May 2023 Gaming

It’s been another slower month of gaming this last May, again because one of our Sundays was cancelled (this month due to Mother’s Day…stupid moms!)

This month, I had the same number of plays (19) as April but only 11 games instead of 13.

But they were still fun!

Here’s that information in picture grid form.

Eleven games, and only two new to me ones!

I’ll talk about those in my cult post.

But hopefully next month will be better for that (though we’ll lose another Sunday game day, with Father’s Day…stupid dads!)

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The Last Hundred Yards – Storage Solution With Rails on Boards

It’s time for another storage solution using the Cube4Me trays provided to me by Rails on Boards.

These plastic trays are pretty cool because, if you want to (which my good friend Zilla doesn’t seem to want to), you can actually nest them together to minimize their footprint in the box!

Anyway, enough ranting about friends.

Previously I had put together a tray set for The Last Hundred Yards – Airborne Over Europe because that was the only module in the series I had at the time.

However, a few weeks ago, the first one, reprinted edition, arrived on my door step and I had a few remaining trays left over.

Once again, this game is published by GMT Games and designed by Mike Denson.

And one of these days, it will be coming to the table!

It was time to see if the same (or similar) solution would work!

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Friday Night Shots – What’s Your Go-To Game When You’re Down?

It’s Friday night!

You know what time it is, then.

Pull up a stool and listen to the music for a bit.

Given my post last week about games and my mental health, I was just curious what your thoughts were on this topic.

Say you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps. Nothing super bad, but just a little depressed.

What’s your go-to game when you’re feeling like that?

Sometimes you’re just not in the mood for a game, no matter what it is, and that’s ok too.

But as I said in that post, playing games can often improve my mood, or at least be an indicator that I’m not doing as well as I thought I might be.

I think we probably all have different types of go-to games in this situation, almost as many types as there are people.

Some people, taxing their brains and making them work to figure out things like Gaia Project or a big complex wargame are what they need.

They’re in their element when they have to work, and it brings them out of the doldrums.

That’s not me, though.

For me, I need something relatively simple and not involving a lot of setup.

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Review – Subastral

Ain’t nature grand?

I think it is. All of the beautiful landscapes that are out there. Nature photography is some of the best photography out there.

And nature games, too!

There’s been a bit of a renaissance in nature-themed games in the last few years.

I just reviewed the new card game Earth that’s all about the flora on this wonderful planet.

What about biomes?

Do you even know what a biome is?

I know you do. I was just testing.

(I have faith in you).

Subastral is a card game about the biomes that make up the Earth and is a fitting companion to that other game.

Some might think that I planned this! (They may or may not be right, I will never tell).

(Editor – “That might be giving you too much credit”)

Subastral was published in 2021 by Renegade Games and was designed by Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle. The gorgeous artwork was done by the incomparable Beth Sobel.

It plays 2-5 players and is a great go-to game for a lunch or starting/ending a game night.

Especially because it plays 5 players, meaning it can work for those awkward times when you have too many players but not enough to split up into two games!

How does Subastral work?

Let’s take a look.

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Architects of the West Kingdom – Storage Solution from Folded Space

I’ve already talked about the Viscounts of the West Kingdom storage solution from Folded Space, and how much better it is than the actual Collector’s Edition insert.

For some reason, the Garphill Games inserts that came with the Collector’s Editions are just terrible as far as gameplay goes.

They’re great for storage!

But if you want to actually get the game on the table, they’re pretty rubbish.

Enter Folded Space, and their solutions for all of the West Kingdom games.

I recently put together the Architects of the West Kingdom storage solution and it is amazing.

So easy to get the game to the table!

I will be testing that out this today, possibly.

Let’s take a look at it.

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Friday Night Shots – Let’s Talk Music

Hi, there!

C’mon in and have a seat at the bar.

I’ll pour you the drink of your choice (something non-alcoholic for Brian).

Some Canadian Club and Diet Pepsi for me (on my second one now).

What’s that?

Yes, that is Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 coming out through the speakers above the bar.

How did you guess?

Let’s talk music while you’re sitting here relaxing.

How did I get started listening to old American Top 40 shows from the 1970s and 80s?

Why am I inflicting it on you?

And what music do I like now?

Hopefully you’ll tell me yours too.

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Clank Coming to Digital in 2024 from Dire Wolf Digital

Here’s some exciting news for your Friday!!!

Dire Wolf Digital’s Clank is going to be coming to Steam and mobile devices in 2024!

Backers of their current Clank! Legacy 2: Acquisitions Incorporated – Darkest Magic will be getting free access to the closed beta that will be coming later this year.

Clank! is, of course, that dungeon-running deck-building game that one of my favourites (Clank! in! Space!) is based on.

You are facing off against the dragon trying to steal the most valuable treasure from his horde and get out alive.

This is exciting news, but it is a long way off…unless you’re backing their kickstarter.

Either way, I will be watching for developments on this because I would definitely love to play this digitally with async multiplayer.

Dire Wolf has a great track record with these adaptations, with Everdell, Raiders of the North Sea, Sagrada, and of course Root (and many others).

This one will hopefully be just as good!

Stay tuned for more.

Combat Commander After Action Report – Scenario #105 – La Fiere Counterattack

Has it only been a month since my last Combat Commander ladder AAR?

Actually, it’s been less than a month!


I consider that a win.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for another adventure from the Combat Commander ladder, that monthly tournament of one of my favourite games of all time.

Run by the acclaimed Patrick Pence, he of Patrick’s Tactics & Tutorials fame, the ladder allows me to face off against opponents from all over the world, trudging through the countryside from Guadalcanal all the way to the shores of France (going the long way around, of course), trying to beat your opponent into submission with superior maneuver and firepower.

