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.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

August 2015 Recap

This is a recap of what was played during the month of August 2015. There were 4 sessions in the month and the average attendance was 14 with 21 different people over the month including 2 new visitors Nick & Peter O and also Jim F who came once before (back in November 2006, if I've got the right person). 30 games were played of 25 different titles (as last month I suppose that should really be 26 counting the 2 different Love Letter versions) and I include the list of these at the end of this post.

As last month I'll run down the list of games in order of player time, although I'll try not to repeat myself with regards to comments on games that crop up frequently.

Starting with the top game of the month we again have The Voyages of Marco Polo, and I suspect we'll be seeing somewhat more of this game in the near future considering Gordon's stated intention to evangelise it. Next is Nations, although the only game played was terminated 2 turns shy of the end, possibly due to the 5 player count and the fact that I think that were 2 new players to the game.

El Grande
El Grande placed third, putting in a second appearance of the year, this is one of Mike's favourites and he is like me in the respect that he is not averse to bringing along certain older games, keeping them in peoples eyes (not necessarily the same games of course). I'm sure I've said this is in the past, but if it wasn't for the Castillo I think I would not mind playing this game, but the way the caballeros are redistributed after the scoring spoils the whole thing to me and seems totally out of keeping with the rest of the game.

Eldritch Horror
In fourth place comes Eldritch Horror, where we narrowly failed to save the world from Shub Niggurath. Too many monsters were gathered in her space, just before we would have been able to engage the Great Old one. We played the game with 3 players, each controlling 1 investigator which has an advantage and a disadvantage, the advantage being that the game will be shorter, but the disadvantage is an increase in difficulty compared with an even number of investigators.

Medieval Merchant
Number five is Medieval Merchant, another old game of Mike's followed by Panamax, the first time we've played with only 3 players. I'm inclined to think that it plays better with four as there will be more movement going on, allowing goods of all players to flow through the canal more quickly. Steve W won this one mainly due, I think to the fact that Mark & I both suffered one round when we were unable to manage the cargo fees resulting in a failure to pay dividends.

St. Petersburg
Number 7 is St.Petersburg, which we played for the first time using the Assignments module which gives secret objectives to score at the end of the game. This was interesting, but we all wondered whether the cards weren't as well balanced as they could have been. James had a card awading points for each yellow card and he scored a lot with it. Had we been playing with more players he would not have been able to accumulate so many cards. In contrast I had a card scoring for every 3 cards of all types I had and scored about half the points James did with his card, of course with more players I also would not have accumulated as many card, but had we had more players my card would have scored for every 2 cards and so would have scored the same with fewer card whereas James's card was unmodified regardless of player number. None of this is to take anything away from James's victory as his winning margin would still have been substantial without these cards.

Moving on to number 8, we have Istanbul, followed by Canyon, Santiago de Cuba and Deus. All these games have been played at least 3 times this year (including Saturday play) next is Bruges & Caylus Magna Carta. At 14 is Santiago, which I must admit I thought had been played more, but this was only the second time it has been played, the one previous play being in October 2010 when Andy E brought it to the table, I think maybe I've seen it around several times without it actually being played.

Number 15 is Carcassonne, played twice this month meaning it moves up to number 4 in the overall list based on games played (with 43). At 16 is Legendary which is followed by Pizzaro & Co., also known as Magellan, which was played for the first time at the club, despite being 13 years old, this one was brought by Scott. This is followed by Love Letter (as last month one play each of Batman & The Hobbit), then Blueprints and Race for the Galaxy (overall number 5 in terms of games played 1 behind Carcassonne & 1 ahead of Industrial Waste).

Rounding out the list is Splendor (with the most plays of any game so far in 2015), then San Juan (first edition) followed by Diamonds which is the other new game this month, then Katzenjammer Blues and lastly Coloretto.

In all, the 133.33 player hours for the month is the highest for Wednesday play for the year so far and the 30 games played is the highest for August since records began, although the 2 new games played is the lowest for some time, in fact up until the last week no new games had been played. I have posted a geeklist here and all the results are on the Stats page for August. The table of games played is reproduced below.

Games Summary
GameGamesTime (Mins.)Player Time
The Voyages of Marco Polo335021.83
El Grande112010.00
Eldritch Horror11809.00
Medieval Merchant1907.50
Saint Petersburg11306.50
Santiago de Cuba21105.50
Caylus Magna Carta1804.00
Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game1603.00
Pizzaro & Co.1453.00
Love Letter2452.67
Race for the Galaxy1302.00
San Juan1301.50
Katzenjammer Blues1201.00


  1. It is a shame you don't like El grande Dave. I know you don't like the castillio and I agree it adds luck on top of the games inherent chaos, but to me the whole game is just silly fun. If I was to compare board games to films then El grande would be a feature length animation, something fun for the kids but still holding the interest of the adults. Not altogether serious.

    1. That's just it, I don't think it's silly fun, I think it is a serious game or would be if it weren't ruined ruined by that one thing. I was only reading today that according to BGG ratings (that should be taken with a large pinch of salt of course), it is ranked as the heaviest game ever to win the SdJ.