…because I have some really bad luck. Take this past weekend for example. South Africa is having a drought and the province of Gauteng is in the middle of a heatwave so I’ve not been sleeping well. For some reason, last Saturday, I was up early. I don’t know why but I can get up early on a Saturday but never on a weekday. I head to the bathroom to wash up. There’s no water. Not just my place but the entire neighbourhood, during a heatwave! On top of that, everyone in the house has exams coming up except me so whatever I do to entertain myself but I must not make a racket.
So after rushing to the store to grab about 20L of water and getting another 40L from my in-laws jo-jo tank we get to clean the house, wash up and do odds and ends. Then I’m left to myself. I had planned on painting, I’m almost done with the Shadows of Brimstone stuff, but with water being scarce I don’t want to waste it on painting and cleaning up.
I decided to play board games, solo!
First off I grab Gear of War from the shelf. I love the xbox game as does Ronin. I made a deal with him that if he studied his school work, I’d study the rules so that we can play together. So that was what I set out to do.
I cleaned up my desk (which is usually a mess) and setup the game in my study. I have to say that it looks quite impressive. Marcus and Dom were my choice of characters. I know you can play the game with just 1 but the spirit of the game is to have 2 people running around. I chose the 2 of them because they were the main protagonists from the video game series.
So naturally Marcus went first, he rodie ran straight past a drone and into the next room where we immediately took cover. From that position he unloaded his Lancer into the chest of a locust. Dom on the other hand played it safer, he first opened up with his shot gun killing the locust that Marcus ran past and then cautiously followed.
Alerted by the sudden noise the locust forces charged ahead. Marcus and Dom were ready for them. Catching them in a cross fire they made short work of the advancing locust and then pushed forward into the prison complex. Dom stopped short to grab a fallen boomshot (RPG).
With most of the locusts dead, it looked like a sure win for the COGs. However more of them spewed forth from the emergence hole at the end of the corridor. Marcus, being brash, ducked into the room and grabbed some grenades in an attempt to close the hole.
He was however, too late. More locusts emerged and surrounded him!
Just then Dom burst into the room, firing his boomshot left and right. While he had the boomers running for cover Marcus jumped up and scythed through the wretches with his chainsaw. It was a pleasure to watch, when the smoke cleared, just the 2 of them were left standing. Marcus casually tossed a grenade into the emergence hole and it caved in upon itself.
BOOM! The door at the end of the room burst open spewing forth Boomers and more wretches. The Boomers immediately opened fire and the blasts were too much for Dom to survive. Marcus screaming bloody murder killed one of them as the wretches leapt upon him and pulled him down under their claws…
So that’s me 0 -1
Next up I felt like I needed something equally tense but not as ‘thinky’. I opted for Zulus on the ramparts! I bumped up the difficulty slightly by increasing the size of the Zulu forces.I like the flavour that the extra cards add to the game but it was hot, I was thirsty (pro tip beer does not help) and I did not want to leaf through the optional rules.
Game 1 lasted all of about 5 minutes. I started slow sending my officers off to build barricades and to attempt to form up the reserve platoon. The Zulu iButho just advanced ruthlessly from all sides. The fort was overwhelmed before we even knew that they were there!
Game 2 was better. This time we were ready, we started by distributing supplies. No more -1 to all shooting rolls! Early incursions were pushed back with a ferocity that they were not expecting. We caused sever casualties to the iButho on the left horn and totally routed the one on the right!
However we were unprepared for the rapid advancement of the iButho attacking from the “loins” position. They crept up until they were just beyond our defences and then charged over like they did not care for their lives. All of the officers gave their lives in defence of the wall but to no avail.
This demoralised our men and we broke and fled, leaving the wounded behind in the hospital to be slaughtered.
Needless to say, things were looking a bit bleak. This day was not going as planned, however I was having fun 😉
I felt that next I should get something that was a bit lighter and I reached for Viticulture. I stopped just shy of the box because it did not feel right that I was drinking beer at the time 😉 So instead I grabbed the next closest game Race for the Galaxy.
Race is currently my favourite tableau building/hand management game. It’s got a bit of a steep learning curve but once you figure out the iconography it’s really easy to play. I recently got my hands on the first expansion for the game The Gathering Storm. This one allows solo play.
I had to re-read the rules for the AI player as I had had only played with it once before, a few months ago. That time I was soundly beaten and this time around I was planning to set the record straight.
Sadly I don’t remember the details of this game. What I do recall is that I kept forgetting that I could take response actions on the AI selected actions! I only figured this out about ½ way through the game! The AI had a decent lead but this allowed me to claw back some much needed VPs and to get the Goals (new in the expansion) for a VP boost.
When the game ended I slowly counted up all of the victory points. AI 43. Mine was a little tricky as some of my developments allowed for extra points. When I had stopped counting my fingers and toes – 43!!! Then I noticed that the Ai had actually won one of the Goals, I lost by 3 points!!!
With that I called it a day. At the time I did not realise that my bad luck had crossed over into my games and that I lost all of my games on the day. It was only on Sunday afternoon when the electricity died and we still had no water that it hit me as I reached for something else to play 😛
Oh well. You win some, you lose some. I did get another game of Race in on Monday afternoon where I won by 12 points, that was pretty cool.All in all not a bad weekend.
If you’re wondering, we got the water back shortly after 11pm on Sunday.
Title image sourced from here.