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.
March 22nd This was my first try-out for Black Gold, which was being played on two tables. In some ways it reminded me of Power Grid, with a central auction mechanism and rather austere artwork on the board and cards. Like PG, I thought it well designed and certainly deserving of a place in the tournament, but a bit mathematical and also a bit long for what it is. The theme seemed to fit quite well, although I suspect the same mechanics could be dressed up in many other ways. A new cooperative game Spirit Island was being played by Ian’s group. It has very nice pieces, particularly the towns, and the group did just manage to win, on the ‘easy’ setting. In the back room there was another new appearance, Delphi, and in the main room Gaia Project.
March 15th Lots of people in this week and with the new round of the tournament starting, there were a couple of games of Black Gold. Our group started the evening with Fire and Axe: a Viking saga, followed by Arboretum and Dan had his favourite Gallerist on the neighbouring table. I am hearing a lot of good things about Altiplano, a bag building game (add tiles), that involves resource collection, trading and optimizing the order of actions to develop your own board. The central board is a modular ring of locations which can be different each game. I did not get to see how it was played, but there is a rather nice alpaca piece, and if anyone ever goes to Peru I can strongly recommend the 10hr train journey across the altiplano from Cuzco to Lake Titicaca, on something that is rather like the 1920s version of the Orient express – all polished wood and brass and with a bar and a traditional band on board the sight-seeing car at the end. One other game I saw was Whistle Stop, which appeared to involve building tracks to aid yourself and divert the opponents.
March 1st and 8th Due to the snow last week, only one person came in, thought about playing patience and then went home. However it was back to normal this week, with the final game of Scythe, in which I managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with one appalling final move. There were a number of games of Petrichon, which must be good as one of the tables played 3 successive games and seemed very happy with it. One other group started with Lancaster (a really nice game, which we played in the tournament 3 years ago and has rarely been seen since, which is surprising) and followed on with Isle of Skye. The 5th table started with St Petersburg and were continuing with 6 Nimmt as I was leaving.
February 22nd - another busy evening with a group in the back room playing Pulsar 2849. This is a new arrival so anyone involved, please tell us what you thought about it. In the main room Dan Ba. won the tournament game of Scythe with an astonishingly good score of 100, and even then the game apparently finished quickly. Our table were rerunning the Industrial revolution – ie Brass, in which the result turned on a struggle between shipyards (me) and rail-magnate (Dan). Next to us the group of 6 played Ethnos and filled in with a series of quickies, Perudo, Parade etc. On the 4th table Graham finally got to play his copy of Pillars of the Earth. Mid evening there was a surprise discovery in one of the bags of another copy of Pillars still in its shrink wrap ! - apparently a new edition or perhaps a reprint.
February 8th The first actual tournament game of Scythe took place this week, with a win for Ed. They had plenty of time for Manhattan afterwards. Michel had brought in Pandemic; Iberia (of course), and I think they found it quite hard. This variant includes a lot of quarantine and containment, but finding cures is not so important as in the regular game. Our table started with Via Nebula, continued with Ticket to Ride Europe and finished with Evolution; Climate. There were 3 of us playing all evening and each person won one of the games. On the 4th table I noticed Stoneage, but there were quite a lot of other games going on, including another group in the back-room.
February 1st There were 5 tables this week, with quite a mixture of new and older games. The stand-out new arrival was Rising Sun, a game with an enormous board, a huge set of miniatures, that reminded me of those from Blood Rage, and some nice artwork too. As expected there was another practice of Scythe, prior to the first tournament game next week, which was followed by Perudo. Our group started with Tsuro before introducing a new visitor to Pillars of the Earth, before finishing with two sledge races around the Dagger of the Mountain Troll track of Snow Tails. Another new arrival was Gentes, (I haven’t seen this before) and their table also had time for Kingdom Builder. In the other room they fitted in Alien Frontiers and Cartagena.