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, 30 April 2007

Session Summary - 25 April 2007

A somewhat delayed posting of the play last Wednesday. We welcomed back Gordon and Steve P for the first time in a while and hope they will not remain strangers, we actually got to break even on the room hire.

Onto the games

Big City 70 mins
Steve H170
Dave D261
Steve P360
Dave C536

It's been a fair time since this was last on the table. Steve was able to get a good early lead by building a triple residence next to the street car line and was never in any danger after that. I just edged Steve P in the close battle for second place while Dave was a distant fifth having altruistically built City Hall and started the street car, to the benefit of the rest of us. There was a general agreement that this is the sort of game that is probably better with fewer players, due to the loss of control due to the massive changes that can take place between turns. See attached picture.

Next onto a game that I think is best with more players.

Citadels 80 mins
Dave C224
Steve P322
Steve H418
Dave D515

A comfortable win for Gordon. I did try to stop him by trying an assassination on the last turn, but deciding that it was a choice between the King and the Warlord, I picked the wrong one. I was handicapped by only seeming to draw building of value 4 or more and only got 4 down by the end of the game. Oh Well.

I have updated the stats pages for April

Until Wednesday

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Session Summary - 18 April 2007

It was 5 this week, with Dave C minding Ben, so they settled down to Runebound and the rest of us played

Power Grid 100 mins
Dave D117+
Steve H316

This was played on the French map using the 3 areas running from left to right across the middle from Brest in the west to Chamonix in the east. Power plants ended up as me with 3, Mike with 4 and Steve with 5, leaving me with first buying rights in the following rounds, after buying raw materials I started in Le Mans, Mike put himself next to me in Orleans and Steve sat on his own in Lyons.

As step 1 unfolded Steve built to 6 cities, while Mike and I intertwined ourselves splitting 5/5 amongst the cities in the north (including the 3 in Paris) with relatively cheap connection costs. It was round this time that I got in a bit of a mess with the power plants. Mike had picked up the dirty coal burning no. 20 and I then let Steve have no.29 without much of a fight being a bit reluctant to take a plant that would only power 4 and would therefore need replacement. I hoped to see something better drop, unfortunately I was left with the option of no.24, the trash price was way too high and with only 3 players not coming down fast. So I sat on my total 3 capacity hoping for an improvement or at least for the trash price to fall. It didn't happen and I eventually decided in the end to pick up plant 12, which had the advantage that it was cheap, the fuel was cheap and it allowed me to power my cities, if some what uneconomically. I was fortunate, I think that no one pushed earlier into Step 2.

Things broke eventually of course and I was able to pick up plant 26 at the same time as Steve grabbed 34 and he then pushed the game into step 2. The following turn as things turned out, I was last to pick a plant through having delayed building cities and 30 dropped into my lap triggering step 3 with the replacement, Steve had picked up plant 28 giving him 13 capacity (5-4-4), I had 13 (6-5-2), Mike had now fallen behind. In the building phase I increased my total to 11 by filling up the '15' spaces where Mike had taken the '10's. This left me to bid first and build last in the next turn.

Now step 3 had been reached there were plenty of good plants to buy, I got no.50, Steve had 36 and Mike had 32, I now had 17 capacity but not enough cash to trigger a finish so I did not build further, knowing I would be first to build the following turn as the others had moved past me in cities.
On that turn, I did not buy a plant and neither did Steve, hoping that neither Mike nor I could end the game, Mike had bought a plant, enabling him to match my 17 capacity. Following raw materials purchases, I built to 17 cities, grabbing the '15' sites in the south where, Steve had started. Steve built to his 16 capacity and Mike was able to match my 17, but as he built last he was left with mostly 20 cost sites and ended up losing the money tie break.

We always enjoy a game of Power Grid, but I'm not sure any of us covered ourselves in glory this time out, I managed to get my self in an early mess, while the other two, I think, let me off and ended up snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Another unusual thing was that there was not at any time in the game, any appreciable fuel shortage problem, this may have been due to only 3 players, but even so I don't recall such as friendly game in that respect, even with three.

I have also posted the above on the geek

Next there was time for

San Juan 35 mins
Steve H141
Dave D330

Congratulations to Steve on his first win at San Juan, although he did shuffle the cards and I don't think I can recall seeing a worse run from my point of view. Steve made the Carpenter/Quarry combo work nicely and was able to add City Hall, Triumphal Arch and a full set of monuments, Mike had City Hall and Guild Hall. The only 6 building I saw all game was the Palace, despite copious councilling. I did also have a chapel and toward the end of the game I was just chucking cards at it on the grounds that they were worth as much in there as they would be to build and it was cheaper. If I'd done that earlier I might have beaten Mike. Congratulations to Steve on his impressive win, I'm not bitter really.

