Saturday, December 14, 2013

Takatsuki Game Day: December 28th, 2013

We'd like to invite you to join us for our year-end Takatsuki Game Day on December 28th, 2013, from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.  Takatsuki is located conveniently between Kyoto and Osaka on either the JR line or the Hankyu line.  The theme for this game day is to play any of the board games or card games in your collection that you haven't gotten around to playing this year.  Whether it's a game that you've just bought that you haven't gotten to the table, or an old favorite that hasn't had its chance at the table this year, you're welcome to bring it.  There will be a small fee of 400 yen to cover the cost of renting the room.

After the game day finishes, we're going to out out for a year-end dinner at a local Thai restaurant.  If you'd like to join the Thai dinner, please leave a message here by the end of Saturday the 21st.  That way, we'll be sure to get a reservation at this busy time of year.

When:  December 28th, 2013, 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Where:  Takatsuki, Osaka  (closest stations:  Hankyu Takatsukishi and JR Takatsuki)
Location:  Gendai Gekijo, Room 203 (map here)
Fee:  400 yen

For more information, please click here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas came early in Osaka

The first Sunday of the December has passed which means the JIGG December Games Day is finished. The theme for this month was to try something new. For example, maybe you only play card games so try a board-game this time or perhaps you always play with the same group so this time branch out and play with different people. I was unfortunate enough to have to work that Sunday so my new experience was to arrive later than usually and only play for about half the day. It was a bit sad really as some games I really wanted to try were played in the early part of the day. But on the positive side, I was able to attend 9 out of 12 JIGG Kansai events in Osaka this year! It's been awesome. I've made many new friends and had a blast playing a bunch of games.

I arrived late and was tired from work so playing heavy or long games didn't appeal to me at all. Stylistically, card games were the rule of the day. I started with Resistance, a co-op vet the traitor card game, and ended with, my favorite game of the day, The Agents.  Eric "Sizzlelean Lincoln" had supported it on Kickstarter and brought it along after receiving it earlier in the week.

In The Agents, players form factions of disbanded intelligence agents to run missions, kill other operatives and gather intelligence. Players gain points for meeting mission conditions, "free agent" cards and aligning cards a certain way. The first player to 40 points wins. Points also serve as currency to buy more agents or missions. Players need to balance creating a useful hand of cards and their score. The starting hand consists of 3 agent cards and a mission. During a players turn they may do 2 of the following: place an agent, remove an agent, move an agent from one faction to another or buy agents or missions. Agent cards have 2 characteristics: a command, ex: kill an agent, or an arrow. Players decide how to place the card, if the command side faces them they may use its ability but their opponent gets points and vice versa. "Free agent" cards have either a special command, ex: take a bonus action, or point value as characteristics and are discarded after being played.

Since this was the first time for any of us to play it took 2 games to work out the rules and get the hang of it. The first game involved 3 people and saw 2 players quickly outscore the 3rd. The 2nd game was between Eric and myself saw Eric race ahead in points and quickly win. In the 3rd game, between Eric and I, we both started using the cards in more interesting ways so the options and depth of the game finally started to show through. I mentioned balancing your hand and score but you also need to balance giving yourself agent commands/points vs. giving them to your opponent. Our 3rd game ended in a tie and the tie breaker was based on who had the most forgettable face (which is a great tie breaker for a spy game) so we asked some fellow gamers to choose and I was picked. We made several mistakes but I enjoyed the theme, components, art and rules. Looking forward to exploring it some more.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

November Gaming

Hello there everyone! Well another games day has passed.  The theme for this month was: "Ask another gamer to bring a game you want to play" so I requested Galaxy Trucker. What a fun whacky game! You can't take this one seriously and if you do you'll be frustrated.

In Galaxy Trucker you build a spaceship by choosing tiles and placing them on a game board. But you only have a limited amount of time to assemble it and pieces can be taken off if the ship isn't put together properly. After making your ship, you and the other players race each other. During the race you face obstacles and can make money. The players go through these steps 3 times and your ship board gets bigger each time. The player with the most money at the end is the winner. The game was a blast! It's a big scramble to make your ship and funny to see it fall apart because of an illegal connection or meteors.

Other highlights of the day included: Firefly (cheers for bringing it Josh!) which I didn't play but was played 3 times throughout the day, Spyrium, Core Worlds and Red November. I've had Red November on my shelf for over a year and was happy to see someone request it. Drunk Gnomes operating an endangered submarine is all kinds of fun. Met some new folks and played some great games so it was another successful games day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dr. Strangesword or How I healed myself after an agressive games day

The "Aggressive" themed game has come to pass and the healing has begun. It was a successful, long and tiring day.  The event included a Magic tournament, a beheading and lots of card based games.
The day started off breezy enough. Only ten or eleven people arrived before noon and several games of X-Wing were played as well as Nexus Ops. Around 12 or 1 o'clock the rooms started filling up and by 2pm we were at capacity and the room had to be rearranged a bit to make room for all the games. The Magic tournament got into full swing by around 3 and lots of other card games were being played as well. Taking a look around at the other games being played I saw: Spartacus, Blood Bowl, Netrunner, CoreWorlds, Dungeon Command, Survive and Citadels. Around 6 or 7 pm the crowd thinned out and the room opened up a bit but there were still plenty of folks around playing things like: Game of Thrones: The boardgame, Galaxy Trucker, Divinare, Netrunner and of course Magic.

Personally the last game I tried was a test run of Titanium Wars with my friend Eric. We broke it out just to see how it worked and suss it out a bit. It's a science fiction themed deck building game and it seems like will be a fun game with lots of chances for negotiation and broken promises. By the time we put the game back in the box it was almost 9:30 so we tidied up the room a bit, grabbed our gear and headed out. I was pretty tired after such a fun day but the walk and talk back to the station with Eric was a nice way to cap off the day.