Games We Play: Roll For Get Bit Snakebite On the Oregon Trail…and more

Day one of game weekend went well. Before diving into the last two scenarios of Rise of the Goblins we played several mini-games (as in small bite sized (this will come up in a minute)).

Roll For It

Roll For It is a die rolling, gambling/press your luck game. The goal to score 40 points before the other players. To score points you roll up to six 6-sided dice and place the results of your roll onto cards that have images of dice on them. For example, a card might have an image of a 1, 3, and two 5s. To score the card, you must have a die with a 1, 3, and two more dice with 5s showing on the card. Here is the catch, once a die or dice are placed on the card, they stay there until the card is scored by you or someone else. The challenge, allocating your dice in a way that leaves you dice to roll with a good chance of success, while other players do the same.

Roll For It is simple, but not as quick as expected. Between luck of the die and luck of the card draw a few of our games went over 30 minutes. Over five rounds, everyone won a round with the last round being the tie breaker. We had fun, but there were several times where one or more us scored no cards, kind of a downer for that game. If you purchase, get the deluxe tin, save yourself some hassle.

Get Bit

You are a robot swimming with your buddies when a shark shows up and tries to eat one of you, try to swim faster than your buddies. Get Bit is cute, you get several robots that you can and will tear the arms and legs off of and one shark. Gameplay is simple, each player has a hand of seven cards numbered 1 thru seven. Each round, each player plays a card in secret, reveal and resolve. From lowest to highest number each player moves to the front of the swim line. If there is a tie those players do not move. At the end of a round, the robot in last loses a limb (tear off an arm or leg), when all four limbs are gone your robot is out of the game.

The kids loved this, the adults caught onto card counting and paying attention to player patterns a bit too quick, resulting in a lot of games where adults tried harder to be unpredictable in card play than the kids or they probably should’ve. Avoid the deluxe version, the regular version may not come with stickers, but is cheaper and the game is the same.

Oregon Trail

If you are old enough you remember Oregon Trail as one of the first text based video games. The goal then as now, get your wagon trail from one side of the country to the other. Like then, Oregon Trail is a vicious, but fun game. Oregon Trail was the surprise hit of the night and we lost.

Oregon Trail is a cooperative game, win or lose together. Players start the game with a hand of trail and supply cards. The number of supply cards varies with the number of players. On a turn a player may:

  • Play a trail card, follow any instructions on the trail card
  • Play a supply card, usually in response to one or more calamity cards in play

Play five trail cards, create a stack, start a new row of trail cards, create ten stacks of five and you win. The problem, life on the Oregon Trail is rough. Rivers need to be forded; failing to ford costs supplies (washed down river)-our first river took 5 supply cards. If rivers were not hard enough, there are plenty of trail cards that force players to draw calamity cards.

I died from typhoid, if the river had not claimed all of our medicine I might have lived

Our boy caught cholera, broke his arm, got cured, then died literally the next turn to a snake bite

Our girl and Barb got just over half way to their destination, when calamity struck in the form of dead oxen stranding them

Yes, we died, but we had a lot of fun playing. I suggest Oregon Trail for the whole family, hell if nothing else you get a dry erase board to write your created names on and tombstones on the back to write how you died. 🙂

Finally RISE OF THE RUNELORDS GOBLINS

We ended the night with Rise of the Goblins, we had two scenarios to finish Rise of the Runelords Adventure Deck One and we wanted to get them done. Here is the major difference between a non-goblin character and a goblin character, non-goblin characters do not do harm to others as part of their turn to turn activities. Some of the best goblin moments involve hurting fellow goblins to activate other abilities, such as setting off a spell bomb that damages everyone, but they got extra dice.

There isn’t much to say about the last two scenarios, we won and won well. The hardest moment was one of the first cards, Shopkeepers Daughter who nuked me for six cards. Things should get more interesting with deck 2.

Back to gaming.

Pink Tank, Big Table

Two weeks!

Two weeks without gaming.

This is a long dry spell for us.

The cracks are starting to show.

I know as I write this I am potentially cursing this weekend in the same way someone washing their car causes rain, BULLSHIT I say. The ick has left the house, Barb’s work schedule has cleared, and other obstacles to three days of gaming have been cleared.

The funny thing is long periods, in this case two weeks after months of gaming, really do affect all us in different ways. Moodiness, listlessness, and the constant talk about the games we could be playing “if this and that” weren’t in the way. To distract most of us, we have painted and planned. Lots of miniatures sit on shelves in rows waiting their chance to hit the tabletop and wage war for us.

We cannot wait to see them and show them to you. Sure there will be plenty of gray figures (those not painted yet), but the focus for us will be playing. To that end we have a laundry list of games to play and while I am positive not all of them will get played, we will do our damndest to game.

