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.

Friday 4 May 2007

Session Summary - 2 May 2007

Back to 3 this week, with Mike and Steve and no Dave C.

The games played.

Canal Mania 120 mins
Dave D185
Steve H277

This was one of my favourite games of last year and I wanted to give it another try in it's first edition form before I get the 2nd. edition upgrade, due next month. I have been trying for some time but this was the first opportunity of the year. Mike had played before and this was Steve's first play.
I started having drawn engineer 2 (Smeaton), but in defiance of a rule that I only noticed after it was pointed out by someone else, I declined to play red. I chose the Worcester and Birmingham, while Mike went with the Macclesfield Canal. Steve took the quick option of the River Severn Navigation. Having done this Mike and I realised the small difficulty that there were no cards available for difficult terrain and no surveyors (it turned out that the way the deck was stacked, no tunnel cards turned up until we got to about the last quarter of the deck), so in our following turns we picked up The Coventry Canal and The Bridgewater Canal respectively allowing us to start building and get some goods moving while Steve built his initial contract.

The following turn the pattern of the game was set, when I discarded the available build cards and drew 3 surveyors, which with Smeaton allowed the completion of the Worcester and Birmingham giving me a 4 point link in advance of the others, this and the fact that goods were plentiful early on gave me a good lead in the early play which I never lost. Mike was able to make a 5 point link at the end with the Llangollen Canal, but was only able to transport one good, which I'd dumped in Llangollen at the beginning. No contracts (such as the Shropshire Union) came up to link the Northern & Southern canal networks.

When I passed the 60 point game end trigger it was a case of finishing off what could be finished and also Mike made a token start on the Leeds and Liverpool getting an extra point for the one lock from Leeds. Final Goods deliveries were fairly even and second place was decided between Steve and Mike (who had been running neck and neck for most of the game) when they tied for the most prolific constructor and Steve won the contract value tie break.

After the game Mike professed himself still not convinced, I see why that is, but to me this is still a great game and I look forward to the 2nd. edition, which looks as if it will be better still.

The record of Canals completed (not necessarily in chronological order):

Dave D
  • The Worcester & Birmingham Canal (Worcester to Birmingham (via Coventry and Stratford))
  • The Coventry Canal (Coventry to Burton (via Leicester))
  • The Bridgewater & Taunton Canal
  • The Grand Union Canal (Birmingham to Northampton (via Coventry))
  • The Kennet & Avon Canal (Bristol to Reading via Bath)
  • The Huddersfield Narrow Canal (Manchester to Huddersfield)

  • The Bridgewater Canal (Manchester to Liverpool (via Chester))
  • The Macclesfield Canal (Manchester to Stoke)
  • The Thames & Severn Canal (Oxford to Gloucester)
  • The Ripon Canal (Ripon to York)
  • The Avon & Gloucester Navigation (Stratford to Gloucester (via Worcester))
  • The Wey & Arun Canal (Weybridge to Arundel via Guildford)
  • The Llangollen Canal (Llangollen to Stoke)

  • The River Severn Navigation (Worcester to Gloucester)
  • The Grand Union Canal (Nottingham to Northampton via Leicester)
  • The Medway Navigation (Tonbridge to Maidstone)
  • The Thames Navigation (Oxford to London via Reading (also via Weybridge))
  • The Fossdyke Navigation (Lincoln to Boston)
  • The Sheffield & South Yorkshire Navigation (Sheffield to Goole)
  • The Lancaster Canal (Lancaster to Preston)

Final Position below.

Following that there was just time for

San Juan 35 mins
Steve H229+
Dave D329

This was a low scoring game, Mike won using a fairly straight production strategy with the Guild Hall and a few violets with City Hall, Steve essentially did the same, but ended up with fewer buildings. I searched in vain for City Hall with the Councillor but had to settle for a set of monuments and Triumphal Arch. With perfect hindsight , It would have been better to forego the Councillor some times and done something else. Perhaps I might have been able to get the Palace out that way.

Until next week.

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