Wednesday, May 4, 2016

International TableTop Day 2016


For this year’s International TableTop Day, the theme was “Keith plays a lot of games and doesn’t win any of them but has a great time anyway.” (Hey, that was last year’s theme, too!)

Here are the games my friends and I played. (I wanted to find a public venue for some gaming, but couldn’t locate a good one.)

(Image by Geek & Sundry)

Game 1: Tsuro


This was my first time playing Tsuro. It’s been on my list since seeing it played on Tabletop, and I bit this week when I spotted it at my favorite local game store. My son—very much a NON tabletop gamer—joined my wife and me in this first game, and he won! He was proud. See?

See the evil? Do you see it?

I’m happy to have Tsuro in my collection. It’s simple, fast, easy to learn, easy to play, and you can pour as little or as much strategy into it as you wish. Another bonus is that it can support up to 8 players.

Game 2: Cthulhu Wars


This is both a game full of monsters, and a monster of a game. And it’s another that I hadn’t played before today. It’s a conquer-the-world kind of game, only the conquerers are all Lovecraftian Great Old Ones figuring out who gets to own the earth. The pieces (monsters) are large and attractive, and each of the 4 factions in the base game play very differently than the others. I played as the Crawling Chaos. Next time I hope to be Great Cthulhu himself, because his spells and abilities were super cool. Like being able to turn a cultist (basically a pawn) into a Deep One.

NOT a representative photo. The Great Old One figures
are much more massive than these cute lil monsters.


My friend Jeff won this game, because (a) he’s a skilled, strategic player, and (b) his wife Shannon and I spent most of the early game fighting each other, giving Jeff plenty of time to spread his Great Old seed across the map. (Eww.)

Game 3: Poo


I brought back Poo (the game) from GenCon for my friend Jay a year or two ago, and we took this opportunity to fling some more at each other. We tried to talk my son into playing it with us, but he strangely thought that the game sounded silly. (Kids today.)

Here's Poo on Jay's fancy gaming table.


Jay won. I thew lots of poo at him, but somehow kept getting it back in my face. He’s SO GOOD at flinging poo. (I should probably mention this is a card game, not a LARP.)

Game 4: Villains of the Multiverse


This one is Jay’s latest acquisition, an expansion to the excellent Sentinels of the Multiverse. In this variant, each player manages a villain deck in addition to their hero deck. In theory, this is a team of super-villains who are individually weaker than the single villains you fight in the base game. In our experience, each one of the villains nearly kicked our super-asses.

Early in the game, before I was crushed. (Of course I'm not bitter!)


I was knocked out of the game early, because the villain I chose (Greazer) was an intergalactic bounty hunter whose only goal was to take ME out. We decided the best thing for the team would be to let him do so, while we focused damage on the other villains—because when Greazer takes out his target, he effectively leaves the game. The other players successfully defeated the remaining villains, but it was close; I think the other heroes ended the game with about 3 hit points each.

Game 5: More Tsuro


We squeezed in another game of Tsuro because I wanted Jeff, Shannon, and Jay to try it; they hadn’t been around for game 1. Logan won again!



Game 6: Epic Spell Wars of The Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre


And at last we come to my current favorite game! This is another one I learned about on Tabletop, and that episode can demonstrate the game better than I could describe it here. But I do want to praise the game’s chaotic nature.

That tower has no function.

The game’s premise is that you’re assembling spell components from the cards in your hand and casting them to hurt your opponents, and I love how fun it is to pick a few cards that might end up helping OR hurting you. I don’t worry much about the consequences of a bad play in this game, because even when you lose, you get a “dead wizard” card that gives you a boost when you start over in the next round.

A full three-card spell.


We played two rounds of this one. I didn’t win either, but I did get to knock Jay out. And that, my friends, is sometimes all I need.

The board at top is my character. The cards at
bottom are treasures. Made just for me.