Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Isleworth Boardgamers go 'clubbing' to see out 2009......

Players: Barrie, Gareth, Ian, Vicky, Maynard, Scott, Steph, John B

Squeezed in between the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the intrepid Isleworth Boardgamers managed one last session before 2010 was upon us....

Jon wasn't able to make it tonight, so handed over 'blog duties' to the very capable Gareth. So, here is Gareth's (mostly) unedited version of the night's events...

A good turn out, for a one off Tuesday evening, between Christmas and the New Year. As everyone was arriving it was decided to have a quick game of an old favourite -

Most people had played this game before, but Gareth quickly ran through the simple rules for any newbies.
The good dwarves got off to a bad start, with Maynard showing his true colours early on, breaking Gareth’s tools and generally causing mayhem. This escalated during the mid game, resulting in the slow progress of the tunnels. The remaining two evil dwarves, Steph and Scott became more daring, precipitating lots of broken tunnelling equipment on both sides and a couple of rock falls by the Saboteurs, impeding progress of the tunnel.
By the final round the good dwarves were still two tunnel segments away from any of the potential gold cards. However, both Gareth and Ian had been freed from 'broken tools hell', so were able to place the final two tunnelling cards to expose the winning gold - a well earned result for the good dwarves.
Ian 3; Gareth 3; John 2; Vicky 1; Barrie 1; Maynard 0 (Saboteur); Scott 0 (Saboteur); Steph 0 (Saboteur)

It was decided (as no one else looked as if they would be turning up) that we would finish Saboteur after 1 round, and split into two groups. One to play Power Grid, the other –

Gareth brought along a copy of Cuba, a Christmas present from his wife. This game was new to Maynard, John had played it a few times and Gareth and Barrie had both played it twice but were yet to finish a game. The object of the game is to amass victory points by shipping merchandise and erecting buildings within your plantation. As three of the group were fairly new to the game we agreed to use identical plantation cards.. Gareth quickly ran through the rules and John advised throughout the game...
For the first couple of rounds everybody started building. Gareth constructed the large bank and the hotel which set him up with ample money and additional victory points. Maynard built the rum café and distillery, Barrie also built a distillery and John the reservoir and golf course.
Early on Gareth increased the tax and passed the building act to increase costs for everybody, but as he owned the bank, he didn’t care. These were quickly changed in subsequent rounds by John to a more favourable lower tax.
The game progressed quickly and John's experience started to show as he pulled away from the other three players. During the mid game Barrie went on a building spree, erecting the Tobacco Factory, Café and the Inn for the additional VP’s. Whereas Gareth added the large branch office to ship additional goods without having to use the mayor card. Maynard then built the product house to provide some cash and John, the Small bank for peso’s and sawmill to increase his victory points.
A miscalculation by Barrie, meant he lost a lot of un-stored products which he had planned to ship the following round, which cost him dearly. Towards the end of the game both market acts were passed, first increasing the number of goods in the market which were quickly bought up by Barrie and Maynard and shipped out for extra victory points. Then, reducing the market allowing all the players to sell their goods for a high profit.
When the final scores were calculated, John had a comfortable lead followed by Gareth and then Maynard and Barrie. An enjoyable game sufficiently different from other worker placement games and is sure to be tabled again soon.
John 84; Gareth 70; Maynard 62; Barrie 60

Power Grid
Nothing at all is known about this game, except that it was played by Ian, Vicky, Scott and Steph (and it was Vicky's first game).
I expect that they bidded viciously for many power stations, bought a polar-cap-melting variety of fuel and built a vast network of cities across some part of the globe. Oh, and someone probably won (I'm guessing Steph....)
I'm sure that one of the protagonists will inform us all of what happened in the fulness of time...

(Postscript - Scott has of course now produced a fantastic account of how this game played out - check it out in all its glory here. Highlights were:

- "This left Scott with time to snooze and still beat the tortoises to the finish line."
- "Ian has unfortunately lost the Power Grid crown for now, as his beginner’s luck has diminished!"

And so, I was wrong - it was in fact the hare-like Scott who triumphed tonight, with a very close race for second by the 3 tortoises...)
Scott 17 cities ($176); Steph 14 ($234); Ian 14 ($187); Vicky 14 ($152)

This was a new family game brought in by John and not the usual fare for the IBGers. However, as it was Christmas, everyone was more than happy to give it a try. We split into two teams whose objective was to build a coloured wooden structure determined by a hidden card. Instructions would be delivered by the team leader either by grunting or waving of arms while wielding a large inflatable club(!) Each structure was worth a varying amount of points and the first team to ten points won.
In the first game, problems in communication with team (a) (Vicky, Maynard, Scott & Steph) meant that their first two structures were built incorrectly scoring no points, which allowed team (b) (John, Barrie, Ian & Gareth) to make a convincing win. Now everyone was familiar with the rules we played a second game and mixed up the groups. No wrongly built structures this time and it was Scott & Steph’s team aided by John and Gareth who finished first. Closely followed by team Vicky, Maynard, Ian and Barrie.
Game 1 – John, Barrie, Ian & Gareth - 11pts. Vicky, Maynard, Scott & Steph - 2 pts
Game 2 - Scott, Steph, Gareth & John - 11pts. Barrie, Ian, Vicky, Maynard – 5pts

6 Nimmt
The final game of the evening was 6 Nimmt. New to Vicky, Maynard and John, but with very simple rules it didn’t take them long to pick up the main ideas of the game - ‘Play a card and hope your neighbour picks up the high scoring row of cards before you have to’.
Scott won the first round with a zero card count, closely followed by Steph on 3pts and Gareth on 7pts. After round two Gareth took the lead, closely followed by Scott and Barrie who was now in third place.
But Gareth’s smugness turned to horror as he picked up a healthy 35pts in the third round putting him back down to fourth position. Scott won the third round and the game with a great total of 11pts.
Jon’s premise from last week that the game is very much luck based with a little bit of skill was reinforced by Scott’s win this week compared to his last place the previous week.
Scott 11 (0+10+1); Steph 28 (3+25+0); Barrie 30 (11+14+5); Gareth 42 (7+0+35); Ian 50 (22+13+15); Maynard 55 (24+20+11); Vicky 60 (18+19+23); John 91 (32+25+34)

So a fun night had by all and back to the normal Wednesday night slot for the New Year. Also thankfully back to the usual compiler of the Blog, ‘Jon’, after his week’s break from gaming, instead babysitting both his children and his chickens.

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