As it’s the end of the month, I've decided to post a summary for the complete month rather than separate weekly ones, which should resume in February. I'm also going to post an annual summary for last year. Anyway here's what happened in January.
The first week of the year meant we had Steve's children and Ben's friend Matthew along who Dave looked after along with Ben, while Mike, Matt, Steve and I set up Britannia. Steve so enjoyed this when he was introduced to it at Mid Con that we had agreed that we would play another game, starting on a Wednesday and finishing on a Friday at someone's house. We scheduled the completion of this for the 11 Jan at what ended up being at Matt's. Just as we were about ready to start, Julian appeared and there was some discussion about whether to abandon Britannia in favour of something for five, but eventually it was agreed that Julian would move over to join Dave and the youngsters who were not role playing but doing board games that week.
The story of the Britannia game is here. On the other table the games played were Kill Doctor Lucky and Ave Caesar. Julian won the first and then left, I gather that they created a house rule with regard to the spite tokens, when the game looked like going on forever. Apparently a full set of races did not take place in Ave Caesar and Dave mentioned that he did not get the chance for his big comeback. The scores were
|Ave Caesar 60 mins|
This week there were 5 of us and it was the turn of Kremlin.
I took the early lead with 5 IP giving me control of Nestor Aparatchik, Julian had first taken control with 1 IP and played a card to cure him of his illness, this was very kind of him as when I took over at the parade he was able to wave without rolling as he was also the following turn before dying. I managed to get Karienko into the top spot, but unfortunately Julian matched me in influence and of course the other tipped control in his favour. Karienko fell ill at this point and could not wave before I took a flyer and took control using my turn 3 extra IP. It did not come off as Karienko snuffed it.
It was now Steve's turn to take control as Sergei Eatstumuch was promoted to KGB head. He took to the Sanatorium after going down with a case of the sniffles, but came back for the funeral commission following the death of Karienko to conduct the election of the new chief in the absence of a foreign minister. Neither of his nominations was acceptable to the Politburo so he somehow became party chief after spending the early part of the game as a bit of a laughing stock in the ministry of sport. Because of circumstances hew had to return to the sanatorium after the funeral commission and so was unable to wave but he returned the following year and for 2 years he waved twice and conducted a reign of terror together with Steve’s other lackey Schootemdedsky at the KGB before both died.
In the remaining 4 turns no party chief was able to wave and the game was called a tie between me and Steve, but special note must be paid to Natasha Nogoodnik (Matt had played a great bureaucrat card on her), who somehow managed to remain in a top tier slot for the entire game despite hostile party chiefs, before being sent to Siberia in a purge right at the end.
|Kremlin 150 mins|
A new face this week, who is a male and goes by the name of Barbie, but I don't know the story behind this. Dave introduced him to Martin Wallace's game Brass, with the results as below.
|Brass 150 mins|
At the other table it was a first outing of the year for Power Grid, this played on the Central European board with the large deck variant from the expansion, so we were playing on a board of 32 cities with 20 required to trigger the end of the game. I got off to a reasonably good start picking up a couple of early plants powering 5 cities a piece. Features of the game seemed to be an abnormally long stall in mid game when only poor plants were available, which was to be expected after a lot of more powerful ones being available early and a shortage of Nuclear plants, I think Steve picked up a good one early on but only lower power ones came out late and no one was interested. We discovered afterwards that 3 powerful nuclear plants were among the five thrown out at the beginning of the game. The result of this was that Steve watched with joy as the price of uranium fell through the floor, while the prices of oil and coal rocketed. Step 3 of the game was delayed due to inaction in the power plant market and a situation was reached where nobody could end the game because the cities weren't available. Of course that this meant everyone had loads of money to finish when step 3 did start and it was a case of who could get the best plants in the final auctions. I dropped out of a battle with Steve for one plant and was happy to see the number 60 (8 cities for no fuel) plant appear. Mike didn't compete with me much for it as he knew he could not win because he would be denied fuel for his oil plant.
|Power Grid 120 mins|
It was nice to see Steve Perkins and also Paul who we haven't see for about 6 months. When I arrived they were playing Mordred with Dave & Ben. A black pall obscured the board as the forces of darkness swept to victory with Dave winning on the basis of being least evil.
|Mordred 30 mins|
On a split to 2 threes, there was another outing for Brass, which Steve enjoyed and I must play again having had a go at Midcon, scores below.
|Brass 150 mins|
On the other table Steve and I played Race for the Galaxy with Ben. This was a pretty close fought game between me and Steve and the scores seem to be getting bigger although from reading comments at the geek we still have some way to go. Still this was my first time into the fifties.
|Race for the Galaxy 45 mins|
Following this Steve introduced us to Taluva, which is a tile laying game and definitely one with depth that belies its simple mechanics. Basically you lay tiles to form an island and place huts towers and temples to build up settlements. The game goes on until all the 48 tiles are placed or until one player exhausts his supply of 2 of his 3 building types. In the first case the winner is the one with the most temples, followed by the most towers, then the most huts or in the second case the winner is the one who ended the game. What makes the game in my view is the ability to build up the island by placing tiles on top of others, possibly destroying existing huts and dividing settlements. Towers can only be place on level 3 or higher. The game is short and we played 2 games, both finished by a player running out of 2 of 3 building types.
|Taluva 30 mins|
|Taluva 30 mins|
The last meeting of the month saw 5 players and we started with everyone gathered together to play Citadels. Steve won this game with a strategy of building few buildings but of high quality. It was Mike who finished the game using the Architect to build 2 buildings in a turn, but just missed the win despite the finishing bonus. I thought I might have stood a chance had the game gone on another turn, being on 7 buildings and having a completed all 5 of the colours for that bonus on the turn Mike ended it. Dave suffered badly from being assassinated, being collateral damage from assassins after Steve, but never managing to find him.
|Citadels 70 mins|
Following that we split 3 & 2 with Dave introducing Steve to Memoir 44, which I gather he enjoyed despite losing a close fought contest on Sword beach.
|Memoir '44 70 mins|
Ben, Mike & I played Taluva, which I enjoyed the previous week and consequently gone out and bought my own copy. Ben had also greatly enjoyed it. Both game finished with a player running out of building types as had both the previous week's games. This might be a characteristic of the 3 player game, because you would not get so many turns with 4. The first game was close with no one very far away from the win. In the second game I was behind early on courtesy of some volcanic eruptions instigated by Mike, also by not thinking through my tile placement sufficiently well.
|Taluva 35 mins|
|Taluva 25 mins|
Right, that's all for January, hopefully regular weekly reports should now resume with February.
I now need to debug the stats sheet, because the new 2008 copy seems to have developed bugs (Done).