The Games We Play

The Games We Play

A repository of reports on the Wednesday night sessions of the club and anything else related to the club or boardgaming in general, which may be of interest to anyone who may be passing by.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Birmingham Game Designers

Birmingham Playtesters have now rebranded as Birmingham Game Designers. We've launched a Website and a new Facebook group. We still meet every second Thursday of the month from 19.00 at The Woodman, but at least one of us will also be at Meeple Mayhem every Saturday from 11.00 with a game to playtest.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Games for sale

I've put some games for sale on bgg. I'd prefer to avoid the hassle of sending them by post, so if anyone is interested in buying a game and picking it up at the club then I'll give a 10% discount.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Games P|ayed - 15 March 2017

Time for another evening of genteel activities down at the Club - Plague and Pirates! While the others were busy with "Castles of Burgundy" and the Club's hottest recent game "Terraforming Mars", which Steve H confidently predicted he would come last at (hey, that's usually my line!), I tried a couple of new (to me) games with Mark W, James and Steve W, firstly "Plague, Inc.", a sort of 'anti-Pandemic' where you non-cooperatively try to spread diseases as widely as possible across the Planet.  Basically an area (country cards) control game, where after all spaces available in the country are filled, the player with the majority (or joint majority) of infection counters in there tries to kill it and thus clear space for new countries (and imoportantly get infection counters back) with a die roll.  As a disease, you start with limited transmission methods, speed and lethality but can buy better characteristics.  Soon after all the countries are on the board or dead the game ends and various ways of counting VPs decide the winner.  Our first game was a hoot, some of the card flavour text is hilarious and there's plenty of bad-taste comment opportunities, but as the humour dies off with repeated plays does it cut it for replayability?  Well, at two hours-ish it's definitely too long for the degree of engagement and luck elements, and particualrly in a four-player game on the plus side there's little AP but an awful lot of (bad) things can happen between your turns as the game progresses and diseases get more powers and use Event card they can accumulate and play all in a single turn.  Mark and I particularly fell foul of this and with the right Event combos almost any plan you have can be undone by others, but despite this I would be happy to play it again, perhaps with 3 players.  Finally a filler with a pirate theme - Loot (I'm sure I've played another game called this?) where you're all playing cards to capture merchant ships others launch or save the ones you launch, with each ship having 3-8 gold on them (most gold is the winner) and pirate cards of varying power being played against the ships to try to capture them.  There are 5 'trump' pirate cards, which are very powerful - I was the only player to draw two of them and perhaps not coincidentally won easily.  It was fun, simple, just the right length, with scope for some tactics : nothing special but I'd happily play again.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Stats Review - 2016

This is the 2016 review of games played at the club, corresponding articles for 2008 - 2015 are linked from the "Previously" box to the left, usually under January of the following year, but sometimes under December of the year in question. As last year I include a comparison with the previous year. Full details are on the Stats Pages on the website. There is also a geeklist of all the games played here. I also tweeted the top 10 @halesowenBG.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Birimingham Playtesters

The next meeting of Birmingham Playtesters is 7pm next Thursday 13th at the Woodman pub on New Canal St. The games we'll be playtesting are Kingdom of Kiralysag and Master of Olympus. If you're interested in coming along then please let me know or join the Facebook Group. The designer of Master of Olympus wants to do a blind playtest, so if someone is prepared to read the rules, then he or she would be especially welcome.
"Master of Olympus is a strategy game in which players assume the roles of gods and goddesses from Greek mythology and use armies, heroes and creatures to gain supremacy over the other gods. Players collect victory points by conquering territory, claiming artefacts and assigning powerful companions to their heroes. In the process the well-known myths are re-written; it is possible, for example, for Theseus to kill the Gorgon, claim the Golden Fleece and return home with Helen of Troy in tow.
The game uses a stacking mechanic - currently simulated with Lego pieces - to track the strength of various pieces. Opposing armies and fleets stack up before embarking on dice-based battles, with features like fatigue, combat stats and god powers to reduce the randomness of the outcomes. The catch is the levelling up of heroes and creatures: the Centaur could become Petrifying at a moment’s notice, making it stronger and giving it unique abilities it’s owner will try to make the most of."

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Games Played - 21 September 2016

3 tables tonight, one featured Roll For the Galaxy and Isle of Skye both of which to be honest I'm not particularly keen on, one featured World Without End and Guillotine which I'd be more than happy to fill an evening with, but I didn't feel I'd missed out as on my table 5 of us got stuck into 2 classics : Amun Re and China. 

Amun Re first up, the 1st Epoch seemed to rush through quite quickly, probably as there never seemed to be a lot of money in the game to indulge in big auctions but Camels paid well.  I had 2 bits of luck, firstly getting Pharoah for just 2 gold with which I built an extra pyramid, then in the 3rd turn pulling a 3VP card which I accidentally satsified (although I feel the latter was cancelled out by the fact that it was the only 3VP card I pulled all night), so a healthy 17 VP (4 pyramids + 1 set + 3VP + 1 largest pyramid + 2 VP for Temples) saw me ahead going into Epoch 2 but a bit stuck for cash.  2nd Epoch was much tougher and slower including a protracted auction featuring the only provinice with no existing pyramid (Gordon's fault so perhaps apt that he ended up with it again) but I was going steadily and as long as nobody else did spectacularly well I felt that I might be able to hang on as cash flow was reasonable and I got the 2 Temple province, but when Rob spent 45 on blocks but built sets rather than attack Steve H on one of the river banks for largest pyramid (he was pretty guaranteed one of them), and the others let Steve get 2 Temples (I picked up Damanhur on the 2nd auction so could do nothing else myself) he stormed to victory and I had to settle for 2nd place.  Great fun though.

5-player China is a tricky proposition, and this one started off with all 5 players opening up a new province in thier 1st turn which I don't think I've ever seen before.  This certainly wiped out the perceived 1st player disadvantage for James (who I recall eventually won, perhaps proving my point).  I got caught in the classic 'no mates' trap with emissaries, unable to participate in the top right of the board at key moments and so having to get predominantly solo allainces at bottom right.  Everyone else except Rob got into healthy shared alliances and I think I ended up 4th.  This is another great game, loads of decisions and interractions crammed into just 35-40 minutes.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Birmingham Playtesters Facebook Group

Birmingham Playtesters, the local affiliate of Playtest UK, now has a Facebook Group.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 13th October.