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 28 June 2007

Session Summary - 27 June 2007

Help - the technology's ganging up on me.... Dave?

Hang on, he's not here, which is why I'm doing this. Normal service will be resumed next week. In the meantime, here goes:

Attendance was six (or five and a half when it comes to budget accruals). On my table we had another crack at

Pillars of the Earth (90 mins)
1. Richard 57
2. Dave D 56
3. Steve 46

We've reviewed this one before. Playing with three is less cut-throat because there is plenty of space for workers to be placed. Depending on your point of view, this is either a good or a bad thing (I go for the latter, it's better with 4). I don't think that's sour grapes but I was very crap tonight - I think I spent way too much on craftsmen (where's Thatcher's union laws when you need them?). The other guys scored steadily all the way through really; Dave played with his usual "woody" theme and it nearly worked. Rich used the VP track to good effect and scored heavily from a few key craftsmen.

Phoenicia (90 mins)
1. Mike 38
2. Dave C 30
3. Ben 29

Don't know anything about this so somebody else will have to comment.

Memoir 44 - Arnhem Bridge (40 mins)
1. Dave C 5
2. Ben 4

Looks like another case of "For you Tommy the war is over".

San Juan (30 mins)
1. Steve 40
2. Richard 37
3. Mike 36
4. Dave 27

Me winning at San Juan is getting old, man. I think I've decided to get a bit bored by this game (controversy, weyhay) despite my glacial progress towards actually winning. It just seems to me to be a bit too predictable, mainly in that your strategy is mapped out for you based pretty much on your first hand of cards. I had a Library in said first hand so you can guess the rest.

Katzenjammer Blues (10 mins)
1. Mike 5++
2. Steve 5+
3. Richard 5

This was a new edition, where the theme was mutant fish playing thrash metal and you had to collect worms. OK it wasn't, but I think the idea's a winner.


  1. Phoenicia
    Mike's first game, so I hope he'll add some comments. The more I play, the more I like this game; it has got subleties not immediately apparent on a first playing. The game was quite close for the first part, although I lost some production on a couple of turns by not having the storage capacity. Ben was doing well with his mining and both he and Mike had gained the Granaries. Then events overtook me and I gained lots of VP's but my production lagged. Mike grabbed the Public Works and was able to pay top price for the City Walls, thus winning the game. Ben got the other City Walls but I was able to use the bought VP from the City Centre to get the extra point to come second.

    Memoir '44
    Um... didn't like the scenario. Steve, I should have made it clear that I was the British; so "You British von, but ve came second"
    I -think- the strategy is that the Germans have to charge across the bridge and engage the British in close combat; however, Ben has a morbid fear of artillery and so most of the game was a long-range duel across the river. The German elite panzer units are bottled up across the river and take a long time to get into action. I intend to try again with me playing the Germans but....

  2. Thanks Steve for posting this. Now for the disagreements.

    I'm inclined to thinking that Pillars of the Earth is better with 3 than 4 (I think it's great with both mind) because it reduces the impact of unlucky master builder draws. Also it's a 6 turn game and 3 goes into that exactly. I thinks its usually the case where the start player rotates that it's good when each player gets an equal share. Of course in this players can change the rotation, but on the evidence I've seen so far this isn't that common an event in this.

    On San Juan, I don't agree that strategy is mapped out by your first hand (except may be if you've got a Smithy and Guild Hall), you have to adapt to what you get later, this was my problem in this game as its pretty hard to adapt to a pile of crap, which is what I had throughout the second half. I don't think the library is so all powerful a card in your opening hand as the loss of momentum getting it out is a serious disadvantage. Better is the Prefecture to my mind which costs less.

    You say you think the game is a bit too predicatble, but bear in mind that that is after 17 games at the club and I suspect there aren't many you've played more.

    I'll post Wednesday's report when I've colected my thoughts about Colosseum.

  3. Oh by the way I edited the San Juan results to give Steve an extra point. We initially didn't give him his 2 points for the Chapel and caught this error on the night, but those extra points should have meant that the Palace also gave one extra, which what I've added here.