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.

Sunday 28 January 2007

1856 - January 27 2007


Back in October 2005, we had a Saturday afternoon and evening session, playing Advanced Civilization. We agreed after that to repeat the following year to play some other game that would not be possible on Wednesday evening. So, although a little later than planned, a group of us gathered at my place for a session of 1856. The players were myself, Mike, Steve H, John (a school friend of Mike and I, who also came up for the Civ game) and some friends of John, father and son Les and John(2).

We met at 2pm and spent about an hour going over the rules (Mike being the only one to have recent play experience, through postal play) before starting about 3. Money is very tight with 6 players but despite this we got 6 companies up and running in the first operating round, I'm not entirely sure that this was a good idea, since all the companies were very parlously financed, but everyone had a company to run giving them something to do.

Mike did very well in the early stages, although he effectively ran the Grand Trunk into the ground, and was able to fund a second company (Credit Valley) when the '5' trains were available. Mike's thought is that this was the advantage that won him the game and that someone else should also have started a new company at this stage, I'm not exactly sure this is true since while the CV was able to buy a '5' train, I'm sure that any other company started would have been stuck with needing a '6' train or buying a '4' off the presidents other company damaging that company and meaning the new company would still have had to buy a permanent train later. Also I think it would have needed more than one player to cooperate to form the company unless the president was willing to sell valuable shares to do it himself.

Between 7 & 8 we had a break and the dodgy picture above shows the board at that point. It was agreed at the restart that we would call the game at 10, completing the current set of operating rounds. The next stock round was a long one (I think Steve found it interminable) as people bought and sold shares, 2 new companies were formed and due to shares sold, I was able to take over the Great Western from John. After all the stock shenanigans were sorted out it was on to the last 3 operating rounds, which because of the new companies buying trains soon brought about the compulsory repayment of loans and the formation of the Canadian Government Railways, although in fact this almost didn't happen as only the Grand Trunk was unable to repay. After this I was able to have the London and Port Sarnia trade in a '4' train for a diesel, rendering the other '4's scrap and it was this that Steve thought (probably correctly) that gave me the advantage over him in the final scoring. After things sorted themselves out and many companies had diesels, money flowed out of the bank and the game would definitely have finished naturally after another set of OR's.

Final Scores
Mike $3338, Dave $3015, Steve $2770, John $2474, John(2) $1906, Les $1732

I think, allowing for breaks we played for about 6.5 to 7 hours, which I don't think is too bad considering the newness of this type of game to many of the players, Steve has admitted that this is not really his type of game and he'd rather play Civilization as an all dayer. I still love the 18XX series. I showed our game list to Les and John who are from Stourbridge and they have indicated they may come along on a Wednesday some time. They will of course be most welcome.

Apologies to those to whom the foregoing is a load of meainingless waffle, normal service will now be resumed until we decide to do something like this again.

Session Summary 24 January 2007

We had 8 people this week including first time visitor Kamil, I hope you had a good time and will visit again in the near future.

The games played were mainly new to the club;

Hollywood Blockbuster 60 mins
Dave D341

This is Reiner Knizia's game of some years back released as Traumfabrik in Germany. The theme of the game is Hollywood movie making and the original used the names of real actor's and films. I believe that the reason the game was not released in an English language edition was due to licensing and copyright issues because of this. This new edition is by Uberplay and parodies of real named and titles are used, it being quite obvious from the names and caricatures on the tiles, who or what is being referred to.

In common with many of Knizia's titles, the game is basically a series of auctions for the components (directors, actors, special effects, etc) that will go to make the films that the players want to produce, each component has a star rating from 0 to 4 , except for 1 guest star value -1). There's quite often a twist in Knizia's auctions and in this case it is that the contracts (money) paid by the winning bidder is split equally between the other players, so as he gets poorer, they get richer. So it's a case of win auctions to acquire the best actors, directors etc. to make your films, after 4 rounds (called quarters) the player with the most points both from the value of completed films and the film awards won is the winner. The game is a good one, although it was pointed out that the distribution in the 2 party phases in each quarter may be a weakness, I notice this was previously also mentioned in the Counter review when Traumfabrik first appeared. In our game, Jason went into an early lead, but Kamil caught up and was able to take the victory by winning most of the Major film awards at the end of the game. Mike and I were meanwhile getting stuffed. One to play again soon I think.

