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.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Session Catch Up – 4, 11, 18 June 2008


This is by way of a catch up of what's been going on since the games expo. The last few weeks have been filled with new games.
4 June
Dave had to pop back home to wait for a call from Jen to pick her up from the station, so we tried a quick game of Tsuro, while we waited.
This is a game I have played a few times over at Hinckley on Saturday afternoons. It is great fun and plays up to 8, all this and it is playable in 15 minutes. The game is one of playing tiles on a 6 x 6 grid, each of which has four paths running from one side to another side. You have a piece which starts off the board and must move to the end of its path each time it is extended. This goes on and eventually the pieces will start running off the board or colliding with each other. If either of these happens you are out of the game and the last player remaining is the winner. The elimination aspect is not a problem because the game is so short.
Tsuro 15 mins
Player
Posn.
Mike
1
Dave D
2=
Alec
2=
Ben
4
Steve H
5
During the Tsuro game, Simon arrived and joined Steve, Mike & I, while Ben & Alec set up a game of Munchkin, which Dave soon joined when he returned. We had it in mind to play Steam over Holland, but Simon is not a fan of hex laying train game (or it may just be 18XX games, which this actually is) so we put that aside for another week and played Monastery.
Another games expo purchase, this is the new Ragnar Brothers game, which I tried and enjoyed at the show, but I don't think as much as Canal Mania. I won't go into any detail here about the game here but point you in the direction of my review on the geek. Feelings about the game were mixed, with Mike and Simon not keen, while Steve thought it OK. Simon thought he was doomed from the start but I think this was mostly due to his reluctance to buy his extra monks, which to me seems the most basic of strategy. Mike felt the fact that his secret was tile was brown was a disadvantage. I don't really agree with that but a still have a worry that it is possible to be seriously disadvantages by bad card draws.
Monastery 120 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave D
1
35
Steve H
2
29
Mike
3
23
Simon
4
20
I don't have the Munchkin results, Dave did tell me, but I've forgotten. After that game they started a game of Tinners' Trail, the new Martin Wallace game, another I played at the expo and found quite fun. The game was not finished.
Munchkin 45 mins
Player
Posn.
Dave C
Ben
Alec
Player
Posn.
Dave C
1=
Ben
1=
Alec
1=
11 June
Steve Perkins and Paul were with us this week and we had a split of 3/3, with Steve P, Paul and me on one table and Dave C, Ben & Steve H on the other.
On our table we played Monastery, which played a bit differently with 3. We all went for monks early and the game played quickly ending with the taking of all the letter tiles rather than the end of the second day as in the previous game. My victory was due to having more blessings at the end and a lower deduction from unused buildings. There was again some discussion about the disadvantage of having a lot of brown tile and some solutions offered along the line of making the Abbey dual coloured or maybe grey at the front and brown at the back. I think I'm a little less concerned that there is a serious problem at the beginning as if worse comes to worse, you always have the option of leaving your monk in the abbey at the start, earning a point allowing you to buy your next monk, but I wouldn't be adverse to allowing a mulligan on the first tile draw.
Monastery 75 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave D
1
35
Steve P
2=
28
Paul
2=
28
Over on the other table they played Tinners' Trail and the game went down well with Steve who seemed to have a good victory. I was struck by high the scores were compared with the game I played at expo when 104 (or maybe 105) was a winning score I supposed the difference is the number of players meaning there is less competition for the developments.
Tinners' Trail 75 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Steve H
1
137
Dave C
2
122
Ben
3
104
The 2 games finished at about the same time so we switched tables and Steve, Paul and moved over to Tinners' Trail. The scores in this one averaged higher than the last with first time player Steve P coming out the winner. The ore prices were high at the start meaning we could invest heavily, which is another probable reason for higher scoring.
Tinners' Trail 60 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Steve P
1
136
Paul
2
131
Dave D
3
126
Over on the other table Dave demoed Confucius, but this game went unfinished. Dave has posted a review and session report (for a game he played at home) for this game on the geek.
Confucius 60 mins
Player
Posn.
Dave C
1=
Ben
1=
Steve H
1=
18 June
Nice to see Matt this week after a longish absence, although it is sad we will be losing him when he moves down south in a couple of months time.
Steve H, Mike & I were agreed on giving Steam over Holland a run out and Matt joined us, he being new to 18XX. This is a game I first became aware of some time back and I was interested because it looked like and 18XX game that could be played in an evening, so when I saw a copy at games expo I picked it up. The game is shorter than most 18XX by operating over a fixed 15 rounds (a stock round followed by 2 operating rounds and then repeat). The game develops quickly by allowing each company to lay 2 tiles on a turn (either 2 yellow or 1 yellow and an upgrade). Companies get money for the shares they sell and they can raise money by selling unsold shares to the open market rather than waiting for them to be bought by players.
In this game we all went our own ways each having control of a single company. That left 3 other companies which were never started. I don't know whether this is normal in this game. The critical point as I see it occurred at the transition to phase 4 of the game. In the previous stock round Steve sold one of my MSN shares dropping the price and leaving me to operate third. I sold one of Steve's HYSM shares to move his price down too, but that still left me to operate behind Mike's OSM. When we got to the operating round Mike did not declare a dividend, but did not buy the first 4 train which would have meant his losing his 2 trains, this left me to get an extra turn out of my 2 train and buy the 4 train. If Mike had bought the 4 train I would have still been able to buy the 4, but because of the 2 trains rusting my share price would have stayed the same for a turn. As it was it went up and continued to rise for the rest of the game, often by 2 levels at a time.
The final scores were pretty much in the order of who had the most valuable company. This does not have the flavour of a full blown 18XX, but is certainly a good option for an evening. It was suggested that 3 might be a better number than 4 and it will be interesting to try this some time.
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave D
1
2454
Steve H
2
2142
Mike
3
1733
Matt
4
1513
Over on the other table were Dave, Ben and Alec who first played Gheos, in what seems like dominant win for Dave.
Gheos 50 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave C
1
116
Alec
2
48
Ben
3
36
Next up was Pandemic, which Matt had brought along. This is a game which I've been very curious about due to all the coverage on the geek and I have almost bought it at times, but I have been put off by the fact that it is a purely cooperative game. I tend to prefer a game where it is one player against a group like Scotland Yard or Fury of Dracula, rather than everybody against the system. They seem to have had a good time with it, the first game was lost to the diseases, but they won the second. I hope Matt will bring this along again as I would be interested in giving it a try.
Pandemic 40 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave C
1=
L
Alec
1=
L
Ben
1=
L
Pandemic 40 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave C
1=
W
Alec
1=
W
Ben
1=
W
As I write this a group will be gathered at Rosliston for what seems to have become an annual event. I have not been available for the last couple of years and it seems to have become an opportunity to play games that I would not like, so I have decided to give it a miss in case I had the likes of El Grande forced on me. I expect someone will do an account of the weekend.

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