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.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Stats Review 2013

This is the 2013 review of games played at the club, corresponding articles for 2008 - 2012 are linked from the "Previously" box to the right, usually under January of the following year, but sometimes under December of the year in question, as this article should be. As last year I include a comparison with the previous year. Full details are on the Stats Pages on the website, which I have been in the habit of updating approximately weekly since July instead of annually as previously.  There is also a geeklist of all the games played here.

Thursday 19 December 2013

Games Played 18 December 2013

The last session of the year and we down to 7 from last week's high. That said we knew that some would be absent and the absolutely foul weather may have put others off.

Christmas & New Year

Last night was the last Wednesday session of the year due to next Wednesday being Christmas Day. The following week is New Year's Day when it is intended that there be a normal meeting.

A number of people have expressed an interest so what will happen is that Dave D will be there at the normal time and if no one else turns up he will go home. All this is subject to there not being a thick layer of snow on the ground.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year who read this.

Sunday 15 December 2013

Games Played 11 December 2013

Another milestone this week with 18 in attendance, the highest recorded for the club. The previous highest was 16 dating back to July 2005, we have had 15 on 6 previous occasions including twice since October this year. This week we welcomed three new attendees, 2 Chris's and Grace.

Saturday 7 December 2013

Games Played 4 December 2013

Just 9 this week, I believe there were some motorway problems, but I don't know whether that made a difference beyond delaying Dave & Gordon. We split 3 ways and I list the games below without comment other than that I don't think King of Tokyo is at its best with only 3 players and that I got home rather earlier than the previous week.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Games Played 27 November 2013

15 this week and I thought a picture of our new space would be appropriate, we were spread over 4 tables this week which would not have been possible previously and as can be seen there is still room for at least a couple of other games.

Saturday 23 November 2013

Games Played 20 November 2013

This was the first meeting at out new venue, the Stag & Three Horseshoes, with 11 people in attendance and expressing favourable first impressions. The extra space is great, although we did learn that there is a right way to lift the tables when moving them.

Although the place had changed, the games were very much the usual suspects being (as at this moment 5 of the top 6 games played this year), although going on longer. We have more available time in the new place and in this case the last players didn't leave until around 11:30. If this is the regular situation, then the recorded player hours are going to rise regardless of whether we get more people or not.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Games Played 13 November 2013

This was our last meeting at the Townsend Social club as from next week we will be at the Stag. 10 people were in attendance. The games played again included Tzolk'in, now with the expansion, which sounds as if it makes the game longer.

Full list of games follows

Halesowen Boardgamers is moving

After meeting at the Townsend Social Club (previously the Conservative Club) since the 20th Century. Halesowen Boardgamers is moving to a new venue.

Starting from 20 November we will now meet at the Stag & Three Horseshoes pub. This is on the Birmingham side of Halesowen at the top of Mucklow Hill. A room has been arranged on the upper floor which is several times larger than our previous location and will make it possible to run more than three games at the same time, while it should also be easy to move around if someone needs to get out of the room without having to squeeze between the backs of chairs. It should also be possible to stay until around 11:30 allowing the possibility for slightly longer games to be played if required.

There is separate access from the outside of the pub at the back,  so it won't be necessary to lug bags through the bar area and we will also have access to the bar from inside. Car Parking is at the front and back of the pub and (from an approximate count using Google's satellite photography) looks to support 80 to 90 cars which should be enough to accommodate both ourselves and the pub's other clientèle.

Based on current attendances, there should be no need to change the £1 weekly charge.

For further location information see our website here or the pub's site here. Any queries contact Dave D.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Games Played 6 November 2013

14 this week with the addition of Cedric, Mark W's friend from Germany, who's in the country for a couple of weeks.

Games played were as follows, Power Grid being played on the Baden-Wuerttemberg board.Having bought coal plant 25 in the second round, my expansion was slow and I thought I was being seriously screwed by the amount of coal that Phil was buying up using the 8 and 20 plants, both of which burn 3 coal, but things improved as we moved to the early step 2 (5 cities) when Coal refreshed at 9 per turn and I was able to play from the front of  the player order for most of the game after that.

Power Grid - 130 Mins.
1Dave D16
2Steve Pe14
3James S14
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 100 Mins.
1Dave F51
2Steve H46
Love Letter - 25 Mins.
1Steve H3
2Dave F2
The Witches - 80 Mins.
1Mark R24
2Steve W23
3Mark W23
Citadels - 50 Mins.
1Steve W31
2Mark R27
4Mark W23

Sunday 3 November 2013

Games Played 30 October 2013

11 this week including newcomer Stan, we also saw Lee & Rachel back, it being half term.

