This page has notes on games played recently at the club. Please add a few comments or a short session report on anything you found interesting. If you have not visited us before, this page will give you an idea of the type of games we play.
December 5th We had 5 tables in action this week. The new game that I noticed was Ecos, which Ian described as a bit like bingo crossed with Carcassone and a few other Euros – it has a vaguely ecological theme, but is mostly based on optimising sets, scoring with them and interfering with other players’ scoring groups. It is not long and they fitted in Citadels afterwards. The last in the trio of Power Grid mini-legacy games was on the 2nd table, while our group played Merchants & Marauders, with the smuggler option from the expansion thrown in. No-one has produced a better piracy game IMO. We had time later for two games of Deep Sea Adventure. The last two tables played Tapestry, T’zolkin and Sail to India.
November 28th We do not play cooperative games so often so it was good to see Pandemic: Iberia this week. With some extra variety added by the ralways and travel, several people think that it is the best short version of this game. Our group had the annual outing for Age of Empires III – simple rules but lots to think about and in this case the winning scores were tied, as were the first and second tie-breakers; Brian finally pipped it on the 3rd tie-breaker. We still had time afterwards for Bausack, an auction game cunningly disguised as a building/dexterity game and just excellent for a family game at Christmas. On the other tables I saw Blue Lagoon and Ponzi Scheme and ?? another rerun for Glenmore?
November 21st We had 7 tables in action again this week and quite a mixture. The one that really caught my eye was Abomination: Heir of Frankenstein. Did you ever play heads, bodies and legs? Well this is what happens when that is turned into a Eurogame. Each person is charged to make a companion for Frankenstein. Do you go trawling through the cemeteries to find the requisite bits, or just murder someone – that will be fresher, but your reputation could go downhill either way. Maybe get some ice to stop it all decaying too quickly. It also gives the opportunity to be the maddest scientist in the area, something I have been aspiring to for years. Take a look at the review if you want to get a flavour of this one – it is certainly a super-original theme. Also in the backroom I saw Brass: Birmingham with an equally murky board and Glenmore. Meanwhile in the front room, there were tables with Wingspan and Quebec as well as a warm-up for the tournament final – Pulsar 2849. Our table started with Puerto Rico, which I have played many times but this was the first time I have seen a game where the winner had no large buildings. We had time to finish with a couple of rounds of Deep Sea Adventure.
November 14th Plenty of variety again this week although I did not get to see absolutely everything. The group who are playing the mini-legacy version of Power Grid have now got their set of games underway. In the back room I noticed a double table of Trickerion with a visiting assistant and a rerun for Terraforming Mars, again with the Turmoil expansion. In the main room there were returns for two classics El Grande, which is the godfather of area-control games, and Pillars of the Earth, a standard worker-placement which still holds up very well in comparison with more recent offerings. We had time after that for Snowtails, a great race game which has the advantage of being easy to teach, but still with a lot of decisions and planning to keep your sledge on track and dog-team under control. The 6th table were trying out the new kickstarter version of Glenmore, with 3-players.
November 7th We had 5 tables this week, another good turnout and an interesting variety of old and new games. The new one was Deep Blue, a push-your-luck game about hiring divers and trying to do some underwater archaeology. It looked very well produced, with an attractive board and pieces. Also it is relatively short as the group managed to fit in Wingspan afterwards. Our table played Brass, which even after many plays continues to surprise me – Paul won with a strategy that included almost entirely coal and railroads and no development, while the rest of us came in some way behind with more conventional strategies of developing, shipbuilding (with no iron mills at all) or mills and ports (with lots of iron mills) and a generalised coal shortage. We fitted in another diving game afterwards Deep Sea Adventure. In the backroom they played through Terraforming Mars with the Turmoil expansion. Finally, there was two tables with a standard 4-player game of Root and what I imagine will be the last appearance of Suburbia for a while, as we have now finished the annual league won by Ian. That table finished with That’s my Fish and Origins.
October 31st The two tournament games of Suburbia this week appear to have settled who will be playing in the final, with Ian coming out on top of the league (don’t expect to play Agricola in the final). After our game we fitted in 6 Nimmt, Perudo and Celesta.There was plenty of variety on the other tables too. Dan had brought in Terramara, which took nearly all evening. I thought it looked a bit like Terramystica, but apparently it is quite a different type of game - there are a few notes from Dan below. The 4th table in the front room had set up Commands & Colors, but following some late arrivals switched to 4-player games Wildlands followed by two goes at Sagrada. I briefly visited the backroom, while trying to build the industrial wasteland which constituted my attempt at city-planning. There I saw Puerto Rico, Vegas and Chicago Express.
October 17th We had a big turnout this week, with 6-tables, including 3 of Suburbia – two for the tournament which had astonishingly high scores (by comparison with my woeful attempt in a first practice game- 42). I also had a first run at Azul (2 games). I am sorry it has taken me so long to try this. Iit looks great, has really simple rules and plays in ~45 minutes, which is perfect for what it is. I am not a great fan of tile-laying games, but in this case I was very impressed, not least because the game is actually about tiles, and I like it when the theme fits the game - most enjoyable. Ian had brought in Cyclades with the Hades expansion; as you would guess, lots of miniatures. We have not seen Dominion for a while. That group also fitted in Snow Tails. There was too much happening in the main room for me to see everything, but in the back room I did see two standards, Puerto Rico and Carcassonne.