Club Meeting Wednesday 17th August 2016

At the club meeting on the 17th August there was some Star Wars themed Settlers of Catan; a card game called Illiad; a boardgame called Polis and a Star Wars X Wing campaign session. I don’t have reports for Illiad or the Star Wars Settlers of Catan but I do for the Star Wars X Wing and Polis games.

Neil wrote the following about the Star Wars X Wing campaign session:

“Kev kindly set up the Heroes of the Aturi Cluster X-Wing Campaign for us. We played the introductory mission, running escort for a Rebel convoy and fighting off some Tie Fighters and a Tie Interceptor when they transited too close to some Imperial occupied asteroids. We all started out as lowly pilot skill 2 rookies. James and I took X-Wings and Kev a Y-Wing. James seemed to have great difficulty hitting the maneuverable Ties and I foolishly took on three Tie fighters on my own. James and I were both shot down (In my case after a unlucky cockpit hit had reduced my effective pilot skill to 0). Kev’s Y-Wing sailed through it all as we took most of the fire and inflicted a fair amount of damage on the evil Empire allowing the Rebel transports to get safely away. Both of our pilots safely ejected and were picked up although at some cost. James said he enjoyed it more than any X-Wing game he had played in months, maybe we can get him shot down again next time.”.

Andy wrote about the Polis session:

“Pete M and I played Polis, a game that pitches Sparta against Athens in a (I think.) 5th century BC setting when each city is trying to expand it’s influence over the Greek world. Each faction plays with the same resource management challenges but has slightly different abilities to raise these, either by trading or occupation over four rounds thus giving subtly different objectives to each player’s game and creating a nice feel for the challenges offered to each sphere at the time. Military conflicts do occur but as you would expect, Sparta is better on land and Athens at sea. We didn’t get to finish but we did trial out all aspects of the game so plan to give it another go in a couple of weeks time.”.

Next time the plan is for some ACW naval miniatures action with more Hammerin’ Iron; a  boardgame called Endeavour and a new miniatures skirmish system called Broken Legion.


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Club Meeting Wednesday 3rd August 2016

At the club on Wednesday the 3rd of August there was a two player Flames of War session between Tony G and Neil; a multiplayer session of the co-op boardgame Thunderbirds and a multiplayer session of the new game Iron Cross. Let’s make our start with Neil’s report on the Flames of War session:

“Tony and I played early war Flames of War. I played a French Escadron de Combat and he played a German Lichte Panzerkompanie. The scenario was Hold the Line, played down the length of the table with Tony attacking. This showed a structural weakness in my list. With seven platoons (At least half off table.), I needed to defend two objectives with a possible two platoons held in ambush. Tony had two reconnaissance platoons and positioned one of the objectives as far forward as possible so I deployed an infantry platoon around it, my artillery behind a convenient hill and a platoon of three Somuas in ambush. My C-in-C covered the other objective.

Tony charged forward with Panzer IIIs, IIs, Is and half-track infantry to threaten my infantry platoon and sent a motorcycle recce platoon down a road which ran almost straight down the centre of the table to the second objective. His Stukas tried to bomb my C-in-C and, although the French air force failed to intercept, did no damage (Nothing was achieved by the dive bombers throughout the game except to force me to spread out.). On my first turn I deployed my Somua platoon just beyond the crest of a convenient hill and moved forward to machine gun the motorcyclists who disengaged and played no further significant part in the battle.

The next three turns consisted of German attempts to crush the gallant French infantry platoon while staying away from the Somuas. By the end the French infantry were down to 25% of their original strength but were still gallantly defending the objective against a platoon of infantry and two platoons of tanks. My Somuas who had moved forward to offer some support had managed to knock out one Panzer II, and with the arrival of a second Somua platoon from reserves the Germans conceded.”.

Owen made a rare visit to the club and was roped into the Thunderbirds game which he explains:

“Andy brought along Thunderbirds, so he, Garry, Luke and I had a go at saving the world from silly accidents, Martian invasions and that nasty Hood. As valiantly as we tried, we could not avoid defeat in the first game, keeping the Hood at bay but unable to deal with the unfolding regular disasters.