Games played included Battlestar Galactica with Pegasus, I also included the characters only from the Exodus expansion and 2 of those appeared in the game. The characters were as below

Andy S - Samuel Anders
Dave D - Admiral Helena Cain
Dave G - Chief Galen Tyrol
James S - Cally Tyrol
Mark W - President Gaius Baltar

This was a game that seemed to go reasonably well for humanity up to the sleeper agent phase, although there were signs that Food and Morale might become problematic. As Admiral I guided the fleet to an Asteroid Field and then to Deep Space to reach 5 distance, while holding off on using my Blind Jump ability lest I find I was a Cylon, later in the game. At the same time we were only briefly free of attacking Cylon ships as  we were "Surrounded" on the first Crisis phase following the first jump.

In both cases the fleet was able to jump away without damage, despite losing 2 civilian ships (which fortunately carried nothing useful) and in both cases making early jumps (lucky die rolls). The other factor was due to adept manoeuvring of Civilian ships using Communications, while Anders seemed parculiarly ineffective as a pilot, never having Maximum Firepower. Initially this was put down to his being not very good, but perhaps the truth may have been in the later discovery that he had been a Cylon from the start.

Come the sleeper phase I suddenly found myself a Cylon. Knowing that Baltar whose turn was next up would immediately use his Cylon detector against me and the current turns crisis being "Pressure the Supply Ships", I (as Admiral) elected to take -2 Food, reducing it to 2, representing a serious problem for the humans (although it was Morale that would be their downfall). On Baltar's turn he did check me (although I would have thought my allegiance was obvious) and then drew "Guilt by Collusion" as his crisis allowing him to send me to the brig by passing it, saving an Admiral's Quarters action. On Anders turn "Thirty-Three" brought more Cylon ships on to the board and on my turn I played Critical Situation allowing me 2 actions, I launched a Scout, hoping to get a look at a really bad destination that I could blind jump to, but the scout failed losing the humans a raptor, having already lost two. At that point I decided to reveal and headed off to the resurrection ship.

At this point we were looking like running short of time (as often happens) and I was trying to hurry us along, but from this point on, the game moved to quick close, due to crisis results. First "Scar" appeared, then it was "Colonial Day" and Cally elected to take the skill check  which was failed with a suspicious number of red cards, plus a 5 Green from me resulting to -2 morale (down to 4). Next it was "Forced Water Mining" and Baltar chose not to take the check resulting in +1 food and -1 morale (down to 3), followed, on Anders turn, by "Informing the Public", he chose the skill check which was failed resulting in -2 morale (down to 1). On my turn I activated the raiders in the cylon fleet and Scar moved into a group of undefended civilian ships. I can't remember the next crisis, but the ensuing raider activation resulted in Scar destroying 2 civilian ships, one of which lost the final morale. I think I would have jumped the fleet previously, but I was no longer giving advice due to my new found allegiance and by that time I think the game was essentially lost to humanity anyway.

A full list of games played appears below.

Battlestar Galactica - 150 Mins.
1Dave D0
1Andy S0
3Mark W0
3James S0
3Dave G0
Citadels - 70 Mins.
2Steve G28
3Andy T25
China - 40 Mins.
Love Letter - 10 Mins.
San Juan - 30 Mins.
1Steve H36
2Andy T35
Eight-Minute Empire - 20 Mins.
2Steve H14
3Andy T11

Full details for October

October saw a total of 142.92 player hours recorded, which is the highest recorded for a single month, beating the previous high of 122.83 recorded in March 2006.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Games Played 23 October 2013

10 people this week, games played as follows. I don't think I recall a game of Thurn & Taxis being so one sided as that one.

Suburbia - 90 Mins.
1Dave F130
Vegas - 20 Mins.
1Dave F360000
Vegas - 20 Mins.
2Dave F360000
Saint Petersburg - 100 Mins.
1Dave D142
2Mark R123
3Steve W109
Thurn & Taxis - 50 Mins.
1Mark R31
2Dave D11
3Steve W10
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 150 Mins.
1Dave G68
2Mark W40
4Andy T25

Games Played 16 October 2013

I missed the weekly meeting as I was away for a few days that week, but 11 were there. These results were supplied by Mike and Dave F.

