Teach Sushi-Go!

Set up:

  1. Shuffle the deck.
  2. Deal the appropriate number of cards to each player.
  3. Deal yourself a hand containing an example of each card to use during your explanation.

 

Explanation:

In Sushi-Go! our objective is to create the best meal at the sushi bar by grabbing menu items from the cards as they are passed around the table. We simply select the desired menu item from our current hand of cards; place it face down in front of us; wait until everyone has selected their card; and then reveal our choices together. Finally we pass our hand of cards to the player on our left. We can then select our next menu item from our hand of new cards. This is what is known as a drafting mechanic. We will pick and pass our cards until all the cards that were dealt have been played. We will play three rounds like this, and the person who has had most valuable dinning experience at the end of three rounds wins.

To determine who has had the best meal we add up the value of the cards in front of ourselves.

  • Nigiri is worth 1, 2, or 3 points depending on its type: egg, salmon, or squid.
  • You can triple the value of a nigiri by playing a Wasabi first, then playing a nigiri from a following hand to triple its value.  
  • In order to score points for Tempura and Sashimi you have to create a set of them. A set of two Tempura is worth 5 points, and a set of three Sashimi is worth 10 points. Incomplete sets are worth nothing.
  • The more Dumplings you have the more valuable they become. One is worth one point, but 5 are worth 15 points.
  • To determine the value of the Maki Rolls we look at who has the most Maki icons in front of them after we have played all our cards. The player with most Maki icons at the end of the round receives 6 points, and the player with the second most receives 3 points.
  • Puddings can be collected throughout the three rounds, and are only scored at the end of the game (or after three rounds). The player with the most puddings scores 6 points, and the player with the least pudding will lose 6 points.  
  • Chopsticks have no inherent value, but allow you to grab two cards from a hand, rather than the standard one care when we are drafting (or “picking and passing”). For example you would pick chopstick as your menu item, place it down in front of you, reveal it with everyone else. and then pass your hand along, as normal. It’s not worth any points, but now you can take two cards from a hand of cards, by stating “Sushi go!” and then drawing your two menus items, and taking the chopsticks and placing them into the hand of cards before your pass them along.

Begin:

Collect cards. Reshuffle. Deal the appropriate number of cards to each player. And then go!

Additional Considerations:

  • Allow for questions and discussion during your explanation (within reason).
  • During your explanation indicate to various icons, values, and text on the cards you dealt yourself while speaking about them.
  • The hand of cards you dealt to the players before you began explaining the game begins immersion into the game. The players now have something tangible in their hands as a personal reference to use during your explanation. Furthermore this allows the players to easily imagine the drafting mechanic of picking and passing. More experienced players may already begin identify strategies during your explanation as the begin to further understand the cards in their hand.  
  • Consider playing a “dummy round” wherein you pick and pass with the players a few times with the initial hand of cards you dealt the players. Deal yourself an appropriate hand of cards, and consider using the chopstick card during the round of play to simulate its action during a round..
  • Allow from more questions during the “dummy round” or game, offer constructive advice, or explain in an open manner your strategy for playing what you have chose if (and when) applicable.  

Moving on:

Sushi Go! is a great introduction to Drafting and Set Collection mechanics. These mechanics are featured in other popular.tabletop games such as: 7 wonders, Star Realms, and Dominion.

Print or save your own copy

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Teaching Guides

Do you ever get a game to the table, and then totally stumble over your explanation of it. Your friends sit politely as you stumble over your words, search for pieces, and read from the rule book? It takes forever, nobody knows what to do, and you’re constantly clarifying  rules – no one is having fun. I’m breaking out into a cold sweat just thinking about it. That’s why I wrote myself “teaching guides” for the games that I plan on bringing to the table.

I’ll be sharing these teaching guides here on the blog for you to use. The guides will feature recommendations on how to set up the game. A script for explaining the game, and footnotes that explain what you should be doing as you go through the script. We’ll be providing google document links to our guides so that you can access printer-friendly versions to print or keep for yourself (totally free-wow lucky!).

I’d recommend reviewing the document, and doing a practice round (or two) of explaining the game as you follow the guide. You could read it aloud exactly as a I have written it or you could use it as a guide for improving the flow and demonstration of your explanations. I prefer the latter – and I even wrote the script! It prompts me to teach in a structured way that is far less confusing for new players, and it ensures I don’t forget anything. Hopefully you’ll find that you can induct new members in to our hobby with less hassle and less sweating!

