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.
June 13th As expected we again had a couple of tables playing Agricola. Our game was particularly tight with scores of 35,35,34,33. This prompted us to look up whether there is a tie-breaker on the game – apparently not, so if we have ties in the tournament, the points will be split. Afterwards there was time for Coloretto. In the main room I noticed three fairly new games, Auztralia, Crisis and a card game Villagers. Auztralia is based on an alternative reality, not dissimilar to A Study in Emerald (another Martin Wallace). However the game itself is not that simialr – it is is about exploring, repopulating and developing the continent before the Old Ones awake and throw their oar in. In this sense it is a complicated hybrid, but this is a 2nd recent appearance, so it must have something going for it.
May 23rd This was my first chance to play Agricola in ~10 years, and it deserves its place in the tournament. It still holds up well against many of the later worker placement games which softened the system, allowing you to place in slots that had already been taken, but at a cost; not in Agricola though, which can be tough. Thematically it makes no sense (I have wood and people who want to build fences on my farm, but I can’t because my neighbour has already done it – why not?), but it works for a competitive game. A new worker placement game was also out this week Neta-Tanka, themed around native North American communities. There was a return for Chinatown and much negotiation on the next table, while the final group were playing a card-game Villager. Our group also had time at the end of the evening for Condotierre, which fills a half-hour slot quite well with some area control, competitive card-play and bluffing, based on occupation of regions of medieval Italy.
May 16th There was a very interesting mixture of different games this evening, spread across 6-tables. As we have just moved to the next phase of the tournament, I was not surprised to see Agricola for the first time in a few years. Brian had brought in Chinatown, an older game (1999) which has been in print ever since, so it has something going for it. It is in fact a pure negotiation game, where each player is trading with the others, however they think works best, to get blocks of businesses in New York. Surprisingly, this genre is very uncommon and if this interests you, I suggest looking at the Shutup and Sitdown review which you can find on the BGG link above, because this game had completely passed me by. Meanwhile in the front-room our group had started with Vintage – making port in the Douro Valley; this is a classic worker placement game with some transport problems thrown in – both thematic and quite educational. We had time afterwards for Perudo. Next door to us the two tables were playing Castles of Burgundy and Kanban (running a car construction business). The last group were occupied with Bunny Kingdom – I was struck by the whimsical meeples that look like rabbits, but what they were doing in castles was beyond me. However I did notice that the rule-book looks quite short, so not too difficult to pick-up, although with much more depth than the title suggests.
May 2nd Many thanks to Paul for organising the printing and distribution of the club T-shirts this week – these things always take more effort than it appears.
I am a little short of time so will just list the games I saw tonight. Our group played Ave Caesar followed by Brass. There was a TF-Mars sequel Venus Next, a win for the Eyrie at Root, with the lizard cult included, the last tournament game of Pulsar 2849, Power Grid played on the India board for 6-players and still time afterwards for Perudo.
April 25th With 4-tournament games of Pulsar 2849, I thought that there might be a shortage of other things this week, but not at all. There were 7-tables and some classics being played by some of our grand originals, including Carcasonne and Caylus. Other groups had chosen Root and Wingspan, and there were several fillers fitted in towards the end of the evening, including Crypt, Cartagena, Piepmatz and Parade. Pulsar is a game that grows on me, and I will hope to see it back again, even now we are finishing this round of the tournament. It takes one or two games to get the idea, as there are so many options, but it is the perfect length for this type of game and a great option for a dice-selection game.
April 18th When I left at 10:30 the game of Vinhos, one of the heavier wine-production games, was still in progress. Again there were practice games of Pulsar 2849, one followed by Perudo and the other by Piepmatz. This is an interesting and distinctive card set-collection game with elements that reminded me of Parade and Ra. It is themed around birds and seed-eating, and the artwork on the cards is particularly pleasing. The distinct element is that you may have to play your cards onto the table, (where they may be taken by other players) before you can recover them into the sets you are trying to make in your own tableau. It takes a while to get the hang of how to do this. On other tables I noticed Scythe and Powerboats, followed by ??
April 11th With 7 tables and several games happening on most of them, I just cannot remember everything that is happening. This week however I did notice the return of two games that have not been seen for a several years: Last Train to Wensleydale and Flashpoint Fire Rescue. TTtW is a Martin Wallace railroute development game, but quite different from his other railway offerings. It involves delivering cheese and stone to the mainline routes outside the Yorkshire Dales. I played it once and it is a good game, but I was put off by the unattractive board. I know it should not matter, but there is no excuse for poor art these days. Our table were rerunning Risk Europe, this time with a win for the English (Huggy – we will never hear the end of it). Again we had time afterwards for Via Nebula. I also clocked Kanegawa, Spirits of the Forest, Pulsar 2849 and Exchange as well as a small German cardgame about birds, Piepmatz.