Another Week, another Steve. This time is was Steve Perkins, down from Telford. If all the Steves ever show up at once it's going to be really confusing. When I walked in Dave & Ben were introducing Steve to
|Mordred 30 mins|
This time the good guys beat Mordred so the game was decided on VP and it looks like Steve had a good win.
While this was going on Steve H and Mike were chatting and I joined them, we spent a bit of time perusing my copy of the book Hobby Games, agreeing and/or disagreeing with some of the entries, while the others finished off, then we found a 6 player game to play.
|Condottiere 45 mins|
|Mike||1||3 in row|
This is played on a small board showing Italy broken up into areas and the players fight over each area in turn, using a hand of cards, consisting of mercenaries rated from 1-6,10 (I think that's right) together with some special cards, 2 of which also have a combat value, while others allow you to do things like modifying the existing cards (for example).
The game is played in a series of battles and the territory is won by the player with the highest value of cards when everyone has passed (or the battle is terminated by play of a surrender card). It is not a long game, but I can't say I found it enjoyable, there being several problems as far as I can see. First is that cards are not refreshed until all but one player has run out, so if you don't have a good hand you are effectively stuck from the beginning, denied even the possibility of discarding your cards in the hope of drawing better ones, this was certainly true of our game, since the game ended before anyone had a chance to refill. This problem may be reduced with fewer players because I would have though that refresh rates would be quicker.
The other problem, which to me broke the game was the way Steve P and Mike, when they were the only 2 players left, were able to agree to carve up 2 areas between them before actually doing battle over an area, which Mike won and with it the game. If this sort of arrangement between players is allowed, I don't think I would want to play this again, if the opportunity presents itself. (3/10).
While writing this, the idea of battling over regions has given me the urge to see if I can find Candidate and dig that out.
After this we split 4 & 2.
Dave & Ben played
|Khronos 50 mins|
Someone described this as Tigris & Euphrates through time. Now it has been so long wince I played T&E and I've never played this, but Dave was explaining a bit about it to me on Saturday and it does sound interesting. He mentioned an online tutorial, but I haven't been able to find it. I may get a chance to play this Saturday.
After that it was
|Vikings 40 mins|
I did play this with Dave, Jenny and Ben the other week and didn't find it really to my taste, although again I had a feeling that it might play better with fewer players. That said Ben certainly likes it and seems to be good at it.
Meanwhile the rest of us introduced Steve to
|Industrial Waste 60 mins|
This was a strange game which was marked by a strange lack of orders in the early stage and a certain lack of innovation throughout, there were several accidents (which affected no one) and I did see a few innovation cards cast aside as duplicates, together with a few which were not selected due to players needing other cards in other sets. I don't think anyone innovated more than 3 times throughout the game.
As a result of all this the game was a close and low scoring affair. Although there was little innovation there was no shortage of growth and I was able to advance my factory on most turns. I could have brought the game to an end earlier than I did, but held the card until the next turn when I was first player for 2 reasons, one of which was that I hoped to be able to draw a bit of innovation the following turn, but mostly because I was sitting on 8 on the Waste track and strongly suspected that Steve H, who had a card to play after me would play Waste removal and push be up into the yellow zone, leaving me prey to the end game accident, which would destroy my chances of winning. I was right and Steve did play the card, but I was able to get away with it as no accident came up when the cards for the following turn were laid out.
In the next turn I was able to pick up an innovation card, while Steve H couldn't, I also outbid him in a raw material auction denying him the material needed to produce the order, he had picked up. As it turned out Steve P outbid me so I didn't have to pay for the goods myself. When I ended the game that turn, the only points separating us, were my 3 point advantage on the growth track.
This was Steve P's first try of the game and he seems to have enjoyed it. I noticed he has rated it 8 on the Geek, so another convert to what I think is one of the most underrated games of them all.
Finally, it was another run out for
|Guillotine 25 mins|
This is our filler for all seasons and was a close but low scoring game. If only Steve H hadn't terminated the game with the Scarlet Pimpernel, the turn before I was to make my move. Oh Well.
Until this evening.