Luke had to go at that point, so we were able to get two more games in as three-handers and re-jigged the characters so that the ever-useful Virgil was out. And things were going well until Garry’s dice mojo failed us and he started rolling multiple Hoods, triggering defeat. We did a re-do of the last game and seemed to be ticking along well, before 10:00 pack-up rolled around, so we declared victory.

A lovely co-op game which is (Naturally for a Matt Leacock game.) like Pandemic in the way that it’s got a lot for the team to do and less time than you need, but the theme makes it a very immersive experience. My accent seemed to improve as I was playing Lady P…

Later in the Open Arms, Neil brought out Plague & Pestilence, where you try to build up your city population during a brief period of prosperity (While having to fend off attacks by the other players.) before the Black Death arrives and you desperately try to keep them alive. Last one standing wins, but the end tends to come very quickly. Martin won the first game, and Andy the second, while Garry delighted in extracting revenge for all slights against him.”.

Andy gave a brief report on the same game:”I enjoyed this week’s Thunderbirds even though we seemed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Must play the Hood expansion some time soon.”.

Kev had this report in Iron Cross:

“Last night, Tony W, Martin, Bob and I tried Iron Cross for the first time. Martin and I were the Russians (Tank company.) and was attacking a small town with two bridges; defended by Bob and Tony’s Germans (Infantry company.). Martin and I had to capture two of the three objectives; a ruined building and two bridges. The bridges were either side of the ruined building, so we choose to concentrate on the ruined building and the left hand bridge.

I was tasked with a making a feint for the right hand bridge, before supporting Martin’s attack on the ruined building and left hand bridge. The plan sort of worked! On the left flank Martin won the long range duel with Bob, taking out two Panthers (Got the Panther’s armour value wrong.) and a PAK 40, but wasn’t close enough the claim the objectives; whilst on the right I was ambushed by Tony W’s hidden infantry, but only lost two SU-85s. Having weathered the initial German attack, weight of numbers should have forced the Germans to withdrawn, but we ran out of time.

Iron Cross is a newish game and has a very different feel to other WW2 games. The rules are “sophisticatedly simple” resulting in ‘playing the period not the rules’. The rules are based around the simple but subtle activation system and at only £12 I have already ordered a copy.”.

Plans are very fluid for next time but suffice to say we will be meeting and there will be games going on.


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Club Meeting Wednesday 20th July 2016

At least two games were played on Wednesday the 20th of July 2016: the ACW naval game Hammerin’ Iron and Pandemic Legacy.

Neil reported on Hammerin’ Iron:

“Both Andy and I opted for a large fort. I planned a completely ram based fleet expecting to defend and shelter under the guns of my fort until I charged out to deliver the killer blow. Andy had a ironclad heavy but otherwise balanced fleet featuring USS Cairo which I had only just painted up.

Pre-game I ended up attacking and Andy had his big fort in a really good position well forward on an island in the middle of the river. He also gained some army support with a battery of 12pdrs and fire rafts among other assets. I gained few such goodies. The key weakness of my strategy was now obvious with nether the objectives, the fort nor the field guns being vulnerable to ramming. I decided to sink Andy’s ships instead while hoping that he wouldn’t shoot me to bits. The first volley from the fort crippled Queen of the West (A ship that also appeared for the Union – it did fight for both sides historically – but not at the same time.). After that Andy’s gunnery was laughably inaccurate; most of the few shots that did hit bouncing of the armour of the thick skinned confederate ironclads. My rams were also remarkably ineffectual, with 4 rams striking home and sinking not a single union ship. On the final turn the CSS Albermarle, which had been taking the bulk of the Union fire was forced to strike its colours, the Queen of the West finally succumbed to gunfire from the USS Monitor, and the USS Switzerland rammed and sunk the CSS Tennessee (Rather ignominious that one.). A clear victory for the Union.”.

