fow fireflyKicked of the year with our first gaming night at my newly organised garage space. It was supposed to be two games of Flames of War Tank Aces, as a precursor to kicking off a campaign, once we had motivated Stu back into the love of Flames of War. Unfortunately Stu didn’t bring his tanks, rather his newest purchase, Memoir ’44. Aaron and I had already started the first game however so Stu watched our game, arriving at the point where the game swung decidedly in my favour and the dice failed Aaron.

It was great to be back to playing Flames of War, and the fast paced Tank Aces format meant that we had plenty of time to try out Stu’s board game.

memoir44Memoir ’44 is a game I’ve wanted to play for many years, and whilst it wasn’t quite what I had expected, it was a very enjoyable game with a great system for restricting tactical choices and making you think a lot more about your decisions. We played the Pegasus Bridge scenario which is pretty much the intro mission. I played the British against Stu (Germans) and won, they played the Germans against Aaron (British) and lost, proving the game historically accurate!

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smash upWe managed to fit in three different games tonight, starting off with a new game, Smash Up.

Smash Up is a “shufflebuilding” game that is easy to get into: Take the twenty-card decks of two factions, shuffle them into a forty-card deck, then compete to smash more Bases than your opponents. Each faction brings a different game mechanism into play – pirates move cards, zombies bring cards back from the discard pile, dinosaurs have huge power – and every combination of factions brings a different play experience.

During play, Base cards (each with their own difficulties and abilities) are in play. You attempt to have the most power on the Base from your minions when the Base is smashed. Sounds easy? How easy is it when an opponent’s Alien-Ninja decides to Beam Up your minions to other Bases – flat out Assassinate them? What about when the Pirate-Dinosaur player Full Sails in and releases King Rex to stomp your minions into the ground, or when the Wizard-Zombies use their Mystic Power to create an Outbreak, suddenly flooding minions onto the Base from the discard pile? Or what if you faced a Zombie-Dinosaur player instead and he created an Outbreak of massive beasts all at once?!?

When a Base is smashed, each player in first, second and third place scores points.

Smash Up proved to be an enjoyable, easy to get into game, that had just enough tactical play to keep things interesting, without over cumbering the games with complex rules. With 8 different factions, there is plenty of replay value as you can try different combinations of factions, and the random nature of the shuffled decks mean you can never predict where the game is going.

If I had one complaint, it would be that the game winning score of 15 seemed a little low for our first game and it was all over way too soon.

I’d happily play this again.

bookdepoI decided to join millions of other punters who get their pleasures from The Book Depository and order a little X-Wing ship using the last of my PayPal funds. (I must make some more paper buildings so I can get some more PayPal funds!).

It was an in stock item and my little heart was happy when I got the Your Order Is On Its Way email a couple of days later, April 25th.

However, my heart is a little heavy today, as it is May 6th and my order, with a delivery time of 7-10 days has not arrived. I emailed customer help earlier today, but even with timezone differences, they’ve had almost half a day to at least acknowledge my email. But they haven’t.

Hopefully things will work out as I have another item making it’s way to me, as well as one item on pre-order.

C’mon Book Depository, don’t let me down.

UPDATE:
Book Depo got back to me, seems I missed the small print on their delivery promise – 7-10 working days. Threw a question up on Twitter and found someone in New Zealand that has had to wait up to three weeks for delivery form Book Depo. Great. But as long as it does arrive, and in good condition, I will be happy.

xwingHaven’t really been keeping FOW updated this year, nor have I played any wargames. Not to worry however as I have been keeping up my regular Wednesday night gaming, just not wargaming. It seems my small band of brothers each have much busier lives these days and the thought of having to paint miniatures, or even setting up to play an actual wargame has become too much! Instead we’ve turned our focus to a variety of board games and the Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game.

The beauty with X-Wing is that the miniatures come pre-painted, the set up is quick, and the games are fast. Best of all, it’s mad, frantic fun. So much so that I decided recently to jump in and buy the starter set form MightyApe so I could play with my almost 16 year old daughter these school holidays.

Today I managed to get our first game, which was a bit of a tutorial/learning game, but she picked it up really fast and after I somehow collided my two Tie Fighters into each other, she swooped in for the kill and destroyed my best one. After this is did a bit of a runner, pulling off a tricky maneuver right on the edge of the play board. My daughter chased me and ended up facing the wrong way on the edge of the play board, forcing her off and into defeat on the next turn.

A valuable lesson for the young Jedi Knight, and hopefully the start of some regular gaming at home.

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