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 20 February 2014

Games Played 19 February 2014

16 this week including newcomers Arturas & Lina and an occasional visit from John H. A total of 9 games were played spread over 5 tables.

I was involved in 2 very close games with Mark and Andy, the first being Trains with the random cards all being Red action cards meaning no special train or rail laying cards. I was doing alright at the start but as  the game went on I did not have enough cards in my deck to cycle through it quickly, which allowed Mark to catch up and win on the tie break of rail tokens played. Andy was only 1 point behind.

The other game we played was Race for the Galaxy, it being the first time any of us had played with the Alien Orb, although Andy and I had tried the new cards from that expansion 2 weeks back and Mark is familiar with the first arc so knows how the game plays. The general impression of the Orb was favourable, although there was no real interaction between players with each of us carving out our own little section. If the game had gone on then Mark's survey team was in range of an artifact that I was targeting and I may have chosen Explore-Orb in the following round to make sure I maintained the priority that I held at that point.

The result was close with Mark just pipping me by one point. Like the game a few weeks ago the time was a lot longer than a non orb game, although the score were quite a bit below that game with the winning score 48 compared with 71 in the earlier game, the others scores being more comparable between the two games.

Among the other games was Russian Railroads. When I first saw mention of the former, I thought this sounds interesting, but I confess that the interest faded very quickly when I discovered that it was yet another worker placement game, the designers have however previously produced a number of 18XX games, so maybe there is hope for it, but to me 1861 would seem a better bet for a Russian train game.

The other first time game was Twilight Struglle, the number 1 ranked game on BGG and by all accounts this is very good (at least it sounds quite interesting). The reasons this has never been played before is, I think, that it is a 2 player game  and also  its length (it was not completed this time), both of which limits it chances of play.

Also played were Carcassonne with 2 plays on differnt tables, Viticulture, Alhambra (for the first time since April 2006) and Love Letter.

All the game details below.

Trains - 60 Mins.
1Mark W41
2Dave D41
3Andy S40
Race for the Galaxy - 90 Mins.
1Mark W48
2Dave D47
3Andy S30
Viticulture - 120 Mins.
1Chris S25
3John H17
Carcassonne - 35 Mins.
3Chris S84
Carcassonne - 35 Mins.
Alhambra - 80 Mins.
Love Letter - 40 Mins.
Russian Railroads - 120 Mins.
1Steve W397
Twilight Struggle - 180 Mins.
NRSteve H0
NRDave F0


  1. Viticulture was interesting but still seems a bit of a 'work in progress' to me, perhaps why there's so many mini-expansions to it. It shares an idea of worker placement generating goods to fulfill orders with the terrific Magnum Sal, so perhaps not surprising that it shares some mechanisms, including worker recruitment, goods processing, even a space where you can go to get an extra coin, but it does feel different. The problem for me is that it has a similar game length to MS but mechanisms use a far greater degree of chance. Orders are open and competitive in MS, but here you blind draw them, MS has tools which are again open and competed for but their equivalent visitors here are again blind draw and some are playing better than others. For a game of this length I feel it needs a higher skill and open information content.

    1. I definitely have to agree that there's a rather greater degree of chance than there should be in the game at the moment, and you're right about how that's affecting the direction the modular expansion is going. I thing the blind draw's are good for the game, but the imbalances among a few of the visitor cards are a bit of a pain.

      I hope there's time for another play or two of this at the society in the next couple of weeks, would love to get a couple more layers of content tried out before the expansion is kick-started next month ^^, I'd talk about it but I don't think I should on-line so if anyone's interested let me know next week!

    2. I'll bring along Vinhos in due course - it seems to be the most complex and fully realised of the wine-themed games.

    3. Recently watched a run through of Vinhos and it looks amazing but also really really HEAVY!!!!

      Will be great to try out, definitely bring along if you get chance

    4. My copy of the game is in Budapest at the moment. I expect to bring it over to England after Easter, and will bring it to the club soon after. It has been a few years since I played it, but I do remember it as being one of heaviest Euro games.

  2. Pondering on just what I liked so much about my first playing of Russian Railroads brings one word to mind, "interesting". This might sound like an underwhelming piece of praise but I don't mean it that way. It is currently the hottest game for me and I think it will go down a storm with anyone who likes Tzolkin.

    It is a game that completely held my interest for the 2 hours it took to play.

    1. I have to agree, RR is an amazing game and right up until the last turn you felt fully engrossed and still within a chance of winning (due to the huge scoring rounds)

      I definitely looking forward to playing again


    Not the greatest write-up as I didn't do it till a week later, ^^. Probably going to include this in a write-up next week too (Seems silly to do a post for one thing when I can't really discuss what we played in depth online yet ^^).