3 Oct 2014. The theme at Boardgamecafe.net that day was dice versions of boardgames. Las Vegas was not one, but at least it was a dice game.
The last time I played this was in Kota Kinabalu, and it was a 3-player game. This time I played with five, and I found out that with five, you don't play the neutral dice (the white ones). In fact the fifth player uses the white dice. The game is still fun and competitive without the neutral dice. I wonder whether the game was designed with the neutral dice in mind, and they were removed for the highest player count, or it was designed without the neutral dice, and they were added for the lower player counts. I have previously assumed the former. Now I realise there are two possibilities.
27 Sep 2014. Shee Yun (9) and I continued playing Escape: The Curse of the Temple. This game is well worth what I paid for it by now. We have played quite many games and we have tried all the expansions. This tile at the lower right is a quest tile from the Quests expansion module. The module comes with five different quest tiles, and you can decide to use between one to three in your game. You draw the quest tiles randomly and shuffle them into the deck of tiles. You won't know which quests they are until you draw them, and you won't know when you are going to draw them. To escape the temple, you must complete all quests.
This particular tomb quest in this photo is about bringing the lost ghost back to his coffin. When you discover the tomb tile, you place the grey ghost at the start tile (the grey room with a huge golden disc). You need to lead the ghost (by rolling an extra torch icon for each step) to its coffin in order to complete this quest. In this particular game this turned out to be very easy, since we found the coffin only two steps away from the start tile. The ghost was now back where it belonged, and golden coin next to the coffin was the marker to indicate that we had completed our quest.
This pyramid tile at the centre is yet another quest tile. When you discover it, you may immediately place the quest completion coin on it. You are considered to have already completed it. The twist is you also add three long gems onto the gem tile, which makes exiting the temple harder by three more key icons to be rolled. That is crazy hard. In order to reduce this additional requirement, you need to discover the rooms adjacent to this quest tile. For each that you discover, you get to place one long gem onto this tile. In this photo the rooms on the left and right have been discovered, so two long gems have been placed onto this quest tile.
These two cards on the left are the character cards, from the Characters module. Character cards give you special abilities, so they help you instead of making the game harder. They can be used to fine-tune the balance against other modules which make the game harder. The card on the left means that if all your dice show the black mask, you may teleport to where another player is located to use up all the dice, which means you are unlocking them all. The card on the right means when you get three black masks, you may treat them as three key icons or three torch icons, but only for the purpose of claiming gems from the gem tile. If you are the unlucky type who rolls black masks all the time, this is a must-have. :-)
5 Oct 2014. I brought out Citadels to play with the children. That was the game that made Bruno Faidutti famous. I bought it in the early days I entered the hobby. I never was a big fan of the game (I prefer Castle), but I thought this game would work with the children.
Aaah... the memories. I used to play this with my Taiwanese friends. We had a big group then and we played quite frequently.
The part I dread about this game is sometimes players take a very long time to pick a character card, and everyone else has to wait and twiddle fingers. People really should focus and do the card counting up front, instead of trying to work out all the possibilities only when they get the hand of character cards.
17 Oct 2014. Ivan came to play, and I taught him this slightly older game Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation. The Dark Side was generally easier to play, so I let him play Sauron while I controlled the hobbits and the fellowship.
Gandalf vs Witch King. They are equally strong (and will kill each other off simultaneously if tied in strength), but because of Gandalf's special ability, the Witch King must play his card first. Gandalf can then decide which card to play.
19 Oct 2014. Chen Rui (7) said she wanted to play Ingenious. I don't remember whether she had played before. If she had, she had already forgotten how to play and I had to teach her again.
Ingenious is one of Reiner Knizia's many many designs. It is not his best, not what made him famous, not his magnum opus, but it is what got him the prestigious Spiel des Jahres - the German Game of the Year.
While playing, I also taught Chen Rui tactics - how to block me, how to deny me the points for the colours I needed.
24 Oct 2014. Shee Yun (9) wanted to play At the Gates of Loyang. When she was younger I invented simplified rules in order to be able to play with her. She liked the beautiful components. Now we use the proper rules. She needs time to read and digest the text on the helper cards. In the simplified game I removed all helper cards.
This game is all about logistics and supply chain management. You need to match what you produce with customers who demand them, and you need to line up the production schedule with the demand schedule.
The three of us played Halli Galli. Shee Yun dealt cards while Chen Rui inspected the bell.