John’s report on Pandemic Legacy was:

“We almost saved the world today. We have fought back against the “shadow” disease and are in an excellent position to complete. A shame we failed to locate the plans for future variants of the virus (By the very narrowest of margins.) but hopefully next time. We have just a few areas left to deliver a cure and so should be able to concentrate on the search….”.

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Club Meeting Wednesday 27th July 2016

Last week (27th July 2016.) there was only one table and game going on which was a homebrew game of gunfighting in the Old West. Pete D, who owns the game, explains further:

“First tryout for the home made Western Gunfight rules I got from the States. They attempt to get the flavour of the gunfight at the OK Corral as shown in this drama-doc (Yes that really is Davros as Wyatt Earp!). The game was fast and furious with lots of bullets flying compared to the damage done which sees true to source. The 3 weapons (Pistol, rifle & shotgun.) were well differentiated with very simple effects.

We had 3 games with teams of 3 each time. I will leave others to narrate their experience but my summary would note:

Bob took a disproportionate large percentage of the lead in the air;
Most Scimitar players are scaredy cats determined to slink behind cover;
James can’t tell the difference between a shotgun and a rifle!
Bob M & Martin will ditch their chums and run like girls when you most need their help!

People picked up the rules pretty well – especially Bob M. There are a few tweaks we needed to make for clarity about movement and a need for worse consequences for wounds.”.

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Club Meeting Wednesday 13th July 2016

I only have one game report so far for last week (13th July 2016.) and it is for a session of Battlestar Galactica. I’ll let Neil explain events:

“Martin, Bob, Andy, Tony W, Garry and I played Battlestar Galactica. I played a technician and had little idea of what was going on, pretty much as things are supposed to be. Martin and Garry were the most likely to be traitors. Martin seemed rather evasive during play and Gary seemed transparently honest which seemed deeply suspicious. None-the-less we began increasingly to believe we had no traitors.

Things were going well when the second lot of traitor cards were handed round. Tony fairly quickly declared as a Cylon and blew himself up doing some damage to the ship which was rapidly repaired. The last traitor was much more elusive. With us running out of time and with a jump that would get us home as one of our two choices, Andy’s Admiral (Who I had just saved from certain death from Martin’s nefarious plotting.) chose the wrong jump and pretty much defined himself as the other Cylon. Probably a draw if we had had time to finish.”.

Next week the plan is for a probable four player session of Pandemic Legacy in the ongoing club campaign which is now reaching it’s conclusion plus a two player session of the ACW miniatures naval game Hammerin’ Iron. There may well be another one or two games going on besides which will be sorted by the night.

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Club Meeting Wednesday 6th July 2016

The only report I have from last week concerns a Terra Mystica session which I’ll let John B explain:

“Myself, Tony G and Neil went heavy tonight with Terra Mystica – a much more rules heavy euro than we would normally attempt in a club night. But with three of us it was do-able – just!

Tony played the Witches, Neil was the Nomads and I was the Alchemists. It seemed to start well for me with lots of magic points becoming available to me after I managed to build my stronghold on the first turn, Neil also built his on the first turn and Tony felt he was falling behind a bit even on turn one as he had not yet built his – but by the end of the game it was super close between Neil and Tony – with only a few gold pieces separating them, and me some way behind – I had been hemmed in the centre of the board and had focused on trying to build in the middle rather than get a second town going further out. It took a while to get our brains around the mechanics and what options we had, but by the end we were flowing quite quickly – four players would probably be too much for a club night while learning the game, but would be doable once up to speed.

Its a lovely game with loads of re-playability due to the numerous player factions available.”.

I apologise for the slackness and inefficiency of my spies. Hopefully normal service will be restored by next time.


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Club Meeting Wednesday 29th June 2016

Last week at the club on the 29th of June 2016 there was some Mansions of Madness action, some Irregular Wars and some Origin.

First let’s take Garry’s report on Mansions of Madness:”Myself, Tony, Bob and Martin played Mansions of Madness. Unfortunately we were all killed by cultists and whatever evil they were summoning was let loose on an unsuspecting world.”.

