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Tabletop Thursday – Siblings

Posted in Tabletop Thursday with tags , , , on March 5, 2009 by hergeek

On Sunday I was looking to do something with my kids…girls aged 13 and 9, and a son that is 6.  I’ve been wanting to play more of my boardgames with them, but I need to find something that is a good mix, and across those ages that can get tricky.  I’ve been wanting to teach them Agricola for a while, but that can get kind of deep and take a couple of hours, despite the fact that it is a game about farming.

So what I settled on was breaking out my new copy of Talisman and giving that a go.  Cause really, at the heart of it, Talisman is just playing a game of Sorry, but adding in swords and dragons and undead.


Since reading is involved, we decided that the six year old would play with me.  Together we chose the Dwarf, cause according to my son, he looked tough, and has a big axe.  We would soon find out looks can be deceiving.  For my girls, though, there were only two characters that were female, and they just COULDN’T play an ucchy boy!  So after some wrangling, Eldest decided on playing the EVIL Sorceress (cause she thought it would be fun to be evil for once in her life), and Middle took the Prophetess.

She does look evil, doesn't she?

She does look evil, doesn't she?

We decided to just play to a time limit, and whoever had the most points in stats, gold, items and followers at the end of it would be the winner, instead of trying to get into the complexities of leaving the Outer Realms and moving into the Inner Realms to finally brave the guardians with the Crown of Command and blasting all of your opponents to shreds.

Now, being a veteran of the original Talisman, I knew that this game is a fickle, fickle game, and that luck meant everything in it.  And it proved me right, in that Youngest and myself got our butts kicked all over the board.  Every single Adventure Card that we turned over was stronger than us, so we would get stomped and have to wander around until we could get healed.

Eldest and Middle were having a ball though, and they really got into role playing their characters, with Eldest cackling evilly every time she did something, well, evil, and Middle playing the Prophetess and flighty and airy (which, if you know Middle, isn’t really that much of a stretch).  Middle would avoid combat at all cost, and using the special ability of the Prophetess (which appears to be as broken in this version as in the original version) soon had a big pile of gold, weapons, magic items, and followers.  And true to Middle’s style, all of here followers were things like Unicorns and Princes and Princesses.  She turned down one follower because he was too ugly.

And then, once she realized she was more powerful than her sister…the fun truly began.  One time one of her rolls gave her the option of going into the same space as her sister, so she did, wandering down the board singing “La la la la!”  She got into the space, and the following exchange took place.

Middle:  “Hi!  I’m Abby, the Prophetess, and these are my loyal followers!  We’re going on a picnic!  What’s your name?  Care to join us?”

Eldest [looking haughtily down her nose]:  “Don’t touch me.”

Middle [grinning]:  “Poke!!!”


And for the rest of the game, Middle would follow Eldest around, landing in the same space as her time after time, with the exact same exchange taking place.  Middle ended up winning, both in points and the game, and in sister tormenting points.  She wants to play again real soon.

So do I.


Tabletop Thursday – Bonus Post

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 12, 2009 by hergeek

Currently bidding on a vintage Star Wars boardgame from my childhood on Ebay. I want want WANT this game! All of you other people stop bidding on it for the next 4 hours, please. Thank you.

[Edit: I didn’t win.  No reliving my childhood for me.  😦 ]

We-View Wednesday – Battlestar Galactica The Board Game

Posted in We-view Wednesday with tags , , , , on February 11, 2009 by hergeek

The Cylons were created by man.  They evolved.  They rebelled.  There are many copies. And they have a plan. – Opening Credits – Battlestar Galactica


I have never been a big fan of licensed games, whether video, role-playing, or boardgames.  In almost all cases, the game does not live up to the premise of the license, does not deliver that quintessential somethingness that makes the license shine.  (City of Heroes collectible card game, I’m looking at you!)

Not so with Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game.  Of all of the licensed properties that I have played, this one got it right.  The characters, the action, the tension, the drama, the paranoia.  Oh lord, the paranoia that this game brings out.

The game looks very complex at the start.  All of the players take on a role as one of the main characters from the game, and their goal is to escort the surviving remnants of humanity to the planet Kobol so that they can recover the map to the lost 13th Colony, Earth.  The humans have a limited amount of resources to accomplish this, and almost every decision that they make will sacrifice some part of their precious resources to do this.  If at any time any one of these four resources (Food, Fuel, Population, or Morale) drop to 0, the humans have lost and the Cylons have won. [GWP Note: *YAWN*]

The play is cooperative, where all of the players use the skills of the characters they have to fight off one disaster after another until they can jump to the next planet.  Each turn, some new disaster will arise, and all of the players will throw in cards to help stave off this new disaster facing the fleet, or lose some precious resource that they need to survive.

But hidden amongst the players are one or more Cylons.  At the start of the game, cards are dealt to each player that will tell them if they are a hidden Cylon agent working against the humans.  Then at each crisis phase, the Cylons can, in secret, throw in cards that will reduce the chances of the humans succeeding.  So as soon as bad cards start showing up, accusations start to fly, denials are issued, and paranoia ensues.  The tension this raises is awesome. [GWP Note: I am dozing off?]

Play balance in this game is superb.  In the last game I played, the humans had an easy time of it early on.  A few losses, but good progress was made towards Kobol, and spirits were high.  Then the sleeper agents awoke.  Alliances were quickly formed.  One Cylon that had no poker face was quickly flushed out and thrown in the brig.  A Cylon sympathizer appeared.   Chaos ensued.   And I sat there, with my newly dealt “You are a Cylon” card, and sewed suspicion and doubt to the other side, and quietly continued to sabotage the humans.  I was eventually flushed out after I made a power play and siezed control of the presidency and the admiralty within a turn, but by then the damage was done, the humans were limping towards their last jump to Kobol.  It all played out to the last turn of a card, if the humans lived or died.  Every single player was standing up when the last card was turned over, waiting to see the results.  We just couldn’t stay in our seats.  It was SO cool!

And as is trademark with all FFG games, production values are superb in this game.  Little dials on the board to keep track of resources.  Nice photo cards and tokens.  Little plastic Vipers and Raptors and raiders.  All pieces are top notch. [GWP Note: *stretching* Ahhh that nap was nice. Thank you.]

This game is one of the most fun games I have played in a long, long time.  I really want to get my hands on it again soon, to give it another run.  I’m giving this one 4.5 Crits out of 5.  I docked it 1/2 crit because I’m not 100% sure if a person that didn’t like the show would enjoy the board game as much as I did.  My gut reaction is yes, because the game is really just that much fun.