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, 20 August 2007

Session Summary - 15 August 2007

Just me, Dave, Ben & his friend Matthew around this week, so Dave postponed the next episode of Corporation and we looked at what we could all do together. With a sort of role play aspect we went for Fury of Dracula (160 min.). This was one one of our unfinished efforts and I did not feel like writing a story with with no conclusion, so here is the clip notes version.

I was Dracula, while Dave, Ben & Matthew took on the hunters, with Mina, sort of rotated between the 3 of them. Having observed the starting position I started in Bari and moved up through Naples and Rome before taking a quick trip across the Tyrrhenian Sea to Cagliari to place a vampire. I hung about a bit, hiding to place a minion and then feeding to recover from the sea journey. I thought I had a reasonable chance of getting it to maturity, but somehow Ben managed to locate me with hired scouts and the plot was revealed. I set off back to sea and stayed afloat for some time to make sure it remained night time when Lord Goldalming arrived in Cagliari at the very last moment. He was able to deal with my minion (actually 2 of them because I played the relentless minion card) and unfortunately he had a stake left to deal with the vamp.

Meanwhile I had sailed up to the North Sea and in retrospect this was a move too far as I had essentially given away my position, especially as the 2 ports on the European mainland were closed (one by a hunter and the other by consecrated ground) and I was forced into Edinburgh. All 4 hunters closed in, but I was able to elude them by using double back to head back into the North Sea, landing at Amsterdam being able to keep ahead of them with the help of wolf form and heading south.

When I reached Venice, Evasion came up and I mulled over the option of heading to Spain, far away from the hunters or north to Berlin. I chose Berlin, which was a mistake as my position was soon revealed and I was on the run again into Eastern Europe, which was where we called it a day. Only 2 game days had passed, although this was I think due to the relatively long time I spent at sea.

Until Wednesday

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Session Summary - 8 August 2007

After last week's epic story, this is going to be somewhat mundane. Matt, Steve & I were upstairs, while Dave entertained the younger members with Corporation below. See here for his report.

Pillars of the Earth, The 100 mins
Steve H1=50
Dave D347

I was surprised, when Matt mentioned in discussion before we started that he hadn't played this, so it was a pretty easy choice with Steve and I both being fans of the game. This was I think the closest game of this I've seen, although I don't think I performed that well, somehow not managing to get things right in the early turns and falling behind. I was able to catch up somewhat on the last turn, but not by enough.

Matt & I had accumulated a lot of metal during the game and he was able to exploit this by grabbing the bell maker in the last round, while I was left with the glass blower from the previous round, meaning I made less points that way and also had to go out of my way to get a bit of sand to go with the metal. Steve had made steady progress, having acquired Prior Philip early on giving him extra an extra VP for every master builder he put in the Priory. Unfortunately for him he came unstuck on the last turn with late draws and I occupied both of the spaces here. This was I think some comeuppance, since he had grabbed the small quarry card forcing me to go to the market to acquire the sand to supply my glass blower.

As I said the game was close with all three of us split by 3 points. Matt & Steve were tied both on points and remaining gold and there is no other tie break.

Next was

San Juan 35 mins
Dave D235
Steve H329

I had a bad feeling about this from the moment when Matt got a Guild Hall from his gold mine early on, already having a smithy on the table. From thereon he spent most of the game playing out production buildings and it was only a stutter at the end that allowed me to catch up in the building race so we both finished with 12. Steve also got a Guild Hall, but later in the game, so his strategy was somewhat compromised. I spent the game waiting for a City Hall which didn't come. I had a Palace at the start and laid down high value violet buildings, including a full set of monuments for a building value of 28, meaning the palace score was not quite enough. What was a bit irritating was the fact that I had 2 Triumphal Arches pass through my hand at various points of the game, which would have won it for me if I had built one of them.

