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1st July 2022: Shakespeare's Dark Lady

I have attempted my first couple of games of Black Sonata. The first of these was an utter failure. I saw one deduction possibility from the first two clue cards I got, and for some reason ended up hyper focusing on that single idea. The next few clue cards I got did nothing to turn me away from the path, and only seemed to confirm my belief more. So when I confronted the Dark Lady and found that I was completely wrong, I ended up very confused. That was, until I went back to those first 2 cards and saw the other option that was available that I had completely missed. Moron.

So in my second playthough, I made no such mistakes, and was very careful to methodically check and double check all the options as I gained more information.

On the trail of the wrong woman in Black Sonata

On the trail of the wrong woman in Black Sonata

But the real Dark Lady can not escape me on my second attempt

But the real Dark Lady can not escape me on my second attempt

I quite like the game to be honest, but there's a lot of luck in anticipating where the Dark Lady will go. This will only get harder as I start to use more difficult stealth decks, as well as new modules that can be added in from the expansion.
It will be interesting, no doubt.

21st March 2022: Space Sulk

Just tried the solo rules to Space Hulk for the first time. As I don't have any painted minis for this game I dived into my 40K collection. And even then, I don't have a painted Terminator Sergeant on a 25mm base, so I went with regular Marines as stand-ins. Whatever.

I kicked off with the classic Suicide Mission, as this is the traditional first mission in Space Hulk, and also the only one that would fit on my available desk space.

Unfortunately I've been left with the distinct impression that this game needs more than just one player in order to enjoy it. The silly enemy AI meant that the vast majority of the Genestealers would not attack my Marines, as they will not enter line of sight without being able to attack on the same turn.

This meant I could walk the flamer Marine right down to the objective room and incinerate the shit out of it with barely any resistance. Only right at the end, when the flamer dude was ready to unleash hellfire, did one of the Genestealers get the chance to charge forward and attack my Sergeant, ripping him apart. But by then it was way too late.

Yep, this needs 2 players, or it needs to go on the very long list of games that need house rules brewing up.

Got all the plastic parts for Space Hulk and Space Crusade painted up at last

Got all the plastic parts for Space Hulk and Space Crusade painted up at last

The Marines make easy progress into the hulk

The Marines make easy progress into the hulk

A Genestealer finally makes it through a hail of overwatch fire to get some nom-noms

A Genestealer finally makes it through a hail of overwatch fire to get some nom-noms

Setting fire to the place

Setting fire to the place


As if I didn't have enough gaming things to get on with, I've been making my own print-and-play copy of a solo game called Black Sonata, in which you have to deduce the identity of the Dark Lady from Shakespearean sonnets. Looks like it might be a fun little game.

Getting ready to hunt down Shakespeare's Dark Lady

Getting ready to hunt down Shakespeare's Dark Lady

26th February 2022: God Damn You Burke

Looking forward to playing more board games recently as I shift my attention more in this direction and away from computer games for a while.

We got around to trying Burke's Gambit a few weeks back for the first time. Not really sure what to think of it, as it was a bit awkward to get into. I think maybe we need some more games of it to really settle into it. After all, it took us a few games of Secret Hitler to get into it, and we ended up loving it and using it as our main game for months.

Trying Burke's Gambit

Trying Burke's Gambit

Trying not to be a Burke

Trying not to be a Burke

I've also just picked up two other cheap games. One is an old game called Scotland Yard, where one player is the hidden criminal trying to escape the detective players. I have been wanting to play a much more up-to-date version of this called Whitehall Mystery, but that's very hard to find it seems.

I also picked up a co-op card game with a similar theme called There's Been A Murder, where players must work to catch the murderer before he gets away. No idea how this one is going to go down, as the rules aren't fully clear in a few areas.

Picking up Scotland Yard, which is handy...

Picking up Scotland Yard, which is handy...

...because There's Been A Murder

...because There's Been A Murder


Just recently whipped out my old Space Hulk from the loft, after I learned that the old first edition (which is the one I have) has a solo variant. Now, I bought the game from a fellow student at college back in the 90s for a whole £20, which was quite a good deal considering it had most of the Genestealer expansion, and the board sections from the Deathwing expansion, included.

However, even after all this time, and all of the versions that have followed, Space Hulk remains a game that I have never played.

Regrettably, most of the models that came with the game were covered in paint so thick that you could barely make out the details. So after some failed attempts to strip them, a lot of them went in the bin. If only I knew then what I know now about stripping plastic models. But anyway.
A single plastic Terminator survived my purge (the Librarian in my 40K army), and several of the Genestealers went into my 40K Tyranid army. The only other models I have are a few of the Hybrids from the Genestealer expansion, as they were not painted yet.

So in order to actually play this game, I'm going to have to dip into my 40K collection. But that will be fine.

When Scoob learned I was looking into Space Hulk, he recovered his old copy of the game and gave it to me. He's used the models for other things, but it gives me more up to date rules in second edition, the custom dice, and more board sections to throw into the mix. Which is cool.

The end goal is to ultimately make my own game using both the Space Hulk and Space Crusade resources I have available, but that's a long term goal. Got to get my Epic and Super Dungeon rules going first.

But for now, I'll be hoping to try a few games of solo Space Hulk to actually get a little use out of it. Only 25 years later...

Sorting out all the Space Hulk board sections

Sorting out all the Space Hulk board sections

3rd March 2021: Being An Absolute Dick

At some point during summer last year, I watched someone on Youtube play a board game where you play as a detective, and have to go around a map of Los Angeles and solve a murder. I was very intrigued, but when I looked into it I found the game was Kickstarter only, and was seemingly not coming to retail in the UK at all. So I pretty much forgot about it.

