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Category Archives: Board Games

Posts about our weekly game nights.

Game 4

  • Owen – Fighter Level 2 – No Kit
  • Steve – Cleric Level 2 – Claws of the Umberhulk
  • Mike – Ranger Level 2 – No Kit
  • Ben – Rogue Level 2 – $200

Game 3 

Owen – Fighter Level 2 – No Kit
Steve – Cleric Level 2 – No Kit

Mike – Ranger Level 2 – No Kit

Ben – Rogue – No Kit

We’re playing through the Temple of Element Evil board game. After a rocky start I think we’ve hit our rhythm. Owen’s character bought his way up to second level this week and we didn’t need to use any Surge Counters for healing. So far so good!

After finishing this week’s ToEE scenario, we played a couple games of 7 Wonders. We all love this game…even if we can’t deal out all of the cards (right Ben?) or manage to pass the cards the correct direction every time. (Yep, we’re the best of the best at this game.)

The first game was pretty close, with only 4 points between first and last place. The second game…not so close.

Our scores for the night:

7w_Score_G9_R1_2015-09-21 7w_Score_G9_R2_2015-09-21

Game 2

Owen – Fighter Level 2 – No Kit

Steve – Cleric – 200gp, Claws of the Umberhulk, Robe of Eyes

Mike – Ranger – 100gp

Ben – Rogue – No Kit

Game 1

Owen – Fighter – 300gp, Ring of the Ram

Steve – Cleric – 200gp, Claws of the Umberhulk

Mike – Ranger – 100gp, Exploding Gem

Ben – Rogue – 300gp

We tried out XCOM: The Board Game Thursday night. It has the interesting distinction of having an app that controls each game turn. This sounded a little intimidating at first. Especially when the first part of a game turn is timed.

What we found is that the timed events really added an urgency (more like a need) to respond to the event quickly, in real-time, thus forcing split-second decisions that the fate of the world hang upon. While some might not want that much stress in their game playing, I thought it was pretty cool. For those who need it, there is also a “pause” button. But it only pauses for so long.

It helps that each player has a roll: Commander, Chief Scientist, Central Officer, or Squad Leader. Each event targets a specific roll, so everyone does not have to respond to each timed event. This gives the other players a breather…for a few precious seconds.

After the timed events are finished, you go through and resolve the decisions you made. Did you spend too many resources? Did you fail to research some vital technology? Are aliens running amuck in the XCOM base? Let’s hope not.

You lose the game if too many continents go into the panic zone or if you lose the XCOM base. You win the game if you complete the final mission.

We played through the tutorial game pre-programmed into the app. I think it was on “Easy” mode. We did not win. The world was overrun by alien ships and panic reigned supreme.

I for one welcome our new alien overlords.

Chaos Steve

Last night Ben, Owen, Mike Byrd, and I played another game of Railways of the Western US. This is a tough map with lots of mountains. The mountains make building track very expensive. Mike shot out to an early lead and we thought we’d never catch him. We were wrong.

Just before the last turn, I earn 12 points by completing the Golden-Something-Or-Other route of Omaha to San Francisco. You’d think this would surely win me the game? No, it didn’t. I came in third. On the last round, Ben earned 7 points on each of his three actions! You’d think that this would surely win him the game. No, it didn’t. He came in second.

First place went to Owen who won the game without talking a single share of stock! What a monumental railroading feat in and of itself! But on this board as well? Truly remarkable! Well done Owen!

(I am humbled to have shared in Owen’s victory by delivering the cube that earned Owen his first point of the game. He had a hotel at the location. Truly an amazing achievement Owen! I’m glad I was part of it.) J

Chaos Steve


This weekend we finished up a Clash of Cultures game. The following is a recount of just one small encounter between Mike and me and how things can go so terribly wrong…for me.

It all began when Mike made a surprise amphibious assault against one of my undefended cities. He basically walked in and took it. Then he built a fortress there.

I had another nearby city with a two army units in it and I knew if I didn’t take the city back on my turn, Mike would reinforce it and I’d never get it back.

So on my turn, having built a couple more units, I attacked my former city with three army units and a cavalry unit that grants +1 for each army unit with it. Mike had one army unit and the fortress.

The fortress has some special abilities that are only good on the first round of combat. I had a technology to negate those abilities, but I didn’t have the resources to use the technology. Four units plus my +3 bonus should be enough to easy take the city back.

To battle In Clash of Cultures, you roll a number of dice equal to your number of units, add up the total and divide by 5. The result is the number of losses the enemy takes.

At the beginning of the first round of battle, Mike plays a card that allows him to roll a d6. On a roll of 5 or 6 he can destroy one of my units. He rolls a 5 and destroys my cavalry.

Now I’m down to three units and I’ve lost my +3 bonus. Still, I have three units to his one. Worse case I may lose all but one of them and still take the city. I can easily kill Mike’s single army unit.

