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.

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.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

This War Without an Enemy now on bgg

I'm now officially, according to boardgamegeek, a Game Designer. The entry for my first game - This War Without an Enemy - has gone live. If you are a subscriber of bgg then please visit the page and become a fan (click on the heart symbol). Feel free to make a comment if you are interested in the game, but no false ratings please (ie don't rate it unless you have played it). The game is currently being considered by a number of publishers and an active bgg page demonstrating interest in the game from boardgamers may just make enough of a difference to encourage one of them to give me a contract - and then I'd be a professional board game designer!
This War Without an Enemy

Friday, 22 July 2016

Games Played - 20 July 2016

11 in attendance this week, we broke off into 4-4-3, initial games played on the other tables were Castles Of Mad King Ludwig and World Without End, on my table was James, Rob, Mike and myself, Mike suggested Chicago Express

Chicago Express

This was the second time in recent weeks this has made it to the table, a really clever stock/route building game with a fantastic looking board (I love those dials!!!)

Early on both red (Rob and Me) and blue (James and Mike) were making a fast start towards Chicago but as the final share in red was auctioned off, red then began to slow pace (as I had majority and therefore Rob was not inclined to assist - quite a clever part of the game)

Rob was the sole investor in yellow and as a result was picking up some nice early pay-outs, whilst green (Mike and James) were picking up some nice pay-outs too despite the track not being extended at all

Blue (Mike, James and now Rob) continued to steam roll ahead making it to Chicago first, this opened up Wabash for auction which I was able to secure, I then proceeded to make it reach Chicago at the expense of red (which would have paid off for Rob too)

Yellow (Mike and Rob) now started to pick up pace as both were investing in track and infrastructure which also began to pay off

At the end it was Rob who was able to pull off a narrow victory

CE really is a clever game but one which takes a few plays to get your head around, a very enjoyable game all round


Next up was China, another excellent fast playing area control game where you are trying to get majorities in the different provinces of China by placing your houses or emissaries

Rob stormed into a lead after picking up some early points for having majority (in most cases) in the provinces, Mike soon caught up after picking up majority scores in the larger provinces, but from nowhere BOOM!!!! James pulls it out the bag with a huge score due to end of game emissary majorities

A great little game which was enjoyed by all

A good night all round

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Next Playtest UK Birmingham Meeting

The next (and 3rd) Playtest UK Birmingham Meeting will be on Thursday 11th August from 7pm in the Wellington pub on Bennett's Hill. We'll be trying out a couple of shorter games. More details here: