A good day for gaming at my house. Got through 3 games, 1 new and 2 revisits.
My second run through was again 2p, but this time we used the elves and the 'beasts' for lack of a better term. Much better game both due to me winning and that the rule kinks were ironed out.
The map layout was key here...lining up lots of food seems key since in the winter you are working off your food reserve. If you have 8 dudes in a map region, but only 3 food you will be losing troops. One troop would be ok, but a big loss like that would be crushing.
The 'free recruit' spring action that triggered twice in our game back to back was also game shifting. I had tons of troops musters within two spots of the enemy base ready to attack. That card came up and all of the sudden he had a decent army to repel my forces. He also used a tactics card to bypass the mountain terrain I was basically using as cover for my attack against his base.
The fights were more fun with more guys though, more choices and decisions to be made.
The Pegasus rider for the elves is sweet and was key to me flying over all the terrain to snag some last minute dragon runes that were behind what seemed a highly defended terrain piece.
2) Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas
This was one I picked up on a whim since I am a sucker for puzzle brain burner games masquerading around like 'dungeon crawlers' (such as Dungeon Twister). This one was fun, and has a very nice production considering it looks to be relatively small run or limited to overseas distribution.
The premise here is you are after 4 tomes floating above the abyss (which is a great premise outside any other fluff). You need to use actions to move your character across footbridges (6 tetris shaped pieces of walkways) to get to your books. The actions let you move the footbridges or rotate. You can move other bridges so it can rapidly degrade into a grief-fest, which can be comical when one player cannot leave their start square for a few turns (unless its you).
Each turn you get 6AP to spend on the cards which have different costs depending on how much you want to use them. You can move a piece 1 spot for 2AP, or 2 spots for say 3, etc...the cards give you some flexibility which is nice, but the cheaper AP cost cards are limited to one color footbridge (there are 4 different ones - per player).
You have to play these cards to muster points of movement. Each one you play lets you move a spot towards your books. Problem is, the next turn, someone could move the pieces around and send you off into a different direction or spin your piece around. This would cost extra AP (since the piece is occupied) but may be worth it to either help someone else or hinder the target.
Outside the inherent AP-paralysis I thought the game went pretty quick and is intuitive enough. It is definitely a puzzle game for folks who enjoy screwing with other people, so it has a guaranteed spot on my shelf.
Played my second game of this, my brother in law was the heroes and I was the demons. I was stuck most of the game with no valid spots to spawn guys but right before the exit I managed through some decent rolls to spawn demons right on his spots and a 'greater' demon right near the exit who crushed his forces before he escaped.
Overall a good game that almost got away from me but perseverance paid off. The production on this game is crazy good, the paint job on the minis is adequate but having them all painted at all gives the game a lot of character. The map pieces are huge, but beautiful. The table space they require is a bit iffy, so be aware you may have to start spinning or adjusting if you start playing on a small table.
Next week will be another Mega Game Day at my house. I am fortunate to have lots of friends willing to sit in on a bunch of games regularly so this week may be either:
-Civ (without expansion as I dont own it sadly)
and then Cosmic Encounter with expansion...plus whatever else we can squeeze into the afternoon.