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Alan's Session Report - Monday 25/7/16

Diseases, dice and disasters in Conwy on 25th July

by Alan on July 25, 2016

Flash Point

Tonight at Snowdonia Dragons:

--Subdivision
--Quarantine
--OctoDice
--Flashpoint: Fire Rescue

Really strong suite of games this week.

Subdivision is a recent acquisition of mine. It's a semi-sequel to Suburbia but without the fiddliness of that game. It reminds me a little of Castles of 

Subdivision

Burgundy (though only in its 'roll to see where you can build' aspect). It's a bit puzzly and once you get going the pace is very brisk. Good stuff. Seemed well received, too.

Quarantine has been on my radar for ages. It seems to be more or less a board game version of Theme Hospital (no Slack Tongue Clinic or Bloaty Head Disease though). It has nice variability with its randomly selected special rooms, and there's a surprising element of viciousness in lobbing disease cubes into other people's hospitals while pilfering the special rooms they wanted. I'd certainly play more of this.

Many dice games fall into the trap of being Yahtzee with minor tweaks. OctoDice cunningly avoids that by taking some principles from the much beefier game that inspired it - Stefan Feld's AquaSphere. While OctoDice does retain the 'roll and lock' aspect of Yahtzee, it makes it much more strict - you must always lock two dice, no more and no less. You also have to use the dice in pairs to perform actions (this duality is one of the things it borrows from AquaSphere). Its main strength, 

OctoDice

though, is the Feldian fondness for multiple scoring paths. There are a good half dozen ways to you can choose to score points, which results in actual decisions and judgements being made - a rarity for a little dice-based game. Another one which got a good reception at the table tonight.

Finally, we rounded off the evening with a breakneck game of Flash Point: Fire Rescue. We were lobbing our final few civilians out through breached walls even as the bar staff cleaned up around us. Tense. 

Flash Point strikes a nice medium note in difficulty between the forgiving likes of Forbidden Island and the punishing Pandemic or Ghost Stories. It also plays very quickly once everyone gets what their options are, and as long as they don't over-think their moves. Again, one I'd be happy to get more plays of (though I can see it becoming repetitive if you played it a lot).