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 4 February 2007

Session Summary 31 January 2007

We gathered as usual on Wednesday with 10 in attendance making an average of 9.4 for the first month of the year. We split into 2 sets of 5 and the following games were played.

Power Grid 105 mins
Dave D38++

This has hit the table 4 out of 5 weeks this month, not that I mind, but maybe we should change the name to Halesowen Power Grid club. This was played on the Central European board and Kamil was able to advise on the correct pronunciations of the cities. The game came to a sudden end, when Gordon built to 15 cities, after all who went before him in the order had declined to build because of concern over the order in the following turn, which didn't come. This had the effect of leaving Simon, who had been very unfortunate with the power plants available and had the smallest total capacity in second place because he had more cities on the map. If we had known the game would end all 3 other players would have built and been able to power more cities, with Toby, I think taking 2nd or maybe the win.

I think Power Grid is a prime example of a game, where just because information, in this case player's money, is trackable, it does not mean that that information should be open. If that were the case, then this result could not have happened and in general the tension which is a large part of the game's appeal to me would be lost.

San Juan 35 mins
Dave D232

After Power Grid Kamil left and Simon and Toby went down to the bar. Gordon and I played a rare 2 player San Juan. It was very close and Gordon finished with a City Hall to add to his Guild Hall, leaving me a card short of building the palace to go with my Triumphal Arch and set of monuments. Oh well.

Wildlife 120 mins
Richard B182
Steve H279
Steve P3=69

On the other table this got an outing for a second week and seemed to go down well with all concerned. This was sufficient to leave it as the second most played game of the month.

I have updated the stats pages and a summary for January 2007 is here.

See you next week.


  1. I suspect that had Toby built to 13 cities on the last turn and I had gone on to build to 15 to trigger the game end then Toby would have had more money in hand to take the victory. I was in the most precarious position and it took a lucky combination of several variables for me to win. Dave was particularly unfortunate on the last turn not to have landed a better power plant when he was left as the last in the auction.

    This is the first time I have played this map. None of the special rules seemed to affect play, increased coal, less oil and the special rule for nuclear plants.

    Thanks Dave for your work on the site. The stats in particular give me more pleasure than is healthy. Power Grid really is the dominant game with no real competition in site. Our appetite for Caylus and Antike seems to be falling off and there is no obvious big game out there which will keep us coming back for more in quiet the way that Power Grid does.

    I am planning on doing a bit of game buying (Amun Re, Blue Moon City and Imperial) and I am going to be disposing of a few old games (In the shadow of the emperor, Apples to Apples Jr, Wizard’s Quest, Runebound, Hammer of the Scots, X-Bugs and Ausbrecher AG). If any one is interested in any of these please let me know.

    I know I will be the 3rd person at the club to buy Amun Re but you guys are not getting it on the table as often as I would like.

  2. I notice our guru Mr Robinson turned his nose up at Wildlife last time out despite his win. Although naffly titled, it is actually a really good laugh and a pretty well-designed game to boot. It fulfils one of my criteria in a good game which is the ability to mess with your opponents in as overt a way as possible (you eat them!). Five players is probably too many due to the downtime though - 4 is better. Also it helps to not lead at any point in the game except the last turn of scoring because you get absolutely nailed if you get in front, particularly early on. In this game, Mike led early and got amusingly torn to bits immediately after first scoring. Steve and I were vying for back marker position, and I horded food to fund a late run of points. A good time was had by all I think.

  3. Regarding Gordon's comments. Why should the stats not give you pleasure? They show you win alot and in any case stats are interesting in and of themselves for example reading scores and league tables is far more interesting than watching football matches.

    I've already got Amun-Re of course and am quite comfortable with the amount of play it gets (No.4 in the all time list having seen play each year since records began excluding this year so far). Blue Moon City sounds very interesting from what I've read. Imperial I'm cautious about because of the Antike connection, but I must play at least once due to the apparent 18XX connection in the country control.

    I can't say any of the games you plan to get rid of interest me.

  4. Gordon
    I would be interested in Runebound
    I know I've been conspicuous by my abscence recently; my mother isn't v. well and I've been hospital visiting amongst other things. I won't be there tomorrow; but I am planning on being there in the 1/2 term week. Role-playing will be on the agenda for the kiddies; for various reasons I've switched back to AD&D. The Tal characters have been converted over to the AD&D system.

  5. Amun Re was played 4 times in 2006, I participated in 2 of these games. I don't suppose that is too bad but it is one of my favourites and I would like to see it on my shelf.

    Dave C I will give you my copy of Runebound (I don't want it back). It is version 1 and thus not compatable with the add ons. I am trying to clear clutter ready for my pending house move.

  6. Gordon,

    Could I get Apples to Apples Jr?

    Also, given that I'm looking to move next month if anyone wants to give a home to the following games please let me know:

    The Big Idea
    Master Labyrinth
    Atta Ants
    Dilbert: Corporate Shuffle
    ...and a load of old Car Wars supplements

    See you on Wednesday.