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.

 

 

 

 

 

Games We Play: Tem-Purr-A & TPK (Total Party Kill)

Perhaps. Just perhaps I should have waited to post yesterday, say roughly an hour. If I had waited an hour I might have saved myself sometime writing about the difficulty, rewards, army cards, and character issues we were (read WERE) having with the last Adventure Deck for Wrath of the Righteous.

What happened you may wonder? Did we quit? Did we put the game up for the night? Or…did something worse happen?

Something worse. Now this is where party composition really reared its ugly head. I knew with two ranged characters and a paladin our group was lacking. The two ranged characters had split good ranged weapons between them all along. I, as the paladin, had the best of everything because neither ranged player wanted melee weapons. If we had a dedicated cleric or wizard we might have been able to recover with access to high level spell, we did not, thus when we encountered the demon lord whose checks were 50 and then 50 and fail at either and DIE! Odds were no looking good.

Yet, we managed through dumb luck to corner the demon lord without too much hassle. The best chance for success, my character was facing him down while the other characters closed out the only remaining location. First roll, 42. DEAD. Without access to revive spells or items, I stayed dead. Then the hunter died. And last, but not least the reformed demon died.  Yep, Total Party Kill (TPK).

We broke Wrath down, vowed to return with new characters and better party composition. Then, instead of immediately turning our attention to Mummy’s Mask we decided to start a Rise of the Runelords Goblin game. As that unfolds you can read about it here, right now we are still arguing over which goblin is cooler. 🙂

Tem-Purr-A

0004337_tem-purr-aTem-Purr-A by IELLO games is about cats at an eating contest. The goal, to make the other cats get indigestion, three times. Tem-Purr-A is a small box, quick to play, easy to learn, and fun game. Artwork of cats alone is worth the price of admission.

Game play is as follows: Play a card with a number, next player matches that number OR plays an action card OR plays two of the same different number card (top of the stack is a 5, you play one 6 to close out the stack and a second 6 to start a new stack). If a player cannot do any of those things, the player draws a number of cards equal to the total of the stack. They reveal the cards drawn, if an indigestion card has been drawn, the player gets an indigestion token and the round is over. Players keep their cards (I had a hand of 34 at one point), shuffles the stacks and indigestion cards with the deck, direction of play flips, and the player who got the indigestion card starts a new stack.

Took me longer to type that than learn it.

Our game from opening the box, punching out the counters, reading the rules, unwrapping the cards, shuffling, and starting play took around 20 minutes. If you are looking for a quick, easy to learn, and cute card game Tem-purr-a is a good choice.

Games We Play: Wrath of the Righteous

For me there is a tipping point between wanting to play, even desiring to play, and not wanting to play. Wrath of the Righteous is closing in on the not wanting to play. Between Rise of the Runelords, Skulls and Shackles, and Wrath of the Righteous, Rise of the Runelords has been the most fun. Skulls and Shackles was last (lack of interesting rules and usage of boats and a storyline that did not catch our collective interest), but now, near the very end, Wrath of the Righteous is getting on my nerves. A game that gets on my nerves, does not see a lot of play.

Part of the reason Wrath is getting on my nerves is because of our group, a paladin, a hunter, and a reformed demon. Sounds like a fun group and maybe in another set they are, but in Wrath there is a distinct lack of a certain weapon type in comparison to others, ranged weapons. Yes, there are ranged weapons, but GOOD ranged weapons are hard to find and when two characters are ranged weapon users splitting up the small pool of available weapons is problematic.

There are other problems with our group that are exacerbated by Wrath. We lack the ability to tackle challenges in several areas that Wrath seems to encourages, such as Intelligence and Knowledge checks. Overall, our group is not a good group for Wrath and that is a problem.

Our group issues noted, the primary increase in challenge for Wrath seems to come from higher numbers. Makes sense, but there are other creative ways to challenge characters. The last few adventures have felt like practice for a math test and not like a game.

This might not be such an issue except that after all of the math, the rewards, especially in the last Adventure Deck have been less than stellar. If I defeat a demon lord, I want awesome loot. Something that says, “I defeated Bob Demon Lord of Cheesy Chicken Strips.”

Most of the rewards either go back in the box because a reward from an earlier Adventure Deck is better or are character improvement boxes. Unfortunately, by Adventure Deck 6, the character improvement boxes are not that interesting because I used earlier character improvement rewards to check off all of the useful boxes. Meaning, for defeating the demon lord, I get to add +1 to a check or look at a second card.

I understand the design philosophy of making sure any character can play in any set. I wonder though, since Wrath is supposed to represent truly higher level of play is alternate versions of the character sheets could be made where there are still interesting character choices to make near the end of the game and rewards that stand out.

Will Wrath see more play. Definitely, the storyline is catchy and we have lots of character combos to try.

Games We Play: Tanks, Part 2

Previously, I wrote about our experiences with Tanks by Gale Force 9.

A quick recap, Tanks is a World War 2 Armor (read TANKS) skirmish game. The game is easy to learn, fast to play, and filled with options. The models are easy to assemble (there are instructions in the rule book, on Gale Force 9’s site, and really detailed instructions on Flames of War (they use the same models)), detailed, and fun to play with.

When I left off, I had ordered a Tiger tank for our girl, because you know, Tiger in the name. And then the Tiger arrived. Putting it mildly, the Tiger tank is a scary beast, just like in life.

tiger-tank-2This is her Tiger. She wanted it painted gold. When I wouldn’t do that she tried to get her mom and a friend to convince me to paint it pink camouflage. I declined and went menacing dark grey.

Shortly after her Tiger was dry we set up a 100 point game. On her side, a Panther, a JagdPanther, and her Tiger. On my side, four, count them four Sherman 76mm tanks. Even though the point values of our squads were even, I did not feel confident; her Tiger is “immune” to side shots and has a huge cannon.

tanks-in-actionTable arranged. Terrain in place. Tanks to their starting position and we were off. Not wasting anytime our girl rushed the center of the table establishing a commanding position. Except, her JagdPanther is an assault gun meaning it can only target tanks directly in front of it. None of my tanks were in front, but it was in front of three of mine.

BOOM! End of the first turn and one of her tanks is down. However, two of mine take a lot of damage.

Not willing to sit in the center of the table, she moved to one side isolating one of my Sherman tanks. The other three spent a turn maneuvering around a building and dead JagdPanther. Unlucky rolls on her part and lucky rolls on mine, my isolated tank survived-bruised, but alive.

Turn three, the Panther goes up in flames under the fire of three tanks, but before going out the Tiger and Panther tank out two of my tanks.

Last turn, she opts to keep the Tiger in place relying on armor and being able to reroll attack dice. I opt to remain in place because there is no place to go that does anything for me. Both of my tanks shoot; two very luck shots-four critical hits between them and the Tiger goes boom. Not before taking out an undamaged Sherman.

No gloat. A realization that if I had not gotten lucky, if odds had evened out, despite better maneuvering than her I would have lost due to the rather large and painful tank that a Tiger is. She spent the next ten minutes explaining to her brother how best to use the Tiger (he was up next) and vowing revenge. I fear her Tiger. I fear her Tiger so much I bought myself a Pershing, because you know Pershing…wait…because you know big cannon. 🙂