Until next week.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Session Summary - 11 April 2007

Easter Holidays still and Dave C was running a Star Wars RPG scenario down in the bar, which left Steve and me upstairs. We had agreed in advance that if there were the 2 of us it would be a rematch at Fury of Dracula and this time Steve was to be the Count.

I had planned to write an elaborate story of how the brave vampire hunters vanquished (or didn't vanquish) the dark power, however as the game went unfinished as these games often do I'll give a quick rundown.

Having spread the hunters round Europe, I drew the Evasion event card allowing Dracula to "teleport" anywhere on the board before Steve's second move, this being far too early for the card to be very helpful. The first game day passed without a trace of the count although Newpasper reports did reveal he had started in Santander and Van Helsing checked ou the Iberian peninsula, the count being long gone due to the evasion.

The break came just as Dracula had gone to sea, when further reports revealed that he had been in Strasbourg Dr. Seward and Lord Godalming discovered traces in Frankfurt, Berlin and Leipzig (where Seward dispatched a vampire). I deduce that he had put to sea from Hamburg and after 2 sea moves, he was revealed to be in Cadiz by hired scouts, and the hunters closed in.

Dracula made his way to Santander and into the Bay of Biscay, but was forced into Nantes by Stormy seas, but was able to slip though the closing net using unearthly swiftness and then lead the hunters on a chase to the east, reaching Bucharest as we finished, Mina having just dealt with a vampire in Vienna.

I don't have the details of the Star Wars game, but believe Dave will post them (as he now has in his comment).

Until next week.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Session Summary - 4th April 2007

Yet again, just Dave D, Mike, Steve H and myself; along with Ben and Matthew. I understand from Mike that there are some uncollected T-shirts; these will be paraded on TV in due course. Anyway, with only Ben and Matthew along I decided not to play AD&D; instead we played Runebound (2nd ed.) This is a boardgame of exploring a fantasy land; aiming to gain experience and allies to take on the big baddie (the Dragonlord) or to collect three Dragon Runes (equally as tough a challenge). The game in some ways is similar to Talisman, however in Runebound there are a lot more decisions you can make and you have more control over how you achieve your goals. For example, you may see an Ally you'd particularly like (because they complement your characters abilities.) The Ally is in Town x and costs y gold to hire. So you know to head for that town and how much gold you need to get from encounters. Movement is by rolling a set of unique dice showing terrain symbols and moving into the allowed terrain. Thus, mountains are harder to move through (because there is only 1 mountain symbol on each dice). The encounters are graded from Green (easiest) to Red (hardest , and how you win). But it's your decision when you change from Green encounters to going after the Yellow (the next hardest). Back to the Ally example. Need quick gold? Then go and beat up a few greens (be warned, they're not all pushovers!)
The game started fairly leisurely (as Matt was new to the game (in fact, is new to these sort of games overall)). Ben fell foul of an Assassin encounter early on and took it really personally. He finally killed them on the fifth attempt! (Like Talisman, you don't die as such but you lose stuff and start again from the nearest town. You keep the same character however, and whatever it was that done you in sticks around, fully healed, available for anyone to take on. Ben was insisting we left it alone). I had to run away from my first encounter, fortunately my Special Ability was to automatically escape from combat. This meant I could scout out the opposition and run off if I thought they were too tough; so I went for some early Yellows.
As the game progressed, Matt and Ben got more into planning their moves ahead ('to get to that encounter I need two hills and a swamp so if I don't get them then I'll head for the Town' etc.). We didn't finish the game so when time was up we scored off earned experience points.
Dave 16
Ben 12
Matt 12
Ben and Matt decided that Ben was second as he had more money than Matt did.
Overall, give it a go. Talisman wasn't a bad game overall (but did have some bad points). Runebound is better and a worthy successor.

Dave D taking over here. On the piece of paper Dave gave me he lists the scores as follows, the order's the same but the scores slightly different:
Runebound 150 mins
Dave C117
Matthew (2)2=14

Over on the other table, we had:

On the Underground 90 mins
Dave D162
Steve H346

This game seems to go in 2 ways, either they are very close, or very spread out, this one tending toward the latter, I can't think of much else to say since although I love the game, I can't think of anything prompting a massive narrative.

Industrial Waste 60 mins
Dave D163
Steve H343

Steve strayed from his usual all out green strategy and started by innovating his workforce requirement, I think this was more due to the unusually high availability of hiring and firing cards. I don't think he plans to try this again. Although I don't hold that the only way to play is to get your waste production down as quickly as possible, generally preferring to lean toward the raw materials track, I do think that the workforce requirement is probably the lesser of the three.

Until Wednesday