Look for the guides every second Monday!

 

Jen Meeple
Written by Jen

Posthuman Review

Posthuman is a post-apocalyptic survival adventure game where you’ll move across a variety of terrain, forage for supplies, survive the elements, and fight for your life on your journey to the last beacon of hope. You’ll have to keep yourself fed, collect ammunition, find weapons, and avoid becoming the very things you are fighting. This game was published in 2015 by Mighty Box and Mr. B Games following a successful funding campaign on Kickstarter. Posthuman boasts a number of familiar mechanics while offering an interesting take on partnership/player vs. player, exploration, and custom player creation.

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2 player game with all components displayed

The game supports 1-4, or 5-6 players with the “Defiant” expansion. Our journey to the Fortress from set up time to finish took about 2 hours. The game states it should take 30 minutes per player but I think it is safe to say expect longer playtimes, at least when you first start playing the game. I found that this game works best with 1-2 players. The solo game is quite challenging, and neither Gareth nor I have managed to get to the fortress before time runs out. With 4+ players there is a lot of down time between player turns as they wait for combat encounters to be resolved. The designers do suggest that with a 4+ player game that players resolve actions simultaneously, and then pair up to resolve combat together – however the game does not provide enough dice to allow for simultaneous combat resolution with 4+ players. In a two player game resolving combat together is quick and easy. Unfortunately as far as I can tell there is no easy way to acquire more of the custom dice to use in 4+ player games.

Combat is a huge component of this game. Posthuman uses dice rolling mechanics with custom D6s to determine successes or failures during rounds of combat. However combat success/failure is not entirely random. Various skills, weapons, equipment, and attributes can modify dice or add additional damage; but beware some of your enemies may possess these powers as well. Unfortunately there are aspects of the combat that are not very intuitive, detracting from streamlined play. Interpretation of melee combat results can bog down play, and detract from immersion.

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The Gamer is able to roll one die for each blue die displayed (shooting attribute + pistol attributes), for a total of three die. One misses (X), one hits because of the pistols ability (?= 1 hit), and the last one hits because of the pistols range (1=1 hit). The human enemy dies, as shooting is resolved before melee, and she can not return fire.
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Base melee attack is three dice. One extra die is reward to whom ever has the highest melee value (number in side the axe; 2 vs. 3 in this case). The mutants attack is as follows: 1 miss (X), 1 hit + knock down  due to his abilities (? = 1 hit + knockdown), 1 hit (axe symbol), and 1 block (shield symbol). The Gamers attack is as follows: 1 critical hit (axe with a blood drop), 1 hit (regular axe), and another hit due to the knifes ability (?= 1 hit). The Mutant has rolled 2 hits vs. the Gamers 3 hits. However the Mutant blocks 1 hit. Therefore both contestants strike each other. The mutant takes 2 damage; one damage for each blood drop (1 on the knife card, and one on the critical hit dice result). The Gamer takes 1 damage and 1 Mutation Scar card (because of the blood drop and green symbol on the Mutant card). As you can see, not very intuitive or streamlined. This only a very basic interpretation of 1 round of melee, it can and does get more complicated from here.

Don’t fret about player elimination through combat, if you’re ever brought below zero you are simply knocked out and find yourself back at your original safe house (starting terrain tile). You may have lived to fight another day, but if you collect one to many “Mutation Scar” cards from skirmishing with the Evolved, you’ll be transformed into one of the Evolved yourself! In this case your goal will change from reaching the fortress, to preventing the others from getting there. You’ll use unique “Mutant Actions” drawn at random to attack and hinder the other survivors. There are some variables regarding when, where and whom you may use an actions against but it is exciting none the less to take an active role in preventing the success of those around you.

