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, 28 February 2010

Session Report – 24 February 2010

1 comments

A split into 2 groups of 8 this week and further run outs for the 2 games, not played before this year, but currently sitting on top of the year's most played.

First World Without End, played for the 3rd time with the same player line up on each occasion and the speed with which we were able to get though the game is an indication of the advantage of having all players with recent experience. With 3 times played we also have had 3 different winners, me taking my turn having previously finished 2nd all the time. Although this is certainly a different game to the earlier Pillars of the Earth, the 2 games do have a certain random element in common, which adds variety to the game play and this is something I feel is sorely needed in many of today's games. The trick is getting the balance right and I think that it is with this one. All that said, however, it is inevitable that it is going to catch people out on occasion and this certainly happened to Steve and to a lesser extent, Dave.

In the first game, Dave won by virtue of medical knowledge, in the second Steve's building won the day. In this one I supposed I also went with building (I had no medical knowledge at all), but at the same time I didn't do that much building, in addition I picked up points from my houses and donations to building projects, together with collecting from the favour track based on my piety and loyalty, both of which I was pretty flush with for much of the game. I was also able to take advantage when others were unable to meet their end of chapter obligations, where I always made mine.

World Without End 90 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Dave D

54.5

2

Dave F

48

3

Andrew

42.5

4

Steve H

33.5


After that we discussed playing again, but I think we would have been pushing it to get a second game finished. We played Ra: The Dice Game, after which I left, while the others played a repeat game of that, I do not have the result of that second game at this time.

Ra: The Dice Game 30 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Steve H

38

2

Dave D

32

3

Dave F

30

4

Andrew

26


Second game added on 11 March, looks like a low scoring game

Ra: The Dice Game 30 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Dave F

29

2

Steve H

25

3

Andrew S

18


On the other table the repeated game was Louis XIV, which has also had 3 different winners in 3 games, although in this case that is from a pool of 3 total players.

Louis XIV 120 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Andy

43

2

Colin

42

3=

Donald

39

3=

Mike

39


February 2010 – 4 meetings, 15 games played, average attendance 8.5

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Session Report – 17 February 2010

1 comments

With 11 people we were spread across 3 tables this week with 5 on one and 2 3's on the others.

On the 5 player table we had Amun-Re, one of our top 10, this is a game that I like but prefer to limit myself to once or twice a year. When looking over the stats for last year I discovered that it hadn't been played for the first year since we have records (starting 2003), so I decided it could do with another run out, knowing it is a game that Steve and Mike certainly like a lot. The history on this one is.

Game: Amun-Re

Plays: 16

Play Time (Hours): 29.92

Player Hours: 133.42

First Played: Sep-03

Last Played: Feb-10

  

Plays

Wins

Ties

Gordon

9

4

0

Mike

10

2

0

Steve H

14

3

0

Dave D

8

2

0

David

1

0

0

Dave C

2

1

0

Steve P

2

0

0

Jonathan

1

0

0

Julian

4

2

0

James

1

0

0

Richard B

6

1

0

Daniel

1

0

0

Duncan

2

0

0

John C

1

0

0

Matt

3

1

0

Luke

1

0

0

Richard C

1

0

0

Andy

1

0

0

Ben

1

0

0

Donald

1

0

0

Colin

1

0

0


We were joined in this game by Donald and Colin who were trying the game for the first time and the scores perhaps indicate that this is one of those games where first timers are at something of a disadvantage. Steve, Mike & I were 16/15/14 in that order after the first epoch, with each of us gaining 5 points for most pyramids on one side of the Nile, I had a power card (all provinces away from the Nile), while Steve and Mike scored for 2 point temples.

Going into the second epoch I had 3 power cards to aim for and was able to make them all (all on one side of the Nile, all in the upper Nile and 7+ power card symbols) adding to this I spent all my money on building stones on the final turn to build 3 pyramids for a total of 9 to ensure the 5 point bonus on my side. Steve had a couple of temples and spent 20 in the last turn sacrifice to just about get the value up to the maximum 4 (Colin & I had played our -3 cards), but in so doing he found himself only 3rd in the most money behind Donald and Mike. I think if Steve had spent 2 less the temple value would have dropped without him gaining in the money order, but I've an idea if he had dropped his bid still further he might have been able to get to most money without dropping the temple value to 2, which would have gained him 4 on the money, while losing 2 on the temples and giving him the win. As I said I can't say that for sure, but as it was I won on the tie break of most pyramids.

Amun-Re 130 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Dave D

44+

2

Steve H

44

3

Mike

38

4

Donald

31

5

Colin

27


The other major game played was Dungeon Lords, which seems to be getting a lot of good buzz at the moment. It is designed by Vlaada Chv√°til, designer of Through the Ages amongst others, a game which I have recently had the chance to play with Dave & Ben, an enjoyable game, although I am nowhere near getting the hang of it.

