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.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Games Day 1 - 5 April 2014

On 5 April, which was coincidentally International Tabletop Day, the club held its first Games Day at the Stag. This was an event which we could not have held at the Townsend, due to lack of space and also due to getting access during the game. I believe that the event was a great success, despite a slight hiccup at the start when we couldn't get in due to a last minute meeting in the room we use, so people were standing outside at the 11:30 start time. We were in by 12:00 though and I think the Stag also did all right due to the number of accumulated glasses I saw and the amount of food that was brought up to the room at various times.

According to the results sheet a total of 28 people were in attendance at various points during the day including regulars and a few who have not been around for a long time. Also a few new faces. In total 20 games were played, assuming none were missed off the list.

 A full list of the games played is here, where I've added an extra page to the stats, there's also a geeklist here. A couple of things I found a bit strange was the game between Mark W, Dave G & Suzy, I've marked this as an unknown game and hope to change this when I can find out what it actually was (Note that this has now been identified as Lords of Waterdeep). I also noticed The Resistance: Avalon listed, but I'm sure that the game I saw being played was The Resistance and I understand that the two are not exactly the same, having looked at Chris S's logged plays on BGG, I have now entered this game as The Resistance.

I played just 2 games during the day, but they were long games. The first was Britannia, a game that Mike, Dave C & I have played on and off over the years since the 1980s, although that was with the Gibsons edition. We introduced it to Steve at Midcon some years ago and he has since become something of a fan as well. The game is long so it can't be played in an evening and this was an ideal time to give it a run out.

The game is a 4 player game covering British history from the Roman invasion up to the Norman invasion (actually a little later in the FFG version) and each of the 4 players plays a series of nations, either native to the island or invaders from overseas, each group of nations is identified by a player colour as follows:

Yellow: Romans, Romano-British, Scots, Dubliners, Norwegians
Blue: Belgae, Picts, Angles, Normans
Green: Welsh, Caledonians, Jutes, Danes
Red: Brigantes, Irish, Saxons, Norsemen.

As the nations appear at different times of the game amd some are mcuh more powerful than others, the leader during the game can't be judged simply by the number of points at any given time, but you need to have some idea of how a colour is performing relative to what might be expected at any point. For example with the opening Roman invasion it is to be expected that Yellow will be ahead on points early on, even if the Romans perform poorly (as it seems they usually do amongst our group), but noticing that they don't have as many points as might be expected is an indicator that they aren't really leading at all.

I have records of 9 games that I have played with other real people going back to 2007 and in these games the blue faction is the most successful with 5 wins, red having 3 and with this game added, green breaking its duck with 1, I have never seen a yellow win in any game I have played. That said, when played by other groups, at least some (possibly most) of which are far more experienced than ourselves I gather that the spread of results is fairly even among all the factions. I believe, in fact that Steve has won a game with yellow, in a game that I did not play in. When referring to how well a faction has done here I will usually be referring to my own small sample of 9 games.

In this game the Romans scored 91 points which is only slightly below average for our games, although reading comments on BGG, it seems that the expected score is somewhere about 130, either we don't get how to play them or we have been extremely unlucky with our dice rolling. I think it is our lack of success with the Romans that has prevented any yellow wins, since they are the faction which will contribute the bulk of the yellow score at the end of the game and their success in getting north can ease the progress of the Scots. In this case they pushed North, but failed to cause Welsh submission, although they did eliminate the Belgae and forced Brigantes submission, they only just made it to Pict territory and did not cause them to submit. Following on after the Romans came the Scots who despite lacking Roman support managed 28 points, which is about average. The Romano-British came in with 14, as did the Dubliners both scores being about average for our games. The yellow success story was at the end of the game with the Norwegians who managed 52 points, 12 above average for our games, Harald Hardrada becoming king at the end. This gave Yellow a combined total of 199, slightly up on the average.

For blue, the Belgae were wiped out in short order (turn 2), which is the norm in this game, but they gathered a total of 28 points which is pretty much exactly average, taking some Romans with them during Boudicca's rebellion. The Picts were the major blue scorer with a well above average 90 points, at the end of the game they controlled most of Scotland. By contrast the Angles did not do as well with 70 points, their second lowest score in the 9 games, they did well early on, but fell away toward the end under pressure from such as Danes and Dubliners, they were eliminated just before the end. The Normans also faired badly, with a below average 36 points, William being killed by Harald after fleeing from Svein Estrithson. The total for blue of 224 was about 20 below average.

