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.

Friday 2 May 2014

Games Played 30 April 2014

The end of another month with 17 people in attendance playing a total of 6 games. Newcomers were Jonathan and Bob, who are old timers in gaming having been attending conventions for many years. I gather that Jonathan knows Mike from a zine that he (Mike) used to run back in the 1980s. Looking at the stats I see that April sets another record for total player time and equals the record for games played in a month, although it said that the records were previously set in a 4 week month (February) as opposed to this month which had 5 weekly sessions.

The games played this week were Power Grid, Nations, Tzolk'in, Paperback, Euphoria and Völuspá. Further details follow.

Jonathan expressed an interest in Power Grid and I happily obliged, we added Andy S and James when they turned up. We had, I believe, 2 new players so rather than using the Australia/India boards that we have used recently I tried to think what would be the simplest option among the boards that I had available, deciding on Russia, I think I will have to put Benelux back into the mix as I think that is probably the ideal new player board.

Anyway we blocked out the eastern most region, I tried to give a bit of advice, but also let the new players discover some things by themselves, which I think they did including the usual things such as buy as few plants as possible during the game and have regard to your capacity in relation to the other players. Also don't stockpile raw materials needlessly, it may make certain other players spend more, but it will definitely make you spend more. Finally you need to be aware of when the game is likely to end, I remember back in the days when we first played this at the club that the end sometimes came unexpectedly, but I don't think I have been surprised by an unexpected ending for a long long time.

In this game I think I can point to the reasons where those of us who didn't win had problems. In my case I think my momentum was stunted by about a turn or so when I bought plant 25 early on, slowing my expansion and I think this was where Andy got ahead, he also benefiting from being sort of out on his own in the east. Again in retrospect I maybe should have started my network east of him rather than trying to carve myself an area in the south west.

Of the others James was thoroughly boxed in on all sides from early on, so although he had better capacity than either Andy or I, he could not build enough cities to take advantage of it.Bob bought far too many power plants, costing him money that have been better used expanding his network, while Jonathan suffered from this to a certain extent, also tending to buy too much fuel. At the end of the game he had the highest capacity of anyone.

If the game had gone on another turn things might have been different, I think James would have won, although possibly Andy or I could have won providing we did not pay too much for an extra plant we would have needed to up out capacity, Andy would have had an advantage over me in that respect as he had a fair bit more money.

Looking at the other games I notice that Scott came 3rd in Nations, but I saw that he was playing 2 difficulty levels above everyone else in the game. I expect that Chris will be posting some info on the games he played on his own blog sometime soon.

Full results follow

Power Grid - 140 Mins.
1Andy S15
2Dave D15
3James S14
5Jonathan M11
Lords of Waterdeep - 90 Mins.
2Steve W132
3Chris S127
Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 90 Mins.
1Dave G86
2Gary B59
4Dave F43
Paperback - 55 Mins.
1Dave G48
3Dave F41
4Gary B16
Nations - 180 Mins.
4Mark W37
Völuspá - 60 Mins.
1Steve W88
4Chris S58

Full details for April 2014
Monthly list at BGG for April 2014


  1. "I expect that Chris will be posting some info on the games he played on his own blog sometime soon."

    Challenge accepted ;)

  2. Well, it was really good to get Tzolkin back on the table. It feels like a long time since I have played this, it certainly looks that way from my pitiful attempt at the game. This is a game I am convinced where you need a long term plan in order to do well. At the start of the game I came up with such a plan, and had I followed it I would have gained another 20 points or so, still 20 points behind the winner.

    Overall, I really enjoy the game, but often feel that I am being played, rather than the game. The harvest phase is obviously important, but I seem to spend most of the game satisfying the food needs of my people, and ignoring their spiritual and industrial development. I think I need to play this a lot more in order to get any good at it.

    1. I want to be a better player at Tzolkin and with practice I think that is possible, I also think that we will learn off each other and improve as a group. This is already happening with James, Dave G and Scott being the players to beat.

  3. I get that "player being played" feeling far more in Agricola