Halloween a time for Zombie Pandas

The club started off this week with the usual warm up and as Halloween was so near Zombie Dice was the game of choice. This proved to be an amusing start to the evening with the games owner completely failing to score any points at all.

 Beresford Quimby's home made dice rolling tray - excellent for Zombie Dice

Beresford Quimby's home made dice rolling tray - excellent for Zombie Dice

Zombie Dice is a nice “push your luck” style of game rolling dice in an effort to collect brains (points) before you roll too many shotgun blasts, this version has been nicely pimped with skull markers.

 My little collection of skulls in Zombie Dice.

My little collection of skulls in Zombie Dice.

The group then split and in keeping with the evenings theme Table 1 played Takenoko .

Okay it does not have horrible spiders, evil witches, blood seeking zombies or a terrifying mummy but it does have a Panda, a slow pondering bamboo munching Panda – now that is frightening.

 The Panda - has Halloween ever had such a frightening spectacle before?

The Panda - has Halloween ever had such a frightening spectacle before?

The game has some nice mechanisms and plays quite easily, the winner is decided by points on cards which are achieved by making set patterns with tiles, growing certain types of bamboo or using the Panda to eat various chunks of bamboo.

 A selection of points cards in Takenoko

A selection of points cards in Takenoko

 The board begins to open up in Takenoko

The board begins to open up in Takenoko

Table 2 in the meantime had started with Lords of Vegas , I do not know much about this game except to say that you are trying to build successful Casinos to get victory points, I was informed it was a nice game and meshed together well.

 One of the building areas in Lords of Vegas

One of the building areas in Lords of Vegas

Table 1 had moved onto Splendor a nice game that has an unusual side effect of being played in silence.

On each turn a player has 4 choices, (1) take 3 different  gem tokens (cash), (2) take 2 of the same gem token, (3) purchase a card, (4) take a gold (joker) token and reserve a card. The cards have gems on them and some have victory points on them, the first to 15 points wins.

 The gems collected in Splendor - the sturdy chips have a nice feel and I think are better than the small plastic chips you get in some other games.

The gems collected in Splendor - the sturdy chips have a nice feel and I think are better than the small plastic chips you get in some other games.

The game is about timing, it is very easy to get side-tracked into continually buying cheap cards using previous cards gems to finance the new cards, however there are no victory points on the cheap cards so choosing when to get into the expensive cards is key to being successful.

 One of the cards in Splendor - this provides a single gem but no victory points.

One of the cards in Splendor - this provides a single gem but no victory points.

I was not successful having spent all my time getting loads of cheap cards, I had the most cards but hardly any points.

The next scary game chosen was The Witches: A Discworld Game .

This is a co-operative game where the Witches from Terry Pratchett’s novels combat all sorts of problems around the Ramtop Mountains. On a turn a player reveals a new problem then sets to work usually tackling 2 of the problems on the board, restrictions on movement and unlucky die rolling can reduce this to one problem on a players turn.

 A look across part of the board in The Witches

A look across part of the board in The Witches

The problems all come with victory points so the more problems you successfully tackle the more points you get; you do have a hand of cards to assist in dealing with the problems but certain actions attract “Cackle” counters and these in abundance attract negative victory points. The game fitted well to the Halloween theme and was a nice end to the evening.

Table 2 had moved on to Midnight Party , this brilliant game from Ravensburger also goes by the name of Hugo which is the name of the ghost in the game. The players have figures which walk around a corridor which loops back on itself in a clockwise direction, movement is decided by the spots on a die which also has two Hugo’s marked on it.

 Aerial view of the board

Aerial view of the board

If a Hugo is rolled Hugo the Ghost is moved 3 spaces, he starts off in the cellar and climbs the stairs then moves along the corridor attempting to catch the players figures any figures caught attract negative victory points with the earlier figures attracting a higher negative score than those caught later.

 Hugo has been busy in this round and captured nearly every playing piece, he usually is a busy ghost but rarely this busy.

Hugo has been busy in this round and captured nearly every playing piece, he usually is a busy ghost but rarely this busy.

There is safety in the rooms that line the corridor however you are forbidden to enter a room until Hugo is on the corridor, the other restriction is just 1 figure per room. This is a great fun game and crosses all age boundaries.

Table 2 also played King of Tokyo a nice little game where players take on the role of a monster similar to Godzilla and through rolling dice either attack other monsters, gather energy to buy power cards, collect victory points or heal wounds. It is a fun game and excellently themed for Halloween.

A good fun evening with a fair smattering of Halloween themed games.