Games Day

Next Games Day Booking Sat April 9th

Table 1 [Downstairs - Front Bar] – Steve, Robin, John, Matt - Vinhos: Deluxe Edition.

Table 2 [Downstairs - Front Bar] -

Table 3 [Downstairs - Front Bar] – Brian, Adele, [SPACE], [SPACE] - Lost Ruins of Arnak

Table 4 [Downstairs - Side room] – Paul T, David K, [SPARE], [SPARE] - Cooper Island

Table 5 [Downstairs - Side room, round table] – Ian, Paul, David-M, Anthony- Merchants and Marauders Followed by Dead Reckoning which we have a space free

Table 6 – Sam, Michel, [SPARE] - Churchill

Once again you can now start to use this page to arrange the next games day which is on April 9th

Games Day 22nd August

A great day and turnout once again so thank you all for making this happen and worthwhile.

My table were playing both Nemesis Lockdown and Lord of Hellas for the day / evening.  What a thematic day that was.

Nemesis was first up straight away we had Aliens turning up pretty early.  Unfortunately they turned up near David and Richard.

Michael managed to get in to some sort of mech armour and with that happily stomped his was out of the base with a big grin on his face.

Myself and Anthony left to try and make it out alive however the base eventually blew up due to malfunctions.  So victory to Michael?  Well not quite.  The contingency the company has has to be considered.  Was Michael expendable to the company ….. Yep.  The company plan was to kill everyone who knew too much.  He did !

Lord of Hellas was Next.  Michael fresh from defeat was not going to lose again!.  I had an early region victory in my grasp but that was quickly noted and put to bed.

Michael once again claimed victory with 5 temple regions ….wait what’s that.  He had not built a temple in one of them.  That’s a shame.  Lets make sure anyhow and attack him :)

David played a very good game and hung on to a usurp token in the region where the monument was built to take victory.

Review from Robin below:

For Brian and anyone else who’s interested, here’s a review of the 1830 game that we played on Games Day.

2 of us – me and Dan-B – were completely new to 18xx games, while Paul and Dan-M had some prior experience, and Dave-E was a relative veteran. This was to become relevant as the game played out, though not in the way we expected…

For anyone in my category, these are games about building railways, running trains, and making money from shares in your – and other – railway companies on the stock market. Dave had trailed this particular 18xx game to me as a “brutal” game of screwing others over, though in the end most of the brutality was less direct.

I think the outcome of the game mostly came down to the middle phase, known as the “train rush”, in which many of the early trains become obsolete and need to be replaced by expensive new ones in order for the companies to continue operating. When this happens, as company president, you have two options: squeeze all the money you can out of the company and then sell out, leaving an insolvent shell in the hands of an unsuspecting new president; or withhold dividends to invest in new trains that will be nice and profitable for the rest of the game. Either way, the one who times it perfectly will likely be the winner.

Forewarned about the “screw-you-over” element of the game, I was jittery and sold out early, as did Dan-M. We then had to watch the others raking in the profits while we rebuilt with new investments. This was bad, but not nearly as bad as leaving it too late, which is what happened to Paul and Dave. Left with companies with no working trains, they had to liquidate shares to prop them up. Dave in particular, left with 2 such companies (one of which he’d bought when Dan-M sold out), was very nearly bankrupted, but somehow managed to bring it back from the brink.

The upshot was a result exactly ordered by experience, with those of us who’d never played before 1st (Dan-B) and 2nd (me); followed by Dan-M, Paul and Dave. The scores seemed quite widely dispersed, though I can see how just a subtle difference in the middle of the game could easily have reversed the positions.

From my first try of an 18xx, I would say I really liked this game. The only obvious downside is that the climax was in the middle: it would work better if it was at the end. As it was, after the “train rush” bit, it was fairly clear that Dan was going to win, while Paul and Dave had to play out the rest of the game knowing that they were already out of it.

Other than that, it was great. The thematic realism, combined with the frequent small “successes” of receiving dividends, made it very enjoyable even over the 7 hours that we took. And there’s a strong co-operative element (joining forces to start new companies, helping another player so that they in turn can screw over someone else) so, along with the backstabbing, no shortage of player interaction. I would really like to play it again.

Thanks for another great Games Day, everyone!

Games Played

Die Macher
1830: Railways & Robber Barons
Space Empires 4x
Ark Nova
Nemesis Lockdown

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One Response to Games Day

  1. Robin says:

    At the April Games Day we had a couple of very strongly thematic games. While Paul and Ian’s group were on the dead man’s chest with a bottle of rum in Merchants & Marauders, John, Steve and I were up to our knees in Portuguese lagares in Vinhos. Two very thematic games with very, very different mechanics.

    Merchants & Marauders is really more about the thematic immersion than the gameplay. The game has a lot of downtime and can feel unbalanced – the event of being shipwrecked is recreated accurately enough that it can be an all-but-game-ending experience for the victim. But, if you set aside any concern about a competitive outcome and just enjoy the adventure of being a sea-captain in the golden age of piracy, it can be great fun. Provided it’s your kind of theme, of course.

    When I looked in, it seemed as though everyone had chosen to obey the law and play as merchants; which seemed odd, given the presence of a large and aggressive NPC pirate ship in the middle of the board. I was fortunate enough to witness the first of its various attacks on Paul. I found out afterwards that he managed to escape each time and recovered to finish 2nd, which is pretty good going in the circumstances.

    Vinhos, meanwhile, is a proper heavy strategy game from Vital Lacerda. As such, it’s a game you can thoroughly enjoy even if it’s not your kind of theme; just like Kanban, which is another Lacerda game, on the theme of doing projects in an office – which surely isn’t anyone’s kind of theme… The theme of Vinhos is, of course, wine making – surely a popular one? This successful combination of an immersive thematic game with a very engaging strategic element is what makes this game so special: it’s one of my all-time favourites.

    The main points in the game come from presenting at wine fairs: you can impress the wine magnates with their specific requirements, impress the wider public with a really high quality wine, and buy bonus actions from the magnates with (usually) low quality wines.

    In our game Carolina, the regional magnate, consistently seemed to require wine from regions where none of us had estates. In the lead-up to one fair, I hastily bought a new estate, planted some grapes and harvested them in time to produce a borderline-unsellable wine – but Carolina was impressed because it was from Ribatejo. At last, in the final fair, she wanted a wine from Douro, where my best estates were, and I was able to present an amazing wine while impressing all the magnates. John, meanwhile, had been churning out a high volume of mediocre wines and so accumulated a lot of bonus tiles. But neither of these strategies was good enough to catch Steve, whose focus on good quality wines saw him win the game – which, from a thematic point of view, seems sensible.

    I have played this game before on a Thursday evening with 4 players, and finished in time. This time, with only 3 of us, we somehow managed to take almost 6 hours. This probably says something about the more leisurely approach to Saturday games days. We also had an interval to have lunch, and another interval for Paul’s quiz.

    I thought the quiz was really good: a set of cryptic clues to game titles, approachable to all in the club no matter how good your boardgames knowledge – or your knack for cryptic clues. Hopefully the quiz can be published on here for those who missed the Games Day. An incentive, if any were needed, to try to be there for the next one!

    Other games in play were a return for Churchill with Sam and Michel, plus Cooper Island and Lost Ruins Of Arnak and a few shorter games. And Ed, Dave and Dan playing a space game which looked very intriguing (and somewhat bureaucratic, with the clipboards). But I’ve forgotten what it was called; so, because they didn’t post on the board beforehand, we’ll never know…

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