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.