Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Brief in every sense of the word.........

Players: Barrie, Scott, Vicky, Maynard, Jon, Ian, Jeff, Philip

There were enough non-holidaying IBG’ers to have two tables of games going tonight, with both opting for a reasonably weighty game to take up most of the evening. Still time for a new game at the end of the evening though…..

With Jon going off on holiday, this blog has been put together in a bit of a hurry. It will get ‘fleshed out’ on his return (he promises……) Until then, you’ll have to put up with this brief brief of some brief and not so brief games…..

The first group to arrive broke out this popular card game -

Pinguin Party (thanks Scott)
Kicking the night off again, a 5 player game ensued with Vicky, Scott, Ian, Jeff and Philip. Scott tried his usual tactic of winning but no-one was having any of that. Jeff continues under the assumption that most points wins the game, Philip and Vicky killed off as many penguins as possible and Ian is left to eek out another victory.
Ian 0; Scott & Vicky 1; Philip 8; Jeff 9

Next up -

Piece o’ Cake
Barrie, Jon and Maynard had a go at this quick ‘I cut you choose’ game at the beginning of the evening. Barrie picked up lots of chocolate pieces, causing Maynard and Jon to eat any chocolate that they accumulated. Maynard picked up the Kiwi majority fairly early, and was also stuffing his face as he went along.
When the scores were totted up, Barrie had the most majorities but had just failed to eat enough as he went along. Jon and Maynard were almost neck and neck, with Jon’s late foray into strawberries being enough to just win it for him by a point.
Jon 34 (19 majority + 15 eaten); Maynard 33 (17+16); Barrie 29 (21+8)

It was now time to decide on the meat in the sandwich. Despite Maynard’s enquiry about how exactly ‘brief’ this game was, he joined Philip, Ian and Jeff for –

A Brief History of the World

(scores and report to follow)

The other group initially chose Mykerinos to play next, but then Jon realised that he had removed the rules to read at work, had failed to do so, and had also failed to return them to the box (doh!) So that game was shelved in favour of another go at moving cheese around the north of England -

Last Train to Wensleydale (thanks again Scott) 
EXTRA, EXTRA, read all about it, Jon plays a Martin Wallace game with Scott. Tempted by previous weeks shipping of cheese around the dales and a trip down memory lane for Barrie and Vicky pointing out various places they know on the board and even off the board, this particular town is just under that pint glass. We got underway with the seemingly innocent but tricky rules and by the end of the first turn everyone had grasped the basics of turn order and influence mechanics. However, by this point they had let Scott go first to build track and his usual run through the middle of the board reoccurring has secured a nice future haul of stone.
Everyone else seemed to focus around the red town in the South with Jon hugging the West side of the board, Vicky heading North and Barrie heading East. Round 2 saw Jon and Scott continue on their paths while Vicky and Barrie relocated nearer the Green towns in the North East and started heading West, Vicky taking the low road and Barrie the high road, neither of them made it to Scotland in the end though.
So far everyone was breaking even or making a small profit even with quite a few pieces of track each on the board.
Round 3 looked quite good for most, capitalising on the routes they picked, Scott got through to a red town, now being able to transport the lonely looking passengers once trapped in the middle of the dales. Jon, Barrie and Vicky connected up the North and reaped its resources. Jon had attempted to be useful during the influence buying phase and adjusting the tracks as Scott looked as if he was struggling, after one turn Jon had left it back to Scott, adjusting all the different coloured player discs on four different coloured tracks in a particular order is enough of a game in itself.
Then came round 4 with next to nothing left on the board and still plenty of track to be sold back to the real train companies, Jon was up first and made a dash for the last of the cheese in the south, there was some nice stone stockpiled nearby which Scott picked but then changed his mind, just before Vicky made her move, to gasps of “doing a Gareth” but at least no-one else had taken their turn, he wasn’t trying to wind back three whole turns or anything. It turned out to be a poor move anyway as Vicky jumped in to Scott’s original position and pointed out why it was much better, it had just the right border to connect to lots of stone that no-one else had quite noticed. Barrie did something so profound that no-one can quite fathom its genius and thus are not qualified to report it here, sadly it was all in his mind and had nothing to do with the game at all, and in that he probably just got access to some cheese too.
With the last shipments done after spending vast amounts of left over influence converted into train buying power, there were small losses made all round. The final scores looking as follows:
Scott 32; Vicky 31; Barrie 23; Jon 21

Scott almost lost out to Vicky who had noticed a better position on the last turn but Scott’s run through the middle of the board had won again, but not by much - a very close game and some quick learning from the others.

With half an hour left, there was just time to try out –

Archaeology: The Card Game
This is a card-based set collection game, where players score increasing amounts of points for larger sets of archaeological artefacts. The risk involved in holding onto cards is that there are thieves around (1 player steals a card from the player of their choice) and also regular sandstorms blow up, causing all players to lose half their cards in hand.
Jon started off by picking up two sets of broken cups, whilst Scott decided that a 4th Pharaoh’s mask was too risky to wait for and laid down the 3 that he had (as it turned out, the 4th one was contained in the pyramid which wasn’t accessible, so it turned out to be a good decision). Barrie seemed to spend most of the game stealing cards from everyone, whilst Vicky steadily laid down sets of parchments and the like.
When the digging ceased and the dust had settled, there were only 9 points between 1st and 4th, with Jon just coming out on top by 4 points. This is a neat little game, where the theme fits in nicely with the mechanics, and is sure to get another outing at IBG.
Jon 56; Scott 52; Vicky 49; Barrie 47

Over on the other table, the group finished with a game of No Thanks, where Ian scored 49, Philip scored “lots” and Jeff was somewhere in between.

And that was it. Your honourable blogmaster will be in Cornwall next week, so we’ll see what the rest of the IBG crew get up to in my absence…….

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