Until tomorrow, which promises to be another low attendance.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Corporation - the first mission

I've posted the write-up of the first mission on my blog

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Hamstercon - 4th August 2007

Having had to work in the morning, me and Ben set off for Luke’s games day in the afternoon, arriving about 2.45pm. The place was easy to find; the upstairs room was a decent size with plenty of tables. A games library had been provided so there was no shortage of stuff to try.
When we arrived, Dave D was already there, deep in a game of Power Grid. Having been relieved of our entrance fee, we were introduced to a guy named Chris and immediately set to playing Age of Empires III. This is currently Ben’s fave as he trashed me at it on Thursday night. The game went well and lasted about 2 hours; Ben pulled off another decisive victory with an inspired use of the University on the final turn. Chris was second, I trailed in third.
Steve Pagetis had arrived, I stopped for a brief word and to watch the game of Tempus (must play this again).
Ben wanted to play HeroScape so we set up a basic two-player game. It drew a few admiring comments from onlookers; the game is fun to play and the modular terrain and pre-painted miniatures are excellent. The dragon figure, in full colour, is nearly 6” long and 6” high to wingtip. An awesome model. Ben won 13:4 in about an hour.
A young lady named Gemma was interested in playing Tikal, so whilst our Heroscape game finished Dave D introduced them to Canal Mania. A chap named Jonny came over and introduced himself and got chatting to Ben; we then tried a new game called Hey, That’s my Fish! In this, you play a colony of penguins zooming around an ice floe, catching fish. As the game progresses the ice floe fragments, eventually you can’t move and you’re out. Once everyone is out then you score your catch. Jonny won the first game; me and Ben tied in second. The game was such fun we played again, this game was more tactical; Jonny won again, Ben was second and I came third.

We then broke for something to eat; as Dave D, Gemma and that group were still playing Canal Mania. When we returned, they had vanished, so we ate tea and chatted in general to Luke, Anna and several other people whose name I never found out.

Dave D then wandered back so I suggested another game of Age of Empires III. We gained a fourth player named Connor and settled down. This game took longer, nearly three hours and ended in a win for DD. I came second, Ben was third with Connor fourth. As Dave himself pointed out, he scored a lot in the final round on colonies as was surprised no-one tried to stop him. I was the only one with a soldier, taking over Brazil; but Connor just kept putting in more men so the battles dragged on a bit. I got it in the end however. It was now 11pm so we returned home.

Overall, it was a great day. Ben really enjoyed it; and can’t wait for the next games con. I think he’ll be coming to MidCon this year. We never got to play Tikal – maybe next time. Thanks to Luke and the other organisers for putting it on; you’ve got to do it again. And for everyone who couldn’t make it: - try and get to the next one.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Session Summary - 1 August 2007

With the vagaries of holidays and such like, it was just me and Steve this week, and that of course meant:

Fury of Dracula 180 mins
Dave D (Dracula)Won
Steve H (Hunters)

