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.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Session Catch Up – August 2008


After a few weeks of silence, this will be a bit of a catch up on what's been going on. I haven't written before, because after the Britannia game, the games we have played since (although for the most part being perfectly enjoyable at the time) have not really inspired me to write about them, so this will probably be somewhat brief considering the number of games we have got through in that time.
OK to start at the beginning
6 August
This was Matt's last visit to the club before moving down south and I am sure that we are all sorry to see him go, while wishing him all the best of luck in the future.
We played Agricola, which we first played the previous week and I had also played at the weekend with Dave C. On first play I thought the game was interesting but was unsure, but the game seemed better after the Saturday game and I have to say I enjoyed this one. I think I would now describe it as one I would happily play again, but definitely not up there with quite a few others (those I rate 9+ on the geek). I think the best way to talk about this is to mention the play of the cards, which are what is going to give the variation between plays, I suspect the game without the cards would quickly become very boring. All the cards in this game were from the E deck.
In this case, Steve Perkins played an early occupation (the Reeve I think) awarding bonus points to the player with most occupations, but hadn't banked on Matt who had the tutor giving a point for each following occupation he played. The result was Matt scoring a lot of bonus points giving him the win despite having no animal and only 1 (albeit very large pasture. He did however have a nice big stone house. Steve Perkins & I weren't too far behind. Steve H put together a few cards based on the fishing space and was rarely in trouble when the harvest came, but he seemed to fall down on several other aspects. As for the other 2 games I've played the begging cards were not needed.
Agricola 150 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Matt
1
45
Dave D
2
40
Steve Pe
3
37
Steve H
4
28
On the other table Dave ran the Castles and Crusades RPG as described here.
13 August
We played a couple of new games this evening, with Gordon and Steve Pagett over. The first was Patrician, which Gordon brought back from Essen last year and passed on to me unplayed a week or two before. In the game the players are master builders building towers for the prestige of patricians of Middle Ages Italy.
You play cards to place floors on towers in 8 towns (7 with less than 5 players) and also pick up the face up card adjacent to each town, so when you play the cards you not only have to consider the floor(s) you are building, but also what cards you are going to get to build future floors as well as to accumulate the sets of patrician head which also give you good points at the end of the game in addition to those you score for having the majority of the floors in the 2 towers per town.
I definitely did not get the hang of this game, with my only points coming from a set of patricians which I was dealt at the start. It seems OK and I must try it again but nothing special and I was somewhat disappointed when comparing with the great Web of Power by the same designer Michael Schacht.
Patrician 45 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Steve P
1
49
Mike
2
33
Steve H
3
30
Gordon
4
26
Dave D
5
6
The next game was Iliade, which I know Mike has been bringing along for some time. I made some rather over the top comments at the end of the game, which I really should withdraw and content myself with saying that if I never play this again it will be too soon.
The game is by Dominique Ehrhard, who also designed Condotierre, which we played last October (see here for my thoughts on that) and they have similarities in that they both consist of a series of battles consisting of playing cards in turn and you do not get to refill your hand after each battle, although in this one at least you do at least get to draw 3.
There are 2 types of battles, the names of which I don't now recall and in the first case there were victory points to be won for the first 3 positions and a negative for coming last. In the second type there is just one winner and no negatives and we spent a good deal of time discussing the rules for it which seemed very unclear.
I followed a strategy of making sure I didn't come last in any of the first types and sitting out of the second type to replenish my hand, this got me to the end in with a chance of winning at the end and it was this end game that finally decided me that this is a bad rather than merely iffy game, since it came down to a classic king make situation, with Steve P having the power to choose between Steve H or me as the winner, he chose not to intervene which gave me the game. It was also the end game which decided me against Condottiere.
Iliade 70 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave D
1
13
Steve H
2
9
Steve P
3
8
Mike
4
5
Gordon
5
2
Dave's role playing report (I see he just posted) is here.
20 August
With Dave C away on holiday, Mike played Totopoly and Carcassonne with the younger members; he sent me his comments on the Totopoly game:
"We started with a very competitive auction, where top prices were paid. Walroy Stables, the Vet and the horse (which eventually came 2nd) just abut recouped their cost, but James was unlucky to get very little income from Stevedon Stables. Training was reasonably uneventful, although some top horses landed white spoiler cards, whilst there was some heavy betting and not just for players' nominated favourites.
As for the race itself, Richard's top horse took a useful lead at about halfway and never looked in danger of being beaten, whilst Mike's and Charlotte's top horses fought hard to get the minor placings. The final result, however, depends on cash, and unusually the betting decided the winner, as Mike's heavy backing of the eventual winner just managed to swing the result his way, whilst Charlotte was the other big gainer at the Tote to get a comfortable 3rd."
Totopoly 90 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Mike
1
880
Richard
2
780
Charlotte
3
590
James
4
250
Carcassonne 45 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Charlotte
1
93
Mike
2
70
James
3
62
Richard
4
44
Steve H and I played 2 games of Race for the Galaxy, with Matt (one of the other youngsters).In the first game, I went for Alien stuff with the Alien Tech Institute and Alien Rosetta Stone world, while in the second I went for military using the New Galactic Order. I wouldn't have said either game was high scoring, but the scores in both were similar, with me winning and Matt coming last as is really to be expected playing this for the first time.
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave D
1
38
Steve H
2
33
Matt(2)
3
17
Race for the Galaxy 50 mins
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave D
1
39
Steve H
2
34
Matt(2)
3
19
27 August
The youngsters played a game of Munchkin together, while Steve's daughter Charlotte joined him, Gordon and I as she apparently does not like that game. I do not have any info as to how that game went.
The first game was old favourite Industrial Waste. I did not do that much production, and concentrated on pushing down my worker technology and growing my factory in the early stages, making a few goods and supplementing my income by selling raw materials. Interestingly though by the end of the game both Gordon and Charlotte had actually reduced their workforces to 1, while mine was on 2 and Steve overtook me in the growth stakes to go to 20, as I stood on 19.
Steve pursued a policy of driving down his pollution technology and producing a lot of good, but lost out on the costs of paying his workers and also buying raw materials, the costs of which seemed a bit higher this game than they sometimes are in our games, so I was able to win by virtue of having more money despite being behind on innovation and growth.
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave D
1
56
Steve H
2
50
Gordon
3
41
Charlotte
4
34
We then played 10 days in the USA, which is a fun little filler and I won for the first time in (I think) 6 games. I left a little early at that point as I had not been feeling very well during the day.
Player
Posn.
Points
Dave D
1
Won
Steve H
2=
Gordon
2=
Charlotte
2=
That's it for August; maybe I'll stay a bit more up to date in September.

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