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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Crates are pretty popular. Book crates, snack crates, art crates, baby crates… the list goes on and on. We tried Loot Crate but ended up giving most of the items away, so we didn’t renew. We do love our Japan Crate though.

So recently I saw an ad for a game crate, and I was surprised that there’s actually a few different subscription services for a board game box/crate. The first three I came across were Hasbro Gaming Crate, Board Games Bento, and Game Box Monthly.

Hasbro sends out one box every three months. You choose between the Family Crate and the Party Crate. They both contain 3 games related to that month’s theme.

Board Games Bento sends out a box every month with a minimum of 3 games (though they do say it might be 2 games and 1 expansion) which are related to that month’s theme.

Game Box Monthly also sends out a crate every month; however, it’s more tailored to you. You fill out a form when you subscribe to let them know what games you already have, and you can give feedback on the games you received to help them choose the right games for you in the future.

Just looking at those three choices, I would go with Game Box Monthly because I like that you can get a sort of customized box. Looking at the games for the next Hasbro crate, nothing there excites me. They all look like games we would never play. Unless I’m missing something, it doesn’t seem like you can see past games sent out by Board Game Bento, and they say in their FAQ that if you get a game you already have that’s just the risk of a blind box. We have so many games, we’re likely to get something we already own.

It’s not something I’m inclined to jump on now, especially considering our vast gaming library, but it seems like something that would be a lot of fun for someone looking to build their collection.

What about you? Anyone using/used a board gaming crate service?

Stellar Armada is a small and pretty simple game. Professor and I played several games. We each had a card which represented our ship, tokens to place on the card, and dice. Each ship has Engines, Repair Systems, Energy Beams, Missile Launchers, Missiles, Shields, and a Reactor. The goal is to destroy your opponent’s Reactor using Energy Beams and Missiles.

Each turn you have energy equal to your Reactor’s status. You begin with 6. At the beginning of the game it makes sense to divide your energy between your Engines and your weapons. Each point you put into your Engines makes it more difficult for your opponent to hit you. If I put 3 energy into my Engines, that means my opponent has to roll a 5 or 6 for weapons in order to hit me. That still leaves me 3 energy to use to fire my own weapons. If you have damaged systems, you might want to use your Energy to repair them (your Reactor can’t be repaired). I usually went after Professor’s Missile Launchers, so he had to spend points to repair those in order to use them.

We had a little trouble keeping track of how many points we put into Engines, so we ended up using extra dice for that.

This game relies heavily on luck. Amazingly the dice didn’t hate me, and I often rolled high on my attacks. This meant Professor was often spending his energy on repairs, and if I managed to damage his Reactor, he was working with fewer and fewer energy points. In that respect the game can be frustrating. There’s not much you can do with 2 energy points. I’m not sure this one will see a lot of play, and we’re unlikely to pull it out again unless we have 4 players.

It’s a very quick game. We played several games in under 30 min, so it’s definitely good if you don’t have a lot of time.

Aeon’s End is a co-op deck building game (we do tend to like those). The little twist to this one is you don’t shuffle your deck unless a card instructs you to do so. Your cards are discarded in a particular order (you have some choices here), and then you simply flip your discard pile over and it becomes your deck again.

Each player chooses a character (Breach Mage) which will determine their starting hands and decks. Each player also receives a player number token, 10 life, and breaches. The breaches are arranged based on the icons at the top of the player mat.

Along with trying to defeat the nemesis and not die, players need to try to protect Gravehold (or at least win before Gravehold falls). Gravehold begins with 30 health.

You choose your nemesis, which gets life points equal to the number on the nemesis mat. You then build the nemesis deck. Some cards are specific to a nemesis and others are random basic cards. These cards are divided into Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cards. Each Tier is shuffled separately and then stacked to make the deck. This deck is not shuffled after that. Final set up for the nemesis is determined by the instructions on the nemesis mat.

Finally you build the supply. These are cards you can purchase during the game. Gems = money, Relics which have various effects, and Spells to attack with. The supply consists of 9 unique piles of cards in some combination of Gems, Relics, and Spells. These can be chosen randomly. The rule book also has suggestions for starting supplies.

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This is the play-by-play version of the previously posted story mode.

If you defeat a henchman, place it in a stack next to the scenario card. The difficulty to defeat Mammy Graul is increased by 1 per card in this stack.

  • Seoni – Rin figurine
  • Seelah – Saber figurine


  • Wooden Bridge
  • Farmhouse – Seoni start
  • Turtleback Ferry
  • Woods – Seelah Start

Seelah opening hand:

  1. Magic Shield (favored card type)
  2. Spiked Chain
  3. Longsword +1
  4. Standard Bearer

Seoni starting hand:

  1. Lightning Bolt (favored card type)
  2. Force Missile
  3. Toad
  4. Blessing of Pharasma
  5. Sage’s Journal
  6. Sihedron Medallion

Seelah 1st turn

Encountered Ruckus Graul and Hound – Hound Combat 10 then Ruckus Combat 13

If you defeat the Hound the difficulty to defeat Ruckus is decreased by 2

Longsword +1 – 2d8 (+5), rolled 10, total 16, Hound defeated

Combat 11

Longsword +1 – 2d8 (+5), rolled 13, total 19, Ruckus defeated

Attempted to close Woods – Wisdom 6

d8, used special to discard top card of deck for d6 +1 (Blessing recharged), rolled 8, total 9

Woods closed

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It finally seemed like the sheriff had run out of tasks for Seoni and Seelah. They were discussing their potential destinations when Shalelu Andosana approached them.

“I need your help,” she said.

Given how helpful she’d been, Seoni almost immediately agreed without hearing any details, but Seelah wanted to know more.

“Fort Rannick has fallen, and I would like to go to Turtleback Ferry to investigate. Rumors are that a clan of deformed ogres are involved.”

Seelah looked at Seoni who shrugged as if to say, “what do you think?”

“Sounds like something worth looking into,” Seelah said.

Shalelu thanked them, then said she would scout ahead for them. The trip was fairly short and Seelah decided to begin by searching the woods, her standard bearer at her side. Seoni took her toad to a rather rundown looking farmhouse.

Seelah was used to woods being treacherous, but she hadn’t expected to immediately run into one of the deformed ogres. This one had a hound with him, which was immediately sent to attack her. She easily dispatched the dog with her longsword. The ogre seemed a bit distracted by the loss of his pet and also fell quickly.

When no other ogres showed up, Seelah assume she’d taken care of the biggest threat and decided to head to the wooden bridge.

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Get out there and play some games!

NOTE: This is a review of a product I found on Etsy and purchased. No discount was given in exchange for this review.

As I mentioned previously, Terraforming Mars needs a 3rd party supplement for the player boards. I found several options on Etsy and after some deliberation with Chubby Unicorn, I purchased a set of 5. They work great!

I looked at “overlays” which sit on top of the existing “boards” (which are in fact just paper). The seller I used (and others) offered overlays with a back board which sandwich the player board, but those were much more expensive (1 with a backboard was almost as much as 5 without). Since the main problem had to do with table bumps and accidentally touching the board, and not needing to pick up the player boards, I opted for just the overlays.

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