Remember that Christmas when you wanted Tin Can Alley and got Othello instead? Or that Christmas you thought you might get a few of the new Return of the Jedi figures but no, your auntie thought it was high time you started getting deodorant for a present. And hairspray. Hard not to show the disappointment, wasn’t it? Well, no such dismay for the Bracknell lot because Paul played the role of Father Christmas and treated the group to the Lords of Waterdeep expansion, Scoundrels of Skullport. Faces full of glee! Thoughts of any other games were cast asunder and a flurry of excited activity soon saw the familiar old favourite laid out with the added extras. Most notably, the corruption tokens, in the form of blue skulls.
Cue much over-acted cackling. Yep, the Skullport module was chosen for its corruption content. The new area, new quest and intrigue cards and new buildings presented tantalising gains, but they came with a smattering of blue skull tokens. The more you had at the game’s end, the more points you had to deduct. And this addition was much enjoyed, truly adding a new dimension to the game, because the more blue skulls taken from the corruption track, the more minus points each was worth at the end. The stitching up of opponents had been promised Paul by the games shop bloke and the Bracknell lot was up for a bit of that. Though it was predicted that gaming good boy, James, would have nothing to do with any corruption.
So, Paul was rightly given the new faction, with its grey pieces (there, so six players can now play), the Lords were dealt (though not the new ones, because they went, erm, unnoticed) and the long game was opted for, because the expansion also provides a further piece for each pre-existing faction. Then the Bracknell lot wriggled in their chairs and started the game. Still cackling a bit.
|This picture cleared up a question of whether James had a purple cube or not. He did.|
Paul went corrupt right away. Then Chris. And then James, when it became apparent after turning over a few cards that the game presents opportunities to return your corruption tokens. Straight from the off, Chris played a building where you could pay one gold to be rid of one blue skull. So like the other two, James racked up quite a pile of blue skulls after all.
The long game was indeed fairly long, but the Bracknell lot loved every single minute. Chris was building like Barratt Homes, so he clearly had the Lord that gave bonus points for buildings. Paul sneaked ahead, but only a little. He was enjoying some of the nasty new intrigue cards. James had some good plot quests under his wing but became obsessed with clearing his corruption tokens. Chris was always dangerous, as no-one seemed able to curb his building. The new buildings, quest cards and intrigue cards were delectable.
Come the end, Paul’s ‘Gray’ Hands faction were flagging behind on their debut. It was between Chris and James. So began a tense totting-up. James had a shed-load of Lord’s bonus quests (arcane and warfare), but Chris had buildings galore. James was squeaky clean, having dutifully cleansed his faction of all those nasty blue skulls. Now, the corruption tokens weren’t as punishing as they could have been, because not that many were still in play. But Chris did have a few and that was his undoing. Good triumphed over evil. That’s James triumphing over Chris. Ahem.
James 211, Chris 205, Paul 166.
So that was the Skullport expansion, played with the long game option. There’s still the Undermountain module to try. Then both together. Happy days ahead for sure. The best game made better in the opinions of all those featured. Thanks to Paul and his festive gesture. Somebody should have let him win.