Shogun and Agricola

Well the last week has been a bit manic, but has had a healthy amount of gaming mixed in. I was able to make it to Epsom and got a chance at long last to get a game of Shogun. I have to say I enjoyed it a great deal.

The game is an interesting light block wargame. The 'cube tower' works well both mechanically and thematically, although there can be issues with it being knocked. There are rules to handle this but for the most part it is better to keep the tower on a separate table to minimise the possibility. The game is a lot simpler than it initially appeared to be. We took a little while to get going as we were all new to the game but we quickly worked it out and once we had got in the swing of things, the game moved along at a fair pace. This is a very thinky game, there are a lot of elements that need considering and planning, however the mechanics are simple and quick to learn.

Saturday saw my RPG group get back around the table for the first time in a looong time for what was only the third instalment of our supposedly fortnightly gaming session. We played the first half of our first full length adventures. Whilst waiting for everyone to arrive, we sat down to a not-so-quick game of Dominion using the Seaside deck mixed in with the base game. I got my ass handed to me coming last by quite a margin.

The Daring Tales of Adventure game itself went a lot more smoothly I felt than previous games seemed to. I think this is mostly due to me becoming a little more adept at running an RPG. I would like to get to a stage where eventually I will be able to run a game at a convention but I suspect that is still a couple of years away. The adventure saw the gang confronted by some Aztec cult that seems to be trying to perpetrate some insidious scheme...

The breakdown of the adventures into Acts and Scenes gave us a clear point to break for the day but we managed to finish earlier than we had expected so I was able to persuade the others into a game of Agricola before heading home. Agricola is a game that has received a HUGE amount of press, mostly good from the board gaming community, it quickly ascended the ranks of BGG to first place shortly after release and although it has now fallen a couple of notches, it is still firmly in the top 10. Almost since release I have been dying to try it out and I finally got my chance! I was not disappointed.
I do have a few issues with the game, the cost for the contents seems a little steep, especially as (In my mind) the game needs ani/vegi/meeples to make the game really playable. Getting these additional componenets effectively doubles the game from expensive to ludicrously expensive with an RRP of £100 for the base game and relevant expansion (note: it isn't the only expansion! The others are also carrying fairly hefty price tags). The game also breaks down with five players making it unweildy and slow unless all players are very familiar with the game. I suspect that even 4 player games can become frustratingly slow. Yet despite of these issues, I am seriously considering picking it up. I really like this game and would love to try it as a two player game with the missus who is a big Harvest Moon fan and I think the limits to what can be done in a stage would carry a similar appeal along with the theme being reasonably well implemented.

Not much progress on the painting front, done a little work on the Empire of the Blazing Sun ships and I am pretty chuffed with the way they are turning out. I expect I will get them pretty well finished by the end of the week, but then there is the varnishing which I will be able to do this weekend if the weather holds. I have also been tackling horses and zombies but neither with much enthusiasm. I think it is safe to say that I am now zombied out and I have never enjoyed painting horses.

Well that's it from me for this week.

- Raggy, signing out