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 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.


  1. Did we let you off the hook Dave? Maybe, but it's not obvious. Had one of us pushed Step 2 quicker, yes you'd have had to buy one of the 4-plants to keep up, but would still have had a lower best plant than both of us so would still gain the benefits of going last. Certainly from my perspective, sitting on 5-2-1 plants, pushing it would have hammered the coal price (8 coal for 8 cities!) for several turns and I judged it to not be cost-effective.

  2. The Runebound game was excellent. As time was short, we decided to use the Doom Track variant (as it turned out, I misread the rules and we didn't put as many cards on the track as we should have, we only put on the cards we had fought; rather than cards we played as well). I think this actually made it better as it gave us time to build up some experience. The Doom Track rules as written would be very difficult to play and I can see why some Geekers are complaining about it.
    Anyway, the Track does put time pressure on one to go after the good stuff as soon as possible. Ben played really well; he had several items and abilities that he used to their fullest. My character (Red Scorpion) suffers from doing low damage, you really need to get out and find a decent weapon, and of course to do that you need gold.
    The Track was filling up and Ben went after two Red encounters and defeated them, thus gaining two Dragon Runes! (Reds? I tried a single Blue and got skewered, effectively putting me out of the running.) There was a decent weapon to be had in Forge, but to get it I had to defeat a monster to get the gold, which triggered the Doom Track and endgame. Ben confidently took on the Red encounter and it didn't stand a chance; that was his third Rune to win the game.
    Total playing time was 135 minutes.
    The way we played the Doom Track seemed to work and I'll play it that way in future. We were also using the lower Experience rules variant.