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jonnyalpha
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If it's any consolation, from the sounds of things the Wrath of Ashardalon rulebook is much improved and finishes with a really clear, page long FAQ to tie up the loose ends. I barely had to touch the rulebook after my first game, although a couple of cards still required a bit of Googling. I'm still not happy with the Rolling Boulder.

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Played a bit more Ascension this evening. I get way too excited when I spot a tactical opportunity amid all the random buys. Buying stuff based on the different types/factions makes a huge difference to the game. It's much more interesting playing heroes and constructs than ending up with a deck full of power/rune cards.

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I had my first go at Castle Ravenloft last night and incredibly.....it was with the wife! Even more incrediblational was the fact that she actually enjoyed it! It was a bit slow and clumsy as it we were often referring to the rules and finding our way, but things got quite exciting at the end when we were down to a handful of hit-points betwixt us, with a few monsters in play, but we managed to beat the game through some cunning use of trasure effects by the mrs! She liked it because she enjoyed using 'all the things and stuff' - by which she means she enjoyed using the different spells and effects that modify play. She's not played these sorts of games before, so this bodes well for getting her to have a bash at Space Hulk.

I enjoyed it too. It's easy to play, quite an elegant distillation of roleplaying type rules actually (which I no longer have the time nor patience for). My only criticism is that it's too bitty....far too many tokens and markers, which of course, our darling cats were only too happy to box around the table.

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The local GW has started a war of the ring campaign, and I played my first game yesterday.

The points limit is 750 points each, which was enough for me to field 103 models of gondorians - 48 warriors of Minas Tirith (basic heavy infantry), divided into two formations; 24 archers of Minas Tirith (armoured archers); 24 rangers of Ithilien (ambushing, skilled archers); 6 Knights of Dol Amroth (elite heavy cavalry) and Faramir (low-tier warrior hero).

My opponent, on the other hand, fielded, er, 34 models - 16 galadhrim warriors (elite medium infantry); 16 galadhrim archers (elite longbow-equipped archers); Elrond (high-tier magic user and healer) and Gil-Galad (top-tier warrior hero). Sadly, the game had to be declared after turn 4 was done, as my opponent had to head home, but this is how things played out:

Gondor_vs_High_Elves_2_Deployment.jpg

The elves, haughty as ever, declined to roll off for priority, declaring they knew exactly what they were doing and immediately taking the table edge with the ruins and forest (knowing that my units would be slowed down by the forest, whereas his wouldn't. Bloody elves). I set up an aggressive line of infantry, with my cavalry and archers flanking and my general in the centre, knowing that with their longbows and magic the elves could whittle me down over time, so I'd have to come to them. My rangers stayed in reserve, ready to ambush on the first turn (ambushing = appearing on any terrain feature at will. Considering one was occupied by the enemy, and another next to his shock troops, my choices were limited...

Gondor_vs_High_Elves_2_Turn_1_Gondor_%26_Arnor.jpg

Turn 1, and Gondor seized priority. Deciding that getting off the opening salvos was more important than getting to react to the elves' moves, the men rushed to meet their foes, even as the rangers sprang from their hiding position in the central ruins. As the eastern heavy infantry formation advanced, the western half of the army began advancing into flanking positions.The elves reacted by... moving into the forest.

Seeing their chance, the Gondorian rangers and archers nocked their bows and fired on the Galadhrim warriors, the hail of arrows cutting down five of the elves! In retort, the elvish longbowmen opened fire and struck three rangers from their perch, even as Elrond resurrected three of his allies, and cast a devastating spell on the nearest Gondorian warriors, killing four.

Gondor_vs_High_Elves_2_Turn_1_High_Elves.jpg

This would not do! Seizing priority again, the Gondorians pressed the attack. The battered formation of warriors advanced on the Galadhrim, even as their ranger allies moved in to flank them, and the rest of the army continued to draw in on the elves. The Galadhrim warriors moved to meet their opponents, sure that they would have the best of it.

Again the rangers shot, and even without the support of their fellow archers they were able to fell an astonishing six Galadhrim, bringing the elves down to one company and forcing them to stumble back in dismay. However, Elrond once again responded, his unit felling three more Gondorians even as he resurrected another three elves (bringing the Galadhrim back to two companies) and attempted to swat the rangers away - to no avail, as they happily resisted his magic.

And now it was time for the men of Gondor to charge!

Or not, as both the warriors and rangers stumbled in the face of their enemy, leaving the elves to merrily counter-charge the warriors of Gondor. The battle was bloody, and one-sided, with five men falling to no gain. The blood of Gondor is strong, however, and even against this onslaught the warriors did not flinch, standing firm and quickly returning to order.

Gondor_vs_High_Elves_2_Turn_2_Gondor_%26_Arnor.jpg

Tired of always coming second, the elves wrested priority away from the Gondorians, swiftly moving to the warriors' rear. Of course, the Gondorians were having none of this, and they moved to force the galadhrim into a vice, with the warriors to the east and the rangers to the west (back in their favourite ruins). Meanwhile, Faramir's warriors and the archers moved eastwards, even as the knights rushed towards Elrond's position. Elrond proceeded to shoot the Gondorians in their unshielded flank, felling six, before attempting to frighten the Dol Amroth horses into shying away from him - but Dol Amroth steeds are made of sterner stuff, and they refused to give in. In return, the rangers slew another three Galadhrim - who were again restored to full health by Elrond. An effective healer, indeed! Again the Galadhrim charged, and this time the men of Minas Tirith could not stand against the onslaught - they were utterly destroyed, but not before inflicting two casualties upon the Galadhrim, leaving them with only nine elves standing. With no further chances of healing, things were looking dire for the Galadhrim.