Bug Bluff 20 mins
Dave D1=

This is a strange game that Kamil brought along. Basically it's a case of offering a card face down to another player and saying it is one of 8 types, the other player has to either say whether he thinks the first is telling the truth or look at the card and offer it to another player in the same way. Eventually a player will either choose to or be forced to guess truth or not and if they are wrong they must place the card face up in front of them, if right the person offering the card gets it in front of them. Whoever gets the card must now start the process again offering another card from their hand. The game goes on until a player loses by either losing all their in hand cards or having 4 of the same type of card face up in front of them, everyone else wins. The game is obviously pretty random at the start, but as the game goes on, you can try to predict whether someone is bluffing by looking at what card they have in front of them and what cards are in front of the other players. This was an interesting filler, but there are others we have that I think I would rather play.

San Juan 35 mins
Dave D137

After Kamil left, the rest of us played San Juan, getting right into it as all had played before. All players had reasonable production so producing and trading went on OK. Mike followed a straight Guild Hall strategy with 7 production buildings. I played for violet buildings using Quarry and Carpenter to add to a couple of monuments and the City Hall, I was also ahead on total number of buildings and finishing the game by building a Palace was able to push me ahead.

Wildlife 120 mins
Steve P2=97
Steve H2=97
Richard B488

This was played on the other table, I know that the game has been about for awhile, although never played at the club before. Comments welcome as to how it plays.

See you Wednesday.

Thursday 18 January 2007

Session Summary 3 January 2007

This was previously sent by e-mail and is included here so all 2007 sessions will be online.

First Wednesday of the New Year and 7 of us gathered and played a couple of favourites:
Vinci 150 mins
Steve H
Dave D

This was a very long game of Vinci, probably for several reasons, there being no really powerful combinations in evidence and I think we probably spent more time talking about the game than we perhaps have in recent times.
Power Grid 120 mins
Steve G
We now have 3 copies of this in the club, Simon having acquired a copy, the game was played on the US map using the 3 Southern areas, a combination I’ve not seen before, but we haven’t had that many 3 player games.
As mentioned previously the trophy points system has been discontinued, although I am continuing to record the game lengths and numbers of players. I haven’t bothered to note anyone trying a game for the first time.
Until next Wednesday

Session Summary 17 January 2007

10 players this week and a welcome to Richard Minson who I think came with Julian, but I may be wrong. Onto the games.

Power Grid 105 mins
Player Posn. Score
Steve H 1 13+
Toby 2 13
Julian 3 12
Richard M 4 9
Simon 5 8

Another outing for Power Grid, somehow I have managed to resist the lure of this, my most played game of last year on 2 out of 3 occasions. Steve has indicated that this was an unusual game and I hope he will comment with some more insights, I do recall looking over from Kremlin at one point and seeing that all the fuel markets except Uranium were exhausted (Uranium was dirt cheap).

San Juan 30 mins
Player Posn. Score
Richard M 1 33
Julian 2 32
Steve H 3 31

Simon & Toby left at this point, meaning another one of our regular favourites was able to make an appearance.

Kremlin 90 mins
Player Posn. Score
Dave D 1 3
Duncan 2 1
Matt 3= 0
Mike 3= 0
Dave C 3= 0

We have been talking about playing this one again for ages and had finally we did, apologies to Luke who wanted to play, but I'd be happy to play again in the not too distant future. This game was different to our last couple of Kremlin games, finishing in 5 turns. I (the Red Army Militarists) made a play early with control of old Nestor Aparatschik and despite ill health and the best efforts of other players to get rid of him he was able to wave at the first 2 parades. By turn 3, however he was too sick to wave again and he died the following year at age 95, just short of retirement, but assured of a glorious state funeral. The politburo had been ravaged by a flu epidemic that year and Ludmilla Patina also died (she being Nestor's favoured successor following the banishment of Foreign Minister Goferbrok and KGB head Putschnik, framed in an unholy alliance between the Hard line Stalinists(Matt) and the Reform Expansionists(Dave C)). As a result of all this it was impossible to block the succession of Defense Minister Diwan Palavrian, a tool of the Lysenko Evolutionists (Duncan).

