Day 3 of the Kraken 2014 started off with a bit of a disappointment as no one showed up for the 7th edition Call of Cthulhu playtest. Luckily Simon was just looking for players for a game of Yedo so I joined that one. One of the nice things about the Kraken is the relaxed atmosphere. A game got cancelled ? No problem, there’s always something elso to do. Plus a game can get rescheduled easily as was the case of the 7th edition playtest. Unfortunately it was rescheduled at a time when I had already signed up for a different game. A game runs past the allotted time slot ? No problem, just agree on a time when it can be resumed. And that is exactly what makes the Kraken give me more of a vacation feel instead of a convention.
But back to Yedo which is a samurai themed board game. And I just love samurai stuff. It turned out Simon shared my love for the Legend of the Five Rings RPG. Maybe an idea for the Kraken 2016? The board itself is really beautiful but it seemed very chaotic at first with the locations and the actions you could perform there all worked into the background illustrations. Once we had received Simon’s explanation on the game, it turned out to all be a lot more clear. The purpose of the game is to score the most victory points until the game ends after a specific number of turns. The game however could also be won by completing a quest to kill the shogun. Simon warned us that this quest was really really difficult to achieve and guess which quest I picked up in my initial selection ? Yup, kill the shogun.
I started the first turns by focusing on the easiest quests. For those you mostly have to have one of your pawns in a specific location and the reward is money with sometimes a bonus victory point. The rest of the group seemed to be focusing a bit more on the higher level quests which gave me an early lead. After doing a number of those easier quests, the kill the shogun mission started to itch in my hands and I started focusing on trying to achieve that one which turned out not to be a good idea. The rest of the players were starting to turn in their higher level quests and were catching up fast. Yedo really is very much like Lords of Waterdeep but it seemed a bit more complex to me. The quests can take you several turns of planning to complete, the areas of the game are really well thought out with a great mechanic of a sentry that arrests everyone in a specific location every turn. The auction mechanic at the start of the game is great! I really enjoyed this game. Very unfortunate that we ran out of time as some of us had a roleplaying game in the next time slot. With only one or two turns left to play, we opted to leave the board as is, and return to it after the RPG time slot. In the end that never materialized so the game remained unfinished. But definitely a board game that is on my “to-be-purchased” list.
After that it was time for Are you being severed ?, Nick Davison’s spin off of the British television series Are you being served where the players would be playing the main characters in the show. Philip took on the challenge of being Mr. Granger, Glyn was Mr. Lucas, Michaela Mrs. Slocombe, Kerry-Ann was Ms. Brahms, Kevin played Mr. Humphreys and I ended up with Mr. Peacock. The first hour was spent getting into character. You should read that as delivering one hilarious one-liner after the other with Mrs. Slocombe’s pussy being mentioned pretty much every three words. Nick was giving out Bennies for witty remarks but he soon had to limit this to 5 per person, a limit that was reached by everyone with ease. Then the adventure started and things slowed down a bit. Grace Brothers was hosting an exhibition of a mummy so of the course the store should be aptly decorated, the staff should wear Egyptian garb and yes, some of us even showed off knowledge of Egyptian dancing.
The mummy in question has a number of priceless items which were of course stolen so in order to appease the angry archeologist, the staff was being tasked by recovering the missing items. And recover them we did. It turned out Mr. Grace’s nephew had stolen the items to use them as part of his outfit for the costumed ball. And here’s where the scenario got a bit odd. The mummy sent some dog-headed servants to recover the missing items. The staff recovered the items, took them to the mummy’s tomb, wanted to place them inside again, and were basically interrupted by the mummy’s servants who took the items from us, headed for the roof where they handed them over to the mummy, who then returned back to its sarcophagus. So the bad guy in the story (Mr. Grace’s nephew) was actually completely harmless, and the mummy’s servants (that we were fighting all the time for the stolen items) had the same mission as the staff, return the missing jewelry to the mummy. That gave most of us the feeling that we, as players, could not really do very much. If we had just sat around doing nothing, the servants would have gotten the jewelry back and returned it.
A bit of a strange scenario this one, and from what I understood afterwards from Nick, it’s an adaptation someone made of one of Oscar Rios’ scenario’s that was turned into a Are you being served spin-off. Don’t get me wrong, we had great fun playing this. The one-liners flying from one end of the table to the next took care of that. It was just a bit odd that the perceived threat had the same mission as the characters.
In the evening more board games were being played but I bowed out of gaming for the evening to chat with the home front for a while. At one point Sandy walks into the room to observe some of the gaming going on. Someone says : “The great old one has entered the room” to which Sandy replies: “The great old bald one”.
The temples of Chaos are filthy. They sacrifice virgins, there’s grafitti on the walls, and the toilet’s backed up – Sandy Petersen.