13 this week and games played were Steam over Holland, Animal Olympics x2, Tzolk'in, Dominion (with Intrigue and Alchemy), Cosmic Encounter and Among the Stars. No new games this week.
Jonathan, Mike, Dave & I played Steve over Holland, this for those who aren't aware is actually an 18XX game an alternative name being 18IR. The game deals with the building of railways in (not unexpectedly) Holland and unlike many (most?) games of this type is played over a fixed number of rounds which allow its completion in an evening. That said, we didn't play the game to completion, not through lack of time but because of reasons to be explained.
Of the four of us, only Dave had never played an 18XX before, the rest of us having played at various times going back to the original 1829 back in the seventies, although none of us (I believe) play anywhere near as regularly as some, whose entire gaming time is devoted entirely to this small niche of the hobby, some I know of playing multiple times a week.
As none of us were familiar with how this game played, we distributed private companies at random and then proceeded into the first stock round with Mike as start player, having the most money left after private company purchase, I'll identify companies by the initials shown on the map, which should be legible if expanded.
Each of us started a company, Mike going with the NCS in the centre, while Dave opted for the AR, having the private company which would allow for a bonus when running to Vlissingen, when sold to the major company. Jonathan took the HYSM, having the private giving a bonus when using the ferry over the Zuiderzee, while I took the NSM with my private which gave a free river crossing in mind, althouhg unthinking placement of my base station, meant it was never viable to use it.
Following this start, we each expanded and built up our companies for the next 4 operating rounds and stock round. Jonathan set his initial price low and sold shares held by his company to fund the purchase of 3 trains, which immediately triggered phase 3, so his company was making more money going into the second pair of operating rounds, although he had a low share price and I picked up a share in HYSM myself in the second stock round.
In the third stock round, the remaining three major companies were all started and I think, in retrospect someone made a mistake here. First Jonathan started the OSM, then I picked up the NRS and Mike followed with NBD. We moved on to the next operatting round and carnage ensued.
I was first with NSM and bought the first 4 train, triggering the rusting of the 2s, the remaining 4s were by Mike and Dave (NCS and AR), then I bought the first 5 train for the NCS, so the 3s rusted meaning that HYSM would need a train. I can't quite remember the exact order of the remaining companies, but HYSM, OBD and NBD bought the remaining 5s and the first 6, rusting the 4s, which had never even had a chance to run.
Going into the second of the group of 2 ORs, I was able to raise enough money for a 6 train for the NSM, but when it came to their turns, Mike and Dave couldn't do the same for NCS and AR and these companies went bankrupt. We decided to end it at the end of this round, Jonathan & I had 2 companies each and would fight for the win, Mike was really out of it and Dave was reduced to 1 share (in NSM) and not a lot of money and was left not being able to do much at all, which would have meant a somewhat unenjoyable last hour or so.
The scores are recorded as at when we finished, but I'm not sure how they would have gone had we continued as my share prices were higher and the price gap would have increase, also in the short term, my companies had greater revenue, so I think I might (or might not have won in the end).
I have to say I've not seen this sort of situation in my limited (and distant) experience with this game, I think the problem in this case was the rush to start the remaining companies.
After this we got in a couple of games of Animal Olympics, both of which Jonathan won.
All the results follow
|Steam Over Holland - 120 Mins.|
|Animal Olympics - 10 Mins.|
|Animal Olympics - 10 Mins.|
|Cosmic Encounter(FFG) - 90 Mins.|
|Among the Stars - 80 Mins.|
|Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar - 90 Mins.|
|Dominion - 70 Mins.|