Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Discworld - the boardgame

This weekend we had that most traditional of British bank holiday experiences... torrential rain and the family trapped in the house.  To complete the cliche we decided to round things off with a boardgame: something usually guaranteed to lead to arguments, tantrums and divorce!

Actually the game was my son’s idea... my wife isn’t a great game fan but has a knack of grudgingly agreeing to play, saying ‘I don’t really understand this’ and then wiping the floor with the opposition.

Elaine  was lured into agreeing to this with the interesting selling point of  “...at least it’s not Kingmaker”.  Callum and I are great Kingmaker fans but games do have a habit of going on for days without coming to a resolution!

 Callum suggested playing the Discworld boardgame which we’ve had a for a couple of years but only played a few times..  It’s a nicely put together game for up to 8 [I think] in which each player takes control of a leading Discworld luminary... in my case Lord de Worde, while my son was Lord Vetinari.

The board is a very nicely illustrated map of the city, divided up into regions... The Shades, The Dolly Sisters etc which each player attempts to control by having the majority of minions in an area.  Cards are played each turn which can add, remove or shift minions around as well as allowing players to ‘buy’ areas which give a range of bonuses, gain coins or have some other more random effects.  As minions are placed these cause ‘trouble’ markers to appear which allow assassinations to take place

Each character has their own set of victory conditions so a key part of the game is attempting to work out who is who, based on how they’re playing the game... unfortunately my son is a dab hand at this, and clearly my wife and I are far too easy to read, and had this sussed out fairly quickly [remind me never to play poker with him!].  My wife and I were each trying to gain control of 5 regions, and while I briefly looked as though I was going to achieve this, I was immediately stomped on heavily by a ruthless mother/son tag team.  Callum meanwhile was steadily introducing Trouble markers all over the place as having 10 on the board is the victory condition for Lord Vetinari... I did work out what he was doing but sadly too late to do much about it and he claimed the victory.


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Salute... the photos

So. all safely back  from Salute... loot counted, dinner eaten, dogs walked [twice] and wine about to be drunk.

I'm never any good a guessing whether numbers were up or down at events like this but it seemed pretty busy all the time  I was there... stalls seemed busy but not over crowded.  As usual the standard of games was very high... increasingly games seem to be run by games companies wanting to showcase their latest offering rather than the traditional club putting on a game to show off their talents.  Is this a bad thing??  I don't think so.  If anything it means games are less likely to suffer from the old problem of the organisers spending most of their time playing the game themselves rather than encouraging others.  There was still a good turn out from clubs though and to be fair everyone seemed very engaging....I even came across John Treadaway from South London Warlords practically begging for someone to explain their very impressive Lord of the Rings game to!

As always the range and quality of games was excellent with surely something for just about every interest there.  The range of traders and products was also breathtaking...so many things I didn't know I needed!!  I'd suggest Salute take out extra fire insurance next year though... the sheer volume of MDF being sold must have constituted a major fire hazard! It's definitely been the product of the last year or 2 and while I didn't buy any I did note several new companies whose websites will need  close examination.

I managed one participation game... a very entertaining game of 7TV.

I made the Bloggers gathering at 1pm and I suspect there will be a photo of us all doing the rounds.  It was nice to be able to put names to faces  although it does seem odd asking "which blog are you then?"  Judging by the number of people taking lots of photos and, increasingly video, I suspect the blogosphere and various Youtube channels will be full of Salute related content shortly!

I also met an old friend from Uni days who I hadn't seen for something like 28 years.  Dave was helping on the Leisure Games stall and it was great to catch up.

Shopping-wise I wasn't too bad... some 7TV baddies and a couple of heroes from Crooked Dice, the latest Wargames Illustrated, mainly so I could get the free Che Guevara mini that came with it...my son was very pleased as Che's a bit of a hero [..he was very entertained by the mini-meltdown on TMP over WI offering an evil Marxist as a freebie!].  I also picked up a terrain feature of a wrecked Tube train from Ainsty as part of the scenery for my Post-Apocalypse project.  Finally I had a very interesting chat with the people behind Skirmish Sangin, the relatively new Afghanistan based modern skirmish game.  The mechanics look good and I liked their aim of trying to focus on the narrative of the game..so much so I went and bought a set [which kind of proves my earlier point about the value of engaging with the punter!]

And now some random photos [apologies if I've either failed to explain whose game it was or got it wrong...  it was a long day!]

The queue at approx. 11am...it looks worse than it was. 
It actually moved pretty quickly

erm...a big space ship. I think it was connected
 to the Dropzone Commander people

The Frothers Dune game

...and the interior

Lots of X Wing

The next few photos are from the very big D Day game

The SLWG big Lord of the Rings game

The Skirmish Sangin game

Lots and lots of 4Ground houses

WW1 in 1914

...and the same but 4 years later

This game was promoting the new Crusades update for Saga

Dien Bien Phu

Dropzone Commander

The Battle of Kemen

Some lovely Oshiro terrain

Post -Salute weariness

Well, I've finished my visit to Salute and I'm on the train back to leafy Surrey with a couple  of bags of goodies and 2 very weary feet!

First impressions were very good...there seemed to be a good turn out and everywhere looked busy.  I managed to make it to the Bloggers meet up at lunchtime and also met an old friend that I haven't seen in about 28 years!

Photos to follow although it did seem like half the world was there taking photos for blogs, Youtube channels etc so there won't be a shortage of photos out there already!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

2 days to Salute

 A quiet week or 2... I played an excellent game of "Spy or Die trying" at the club, thanks to Mike... a very entertaining spy based game in which the players have to cooperate and sneak around the enemy base gathering tokens and preventing the evil villain from building his Doomsday device.

I'm not sure we entirely got the concept of cooperation, and we certainly didn't get the sneaky aspect of the game... the whole thing was more of a Die Hard style bloodbath with slaughtered minions everywhere.  Bizarrely, just as we thought we'd scraped a draw, we discovered that we'd actually won!

It's an entertaining game but blimey... aren't board games like that expensive!!

Pre-Salute planning is now underway...I've pre-ordered some bits from Ainsty Castings for 7TV and plan on picking up a few Copplestone Future Wars figures for the Post Apocalypse plans but that's about it.  Looks like I might be minus my son for the first time in several Salutes...there's  some serious GCSE revision going on in our house!!

Of course there's no guarantee that I'll stick to my spending plan!!! There's also the Bloggers gathering [is there a collective noun for bloggers?] at lunchtime which I missed last year: I aim to put in an appearance there if I can.

Doubtless there will be photos and feedback galore after Saturday...along with half the bloggers in the South East!