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.

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!

Games We Play: Sushi Go Party!

Try to imagine your daughter saying “sushi go…PARTY!” with a little jump and fist pump. Did you imagine that, awesome, because it is cute as all hell. That is also how our Sushi Go Party by Gamewright session started.

Sushi Go Party is not a new game. Sushi Go Party is an upgraded version of Sushi Go. We love Sushi Go. We played until a card was lost and then waited, patiently, for Sushi Go Party’s release.

As a quick recap, Sushi Go is a card passing and matching game. Start with a hand of cards pick one, pass your hand, and continue picking and passing until all of the cards are in play. Your goal is to collect sets of cards or to collect individual cards worth points only looking at the ever shrinking hand of cards passed to you. When all of the cards are played, count up your points and start a new round. Sushi Go is not a complicated game, our eight year old learned a year ago. The hardest part of Sushi Go is keeping track of the cards in play so that you plan your picks well and do not end up with a round of 0 points…I did not track that well.

If Sushi Go is a great game, what is Sushi Go Party? Good question. Sushi Go Party is a deluxe version of Sushi Go. If you have Sushi Go, pick up Sushi Go Party the new stuff is worth the cost. If you are thinking of picking up Sushi Go, just pay the bit extra and get Sushi Go Party.

Sushi Go Party comes with new cards for all categories of food, desert, and modifiers. These cards come with some new rules, such as Tea which scores 1 point for each card of the same color that you have the most of; example: you have three yellow cards, two pink cards, and tea at the end of the round Tea will score you 3 points for the yellow cards. Miso Soup is another new card, score 3 points, but only if you are the only player to play Miso Soup when cards are revealed.

Sushi Go Party comes with a menu style scoring board. The best thing about Sushi Go Party is this board, not only can you keep track of scores in a visible manner, you can show what cards are in the deck and how each type scores. Due to the new cards, players assemble the deck before each game. Chosen types of cards go into the menu board as a reminder of what cards are in play and how each card scores. The expanded rulebook has several suggested deck suggestions for a variety of games.

That doesn’t sound like much, however when a Sushi Go Party game is running at top speed: pick, pass, reveal, pick, pass, reveal remembering what cards score, especially with the new cards can be an issue, especially with new players. Speaking of which we had two new players and after a game both players could play without any major issues.

I highly recommend Sushi Go Party or Sushi Go for any game group. Quick play, easy to learn, fun mechanism, and generous scoring opportunities allow for close games.

 

Games We Play: Rise of the Goblins

Pathfinder goblins are fun, in their own self-destructive way. After the horrorshow of Wrath we needed a break before delving into Mummy’s Mask. Plus the kids wanted to start playing again. Awesome. What better way to take a break and get the kids involved than goblins?

That’s right there is no better way.

The hilarity began right off the bat, with our boy playing Ranzak, the pirate goblin (complete with peg leg and parrot). Because he is a goblin pirate scavenger he had to wait until we built our decks to get build his…on the leftovers which may explain why his number one weapon was a torch…at least he had fire.

Without much preamble or preramble…we started the introductory Perils of the Lost Coast scenarios. I expected all of us to die in very horrible ways and we all almost did…and then we won in a fiery explosion.

Here is what we learned playing goblins…

the goblin fortune teller, can only tell the future when someone else has been punched in the face AND they are at the same location…hmmm…not as useful as we thought

the goblin pirate can only run away from a fight if there are other people at his location

Blessing of the Gobs is the most awesome card ever and yes we used the power to take blessings from the blessing pile all of the time, we are goblins we cannot tell time nor do we care about how much time was left and…

goblins cannot do “normal” math…goblin math example: make a ranged check…I roll a d12…your ranged is d10…yeah d10 + 2 means I roll this die…no, wait…

the pyromancer’s evil goat or ram Deliverance is useless; I didn’t find a use for it…oh well

the pyromancer’s ability to “help” other people at his location is awesome for injecting some unnecessary tension, witness…

All five goblins limped to the finish line, which was the villain as the last card. Along the way in addition to the above, we learned our goblin math wiz of a girl is a killing machine taking out most of the henchmen. However, for the final fight she was AWOL, she did offer to assist with every card in her hand, including her much beloved Potion of Fortitude.

The fight came down to the pirate who thought about running away, then decided to fight with his dogchopper and a lot of luck and assistance. Because there were four of us there, he got a ton of d4’s to roll. Not satisfied with his fist full of tiny dice and wanting to inject some unnecessary tension, I the pyromancer assisted, giving him 4 extra points while dealing 3 points of damage to everyone other than me.

He had to win otherwise everyone other than me and our girl died. Now that is tension, one roll to win or die, a fist full of d4’s (arguably the worst die ever), and a fiery +4 bonus. I maintain to this moment that my +4 and the possibility of instant death for three characters is what motivated him to roll awesome.

So while the goat was useless and we cant’ do math, we can stagger on fire past the finish line. More to come as we stagger our way through Rise of the Runelords GOBLINS.

Games We Play: Tanks, Best 2 out of 3, II

Earlier I told you about the first two games of Tanks with our boy. Here is the rest of the day of Tanks.

Game 3, Assassination. We choose a tank that the other player has to eliminate to win. Sounds good and turned out to be more fun than expected. As in previous games, our boy rushes forward. I hang back a bit, especially my target tank. He rushes his target tank way forward and before he realizes it, BOOM. Target tank blown up. Win, Me.

Best 2 out of 3 vs our boy, WINNER: Me. 🙂

Next up, our girl…

German Invasion

Our girl has a tactical mind. In her words, “I have a plan with branches. When you break a branch, I make a new branch.” She adapts, as best she can, to changing game situations. She like units with firepower and maneuverability, that means Germans.

