10/25/2023 – Berkshire Gamers Session Report – #23-42

17 at the Uno Park Community Center on 10/25/2023 for an evening of Spooky games curated by Armando (who contributed to this session report).

Welcome to Tommy on his first visit!

Armando was quite happy to find that the group has an incredible amount of games from the monstrous to macabre, from mystical to magical, and beyond. Too many games to choose from for one night, and the unplayed ones are bound to come back on request nights and differently themed nights.

Our November 1 session is for requests … games that we tried to get to the table in previous weeks or games you missed.

10/25/2023 @ Uno Park Community Center

IN: Steve, Sean, Wendy & Quinn, Armando, Tim, Amy, Tony & Rachel, Nicole, Matt, Reimi, Kara & Peter, Chris, Tommy, Rob


Skull / Skull & Roses Red (led by Tim)

2011 – 7.2 avg rating – 3-6p – 15-45m – 1.12/5 complexity

A game by Hervé Marly.

A game of bluffing. Each player plays a face-down card, then each player in turn adds one more card – until someone feels safe enough to state that he can turn a number of cards face up and get only flowers and no skulls. Other players can then overbid them, saying they can turn even more cards face up. The highest bidder must then turn that number of cards face up, starting with their own. If they show only flowers, they win. If they reveals a skull, they lose, randomly placing one of their cards out of play and possibly losing their own skull moving forward. Two successful challenges wins the game.


Whirling Witchcraft (led by Sean)

2021 – 7.2 avg rating – 2-5p – 15-30m – 1.79/5 complexity

A game by Erik Andersson Sundén.

In Whirling Witchcraft, you start with a hand of four recipe cards and  a number of ingredients on your workbench. The Ingredients come in five types, and you have a limited number of spaces for each type on your workbench. Red, blue, and green are numerous, but white and black have very limited space. Everyone plays a card from their hand into their tableau, revealing simultaneously. From there, required ingredients come off their workbench, and their recipes produce new resources. The new resources are played into their cauldron and passed to their right. If the target player cannot fit some ingredients into their workbench, they are passed back to the original player and saved as points in their witch’s circle. 5 points to win. Cards are passed to the left each round, adding to the strategy and planning.


Horrified (led by Amy)

2019 – 7.7 avg rating – 1-5p – 60m – 2.05/5 complexity

A game by Prospero Hall design studio.

A cooperative game of fighting golden era movie monsters. A random selection of monsters is decided before the game, changing the difficulty and strategy. Players become heroic archetypes, each with a special move. The monsters roam the locations of the town, attacking heroes and villagers alike. Each monster is unique, and they require different strategies and tactics to be defeated. Each monster has a unique “advance” track, that players can use to soften them up for defeat. And a final “defeat” condition that must be attempted in a specific way or place to finally rid the town of the menace. Each player turn starts with hero actions — but then each turn ends with the monsters taking action. A monster attacking a player or villager successfully ticks the clock another notch towards doom.


Ghost Stories (led by Tim)

2008 – 7.3 avg rating – 1-4p – 60m – 2.91/5 complexity

A game by Antoine Bauza.

A cooperative, team game. The players protect the village from incarnations of the lord of hell – Wu-Feng – and his legions of ghosts before they haunt a town and recover the ashes that will allow him to return to life. Each Player represents a Taoist monk working together with the others to fight off waves of ghosts. To exorcise a ghost, the Taoist rolls three Tao dice with different colors: red, blue, green, yellow, black, and white. If the result of the roll matches the color(s) of the ghost or incarnation of Wu-Feng, the exorcism succeeds. To win, the players must defeat the incarnation of Wu-Feng, a boss who arrives at the end of the game.


Renfield (led by Tony)

1999 – 5.8 avg rating – 4-7p – 60m – 1.35/5 complexity

A game by James Ernest.

Renfield is a trick-taking, gambling game. Each card has 4 traits, rank (1-17), suit (tools, parts, stones), bugs (0-6) and a dollar cost (0-5). The game is played in hands of six rounds. Six cards are dealt to each player then setting the order of suit hierarchy is bid on. The highest bidder puts his money in the pot and sets the suit order. The top bidder then plays a card and everyone must follow suit if possible. The winner of the trick takes the cards and check for dollar amounts. This must be paid to the pot. He then leads the next trick. A player may fold instead of playing if he has won at least one trick with a bug. He is out for the rest of the round and can not win the hand. After six rounds have been played the winner of the hand is the person who has taken the fewest bugs more then zero. Take the pot and dealer moves clockwise.


SpellBook (led by K-ban)

2023 – 6.7 avg rating – 1-4p – 45m – 2.06/5 complexity

A game by Phil Walker Harding.

In SpellBook, each player, accompanied by a familiar, possesses a grimoire and collects Materia to master spells and feed their familiar. The game provides pre-drawn spell sets for use in the early rounds, but soon players start drawing spells randomly or create their own spell combinations that are common to all players. Each spell combination gives an effect that lasts the rest of the game, and the more ingenious the combination, the more powerful the effect. As the rounds progress, the game becomes a different experience every time, with more than 2,100 spell combinations being possible. The game ends as soon as a magician’s grimoire is complete or a familiar is fully fed, then the player with the most points wins.


The Bloody Inn (led by Sean)

2015 – 7.1 avg rating – 1-4p – 30-60m – 2.37/5 complexity

Designed by Nicolas Robert.

The Bloody Inn is a card game in which you play one member of a family of greedy, murderous innkeepers. At the start of each round, cards are placed face up to fill the inn with guests. Each card carries a cost representing how many cards a player must discard from her hand in order to take an action related to that card. Certain guests have an affinity for particular actions, so those cards return to a player’s hand after being discarded. Cards also show how much money, in francs, each guest possesses. A round has two phases in which players take one action each, in turn order. At the end of the round, if any room of the inn contains one of the police, then they conduct an investigation; if a player has any unburied victims, then he must pay 10F per victim to the local gravedigger to hurredly — and quietly — bury the bodies!


Night Parade of a Hundred Yokai (led by Matt)

2021 – 7.4 avg rating – 1-4p – 30-45m – 1.94/5 complexity

A game designed by Luís Brüeh.

King Enma is nowhere to be found. With his dreadful castle in Mount Fire vacant, asymmetric clans of demi-gods long forgotten will raise armies and battle to conquer the hearts in the islands of Japan. Pick from 4 asymmetric factions and draft to summon new yokai making the most efficient night parade. Every round, activate one of your parades to send meeples to haunt the islands, move around and fight each other. As soon as an island have a certain number of yokai, the denizens will build a shrine to pacify them, sending your meeples back to your player area. Once one player get 5 of their shrines in play, the remaining players get a last turn, then the game ends and victory points are scored based on hidden cards to decide the winner.


Quacks of Quedlinburg (led by K-ban)

2018 – 7.8 avg rating – 2-4p – 45m – 1.95/5 complexity

A game by Wolfgang Warsch.

A push-your-luck game where players play as quack doctors, each making their own secret brew by adding ingredients one at a time. Take care with what you add, though, for a pinch too much of this or that will explode the whole pot. Each player has their own bag of ingredient chips. During each round, they simultaneously draw chips from their bags and add them to their pots. The higher the face value of the drawn chip, the further it is placed in the pot’s swirling pattern, increasing how much the potion will be worth. Push your luck as far as you can. At the end of each round, players gain victory points and coins to spend on new ingredients, depending on how well they managed to fill up their pots. But players whose pots have exploded must choose points or coins — not both! The player with the most victory points at the end of nine rounds wins the game.


Skulls of Sedlec (led by Armando)

2020 – 7.4 – 2-3/4p – 20m – 1.28/5  complexity

Designed by Dustin Dobson, from Button Shy.

“Sedlec Ossuary, 16th Century AD.

The Black Plague and Hussite Wars have overcrowded the graveyard. Help the Bone Collector, a half-blind monk, by exhuming graves and arranging the skulls inside the crypt.”

You are novice monks, competing to create the best arrangement of skulls. Dig up graves from the graveyard to reveal cards, take cards into your hand to collect skulls, and arrange the cards from your hand into a stack. Whoever better honors the deceased’s last wishes will score more points. eThe Bone Collector will then judge each player’s completed stack and declare one as the most exceptional. A number of expansions exist, brining play up to 4 players. One of the many small & portable “wallet games” from Button Shy games.


Tiger & Dragon (led by Tim)

2021 – 7.0 – 2-5p – 20m – 1.42/5 complexity

Designed by Hashimoto Atsushi, from Oink Games.

Players in Tiger & Dragon play tiles from their hand to participate in waves of attack and defense. Be the first player to empty your hand to score points based on whichever one of ten scoring cards are in use this round. The game contains 38 tiles: 36 numbered tiles with one 1, two 2s, etc. up to eight 8s, along with a tiger and a dragon. Shuffle the tiles face down, then each player takes tiles based on the player count, with the round’s starting player taking one additional tile. Each player gets 13 tiles, with starting player taking another. Attack and defend. When defense is successful, the tables turn and it is time to attack. Choose from many different target game winning conditions for replayability and challenges.


Illimat (led by Armando)

2017 – 7.3 avg rating – 15-60m – 2.06/5 complexity

A game designed by Keith Baker, and Jennifer Ellis.

The Decemberists had a photo shoot that included a fictional game with occult-y vibes. While on tour, the Decemberists found themselves enjoying plenty of board games. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the fictional game of their photoshoot was real?”, they thought. In comes Keith Baker and Jennifer Ellis. Illimat has the style and flavor of the classic, Italian card game Scopa with a dynamic twist. As you play, you combine cards and collect them, trying to gather more than your opponents. But hidden, Tarot-like Luminary cards and changing seasons can alter your plans. Sow, stockpile, and harvest according the the season of the fields. Featuring a cloth board and metal tokens (including a tooth). The cloth board is divided into four fields, and the box the game comes in is also a component of the game: it sits in the center of the board and sets the seasons for each field, which affects the actions that can be performed in each field. Turning the box and changing the seasons is a critical part of the strategy of the game.

Steve & Armando

17 at the Uno Park Community Center on 10/25/2023 for an evening of Spooky games curated by Armando (who contributed to this session report). Welcome to Tommy on his first visit! Armando was quite happy to find that the group has an incredible amount of games from the monstrous to macabre, from mystical to magical,…

17 at the Uno Park Community Center on 10/25/2023 for an evening of Spooky games curated by Armando (who contributed to this session report). Welcome to Tommy on his first visit! Armando was quite happy to find that the group has an incredible amount of games from the monstrous to macabre, from mystical to magical,…

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