This week was a special week at NoBoG as we had a member of the press in attendance but more importantly it was the birthday of our glorious leader Bork, Elliott led a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday that was joined by everyone in the room. Soon after the games began with James, Richard, Andy and myself heading over to the hidden corner of the Mash Tun for a go at a print and play version of Spirit Island.
Spirit Island designed by R. Eric Reuss is a game that sees players take control of island spirits such as fire, working together to rid the island of pesky invaders. In the full game there are different scenarios and invaders such as the british or french who have different powers but as it was a print and play version we were playing without all that. We all had our own powers and special abilities that we could use but in order to expel the invaders we would have to work together and create a lot of fear.
In every round there were invaders who would turn up in certain sections of the modular board and if we didn’t stop them they would start to build and ravage the land, leaving blight behind which would cause us to lose the game if too much of it built up. To combat this Richard used his Fire Spirit powers, James Mapp had Earth, Andy went with Wind and I ended up with Water and it was interesting to see the differences between the spirits we had.
Water was a pretty interesting spirit to play as because it enabled me to spread my presence far and wide very quickly although I suffered from starting powers that didn’t combo that well. I was able to attack invaders constantly but more importantly I was able to support Wind who in turn supported fire. The support that I was gave to my fellow players enabled them to function more efficiently which meant that they could concentrate on the important job of destroying the invaders.
Meanwhile Earth took a bit longer to get going in this game but I think that is mostly because they didn’t have a great combo to start with either, although they were a force to be reckoned with when they did manage to get going. Earth did such a good job of blocking and destroying the invaders as well as providing some great tactical advice to the other players and myself when we struggled to decide what was best for us to do.
This was especially needed in the early rounds of Spirt Island as it is a slightly heavier game than I am used too and it took me a while to really get my head around what was going on and what I needed to do. Even though I managed to figure it out the first few rounds were pretty heavy with attacks on multiple fronts, not only did we have to think about what was going on right now but also what might happen in the future.
Luckily for us we were able to do enough damage and cause enough fear that were able to push the invaders back from our shores and we also managed to utilise the natives, there support enabled us to fight back even more. Towards the end of the game we were all able to deal massive amounts of damage with cards that suited the theme really well and this meant that we were able to cause so much fear that we changed the victory conditions to destroying all the buildings which were pretty good at doing by that point.
Overall I have to say that I really enjoyed playing Spirit Island, it is a bit heavier than the games I usually play but once I got my head around it I had a great time playing it and now I can’t wait to see what the full version looks and plays like. Spirit Island has a really nice theme that is well integrated and what I like most about this game is that there is always something new to deal with and you really do have to work together if you want to stand any chance of winning like we were able too.
As we were doing a print and play version we were using pieces from dominion and settlers of catan which only added to daunting look of this game but it really doesn’t take to long to get past all that especially if you have a good group of people to play with like I did. Thank you to Richard, James and Andy for such a good evening and while we were all a bit exhausted afterwards, I would highly recommend having a go at Spirit Island.
Last week I got to play Epic Battle Wizards, click the link to find out more about it and how it went.
While there was much talk about the press this week we didn’t get to see them, partly because they were busy talking to people in the main gaming space but mostly because we were a bit hidden away, although we did get a few visitors from time to time including a couple of friends who I had played with earlier in the day. However I think I will save all that for another blog post.