Puttin' in some sleuthin' time

Puttin' in some sleuthin' time

Cut to early this year, and it popped into my brain again for some reason. Of course, I had forgotten what it was called, and all my searches brought up other detective games. Then as luck would have it, I was watching the Dice Tower's Top 100 games a little while back, and this game got mentioned. After another search for info, I found not only had the developers of the game gone back on their original decision not to release the game at retail, but that it was already available, though at quite some cost. Nevertheless, I quickly decided to put in an order before I regretted not taking the chance.

A few days later, the game arrived and my journey commenced. A journey I have now completed.

This game is called Detective: City Of Angels.

And now that I'm all done with my play through of the base game and its expansion, Bullets Over Hollywood, using the "sleuth" solo mode, I thought I'd share some thoughts about it, as well as reveal how well (or how badly) I performed as a 1940s dick.

Blood On The Pier
First up was the intro case. It took a little while to get into it, and I ran out of time, going all the way to the final guess marker. I was sure of two of the three solution "elements", but had to do a 50/50 guess between two suspects I could not choose between. Luckily I got it all right. It felt like a good start.
Murder At Sunset
In this one, I was onto the murderer right from the get go, and it was all about learning more information just to make sure I wasn't barking up the wrong tree. I'd got the wrong motive in my head for most of the game, until I learned something else with two days left, after which I quickly solved the case correctly.
Heist To Nowhere
This one was a bit different as you were looking for stolen money rather than a murderer. I somehow found the cash with 3 days left, though I felt I was stabbing in the dark with little idea of what had really happened other than vague assumptions.
Bloody Christmas
This was the first of the 3 medium cases in the core box, and the first one that I ran out of time and made an incorrect guess. I got it right with my second guess during the first overtime period, but never felt like I had all the facts.
The Last Embrace
I ran this one down to the final guess marker again, but this time had just about managed to piece enough info together to get it right with my first guess. Looking back, this was one of my favourite cases, as it at least gave some solid info to go on rather than leaving you to make wild assumptions.
Murder On All Hallows' Eve
I loved the reveals in this one, but it was the first case where I did not gain a single stress marker, and solved it quite easily with three days to go.
El Fantasma
In the first hard case, there was no need to find a weapon, but rather the location where the next crime would take place. It was hard to get any info at first, and it had me moving all over the board trying to uncover things. When my time ran out I only knew the location, but had no idea of suspect or motive. I literally guessed at the suspect based on what car I thought they would drive, and randomly guessed the motive. Somehow all three things ended up being right.
Detecting more stuff

Detecting more stuff

The Final Strikeout
My, how different this was from the first hard one, as this really wasn't hard at all. It just seemed very obvious who had done it and why, and I played just to convince myself I was right. I solved with 5 days left, and got it right. I mean, the suspect straight up admits what they did when you question them. Where was the "investigation" here?
The Black King
Now this was more like the difficulty I was expecting for hard. I started out great with all the new puzzles, but getting info out of the characters was like trying to get blood from a rock. This was the first one I failed to solve, even after using all 3 allowed guesses. I was disappointed (and a bit annoyed at myself) when I found out the answer, as on my first guess I'd only got the motive wrong, but being incorrect had turned me in other directions for my other guesses. Oh well.
Crimson Obsession
Unfortunately, I could not complete the first case of the expansion, because as soon as I started to play it, it seemed very familiar. Then I remembered this was the case I watched being played on Youtube months ago, and when I realised that I immediately remembered the solution. Oh well.
Christmas In July
I was assuming the correct answer for a large chunk of this game, but before I made my guess I checked how blank bullets work on the internet. That info turned me away from the solution, as blanks don't really work the way this case makes them out to. With my final guess in 2nd overtime, I went with my original assumption and it was right. I sighed hard with diappointment. Probably the shoddiest writing of all of them in this one.
The Masterpiece Of Madrid
I really liked the addition of the puzzles in this one, and I quickly had strong suspicions that turned out to be true. However, I first had to solve all the puzzles and gather all the clues, and just made it by the time I hit the final guess marker.
Requiem For A Gangster
I managed to scrounge enough info to make an educated guess at the first final guess marker, and managed to get it right. After this, I really wished I could have played as a detective in the full game mode.

Man, I loved the look and feel of this game, and think it's got some great ideas. However, the enjoyment I got out of it really did depend on the writing on a case to case basis. Some of them were really interesting, and made you feel like you were actually being a detective. Some of them were just downright janky.

I also think my experience was hampered a bit by playing it alone, and I'm hoping people I play it with in the future will enjoy it more with me playing as the Chisel.


My Detective adventure was not my only recent dabble into board gaming, as I've also found time to make and print my own version of Dead Last, which like the full version of Detective now awaits the time when lockdown is over.

Getting ready to ambush in Dead Last

Getting ready to ambush in Dead Last

11th February 2021: Lockdown Lowdown

It's been a long, frustrating time for fans of tabletop action such as I. This stupid fucking pandemic has meant that no dice chuckin', card shufflin', or miniature mayhem has been going on in nearly a year.
Blows. Blows hard.

And yet, one or two occasional things have happened to help me get a little fix here and there.

On the boardgaming front, there have been a few efforts to play some games over the internet. In addition, I've recently picked up a pretty cool game called Detective, which is a deduction game set in 1940s LA. I've been playing through it in solo mode, to varying degrees of success. Looking forward to when we can all get together again, where I will be taking the Chisel role and messing with everyone else while they try and solve the cases.

I approve of this election. But then again, I <i>am</i> Hitler.

I approve of this election. But then again, I am Hitler.

Getting wrecked by werewolves

Getting wrecked by werewolves

Trying Colt Express

Trying Colt Express

On the trail of some hoodlums in Detective

On the trail of some hoodlums in Detective

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