Sunday, 26 July 2015

Board Games - two ends of a spectrum

The club was postponed on Tuesday night so I hosted a couple of games at mine. Ed and Joe had a game of Bushido whilst Dan gave Mike and myself our first experience of the board game Super Dungeon Explore.
Let the games begin.

My initial impression was it was a mixture of Dungeons and Dragons, Infinity and a consol game based on a Japanese children's cartoon (Mike suggested the Power Puff Girls which seemed just about right based on the illustrations in the game).
Our grey heroes take on the nasty red creatures. Lava is not your friend!
You control a character, or characters, in the game (Mike and I took two each). Your job is to clear the dungeon (marked out on floor tile cards) of the bad guys using your weapons until you meet the end of level dragon. Combat is resolved with dice rolls, sometimes face to face with your opponent, run by Dan as the dungeon controller. The game mechanics allow you to gain abilities for your characters as you clear the dungeon of the enemy. This usually involved getting access to more dice when you rolled in attack and defence. There are three different coloured dice which were marked in different ways; blue, red and green, the latter had larger numbers than the red which in turn had larger numbers than the blue. The green was therefore the Holy Grail of dice. But you also have potions to boost the number of dice rolled and the wounds you have suffered can also be regained.

Action on the Bushido board - the tortoise and  the dragon were objectives - not models!

Long story short, in the game we came up against the dragon, but our little band of adventurers had sustained a lot of wounds by then and we were overcome by the forces of evil. I guess our characters lacked the appropriate levels of Chemical X! Boo hoo. An enjoyable game, which probably would also appeal to a younger audience.

Mike photo bombs the end of level dragon.

Wednesday night brought another games night, this time at Mike's. He, Dan and myself, made our second attempt to play Dead of Winter. We had tried and failed when we went to the Game Expo in Birmingham. This game is a much more adult affair. It is a semi-cooperative game, which meant one of the other players could be a traitor whilst you as a team attempt to survive and fight off the attention of zombies.

The game play was a little more complex than Super Dungeon Explore. It can accommodate a lot more than the three of us, and would have been a bit more involved, if we had more of the possible characters taking part. We took two characters each, with Dan getting the dog, Sparkie. I received the Doctor and the Mayor in my random selection. The game featured a red dice which you rolled at moments of peril. It was a D12 which gave you a one in twelve chance of being killed. At the first activation of the Mayor he perished (no re-election for him - sad face). At the end of the game, in which no one was allocated the role of traitor, we as a team had been successful and had survived the winter, but not surprisingly, the only character to complete their individual mission was Sparkie the dog (well done Dan - whose a clever boy).

Two very different games, both good fun. Given the choice I would like to play Dead of Winter again with a few more people, as it is gritty and has the greater possibility of a giggle due to the 'traitor' aspect.

Happy wargaming.


  1. Nice review, personally I preferred SDE. It was a lot more fun, and colourful! I think with more heroes it would have been great

  2. Very true. Both these games benefit from a good few people taking part. I wonder what future gems DC will find for us to play?

    1. I've ordered version 2 of Super Dungeon Explore, picking it up from ibuywargames in Woking on Sat.
      Once I've read the rules we'll have to have a game