Ra - 90 Mins.
2James S43
China - 45 Mins.
3James S36
Navegador - 140 Mins.
1Steve W102
3Dave G81
Lords of Waterdeep - 120 Mins.
1Andy S161
2Dave F154
3Steve H145
4Mark W118
7 Wonders - 40 Mins.
1Andy S49
2Mark W47
3Dave F46
4Steve H45

Sunday 13 October 2013

Games Played 9 October 2013

15 players this week and Dave C paid an unexpected visit, although not staying to play any games. The evening saw further runouts for the two most played games of the year.

After carrying the same collection of boards around for about a year, I had reshuffled the contents of my Power Grid box and so this evening the game saw play on the China board which is one of my favourites. The fixed order of the early power plants make the game a bit more predicatable until step 3 and the build up is slower as your won't see an end game plant turn up early as often happens with the random appearance of the other boards. This game was notable for featuring a tie for one of the placings as Mike and I finished joint third and the tie breaks were also level.

Full listing of games played is as below.

Power Grid - 140 Mins.
1Dave G16
2John H15
3Dave D15
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 120 Mins.
2Steve Pe63
3Andy T49
4Dave F44
Kingdom Builder - 40 Mins.
2Dave F61
3Andy T42
Strozzi - 80 Mins.
1Steve H175
2James S170
5Mark R135
6Steve W105
7 Wonders - 60 Mins.
1Steve H65
2James S53
3Steve W46
4Mark R45

Saturday 5 October 2013

Games Played 2 October 2013

13 in attendance this week. Lords of Waterdeep got another run out with the expansion and again that seemed to add a fair bit to the play time as Gordon commented on the last post. Also in the news this week farms were built and Tokyo was victim to many attacks by strange monsters.

Meanwhile in Whitechapel, Jack the Ripper continued to baffle the police.

Jacks's Journeys

Letters from Whitechapel - 150 Mins.
1Dave D0
2Steve W0
2James S0
Lords of Waterdeep - 160 Mins.
1Dave F189
2Steve H153
4Andy S131
Agricola - 70 Mins.
2Mark R34
4Andy T16
King of Tokyo - 20 Mins.
1Andy T0
2Mark R0
King of Tokyo - 20 Mins.
1Andy T0
2Mark R0
King of Tokyo - 20 Mins.
1Mark R0
2Andy T0

Sunday 29 September 2013

Games Played 25 September 2013

Down to 6 this week. I understand that there was trouble on the M5, which caused at least one to turn back. Games played as below.

I think I'm starting to see that in Trains, you need to delay serious rail laying on the board and build up a few cards, both action and money. If you don't then the early accumulation of waste will clog up your deck right from the start and seriously slow later progress. Infiltration went badly for all with the activation of NPCs inside the building, pushing the proximity dial up far to quickly so no-one was able to make it to the exit.

Trains - 75 Mins.
1Dave D45
2James S43
Infiltration - 45 Mins.
3Dave D0
3James S0
Lords of Waterdeep - 120 Mins.
1Dave F161
2Steve H149
3Andy T145
Eight-Minute Empire - 20 Mins.
1Dave F18
2Steve H16
3Andy T11

Full Details for September 2013

Saturday 21 September 2013

Games Played 18 September 2013

10 in attendance this week, including 2 more newcomers in Steve & Sayaka. According to my records a total of 31 different people have attended our meetings so far this year, 28 of whom have been more than once.

The main games were the two most played of the year, that is Tzolk'in and Power Grid. Power Grid was played on the Northern Europe board omitting Finland, it was a 5 player game, although Steve S & Sayaka played as a team. The game had a slow beginning with several high value plants making it into the market early (including 31,32,33), these were bought but the expenditure prevented fast expansion by the buying players. The game was brought to a premature end by Dave (who didn't seem to think he would be in with a chance had the game been allowed to continue), but I only needed to connect one city to match him and won on the money tie break by a fair margin. It seemed strange that I had only bought 3 plants and still had #6 in service (6 is viable on this board with Trash starting at 5, while Oil and Coal both start at 3.

