Sunday, June 14, 2015

Some Actual Games!

Yes, some actual games, with figures! Not wargames per-se mind, but we're getting there.

First of all though I had a chance to play Imperial Settlers at the club.  'Settlers' is a card driven game with elements of resource management, worker placement and engine building at its' heart; by which for non board-gamers I mean its pretty complicated.

I was the Japanese, and I sucked at it.
 What looks at first like a cute little card game, with cartoony graphics lifted straight out of the sort of games your 11 yr old's play on their phones, turned out to be a real brain-burner of trying to maximise the combos of the cards and identify the opponents strengths so you could block them.  I don't know that I'd try it again in a hurry mind.

The following evening I had a few games at a mates house.  He'd had a bout of nostalgia and managed to drop 60 notes on a copy of Space Hulk and Deathwing.  Although in the past we had nary discussed my gaming he knew I was into this sort of thing and so on a night when neither of us had plans we met up to try something different.

We began with a couple of rounds of the first scenario from Space Hulk, which to be honest is the only one I can recall playing.  I've played the game about twice before, but this did not stand me in good stead for standing a chance of winning.

Jeff the painted Genestealer, on his way to death #12 or so
 In the first round I took the Terminators, and managed to get the vital flamer nerfed after a few rounds; not ideal.  We swapped ends and I fared just as badly as the Genestealers, getting blasted at every turn.  My opponent charged at the objective with the familiarity of an old hand and soon set it ablaze.

Now my mate last engaged with figure games and board games somewhere in the mid nineties, and was pretty much unfamiliar with anything outside of games workshop fare, so I cracked out Imperial Assault for him to have a look at.  'Wow, things have certainly moved on' was the general sentiment to this, and within five minutes we were agreed on trying to fumble through the rules for the introductory skirmish scenario.

My turn as a rebel, having already led the Space Tories to defeat in round 1
In the first round I took the Imperials versus two rebel characters.  The game is designed to work as both a roleplay-dungeon bash game and a table top skirmish system, there are a lot of pages of rules, but the basics are covered only in three or four sides, which I had at least read beforehand, so we plugged away at it.  The intro scenario is essentially there to let the heroes win, and so it was no surprise when my storm troopers shot like drunks in the first game.  We got a couple of rules wrong of course but that wouldn't have changed the outcome.

Swapping ends once again, my oppo gave me a harder time of it, learning from my mistakes, but in the end was also overwhelmed, particularly when I started to exploit the stress mechanic to carry out special abilities.  Overall Imperial Assault went down great with my mate, and we were soon talking about who could join us next time to expand the game to a proper session.  We rounded off the evening with a game of Smash Up - a simple card game of combined decks of faction cards trying to take control of objectives - and more chat about possible future game nights.

I don't know if I should be glad he has the gaming bug now, or sorry for him ;-) Have I led a friend down the path of darkness, worse yet - and more selfishly - could this lead me back the the doors of the evil 'Citadel' once again?  Who knows, experience tells me not to press the issue, but as the poor sod has already invested in a copy of Zombicide and the Space Hulk card game, I fear it may be too late!

Looks like Star Wars may have turned him to the Dark Side...

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