You’ll need to be the first player to collect 10 “Journey points” through increasingly difficult encounters to reach the safety of the Fortress. Your path may seem straight forward on the centre board, but the real journey unfolds in front of your as you draw terrain tiles and forge your own custom path. Each tile is an adventure in of its self. A terrain tile has several features on it: the terrain, the number of supplies it will yield, the number of encounters need to complete it, and the direction of future paths. You’ll need to complete all the encounters on the tile to collect the supplies and forage for even more. Keep in mind that not every encounter will result in combat. At times you may stumble across an obstacle that requires a test of your speed or mind; some encounters may even prompt moral choices with resulting rewards or consequences. The exploration allows you to collect supplies and journey points in your own way. You may cross paths with other players if you occupy the same terrain, and this opens the option of partnership between players (trading, and using abilities) – keep in mind that there is only one winner in this game. The exploration mechanics in Posthuman are unique, streamlined, and really add to the immersion of theme. The partnership and player vs. player mixed mechanic is unique and adds to that survive at all cost feel to the theme.

There are over three hundred and fifty cards contained within this game, for fourteen different decks. Set up is simple – shuffle the decks, arrange them around the centre board, draw your equipment cards, mark your stats on the character board, and then choose one action from a set of four possible choices. The quality of the cards is great, the meeples are unique, and the art is thematic and immersive. The only negative thing I can say about the quality of the components is that the character sheet is flimsy and the stat tokens are not held well in their slots. Setting up alone will take some time. It is possible the set up may feel tedious or fiddly to some players.

With the custom character creation, the endless combination of weapons, armor, skills, and equipment, the hordes of enemies, and randomly generated individual exploration leads me to believe that the replay value of this game is high. I recommend this game if you are interested in challenging solo play or playing with 2-3 players. This game certainly has it merits: exploration, mutated/Evolved players, theme, immersion etc etc. However, Gareth and I believe that a lot of the interesting aspects such as playing as an Evolved, or trading and partnership are just not well supported at lower player counts, and higher player counts are not well supported with the present configuration of rules and components. There are many intricacies to this game that I just have not been able to include due to the length of this review already, I hope I have been able to highlight key aspects of the game. In the future I hope to go more in depth on how to play and teach this game.  Overall I have really enjoyed this game but I just wish it supported the higher player counts that it claims. We may have to create some house rules or variants to support more players to keep this one around.

Thanks for reading!

Jen Meeple
Written by Jen

Patchwork Review

Overview

Patchwork is a quilting themed game created by Uwe Rosenberg, known for designing popular games such as Agricola, Caverna, and Le Havre. In Patchwork two players are competing to create the best quilt from a variety of unique patches. Your goal is to have more buttons than your opponent when the game ends. On your turn you have 2 simple options: purchase a patch to put into your quilt or skip your turn in order to acquire more buttons.

 

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Setup

Each player receives a 9×9 grid board and 5 buttons (the currency used in this game). The patches are randomly arranged in a circle on the playing surface and a pawn is placed after the 2×1 piece (clockwise direction). At the center of the circle goes the Time Board, which players use to keep track of how much “time” they have left to finish their quilt. Finally, place the five 1×1 pieces on each of the empty squares on the time board. You are now ready to play!

 

Playing the Game

On your turn you have 2 options:

  • Purchase a patch: Choose any 1 of the 3 patches in front of the pawn in the clockwise direction. Each patch has a button cost, a time cost, and anywhere from 0-3 buttons printed on it. The button cost indicates how many buttons you need to pay to gain the patch, and the time cost shows how many spaces your token advances on the time board when you purchase your patch. Then place your patch on your quilt board so it doesn’t overlap any other pieces. Move the pawn to where the patch used to be, changing what patches are available to be purchased. If you are further along the time track than your opponent, your turn is done. Otherwise, you go again!

 

At some point, your token will land on or pass a special spot printed on the track and trigger an event:

Button: Count the number of buttons printed on all of your patches and gain that many buttons from the supply

1×1 Patch: If you’re the 1st player to reach or pass that patch, take it and place it immediately in your quilt at no extra cost

  • Skip your turn and gain buttons: Advance your token on the time board until you are on the space in front of your opponent’s token, then gain a number of buttons equal to the number of spaces you moved.

 

If you are the first player to fill in a 7×7 area on your board, you receive a special bonus worth 7 buttons. When your token reaches the end of the track, you’ve run out of time to finish your quilt. Count up all the buttons you’ve earned throughout the game, taking away 2 for every empty space in your quilt. Once both players have reached the end, the person with the most buttons wins

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Jen’s Final Score: -2 (12 buttons minus 14 buttons for the empty spaces)
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Gareth’s Final Score: 24 (31 buttons + 7 bonus minus 14 buttons for the empty spaces)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts

Despite its simple gameplay and looks, there is a fun strategic element to this game. Each turn can take a lot of thought, deciding whether the 3 available patches will fit well into your board or even taking a low time-cost patch so you can string 2 or more turns together, grabbing an even better patch further on in the circle before your opponent can. The design of the game also makes it difficult to predict the final outcome, and players always seem to be equally matched right up until the last turn. The game’s casual nature makes it a great choice for a nice quiet evening with your partner. It’s easy to get this game to the table with its quick set up and simple rules.

 

I find that some people unfortunately judge the game by its box. When I showed this game to some of my usual gaming friends, they took some convincing to try it out as they had a hard time seeing past the seemingly boring quilting theme. This game also requires a decent sized table to play on as well; at the start of the game all of the patchwork pieces need to be spread out and require a fair bit of space.  It’s too bad that the game only comes in a 2-player format, disqualifying it from your group game nights. I feel that it has the potential to be a good game with up to at least 4 players. Perhaps a larger version is in the works, as Uwe Rosenberg’s previous 2 player games (Agricola: All Creatures Big & Small and Le Havre: The Inland Port) were based on his larger games? Just wishful thinking 🙂

 

Final Verdict: Great game, love it, definitely worth picking up if you tend to play a lot of games with only a friend or your partner

Gareth Meeple

DIY Star Wars: X-wing miniatures playmat

I have wanted an X-wing playmat from the moment I invested in the game. I couldn’t justify the cost of buying a mat when there were cheaper alternatives to marking a 3 ft x 3 ft play area; our favorite was guesstimating a 3×3 area on our dinning room table.

I had researched and reviewed a lot of posts regarding DIY X-wing playmats and playing areas. Let me preface this brief review of other DIY projects by stating that I am constantly blown away by the innovation, creativity, and skill of people involved in this hobby. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a project that I wanted to recreate. Anything made with linen or felt just looked cheap or too lightweight to me. Additionally it didnt provide the grippy and stable surface I was searching for. The bright side to linen and felt is that it is cheap, widely available and comes in variety of colours and patterns. Plywood 3×3 areas seemed cumbersome, and didnt add anything to that thematic feel I was searching for. Custom ordered low static polyester fabric with open cell sponge rubber, or simply mouse pad material, yielded some of the best looking custom mats that I had seen. After finding the mouse pad material in an appropriate size and colour, the cost of materials and shipping was comparable to buying an officially licensed play mat from my FLGS.

While shopping at our local big box store I discovered a non-adhesive grippy shelf/drawer liner in black (CAN amazon/AMER amazon) that came in a 20 in x 4 ft roll. The material is nonporous and features non adhesive grip on either side. Its incredibly easy to cut, and is even machine washable. I purchased two rolls in order to create two 18′ x 36′ rectangles that combine to equal a 3 ft x 3 ft square. Even after being rolled up the material is heavy enough that settles into laying flat quickly, while being light enough to roll back up and pack around with out being cumbersome. The only draw back to this project was having to attach to two separate pieces together, which created a crease line across the center of the field.

Finished Project 

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Materials & Cost

Easy Liner ($8.99 CAN)

Self healing cutting mat ($21.15 CAN)

Preferred cutting tool (scissors, X-acto knife, utility knife etc.) ($4.99 CAN)

Square ($9.99 CAN)

Ruler ($4.05 CAN)

Paint ($3.49 CAN)

Tape ($4.99 CAN)

Total Cost not including taxes: $66. 64 CAN + taxes.

Cost of an officially licensed mat: $86.99 CAN + taxes + shipping.

The only thing I needed to purchase for this project was the easy liners. All the other materials I had on hand before beginning this project. This meant that my investment into this was much smaller than the indicated in the total cost. This project could be made even more cost effective by forgoing the use of cutting knives and a cutting mat, and just using scissors.

Project Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

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Materials

Step by Step Process

  1. Lay out material

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2. Measure and mark 2 in x 36. This removes 2 inches from the length while marking the width that you’ll need to achieve the desired 18 inch x 36 inch rectangle.

I’ve used silver acrylic paint to make my markings on the black surface. FYI this material and acrylic paint take well to each other, meaning that custom paint in the future is a viable option.