Power Grid - 120 Mins.
1Dave D11
2Dave F11
3Steve S10
5James S10
King of Tokyo - 40 Mins.
1Steve S20
2Dave F12
4Dave D9
5James S0
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 160 Mins.
1Dave G60
3Steve W47

Saturday 14 September 2013

Games Played 11 September 2013

14 this week and these were the games played. I seem to be getting the hang of Trains and Love Letter seems to be an inoffensive enough filler, being at heart a simple deduction game and I like deduction games.

Trains - 60 Mins.
1Steve Pe45
2Dave D39
4Mark R24
Trains - 40 Mins.
1Dave D39
3Steve Pe28
4Mark R25
Love Letter - 20 Mins.
1Dave D3
2Mark R2
4Steve Pe0
Keyflower - 140 Mins.
1Andy T62
2Steve H60
3Dave F55
5James S39
Lords of Waterdeep - 90 Mins.
1Steve W171
2Mark W114
3Andy S108
4Dave G95
Sushizock im Gockelwok - 20 Mins.
2Dave G6
3Andy S3
4Mark W2
5Steve W-7
Sushizock im Gockelwok - 20 Mins.
1Dave G7
2Andy S4
2Steve W4
5Mark W-1

Saturday 7 September 2013

Games Played 4 September 2013

10 people split over 3 tables this week, playing 6 games in total. My personal experience was another game of trains, making 3 games and 3 third places. I do like this game but I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm any good at it (mind you the second thing could probably be said for deck builders in general). The other was a strange game of Ra, all epochs seemingly ended very quickly by the pace of Ra appearance. It felt nice to win this one on the final highest value sun count, having lost 4 points in the first epoch.

Trains - 60 Mins.
1Steve H35
2Paul C32
3Dave D27
4Mark W24
Ra - 45 Mins.
1Dave D30
2Mark W27
3Paul C26
4Steve H22
Citadels - 50 Mins.
China - 45 Mins.
The Castles of Burgundy - 120 Mins.
1Steve W198
3Dave F180
Sushizock im Gockelwok - 20 Mins.
1Steve W6
2Dave F1

Saturday 31 August 2013

Games Played 28 August 2013

12 people this week, although I had to disappear a little early. Three games new to our sessions were played including Trains. I said a few weeks ago after playing Legendary that I felt that "Deck Building"  was an interesting mechanic, still in search of a great game. I'm not going to go as far as to say, yet, that Trains is that great game, but it is certainly the deck builder that I have found most interesting out of the box, with the addition of the board providing a point of conflict for you to interfere with your opponents to the extent that it raised their costs of building without completely blocking them out. I also think that the presence of the board adds a level of theme which I don't see in other games of this type, although others may have different  views on  this.

We played 2 games, which Dave won both of, in fact the order was the same in both cases, I think my mistake in the first game was not buying enough Rail Laying and Station Expansion cards beyond what was in my starting deck and in  the second going too heavy on the rail laying at the start of the game, causing my deck to fill with waste. I had a Subway excavation card early on, which would make the laying very cheap in a monentary sense, but did not stop the waste accumulation. Others had gone for Collaboration cards which did not reduce all the costs, but did mean that they collected less waste. Rachel felt her problems stemmed from not adding enough Train (money cards) to her deck early on.

All the games played

Trains - 50 Mins.
1Dave F44
3Dave D37
Trains - 50 Mins.
1Dave F50
3Dave D35
Eight-Minute Empire - 20 Mins.
1Dave F14
Vegas - 20 Mins.
3Dave F330000
Lords of Waterdeep - 90 Mins.
2Steve H121
3Mark R116
Love Letter - 25 Mins.
3Mark R1
4Steve H0
Zombicide - 150 Mins.
1Mark W0
1Andy S0
1Steve W0
1James S0

Full details for August 2013

Saturday 24 August 2013

Games played 21 August 2013

14 players this week, split over 3 tables 5,5 & 4.

I thought that I would write a bit about the game I played this week , breaking the habit that I have followed over the last month or two since I started just posting the results summary for the week.

The game was Battlestar Galactica, using the Pegasus expansion with no Cylon leaders and travelling to the Kobol destination. This is, I think, the combination that I would favour going forward, not really liking anything from Exodus, although I have asked Steve Perkins for comments on Daybreak, should he get the chance to play that, now that it has been released this week.

