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Since his early days Brendan has been a gamer. Starting off with contemporary games like Cribbage, he has moved up the ranks and is now a master gamer of many genres. Favoring Warmachine/Hordes, Brendan rose to be a Press Ganger for the game and enjoys teaching new players. On top of this, he referees for the roller derby, which is another passion he holds close to his heart.

Of Mutants and Space – My Week in Gaming

Brendan SoB 1.5

Sadly – about half of the games that I got to play these last two weeks, we didn’t get to complete them.  For all that we couldn’t finish it was the time restraints of gaming on a weekday (all told about 3 hours start to clean up).  Still, even a bit of gaming is better than no gaming at all. Here are the highlights!

Eclipse is a fun game that I really like. Then again, if dungeon crawlers are my number one game genre, then 4x games are number two.  This 4x has a lot of good things going for it which is why I keep it in my collection.  The one negative that I believe it has is the fact that the total number of turns is known, which has the effect of the last turn land grab.  I had a problem with how the turn order is decided, but with the change of player order rules in the expansion, that doesn’t upset me anymore. You see, it doesn’t get played often so we can’t get the experience need for the game’s strategy.  Thus, my group is constantly having to relearn the rules, strategies and nuances of this game each time it makes it to the table. That hurts the gaming experience and thus doesn’t get requested to the table that often and the cycle repeats. It’s too bad, it’s a lot of fun and on a whole very balanced.

Another game of Posthuman was played.  This is a RPG-light game where you are trying to succeed in ever harder challenges to get yourself through ten locations and safety. The only problem is if you get too many mutant scars, you turn into a mutant yourself and now your goal is to stop the remaining humans from making it to victory.  We always play this with 4+ players and I would love to try it with 2 or 3.  Since the other players are actively trying to stop you from winning once they convert, it seems like the game is near impossible to win (I don’t believe that all players win if they all convert into mutants – there is some controversy on that fact).  Still, the story behind the game and the adventure as you try to make it to your objective is pretty fun and I hope to play it again soon.

The last uncompleted game was Firefly.  My friend has all the expansions so we decided to play with the elongated board.  I’m not saying that the additions aren’t really awesome or fun, but it definitely can slow the game.  Perhaps it’s just this play that had me feeling completely lackluster.  For the entire game my turn was one disappointment after another – I felt that like I would start a full burn only to move one space and the travel card was a full stop. Add to that a couple of run-ins with the law and I felt that I was so far behind the rest of the players that I couldn’t win.  After a couple of rounds of that and your entertainment for the game can certainly suffer. Still, none of us had even started the first goal of the mission so perhaps I’m complaining about nothing.

One of the games that I did complete was Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.  I have wanted to try this for a while – ever since I saw it at Gencon last year. I got that chance this past weekend since a friend of mine had it.  We played the standard decks from the rulebook.  I really enjoyed this game, even if I got clobbered. I think that it was less about the game mechanics and more about both my inexperience with the game and my friend who was teaching.  Still, I would love to try this one at a later date.  I feel like it will fill the same role as Magic the Gathering, but without the collectability.

Normally, I’m really leery about expandable card games almost as much as collectible card games. The first major problem for me is most of those games are two player games which just don’t get to the table much.  The second problem is the release schedule of new cards – I just can’t justify spending a bunch for a game that I just can’t get to the table. Now granted, I have that problem with a lot of my games. Still, the game mechanics are solid and can’t wait to play again.

In other news, I got a huge box of Shadows of Brimstone miniatures – there are a bunch of new monsters, characters and cards. (Check out the photo up above.) There is also another complete set of miniatures from the original two box sets from the original mine cart level pledge that I kind of completely forgot about. All told, it’s about 150 additional miniatures to assemble, prime and paint. Given my speed in getting all that done, I told my group that I’d be ready with everything in mid to late July. I wish I was kidding…

Lastly, with my wife playing all this Fallout 4, I decided to back the “This is Not a Test: Post-Apocalyptic Skirmish Rulebook” Kickstarter. It looks like a great gaming system to play for all your end of the world scenarios. It’s set up as a two player game, but I really like the concept of the game and who doesn’t like destroying mutants while keeping your Rads down!

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