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.

Thursday 18 January 2007

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.


  1. Yes, I too would like to play Kremlin again soon - 5 turns is a bit short, the blood had only just started to flow - so perhaps Luke will get his wish after all.
    Family Business - I have to agree with Dave, I've played it dozens of times and usually love it but it seemed a little flat. Some very uneven deals of cards for 2 or 3 players were a culprit, I didn't have a single red counter card all game but loads of contracts, no good if your guys are on the hit list and a couple of more on will trigger Mob War.

  2. Kremlin was fun, it's been quite a while since I played. You forgot to mention that Nestor survived an assassination attempt, two attempts at being purged and an attempt to haul him off to the sanatorium just before the parade (as it turned out, the old goat didn't wave that turn anyway). The bodycount in my faction was horrendous, I lost 50% of my faction by the end of the game, some of them without even having declared points in them. I'm not sure how Duncan enjoyed the game, but it was his first playing and it does take some getting used to.

    Family Business: that game was vicious. Basically, after the opening shots were fired , it seemed to be a case of Duncan, then Matt, picked on one other faction and destroyed it systematically, first me, then Mike, then Dave; they finally shot it out amongst themselves and Matt took out Duncan with a Hit card. Strangely, there wasn't a single St Valentines Day massacre played.

    Next week, Struggle of Empires is planned, Steve H and I are on board, as is Julian (I think) plus probably Duncan.

    At some stage I'd like to try Twilight Imperium 2nd Ed which I've got: - any takers?

  3. Like Mike, I didn't have any red cards at all until I picked up Family Influence on the last turn before my last guy died.

  4. I agree with Dave & Mike's views on the Family Business game. My problem was the opposite, having a hand full of red cards much of the time. I think the reason St. Valentine's Day Massacre didn't come out was becasue Mike had it and then I inherited it when he was knocked out. At that point to play it would have been most damaging to me. Regards Kremlin I did say that Nestor survived despite the best efforts of the other players.

  5. Touche mon brave, but it's still nice to spell out what a charmed life the old bugger had

  6. My first blog and it's about Power Grid. As Dave suggested in the report it was a bit of an odd one, albeit played on the standard US Board, 5 players. The strangeness occurred because the plants came out in an odd order with all the 30s and 40s first when no one could afford them. So the 3-plant totals of each player didn't exceed 10 till very late on. There also seemed a tendency amongst this group of players to max out on raw materials, which created frightening shortages and anyone without a diverse economy got thumped. I made my move for the win when the others ganged up on the leader, Simon, and starved him out of raw materials, forcing the very cruel last place you sometimes get in Power Grid. Other than Simon the highest was 13, and I gambled correctly that Toby had less cash than me for the winning tiebreak. I was helped by blocking off the NW part of the map and cruising in for all the "10" placements during the final build phase. Really good game as usual.

  7. Family Business is just one of those games where it might seem 'fun' and 'nice' and 'fair' to keep people playing for as long as possible, but it's really just bad play. The less players there are in the game the fewer powerful cards there are to play against you and the odds of you drawing them increase. So: hoard the good cards and prey upon the sick and weak.

    I don't think it's a great game and I've probably played it enough to last me a lifetime. Lunch Money is simlar, slightly less prone to unequal draws as you can move through your hand more quickly, though suffers from many of the same problems.

    Kremlin, comrades, was wonderful.

    See you in 3 weeks time. Unfortunately.

  8. That's the last time I play when I've got a cold then!