A good friend of the Chicago Dice crew organized a full weekend of games, beers and friendship. Here is a breakdown of what Ben and I played over the weekend.
1775 from Academy Games is possibly my favorite team game. There is an incredible combination of broad strategic decisions and edge of your seat dice rolls. The movement cards keep player turns focused and the event cards can lead to huge and unexpected swings. I got in two games over the weekend and both were filled with literal stand-up moments. Such a fantastic game! – Andrew
The 2019 breakout hit War Chest hit the table multiple times over the weekend. This easy to learn, difficult to master strategy game quickly became a favorite of mine. With the first expansion pack slotted for release in late October, War Chest is not going anywhere soon. I just placed an order for a custom playmat to replace the board and I cannot wait. – Andrew
A Game of Thrones: Second Edition
A true classic. I will admit this game got a bit tense in the latter half. I was getting fired up over some of the player actions and I may have lost my cool for a moment. But hey, that’s was AGoT will do to you. Luckily, all six players were able to leave it at the table, and we had an incredible game that ended in a tie after 10 rounds of play. In that situation, the holder of the Iron Throne is mandated to pick a winner – he abstained. It was the greatest. – Andrew
Always a party favorite and perfect for bringing the whole group together. We played several eight-player rounds resulting in some serious laughs. I was shocked to find that some of the guys had never played! Whenever I head out to a game weekend I’m always sure to toss Codenames in the bag, it’s a crowd-pleaser and really gets the people excited. Nothing like watching your team debate the meaning of your clue for five minutes only to guess wrong when their first instinct was right on the money! – Andrew
Blood Rage is an absolutely fantastic game made by Cool Mini or Not. It pits players against each other as warring Viking tribes ahead of the coming of Ragnarok, attempting to earn glory before the end of the world. We always have a great time when this one comes out, as you get to draft monsters, warriors, and upgrades for your clans as you pillage, battle, and try to complete quests on your way to Valhalla. The minis are generally awesome sculpts and there are many paths to victory, helping make this one an easy choice at any game day. – Ben
Ethnos is a card/board game in which you are attempting to assemble warbands (out of a hand of cards) to control territory and earn points through three ages. At the beginning of the game you assemble the deck that will be played with via a random drawing, which may see you playing with wizards, merfolk, minotaurs, skeletons, and other mythical creatures. The goal of the game is to earn points by assembling warbands of these based on type and color. You earn points both through the warbands you assemble and by controlling territory claimed by those warbands, as well as through other methods specific to certain races in the game. This is a fast paced game that can easily see us go through a couple of games in a short span of time, and the wide variety of available combinations of creatures add a lot to the replayability. – Ben
Zombicide: Black Plague
Another CMON classic, Zombicide: Black Plague is a cooperative game with up to 6 players in which you attempt to complete quests using fantasy-style heroes against hordes of zombies and monsters that continually spawn. The game includes RPG elements, as you will level up and gain new gear as you progress through the mission, however the stronger you get, the stronger and more numerous your enemies will get as well, and there are plenty of times where you will need to utilize distractions, avoid combat altogether, or sometimes even sacrifice a member of your party to the undead hordes in order to allow the others to complete the quest. This game includes plenty of moments that leaves players thinking “How the hell are we going to get out of this one.” and is always a blast. – Ben
Quartermaster General is a game of opposing teams managing different nations during World War 2. It is a game built around the concept of supply, and players have to keep their armies in supply by controlling territory leading back to supply points (often based on major cities or locations). The six nations (USA, UK, USSR, Germany, Italy, and Japan) each have their own decks of cards that allow them to build armies/navies, attack enemies, add ‘statuses’ to their own faction that provide boosts, or wage economic war on their enemies. This game requires close coordination between members of the same team and can easily swing one way or another at any given moment. We played two games over the weekend, the first of which saw a very close match that had Italy paving the way for the Axis only to fall to Allied pressure, and then after swapping sides we saw Russia invade Germany early in the war to help lead the Allies to a runaway victory. This one is a crowd favorite, and I recently purchased Quartermaster General: Cold War, which I am very excited to play at our next game day. – Ben
Huge thanks to Brent to organizing this whole event! There was even more gaming going on that we didn’t mention – Frostgrave, Gaslands, Lord of the Rings and even some Bolt Action. Honestly, it was just the best way to spend a weekend. Hope we can get together again next year!