Gondor_vs_High_Elves_2_Turn_2_High_Elves.jpg

Once more, the elves had priority, and they sought to consolidate their position - the warriors raced back towards the forest and the ruins, even as the archers moved to meet the knights of Dol Amroth. The men of Gondor were happy to meet this challenge, advancing on all fronts. The Galadhrim archers opened fire on the knights, but were unable to pierce their armour, inflicting no casualties. Meanwhile, the rangers struck down three more of the fleeing Galadhrim warriors, bringing them down to six men (two men away from destruction). The archers were dismayed to note that only one company of theirs had line of sight, but this would have to be enough. They nocked, loosed, and managed to slay one of Elrond's archers.

Finally, the Galadhrim archers charged - or at least, tried to. Stumbling a few meters forward, they were horrified to look up and see the thunderous charge of the Dol Amroth knights, who swiftly cut down three more archers for one loss, and were preparing for their second attack (this time without retort), when the elves unexpectedly fled the field.

According to their general, it was a draw, which bemused me somewhat.

Happily, according to the campaign arbiter, it was a win for the Gondorians. So, yes - a victory for Gondor, albeit one that seemed to be missing something. Ah well. At least I had fun playing - WOTR is a really nice system. Can't wait for my next battle - hopefully it'll go to the full six turns next time ;)

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All of you who have wives or partners who will actually sit down and play games. I hate you. I mean it. I bloody hate you all. :angry:

I'm sure I can turn mine - especially with that lovely long list you wrote. She's itching to get back into RPGs, plus she loves the idea of having game nights with other couples. It probably helps that Moosegrinder's missus is being so nice to her on Twitter. :)

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Ascension is quickly becoming a Monday night favourite for Moose and I.

Other things include Castle Ravenloft (we completed Scenario 2 as a fighter and a ranger) and Ghost Stories, in which we encountered an unanswerable question on our very first turn, so had a cup of tea and played some more Ascension instead.

The unanswerable question was: when a Haunter spawns on a ghost card and you exorcise that card before the Haunter has moved off the card, what happens to the Haunter?

It seems like it could be a fun game but the sheer number of symbols to learn and the dreadful instructions do it no favours.

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You'll have to tell me. I can't make heads or tails of Twitter. It's like hearing snippets of conversation but you only hear one side and have to guess what the other person said. It's completely baffling and shit or it may just be a sign of my increasing age and curmudgeonly demeanour.

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It sounds like you're doing it wrong. You should only see conversations between two or more people you already have added, so as not to avoid that kind of 'one half of the conversation' confusion.

I mean, it might not be you. But that would be sad, because the Gaming Unplugged folks are uniformly lovely, and I like reading what you chaps have to say about life in 140 characters or less.

Anyway, back on topic (sort of), I found an online version of Quarto. I haven't yet won a match against the AI, but you were right, it's a great game. When you said it was like Connect 4 I had my doubts, but though the mechanics are the same, having to consider the different factors of each piece in addition to its position on the board turns the whole thing on its head. It's a bit like Chess - you can't play a game directly, you have to trick your opponent into making poor moves, and hope it doesn't notice when opportunities present themselves. Which the AI always does, but I love it when it has to take an extra second or two to process an unexpected move.

The site's available here:

http://nonoba.com/fudo2/quarto-multiplayer

and I can definitely see me picking up the full version as a Christmas present.

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I'd recommend the full size version as I skimped and got the Mini one because of cost and size but it doesn't feel quite as nice. The game is the same, of course, but the full size pieces feel right as you hold them and you do hold them a lot as you stare at the board and try and outthink your opponent.

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Ghost Stories is fucking bollocks. Who wants to trade?

I'm actually kind of tempted. What sort of thing you after in exchange? You can look at my games on BGG if you search for jonnyalpha and look at my collection.

And I'm guessing you don't work in sales.:)

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I will be creative with the truth when it's chimps that are buying shit at work because they don't listen to you anyway "mate which is better, 50 cent Bulletproof or <other game I forget" "Bulletproof is bad, man. Go for the other one" *idiot buys Bulletproof*. True fucking story. People are idiots. I'm not going to bullshit you fellas, it's a fucking chore but I know Michaels mate on LMDS plays it and enjoys it, and it's rated highly on BGG so I'll look at Jonnyalpha's list later.

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I'm actually kind of tempted. What sort of thing you after in exchange? You can look at my games on BGG if you search for jonnyalpha and look at my collection.

And I'm guessing you don't work in sales.:)

Had a look, and the only two I can see are Small World (which you have shit tonnes of expansions for so don't think you want to let it go) and Heroes of Graxia, but we have 8 million deck builders. Anything you want rid of that you think I'd get on with?

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