Saturday, July 1, 2017

Light boardgames night

I sat down today with my friends Jim and Pixie to play two light worker placement and area control games...

Lords of Waterdeep by Wizards of the Coast

and Mission: Red Planet (second edition) by Fantasy Flight Games

Pixie came wearing a dice necklace for good luck, though both games did not have any dice unfortunately for her..

Lords of Waterdeep

Let me ask you.. what is the classic way for RPG characters to start a mission? Most old salts will say that it invariably starts in a tavern/bar/space cantina where you are approached by someone to go on a mission.

Well, in Waterdeep, you're that guy.. that recruiter. and the resources of this game, represented by cubes, are adventurers of all types (generic adventurers, clerics, rogues and wizards).

It takes place in the D&D (I keep wanting to say AD&D) city of Waterdeep and you play a city big-wig sending out your recruiters to get adventurers to complete quests for victory points.


I haven't played AD&D in 30+ years, so I am unfamiliar with the Waterdeep setting. I imagine though that Wizards has it as a campaign setting based in one city.

The game is a cube-pusher, so I won't elaborate too much, as cube-pushers don't lend themselves well to blogging, especially to my miniature-minded readers.

You send agents out, recruit adventurers and try to fulfill quests.. In this example below, I need one orange (generic adventurer), 4 black (rogue adventurers) and 1 purple (wizard adventurer) to complete this skullduggery quest to Steal from House Adarbrent. In return, you get 10 victory points and 6 gold.

There are some gotcha cards called intrigue to play against the other players, but nothing too damaging.

The game is very intuitive and real easy (almost a gateway game), but there is some depth to it to be honest with lots of replay-ability.

Mission: Red Planet

Mission: Red Planet is a light steampunk area control game that is also a gateway game. It's set in a steampunk setting (though very mildly) where we are each try to get to Mars to get resources that serve as victory point (as opposed to be used to build anything with).

It has some trappings of steampunk, like this turn counter..

but that's about it. It could be set in the near future for all that matters. I didn't find the steampunk theme dominate.

Anyways, the heart of the game is backstabbing the other players and leaving them behind on Earth as you blast off to Mars..

You place your astronauts on cards that serve as rocket ships and then play cards numbered from 1 to 9, with the higher number going first. Each of these numbered cards have text that tell you to place astronauts on the cards, prematurely launch rockets, etc..

So, getting to play first in a turn is really crucial sometimes. I've left Jim and Pixie eating dust several times as I blasted off to Mars without them, and so did they to me.. It's like playing musical chairs, and you don't want to be left hanging when all the spaceships have left the station.

On Mars and the moon Phobos, it becomes an area control game, with the most astronauts in a sector getting the resources, or in a tie, splitting the spoils.. You therefore try to "get there the mostest with the fastest" to secure resources/victory points and then jockey to dominate an area with more astronauts than the other guy.

A light game, but enjoyable to be honest. For me, it was the backstabbery of prematurely blasting off with just my guys on board that was amusing.

All in all, an enjoyable day.


  1. First time in my memory that we crammed 4 games (2 sessions of each one) into 1 day. We even each got at least one victory to gloat about!

  2. We got in 4 because the rules were very easy, I think. :-)

  3. Looks like a good day of gaming, great necklace too :-)