After my original onslaught on the board gaming world, it has been pointed out that my game playing style might not just be down to Yugioh, but my own persona. Whatever the reason, I continue totally unrepentant of my ruthless gameplay and as they say in Yugioh – ‘Play to Win or go home early.’
TableTop Games Day… Firestorm – Yugioh – Promos – Rain!!!
Once a month there is a Games Day held in the back of the Firestorm store in Cardiff. For Jason it is a regular thing, for me it is a chance to meet with other players and it is only time I get to play on a regular basis with Tom Randall, Nikki and Chris. This was going to be a busy day, as it was TableTop International day and there were free promos up for grabs. As it turned out there was a Yugioh tournament there as well, it became quite a packed event.
I got a lift up with JacetheAce and as we arrived, so did Martin. The three amigos strode through the rain to take on all comers, we didn’t get far before we were stopped in our tracks. The picture is of a car that was plastered with parking tickets – a timely reminder to be careful where you park your car in the city. Playing boards games is fun, but it doesn’t need to be this expensive.
Firefly Demo Table… And Cakes, Lots of Cakes!!!
The people at Firestorm were hyped, as they had managed to purchase one of the Firefly demo tables used at Essen. It looked stunning and I had to take a picture of it. One day I am going to get one of these, just for the sheer “I own one” factor. However, opposite the table there was a large spread of cakes – perhaps this is an understatement, there was an exceedingly large amount of cakes up for sale. A Cake Day was being held at the event for charity, my waistline had received enough charity over the last couple of years, so I wearily walked away.
Age of Empires III… Scott, The Dentist and Cakes!!!
I have played Age of Empires III the board game many times and it is a very good game, fun to play and there are many tactics to winning the game, especially with the age advancements. Jason set this up because it is very different to get a five player session to the table. A lot of games play at their best with a full complement of players, especially a game that has such vital strategies to be achieved. Backstabbing is at its prime for a five player gaming session of Age of Empires or Francis Drake.
What made this session great was the fun we had. Besides Jace, Martin and Myself, we were joined by John from Cwmbran and Scott who was from Cardiff. Now John was quiet, reserved and had an understated sense of humour. Scott on the other hand was more of an extravert. Apparently his wife is a dentist, so he kept on murmuring about not eating cakes, he had to save his teeth, ‘Ok I will just have a few’ and came back with a plateful of very nice looking cakes. Then he announced that his wife should be letting him rot his teeth, so that his teeth could be gold plated on the cheap. All this was very distracting for Jace, who likes to concentrate so hard on game play, but also wants to in on the banter. It became to a boiling point of false accusations and trumped on tactics, I finished second to Jace – again not concentrating enough on shipping out soldiers to pick off colonists on the discovered lands. It is jace’s favourite tactic for this game, but I have seen the game won with many other tactics.
Again the use of player aides speeds up the game and having a playmat with a zone for your workers, means there is no confusion of picking them from the bigger pile and being accused of being careless (in other words cheating!!). The problem is that it can be very difficult to bring a new game to the table with Jace, he will allow it, but gets very frustrated by the lack of detial and attention other players don’t put into their games – he has a point though.
El Grande, El Grande… So Good We Played It Twice!!
I had played El Grande a few weeks before, I had walked into Jace’s game room and he had it set up for the gaming session. He announced “You are in for a treat.” I instantly replied , “I know.” Of course this was met by a quizzical look, so I explained that Nigel had played it a couple of days ago and that I had read his blog on it. It is handy sometimes to have the upper hand.
El Grande is an area control board game, where you bid to have the first choice of five action cards. The highest bidder wins with a blind placed bidding card, however the lowest numbered cards allow you to move the greater amount of troops from the Provinces to the Court, each bidding card can only be used once per game. Jason had again printed out playmats for this and in this case it greatly helped to make sense of the game quicker. So the game is all about making the right bid at the right time, it is pointless taking an action card to put troops on the board, if you don’t have any in your court.
The added element of surprise is that instead of placing troops on the board, you can put them in the tower instead. There are victory points for having the most troops in the tower, but its main advance is that you move those troops to a region that doesn’t have the King in it, which means you can really mess up other players’ plans. Jace go off to a commanding start by stitching me up, but the backlash from all the other players was such, that he was phased out of the game and Scott completely run away with it. Jason played the first game with only nine turns, but we demanded another with the full amount of thirteen turns.
Yugioh Competition… You Can Smell the Money!!!
Jason had picked a bad spot on setting up his games, right next to the Yugioh tournament and they spilled over onto our section to trade and practise their decks. Naturally a number came over to say hello and ask how my son was doing, etc. Of course money was exchanged for cards as well as trades and the board gamers got quite interested in what was going on. I explained as best as I could, but noticed a card I was looking for complete my Spirit Deck. Unfortunately I didn’t have my trading binder on me, so had to stump up £13 for Daigusto Emeral.
At the cost of discarding one of his xyz-material monsters, Daigusto Emeral allows you get to replace three monsters from the graveyard, back into your deck. I used him to come second in my local tournament after not playing for 18 months. Then sold him for £20, it is the way it goes sometimes, but if you saw a fiver on the floor would you pick it up!!
How to Leave Laughing??… With Wits and Wagers Of Course!!!
I got chatting to Nick Ridders and Jamie the Kid about demoing Yugioh at Insomia 51. I still enjoy talking all things Yugioh and missed out on the beginning of a game of Wits and Wagers. Tom and Nicky had joined in the session and although I didn’t have any chips to place bets, I could still add to the mayhem of trying to fathom answers to the ridiculous questions. In the end John from Cwmbran won with a crazy bet that give him the most chip value. This drew the greatest laugh has he hadn’t got close to answering one question right!!
The organisers then announced that they were going to do a special session for the promos, but it was now 5.30pm and we felt gamed out, so we left with a slight sour taste in our mouths as we could have gone elsewhere to have got those promos. Yet the gaming sessions with Scott were quite epic, if only we had played a game of Elite Fleet and it not all about getting freebies.
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Paul Matthews is a Sales Manager for Gamesquest Ltd, as well as a part-time Board game Demonstrator and Blogger. After several years playing Yu-gi-oh at Tournament level, his latest passion is all things board gaming. Besides playing board games, Paul is a part time author and enjoys reading and archery. Paul has a Degree in Humanities Psychology/Counselling and several Life-skill Degrees in Parenting, Horse Management and Ecommerce.