RSS

Tag Archives: High Noon Saloon

Gaming!

This past weekend I got together with friends for some board/card gaming, with the specific goal of getting some titles to the table that we haven’t tried yet.

It was an excellent day filled with good times. We had a five-player game of our perennial favorite, High Noon Saloon, and played several titles that were new to me such as Aye, Dark Overlord and We Didn’t Play Test This at All. However there were two games that stood out in particular, for very different reasons.

The first was Galactic Strike Force by Greater Than Games. I’m a sucker for spaceship games and I adore their other masterpiece, Sentinels of the Multiverse, so I was more than eager to give it a try.

The result?

Well…

Okay, there’s a game in there somewhere. We found it. We put a lot of effort into finding it, but I can’t say if I like it or not. I think it’s fun?

Way back in the day, my friend brought over the original release of Sentinels of the Multiverse and we gave it a try. That first publishing taught us two things; Greater than Games can produce amazing products, but they also write rule books of questionable clarity. It took a little effort, but we figured it out and have been Sentinels fans ever since.

The rules of Galactic Strike Force are more fiddly and it took four of us, all experienced gamers, constantly referencing the manual and the online FAQ before we finally got into the groove and made the game work. After all that, I’m not sure if I like it or not. I want to give it another shot now that we have a handle on it, with different characters and a different opponent, to see how it shakes down.

On the other end of the spectrum, we played my new copy of Tail Feathers by Plaid Hat Games. This is the aerial combat game set in the universe of Mice and Mystics, and it is a fantastic game.

Right off the bat, the figures are spectacular. There are several detailed armored birds on tilting flight bases. You have rider miniatures you can put on the birds and a number of ground figures. The quality of game pieces has skyrocketed across the board and even given that high bar the figures in Tail Feathers stand out.

This game also nails the theme to an amazing degree. The board, the rules, the pieces, all contribute to feeling like you’re involved in a battle between noble mouse knights and dastardly rat brigands. Even the range finder contributes; it’s designed to look like a stick with a leather wrapped handle. The stick defines the range for missile weapons, while anything within the range of the leather wrapping is at melee range.

The rules are clever, innovative, and laid out in a clear fashion. I read through them twice and was familiar enough to get us going. From there it wasn’t hard to know where to find specifics as needed. We jumped past the basic game and used several of the advanced mechanics right away. I feel confident that in our next game we’ll toss in all the rest.

I can’t say enough good things about Tail Feathers. My only mild criticism is that for the moment it’s a two player game. I believe that a four-way war would be both manageable and epic, if we had the factions to carry it out (two sets of the core game would certainly work). However from all reports there will be expansions to expand the number of factions and how many people can play.

I don’t want to give the wrong idea; often when you talk about a game needing expansions it’s because the core game doesn’t feel done. That’s not the case in Tail Feathers. You get a lot of game in the core box, plenty to keep you entertained. In addition, if you already own Mice and Mystics (which I do not), you can use those characters in Tail Feathers.

Finally, let me tell you a tail of heroes. In our game there were two standout figures, two amazing rodents who rose to become legends. The first was Super-Rat, a no-named minion who could not be stopped. He survived drifting from one tree to another on a leaf and survived after all his companions had fallen. Hero mouse knights on their bird mounts could not stop him. An entire unit of mouse archers could not stop him. Without mercy or hesitation he laid siege to the mouse nest and gave victory to the rat invaders.

His counterpart was Super-Mouse, who was also a no-named woodland warrior. He crept across the meadow to attack the rat’s nest. He faced a rat champion in single combat and bested him. He single-pawedly almost turned the tide of battle and came within a whisker of saving the game, rolling maximum damage with his bow several times in a row. In the end it was not enough and the mice still faced defeat, but the legend of these two valiant vermin will forever resound in our gaming halls.

TailFeathersMed

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Gaming

 

Tags: , , , ,

Board Game Bits

Greetings Programs,

I’ve got three bits about board games; two reviews and one news item.

