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 April 2008

Session Summary – 26 March 2008


A little late in reporting this session, but I have added a calendar to the site, which should show upcoming meeting and conventions and you can also go back to previous meetings as far back as 19 March, which I will update to show the games played if you click on the entry. One note, when I looked at this at Dave's last weekend, some of the meetings and Beer and Pretzels seemed to be missing, but it seems fine from my PCs. If someone would like to have a look and let me know if things seem OK, that would be useful. Anyway back to 26 March.
School holidays are with us so Dave was leading the youngsters. It sounded like a good time was being had and the scores are below.
Citadels 65 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Charlotte
1
29
Dave C
2
28
Richard
3
22
Ben
4=
21
James
4=
21
Mathew
6
18
Munchkin 90 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Mathew
1
10
Richard
2=
9
James
2=
9
Dave C
2=
9
Ben
5
7
Charlotte
6
3

 

That left 4 of us and we started with Vinci, for the first time this year. Always a popular game but has suffered of late by there not being room in my bag. I've now moved Pillars of the Earth out since we played it the other week so it was back in. This was Jonathan's first game so a bit of time was spent explaining.
I don't guarantee total recall after a week, but this is what I remember. I went first and picked up Field General/Medicine for a loss of 2. Steve has something with livestock breeding and picked up an extra 2 VP as I had passed it over, Mike had specialist agriculture, while Jonathan picked on Currency + another. The other 2 gained or lost nothing from their choices.
Coming on to the board, I knew that I should be able to spread out quickly, but had the downside that I had no VP bonus. I came on in the north and headed south to occupy the mountain to the north of the black Sea. Unfortunately Steve chose to come in at exactly the same place and did some immediate damage, although my medicine was effective in keeping up my strength. Mike came on at the east of the black sea occupying the mountain there and using this to take the adjacent agricultural areas. Jonathan came on in Ireland and spread without any initial opposition.
As this first "age" proceeded, Mike had the early lead having taken 3 agricultural areas, while Jonathan also scored well with his currency. Steve and I knocked bits off each other and fell behind, but I was able to nearly maintain my forces with medicine and also took some shots at Mike, wanting to make sure that I could force both of them to decline before me. This succeeded, but in so doing I fell a bit behind. Jonathan at this point had moved into the lead, making good points.
The second wave of empires began with Steve entering to the east with a civilisation using militia, giving him some good defence, while Mike with ship building, came in through Scandinavia and headed south intent on destroying Steve's remaining livestock areas. I took Mike and Steve's decline as a cue to do the same, taking agriculture and barbarians and followed straight in Mike's tracks, not wanting to go in the Black Sea area as this was where my original civilisation was still surviving. Jonathan also quickly declined when Steve started taking away his territory and as expected, when currency is lost, his score dropped to virtually nothing and he fell behind while I was able to recover to lost ground.
Around 3 quarters of the way through Steve, Mike and I were very close, but Mike was forced to decline again and this was to throw the game in his favour as he picked up the combination of astronomy and mining, being able to spread to all corners of the board and rack up the points for the rest of the game. I was left in the position with a civilisation that was making reasonable points, but a new one might make better. The problem was that the remnants of my first were still scoring until relatively late in the game (when Jonathan took them out) and by this time, there was not enough time left to make up for the lost tempo involved in declining. Steve did manage to get another new civ in and was able to sneak ahead of me for second place.
Vinci 90 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Mike
1
130
Steve H
2
124
Dave D
3
121
Jonathan
4
109

 

Next up was Industrial Waste; we had all played before so we were able to dive straight in. At the beginning I picked up innovation and hiring/firing cards and decided to try something a little different. Various people on the geek have seemed to suggest that the way to win at this game is to reduce your workforce as quickly as possible and make money by selling raw materials. There also seems to be a view that it is a waste of time to bother with improving your raw materials technology until after the others. There may be a group think thing going on here but I have always found that the price that raw materials tend to go for in our games is not sufficient to make this approach work and if you need to produce you need to use extra cards to innovate to keep this tech in line with your workforce. It seems better from my viewpoint to innovate raw materials together with waste production, the money produced from orders being much better than that from raw material auctions, especially when you can produce using fewer raw materials. This approach has certainly seemed to work for me in the past.
This probably wasn't an accurate check on the theory as Mike also ended up following a workforce strategy. He won, but the result would have been very different if the game had been ended by Jonathan a turn earlier as Mike would have been able to double innovate in the final turn which pushed the game in his favour. Had the game ended the turn before, it would have between Steve and me, possibly a tie, but no more than a point in it either way. As it was Steve was forced into taking out a loan on the final turn, dropping him back.
It should be noted, of course, that delaying the game end was the right thing for Jonathan to do.
Player
Posn.
Points
Mike
1
46
Dave D
2=
42
Jonathan
2=
42
Steve H
4
35

 

That's all for March, I expect to have the first April report up on Saturday.

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