Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Gaming the Weekend Away...

This weekend past my dear brother happened to chance our hospitality here at the Castle.  While much time was spent kicking footballs around the backyard and playing dinosaurs with my energetic son, we also happened to play several games.

It was a great opportunity to attack the growing pile of unplayed games that have been accumulating around the house.  Some of the games played and some very brief thoughts follow:

Knights of Crylail

A fun little dexterity game for two - a game my son absolutely adored, even if the subtleties of ‘rules’ avoided him.  Players flick disks down the length of the table toward some evil monsters (well - scoring tokens really), each players’ disks have individual special powers that allow them to be used or scored in different ways.  It’s not a bad game by any stretch, certainly a quick and fun dexterity game - perfect for playing on the outdoor table while sausages and various snacks are sizzling away on the barbeque.


A rally racing game, where players push their luck to see how far they can move by ‘chaining gears’ - each gear allows for another dice rolled, but the risk is that if too many dice come up with bad results the car will spin out and a whack of time will be added to the players race-time (having the shortest of which is the winning condition).  It’s an interesting game, but one that invites the players to think too much about how to optimise their turn when the pay-off for such pondering is perhaps largely negligible.  It’s a good game, but I’m not sure how often I’d bring it out given I also have Formula D - a wonderful racing game that is a little simpler and equally fun.

Klop (or Mollky):

An excellent game
I’ve blogged about this game before, it really is an excellent outdoor game.  I can say little more but to heartily recommend it.

Omen: A Reign of War:

The second best game of the weekend.  Players are trying to win by either sacking the most treasures or by achieving the most feats. There are two currencies - the hand of cards and money, both of which must be kept in balance throughout the game.  The key is the special powers of the various cards, some of which activate when a card is played, some when a card is discarded and some can be used turn in turn out.  These special powers, when used in combination with one another, allow for some fun, sometimes devastating game effects.  It was a good game.  The artwork is also very nice, and the metal coins that came with the kickstarter version add to the joie de vivre, yes - I am that shallow when it comes to nice game pieces.

Song of Blades and Heroes:

Set-up and ready to play...
Undoubtedly the best of the games played this past weekend.  This is a small and quick skirmish style miniatures game.  We ended up playing 3 or 4 times, and each time played a random and simple scenario using my Splintered Light anthropomorphic warriors.  The scenarios added a lot of fun to the game - certainly they were at times unbalanced a tad (by board gaming standards at least), but they gave a purpose to each game from which rose a fun and enjoyable story.  That each member of our warbands were given names only served to add to the tales (Cedrik the hedgehog, Alby the shrew, The Wrecking Machine (aptly named, as both Alby and Cedrik fell by his hand - accompanied by his catch-phrase "He's a wrecking machiiiinnnnneeeee")).

Cedrik corners an enemy mouse by the ford...
The rules are simple, and the gameplay is enjoyable and quick moving.  While scenarios can be a touch unbalanced (some might favour one set of abilities or the kind chance of set-up), the games are nonetheless engaging and a lot of fun.  With the Splintered Light miniatures it was all rather like Wind in the Willows crossed with Robin Hood, and I for one found that a rather pleasant and entertaining mix.  

A treasure discovered...
If you happen to be looking for a light skirmish miniatures game I can heartily recommend Song of Blades and Heroes - one of the best aspects of the game is that each warband only requires a small number of miniatures, so the price to enter the game is nowhere near as prohibitive as some miniatures games out there.

So that was the weekend, undoubtedly the gaming highlights were Omen and the most enjoyable Song of Blades and Heroes - I can’t wait to get my miniatures properly painted!

Other highlights included chasing dinosaurs and trying to catch disks from Knights of Crylail as they came spinning and flying across the table.


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