Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Thanksgiving That Was

Thanksgiving was celebrated with great joy and thankfulness at GwCHQ (i.e. - our family home).  We had plenty of feasting, and a good friend spent the weekend with us (rather than at home, alone) and we had a parcel of other friends join us on Saturday for a game day.  There was supposed to be (perhaps) an RPG session - never happened.  There was supposed to be some miniatures gaming (Frostgrave, Chainmail, and maybe Lion Rampant) - also never happened.  Did that pose a problem?  No, we had a great time anyway!

The guy in the hat kept asking about King of Tokyo

We played a number of board games over the weekend (standard fare - Dominion, Catan, Lanterns, Ticket to Ride, etc), and we played a bunch of Legends of Andor.  Fun game, and it really scratched that "we would like to play an RPG but can't get the whole band together" sort of desire to go adventuring, fight monsters, and complete quests.  I don't know what the German version of the game is like (published by Kosmos), but the version we have (the Fantasy Flight English version from 2012) was fantastic.  One of the best things about the game was that artist Michael Menzel (who paints really stunning maps and images used in a lot of boardgames) was also the game designer.

Board showing the above ground map of Andor (reverse shows below ground)

The basic mechanic is one of using time slices to perform tasks (usually movement and combat against monsters).  This is very similar to the mechanic used in a lot of other games, but immediately Tinner's Trail and (to a lesser extent) Thebes spring to mind.  Also, the many Kramer boardgames that use action points to limit your moves.  But in the other examples, and in Legends of Andor, everyone is doing their actions interspersed, instead of the whole pool of action points all at one time.  Very clever, really gives a feel for doing your actions during a day of adventuring, and it makes the game flow well, and introduce some nice decision making for the players.

To end this recap on gaming over Thanksgiving, I thought I would share a few other game boards that were painted by the talented Mr. Menzel.  Below are boards for Pillars of the Earth, Stone Age, and Castle for all Seasons.  Other than each of them being stunningly beautiful abstract landscapes (showing the country side, and other features important for the game, but illustrating scenes of local activity and inhabitants, albeit out of scale to the countryside), are all also very informative and intuitive in indicating play areas, and active spots, on the board/map.

Pillars of the Earth


Stone Age

A Castle for All Seasons

So it was a lovely Thanksgiving - with Family, Feasting, Friends, and a bit of Faith.  The year has been very good to us, and we had a great time forgetting about our toils and jobs and school and cares for a while, and enjoying each others company over a gaming table (also, plenty of pie and coffee helped).  Now, on to Christmas!

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