At this moment, our new game table has Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Rise of the Goblins set up, waiting for us to gather round tomorrow evening. The new table is almost as exciting as the thought of playing. For years we have tried to cram one game after another on a long diner table. Games require space and a diner table has space for food and feasts and no matter what size feast we have had just about every game takes up more space.

Frustration they name is when there is not enough space to roll dice without scattering pieces or needing a second table to hold other pieces. Frustration begone! Devil us no more, at least at the gaming table. That picture is our new gaming table, notice the space! I said NOTICE THE SPACE! Everyone has enough space for their character and the pieces necessary for play. Hot damn!

This table allows us to play miniature games, such as Warhammer 40k as they were meant to be played, with space to set up terrain, armies, and move them about without knocking just about everything around.

So here is the deal, I hope, starting sometime in the evening Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Rise of the Goblins. I think we are shooting for finishing the first Adventure Deck. Then a mini-game of Get Bit, Roll For It, or Oregon Trail. Something small and light to break up the long games of Pathfinder.

The next day, Warhammer 40k. I have to teach the rules to three people that I know of and they have been working on their miniatures to one extent or another and want to play badly. Which brings me around to a request from our daughter, a pink tank to match (match is used rather liberally) her pink Imperial Guard squad.

I have no problem at all painting miniatures anyway someone wants. I use the various and numerous army lists and images as reference only. I have painted armies solid black with anarchy symbols, another like KISS, another with pinstripes, another with bubblegum balls as camouflage, and so on. My paint jobs have driven many a purist into a frothy rage. Fine with me, I play better than I paint. So, over the last two weeks I have painted a lot of figures for play, tonight I finally got to her tank; right now base coat of pink, bright blue tiger stripes to come. 🙂

And after all of the above is done there is talk of Sushi Go Party! and Tokaido. If all goes well (knocking on wood) there will be several Games We Play. 🙂

Games We Play: Except We Didn’t Play

We, meaning myself and others (notably our  boy) have busted their butts for the past few weeks for this weekend. Busted their butts how?

  • Picking a Warhammer 40k army (space marines, tyranid, tau, imperial guard, and possible showing of chaos)
  • Painting much of their army
  • Pointing out their army (200 and 500 point chunks)

All to be ready to Play their army in a series of games this weekend.

We even got really lucky and found a 4×4 folding sides on wheels table for a great price. For the first time in ages, we have a gaming table. Terrain, not Lego, was assembled, some painted, and lovingly looked at by all players in anticipation of blowing the shit out of each other.

Plans, not that we plan much, instead an order was determined, smaller games 200 points to a side at most, no vehicles-think Kill Team without the specialist rules-where everyone not familiar with the rules could learn the rules, ask questions, roll fist fulls of dice, and make tweaks to their armies. Following a break with mini-games, such as the newly acquired Oregon Trail (a whole other post), bigger games, up to 500 points no limitations, on a side, slowly escalating the learning curve.

A whole weekend was set to go…

the first sign of something wrong, a sniffle. Oh sure, sniffle here sniffle there and soon sniffles everywhere. Sniffles lead to a runny nose, a cough, then…

worse this was not limited to the children. I am not implying that had only the children been sick the adults would have played, because I am not that kind of gamer…what I am implying is that had the disease been limited to them the adults could make up their own minds if they wanted to be around our sick kids, further what I hoped for was the miraculous recovery power that children seem to have. If you are a parent you are familiar with child sick one day and the next like nothing happened…

then the first adult succumbed to the disease…

then another.

Here I am, the only non-sick person, eating tons of uber spicy food to burn out any hint of disease, make my body not hospitable to any illness, and because I love spicy food, writing a post. Not a post celebrating our hard work and fun times. No a dirge to the illness that laid our group low.

There will be other times when we can get together for a three day weekend, I know this, but I hate to see so much effort and desire go unused, not wasted, just unused for now.

In a silver lining way, we have a gaming table and it is awesome. We have terrain built and now have time to make the terrain look awesome. Everyone has an army and knows what they need to paint to be ready. This means people have more time to paint, always a plus.

Soon enough everyone will be back on their feet, at the table, rolling fist fulls of dice, as war is waged in plastic.

Games We Play: Game Prep

Raise your hand if you like setting up or tearing down games?

If you raised your hand you are either lying or a masochist. 🙂

We love to play games. Unfortunately, we are limited to playing games during breaks from school, holidays, summer vacation, and weekends. Thus, weekends is where you get to read Games We Play. 🙂

Of all of the aspects of playing a game, game prep, or the preparation to play a game is the least favorite around here. Game prep used to be solely my least favorite thing, as I am the person who picks the games, learns the rules, teaches the rules, and until recently the person who set up and tore down games. Talk about not a lot fun.

