09 August 2011

Boardgame day at my house

Brought over two friends who were interested in boardgames but had never played any "real ones". And with "real ones" I mean besides Monopoly. So I picked Merchants & Marauders, Arkham Horror and DungeonQuest to show them games of different variety and complexity.

Started out with Merchants & Marauders since I had all the rules fresh in mind due to playing it just recently. The game was a blast as always, we all started out as merchants and I turned to plundering somewhere midgame with my Galleon - my captain had great "seamanship" value but still failed miserably to roll skulls so I could swap/discard lots of "Flee" cards making most of my merchant attacks a failure. My favorite was when I swapped 2 Flee cards for 2 new Flee card...

Me (yellow) and the green player were tied towards the end but I managed to raid two merchants gaining 2 Glory points and then raced to my home port where I deposited the gold necessary to win the last few Glory points. The end of the game spawned another good idea of a tweak towards the "monetary victory" - it was suggested that you could never buy yourself all the way to victory but only to the 2nd last Glory point at best and had to earn the last Glory point in some other way. I kind of like that suggestion and will make sure to implement it next time we play.

Next game was Arkham Horror, and since they both like Lovecraft stuff they liked this game the most. I made the error to pick a "Old One" at random - which generated one of the toughest elder gods in the game - "Quachil Uttaus". This guy comes with something that is called a "dust deck", which is 3x4 cards piled in 3 categories. And unless you as the first player discard 2 clue tokens at the start of you turn you have to draw one card from the first deck. Most often you are only prevented to pass the first player token , but one of the cards says that you discard the entire deck and move to the next. Once you reach the end of the 3rd deck you will die as the monster ability will age your investigator rapidly. So this guy is a major clue token drain. And we also had real bad luck trying to close the gates as they appeared - combined with some environmental effects that slowed down movement. Some of that was balanced up by the "relationship" cards from the Lurker at the Treshold expansion which allowed for some boosts between the related players. It should be mentioned that while we only played with the core board of Arkham, we used all the crossover components from Innsmouth and Dunwich Horror as well as Lurker at the Treshold.

But the game crumbled towards the end when I drew the last card of the 3rd dust deck which killed my investigator. Soon after the Quachil dude appeared and instantly killed the next first player and as he was both immune to physical and magical weapons the last player never stood a chance either. I was rather bummed out myself, but luckily both my friends thought the game was super awesome and wanted to play again haha.

As we were running out of time I packed down Arkham Horror and picked up the last game of the evening, DungeonQuest which is a good game to either start or end a boardgame afternoon with since it is fastpaced and only takes less than 1 hour to finish. You also don't need to be fully concentrated like in Arkham Horror or Merchants & Marauders to play it since it is more of a "beer and pretzels" game that you play for the laughs.

In typical DungeonQuest fashion my Elf character walked boldly for 4 turns before triggering a trap that caused instant death. This on the other hand gave me full time to guide the remaining players. Thef emale warlock fell down into the catacombs as she tried to cross a chasm and had to fight monsters below ground and then above in the dungeon again once she surfaced. Finally being killed by a monster only the male Wizard was left. He actually had some luck finding his way to the center of the table and reached the dragons treasure. Digging around in the pile of gold the first treasure card this player picked up was a "lead stone - 1 Gold" LOL!

Second attempt yielded better results and the Wizard headed back towards the exit as time started to run out. As the way he had come was blocked and impossible to use as an exit route he tried to explore his way out of the dungeon. It actually went quite well, but he was slowed down by giant spider webs that required to pass a Strength test haha, being the weakest character that took a lot of time for force himself through. And in classic DungeonQuest fashion he ran into another room full spider webs that slowed him down again making the time go into "sudden death" and finally the exits were sealed shut locking the Wizard inside the dungeon to die.

If you are unfamiliar with any of these games I have reviewed and explained them all on this blog.

You can check them out here:

Arkham Horror
(core game review, you can find the reviews of the expansions "King in Yellow", "Lurker at the Treshold", "Dunwich Horror" and "Innsmouth Horror" in the Boardgame Review category)


Merchants & Marauders


  1. We are playing Merchants & Marauders tonight in the WWPD War room. I am looking forward to it ...

  2. It's crazy good, hope you have as much fun as Steven had when he tried it out some day ago :-)

  3. I just wanted to say I had a blast ! Your review was right on spot !

  4. Good to hear, I got Wrath of Ashardalon myself today after listening to Steven and you guys talk about it for so long. I will probably write a review of it sometime next week when I've had the chance to get familiar with the rules and given it a try once or twice :-)

  5. I'm very keen to play Arkham Horror. It's been on my must try list for some time.

  6. Oh my next time, let's try and not pick an old one! Loved Arham Horror :D


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