This game has a theme that certainly appeals to me, although from what I have read of it, it seems that the mechanics are not what I'd normally think of as my favourite type. I have to play this to see where I stand.

Dungeon Lords 120 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Steve Pe

23

2

Steve P

13

3

Paul

9


On the third table, while the rest of us were playing 1 game, 3 games were played, first was Dominion, for the first time this year (the 21st play in total). I think that the Seaside expansion may have been in use, but can't say for sure.

Dominion 80 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Dave F

62

2

Nigel

54

3

Andrew

27


Next up was Roll Through The Ages

Roll Through The Ages: The Bronze Age 40 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Dave F

33

2

Andrew

19

3

Nigel

18


And finally Tsuro, completing a hat trick for Dave F. This is also the 21st play for this one.

Tsuro 20 mins.

Posn.

Player

1=

Dave F

1=

Andrew

3

Nigel


On a general note, I've made a few changes to the layout having discovered a few new features available. There are some other things currently behind the scenes but the most obvious visible changes at the moment are the search in the top right and the calendar has gone (it will be back); also I've made the page a bit wider.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Session Report – 10 February 2010

0 comments

Another 8 players this week. On one table we had the first appearance this year of the club's most played game, Power Grid, this being its 48th appearance, we'll have to think of a suitable celebration for when it reaches 50. After I posted the previous session, I did a bit of work with my stats manager to allow the generation of games history tables, such as that for this below (I think most people who've ever been to the club have played this game).

Game: Power Grid

Plays: 48 (1 No Result)

Play Time (Hours): 100.67

Player Hours: 421.33

First Played: Jul-04

Last Played: Feb-10

  

Plays

Wins

Ties

Steve H

33

9

0

Dave D

43

15

0

Gordon

21

10

0

Mike

17

5

0

Keith

1

0

0

Pete B

1

0

0

Julian

5

0

0

Toby

6

1

0

Chris

1

0

0

Steve G

3

1

0

Matt

12

1

0

Mark S

1

0

0

Duncan

3

0

0

Richard B

5

1

0

Luke

2

0

0

Richard C

2

0

0

Pete Bl

1

0

0

Simon

8

0

0

Richard M

1

0

0

Kamil

1

0

0

Jason

1

0

0

Steve C

1

0

0

Paul

4

2

0

Jonathan

3

0

0

Steve Pe

4

1

0

Dave C

3

0

0

Ben

3

0

0

Alec

2

0

0

Ben C

1

0

0

Andy

2

1

0

Ben T

1

0

0

Donald

2

0

0

Dave F

2

0

0

Daniel

1

0

0

Nigel

1

0

0

Colin

1

0

0

Andrew

1

0

0


This particular game was the first played using the Spain/Portugal board and the areas eliminated were the green area north of Portugal and the red in the south, down by Gibraltar. I think in retrospect, this wasn't the ideal layout, having Portugal in west, separated by a narrow corridor (2 cities wide) from the rest of the map. Mike placed himself in Portugal at the start and was able to expand into the corridor, effectively blocking expansion in that direction while leaving him several city sites.

The game went on longer than I would normally expect for a 4 player game of Power Grid and some of that was probably due to having 2 new players, but even so I was expecting the game to end 2 turns before it actually did and was somewhat surprised that someone did not have the cash to end it. Another possible factor in the long game is the change that forces the wind plants 18, 22 & 27 onto the top of the deck at the beginning of step 2, by the time this stage is reached I would normally be looking to buy plants powering more cities than the 3 (for the 27) maximum of these, so the effect would seem to be to lengthen the expected midgame stall. I'll be interested to try this board again with a more open layout, but at first try it does not seem as interesting as China and Korea from the year before.

Power Grid 160 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Mike

18

2

Colin

17++

3

Dave D

17+

4

Andrew

17


Over on the other table was Hermagor, another game making its first appearance after being out for several years. I really know nothing about it, except that it seems to be some kind of trading and transportation game set in a fantasy land, although I stand to be corrected on that

Hermagor 120 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Steve H

109

2

Andy

103

3

Dave F

92

4

Donald

86


Following that there was TransEuropa, we tried TransAmerica many years ago (pre Sep-03) and I was left absolutely cold by it. TransEuropa is essentially the same but in Europe, although I understand this game included the Vexation expansion (also usable with the first game), which looks like it could improve things a lot.

TransEuropa 30 mins.

Posn.

Player

Score

1

Andy

10

2

Donald

5

3=

Dave F

0

3=

Steve H

0