Recent games

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.

September 17th We again had four full tables and we could still accommodate one more. There is a suggestion from Robin that people who are not too fussed about exactly which game they play, could take a spare table  sign in for that group and then sort out what is played on Thursday afternoon. This week our group fitted in two games of Endeavor, which is short and relatively simple but always difficult to play well. I failed woefully, mostly because it is necessary to keep a close eye on other player boards as well as the main map-board if one is not to give too much away.  We finished the evening with Azul. There was a return match with Paladins of the West Kingdom in the back room and on other tables I saw Navegador and Tapestry.

September 10th We are now back to 5-tables distributed across 3 rooms and I am pleased to report that our current arrangements of well-separated tables with 4-players in a covid-secure community facility do comply with the new regulations. However I now get to circulate relatively little, so am just reporting the games that were arranged for the evening. It was good to see John and Dan again – they played Architects of the West Kingdom. On other tables were Macao and Heaven & Ale. A new arrival was Lignum, which appeared to be progressing slowly when I left. Our group started with Victory or Death; the Peloponnesian War and we followed on with Azul and Love Letter.

August 27th Again we had two tables of three and two with four players. Downstairs they played A Feast for Odin and a variety of games on the other table. Upstairs, we had Cuba with the El Presidente expansion. I have always thought that standard Cuba was a bit short with only 6 rounds, but the expansion adds an extra two rounds and some simple additions – extra cards which can be chosen by anyone and affect what the president enacts – which add a bit of variety without much complication. As always it was very close at the end. Robin had very sportingly detached himself from our group to make up numbers on Terra Mystica with the Merchants of the Sea expansion, on the 4th table.

August 20th For the first time since restarting we had a full-house with 4 tables of 4. Downstairs I saw Great Western Trail and a newish game Pendulum. That group were finishing with Ponzi Scheme, when I left. Our group played Lewis and Clark, which produced a very tight finish, where the winner was decided by how much time was lost carrying excess baggage. It is a very interesting game thematically, with a mass of historical characters appearing during the journey across America. The one thing, I found confusing was the hopping forward or back over other players – only one scout can occupy a 100mile stretch of river or mountains, and this does not seem at all logical. If done strategically, it can allow one to skip ahead or even avoid difficult sections of the route. The other group in our room played Voyages of Marco Polo for the evening. It was nice to see a few people who have been away since we closed down in March. If there is demand, I will see if we could put one more table on, but currently I think we are OK with the 4-tables.

August 6th  Small numbers and only three tables this evening. Downstairs they played Snowdonia and Steam, while upstairs we started with Root and then went on to a very interesting cooperative trick-taking game – Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine. This is a mechanic that I have never seen before.  Essentially each round is a mission, and they get increasingly difficult as the game progresses. The aim is for crew members to choose one of the available goals (each possible goal matches one of the cards in the pack)  then that player (crew-member) has to win the trick with that card in it. And every other person around the table has to help them win that trick. The basic card-play is the same as whist with a separate trump suit, but the actual play is initially quite counter-intuitive. After two or 3 rounds the nuances become apparent and it is most enjoyable and thought provoking. We continued to play until we eventually failed on the 6th mission.  We still had time at the end of the evening for a quick game of Azul. 

July 30th The gap between the last post and this one says it all. However we have now been able to reopen with 4-tables distributed between two rooms and 14-players in. I can also report that it is possible to play an evening wearing a mask (particularly good for games like Sheriff of Nottingham, where you want to be inscrutable), although it has to slip to get a drink in. After 4 months playing games with the family (for some) there was a general desire for some meatier games with Brass:Lancashire, Brass;Birmingham, Terraforming Mars and Living Planet. With minimal social mixing we did not have the usual late evening blitz of Perudo or Skull, but everyone did seem to be generally happy to be able to play some games again.

March 12th Once again we had a large turnout with 6-tables of games. Our group were occupied with Alubari; a nice cup of tea, which is in some ways similar to Snowdonia. It involves clearing rubble, laying track and building stations. However it is certainly 2-steps more complex than Snowdonia as there is a whole extra layer of setting up tea plantations, harvesting tea and converting it into chai;  all the time keeping an eye on the weather which can affect both railway building and tea growing. I sometimes think that one way of judging the complexity of these types of game is to see how many entries go into the end-of-game score sheet. In this case there were 7 different ways to score points of which the main item was completing contracts. I should add that we all enjoyed playing it, but it did take all evening for our first play, with 3-players and several breaks to look up rules. The final scores were quite even, although I suspect quite low. On the neighbouring tables in the main room, I noticed Railways of Portugal, the Conquest of Nerath and a return for Pax Pamir. Although I did not get into the back room, I gather that the groups there played Terraforming Mars and Black Angel.

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