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Thomas

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SWARM! [Thursday 1st December 2016 at 4:11 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
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[Where |Sussex University]

So yesterday I dropped in on SWARM on the way back from Newick, and ended up staying for several hours and several games (none of which were MtG!). Unfortunately talismancer couldn't make it, but I did recognise some other faces from my university days including Aaron (a name which confused me no end as he pronounced it "Erin") and Cogs (who's real name might be Ben? I'm not actually sure).

Let's see... what did I end up playing? First Aaron and I did a round of Hero Realms - it's a deck-building game a little like Dominion, except instead of amassing victory points you're trying to splat your opponents. Aaron managed to quickly put together a stupid amount of lifegain with me slowly chipping away here and there. I was managing to weather this attacks reasonably well until he used his special ability to swipe a useful defender from me and it all went downhill very quickly. It's an interesting game and one I wouldn't mind playing again with a bit more knowledge of the cards available.

Next up was Boss Monster. This also went badly for me - I made a terrible decision early on as to which cards to discard and ended up with a dungeon that never really went anywhere, while Aaron managed to put together a nice combo at the end of his dungeon that reliably splatted heroes and gave him extra room cards. Still, a few bits of my dungeon worked well - a boulder ramp at the end is always useful for taking out overconfident heroes.

Kat (or is it Cat? I'm terrible with names) turned up and we gave Discworld a go with the three of us. I've always done this 4-player before, but it seemed to work equally well with three (although the win conditions are slightly harder to achieve). Once we all got our heads round the rules it ran along nicely with chaos left right and centre scrambling several carefully-laid plans. The game ended with no clear winner due to running out of cards, though hilariously if I hadn't ended the game on my turn (I played a random event, got Fog which discarded the remaining cards in the draw deck) Aaron would have won as Vetinari he'd finally managed to get enough minions. He still won on points though, which is rather fitting of Vetinari.

Finally Cogs joined us for Room 25, an escape game a bit like Forbidden Desert but with attitude. The layout is a 5-by-5 grid of hidden rooms which may be green (generally helpful), yellow (generally annoying), or red (avoid the red murder-rooms). This was a hilarious fail from start to finish - our starting square was surrounded with red rooms in three directions, one of which being the Paranoia Room which makes the player randomise their actions, with the only non-red direction having a yellow room which turned out to be a dungeon randomiser (like Forbidden Desert, the layout can be shifted). Things didn't improve when Kat found a Jamming Room (while someone's in there, we're not supposed to give each other any information) and I couldn't tell anyone I'd found the Exit, (or get to it, as my character was in the Prison Room). I rearranged the dungeon to try and break out from the Prison Room at which point Kat made a bid for freedom... into what was no longer a safe room, but now one of the two instant-death rooms. With her out of the game and us still having to find the Key room we were doomed. As it happens we did find the key room in time... but were left with one turn in which to get everyone to the exit which was impossible. All in all, 'twas good fun and another one to play again though maybe without the expansion (which added the Key room).
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