We has the ideal five players with Mark R and Steve new to the game, Mark W was new to Pegasus I think and it was a fair time since either Mike or myself had played with Pegasus, other than using the Cylon overlay and Investigative Committees. Conscious of the potential running time of the game, I was probably somewhat incomplete and incoherent in my run through of the rules. The initial line up of characters was as follows:
Mark R – Saul Tigh
Dave D – President Tom Zarek
Mark W – Boomer
Mike – Admiral Helena Cain
Steve W – Kat

The early part of the game went very well for humanity, although we were unaware that even at that stage there was a pair or skinjobs among us. The fleet advanced to 4 distance (and the sleeper phase) without much incident with all resources holding up well with the possible exception of food, although even that didn’t fall lower than 6 at this stage. We also had the good fortune to spend the entire second jump cycle without seeing a Cylon ship (apparently due to Boomer’s Recon ability).

All that is not to say that all was entirely uneventful, notable events including the Reuniting of the fleet crisis causing an increase of population to 13, which is not something we see very often and turned out to be crucial at the end of the game. Had I been a Cylon, I would have been tempted to try and sabotage this one, Purple was a negative colour which everyone was drawing and with everyone playing in plus destiny it would have been relatively easy to hide it, that said I don’t recall the mix of cards in the check so it may be that someone did attempt sabotage. Later we had A Verdict of Guilty giving Admiral Cain the opportunity to execute the current player (Kat), Mike made a show of considering his option and then it was out of the Airlock with Kat (just what Cain would have done). Kat was revealed to be a human and Steve picked Chief Tyrol as his new character, who could for now be relied on as a human.

Shortly afterward we had Prisoner Revolt and I didn’t fancy giving up the Presidency as I had a good hand of Quorum cards and was thinking these will be useful for the humans if I stay human and vice versa if I should turn out to be a Cylon. However nobody seemed keen to help pass the check so I was forced to try and pass it myself having played an Investigative Committee. Unfortunately destiny was against me and I passed the Presidency to Chief Tyrol, who I knew was on my side, at least for the time being.

While all this was happening the fleet advanced to 4 distance, first visiting a Binary Star, placing Civilian ships on the board, which it turned out were never threatened as no Cylons appeared before the next jump. The next jump was a Misjump, which was somewhat suspicious, but Admiral Cain claimed that the other card was worse, this was a possibility (but I suspect the real reason was otherwise as revealed later) the fleet then ending up at a barren planet, which was not too bad.

We had now arrived at the sleeper phase, so Boomer was sent to the brig as per her weakness and Loyalty cards were dealt out, suddenly thought I’d made up the Loyalty deck wrong because I had an extra card left over, but I’d forgotten that Boomer was due an extra card so all was well. Of course the Cylons were both already out there, so the extra cards made no difference.

Moving on, it did not take Cain long to reveal her true nature.  I had reminded her about her blind jump ability on a couple of occasions, but she seemed disinclined to use it. I would guess we now knew the reason why. The Admiralcy now passed to Colonel Tigh, as did Cain’s other loyalty card. During the next jump cycle, Cylons appeared jamming communications and we had Cain’s super crisis, which was The Farm, which we managed to make a partial pass avoiding the loss of all the once per game abilities which turned out to be significant. The fleet was jumped early losing 1 population, but we were about to lose at least 2 civilian ships to raiders, so this was probably a worthwhile sacrifice. The destination was Asteroid field, losing another population, but with the advantage of being 3 distance so we needed only 1 from the final destination.

On to the penultimate jump cycle Boomer had tried to convince people to support her release from the brig, but we were not entirely sure she could be trusted, so she said why don’t you just execute me. President Tyrol obliged and Boomer was revealed to have been human, Mark taking Gaius Baltar as his new character, he was then able to use his once per game ability (having not used Boomer’s) to check my loyalty, showing my humanity, so the pair of use knew that either Tyrol or Tigh was the Cylon.  I used Administration to propose the Presidency pass to Baltar and Tyrol did not oppose this. Once Baltar was President, he played an arrest order on Tigh sending him to the brig and passing the Admiralcy to Tyrol. Tigh was going to use his once per game to take the Presidency for himself, but as he had now lost the Admiralcy, this plan was no longer valid, so he revealed himself and went off to the Resurrection ship. So all the cylons were known and the game moved towards its end.

It was about this point that I moved to Pegasus and took up residence in the Engine Room to guarantee that we would get jump icons, some cylons showed up towards the end of the cycle, but were too late to do any damage. We went to 8 distance with a stop at a Tylium planet, using gathering fuel just to be on the safe side. All resources were now down in the red with Food and Morale looking particularly vulnerable, down at one or two, but as the jump track moved into the blue section, we were able to jump immediately as population was at four and the humans limped home despite losing another three to finish with one population. Possibly we would have been able to survive to jump at -1, rather than -3, but Tigh’s turn was coming up next and his super crisis might have done for us (I don’t actually know what that was though).

