Thursday, July 26, 2012

Takatsuki Game day report

Takatsuki game day occurred with free air con, obscene dice rolls and fun had by all. First off, thanks to Matt Rooks for organizing the event and inviting us all. Secondly, thanks to the Takatsuki City Exchange Center (高槻市立総合市民交流センター) for allowing us to use the space and air conditioning. Lastly, thanks to all the attendees for creating a successful event and fun atmosphere.

The day started with Gavan and Matt setting up War of the Ring while Julien and myself mulled over what to play. War of the Ring is an epic scale Lord of the Rings themed wargame. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to ask either fellow many questions about the game. So I don't have much to report on how their two games went but maybe they will post some info. in the comments section. The Shadow Armies won in the morning with Gavan acting as Sauron. Then in the afternoon Matt "Mojo hand of Doom" Rooks led the dark forces to victory again. The game itself looks fantastic and Matt bought some hand painted models to further enhance the beauty of the game. There are a few pictures of the game being set up and played on the JIGG Facebook page.

Julien introduce me to three new games: Volta, Don Q. und die Vermessung von La Mancha and Innovation. Volta is simple and seems like an abstract sumo match to me. It was easy to learn but hard to beat Julien; his deft finger flicking won the day. Julien remarked that Volta's publisher had a habit of releasing strange games. To illustrate his point he broke out Don Q. which is a very abstract information reveal game. It was much more complex than Volta and Julien was once again victorious in the games we played. It was a little tough to wrap my head around this but I enjoyed it. I failed to see a real connection between the theme and game-play other than the story set up by the rules. I guess the game needed to get its name from somewhere though. The last game of the morning for the two of us was Innovation. This was my favorite of the three. Its a civilization/empire building themed card game. There are 10 epochs separated into individual piles, starting from 1 (Prehistory) and ending at 10 (The Information Age), and each epoch has 8 or so cards in it. Players start drawing cards from the lowest numbered epoch. Each card grants a technology/innovation which players can use to build their empire. Players can also choose to "score" cards. Each card has a point value equal to its epoch (so all Prehistory cards are worth 1 point for example) and as your score increases you can gain achievements. The player to reach X number of achievements wins. One of the really interesting aspects of play is seeing the character of your empire develop as you lay down cards. Julien quickly took the lead in our game with an aggressive group of zealot builders preying on my nomadic river traveling farmer-philosophers. Fortunately I was able to outpace him and layed down a combo of cards that quickly earned my enough achievements to win.

Before our game finished Diz and Kohei arrived. They worked in a couple games of Volta, winning one a piece, and a game of Yomi which Diz ended up winning. Yomi is a fusion of Street Fighter and rocks, papers, scissors. It is fun and has a high replay value. The four of us finished our games around the same time and chose to play Mousquetaires du Roy. Kristos rocked up before we started and joined Kohei, Julien and myself to stop the evil plots of Diz's Milady.

This was a very fun cooperative game with a great theme. Each player takes a musketeer and balances working together to complete a set number of quests while simultaneously preventing Milady from succeeding in her wicked plans. Unfortunately, the taint of evil lingered from Gavan's victory early in the day and the musketeers failed miserably during the first game. Encouraged by the fun we had we decided to play again. As we started Kohei asked for a rules clarification which made us realize Diz had made a mistake in the previous game that made it very hard for us to win. So emboldened by our new knowledge we began. Things went well for a turn. Then things got worse: Porthos failed to beat a nemesis in a duel that was supposedly easy and Constance began to be strangled by Milady. Surely our fate would change in turn 3. Athos and d'Artagnan rushed to save Constance but were foiled by a lack of skill and the villainous Rochefort. Porthos failed again despite seeming to have an advantage. Aramis succeeded in completing a quest and La Rochelle was going splendidly. However, Constance was still having trouble breathing. Still plenty of time to save her though as she had 4 life left and Diz was only rolling 4 dice. Turn 4 started and d'Artagnan dies followed quickly by Porthos. Athos beats a quick retreat and attempts to out duel Porthos's nemesis and does! Aramis moves to fight Rochefort and succeeds in fending him off. The way to Constance is clear! We just need to save her next round. La Rochelle is holding strong. Everyone was pretty happy. Then on his turn Diz rolls 4 swords and kills Constance. Game over man, game over. As frustrating as the game was for the musketeers it was still a blast to play.

It was getting late in the day so we split up. Diz, Julien and myself played Innovation again. Through a bit of luck, I built a card combo similar to the one I used in the first Innovation game and won again. We had a bit of time left so Julien broke out a prototype game he wanted us to try. We played around with it a bit and suggested a few things to tweek or think about. Kohei and Kristos started Reef Encounter as we started Innovation. Kohei caught on to the pretty quickly and was able to beat Kristos. By the end of their game it 5 o'clock so we straightened up the room and called it a day.

Don't forgot Twilight Imperium Day: August 5th, 2012 is the next game day. Hope to see everyone there.


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