John B’s report about Irregular Wars went like this: “Neil and I had a rather over hasty try out of Irregular Wars conflict at the worlds end. A simple system with some interesting lists for the back reaches of Renaissance warfare. We scraped together 2 Mesoamerican armies so we didn’t get to try out the black powder weapons or the feel of hordes of natives vs tiny numbers of tough Europeans. However we have the feel of the rules and are both keen to give it another outing. I failed to bring our pipe cleaner markers for resolve status and we will also need some cotton wool to mark use of black powder weapons waiting to re-load. – watch this space – we have lots of armies we can use for this set including Tartars vs Siberians (Including the reindeer riding scouts and blokes dressed like Wildlings from GOT – delicious..).”.

Andy’s report on Origin was as follows: “Last night I rolled out a recent acquisition called Origin that I roped Kev and James into playing. The premise is that you control early man from his origins in central Africa and to grow and migrate your tribes over the next few thousand years to colonise the whole planet. Your tribe is represented by a number of game tokens representing early man; they come with three attributes: colour (White, brown and black.), three heights representing speed of movement, and three thicknesses representing strength giving 27 tokens for a 3 player game (The middle 9 variants are duplicated for a 4 player).

The game allows a number of player actions to move around the world map to gain points. See:

Another good light fun game with some nice player interactions and little idea who is winning until the final points count up. James 50 – Kev 46 – Andy 46.”.

Next time the plan is for some Dragon Rampant and some Team Yankee.


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Club Meeting Wednesday 22nd June 2016

Last week at the club saw some Star Wars Armada action and some Shadows of Brimstone action for which I have reports from the guys. Let’s make our start with the Shadows of Brimstone game with this report from Kev:

“Garry, Martin, Bob, Tony and I had another Shadows of Brimstone adventure. We had to return artifacts to the ancient tribal burial ground. First we had to find a portal to the swamp world! Fighting our way through the mine; vanquishing two tailed rats (Rats with two tails.), deep sea diving aliens and snake-men, before finding the portal to the swamp world. Once in the swamp world, we found the tribal burial ground, but it was guarded by a gigantic multi tentacled worm.”.

Tony W also reported on the same game:”The usual suspects rode into town, bought some goods, and then Garry robbed the general store, so off to the abandoned mine we went. After a quick search, we found the gate to another world and were soon up to our armpits in swamp! With time running out, we encountered the awesome ‘Burrower’ and blew it away (Well we would have if we hadn’t had to pack up!).”.

For once John B had a draw against the frankly awesome James in the Star Wars Armada game as he explains here:

“James and I got Star Wars Armada to the table again – two games played with fleets of mostly small ships (Four per side.) – and a 1-1 draw resulted! This is, for me, a major victory compared to other SWA sessions!”.

Next time the plan is for more Pandemic Legacy plus whatever boardgame and miniatures action gets organised in between now and the 29th of June.

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Club Meeting Wednesday 15th June 2016

At last week’s club meeting quite a bit of De Bellis Antiquitatis was played, which is a bit of a club favourite, but Pete’s report was a bit one line on that so I don’t have a proper report. Also played was a session of Flames of War: Team Yankee and John B’s Tokaido Collectors Edition which all players drooled over.

First let’s have the report about Tokaido from John:”I brought along my new and shiny Tokaido Collector’s Edition which looks very nice with 35 painted miniatures for all the available player’s characters – Tony W, Garry and I played a couple of games – first game we used just the basic game – it was very light and quick – Garry won. We then threw in all but one part of one expansion and played again – and Garry won. Very easy rules, even with all the expansions added, and lovely components and atmosphere – I’ll be bringing that along on future nights.”.

Garry also reported similarly on the same game:”Myself, Tony W and John B played John’s new game called Tokaido. A fun quick game set in Japan: you have to travel from one end of the board to the other visiting 5 inns along the way. You score points in various ways and each character has its own special ability. I really enjoyed it and I’m not saying that simply because I won both games we played.”.

