Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

Archive for October, 2010

Necromancer Island

Posted by sodaklady on October 13, 2010

Ooo, doesn’t that sound good? Especially when it’s preceded by “Small World”.

I happened to check the Hotness List on BGG today, not something I do very often, and saw Small World: Necromancer Island which just sounds so cool I had to click through.  This is the publisher’s blurb:

“At first no one noticed the small island on the lake – nor paid any attention to the gnarly pretense of a man who drifted onto it, sitting astride a wooden log with a huge grimoire on his lap employing a shovel as his unlikely paddle. A ghastly green mist soon shrouded the island, wrapping it in a ghostly silence pierced only by a maniacal laughter and some intermittent curses. Then, one moonlit night, an impossibly crooked tower emerged high above the mist, casting a long and dark shadow on the surrounding land… The Necromancer had arrived!

In Necromancer Island, one of the players assumes the role of a dreaded Necromancer who inhabits an island in the center of Small World’s central Lake region. He captures the souls of all Race tokens lost to conquests, using them to progressively spawn Ghosts who invade the surrounding Regions. To make matters worse, his Powers grow as his reach across the land increases. If the Necromancer succeeds in bringing all of his Ghosts into play, anytime before the game’s end, he wins!”

Oh, hell yes! I wanna be the Necromancer, taking advantage of the other player’s losses! Where do I sign up? Then I read this:

“Necromancer Island is a free, limited-edition scenario available from game retailers worldwide and for purchasers of a Small World product from the Days of Wonder web store during November and December 2010 only while supplies last.”

Well, I don’t usually buy straight from Days of Wonder; I shop at Time Well Spent or Thought Hammer because they both have great prices, great customer service, and are closer to South Dakota than any of the other online stores. But I seriously want the Necromancer Island expansion which means I soon found myself at the Days of Wonder site.

There, on the front page, in the News I saw

“Preorder Be Not Afraid… get Necromancer Island for free!”

They must have seen my coming! I preordered, and since I also took the time to register two DoW games which I had not already done, I also got $4 off my order. What a good way to start the day.

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Posted in board games | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

It’s a Small World

Posted by sodaklady on October 8, 2010

…but I wouldn’t want to paint it. –Stephen Wright

Mike dropped by yesterday and brought Small World and DungeonQuest.

Now the truth is I never considered buying Small World because I have Vinci, which I love but it doesn’t play with only 2 players.  I was curious, though, so I asked Mike to bring it over.

I’m in love. Yep, I had to place a game order after Mike left (although I’d been planning one anyway.) I always loved the seemingly endless combination of characteristics offered in Vinci and that thrill is still there in Small World. The other aspect that I love about Vinci is the timing of when to Decline your civilization and the thrill of starting a new one– still just as tense and fun in Small World.

2-player board. Image by LeandroPires.

What I don’t love, and I’m not alone in this, is the bright, busy, garish board. I would love if the board was in muted tones so that the civilization chits just POPPED off of the board. But… sigh… I will learn to adjust. 😉 BTW, I won the game thanks to my Ransacking Orcs which raked in the points right from the start.

Mike had stopped at the game store on the way over and couldn’t resist DungeonQuest. We punched and bagged it, he read the rules, and off we set to pillage the dragon’s gold and gems. This is a game that I’ve been interested in ever since I read a session report on I’d Rather Be Gaming, the blog by ozvortex. We both went into the game knowing and accepting the fact that it’s an experience rather than a game, that it’s designed to kill your character, and that one or both of us would die before we could escape the dragon’s lair. But guess what?

We both lived to see the light of day! Of course, Mike had 10 times the loot I did, but that’s not the point. The point is we had a good time and escaped with something to show for it! We each had to battle two creatures and have decided that we are ambivalent about the new battle system. On the one hand, it’s interesting and gives you the feeling of having choices; on the other hand, it’s more work than is necessary for a game that is built on randomness.

We also played Scarab Lords, a game that’s been on my Trade pile for some time.  I wanted to give it another chance and I did. It’s back on the Trade pile if anyone is interested!

We finished the day the way I’d like to finish every game day, with Ra: The Dice Game.  I am positively addicted to this game and would play it over and over again until my eyes grew dry from lack of sleep. We played the best 2 out of 3 and Mike beat me… soundly! He was rolling Civilizations all over the place and I couldn’t put together a good roll for love nor money. But I love trying!!

Posted in Game Night, New Game | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »