Comptes-rendus › God save the John !

Le sémillant John nous décrit ses soirées chez les ludochons !

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vendredi, mai 24 2019

Exitio est ...

What is a "Ludochons" ? I asked myself this question again this evening. My attendance for the last few weeks has been spotty at best. My writing for the blog... Unmentionable. So it was with a fresh mind and thirst for games I arrived at our little club room. I awkwardly waited with Yo, awkward because of what happens when a young innocent fledgling Ludochons tries to converse with an old, wise Ludochons... Communications not completely falling into chaos and despair we were soon joined by other members until one finally produced the set of keys needed to enter the club room. That wait outside the door is a good time for us gamers to remind ourselves there exists an "outdoors" part of this world. Once inside though, smiles, greetings and games were being exchanged, bought (curtousy of our very own Father Gamesmas Zaggus) and prepared.

My first game was something new: "Last Heroes". Last Heroes has a heavy Comic book design to it that I found appealing and was instantly drawn to it. This meant I forfeited my spot for a game of "Fuji" Olivier will tell you more about that game. In "Heroes that come after all the others before there are no more Heroes" you play as a Gun-wielding nut-job that is fighting against the other nut-jobs for the most monster kills. Essentially a card game, the cards representing the guns and the ammo for said guns. Programming your turns to maximise victory point gathering whilst trying to limit what your opponents do is the key to victory. That and reading the rules before playing (more on this later). I loved the design and theme of the game, but it left me a little hungry for more...

20190523_last_heroes.jpg Last heroes - Bim... bam... boum...

My second game was a little "digestif" whilst my good friend and wondrous person (not currying favour to my soon to be GM, nope!) Bertrand was waiting for his car pooling buddies to finish their game. Koryo is a lovely little card game, where one has to, in 8 rounds, tally the most victory points with the best "team" of characters (cards). The number of moves are quite limited as the game is very short, so each choice is an important one. I will blame my card draw here though, and say a rematch is called for! What is one supposed to do with 6 Barbarians...

My third and last game was the one where I remembered what a Ludochon is. Just a group of people who want to have fun. Here again we learnt that reading the rules is a pretty neat thing when you play a board game. A novelty, it seems, for our dear Yo. Still I must agree with him: "Tiny Towns" IS a simple and clear game. What's more, with a table of gamers like the one we were at for the game, it was bound to be an enormous mountain of fun. Tiny Towns is a board game all about trying to be the player that builds the most point scoring tiny town. Using a system, that I love more and more, of every players turn being one that is also played by all the other players, one gradually builds, in a small 4x4 grid, his or her town. The buildings come in various shapes and sizes and their effects are determined randomly at the start of the game by a draft of cards. So I doubly can't wait for the second game. I also can't wait for the second game where I will burrow the rules because seeing some pictures on the web as I write this little rant I notice something that looks incoherent with what was told to us... Anyhow! My town was second best with Olivier! Normandy must have high class architecture. The "best" town was an insane suburb of peasantry courtesy of mathematician and glorious gamer Raphael. I mean really... 27 points of cottages. That's just silly...

All in all, I had a barrel full of laughs and can't wait for the next chapter. Be it in minuscule villages, labyrinths of a Japanese persuasion (on fire no less! Fuji looks pretty nifty) or simply that thing about the apple. Game well and see you next Thursday!

vendredi, février 1 2019

John colonise enfin façon Attila

War, what is it good for ? Board-games it turns out! By this I do not mean that war has developed the game industry, like it did for example computer science or aviation. Though if you want my opinion, and why would you not ? I am renown for being of "those ones" in the Gamerkin club. "Those ones" being those members of our most illustrious group that play war games, such as Warhammer. Wargames such as Quartermaster are played by many of our members which is one of the points I was originally trying to make, so back to our side tracking! So as I was saying in my opinion, had we, instead of killing ourselves most passionately, spent the time producing scientists and thinkers, rather than killers, could we not still be as far as we are technologically ? But then without wars... Would there be war games ?

Settlers Settlers - Jeu de colonisation sauf....

And so back to the main point: Games about war or conflict are pretty neat! For the last couple of weeks I have been playing "civilization games" both of which were won by the player that was the most warlike. The first "Patchistory" was one by a mighty empire lead by both Caesar and Napoleon and a militarist industry. I intend to have my revenge on the evil warmongering Davy, so I will have the opportunity to write fully on the game at a later date. This week I played "Imperial Settlers" or "Settlers, Naissance d'un empire". Graphically, being a huge fan of the video game series of the same name, I was charmed by the cute cartoon like style, whats more ? The art style is drawn on cards! I do like me some cards. So this card game is an empire building game, here you build it by literally building the various properties of your settlers. The reason I avoided the repetition of build last sentence was not due to my skills as a writer, but in fact because I played as the barbarians! So whilst my competitors around the table were building castles, pyramids, Ninja schools or whatever the heck our president Manu was doing, I was training raiders. And war bands. Basically my whole empire consisted of one shrine to the gods and two scouting towers. I added a couple of houses on the very last turn (the fifth) which allowed me to score the very last several points needed to win the game. But all in all. War won the day!

My dearest friend Olivier might have a well thought opinion on what it means for us players to enjoy a good war game. The sending of various numbers of people, depending on the game, to their death for the glory of our victory. I'll just say it really is a lot of fun to play anything at the Gamerkins ! Except maybe Quartermaster... Still not sure about that one...

vendredi, janvier 4 2019

Time what is time... John? An answer ?

Similar to my incomprehension of the song by Blind Guardian, I am unsure as to what happened on this Thursday evening. It all started, as most winter's tales do, on a quiet and cold night. The air cold with the promise of coming frost, shadowy figures could be seen darting from street light to street light before doing a mad dash for the pool of light, warmth and comfort that is the Gamerkins hideout. Once inside all thought of the bone chilling atmosphere is forgotten. For all Gamerkin smile at you as you enter and greet them warmly. All ? Yes all! Even the dastardly Olivier. Anyhow I am losing track of the point of this story with all these recollections of happy new year wishes and good will. Because once all the tables were set, the Gamers inside and the hellos spoken. Game on. Swords are drawn. Teeth sharpened. Friendships broken. Spirits destroyed. This is not Sparta. It is worst. It's a table of "Quartermaster".

Some kept enjoying themselves cleaning windows in Azul. Smiling and laughing and merrily scoring their points here and there. One table away though war was being prepared. The second world war to be exact. Only... Time is not a constant it seems at the Gamerkins. And though the Allies in fact won both games we played. They won... Strangely at best.

The first game was not utterly unthinkable. Germany rather than pushing hard westward decided to annihilate the Soviet Union. I was Germany, and I annihilated. However in the process the U.K. and U.S.A took over all of Europe. In fact in that scenario not only did the Allies win, there would never have been a cold war either as the U.S.S.R was all but destroyed. The second game took another stranger turn. The Soviet Union declared total war on Western Europe, and whilst Italy and Germany expanded after cleaning up the red tide, the U.S and U.K. well... Decided that E.U. really wasn't worth it to be perfectly honest and instead took over the rest of the world.
So if you are a learned woman or man, please explain to me: How do such amicable friends become such avid enemies on the same evening ? What the hell are Blind Guardian talking about in a song, I think, about a movie I barely remember other than good old Harrison Ford starred in it. Why is it the Gamerkin is such an incredibly wonderful place to be every Thursday night ?

All I know is that we all wish each other a grand new year, full of games and laughs. We also wish the same to you. Happy year 2019

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