And have tons of fun and laughs doing it.

This month’s scenario was taken from the pages of C3i Magazine #20, a little scenario between the Americans and Germans on D-Day behind the Normandy beaches.

My opponent this month was Ted W, somebody who I have had great experience watching Patrick play in the Normandy Campaign on Patrick’s channel.

After watching those videos, I knew I had my work cut out for me.

You can click on each picture to blow it up.

In the scenario, the Germans (Me – grey) have a small force attacking across a small bridge against a very small American (Ted – green) force (this scenario is, as they say, small…).

A couple of special rules.

First, the stream is actually an impassable water barrier, and those Soviet control markers on the edge are also impassable.

Essentially, the only way across the water is that one bridge.

The Americans set up first, and can set up 8 hexes deep from the left side of the map. However, they can’t set up on the German side of the river.

The Germans can set up 4 hexes deep.

Smoke is going to be very important in this scenario, so it’s a good thing the Germans have a mortar that can fire it!

If they didn’t have a crew trained by me, anyway…

Also, all fences (the thin brown hex sides) are considered hedges, and all hedges are considered bocage (so they have +2 movement/cover instead of the normal +1).

Thankfully the Americans are in Recon posture and not Defensive, so they can’t use any of those annoying defense cards to stop my advance.

How’d it go?

Lots of twists and turns.

Let’s take a look.

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4 New Expansions from Alderac Entertainment Group Coming to Kickstarter June 6

It’s rare when I see a “by a bunch of stuff in one bundle” offer come up where I want most of it, so it makes it worth actually taking a look at.

That’s changed with the latest announcement from Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG).

Coming to Kickstarter on June 6, the following expansions will be available to back.

Space Base: Genesis I already talked about when it was first announced. Designed by John D. Clair, this was already a must-buy since Space Base is one of my favourite games.

There’s also the new expansion for David Thompson and Trevor Benjamin’s War Chest, the great 2-player bag-building game that I’ve played a few times and need to get a review done for! Not to mention playing the first two expansions.

This expansion is called Nightfall and will highlight the seedier side of warfare.

Then there’s the Cubitos expansion, Fowl Play. Cubitos is a push your luck dice rolling racing game also designed by John D. Clair.

It’s a lot of fun and this expansion looks to add more dice colours and new ability cards for the base game’s colours. A new double-sided race track and components to get up to 6 players is also in it!

The final expansion is for Tiny Towns, a game I haven’t played yet. It’s designed by Peter McPherson and is a game where you are building a city using the many resources gathered, but you don’t always get the choice of what resources are available.

The expansion, Architects, adds new buildings, new monuments, and the possibility of having an additional, tinier town!

No pictures have been posted yet for these expansions, but I’m definitely going to be looking hard at this one.

Judging from the picture (so I could be wrong), it looks like all four combined will cost $90. Not bad for four expansions.

Check out the Kickstarter link so you will be notified when it goes live on June 6.

Are you excited about this? Unnerved? Apathetic?

Let me know in the comments.

American Tank Ace: 1944-1945 – Storage Solution With Rails on Boards

The previous wargame sets of the wonderful storage trays from Rails on Boards/Cube4Me have been fairly easy for even my non-spatial brain to put together.

Find a tray (or maybe two), divide the pieces, maybe a couple of card trays, and Bob’s your uncle (why is that never something like “Steve’s your uncle?”)

Today, though, we had a bit of a challenge, especially because I’m running out of the trays that Rails on Boards sent to me for sample to build some sets.

American Tank Ace: 1944-1945 is a solo World War II wargame from Compass Games, designed by Gregory M. Smith, where players are commanding an American tank in Europe after D-Day, trying to survive and thrive all the way to the fall of Germany.

It’s another game where you have a ton of counters but you only need a few different ones in each scenario.

This calls for a storage solution!

But this one was tricky, because the box is so damned thin and it’s got a bunch of stuff in it already!

There are a lot of counters in this game, but not so many that two of the big plastic trays would be useable (though that might actually work in a pinch to separate all of the German units better than I did here).

What I ended up doing was using two of the 12-compartment, 8mm deep trays with only one lid. That way they would mesh together very nicely.

On the bottom, I put all of the campaign counters, your crew skills, unit designation, your tank possibilities, as well as the souvenirs you can find on the battlefield. There’s also smoke and scenario setup counters in one of the compartments.

These can’t be filled quite as much since it needs the top tray to mesh with it.

In the top tray with the lid is all the German counters and all of your ammunition counters.

However, I was a couple of compartments short…and then there’s still the dice!

What I ended up doing was using a 1-compartment Mini Euro Card tray to hold the status markers and the dice.

Whoops? How’d that wound marker get in there?

This tray is easy to have next to you and use when your tank is immobilized or when you dig in, or maybe turn your turret.

The trays fit into the box so easily that it looks like it was almost made for it.

And there is literally no lid lift at all!

I would like to try this with two 8mm 20-compartment trays, which would let me sort the Germans out even more as well as having a compartment for the status markers and such.

However, there may be no room for the dice. They might fit snugly between the edge of the trays and the box, though. I’m not sure.

Sadly, since I only have one of those trays left, I couldn’t try it.

One of those trays is definitely not enough.

The set I put together will certainly do in a pinch, though!

Thanks to Rails on Boards for providing me with the trays to enable me to put these together.

I’m looking forward to trying out this game, now that I’m not lost in a sea of unsorted (or multiply-bagged) counters.

Have you tried this one?

Let me know in the comments.