Green was the winner for the first time in the 9 games. The bulk of that score came from the Welsh, scoring heavily throughout the game. Although they lost territory at various times, it was won back and at the end they occupied the whole of Wales (including Devon & Cornwall) plus a couple of areas in England. The final Welsh score was 136, the best in the 9 games. The Caledonians did not perform as well, losing the Orkneys early on to an unusual Scots invasion. They regained control later when the Scots departed to attack the Picts, but then fell victim to the Norsemen and were reduced to just the Orkneys beforebeing eliminated by the Picts near the end. The total Caledonian score was a below average 30. The less said about the Jutes, the better, they were beaten back by the Romans on turn 5 and although they occupied Kent on turn 6 after the Romans left, they were eliminated by the Saxons on turn 7. Total Jute score 0. The Danes started well, but faltered with the appearance of Cnut, so were weakened at the end when Svein arrived, only succeeding in forcing William into the hands of the Norwegians, there total was 66, a little below average. The Green total was an above average 232, largely due to Welsh success.

Red's problems were with the Brigantes, who only scored 16 points, well below average. During the game they submitted to both the Romans and later the Angles and were driven south by a combination of the Picts, Scots and later the Danes, so that when they were eliminated around turn 12 or 13 their last remaining area was March, well south of their high scoring areas of Strathclyde and Galloway. The Irish did well with 34, harassing the Welsh and others until finally eliminated at about the same time as the Brigantes. The Saxons performed well early on but were much reduced by the Danes and then the Norwegians and the Normans, at the end Harold cowered in the Downlands while the battle for England went on around him, their final score was 133, a bit above average. The Norsemen also underperformed, failing to take the Orkneys and finished with a below average 23, holding just the Hebrides at the end of the game. The final Red score was 206, somewhat below average, although I should note that I think the Red average is artificially high because of one extreme outlier of a game when they made 331.

There's a progress graph of the game further up the page. Notes on a number of our other games of this are linked below:

The other game I played was Battlestar Galactica with Mark W, also Ben who hasn't been for sometime, his sister Lisa, who was last here in 2005 and her husband Jon, who's never been before. The game used the base set +Pegasus + Daybreak and the characters were the original Baltar (Mark), Boomer(Ben), Cylon Leader Athena (Jon), the new version of Tom Zarek(Me) and Hoshi(Lisa). The president was Baltar and Hoshi was Admiral, but he turned out to be the Mutineer so lost the title to Zarek before the game began.

During the first part of the game, there were no Cylons and Athena behaved reasonably well as she was not sure of her own allegiance at that point, so the humans progressed well, although population was down a bit due to some early jumps as the fleet was attacked by a lot of Cylons.

 Moving into the second part of the game, I was able to take the Presidency as well as the Admiralcy due to crisis, so Baltar checked my loyalty at first opportunity so knew to trust me. Boomer went to the brig and after some time I actually helped her out, which was a mistake as she was the Cylon and sent Hoshi to the brig when revealing, before hitting humanity with Crises from Caprica.

Hoshi was soon released with a Presidential Pardon, but resources started to fall and soon all were in the red. Food was actually down there because it had actually held up well earlier and I was able to spend a bit to prevent us from losing cards, fuel did not prove to be a problem as only distance 1 was needed for the final destination and a Tylium planet meant we actually ended up with 4 going to the final jump.

The loss of resources perhaps helped the humans at the end as Athena ended up with Human allegiance and the low resources meant she could fully commit to the cause.  The final result was a win for the humans and Athena, although population had fallen to 1 due to an early final jump.

Having rambled about my games, I'll just repeat that I and I think others had a good time with this and I look forward to repeating it sometime in the future.


  1. I really enjoyed the day, thank you all mates.
    About the game that Mark W, Dave G and ... (if Suzy is Ian´s wife I think that she was a different woman) was Lords of Waterdeep.
    And another correction, we didn´t play Scripts and Scribes, we played Scritps and Scribes: The Dice Game.

  2. I look forward to other full day games sessions in the future. Thanks for making it happen Dave D.

    Our 5 player game of Concordia took a long time (3 hours) but it held my interest and I would certainly play with that number again though I'm quiet keen to play a 3 player game on the other side of the board also.

  3. Yeah the unknown game was lords of waterdeep (my wife is Kat).

    Had a great day and Kat really enjoyed it (unfortunately she can't come in the week due to child commitments)

    1. Thanks, I assume that Kat is the one I have down as Catherine. Should I change that?

    2. Yeah thats right, Katherine or Kat, she doesnt mind ;)

  4. Very awesome day, looking forward to the repeats in the future =)

    You're right, it was Resistance that was played. It probably confused matters that on Wednesday we played Ed's copy of Resistance: Avalon ^^. There's a couple of differences, I'll touch on them in my post on the event when I finish writing it...played so many games =P

  5. I just have to say thanks to everyone who came, the turnout was terrific. I know it is hardly an ordeal to play games all day but I appreciate people do have to travel a lo further and have more family commitments than Dave and me. Did anyone take a photo, by the way?

    1. Just to echo this comment. Thanks All.

      I wasn't aware of ant photography, I had my camera, but as is often the case, I got far too engrossed in games to remember to use it.

    2. might have to bring in my camera next time and do a time lapse of the day