Although in his 80's, Palavrian was in good health and waved at the next parade, he may have had at least another year, if a nervous KGB head (I think it was Andrej Pergemoff) in the pay of the Reform Expansionists had not arranged for him to take an extended vacation in Siberia. This ploy backfired as the Red Army militarists had a strong hold on the politburo at this time and were able to defeat the first nomination (The KGB head Purgemoff?), leaving a certainity that one of the 3 nay saying militarists would become party chief, so it was that the desperately ill Defense Minister Leonid Bungaloff succeeded and, come the parade, he was able to stagger on to the rostrum to wave to the masses and seal victory for the Red Army Militarists.

Following all the backstabbing of Kremlin it was on to:

Family Business 40 mins
Player Posn.
Matt 1
Duncan 2
Dave D 3
Mike 4
Dave C 5

I have to say that I think this was a bit long for a Family Business game and did not seem to fun element that it usually did.

That's all the games I have also posted the session from 3 January so that all the 2007 details are on line.

Next Wednesday I understand that Struggle of Empires is planned.

Saturday 13 January 2007

Session Summary 10 January 2007

We had 11 people on Wednesday night, the best adult attendance we've had for some time. Nice to see some recently missing old faces. We split over 3 table and a variety of games were played.

Power Grid 140 mins
Player Posn. Score
Toby 1 17
Dave D 2 16+
Gordon 3 16
Simon 4 15

Power Grid probably has more people in the club willing to play than any other, so its not too surprising to see it on the table for a second week. This was played on the French board and Simon grabbed Paris, while the rest of us clustered together down South. I was most disappointed when after picking second, Gordon and Toby sat right next to me on either side. Toby took good advantage of what was available to him and despite making a mistake on the penultimate round well deserved the win. Simon and I suffered from the run of the Power plant auction and I was fortunate to get second after a mistake by Gordon.

I was fully occupied with the Power Grid game so was not aware of the details of the other games as follows:

Acquire 60 mins
Player Posn. Score
Matt 1 61900
Mike 2 53300
Richard B 3 36200

Gordon is eager to play this again and I always enjoy Acquire so I think maybe we will see more of it this year than in recent times.

Tigris & Euphrates 45 mins
Player Posn. Score
Mike 1 8
Richard B 2 7
Matt 3 6

San Juan 30 mins
Player Posn. Score
Richard B 1 37
Matt 2 35
Mike 3 30

The other games played were both new to the club and I have no idea how they played, perhaps the players may like to enlighten us.

Mesopotamia 60 mins
Player Posn.
Luke 1
Richard G 2
Steve H 3
Duncan 4

Mesopotamia 50 mins
Player Posn.
Steve H 1
Luke 2
Richard G 3
Duncan 4

Hey! That's My Fish! 10 mins
Player Posn. Score
Luke 1 28
Richard G 2 26
Steve H 3 22
Duncan 4 19

That's all for 10 January. For the next session, Mike, Matt, Luke & I are hoping to get our long delayed Kremlin game played and I gather from looking at the comments on the first post that another outing for Struggle of Empires is possible.

See you on Wednesday

Friday 12 January 2007

First Post

The primary purpose of this blog is as a repository of session summaries for HalesowenBoardgamers, which have previously been sent out by Gordon and collected together on his club website. These have sometimes generated a certain amount of comment. In future we intend to put the summaries here, which will have the advantage of getting them on the web without any further action and also mean that if people want to read what we've been playing they can come here and not have a load of mails clogging up their inboxes.

I've set up the blog and am currently the only poster, but I will be inviting other regular member of the group to also become contributors. As I understand it anyone should be able to add comments to existing posts.

The layout will no doubt change over the coming time, as I fiddle about with it.