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.
January 17th. I was away this week so the notes on the games come with thanks to Steve.
There were 5 tables playing this week. As the tournament is approaching it was inevitable that Great Western Trail would feature and there were 2 tables playing this. One group finished early and had time to play Bucket King afterwards, the other was still going when I left at 10:30. The 3rd table was playing Champions of Midgard for most of the evening. Our table had a first time visitor, Martin, so we player some light-middleweight games, starting with Kingsburg, then Parade and then joined up with the quicker GWT group for a 6-player game of Bucket King, which was very entertaining. The final table started with Chicago Express, then moved on to Ra and then finished off with Parade, picking it up after our group had finished with it.
January 10th We had 4-tables playing this week. This was my first run at Lords of Xidit, an interesting game of programmed movement and recruitment in a fantasy world, where points were scored for defeating monsters and establishing reputation. It is fairly easy to learn, and had a very interesting scoring mechanic, slightly reminiscent of Tigris and Euphrates. I enjoyed it, but thought that the mechanics could be applied to almost any theme – ie collect appropriate resources and use them in appropriate combinations. We finished with Arboretum. On other tables I saw Terra Mystica and Nations. On the next table to us, there was a group of 5 playing Cyclades, which looked very entertaining – quite raucous. They finished with Perudo.
January 3rd We started the New Year with a group of 4 popular games. Most notable was a fantastic edition of Terraforming Mars with beautifully sculpted pieces to occupy the different terrain areas. I wish I had brought the camera, because this really was impressive. Our table played the 10th anniversary edition of In the year of the Dragon; There is still nothing quite like this, with its focus on disaster management and just-in-time delivery. The edition includes a couple of extensions (we did not play them) which add an extra action-selection card or the option to cooperatively build the Great Wall to repel the Mongol invasions. It is a fine game, relatively short and with straightforward rules. We still had time afterwards for Cartagena and Arboretum. On the other two tables I noticed Great Western Trail and the return of something that we only see occasionally Tz’olkin. Finally – I wanted to record that since the club was started by Nigel, some 12 years ago, I have now played 250 different games, and still missed on many of the favourites. Fortunately the best ones do reappear from time to time.
December 20th was ‘Christmas Games night’ with a large turnout and a lot of lighter games played. The tournament cup and prize was presented to Steve who also won the Pitchcar, run with two heats and a final (16 drivers). Amongst others I saw Don Pepe, a mafia style board-room game with much back-stabbing. Graham had organised a print&play game Unwelcome Guests, which looked superficially a bit like cluedo. We were playing a Lovecraft variant of Love Letter, in which your state of mind (sane or mad) determined how and if you won. Top prize for noisiest and most interactive game was for Spaceteam which involved trying to get hold of wierdly named tools in order to fix a space-craft in real time. It looked a lot of fun, although I missed out as I was on the Pitchcar at the time. The picture quiz was won by Ian (13/16) who took home a prize of Condotierre (new edition), with David-H and David-K as runners-up, both on 12/16. Our group finished with a delicately balanced game of Bandu (Bausack), with a collection of carefully-crafted and tottering structures. I also noticed Perudo and Bohne. As I left there was still one group playing Skull.
December 13th There was a mixture of old and new games this week. In the back room they started with Modern Art. This is simple, pure auction game, where the value of everything is decided by how much people want it and are prepared to bid for it. The delightfully cynical underlying premis is that for modern art, it is essential worthless unless enough people decide that it is worth buying as an investment. A new edition came out recently, which is just the same elegant game in a new box with a few better components – a classic. This group finished with Carcassone and fitted something in between that I did not see, as our group were colonising the Americas in another classic worker placement/area control game Age of Empires III. This again is a very elegant game with simple rules, but with a small (manageable) number of critical choices each turn and a theme that fits perfectly with the style of the game. On the other two tables I saw new arrivals Dinosaur Island and Monster Lands, before everyone finished with a round of Perudo.
December 6th I was not able to make it in this week, but there are some notes below on the tournament final and some of the other games played, kindly sent in by Bill.
Game report from the tournament final: Brass. Initially there were four disparate strategies, Ed had a blended approach, Steve went after ports, Robin built a couple of level one mills and crashed the foreign market and focused on high income, I tried to develop cotton and get all my level 3’s out and flipped in the canal era. Despite Steve’s protestations that things were going dreadfully for him he somehow managed to go into the rail era with a four point lead. Having trailed slightly behind at the end of canal era Ed had manoeuvred himself into prime spot for the start of the rail era and grabbed most of the juicy connections clawing back a fair amount of the shortfall. Robin continued to extend his income (to about 20 per turn) and developed through his mills to get all of his level 4’s out and flipped. It was difficult to see who was winning but we all suspected it was Steve especially after he overbuilt my iron. So, when the subsequent overbuilds came from Ed and Robin it was no surprise to see Steve taking a little bit of a hit. There was the usual endgame scramble for the last rail links and despite Ed’s best attempts he only managed to get one of the shipyards while Steve claimed the other two, which looked like it would swing it to him…. Final scores were Steve 153, Robin 142, Bill 140, Ed 133. A hardfought and well-deserved win for Steve who finally put to rest the hoodoo over the league winner! Congratulations!
There were only three other tables this week, the first were playing Caverna for the evening. On another they were playing Rise of Tribes…a random luck fest by the looks of things ;-> followed by Space Bases. The final table were having a raucous time playing the Dinosaur Island i.e. Jurassic Park the board game. By the sounds of things they were trying to imitate the roars of the dinosaurs. They moved on to the Perudo which, unbelievably, reduced the volume