Sunday, March 31, 2013

International TableTop Day at 7th Dimension Games

International Tabletop Day logo
I spent most of the day yesterday at 7th Dimension Games, in Jenkintown, PA celebrating International Tabletop Day - a day where board gamers were encouraged to visit their Friendly Local Gaming Shop (FLGS), Coffee Shops, Community Centers, etc and play some games. International Tabletop day also represent the one year anniversary of TableTop, a board game show hosted by Wil Wheaton which involves the host, and other geek-culture celebs playing and demonstrating how to play various board games. Tabletop is part of the Geek and Sundry Channel on YouTube.

Players at 7th Dimension GamesThe game schedule at 7th Dimension games was:

12:00 The Resistance
12:30 Star Fluxx
1:00 Evil Baby Orphanage
1:30 Munchkin
2:00 7 Wonders
2:30 Dixit
3:00 Belfort
3:30 Gloom
4:00 Smash Up
4:30 Tsuro of the Seas
5:00 Elder Sign

The Resistance

I arrived just before noon - just in time to join up with the game The Resistance. I had never played this game before so it was a brand new experience. Like the box says, The Resistance is a game about Secret Identities, Deduction and Deception. Players are first dealt a card from what I will call the Loyalty Deck. This card will let you know whether you are a member of the resistance, or a member of the Imperial Spies.

Game play begins with all players closing their eyes, except for the spies who will look around and learn who their fellow spies are. The only thing the members of the resistance know about the spies are how many of them there are.

The game is broken up into 5 turns. On each turn one player is named the leader, and he will choose which players will go on a mission. Once the Commando team is chosen all players will vote by secret ballot whether they approve of or disapprove of the team chosen for the mission. If the team is disapproved of - the leadership role is passed on to the next player until a team is chosen, and approved by a majority vote. The Commando team goes on the mission, and each member of the team places either a success or a failure card face down - members of the Resistance will always play a success card, but depending on the circumstance - a spy may put a success or a failure card in play. The cards are gathered and shuffled, and then revealed. If all cards played are a success, the Commando raid was successful and the Resistance have earned a Success Point. However if a failure is played, the Commando raid has failed, and a point goes to the Spies. Note however, that depending on the number of players, round 4 may require that 2 failures are required in order for the mission to be a failure.

After the turn, leadership moves on to the next player, and a new turn begins. The number of Commandos per raid varies with the number of players playing, and the turn number. Game play goes on until one team receives 3 successes.

I ended up drawing a spy card at the beginning of our game so I was a member of the spy squad. The game went very smoothly and at round 5 both teams were tied at 2 successes each. I was fortunate to have not drawn attention as a spy (the last one standing so to speak, as the other 2 in the group were under heavy suspicion) and I was chosen to go on the 5th and final mission, thereby bringing down the resistances plan.

The game was fun - I enjoyed the subterfuge involved - but I don't know that I would go back to playing it on a regular basis. There are additional cards and additional rules to switch things up a bit, but with this being my first experience with the game, I do not know what is added to it, and whether or not it brings much more to it.


Jamaica is a hybrid Racing/Resource Management game with a Piratical Theme (Aaarrrr!) The object is to collect treasures, and gold coins, and race around an island. The first player to the end gets a bonus of 15 coins to add to treasure he collected on his trek.

Your ship has a limited amount of storage holds, so you need to be careful about what you carry around. Too much treasure and you may not have enough food to feed your crew. Too much food, and you may not have gunpowder to fire your cannons off at your rivals if they attack!

Balancing your load is just as important as gaining treasure because each time you move you are at risk. Some spaces you land on require you feed your crew, others require you spend some of your treasure, some are safe spots, and some are hidden caches of treasure to be looted!

The game was easy to pick up and understand, and I feel it would appeal to young folk so it may be a great game for families. I don't know that it would be something I'd go back to on a regular basis though as it doesn't seem very complex, and I don't think it would change much between plays. But it was fun for what it is.


Munchkin Fu Box ShotThe next game I played was Munchkin - it turns out I was the person most familiar with the game so I was given the responsibility of explaining the rules and getting everything going on it. The store only had copies of Munchkin Impossible and Munchkin Fu so I gave the players the choice of which theme they would  prefer to play, and Munchkin Fu was chosen.

Munchkin is a light hearted, witty game full of back stabbing and adventure. Munchkin Fu drops the fantasy themed sword and sorcery based original for more of a chop socky, asian martial arts kick fest. The object of the game is to be the first player to raise their characters level to 10.

