city districts. Each player takes only a single action on their turn and some actions (like the bid on new gangers can have you spending an action when it isn’t your turn). Any number of cards may be played from your hand, but only on your turn (there are exceptions for some of the cards of course). Third phase is the Yugai patrol phase – the Yugai are basically the cops that show up around the city to do battle with the different gangs that happen to be in the same square. The last phase is award renown. You simply sum up all spaces that grant renown (that includes all the building that you control) and gain that number of victory points. The game plays until all renown in the supply is earned. Whoever has the most is the winner – in the case of a tie, the person with the most remaining money wins.

City of Remnants - A Great deck building area control game with combat! (photo from Publisher)

City of Remnants – A Great deck building area control game with combat! (photo from Publisher)

Combat is fast and brutal – any time two opposing factions are in the same square, you have a battle. You roll a number of dice equal to the gangers in the combat or adjacent spaces with the cards that you play from your hand modifying the result (each ganger is worth so many combat points) – if you lose, you must remove a gang member from your deck and the game as well as removing your ganger from the contested square! The cops are a set value that you must beat instead of any dice being rolled for them but otherwise combat is the same.

One of the players was just fighting a single opponent (which isn’t out of the norm since one of the four factions is combat orientated) which really hurt the one player’s ability to do anything effectively. If the game kept going, I am sure that the player would have been completely removed from the game (which didn’t look to be as beneficial as it might sound). In the end, I lost by 2000 ARCs since two players were tied with the same number of renown. I really want to play the game again now that I have played once – it’s a lot of fun.

I did play a two player game of Descent: Forgotten Souls, but since the heroes died from the third encounter card, I have quickly forced this play from my mind. Wow – that might be the fastest game session I have ever done.

Lastly, I did play a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos. There isn’t much to say about this one – mash the crud out your hippo’s tail to get the most marbles. The game choice was from a four year old child who really wanted to play! Who am I to argue with that kind of sound advice? We played four games and impressively all four of us won a game, with nobody crying – well, perhaps I did… a little, but due to the joy of winning!

Hungry Hungry Hippos – There is nothing more fun than smashing a hippo’s tail for marbles!

Hungry Hungry Hippos – There is nothing more fun than smashing a hippo’s tail for marbles!

I got three of my Kickstarter games this week (Arcadia Quest, Xia: Legends of a Drift System and Evolution). I am now way behind of reading rulebooks. To make matters worse, I have games that I need to re-read the rules before I can say that I’m ready to play them with friends. If that isn’t enough, I have to put some miniatures together if I am going to get Deadzone to the table anytime soon!

Until next time – Play a Game!

Brendan Mayhugh

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