Tuesday, 27 March 2012

"Our Duty is to Spy"

Another performance from myself as the railroad idiot...
Railroads of Europe
My memories of this are fairly dim. I started by bidding for first place so I could take the Major something in Paris card, which gives+1 income for every link built into Paris, no matter who builds it. Unfortunately this only allowed Scott to build the most lucrative Paris link, and I proceeded to build too much track early instead of focusing on delivering cubes. Somehow, despite my track building, I failed to complete any Major Links (which are specified for the Europe map), while Scott easily completed four or five of the eight available. Soren went into Russia while Jon concentrated on South-east Europe. Scores are guessed, but the relative position is true enough.
Scott- 48, Soren 40, Jon 39 (or was it the other way around?) and me 32.
A more co-operative venture on another table...
Flashpoint: Fire Rescue (thanks Paul)
After tales of Tonio being left in a house that collapsed due to excessive fire damage without rescuing sufficient fire victims, the brave teacher was willing to look fear in the eyes and play again. Dan was the fire fighting veteran, with Maynard and Paul playing the novices.

The chosen characters gave Tonio another chance to get close to the flames as he took the one that allowed more efficient fire extinguishing, Maynard to identify victims from afar (although he soon changed this to one that enjoyed riding the fire engine), Paul an extra action each turn and Dan to boss everyone else around.

Throughout the game the flames came and went with regularity. A combination of Tonio marching right up to them to stamp them out and Maynard waiting until a quadrant was full of fire before ridding the house of vase swathes of flames managed to keep them to a manageable number, while the fire victims were being steadily lugged to safety, quite often by Paul with Dan shouting orders from the safety of the ambulance.

The game was won when the count of rescuees got to seven, but Maynard and Tonio were having too much fun on extinguishing duties, so Dan's suggestion of playing on to see how many we could rescue was agreed with. By the end of the game, the maximum count of ten victims were outside the house convalescing in hospital, with Tonio being the sole body inside the house. Dan, Paul and Maynard did play with the idea of letting the house collapse on him 'just for fun' after all the hard work was done, but nothing could stop this team and he too made it to safety to bring the game to a resoundingly victorious end.
Tonio, Maynard, Dan, Paul: won. The evil flames: lost
From fire-fighting to gambling...

Lords of Vegas (thanks Paul)
Maynard had to catch a ride home so couldn't join in with Lords of Vegas, so it was up to Paul, Dan and Tonio to fight it out on the Nevada strip to see who would build the most successful casinos.

The cards seemed to favour Tonio to begin with as his casinos were all within close proximity to each other, allowing him to build relatively untouched. Dan and Paul seemed to draw next to each other for the first few rounds, meaning that most of the interaction took place between the two of them. Dan attempted to find 'fair' solutions to their problems by making offers to Paul, most of which he turned down. Dan had multiple tiles in one particular casino, but the dice were against him, so it took a long time to allow him to take it over - the inevitable being dragged out painfully for him, but much to Paul's pleasure.

Things were neck and neck until about half way through the game, when Tonio's isolated gambling dens allowed him to inch more and more into the lead, with Dan and Paul relatively close to each other bringing up the rear.

Paul got a bit lucky as 'the strip' was turned twice very early on, but was still a long way behind Tonio as the end game approached. At one point Tonio had so much cash that he uttered the immortal phrase 'I've realised that I don't have to worry about strategy because I can just buy whatever I want'.

Poor Dan struggled as he missed out on the strip a few times.

Paul then decided to put all of his eggs in one basket in a vain hope of catching up the leader, by building two large 'Tivoli' casinos at once, which were both on the strip. The last four turns of the game saw two Tivoli's come up and then the strip at the end, which somehow allowed him to draw level with Tonio on points, and pip him for the victory using cash as the tiebreak.

One interesting point during the game was that Dan corrected a rule that both Paul (who's game it is) and Tonio had been playing since the game was purchased. They'd been playing that the boss of a casino was the one with the most dice pips showing in that casino, but it is actually the owner of the highest die in that casino. This makes it harder to take casinos over and subtly changes the game.
Paul: 49 ($87m cash), Tonio 49 ($60m cash), Dan 29
A different game to end the evening...The Resistance (thanks Jon)
There was a time, not too many moons ago, when every evening at IBG finished with a large ‘social’ game of some description. This tradition has fallen by the wayside recently, but is definitely worthy of resurrection, so Gareth pulled out this old favourite to re-live the good old days.
And just like the good old days, Jon and Gareth were accused of being spies, even before the role cards had been distributed…unfair on Jon, but fair enough for Gareth, who was indeed a spy in the first game. (Actually, he was even caught ‘spying’ at Johan’s role card in the very first game, which had to be re-started as a result!)
Anyway, the first game saw newcomer Neil, Gareth and Philip play the role of the bad guys. Neil and Gareth were smoked out quite quickly, whilst Philip managed to fly under the radar, although did miss an opportunity to fail an early mission. Consequently, the good guys won.
The second game started with Scott showing Neil his role card, who proclaimed that Scott was ‘good’. Suspicion again fell on Jon and Gareth, but was this time proven to be unjustified. Jon then forced Scott to show him his role card, which revealed that both Neil and Scott were dirty spies. The final spy (Soren) was smoked out in the 4th mission, and so it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the good guys would win again. However, Scott was the first mission leader for the final mission, which obviously did not go ahead. Then, Scott played a vote of No Confidence on Philip’s mission choices. With Soren, Jon and Neil next in line, and with Neil holding another ‘No Confidence’ card, it suddenly dawned on the jubilant Resistance team, that the mission leader would change hands five times, creating an automatic fail and an overall win for the spies.
There was indeed much muttering and cursing from the blue team, whilst the reds sat smugly, revelling in their hollow victory.
Whatever, it was great fun, and hopefully it won’t be another 6 months before it hits the table again.
Game 1: Jon, Johan, Barrie, Scott, Soren – won as the resistance; Neil, Gareth, Philip - lost as spies
Game 2: Scott, Neil, Soren – won as spies; Jon, Gareth, Johan, Barrie, Philip – lost as the resistance

P.S “Our Duty is to Spy” is a quotation from Utopia Limited by Gilbert and Sullivan

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