September was a busy month for both my partner and myself, and we didn’t play too many board games. I sense this will change in the near future, as several Kickstarters I backed look to be delivering before the end of the year, and as the Finnish climate turns colder we’ll be spending more social time indoors! That said, I’m away quite a bit in October, and am planning to participate in a miniature painting competition, so it might be November before we play much more.
All that aside there were two notable pools into which we dipped our toes; two large games that felt beyond the scale of most games we’ve previously played. The first of these was Twilight Imperium. Together with four other friends, including several from our Dark Heresy TTRPG group (something Claire and I have been doing for a few months now, and about which I might write something someday), we played what turned out to be a test game.
Our game is nicely documented by our host Michael on his blog Freodom: The Assassination of Bug Jesus by the Coward Space Turtles
The title tickles me as it’s a witticism derived from the back-and-forth conflict between myself and my neighbouring player, longtime friend and Arcadian Rhythms contributor Walker. Playing a species of ravenous bugs, he naturally looked to my species of peace-loving turtles as a
foe snack. After one violent engagement he played a card, Rise of a Messiah, that would have allowed him to massively reinforce his infantry forces from the large number of planets he weakly controlled. “Actually, don’t do that,” I interjected, slapping down the Sabotage card, which cancels whichever action card was just played. One can only imagine how the space turtles actually assassinated Bug Jesus.
The game was a lot of fun and, although we didn’t play to the intended conclusion, we played enough to build a decent understanding of both the rules and the game’s flow and feel, and for us all to understand that we would like to play more. Most of us will be gathering to play another game tomorrow.
The second big game we dabbled in was Rune Wars, which Claire picked up at Ropecon for a bargain price. This game also has big modular boards and loads of tiny miniatures, and certainly looked a bit imposing from the outside. We ended up playing another test game that didn’t reach its conclusion, but we played enough to figure out roughly how the game works, including the complex-on-paper combat mechanics. As with many things, it’s actually quite simple and logical once you get into it.
One reservation I have is that we didn’t play any duels, and those look like combat but with more pages devoted to them in the rulebook, so… that’s something to look forward to. Otherwise, the game was fun and we look forward to starting our next game earlier in the day so we can properly play it through. Overall, it was certainly brisker and easier to grasp than I had anticipated.