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.

May 25th I was completely engrossed in games of Quartermaster General this week and did not get to circulate so much, although I did see two tables with Puerto Rico and one with Ra.  This time our group included the Air Marshall extension, which allows a little more flexibility in planning and responses – the airforce pieces can help defend a region and may also be involved in combined attacks and airlifts. While the 2nd game ran true to form (axis surges ahead and was too far ahead to be caught by the allies), the first game was quite different to any I have played before. In this case the allies moved steadily ahead, up to the mid-game and nearly won, but then (rather late in the day) the axis developed blitzkrieg and improved war production, catching up and overhauling the allies by the end. It was very close.

May 18th This game with the very irregular modular board is Inis, which I do not know at all.Bill tells me that it is  ’a card drafting, hand management, area control game with some battle/conflict aspects and exploration (more tiles come out as you explore during the game).’   Our group meanwhile were trying a new map for Steam: South Africa. This board has a lot of mountains on it and includes mining and prospecting, which fits the theme/area quite well. Each of these variants plays slightly differently, but keeping out to of the way of other players, seems to be a successful strategy on all of the maps, and in our game it resulted in a convincing win for Keith. As expected there were two tables with Puerto Rico, and they moved on afterwards to Isle of Skye and Oh My Goods. I had not even noticed until reminded  that there was another group in the back room, playing Tzolk’in; The Mayan calendar, notable for its interlocking cog-wheels controlling the worker placement. This was very popular a couple of years ago, but we have not seen it for quite a while.

May 11th Another chance to play a Brief History of the World and this time we finished comfortably. The great advantage of this version over its parent History of the World is that it can be finished in ~3hrs (cf 5hrs for the original). It is slightly less epic than HotW, with only 6 epochs (vs 7 epochs),  and there are fewer areas and empires and pieces coming on throughout the game. They have also simplified the combat system to work a bit faster – there is a lot less dice-rolling.  The one thing I do prefer in the Brief History, is the way that empires and events are allocated. In each epoch the choice of Empire starts with the player that is last on the score-chart and choice passes progressively round to the player who is first (who gets what is left).  Choice of event-cards passes in the opposite direction, first to last. This not only gives more to think about during the Empire-allocation phase, but also acts as a balancing mechanism, that is not overpowered – you never feel as if you are out of the game with no chance of winning.  The picture above shows the board shortly after the Huns invaded euroasia (yellow). On other tables there were games of Puerto Rico and Ra; following a short warm-up with Coup another group moved into the adjoining room for a game of Scythe. There seems to be a consensus that Deep Sea Adventure is a very good push-your-luck filler – it was being played on 2 tables as I left.

May 4th With the last bunch of tournament games over, there was a big variety of games on the 4 tables, this week. Terra Mystica  was followed by Oh My Goods; it was the first time I have had a chance to look at it, and it is certainly a lot of game in a small box, where the cards represent both resources, actions and facilities. The overall look/feel of it reminded me a bit of Le Havre, although much shorter. After a warm up with Tsuro, we moved on to Endeavour, a fine, high-rated game about colonial exploration from Europe. Unfortunately it has been out of print for some time and copies are hard to find. Graham brings his copy occasionally and it is certainly worth jumping in if you get the chance. We still had plenty of time for Via Nebula, Martin Wallace’s, light pick-up and deliver game with a slightly whimsical fantasy theme. On the third table there was a return for In the Year of the Dragon, and they also fitted in a new card game Villages of Valeria. The last group played a couple of standards, Puerto Rico, followed by Priests of Ra.

April 27th  Notes this week come courtesy of David-K…  There was another overspill, meaning that our last tournament game of Concordia took place in the other room. Paul D won this game with 120 points, with the winning strategy of grabbing all but one of the Minerva cards early on in the game, then building in as many locations as possible, despite only having two colonists out on the board. I trailed behind in this game, with only 80 points, putting me at the bottom of the table :( We finished off with a game of Viking On Board, a game with a lot of screwage! Paul came last in this one though, HA! :D .  Meanwhile, in the main room, there was an epic game of Eclipse going on, and I also noticed games of Terraforming Mars, Deep Sea Adventure, and, of course, Perudo.

April 20th had a return after a long absence by Le Havre. It has maintained its high rating on BGG and uses the system (introduced in Caylus) where other players have to use the facilities that you have built. A new Portugese game about spying in the city of Estoril was brought in by Michel. I did not see the board but did hear the howl of anguish as one of the spies was assasinated, just before he got the assassin. That group finished with Caruba. In the other room (we had a spillover again) there were games of Quadropolis and Saint Petersburg. We also had two tournament games of Concordia, followed by Oregon Trail, Deep Sea Adventure (see note last week), Parade and Perudo.

April 6th and 13th were both busy evenings, with a spillover into the backroom. Games that I had not seen previously included Panthalos, Oh My Goods. and Blue Moon City. The one I tried out was Deep Sea Adventure; This is a really tiny, neat push-your-luck game slightly in the style of Incan Gold. The key difference is that there is somewhat less psychology (who will cut and run first) and somewhat more control over your own destiny as movement is determined by dice and varies for each player. We only had a one round taster of this at the start of the evening while others were arriving. A full game would take about half and hour and it would fill in very nicely at the end of an evening (plays up to 6).  There were returns for many other games, including Village, Terraforming Mars, Great Western Trail, Kanegawa, Terra Mystica  and numerous games of Concordia and Perudo. It was also good to see some of the younger visitors who had a go at various games including Zooloretto.

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