Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome a completely useless tosser.....

Players: Scott, Steph, James, Keith, Johan, Philip, Gareth, Jon, Vicky, Maynard, Daniel, Tonio, George

12 regular IBG'ers and a dealer-acquaintance of James (welcome George!)turned up on a bitterly cold evening. Despite the heating being on, the Riverview Room was unusually igloo-like tonight, necessitating the 'keeping on of the jumper' approach to boardgaming...

A fine variety of games were played tonight, including the best of the old and the new. And we also discovered that one of the IBG'ers in particular is a completely useless tosser (and thief for that matter)......

With the early birds Scott, Steph and James looking for a game until finding out how many others had braved the cold, we started the night off with the penguins -

Pinguin Party (thanks Scott)
This was played partly to test how good James really is at the game after last week’s early finish. The first two rounds were fairly benign but James had been caught short and was losing ground to team Scott and Steph (as James thinks we play all games jointly against him).
The last round saw Steph take over the middle of the Pyramid with green, with five of them let loose, suffice it to say we all lost a lot of points but James lost slightly more...
Scott 4; Steph 4; James 7

Apples to Apples (thanks again Scott)
With still more time to kill, Scott, Steph and James had a quick round of Apples, the dummy hand player participating again but not doing as well this time. Scott got in to an early lead but was soon caught by Steph. Communism is always a good topic to throw at James and Steph deciding that the Pyramids were more dangerous than an Iceberg (tell that to the Titanic); we decided to end after breaking the tie, Scott’s 21st Century being more Cosmopolitan than whatever it was that Steph played.
Scott 4; Steph 3; James 1

Pinguin Party (thanks once more Scott)
With more people looking for a filler game, Gareth suggested the penguins, it started as a five player but we got it up to 6 in the second round, the players being Philip, Scott, Steph, Keith, Gareth and Dan.
With 6 it was very hectic; a lot of colours disappearing quickly and usually a shocked comment from Gareth to accompany it - “is green dead already?” You only have 6 cards to get rid of but there were a few rounds with four cards left in people’s hands when they couldn’t play.
Dan couldn’t take the pressure half way through and Johan took over for him, although he kept to the spirit of Dan and still collected lots of points.
Despite Scott and Steph doing what they could to cause trouble for everyone else (and Steph managing to play all her cards in the first four rounds), Philip reigned supreme.
Philip 1; Scott 4; Steph 4; Keith 9; Gareth 10; Dan/Johan 11

For Sale (4 on the trot - thanks Scott...)
With still no-one ready to commit to a longer game, so we had a quick round of For Sale with Keith offering up his place to let Tonio have a game. A few players were rusty on the rules but they wanted to remember as they went.
A miscalculation from Johan in the first round saw him spend most of his money early, only to be reminded there were more rounds. Gareth did his bit to help his left neighbour by always bidding 5 and forcing Johan to pick up the lowest card forever more.
For everyone else, the houses and cheques were divided fairly evenly, no-one getting too big of a lucky play. Scott managed to just edge out a win:
Scott 48; Steph 47; Gareth 46; Tonio 37; Philip 34; Johan – less than 34 (too embarrassed to reveal)

James (somewhat apologetically) brought out this new offering to kick the evening off with on a second table –
A La Carte
After finding Jon to be a willing participant, and also persuading Vicky and Maynard to join in, James started off by saying that the production was excellent, whilst the game itself was….well…..'ok'. It mattered not - the other 3 were already enamoured with their mini pans and stoves and were playing with the components like 3 year-olds.
The basic idea is to make recipes using a combination of up to 4 different spices, and then turn up the heat on your stove to just the right level to cook it. However, if you add too much spice or salt, or turn up the heat too high, then the dish is ruined, and you have to start all over again. The spices themselves are coloured little polyhedrons inside small spice jars, which drop out in small amounts when the jar is swiftly upended, and require a certain amount of technique to control successfully. Jon asked Vicky how skilled a chef she was, to which Maynard replied that he did 80% of the cooking. ‘Nuff said…..
Jon was the first to successfully conquer the small plastic condiments, and completed his spaghetti and meatballs with style. In contrast, Maynard ruined 3 recipes in a row by over-spicing them. If Vicky was a worse chef than that, it would take some doing…..
James was also having trouble getting his spicing right, although eventually managed to produce a magnificent ox-tail recipe – not bad for a vegetarian. Jon, however, was cooking with glee, producing a well-tossed crepe followed by a hamburger and a delicious chocolate mousse.
Maynard proved to be a useless tosser, and couldn’t make a successful crepe, whilst Vicky finally managed to get a recipe completed. Bonus chits were used to swap stoves around, mid-cooking (don’t try this at home kids) but Jon completed his 5th recipe to end the game.
In stealing Jon’s stove and completed recipe at one stage, Maynard had actually earned himself some points, but the final scoring revealed that Jon was Jamie Oliver, Maynard was Delia, and James and Vicky were the Swedish Chefs.
Jon 19; Maynard 8; James 3; Vicky 3
Despite this game being no. 1 on the BoardGameGeek for a long time, we had only played it a IBG once before. Therefore it was long overdue!

