On Thursday I visited a game shop in Utrecht, which I hadn’t been before: Subcultures. I was really impressed! Apart from some Warhammer stuff, and the basic boardgames, it has a really good collection of miniatures (eg Hasslefree, Warlord, Perry, FOW) and attributes, and good selections of boardgames from FFG and other Ameritrash publishers. There was even some LARP equipment, rules and literature. I will be back there for sure.
I also picked up a leaflet on Army Painter and I think there’s still a lot stuff I can learn about painting miniatures. Even though the intention is to outsource miniatures painting, a bit of handwork might still be necessary at times.
But the best part of weekend was the gaming itself.
On Saturday night we played a great management game about a financial institution trying to balance growth and risks. The mechanisms were really good, the material outstanding and the challenge daunting. Although we managed to expand out portfolio by a great number of mergers, we were late in getting rid of our risky assets, so at some point the regulators stepped in. Great game.
After that we tried Guards!Guards!, one of the two Terry Pratchett games released late last year. This edition is published by Z-Man Games. The game looks good, materials are good quality, the references to the Pratchett books are nice and the plot of the game is believable in the context of the Discworld novels.
The third or fourth time I´d been overrun by the Luggage
Although the object of the game is obviously to draw in the large fanbase for all things Pratchett, the game is not easy. There’s quite a lot of rules and there’s a lot to take in: movement, actions, volunteers, spells, that need to be collected, brought back to Unseen University and then there’s a challenge to be surmounted. And there’s dragons and cultists, and the Luggage, and saboteurs. Pffew! Indeed the game did prove longish and hard work. A trained crew could do it in 2 hours, but we didn’t get it finished in 2 and a half.
Not an unqualified success, but it is the first of the Essen 2011 games I had not played. A first milestone therefor on that project.
In the mail I received Angola, a rerelease of the 1988 version by MMP. It’s a four player game covering the 1970s civil war in that country with inspiring faction names like MPLA, FNLA, and UNITA.
Also, there was Eight Banners and Green Flag, about the Ming/Manchu army of the 17th to 19th centuries. I am still intreagued by Eastern armies, but I have no handle to take them on at this time. So this one will be on the stack but will not get read soon. This is a publication from the Pike & Shot Society, of which I'm a long standing but passive member. I have no problem, however, subsidising them and their excellent magazine Arquebusier.
And finally, Too Fat Lardies has given July 30th for the release of Dux Brittaniarum! There's also suggestions that there may be a SAGA event in the Netherlands at some point, but that's in the "maybe, possibly' category as of yet. So get busy y’all!