Between being sick and work getting insane, I’ve been pretty scarce at my usual Tuesday game nights. But yesterday was a game day centered around a friend’s birthday, so, after dragging myself 6.1 miles earlier that morning, I joined the gang for some board game action. Nothing too heavy, as this coming Saturday is International Table Top Day where there’s bound to be some hardcore gaming going on, but this was a nice toe back in the water after being away for so long.
Apex Theropod Deck-Building Game — I backed this game on Kickstarter last year. Last week was the one year anniversary of it reaching its funding goal. And I still do not have my copy. The creator bit off a little more than he could chew as far as extras go (a common pitfall for Kickstarter projects) and has had some trouble meeting shipping costs. But the retail copies have gone out (presumably to generate income to ship the rest of the backer copies), and some friends had a copy yesterday, so at least I could try the game I should be getting shortly. It’s a classic deck-building game that actually bears a heck of a lot of resemblance to Legendary, the Marvel deck-building game. Both feature cards purchasable via two different kinds of resources, a row of cards that can be attacked but that can also do bad things to the players under certain conditions, and a similar scoring system based on what you defeat. But where Legendary is cooperative, Apex is, as befits the concept of rampaging dinosaurs, purely competitive. There are a couple of different ways to build your deck; you can purchase evolutions from a common supply, or you can purchase cards from your own personal supply of upgrades tailored to the dinosaur you’re playing (like T-Rexes and raptors and other meat-eaters). An environment card turned over each turn sets a condition for that turn, and once the asteroid strikes, extinction happens the next turn and the game ends. The player with the most points from hunted prey wins. It’s a fun game whose sole drawback is the amount of down time; when it’s not your turn, you’re not doing anything, and in a five-player game, that led to a lot of sitting around waiting. But that seems like it could be fixed with a few minor house rule tweaks, and besides, I’ve already paid for the game, so I’m getting it no matter what.
King of New York — I’ve talked about King of Tokyo before (think King of the Hill meets Yahtzee). Well this is the new version of the game that adds a few new wrinkles. For one thing, there are now buildings you can vent your rage upon. But there are also military units that don’t take too kindly to you rampaging through their city. Roll the right (or wrong, as the case may be) symbols on the dice and those units might attack, giving you another source of damage to worry about. You still want to be king of the hill (this time Manhattan rather than Tokyo), but now you’re less able to turtle up and win by not doing anything; the “king” can win much more quickly if left alone, and those military units force you to act rather than standing pat. It’s different enough to merit owning both it and its predecessor, and since there’s no difference between the monsters in each game, you can play New York with your old favorites from Tokyo or bring your new friends into the old game. And of course, us being gamers, we started brainstorming ideas to merge the two games into one gigantic monster mash. It’s what we do.
My day finished up with a round of Machi Koro and that was about all I had the energy for. Having been up since 5:30 AM for my 10K, my brain balked at the thought of further use that day. The fact that it was the only game that day I lost had absolutely nothing to do with my decision.