Puerto Rico (thanks for these reports Johan)
Anyway, Gareth, Johan, Philip and Keith started the game off. Gareth only played this game once or twice before whereas the other three were a bit more experienced. After going through the rules it all started off.
Johan and Philip started off by having a balanced production and trading game and Philip was getting a fair amount of victory points as well as doubloons. Johan started off a bit slower with the production but eventually got the factory which earned him quite a bit of doubloons in the end.
Keith started building some big buildings, but unfortunately his production did not get underway well, whereas Gareth tried to produce and ship which was quite often thwarted by Johan and Philip and eventually was strapped for cash that really crippled his advances. Philip was 'screwed' in the round before last by having to ship his coffee, rather than being able to trade which gave Johan the opportunity to build and end the game.
Johan 48; Philip 43; Keith 38; Gareth 38

In the second game the strategies were quite different, with Johan going for a shipping strategy and the others for a combined shipping and building strategy. Unfortunately, Johan could not ship significantly later on as the ships were blocked by sugar, coffee and tobacco and the others were trading and building away.
Philip especially was brilliant in exploiting the opportunities and maximising the effectiveness of his strategy. Gareth made one crucial error (he was sitting to the right side of Philip......) and Philip was flying away with the victory points!
Nevertheless, the initial lead by Johan was quickly reduced and in the end it was a matter of ending the game as quickly as possible. Philip however was in command and won by a fair margin. Well played indeed!
Philip 55; Johan 47; Keith 34; Gareth 33

Meanwhile, back on the first table, Tonio had brought out his Big Box o' Games -
24/7 (thanks to Tonio for the next 3 reports)
After a very useful practice hand or two, Steph and Scott managed to get a few double-scoring 7’s. At one point, Tonio (who was keeping scores) helped Steph out by pointing out that her 24 also scored 20 points for a 7, hence also a 60 point bonus. By he end, Steph won by exactly 80 points, so that’ll teach Tonio!
Steph 400; Tonio 320; Scott 310
This is a card game with words. We played with a variation of rules where people play only 3 cards at a time. Scott, who is not a fan of word games did well to sneak into 2nd place right at the end.
Tonio 102; Scott 97; Steph 94
George (some sort of dealer acquaintance of James...) then joined us to play -
Circus Flohcati
As Steph was playing lots of sets, Scott was convinced that she was holding high cards, so she was targeted for almost every ‘take a random card’ card. Tonio kept a low profile (especially as he was collecting zeros at the start.)
We got to the very last card and Tonio turned over a 4 red to make his complete show. The 10 bonus points helped!
Tonio 79; Scott 72; Steph 49; George 38
Vicky and Maynard had 30 minutes left, and so Jon suggested a go at –
Sneaks and Snitches
It should be noted that James was only semi-present for this game, as he was constantly jumping up and down, doing some sort of dodgy deal for games with a new guy who had just walked in. Having said that, he still ended up winning, which probably says something about either the game itself, or James’s intuitive moves when playing ‘fast and loose’.
This game is a fine little filler, with plenty of ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ as players play thieves to the same location. The scoring is a little odd, as there aren’t actually that many points available, but at least that means that the final scores are nice and close.
Maynard proved to be the worst thief, obviously never ‘casing the joint’ and constantly bumping into other thieves whilst on the job.
James 8; Jon 6; Vicky 6; Maynard 4

With half an hour to go, and everyone else leaving, Jon, Tonio and James sneaked in one final game –

Archaeology: The Card Game
James hadn’t played before, but the gameplay is simple enough and was quickly explained. Thieves and sandstorms came out thick and fast at the beginning of the game (bringing into question Tonio’s shuffling skills), but sets of artifacts were soon being displayed. Use of the thieves was quite equitable, and, unusually, all the secret chambers in the pyramid were explored.
About 2/3 of the way through, Tonio’s brain seemed to shut down and he decided that laying down 12 points from 2 Pharaohs’ masks (value 8) was better than swapping it for 18 points from 4 coins (also value 8). Good job he isn’t a maths teacher or anything………
When the game ended, Jon had just pipped Tonio to the victory, with James not far behind. As it turned out, those 6 extra points that Tonio could have picked up would have made all the difference…
Jon 73; Tonio 68; James 54

Also played during the evening was a first outing for the excellent new 7 Wonders (in fact it was so good that it was played twice in a row). However, James seems to have abducted the score-sheets and so the results will be forever lost in the shrouds of time....

Thanks to all that turned up this week. See you again next time....

No comments:

Post a Comment