Braden's December Pick: Elder Signs

Something I was never really interested in when I was younger was the H.P. Lovecraft mythos, I just never had a lot of exposure to it. When I started working at Boards and Bites I realized that my experiences were not universal. The number of games based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft blew my mind. Coincidentally, my game of the month is Elder Signs, a fantastic cooperative dice rolling game about a group of ragtag adventurers aiming to defeat one of H.P. Lovecraft’s creatures before it can enter our world and cause unfathomable mayhem. To do this, each player chooses a character equipped with their own special ability that allows them to bend the rules just a little bit. Sidenote, choose Ashcan Pete, legend that he is. To stop the creature from entering our world, you must finish missions by rolling a set number of dice, hoping that you are successful so you lose neither health or sanity along the way.

If you are successful in defeating missions such as finding sacred objects, breaking up cults, or destroying the lesser monsters being sent ahead as henchmen (you know, typical Tuesday evening), you can find items that help you in your mission. These items range from letting you roll an extra dice to finding the Elder Sign tokens needed to seal the portal to Cthulu before he can begin his reign. As with many cooperative games, there is a clock system that activates different effects as time ticks down. Once the clock hand reaches 12 and a new day starts, a new Mythos card is drawn. These Mythos cards have different effects such as adding Doom Tokens to the Doom Track.  The Doom Tokens are (obviously) not good, as each monster has a maximum number they can have before the monster is allowed to enter our realm. If the monster should break through the portal, fear not because you can still fight it, it’s just near impossible to win at this point. Congratulations on killing everyone!

This game plays well up to 8 players, so no matter the size of your group this weekend, come explore the Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft in a new and fun way. We also understand any wails of pain or woe. It’s good to let it out.

Dakota's November Pick: Android Mainframe

Before I started working at Boards and Bites, my idea of board games consisted of things like Monopoly and Apples to Apples; Perfectly fine social activities that we participated in on Thanksgiving or during free time on school days right before a break. For me these games were alright, but I would much rather have pulled out my Gameboy and worked on raising my team up a few levels. More recently however I’ve had the privilege of learning quite a few new games that I’ve enjoyed a good deal, some that I’ve even purchased my own copies of to play at home. If you are like how I used to be and want an idea of some games you can play that are a bit more exciting than Monopoly, then this blog is for you!

For my first contribution, I’d like to talk about Android: Mainframe, a 2-4 player abstract strategy game where your goal is to capture more territory than your opponents. If you remember playing Dots and Boxes as a kid, then you’re half the way to knowing how to play Android Mainframe. For each game, you will choose a player character who has five special abilities to choose from in manipulating the board. You will be randomly assigned three abilities for any given game, with the other two returned to the box for future play. Each turn, you will be able to perform one action; you may play a card from you hand, from the generic program suite, or discard from the top of the generic program suite deck in order to place a new access token onto the board. You goal is to place partitions onto the board so that you can surround your own access tokens and capture that territory. Once an area has been enclosed with only your own access tokens inside of it, that territory is considered a safe zone and cannot be manipulated through the effects of other players programs. This game requires some forethought in deciding where to place partitions and access tokens, and the unique player abilities give this game a ton of longevity and replayability.

If you’d like to give Android Mainframe a try, we encourage you to bring your entourage by anytime and hack the mainframe (sorry, I had to). Come by Friday for Family Game Night if you’d like to save some money, games are on us when your family buys Dinner. Tuesday is College Night, games are free for college students all day with purchase of food. Thursdays are Open Game Night, come by to meet new people, or have fun with old friends!