3. Measure twice & check with a square.

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I cannot stress the importance of using a square enough. If you want straight cuts, get a square.

4. Cut

Cutting along the length of the square from either end of my measurement left uncut material in the middle. I folded the cut material down and set a ruler between the cuts, resting against the folded material to ensure my cut was straight and clean.

5. Measure and mark 36 inches.

6. Measure a second time and check with the square

7. Cut.

8. Lay the finished piece over the next roll. Make sure your marked side is face up.

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9. Mark the uncut piece following the edge of the finished piece.

10. Check the measurements

11. Check them again and verify with the square.

12. Cut the second piece.

13. Stick the two pieces together in whatever way you prefer. I used funky duct tape I had laying around.

And VIOLA!

A 3 foot by 3 foot playing area for x-wing or any other tabletop game your heart desires!

Pandemic Legacy – January

Warning: possible spoilers.

I had originally purchased Pandemic Legacy shortly after it became available at our FLGS in November for Gareths Christmas present. And now it seemed only fitting to begin our Legacy in the new year with our friends (and owners of our FLGS). 

I was skeptical of the hype. I’d read about. Heard about it. Been told about it. C’mon its just pandemic . . . Right

Right. 

But also wrong.

We had an absolute blast playing Pandemic Legacy tonight, despite the fact that we had the WORST luck that caused Africa descending into chaos in just mere minutes after (nearly) back to back epidemic draws during our first play through. 

  
With recurring outbreaks in this region we quickly burned through the outbreak track and lost our first playthrough.  

After reseting the board as instructed we entered into the second half of January. I should mention that reseting for the 2nd play required that we tear up a card. 

After our abysmal first attempt I couldnt see how this game could redeem itself in my eyes. We had to place permanent stickers all over Africa, foreving altering the game for future plays. We had to tear up an objective, and we had triggered so many outbreaks that a persistent drawback was added to all future plays. 

How could a game be so brutual we thought. This was suppose to be the tutorial! It was just bad luck we said reassuringly to each other, only half believing it to be true. 

We apologized to the great nation of Africa, swore to never repeat a tragedy of that magnitude again, and began the second part of January. 

Luck was finally on our side. It was magical! We drew what we needed before we even knew we would need it. We were where we needed to be before we needed to be there. We had this game locked down. Not only did we win, we won without triggering single outbreak!

  

I can not wait for this to hit the table again! 

My First Painted Miniature

Last Sunday Gareth and I embarked on a road trip to check out a small Xwing event hosted at FLGS (shout out to Game Quest). Unfortunately there wasn’t enough space for us to play Xwing that particular day. However as luck would have it Game Quest is well known for their used video game selection and trade in deals, and we happened to bring along an assortment of long neglected PS3 and PS4 games to trade in. After some intense bargaining, which involved us staring at the guy price and sort our games, and chatting idly about some of the titles, we came out a $100 richer (or $69 for you Americans). We promptly, turned around and purchased Star Wars Imperial Assault, and the expansion Twin Shadows.

And with that we had unknowingly entered into the world of painted miniatures. But we like to think of ourselves as the frugal type, and I was not prepared to invest in a complete palate of Citadel Paints and high end paint brushes.

I browsed a few Imperial Assault painting guides and started to feel fairly confident that we could indeed paint a miniature, maybe not well but we could do it. Then I found the perfect guide on reddit. Not only was this a guide written by someone who had never painted before, but they had even done it with supplies purchased from WalMart. This is was it. We were going to do it.

And so it began with the AT-ST.


Many guides recommended sanding and filling small imperfections left behind during the moulding process, but I went ahead and skipped this step, for no better reason than I didn’t feel like doing it.


I did however understand the importance of priming. Just some good ol’ rattle can primer used here.


Here we can see the *gasp* “paints” I used for the first of many grey washes.


Using those very same paints I did a black shadow wash and dry brush for highlighting purposes.


And finally I sealed the piece using water based satin varathane. Nobody in Canadian Tire really knew what to recommend for a project like this but assured me it would be okay to paint over acrylics with the varathane. I chose a less glossy finish to hopefully hide some of the imperfections and mistakes in my brush work.

There you have it. Anyone can do it, and hopefully with practice one day we’ll be able to do it well.

– Jen