I attack rolling three dice and add them up. My total is 4. On THREE d6 my total is 4! I don’t even get one hit! Mike rolls and kills one of my units.

Now it’s the second round of combat. Mike’s fortress provides him with no bonuses. All he has is a single army unit. I have two. I should easily win.

Mike plays a card. (Darn those cards to heck!) If he rolls a 6 on his attack die he can reroll it and add the two totals together. If his total is 10 or more he can kill both of my units and save his city.

Against all odds, he rolls a 6!

He still needs his reroll to be a 4, 5, or 6…and he rolls a 5!

He decimates my army! His single unit does die, but the city remains his and I now have two unprotected cities a stone’s throw away from him. On his next turn, his armies walk in and take them. And I’m knocked back to the Stone Age with just a few unimproved cities and a worthless leader.

Next time things will be different!

(He’ll probably kill my leader too.)

Chaos Steve

Hey! We played some games this week! In an amazing coincidence we all arrived at Owen’s house very early. Mike was the last to arrive and that let the rest of us play a couple games of Roll Through the Ages. I think Ben won one and Owen won one. I was last both times. The dice hate me.

Once Mike arrived we played Splendor. Ben has played this game many times. The rest of us had never played it, so we looked to Ben for strategy tips…and then we did the opposite. (Note: it’s a well proven fact that Ben never follows his own advice either.)

The rules for Splendor are simple. Each round you can take some gems, in the form of chips, or you can buy a card using your chips, or reserve a card so you can build it later. Most cards have victory points and that’s how you win the game. The first to 15 is declared the Supreme Poobah or something like that. There are also some special cards that earn you prestige points. These are just like victory points only you add the word “prestige” in front of it to make them sound special.

The first game Ben hoover-ed up all of the cheap cards, so later he could buy expensive cards. I didn’t mention this before, but you can use the cards you buy with chips to later help buy other cards. This was a winning strategy for Ben…who won…by a lot.

The second game went quite differently. Ben waffled on his strategy which caused him no end of distress and long turns. Mike went for HIGH value cards and this nearly won him the game. He may refine this strategy in the future. I used Ben’s strategy from the first game and ended up winning…just barely. Both Owen and Mike were right on the cusp of being able to win as well.

Our last game was Damaged Report. Everyone but Mike had played this a couple times before. We lost terribly both those times. This game is a literal race against time. Aliens are trying to destroy your ship and you’re trying to either repair the warp engines and get the heck out of dodge, or repair the laser and blow the aliens sky high. All the while you’re taking damage from those pesky aliens.

The first game we one is about 2 minutes. That’s because we cheated. That’s because Ben told us we could.

The next game was a little harder.

Just like in so many movies the robot/synthetic/android (known as Ben) nearly killed us all by delivering the wrong part at a crucial moment. “I’m color blind” was his reason for bringing the wielding torch instead of the wrench. “Mr. Robot was killed in the laser room with the wielding torch.” That’s what we were thinking.

We recovered though and won, literally, by seconds. We blew those aliens to kingdom come.

Chaos Steve


Over the last couple of months we’ve played lots of games. Ben is still running us through a Savage Worlds 50 Fathoms game, but we’ve also played a lot of board games. Here’s the “catch-up” version of what we’ve been up to.

Firefly: The Game
We enjoyed this game, although don’t believe the playing time on the box. It says two hours, but it took us three evening of about three hours each to finish the game. Granted, it was out first game and I do have to play with Mike, Ben, and Owen who all fret over making a mistake and thus can take a long time working out their optimum move.

Firefly: Out to the Black
This is a Firefly cooperative card game. We played it a couple time because we lost the first game. We don’t like to lose cooperative games. While we liked the game, we didn’t think it was great. More of a ho-hum Firefly card game. We may play it again…and maybe not.

Great Heartland Hauling Co.
This is a card game that includes wooden trucks and cubes. You basically try to make the most money buying, hauling, and selling goods. We like this game. It is fun, doesn’t take too long to play, and has a good amount of strategy involved. We’ll worth the price.

Railways of England and Wales
This is one of our favorites in the “Railways” series of games. It’s also near and dear to the heart of Ben and Owen who both hail from England. Strangely I like it because I somehow know England’s geography better than the US. This is because I’ve learned all of my geography from games.

Rolling Freight
This is another cube moving train game like the “Railways” games, but plays completely different. In the “Railways” game, the initial distribution of the cubes plays hugely into how the game will go and what cities will be popular. In Rolling Freight, I think which board you use plays a much bigger part in your strategy. We used a different board this time. It wasn’t until it was too late that I realized my strategy from the other board was completely wrong for this board. Oh well.

I’m now all caught up. But you didn’t mention… Shut up.

Below are some pictures from our games.

Great Heartland Hauling Co.

Great Heartland Hauling Co.

Railways of England and Wales

Railways of England and Wales

Rolling Freight 1

Rolling Freight 1

Rolling Freight 2

Rolling Freight 2