Thankfully as the children age they are taking more interest in the games they play, which means input on games we play and for me, slightly more interest in learning how set up and tear down games. Notice the slightly.

Currently Rise of the Runelords Goblins and some version of Warhammer 40K (actual Warhammer 40k or Kill Team) are the two favorite games. Unfortunately, both games have lengthy game prep and game tear down phases…and neither child enjoys either, go figure.

Taking Rise of the Runelords Goblins, to play the following must be completed, not in any particular order:

  1. Pull the boxed set out of the game cabinet along with play mat
  2. Pull the current scenario out of the box
  3. Assemble the five location decks and blessing deck (this involves drawing cards from up to 10 different decks)
  4. Shuffle the location decks
  5. Pull out each player’s character deck and dice
  6. Establish where each player will sit
  7. Play (this is the last step of set up)

To tear down a game of Rise of the Runelord Goblins

Put any extra cards in the box

  1. Disassemble any remaining location decks (split one deck into up to 10 different decks)
  2. Yell at players to stop throwing cards they acquired during a game, but do not want onto the play mat that you are currently trying to tear down
  3. Remind players to assemble their deck for the next game
  4. Remind players to get their rewards
  5. Pick up all remaining cards other than Blessing Deck, unless the last game of the night
  6. Assemble your own deck
  7. Pick over cards acquired, but not wanted left by other players
  8. Put those cards away
  9. Deep breath

There are a lot of steps and the sad thing is that usually you do this by yourself with up to four other people at the table or in the room. At least that is how it used to be, times are a changing for the better.

Typically what happens is one person will assemble the location decks and walk away from the table, someone else will shuffle the location decks and put them where they think they should go, another person will adjust them while making sure player decks are in place along with dice.

Tear down is still mostly a one person show, but everyone is getting better about not throwing unwanted cards on the table and if not putting cards away putting them into organized piles for easier putting away.

Yep, game prep…least fun part of gaming around here and notice I did not get into Warhammer 40k. 🙂

 

500 And 1 Words At A Time: How Painting & Writing Are NOT Similar

Not so long ago, in historical not blogging terms, I wrote about how, for me, painting miniatures and writing are similar. Then I spent a lot of time demonstrating that using Puddles and Whiskers, recently finishing the Wash and Dry Brush phase of writing.

This weekend, as my paint covered fingers can attest to was spent painting miniatures and playing games. And as this weekend moved along, even though I was avoiding actively writing (not that it stopped me from writing), I kept seeing where writing and painting are similar and dissimilar.

Similar was obvious to me, the unpainted miniature the idea, the base coat the initial draft, the first layers the rough drafts, washes and dry brushes the edits and revisions, and finally the detail work or finishing the story. Sure there are missing details from that list, such as the trimming and assembly which come at various stages of working a miniature, which is at time analogous to editing and assembling the story.

So how are they dissimilar? Injury comes to mind first and foremost.

However, as exciting as injury sounds, teaching was the biggest area. Our boy and girl both like playing miniature games. I however, am tired of assembling and painting their miniatures. To me part of playing a game like Warhammer 40k is investing in the game. There are not too many games where you invest more than money; they invest time, reading, math, creativity, organization, and more. I want them to get invested. Thus, I am trying to teach them how to assemble, paint, and take care of their miniatures.

I have found teaching writing is easier than teaching painting. Why? Mainly because I do not have to teach how to write from scratch. Schools teach basic writing, language, spelling, and the rest. When people come to me to learn, what they want is guidance and assurance. Later comes wanting editing. 🙂 Same thing with our kids, the school is doing the majority of the work, I encourage, read their works, encourage some more, and guide them until they move on to another story.

School is not teaching the basics of painting. I have to teach them how to hold a miniature to minimize skin oil contact or to avoid rubbing paint off or reach a difficult angle with a brush. I have to teach them how to use a brush, dip the tip, not dunk the whole brush. Brush strokes to create thin layers of paint to keep not obscure details. Recognizing details on a miniature. Choosing colors. Applying washes. Dry brushing. And the concept that like writing, a miniature is only finished when you say so, but at anytime you can go back.

As part of teaching, comes injury and mess. Mess is easy to deal with, spilled paint cleans up, even when the accident is half a pot of brown wash on a yellow shirt or painting a miniature on the table and over brushing leaving a clean spot on the table when the miniature is moved. Injury is less easy to deal with.

Thankfully, super glue only bonds skin for a short bit, speaking of which teaching them how to safely use super glue and xacto knives is a must. The first time it happens is disconcerting for them, but they realize that super glued skin does not hurt and fixing the issue does not hurt, just takes time. Cutting one-self with an xacto is a whole other lesson.