Kev reported on the Team Yankee encounter:”Andy umpired a Team Yankee game between James and I. James got the high quality, mass quantity, high tech, cutting edge and generally superior Soviets; whilst I was stuck with a weak US force. Despite the handicap of only having 3 M1 Abrams, I somehow managed to reduce the Soviets to one operational and few bailed out T72’s. This was the high water mark for the Americans and after boasting that there wouldn’t have been another Soviet turn!”. Kev has provided a link to the national anthem of the Soviet Union as a cheeky ironic comment on the game if you’re interested –

Next week (22nd June 2016.) the plan is for some Shadows of Brimstone and whatever else gets planned game-wise between now and next time.

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Club Meeting Wednesday 8th June 2016

Last week (8th June 2016.) saw twelve members at the club on three tables. Four were engaged in the ongoing Pandemic Legacy club campaign followed by mini Picomino; four others played a selection of fresh games bought at the UK Games Expo while on our table Dragon Rampant raged.

Pete D reported as follows on the Pandemic Legacy session:”Pandemic Legacy was again a blast. First game: swift outbreaks of the CODA virus in South America overwhelmed us before we got started. Second game launched with really useful action cards – James’ soldier quickly tracked down the original victim and we now have a vaccine! That meant all the special packs have been opened and we can regain control in North America and southern Europe and maybe restore order and health in Latin America which we had completely given up…”.

John reported something similar about Pandemic Legacy too:”Kev, Pete D, James and I once more set out on the Pandemic Legacy trail – we were into October and on our first attempt things went spectacularly badly, one of the quickest and heaviest defeats I think we’ve seen. On our second start everything came together on set-up to give us an insta-cure of one disease on the very first move, other cards turned up as we needed them and we were soon on top of our scenario objectives. We heavily used the ability “Take one for the team” which left us with many scars, but we won the game.”.

On the table playing new games when I popped by the gang had broken out Little Red Riding Hood and were on the second game. The first they played co-operatively and aced the game very quickly. The second game they were doing was more competitive/semi-co-operative and saw Bob playing the wolf in as devious a manner as he could. Before either of these another panda and bamboo based game was played as Andy explains here:
“Before the Little Red Riding Hood game we (Bob, Neil, Tony G and I) played a panda and bamboo based game (No idea on it’s name.). The premise was to feed a hungry panda, the winner being the one who collected 7 objective cards for the most points. The game allows a number of player actions:

Placing terrain hex tiles of 3 colours – we subsequently established that there were more Green (Grassland?) than Yellow (Dry land?) than Pink (Pink land?) making objectives relating to Pink harder but higher scoring. They also could contain additional attributes such as having their own water supply, better growth yields and panda eating prevention devices;
Taking and placing Irrigation channels;
Taking further objectives (In addition to the starting 3.) of three types – panda related feats of bamboo consumption, gardener related bamboo growing and territory hex patterns based on coloured hexes that needed to be irrigated;
Moving the Gardener figure – to grow bamboo;
Moving the Panda to eat bamboo;
Taking and placing Upgrades to the hex tile.

There was also a weather dice that allowed bonuses to some of the above actions.

That was it in a nutshell. A good fun game of subtle player interaction and tricky little tactics to gain points – I liked it (As you always do when you win.)”.

Our game of Dragon Rampant on the big table broke down into two battles very quickly with my Goblins facing off Garry’s Dwarves and Martin’s army (Orcs?) facing down Tony W’s Egyptians. I decided to attack with my Goblins in column but it made no significant difference to the outcome as Garry’s Dwarves were just too tough to wear down and break. There weren’t enough heavy units in my army to counteract the strength of the Dwarves in defence; the Trolls I had lasted about five minutes and the Goblins were all one roll away from running to the hills in panic.

On the other part of the battlefield Martin advanced his army to the magic space in the middle of his bit of the battlefield and went round it, flanking the Egyptian leader and killing him – thus winning the day. I think I would call the overall result a draw as it was one all for the goodies and baddies.

Next week (June 15th.) apart from some two player De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA.) battles being planned there are no other firm plans.

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