Saturday, 1 May 2010

gaming in photos

11 Apr 2010. Allen and Han, playing Dominion with Seaside expansion with me. It was Allen's first visit.

Our game was a little nasty because it had the Embargo card, which allowed you to put an embargo token on any stack. Every time anyone bought a card from that stack, he gained a number of Curse cards (-1VP) equal to the number of embargo tokens on the stack. At one point the Province (6VP) stack had 3 embargo tokens, which meant if you spent $8 to buy a Province, you'd net gain 3VPs, and your deck would get diluted with 4 instead of 1 more card. You might as well buy a 3VP Duchy, which costed $5. I did buy at least one Province even after things got that bad, because (a) I wanted to end the game, and (b) Smugglers. The Smuggler card allows you to gain any card up to $6 cost that the previous player bought on his turn. Smuggler cards were in heavy use in our game. We all had Smugglers, and every time anyone bought a good card he would feel nervous about whether the next player had a Smuggler in hand. I bought the curse-ridden Province ($8 cost) instead of a Duchy ($5 cost), because Smugglers can be used on Duchies but not Provinces.

Dominion Seaside is quite interesting and I hope to play more of it. I'm not big enough a Dominion fan to want to own every expansion, but I do think it's a good game with good potential, and I want to get to know it better.

16 Apr 2010. Han came over for a 2P session, and we started with Space Hulk (1st edition) Mission 3. First time for both of us. This time I played the marines and Han the aliens (genestealers).

This mission involves two teams of marines. They need to save a robot cat which has been sent to collect valuable data on the genestealers. One team of marines has already picked up the cat (right side of this photo). They need to bring the cat to the other side of the board. The other team starts on the left and needs to help the cat team (and the cat) get to safety. Genestealers appear quite quickly in this mission - 3 new blips per round, so the marines are under an immense time pressure to get the cat out quickly.

I split my "cat team" into two smaller groups. The captain, flamer and marine-with-cat at the top, and another two regular marines at the bottom. We couldn't find the cat token so we used that square token as the cat.

This was already mid way through the game. On the left you can see my flamer (red base) of the rescue team watching a corridor where genestealers could emerge. The rest of the rescue team were rushing towards the other team. Han already had quite a number of genestealers between my two teams. Three members of the cat team had been killed. Only the captain (dark blue) and the cat-holder remained, and they were surrounded.

I think my rescue team moved too slowly and was too conservative. Now that the cat team was dying out, they had no choice but to rush forward. The genestealers were already upon them.

The survivors of the cat team were both on overwatch, ready to shoot anything that moved. But there were only two of them, but three corridors. And the number of genestealers kept increasing. Eventually I had to move them. They could not rendezvous with the rescue team. They got killed, and the cat was damaged. The rescue team soon was overrun too. The cat was lost, and it was a sad defeat for the marines. In hindsight, the marines should have moved faster and be more aggressive, before the genestealers' numbers became overwhelming.

We played Space Alert again. It had been quite some time so we were a little rusty. We won our first ever full mission the last time we played, but since it had been quite some time, we stuck to just normal full missions. No advanced external or internal threats added yet. We lost our first game. This photo was from our second game. We were rather unlucky with our cards. We didn't have any C button cards, which we desperately needed. This photo shows an alien aboard our ship. I needed a C button card to activate the battlebots, and then needed a battlebot fight card to fight the alien. Unfortunately I misremembered the rules, and tried to use the battlebot fight card to activate the battlebots. I spent almost all my attention on handling this internal threat, while Han worked on the multiple external threats. Only when it came to the resolution phase I realised my mistake. One whole long chain of my actions were completely wasted, I only managed to deal one damage to the (2 life point) alien, and it took over our spaceship. Game over.

We played a third game afterwards, and won it surprisingly easily, only to realise that we had accidentally played a tutorial. Sigh... we need to try this again.

24 Apr 2010. Han and I tried Space Hulk Mission 3 again, this time Han playing the marines and I the genestealers. This was still early in the game, and I think he had suffered the first casualty at his CAT team (on the left). My blips had swarmed the centre of the board, trying to cut off the two teams of marines. His rescue team (on the right) rushed forward.

Unfortunately, things didn't go so well. The marines still weren't quick enough. This was just after one of my groups of genestealers managed to reach and plow into Han's rescue team. Two marines (including the captain) who were facing the side corridor had been mowed down, and these two wouldn't last long.

Zooming out to the bigger picture, the CAT team had not made much progress. Again, the marines were overrun by the genestealers' numbers. We need to try this one again.

4 comments:

Chong Sean said...

that is not a robot cat... it is a C.A.T. (Cybernetically Altered Task) unit...
it looks like this in the 3rd ediion.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_kKROi_P05Ao/Ss29hRu7wZI/AAAAAAAAAfo/MpeENympasM/s400/CAT+-+1.JPG

in 3rd edition, genestealer recieve 2 blips per turn...

Hiew Chok Sien said...

Wow, that's one fierce-looking cat! I suspect the designer intended this machine to be like a cat. It has to be handled with care, and if dropped, it moves randomly. So I just think of it as a robot cat.

This Mission 3 is quite tough indeed because the genestealers get 3 blips per round. I guess even the publisher thought this was too tough and changed it.

Adesazz said...

There are a couple files on BGG.com for Space Alert, in case you're looking for a little more from the game. A flash-based mission player (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/439589/space-alert-flash-player) adds a visual component, and other features. Even cooler, a flash-based mission resolver (http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/56253/space-alert-flash-turn-resolution-processor) where you input your actions and get a graphical resolution with cool animations. I'd love to read about your reactions.

Hiew Chok Sien 邱卓成 said...

thanks Adesazz for the links. it has been quite some time since i last played space alert. too many new games to try. never got around to revisiting it. but i quite like it and do plan to keep it in my collection, and hopefully it won't be too long before i play it again.

i think i have downloaded and used the flash component. i play it on my laptop instead of using the CD that comes with the game. i have also downloaded an iPhone app which does something similar. much easier than using a laptop or a CD player.