So it was a close run thing and the humans won, certainly it was one of the best games of BSG I can recall. Note that the account is subject to slight errors in the order of events due to my possible misremembering.

Summary of all the games played:

Battlestar Galactica - 180 Mins.
1Dave D0
1Mark W0
1Steve W0
4Mark R0
Amun-Re - 120 Mins.
3Dave F38
5Steve H31
Heckmeck - 20 Mins.
3Dave F3
5Steve H0
Citadels - 70 Mins.
2Andy T27
Carcassonne - 30 Mins.
4Andy T47
Dominion - 30 Mins.
2Andy T35

Saturday 17 August 2013

Games Played 14 August 2013

Another 8 this week, games played as below.

Saint Petersburg - 80 Mins.
1Mark W147
2Dave D140
3Steve H112
4Steve Pe105
Industrial Waste - 60 Mins.
1Dave D51
2Steve Pe38
3Mark W34
4Steve H27
Suburbia - 100 Mins.
4Steve W75
Carcassonne - 40 Mins.
2Steve W62

Sunday 11 August 2013

Games Played 7 August 2013

Eight people this week with another two new in Lee & Rachel, sent our way by Claire apparently. Thanks Claire. If we ever get evryone who has been this year in the same week, it's going to be very crowded.

The week saw a first play at the club for Stozzi. Power Grid was played on the Benelux board.

Power Grid - 140 Mins.
1Dave D18
2Dave G17
3Mark W17
4Steve W16
Strozzi - 80 Mins.
2Steve H210
San Juan - 40 Mins.
4Steve H18
Guillotine - 15 Mins.
3Steve H13
Guillotine - 15 Mins.
3Steve H17

Saturday 3 August 2013

Games Played July 31 2013

With just 4 games played this evening, July 2013 just missing out on equalling the most games played in a month.

London - 120 Mins.
1Andy T56
2Dave D40
3Dave F33
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game - 30 Mins.
1Dave F17
2Andy T14
3Dave D12
Lords of Waterdeep - 90 Mins.
2Steve W106
3Mark W102
San Juan - 60 Mins.
2Mark W35
3Steve W28

Full details for July 2013

Thursday 25 July 2013

Games Played 24 July 2013

As the holiday season approaches, attendance was down to nine this week, including newcomer Steve. Games featured a first runout for Love Letter, 30 minutes sounds a bit long compared to what I've headr of the game, but this could be down to first play syndrome. Power Grid was played on the UK map using England, Wales and Scotland.

Power Grid - 120 Mins.
1Steve H17
2Dave D17
3Dave F15
4Dave G11
San Juan - 40 Mins.
1Steve H34
2Dave D26
3Dave F25
Love Letter - 30 Mins.
1Mark W3
2Andy T2
Citadels - 75 Mins.
1Mark W27
2Steve W23
5Andy T17
San Juan - 50 Mins.
3Steve W32
4Mark W17

Friday 19 July 2013

Games Played July 17 2013

14 people would have been unbearable in the room upstairs in this weather, which I hate at the best of time, but fortunately we wer able to split the group and run some games in the bar, which was more comfortable.

The games played:
Robo Rally - 75 Mins.
1Steve Pe0
2Mark W0
3Dave D0
4Mark R0
Race for the Galaxy - 50 Mins.
1Mark W51
2Steve Pe36
3Dave D31
4Mark R29
Taj Mahal - 90 Mins.
1Steve H55
2Andy S43
4Dave G34
Keyflower - 90 Mins.
1Dave F69
2Andy T61
Caylus Magna Carta - 140 Mins.
3James S45
7 Wonders - 30 Mins.
1Steve H65
3Dave F46
4Andy S40
5Dave G30
6Andy T20

Thursday 11 July 2013

Games Played 10 July 2013

These are the games played last night. Another play for Tzolk'in. Industrial Waste has now been played at least once every year since the records started in 2003.