I told them both that cutting themselves with an xacto would happen and it would not hurt as long as the blade was sharp and I keep sharp blades. They did not believe me or Barb, they listened to my injury stories and ignore them. Yesterday, our boy sliced a finger open good. Instead of freaking out, he calmly announced he cut his finger, took it to the bathroom where we bandaged the cut up, and he commented that like I said, it happened and did not hurt.

 

 

Pulling Together As Only Goblins Can

We did it.

Black Fang, defeated. Oh sure, it took all of our resources, frogs, and right up against the time limit. What does that matter, nothing! We five goblins defeated a dragon.

For goblins they have some really kick ass abilities and some unusual ones to boot. However with five games under our belt, three taking on Black Fang, we are starting to get the gist of being a goblin. Such as, do not send or let Chuffy Lickwound do anything with Charisma. Why, because he adds a d8 to the difficulty of any Charisma check. Yes, so ugly he makes things worse.

Zabini can see the future, as long as someone at her location has gotten punched in the nose. Surely that cannot be right, but it is and her ability to the see the future is less impressive than it sounds as she is not looking at the future of the location, but the future of your character deck. Something akin to looking into someone’s pocket while they are looking for their wallet and telling them that the next thing they will pull out is a wallet.

Tup has a goat he can’t seem to get rid of and the ability to turn anything into a fire spell. Goat is a pain and fire spell out of anything is awesome until you realize only at the end of a game that unchecked you can literally burn through your life. And it makes deck building a pain in the ass to boot.

Reta can shoot anything except when Reta has an icy longspear. Why does Reta have an icy longspear? Her player, our girl, saw the icy longspear, missed getting one, and then got one via lucky end game loot draw and has loved it ever since. What else does Reta do? Unless killing is involved nothing much, but she is good at killing so that works for now.

Poog is a mixed goblin, part fighter, part divine spell caster, and when played by our friend part awesome at killing things and part “I’m casting Cure on me again.” One game sooner or later Poog will standout in a way that makes Poog make sense…we hope, but until now Poog can do it all including healing you as long as you play a blessing on a check that Poog is making; think of it as making a donation to the church (of goblins) to get healing…one card of healing.

On our own we are a very mixed bag of success, failure, and hilarity. Together there is strength. The pairing of Chuffy and Tup is powerful as they cover each other well and while one of Chuffy’s abilities is lost with Tup around, Tup’s ability to give a bonus to checks at the expense of a wound or two or three kinda balances out.

Next up, visiting Sandpoint where goblins who look suspiciously like us are attacking.

Games We Play: Rise of the Goblins, Me-Lee & Veterinarians

Welcome back to Rise of the Runelords GOBLINS! Our happy band of goblins are still stuck on the third scenario of the introductory adventure. I seem to recall a time LOOOOoooooong ago when our non-goblin characters went through something similar as we figured out how best to work out group. This feels similar, in that we are still learning what goblins can and cannot do. Interestingly enough, our group of goblins has one of everything other than someone who wears heavy armor and who needs that?

Our biggest issue is deck stall and the occasional crappy roll at a critical moment. Deck stall for those not familiar with the term is when you have a hand of cards that are not useful. Typically, in Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, this means that you have a hand of weapons or cards you want to save for later. Weapon cards tend to stay in your hand until you discard one in an emergency or as damage. Cards you want to save for later are your “cool” cards. You want to keep them because they do “cool” things, but for the moment they are not useful.

The effect of deck stall in a PACG is you make one explore a turn unless the explored card gives you a second exploration. One exploration a turn really slows a game down; a player would need 11 turns to get through a location deck, players do not get 11 turns in a game, thus multiple explorations and some luck are required.

Pair multiple deck stall with inopportune crappy die rolls, such as when Zibini faced off against a very early Ancient Skeleton and rolled 3 one’s. Five damage later and deck stall was a good thing for her. Or when Reta did kill her Ancient Skeleton, but botched (more than our share of botches appeared at the table) her To Close roll.

On the plus side we have learned to stop using Blessing of the Gobs to take blessings from the blessing deck, costing us turns. This is a huge step in the right direction. There have not been any moments of goblin math, goblin language continues to evolve…

Me Lee said in a cute girl’s voice, as our daughter has not pronounced melee correctly yet and will correct people who do, “Not melee, Me Lee!”

And don’t ask how or why, but there was a rash of veterinarians in our game. I wish I had an answer for why there were Mercenary veterinarians and undead veterinarians. Honestly, I did not think that animal doctors had so many varied backgrounds and yet there they were fighting us and saving animals along the way. Very odd indeed.

I wish I could say that Black Fang the Dragon was kicking our collective green butts and that is why we keep losing. He is not and we are losing, but we are still GOBLINS!