17 August 2017

Merchants & Marauders: Seas of glory review

I had been looking for this expansion to Merchants & Marauders forever when Caroline spotted it by accident in our LFGS and called me to confirm this was the game I had been ranting about!

Unbelievable, I remember writing an email to the publisher a couple of years ago asking about a reprint but no such reprint was planned. Needless to say I was super excited to get my hands on this product. The expansion does not add a new "a new expansion module" but rather several small enhancements that you are free to implement as you see fit. There are 8 modules in total, some of them are so simple that you will barely notice them, other are game variants, but mostly it adds some components that enhance the gameplay imo. 

Worth mentioning as number one is the expanded sideboard for your ship. It can now include crew morale/loyalty, contraband cargo hull along with new ship weapons and modifications and a favor track. The crew morale/loyalty track is great for pushing players to play more daringly and punishes you if you end up in the same port as you started in.  Favors are great for re-rolls and illegaly entering blockaded ports, while the contraband is a new type of resource that you may buy and ship to designated locations on the board to earn more victory points and gold.

The new ship weapons and modifications are also excellent, with the crow's nest being a favorite of mine.

There are tons of new tokens for the new modules. A "must use" feature is the storm token, and the wind gauge. Both add new rules to the board, the storm is pushed around by the wind on the board and add unpredicted danger that you want to avoid while the wind gauge add extra movement to ships traveling with the wind, and less movement to ships traveling against the wind. Simple but very thematic features both of them.

You also get new locations if you want to replace the printed special locations on the board with new ones. Then there is the Spanish treasure galleon which sails around generating gold each time it moves, which ultimately makes it a very tempting although dangerous target for a daring pirate captain. The pirates and players also get a new ship type, the brig which is something of a mix between a flute and a sloop.

The rules variants offered in the game also add for additional game modes for those that want a more challanging game - or simply a game that is less about winning by saving gold and more about actually trading and doing pirate raids.

All in all I'm super pleased with this expansion box, I may not use all the modules when we play the game but I use most. The expansion makes an enjoyable and great game even better.

Highly recommended to anyone already owning Merchants & Marauders if you can find this expansion!

13 August 2017

Wights and Ghouls painted up

Some more undead painted up for Frostgrave and Viking fantasy, minis are all from Otherworld miniatures - really love the sculpts. Size comparison with a Frostgrave plastic mini.

I also ordered some additional Mantic Games undead zombies and ghouls, as well as some Mantic Games metal Ogres (trackers and berserkers) to act as Jotuns. Hope to receive them this upcoming week.

The Mantic undead should work well for my purpose, tried to find "generic" zombies and ghouls that could fit into more than one time period.

Once I get some more undead painted up I will start playing around with the undead vs viking/18th century stuff :-D

12 August 2017

Pictures from recent SAGA games

Played a bit of SAGA during my vacation, both with Caroline against her favored Anglo-Danes and over at my friend Thomas house against a crusader army of our buddy Fredrik. Thomas played with his Normans against Fredriks Crusaders.

Clash of warlords is always fun to play, two of the games were randomly determined to be this scenario where both warlords start in the center of the table with multiple health and the warband that has a warlord with the least amount of wounds by the end of the game wins. We also managed to play the Harry and burn scenario from Age of the Wolf which was quite fun, a marauding warband is out to burn fields and houses in the defending players village - with victory points awarded for burnt fields and buildings. 

I must say that I was a bit disappointed in how Age of the Wolf turned out, there certainly are a bunch of good ideas but the campaign system is a mess and extremely weird and random with the rewards. I will most likely not play the campaign as it is written. And as a Fredrik and Thomas said, why bother buying a campaign book if you have to fix it with tons of house rules to make it playable?! On the subject of weird books, we also talked about the mess that is the SAGA rulebook collection. It would have been really good if the rulebook got a 2nd edition with all FAQ, errata and rules spread out over multiple books combined into one volume. At the moment the game is great fun, but finding all you need to play is a pain in the balls.

11 August 2017

Pictures from our boardgame sessions

Last couple of weeks have seen quite a lot of boardgaming. I usually play a lot with Caroline, but we also have a boardgame group with people from work with whom we play occasionally. I usually take a couple of pictures for our facebook group but thought I would share some nice game in progress pics.

Games feature here are Spartacus (with painted models instead of the plastic minis from the game for an enhanced experience), Merchants & Marauders (including the expansion), Mansions of Madness 2nd edition and Fury of Dracula 3rd edition. All of them fantastic games well worth getting.


Merchants & Marauders

Mansions of Madness: 2nd edition

Fury of Dracula: 3rd edition

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