Industrial Waste - 60 Mins.
1Dave D54
2Mark W34
Discworld: Ankh Morpork - 90 Mins.
2Dave D0
2Mark W0
Lords of Waterdeep - 90 Mins.
2Andy S122
3Dave G107
4James S101
Tsuro - 15 Mins.
1Dave G0
1James S0
3Andy S0
Tsuro - 15 Mins.
1Andy S0
2Dave G0
3James S0
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 90 Mins.
3Dave F39
Kingdom Builder - 30 Mins.
2Dave F56

Saturday 6 July 2013

Games Played 3 July 2013

OK, I've been fiddling about for some time with the stats pages and came up with an easy way of generating the HTML, meaning I could do away with all the PDFs and easily update every week (or as soon as I get round to updating the master spreadsheet at any rate). It occurred to me that I could copy the same table HTML into a blog post, so here's the games played last Wednesday, no comments unless I think that there's anything notable to say, although anyone else is welcome to do so.

Race for the Galaxy - 40 Mins.
1Dave F34
2Mark W31
3Dave D29
Race for the Galaxy - 40 Mins.
1Dave D45
3Dave F30
4Mark W25
Race for the Galaxy - 40 Mins.
1Dave D53
3Mark W29
4Dave F18
Race for the Galaxy - 40 Mins.
1Dave F59
2Mark W46
4Dave D36
Lords of Waterdeep - 90 Mins.
1Steve H112
2Mark R109
3Dave G108
4Andy S99
Dominion - 45 Mins.
1Mark R46
2Andy S30
3Dave G25
4Steve H19
Caylus Magna Carta - 140 Mins.
2James S39

Sunday 12 May 2013

To the Death in Venice - San Marco - 8th May 2013

New and reasonably interesting games continue to come along, though I must admit there's not been many that have really impressed me over the past couple of years and certainly none that have persuaded me to purchase them, but I'll be honest and say that between us we already have so many great games that if we never played another new one I wouldn't grow tired of what Club members own between us.  A case in point is San Marco : a superb Alan R. Moon design that's at least 10 years old but puts many new designs to shame, with a brilliant central mechanism - 'I cut the cake, you choose first' - wrapped in minimal extras that delivers a highly-interactive game with plenty of difficult decisions with the right balance of a bit of luck.

One drawback is that despite being 3-4 player we've long decided that 3 players is by far best, so I was really glad to get David and Andy S to try it on Wednesday.  It's not for the faint-hearted, being nasty to the others is forced on you, and being the nastiest is often part of the winning strategy, and sometimes you really have to ride your luck, but under that pressure a win feels really satisfying.  I did win against the 'newbies', and they perhaps felt that they were always going to lose out to the more experienced player, but 2 turns from the end I was in a desperate situation and possibly staring at last place.  If the penultimate turn Limit Cards had been more harsh I could have reached 10 and missed the last turn, for a certain last place, but my chancing paid off  for a good win.  I suspect both of them, now they understand many of the nuances of the game, will fancy their chances much more next time!

Thursday 28 March 2013

10 Years of Records

The club was formed back in the 90s when Dave C, Mike and myself, along with others along the way used to meet at each others' houses. We moved to the Conservative club, as it was then, in 1999 according to notes Dave C has.

The earliest records of games played date back to April 2003 (it's possible that we had earlier records, but if we did, they are lost) and for the first 5 months they only include a record of the game and the result. In September of that year, the "Trophy Point" system was instigated by Gordon and part of this system involved calculating points using the number of players involved in a game and the length of that game. We stopped running the Trophy Points at the end of 2006, but since then I've still recorded the games like this, because Player-Hours seemed a good measure of the amount of play a game has received.

As at the completion of yesterday's session, that means that we have 10 years of records and I have collated a list of all the 383 different games played (excluding the RPG sessions Dave C used to run) here in order of player hours. Due to the five months of records with no time there are a number of games that would be further up the list.

One other point 6 different players are recorded in April 2003, 4 of those  were at last night's session.

Thursday 17 January 2013

Brine is fine ! Magnum Sal : Muria - 16 Jan 2013

Dave F, Scott, Steve H and I (Mike) gave the Magnum Sal expansion Muria a first outing at the Club - sadly only available direct from Poland for the foreseeable future.  I really like the base game, lots of strategy, a bit of luck, and a worker placement that actually feels a bit like you're using workers - they even get tired!  The new expansion now makes the water you're busy shifting out of the mine valuable as brine, as it can be used to make the normal salt varieties (2 for brown, 4 for green, 6 for white) and can be itself a component in some new Royal Order tiles.  It also has a totally different mine layout method - no longer fixed, but players themselves explore where they want and dig down to lower levels with six new shaft tiles.  A couple of new tools support these mechanisms, but you stick with 7 types available so two types will be removed at random, which offers even more variety.  Each player also gets a Foreman super-meeple, worth double when working in the mine, again offering some additional strategies.