I am Count Dracula, eight years ago, I set out to bring the rule of the undead to this world, but was defeated by a group of mortals, or so they thought. How could they truly hope to stop one such as I? I who commanded armies hundreds of years before they born, for now I have returned and taken my place astride the world, despite the pathetic efforts of my past antagonists, my undead minions are in every city to do my bidding.
Day 1
My campaign began in the Black Sea port of Constanta, within easy reach of my great ancestral castle and close to my old foe, Abraham Van Helsing, who learning of my return had travelled to Bucharest, but all was not yet ready, so as dawn broke on that first day, I remained in Constanta and called my dark servants to me, knowing that even should Van Helsing find me, he had had no time to prepare for a battle, even in daylight.
By some inspiration, or pure chance, Van Helsing came to Constanta, but the ensuing battle was inconclusive and following this I departed to Galatz, while he searched Varna to no avail. As the day drew to a close, I sheltered in Castle Dracula, recovering from my exertions, before taking the shape of a great wolf and racing to Belgrade before heading south toward Greece.
Day 2
I arrived in Athens as dawn broke on the second day, creating a new undead, which perhaps would advance me toward my goal. The hunters had deduced my path, but I would set sail before they reached me and I hoped that they, seeing I had eluded them, would turn back before entering the city. I had also by this time been able to gather many resources with the aid of the fearful Immanuel Hildesheim. I was to be surprised, however when Doctor Seward, riding as if the devil was behind him entered the city before I was able to leave, he was however in no shape following his desperate ride to cause much trouble, even in daylight, and I was able to slip away into the Ionian Sea, followed by Seward and, shortly after, by Van Helsing. My new child had been easily dispatched, but I could make more.
I did not wish to linger long at sea, due to the insidious activities of Rufus Smith, who would cause me much pain, were I to remain afloat too long, so I proceeded into the Adriatic and landed at Bari, hoping to conceal a vampire at the foot of Italy. Seward sailed on into the Tyrrhenian and I believe both my pursuers would have missed me, were it not for the accursed accountants who somehow revealed my sea route, allowing the hunters to locate me, knowing that Lord Godalming had been in Venice at the time I landed. Seward landed at Naples, travelling on to Rome to join Godalming, Van Helsing also going to Naples via the Tyrrhenian. They expected to catch me in one of these two locations at Dusk, but, with time running short, it was now twilight and I remained in Bari marshalling a great swarm of bats to protect my vampire.
At midnight I again took wolf form and passed through Rome to Florence, avoiding Seward and Godalming, and then onto Venice with unearthly speed, putting distance between us. Van Helsing went to Bari to investigate the city but was driven back to Naples by the bats.
Day 3
At dawn, I reached Nuremburg and gathered more bats, having passed through Munich in the small hours and felt the touch of a stake in my heart as Van Helsing, returning in the nick of time destroyed my child in Bari. Still I pressed on and sired another vampire in Leipzig before travelling to Frankfurt, then Cologne, laying traps for my pursuers as I went. Seward and Godalming were approaching from the south by different routes, though Seward was driven back by the bats in Nuremburg. Van Helsing was returning up Italy, while Mina Harker, who would be so important in my victory, but had so far, played little part in the story approached from the west, having suffered many delays due to defective travelling papers (not all of them entirely accidental).
I reached Amsterdam at midnight using my powers to cloak the city in a great storm intending to set sail and so lose the hunters in this way. I found, however, another way to evade the pursuit, as friendly agents were able to spirit me away to Galatz, before my ship departed. Almost at the same time, Mina was entering Leipzig, where she found my vampire. She thought she was forewarned of anything she might encounter, but my great power deceived her and the vampire was ready. So Mina was seduced and fell victim again to the bite of the undead, bringing oblivion (if it were not for the soon to be damned sisters of St. Joseph and St. Mary) and a massive boost to my quest for domination.
The small hours brought things full circle as I returned to Constanta to bring another vampire into existence.
Day 4
At dawn I remained in Constanta gathering bats, but the hunters had not been idle, their scouts having revealed my visit to Amsterdam, while newspapers pointed them in the direction of Galatz. Seward and Godalming immediately headed east, while Van Helsing rushed to Galatz with great resolve. Mina was already at hand, having recovered from her encounter and left the convent for Szeged.
I knew that by surviving the day, victory would be mine, but things would be resolved sooner than that. I moved to Bucharest and then to Sofia (the consecrated Belgrade being closed to me) at dusk, gathering a pack of wolves to my side in time for the arrival of Mina. Ah, the children of the night, what music they made as they tore at her flesh in that last hour before sunset. Having escaped the wolves, she had the audacity to attack me. I tried to send her horse wild, but this failed due to some miraculous luck, which no hunter had previously possessed. Enraged by this I dashed the stake she carried from her hands and the battle began. Although she did me some minor harm with sacred bullets, when these were finished the battle proved inconclusive in the last minutes of daylight.
It was to be a short reprieve for Mina as, when night fell, I went out into the streets of Sofia and fed to restore the blood I had just lost. Then I sought her out and this time without the sun’s interference, the battle was short. I immediately caught her in my gaze and bit her as she stood mesmerised. I was victorious!
Wonderful game, it's Steve's turn to be Dracula next time. Until next week.