Her Army, number 1

  • Tiger
  • Panther
  • JagdPanther

tanks-5Game 1, Assassination. My target her Tiger of course. Her target a Sherman 76mm with “War Daddy.” This was a long game with lots of maneuvering for position. She set me up a few times, positioning her tanks in a way that I could gang up on two and get shot by all three of hers. In the end, the game came down to the JagdPanther.

As an assault gun only targets directly in front can be shot. This makes position extremely important. She did her best to get the JadgPanther in position for shots and keep it from getting ganged up. Unfortunately, cumulative damage took it down. Once that happened the Tiger went down under a fusillade of fire and a lucky hit or two.

Game 2, Objective. Our girl changed her army list, she did not see the Panzer IV on the shelf.

Army, number 2

  • Tiger Tank with Michael Whittman (commander)
  • Panther with “Bobby” Woll (gunner) and Clever Hans (doctrine)
  • Panzer IV

tanks-6Upfront, she lost this game. Not due to bad play. Due to bad luck. Tanks has a high element of luck at times, mostly in the Critical Hits area. On a roll of 6, a critical hit is scored. If the critical hit is not canceled by defense, draw a critical hit card. Critical hit cards range from 0 to 3 points of damage and often come with secondary effects, such a crew bailing out or losing movement.

To illustrate, one shot on the Panzer IV resulted in three critical hits for 7 points of damage. If the Panzer with 5 Health had survived, it would have not been able to move, shot, or anything else.

She took out one of my Shermans, which was an under performance by her tanks. Normally, an unmodified Tiger takes out 2 tanks and heavily damages a third. This game, one kill.

tanks-7In the end, bad luck more than bad play cost her the win. Part of bad luck is the rules themselves, a maximum of six dice can be rolled at one time. There were times due to positioning where she should have rolled 7, 8, or 9 dice to my 2 or 3 dice for defense. Suffice to say, we are working on some house rules to increase the value of positioning verse luck.

 

 

Games We Play: Tanks Best 2 out of 3

“Bring it on mutherfucker!”

“We’re gonna kick your ass dad!”

And with that, the challenge was thrown; best 2 out of 3 matches. While Warhammer 40k armies are assembled (literally), painted, and pointed out we continue to play Tanks. Fast and fun, the children are starting to settle into their respective armies and play styles, which works great for Warhammer 40k. How great?

Glad you asked, there is a lot of learning your style of play in miniature games from choice of army:

  • Do you like the look of the army?
  • Do you like the play style on paper? Fast, Slow, Methodical, Hard Hitting, Fragile, etc.
  • Once you start playing how do you play with them?

And so on. Thus, if I can get them to discover their play style with a reasonably inexpensive miniatures game when we start a HORRENDOUSLY expensive game…cough cough Warhammer 40k, I would like them to know in advance more about how they play so I can direct them towards units that works for them.

tanks-1First up, our boy, who at this stage of his gaming life is direct to the point. Give him an objective or story mission and he quickly blasts through to that target, side missions be damned. Keep that style of play in mind.

British Invasion

After setting up the board (read dinner table) and creating our 100 pt armies…oh yeah here are our armies:

Me

  • Sherman 76mm with “Ground Hog” Oiler (gunner)
  • Sherman 76mm with John P. Irwin (gunner)
  • Sherman 76mm with “War Daddy” Pool (commander) and Sandbag Armor

Our Boy

  • Sherman Firefly with Joe Ekins and Super-Velocity Shot
  • Comet with Wilfred Harris and Super-Velocity Shot
  • Cromwell with “Woppy” Radley Walters and Precise Loader

Our boy wanted an objective game first, in the center of the board an objective marker representing supplies both sides wanted. Having played several games against the German army played by our girl I was prepared for tanks making two moves upfront and one move at the end of the turn. I was not prepared for fast tanks.

Fast is a keyword on some tanks (mostly British tanks at our house), allowing a tank to make three moves at a time. Three moves really opens up the table for maneuver. To explain this, I planned three turns to get to the objective, and spend the rest of the game fighting. Our boy’s British tanks with fast reached the objective in two, catching my tanks out in the open.

tanks-2A brief exchange of shooting where he lost one tank, but secured the objective when I moved my tanks to cut off what I thought was an end run to get behind my tanks. It was not. Round one to the boy.

Game two, our boy wanted to play to the last tank standing. He had a plan. I love it when people, especially children, get enough into a game to begin to plan ahead. His plan, drive his Comet down the center and right and left flank me with his other tanks.

tanks-4Great plan as I was moving down the center as a group. He could have caught me in a crossfire. Except, and this is where children tend to fall down, he did not look closely at his side of the table (he set the terrain there by the way). He also did not think about putting a slow tank as a flanker. Which caused him to move his fast flanker tank slow; he did something a lot of people do-symmetrical movement-I want both sides to reach the same spot at the same time. Good plan…

Until, his center tank got hit by all three of my tanks, treads fly off (no movement until repaired), sight got busted (-2 attack until repaired), and the crew, wisely, bails (no nothing until repaired). His flanking tanks out of position because the Firefly has a maximum movement of 2 and he symmetrically moved his Cromwell (up to 3 moves and could have made a huge difference).

Turn 2, Comet blows up. Firefly engages with a Sherman with no effect, and Cromwell accelerates for a side attack run.

Turn 3, Firefly’s ammunition explodes (really lucky critical hit) and Cromwell settles into the woods. Settles as defined by tread hit.

Turn 4, my three tanks shred his Cromwell.

Game two, me.

Game three on hold until he gets up. After game three, best of three against our girl and her German Army.