Had everyone over last week for a FtF session. The main idea was to go through a couple of recent smaller acquisitions we hadn’t tried yet.

So, first up was Greed Quest, which I got last year as part of the SJG Wiz War kickstarter. The base idea: go into dungeon, race for the loot at the bottom, then have to get out going through everyone else still going down seemed decent. I was disappointed to find that it’s just one linear path, and not more of a branching thing with options on where to go.

But, the actual gameplay is about the interactions of all the special effects of different cards, and the special effects of each room in the path. Generally speaking, you compete with the other players to be the one person to Go, and that gets you… one space. But there’s a number of special cards that go off in sequence that can affect things, and abort the normal stuff. Much of that doesn’t really let you move, so it seems more about guessing when other people’s good cards are coming out. Or dealing with the fact that your good cards are… not in your hand right now.

Anyway, I got off to an early lead (partially thanks to a mis-play on one of the special cards), and saw it slowly grind down in the second half of the ‘delve’, until me, Jason, and Dave were all at the Horde. Mark, was still stuck at room 4… and successfully got off Odd Reversal… which trades places with the person who won the Go contest. This led to a duel between me and Jason, who had tied (and moved into the Horde), and suddenly, Mark was in the Horde, and needed to get out with everyone else. But, now I was in room 4 on my way out. I managed to move back to the start in the next few turns, and took a… not that well deserved win.

Still, the interactions lend it a lot more interest than I had anticipated, though it seems like it should be very random at the best of times.

I was Red, Mark Green, Dave White, and Jason Purple.

After that, we tried Tiny Epic Vikings, which Dave got for Christmas. For such a small box, the game is surprisingly complex, and has a large footprint, as you have to lay out a lot of tracking cards everywhere. I liked it, and wonder about the rest of the Tiny Epic line, but it does seem extra-fiddly.

At any rate, you play through three ‘eras’ as clans of vikings. Each era gets a bit more complex as you build up on-map positions, and keep them, and longer, as you get one more card to play each time. I didn’t do so well, never managing to get things to build up in my favor, despite understanding the importance of building extra ships and temples early. I just didn’t get enough harvest actions, so the bonus from an early temple didn’t amount to much, two ships came in kind of late, and I ended up desperately out of resources for the entire game, while everyone else had more than they needed at the end.

I also couldn’t get combats to go my way (though I managed some strategic losses in the second era to reduce other settlers; it just wasn’t enough). Me and Mark each only had one favor at the end, while Jason got three and Dave two. Since those are a source of runes for end-game scoring, and the islands were somewhat even, I knew who I needed to go after, but I could just barely affect Jason, and Dave’s position was way too consolidated for me to touch.

I did manage to be the one with three island runes at the end, which propped me up a bit. Scoring is by how much power each of the gods gets during the game (there’s six cards for them, but only three are active in any game), with higher-power gods delivering more points than the lowers, and the island runes (wooden tokens) giving one more point than those from favors. At any rate, Dave won with 25 points, with Jason at 24, while I was back at 18 and Mark next to me at 17. Two tight groups is pretty good for a first time out, and not really knowing what to expect.

We started that before lunch, started era 2 after lunch, and had a bit of time after that, so we broke out Wiz-War and introduced Jason to it. I think nearly every play I’ve ever had has been three-player until now. It was a lot more stable, and needed thinking with the fourth player. Everyone maneuvered around without too many dramatic encounters. Jason got one of my treasures at the start thanks to an illusionary wall that I didn’t see through.

I ended up in Dave’s area, and took one of his treasures, countering a spell with heal, and then running for my area, leaving a granite block behind to block the path. Jason and Dave tangled (I took Jason’s treasure from Dave), while Mark got one of Dave’s, and then played a bit defensive, moving his own treasures. I managed to grab one after he dropped it, and burned most of my health with power run to get back to my base and drop my second treasure for a win (I didn’t really need to; I had a good number card to get me most of the way, but I had the health so I did).

Rindis = Green. Mark = Orange. Dave = Black. Jason = Purple.

So it was a successful day of gaming, with two new games that are likely to come out again some time, especially Tiny Epic Vikings. We need to get into more regular game days again.