Showing posts with label board games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label board games. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The Village Crone (2015)

 Some more witch board games today and the last one for this season.

The Village Crone (2015)

You play one of six witches (1 to 6 players) and work to take control of a village (Wickersby) without a crone. You send out your familiars (up to 5) to gather ingredients for spells. The first to 13 points wins and becomes the new Village Crone of Wickersby.

The Village Crone

The Village Crone

The Village Crone

The Village Crone - Witches

The Village Crone

The Village Crone

The Village Crone

The game is fun enough and the rules are easy enough. The replayability is high so that is good and there are enough random elements to keep it interesting enough. 

I rather like the idea from an RPG standpoint. Witches going out into the world to find a little hamlet to call their own. Certainly, something they would all like to brag about at the Tredecim. 

You can get The Villiage Crone here: https://firesidegames.com/games/village-crone/


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692 (2017)

A witch-themed board game that I have had forever it seems. 

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692 (2017)

This game was successfully Kickstarted back in 2016. I picked up my copy soon after. 

Affliction: Salem 1692

In the game you try to influence the powers of Salem (Judge, Magistrate, Governor, Minister) to either exonerate or damn others to set them free or arrest them.  The game features many of the famous names from the Salem Witch Trials. 

The game itself is rather gorgeous, as you can see from the pictures below.  But for us there was too much going on in the game to really enjoy it. Now I could see my family having fun with this at Gen Con with someone knowledgeable to show us all the rules. 

The game is well-reviewed and I can tell a lot of work went into the design, it just wasn't a good fit for my family mechanically speaking. The theme though was fun.

You can get a copy at the publisher's webstore.

Use in My War of the Witch Queens / Traveller Envy

Obviously I got to fuel my Traveller Envy. I wanted an experience that was a little more than what we get in the Witch Hunt RPG from 1983  (which I just now realized I have never reviewed!). Somewhere between this board game and the Witch Hunt RPG is the perfect Salem game for me.  I haven't found it yet and I might need to write it myself.

Still kudos to the designers of AFFLICTION: Salem 1692. 

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692

AFFLICTION: Salem 1692


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Ah, now this one has a special place in my heart. I backed this on Kickstarter years ago and went in for the deluxe edition. This allowed me to add a character design to one of the cards.

I'll get to that in a bit.

Cauldron: Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Cauldron is part of the "new wave" (or at least to me) of board games that have a lot of resource management and various goals.

In this game you take the role of witches and warlocks in a potion-brewing contest. Play involves planting gardens, harvesting ingredients, and hexing your opponents.  There are points you collect and the goal is to win the potion-brewing contest and win the coveted Witches Eye.

There are game pieces that represent ingredients and all players get a little cauldron to put all their materials in. There are four Cauldrons and four player mats, so the max is four players. 

Players start the game with five resource cards. These cards tell you what you can do each turn. They all have a hex, ingredient and recipe. Each player on their turn can choose what to do with the card. They can hex an opponent which could take their ingredients or steal their victory points. They can add an ingredient to their cauldron or get a recipe. They discard and draw another. Then we move to the next player.

The strategy comes from knowing when to complete your own potions or stop another player from theirs.  Hexing another player costs victory points

Once your ingredient is in your cauldron you need to keep track of them.  You are never allowed to look into your cauldron or into other players!  There are also black "Corruption" tokens that can ruin your potions by destroying an ingredient. The player with the most corruption earns 5 points. The player with the least earns 10 points.

Once you have the ingredients in your cauldron (colored cubes) then you can make the potion listed on your card.  BUT be careful! if your ingredients are wrong your potion fails. The goal is to get the most of seven potions.

There are expansions to this as well. Like the Moon Deck which will add or subtract effects from other cards. Like removing corruption or adding extra ingredient colors.  There are other expansions like the Cove pack (which I am a fan of).

It took a bit to get into it but once we did it moved pretty quickly. Our first game took a little bit longer than an hour, and the next one was fast at just under an hour.

The biggest issue were people (who will be nameless) remembering what was in their cauldron.  This was a combination of one not paying attention and another not actually caring what they had in their cauldrons. 


Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

Yes! That is Larina!Yes! That is Larina!

Bubble and Boil - Deluxe Edition (2017)

The art for this game is amazing. I really love it.  The characters are interesting as well. 

For Use in War of the Witch Queens

Feeding deep into my Traveller envy today. My idea was that this Potion Making contest is something they have at the Tredecim. Which has grown from just a meeting of high-level witches to something akin to a carnival of seven days where the high witches hold their conferences and meetings, but all witches gather to discuss plans, trade secrets, and generally enjoy themselves. 

I still might do this, but in this round I do not have enough magic using characters to make it work.  Ah well.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Board Game: Wizards (1982)

Wizards (1982)
I was reorganizing my shelves trying to find some room for some new books when I found this little gem hiding in my lower shelves.  I totally forgot I had this!

Wizards (1982)

Wizards is described as "Avalon Hill's game of fantasy adventure."  It is easy to see why they would want to make this game too.

1982 was some prime years for Fantasy RPGs and D&D in particular. 

There are board game elements to this as well as plenty of RPG elements.  For example you can choose what sort of wizard character (Order) you will play; Wizard, Sorcerer, or Druid. Each also has four levels (Ranks).

The first part of the game is setting up all the locations of the various islands on the hex grid sea map.

After that the various wizards race around the map to collect various gems for the High Druid. There are seven, six are needed to win.

While this is going on there are various Event and Task cards that send your wizard on quests, trap them or other hazards. These add time it takes to complete your missions but they can also raise your Wizard rank and make you more powerful. 

From the rule book. Here is what is needed to play and win.

  1. Join a Magical Order. Without that, you may not accept any Tasks or gain points of any kind.
  2. Acquire Tasks and complete them for points of Knowledge, Power and/or Perception.
  3. Fight the Evil Powers that take over the islands, making them inaccessible.
  4. Advance to Rank 4 in your Order. 
  5. When you are at Rank 4, collect all 6 Gems from the High Wizards.
  6. When you have the Gems, pass them to the High Druid Rüktal in the Center of the Sacred Circle to win the game.

The game uses two six-sided dice.  

Wizards (1982)

Hex map of the sea

Wizards 1982

Wizards 1982

Wizards 1982

Wizards 1982

Wizards 1982 Wizard Sheet

Wizards 1982 Play area

Wizards 1982

Wizards (contents)Wizards (contents)

I love the *idea* of this game, but while I enjoyed the set up I could not get anyone to play it here.  My wife does not care for board games with RPG elements and my kids would rather play D&D.

I am adopting some ideas from this game though for my own games, most notably the War of the Witch Queens, but certainly others as well.

Traveller Envy and the Avalon Isles

I have talked a bit about my Traveller Envy here in the past. To finally overcome this I am taking all the various board games I am going to cover this month and create a new area of my world; the Isles of Avalon. The origins here should be pretty obvious, I am going to base a lot of the mythology of the lands on England, Ireland, and the various islands around them. Also, I am drawing heavily from the Avalon Hill games, so much so that the currently unnamed main island has a place called Avalon Hill. It will be my world's Glastonbury Tor.  There is a volcano on one of the islands (this will be an archipelago) where a famous Warlock lives.  With a volcano I can also get representations of all the elements; Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

There will be a smaller island nearby that I am calling the Island of the Necromancers.

I will spend this month detailing this place further.

If I get nothing else out of these board games then I think I will be fine.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Review & Retrospective: Traveller Board Games

Azhanti High Lightning
I can't really talk about Traveller without mentioning my history with the game, or more to the point, my non-existent history with at least one aspect of the game.  The Traveller Boardgames.

I remember reading ads for Traveller in Dragon and White Dwarf Magazines and among the RPG books and very cool looking minis, there were the board games.   I remember reading about Azhanti High Lightning in particular. This was a board game and yet it could be used WITH the Traveller RPG. It even included material that could be added to your Traveller RPG OR played completely on its own.  Then imagine my surprise that this was not the only one.

Long-time readers will know this was the start of something I call my "Traveller Envy."  Even then in the early 80s, I was blown away by the amount of material for this game.  RPGs, Boardgames, starship minis.  It was enough to make a die-hard D&D player like me jealous.  Sure, I had Dungeon! but that is not quite the same is it? 

Sadly, and long-time readers know this too, I never got the chance to play any of them.  

Fast forward to, well, last week.  I picked up three of the board games from DriveThruRPG.  These are PDFs, but they are, as far as I can tell, complete.  They are PDFs though.  

I want to review them, but I really have no context for them save they are, to me, worth everything I paid.  Honestly just to see what they are all about was worth it even if I never get to play them.  

General Overview

I picked up three games, Imperium, Mayday, and Azhanti High Lightning.  All three share similarities. There is s set of printed rules that are easy to read.  There is a board game that really doubles as an awesome map.  And there are counters.  If anything is the weakest link here it is the counters.  I have, with other games, tried printing and gluing to cardstock (gotta wait for the ink to dry), but that is time-consuming.  I have been considering a completely futuristic plan.  I would use my HDMI projector to project down on a table and use 3D printed starships.  I have found a few online and I am 100% certain there are more.  It would be far more time-consuming than laser printing and gluing, but it would be 1000x so much cooler.  Thankfully the ships would not need to be huge so I could do a few at a time. I wouldn't even need to spend a lot of time painting them, just a solid color the same as the counter. 

Imperium (1977)
Imperium (1977)

This PDF features a 16 page rulebook, 3 pages of rule summaries, a turn tracker, 7 pages of background on the Imperium which may or may not reflect the same history as Traveller*.  There are also 3 pages of color maps/boards, 2 pages of counters, and an additional page of a counter manifest that looks like a page from Excel. Missing is the d6.  Bet I can dig one up.

This is a game of interstellar war. It actually predates Traveller by a bit, but obviously has similar DNA.  While the original 1977 RPG lacked an explicit setting, this one involves the Imperium (natch) and the forces of Terra (Earth).  The phases in the players' turns can include buying equipment, moving, and attacking.

This was published the same year as Traveller and the ideas of the Imperium had not been added to the RPG yet, so there are differences between the events of this game and future Traveller products. 

My issue with this set is I have no idea how big the map needs to be.  I can assume it is some multiple of the box size, but this is not a big issue.

Mayday (1978)

This one seems to be more explicitly linked to Traveller and is in fact Game 1.  The Mayday in question is the infamous "mayday" of the Free Trader Beowulf.  This is a game of ship-to-ship combat.   It was part of GDW's Series 120 games.  These were designed to play in two-hours or less. 

The Mayday is presented as a single PDF. Thre are 15 pages of rules. 1 page of counters. And a counter manifest/inventory (Excel printout). A board/map of a space hex-grid, and a scan of the box cover.

In general, this scan feels much more useful than Imperium did.  I can get a blank hex grid like this from my favorite local game store and I can print out all the counters I need, as I need, or use the 3D printing idea I have. 

While this game is more explicitly linked to Traveller, I see it could be used for any sort of ship-to-ship combat. I could even try my MCRN Barkeith vs. the USS Protector.  Might take some work, but the Barkeith would be a lot easier to do in the Traveller universe. 

Azhanti High Lightning (1980)
Azhanti High Lightning (1980)

This is where it all began for me. Well. At least my Traveller Envy began here.  This is Traveller Boardgame 3 and it is a companion to the S05 Supplement Lightning Class Cruiser.

This game is personal combat on a starship.  This PDF package includes 3 PDFs.  The first is the complete game of 118 pages. This includes 40 pages of rules which includes six different sorts of "Incidents" (read Scenarios).  The next section (40+ pages) of this PDF is S05 Supplement Lightning Class Cruiser.  So if you are looking for this supplement for Classic Traveller, then here it is. 

The next 16 or so pages include the counters and the deck plans for the Azhanti.   Again these counters are good, but I would like to use minis or something like that.

I have been told this game is a lot of fun.  I'll have to endeavor to get it all printed out into a playable shape.

--

It is hard to give these a proper review since the only proper proof is playing them.  One day maybe, but for now I can honestly say my curiosity has been satisfied.  

Links

Imperium

Mayday

Azhanti High Lightning