The game is played by "Kicking Down a Door" revealing anything from a monster for you to fight, a trap for you to avoid, or a new class such as Ninja, Monk or Yakuza. Fighting a monster and winning will allow you to raise your level, and get you treasures which will usually raise your battle prowess. Collect tongue in cheek equipment such as a Neon Kimono, or Poisoned Chopsticks, to aid you in defeating stronger opponents.

One of the new comers to the game ended up winning the game, but I did end up coming home with an Exclusive TableTop International Munchkin bookmark - watch out if you ever play with me, because with this bookmark I can automatically win a battle once per game (unless the battle would bring me to level 10).


Gloom Box Shot
Next I played the macabre storytelling card game Gloom. For my audience of the Goth persuasion - this game is for you. The artwork of this game is very reminiscent to Edward Gorey, and the mechanics are intriguing.

In Gloom, you take on the role of a family filled with "misfits and misanthropes" as the game maker calls them. Your goal is to cause your family suffer the most catastrophic lives and die in the most horrible and devastatingly depressed states possible.

 Gloom Sample Cards
The cards are very interesting as they are clear. Modifiers are placed on top of them such as devastating events that cause you to have negative self-worth (negative numbers within red circles), or uplifting events to raise your self-worth (positive numbers within black circles). Also included are event cards that can cause you to skip turns, discard or steal cards. Lastly some cards add symbols which can fulfill requirements for you to play certain cards - or give you bonuses if you die with certain symbols revealed.

But remember the twist, in this game you want to die in the most destitute unfortunate circumstances. Half of the fun is in the story telling of how it is that the members of your family have arrived at this or that unfortunate circumstance. The game ends when one family is completely wiped out. Add up the value of all of the deceased family members and the player who has the most negative self-worth wins the game.

This is a game that hits my table fairly regularly, and it's a great game if you have quick thinking creative story-telling friends. And just as an aside there's another version of this game that is based upon the Cthulhu Mythos! Haven't tried this one yet myself - but I'm sure it will be just as good!

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica Boxshot
This brings us to the final game I played tonight, Battlestar Galactica. This is probably my favorite board game at the moment. The game takes a few hours to play, but the amount of deception and intrigue involved in it makes it one game that I just love coming back to over and over again.

The game begins in a similar way to The Resistance where a Loyalty deck is made and each player is given a loyalty card (or cards depending on the character). The loyalty card given to you determines if you are a human, or if you are a Cylon. You are the only person who know what you are. The goal for the humans is to survive your journey to Kobol while avoiding the bombardment from Cylons trying to destroy you by whittling away at your morale, your food, your fuel and your population - all the time trying to ferret out if a treacherous Cylon is in your midst, who it is, and sending them to the brig before they can do more damage. Meanwhile the goal of the Cylon player is to surreptitiously foil the humans plans, secretly sabotaging skill checks, and evading detection until you have either destroyed the humans completely, or feel that it is time to declare that you are a cylon and make your attacks more direct.

Battlestar Galactica Game
The distrust and suspicion this game builds is amazing. Keeping track of how your missions were failed, and paying attention to the little clues that give away who the Cylon(s) is/are adds so much intensity to this game. And with every turn ending in a crisis - there's hardly ever time to really catch your breath. Each step closer to Kobol can drain Food, or Fuel from your dwindling reserves and I've never seen a game with much of either of these necessities left over.

As it happens, this time I was a human the whole way through the game. An unusual occurrence, because for some reason, the vast majority of times I play this game I end up being dealt a Cylon loyalty card. It was a hard fought mission. The humans uncovered a cylon infiltatror within the 2nd cycle of each players turns - sending her to the brig before she could do too much damage. Halfway through the game another loyalty card is handed out to each player - and the same character received a Cylon card again. She managed to get the loyalty card to another player, and they were able to drain us very nearly to empty in fuel, morale and population.

In my experience the Cylons usually have an advantage in the game but this time humanity survived their onslaught. This game was played with only the base set - but I've played and enjoy it with the Exodus expansion as well. If you haven't played it - I highly recommend this game!

Look at the Swag!

Gloom Giveaway Swag!So that was my day - had a lot of fun and met some new friends. I even came home with a little swag too!

I came home with a TableTop themed Gloom Mini Expansion, and an International TableTop Day Munchkin Bookmark!

Wil Whaton & Felicia Day in Gloom!
Fellicia Day & Wil Wheaton in Gloom!
Munchkin Internation TableTop Day Bookmark!

Did you make it to an International TableTop Day Event? Where'd you go? Tell me about it in the comments below! And let me know what you think of any of these games I played - do you have different feelings about them - I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. where were the custom character gloom cards made?

    1. I honestly couldn't tell you where they were made.

      They were a giveaway made specifically for the event and shipped to the stores that were hosting the game days as far as I know.