So, Muria gives you more to think about, and therefore probably adds a little to the game length - our first attempt took nearly 3 hours, but the time didn't drag for me, because you're constantly having to watch what the others are doing while you - it's as interactive as the base game.  It also gave a pretty close result, I think we all made mistakes (easy to do in this!) but Scott played the steadiest and deserved his win despite a little bit of luck right at the end. 

You also get components for a 5th player, I'd like to try with this number but am doubtful it would be as good, certainly if any less-experienced players were included I think I'd try a 2-Phase 'tweaked' game rather than 3-Phase game to guarantee to keep it within an evening.  On the whole it adds more to an already engaging game so I'd stick with keeping it in for the future.

On the other table, Gordon, Simon and Dave D were playing Galaxy Trucker.  I played it once when it first came out and my thoughts are a bit like I think I heard Dave D say - a lot of fun for 30-45 minutes but the fun wears thin because the game goes on for at least as long again as repetition rather than development.

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Stats Review 2012


This is the 2012 review of games played at the club; corresponding articles for 2008 - 2011 are linked from the years. As last year I include a comparison with the previous year. I have also updated the Stats Pages on the website.  For a rundown beyond the top 5, there is a geeklist of all the games played here. Note this won’t appear on the geek front page of the Geek.

Games Played

We played a total of 183 games this year (which is 4 less than the 187 in 2011) spread over 87 different ones (compared with 98), when play was a lot more spread. 39 games were played for the first time.

The total player time for the year was 806 player hours up 4% on last year.

The most played games (in terms of player time) were as follows:

1. Power Grid (11 plays, 74.5 player hours)

Power Grid is top again and this year there were “new” boards to play with. Most used board this year was Baden Württemberg, although this is not actually new, having appeared in a special edition for a German power company, it was new to us. At Essen a UK board finally appeared and I expect that this will see a bit of play in the coming year.

2. Lords of Waterdeep (7 plays, 38.83 player hours)

One of the new games of the year, this is apparently a light worker placement game set in a D&D world. It saw a lot of play between April and July.

3. Eclipse (3 plays, 35.17 player hours)

All the play for this one was in January. It was a game I was keen to give a try, but I was deeply disappointed in it. All this “if you like Master of Orion, you’ll love Eclipse” proved to be false advertising.

4. San Juan (13 plays, 32.58 player hours)

This was played more in 2012 than in any previous year, now having an expansion from the Alea treasure chest that adds new buildings, some of which are quite powerful, causing a reappraisal of strategies to be necessary.  The expansion also adds events, but I have stopped including those, since I discovered we were playing wrong in early play making them one offs. They are supposed to be recycled and can therefore appear more than once, which I don’t enjoy the idea of.

5. A Brief History of the World (2 plays, 21.83 player hours)

Steve continues to champion this game and it got a couple of plays. The game is to be me not different enough to the earlier version to allow me to enjoy it, preferring to play Britannia when the time is available, for my fix of “sweep of history” game.

The most played game in terms of times played was San Juan.  Interesting that there is no (what I would consider) true filler game getting the bulk of the play for that type of game this year.

What happened to last year’s top 5?

Only Power Grid is repeated from last year’s top 5, although all the other games there saw at least one play Caylus Magna Carta was down from 2 to 15, King of Tokyo from 3 to 23, London from 4 to 46 and Battlestar Galactica from 5 to 22.

Games that have stood the test of time

There are still 2 games, played every year since 2003 with both Vinci and Industrial Waste being played again this year although, again, with only 1 play each.

3 other games had been played every year since 2004, all three of these saw play this year, with both Power Grid and San Juan in the top 5. Perhaps unsurprisingly all the games that have been played for 9 or 10 years are in the “all time” top 10.

The number of games played 8 out of 10 years is only 2 compared last year’s 7 of 9 being 4. Kremlin, Ra and Citadels are missing. I’d like to get Kremlin played again in the coming year.

Games played in 10 of 10 years

Industrial Waste

Games played in 9 of 10 years

Power Grid
San Juan

Games played in 8 of 10 years


Looking forward to 2013.