We spent New Years with friends in Columbus, OH and on New Years day we ventured out to one of my friend’s favorite gaming/comic shops, Packrat Comics, in Hilliard, OH. Packrat is a great store, well organized and clean, with a wide variety of comics, games, and other geekish toys. They’re light on role playing games, but other than that it’s an excellent store with a friendly and helpful staff. They also have a good stock of games for customers to try out and the staff is happy to set them up and teach people how to play.

I don’t have a friendly local gaming store so I don’t get to play games in stores very often. Not board games, not role playing games. So I was happy to jump in and play one of their demo games with my friend and his two daughters. The game?

Castle Panic: Published in 2009 by Fireside Games (how have I missed out on this game for so long?) Castle Panic is a cooperative board game tower defense game, in the literal sense. The game board consists of a series of circles divided into six zones and three colors. In the center circle are six towers and walls. The first circle is labeled swordsmen, the second for knights, the third for archers, and the farthest is the forest. On each player’s turn several things happen, including drawing monsters and placing them in the forest, advancing creatures towards the towers, and playing cards to fight back against them. Monsters are placed by rolling a D6 and placing the creature in that zone, then advancing them one ring each turn. Players fight back by playing cards. A card of the correct ring name and color will do damage. For example, if a monster is in the Knight ring of the Red zone, a corresponding card can be used to damage the creature. Play continues until all the monsters are killed or all the towers are destroyed.

The game is fast and furious. The rules are elegant, easy to grasp, and are exciting for both children and adults. Our game came down to a nail-biting finale, with us slaying the final creature just before losing our final tower. This is also a game that would be fun to bling out, either by digging out my old lead minis or printing up some paper figs, perhaps giving me an excuse to get more Okumarts sets.

Castle Panic is a fun game that has earned a place high on my wish list. Packrat was sold out, or one would have been coming home with me.

High Noon Saloon: A game that they did have in stock was High Noon Saloon. This game has been on my wish list for a while, so it was coming home with me. Published in 2011 by Slugfest Games (which may be my new favorite company name) High Noon Saloon is a light, fast playing game about bar fights in the old west. The board depicts the titular saloon, divided into several sections where the characters can duck under the bar, take cover behind the piano or an upturned table, or dive off the balcony. Characters have unique special abilities and players hold a hand of items and actions that range from knives and whips to six guns and rifles. Of course there are also chairs that can be smashed over someone’s head.

Ammunition is a precious commodity and each time you put a gun into play you draw a random bullet card to see how many rounds it has. Other cards allow you to “call out” an opponent, putting both of you into the center of the bar to duke it out, a risky maneuver since there is no cover there.

I do have one small complaint in the components. The cards are fine. The tokens are adequate, not great but not bad. However the board is too small. The character tokens are about the size of a nickle, but even at that size the board gets crowded when more than one character is in the same location. The small scale makes it difficult if you want to swap the tokens for figures. The board also feels too light and I wish they’d used a heavier stock.

High Noon Saloon plays fast and fun. Slightly more crunchy than Castle Panic, it’s still quick to learn and easy to play. It’s a delightful game and I am very happy to finally have a copy.

Greater Than Games: Big news from Greater Than Games. Their recent unsuccessful Kickstarter has not slowed them down. Instead they just launched three pre-order campaigns for their superhero games. Villains of the Multiverse is the latest expansion for their amazingly fun cooperative superhero game, Sentinels of the Multiverse. The expansion will pit the players against an all new villain team, using the same team mechanics in the earlier Vengeance expansion.

The other two pre-orders are for expansions to Sentinel Tactics, their superhero miniatures game. Sentinel Tactics: Battle for Broken City can be played either as an expansion or a stand-alone game. Sentinel Tactics: For Profit is an expansion usable with either Battle for Broken City or the original Flame of Freedom game.

 

The Wraith(1)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 15, 2015 in Gaming, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , ,