Wednesday, 23 May 2012

"The Wiki Page for 'Physics Major' Redirects to 'Engineer'

“The Wiki Page for Physics Major redirects to Engineer”
A nice train game to get us going.
Three player Steam- Andy, myself and David, a new comer to the Isleworth Boardgamers. We played the American side of the map as recommended for three players. Broadly speaking Andy took the left-hand side of the map, I took the middle and David the right-hand-side, although both me and David diversified into Andy’s ara, which is a tribute to his skill in picking the best spot.
Andy took the correct early Locomotive decision and both he and I rapidly increased our Locomotive to size 6, with David being a little slower. I used the Engineer a few times to make longer connections and we were all fighting over Urbanisation towards the end as the cubes vanished from the map. I spent a couple of turns building a long rail link to Ottowa which paid off in the short term in terms of juicy deliveries but didn’t seem so smart later on.
In the final turn Andy and me were very close and unfortunately my best deliveries used his track, which contributed to his victory. Points are approximate.
Andy 55 Philip 52 David 50.
From trains to robots...
Robo Rally (thanks Jon)
And so it was that we sat down with a much-loved copy of this game, with only Jon and Paul having not played before. However, the rules are extremely simple, so even Jon and Paul picked it up in no time.
The game began with John and Jon shooting off across the board in search of the first checkpoint. Soren and Paul were a little slower off the blocks, and Alex just seemed to be deriving much pleasure from shooting James in the derriere. Thanks to some handy conveyor-belt assistance, Jon was fast approaching his objective, but a slight miscalculation combined with some none-too-subtle ramming from John, sent him off the board and back to the start. By this time, Soren had got his act together and was also approaching the first checkpoint, whilst Paul was still in a world of his own, and James was still getting shot.
By the mid-game, John and Soren were racing each other around the checkpoints, whilst Jon and Paul had James in a laser sandwich on a conveyor-belt, forcing him to power down to prevent total destruction. Paul then wandered off and dropped off the board in the same place twice running. Nice. Alex finally decided that he would pursue the actual goal of the game, as opposed to shooting James, but by this time it was too late – Soren had raced around the checkpoints and claimed victory. John had reached 2, and Alex 1, whilst Jon, Paul and James were still on the start board, after having lost lives and being in varying states of disrepair.
Soren 3 checkpoints; John 2; Alex 1; Jon / Paul / James II – 0
Train engineers, robot engineers, now urban engineers!

Sunrise City (thanks Jon)
Jon joined the Sunrise City veterans, Soren and John for a game to end the evening. The rules take a little explaining, but Soren did a good job, and Jon felt a lot less clueless than he did at the beginning of Power Struggle last week!
Soren and John were doing a good job of hitting the star at the top of the score track, for lots of bonus points, and were cleverly using the purple buildings to their advantage.
3 rounds pass relatively quickly, and the thick tiles create a pleasing 3D cityscape at the end. Soren had raced into an unassailable lead, and Jon was bringing up the rear after having failed to score many bonuses during the game.
Verdict: really interesting puzzle-like city-building game. Although attractive, the pastel colours make it more difficult than it needs to be to instantly assess the ‘gameboard’ (purple/blue and yellow/green being particular culprits), but overall a nice little game that deserves further outings.
Postscript: it appears that Soren did have one rule wrong – the bonus for landing on the ‘10’ space is indeed 2 stars, but you don’t then get another star for ‘wrapping around’ back to ‘1’ again. I’m not sure that this would have affected the result, but it would have been a lot closer. Well, that’s my excuse for losing so badly and I’m sticking to it……
Soren 19; John 13; Jon 9
Another city, another type of thrill...
Lords of Vegas (thanks Paul).

After successfully introducing James II to Lords of Vegas recently, and still dizzy from the many unplanned circles that occurred in Robo Rally, it was time to run it by James' partner in crime, Alex.

Alex picked up the rules in no time. His starting lots were on the strip, which is good but means they take a little longer to build on at the start as they're more expensive and you get less cash at the start. All part of the balance of the game. Unfortunately for him, the strip came out a couple of times before he was able to build on this, so he wasn't able to take full advantage.

James II and Paul's lots were dispersed in seemingly more random locations so to start with they built sized one casinos.

Paul got a little lucky and build a three sized gold gambling den earlier than normal, and then got even luckier as this was drawn in quick succession, allowing him to take a healthy lead.

A big brown casino started to appear in the middle as a result of several disparate tiles being joined, which had a bigger number of tiles owned by Paul and James II, but the single die owned by Alex had the biggest number. As money was tight, it was difficult for James II or Paul to fund a reorganise and reroll the dice, which would have been in their favour.

A lot of gambling took place between Alex and James II, with James II offsetting the bet at the bank on almost all the times when he won, and not doing it when he lost. The perils of Vegas.

Eventually James II took over the seven tile casino, and Alex build a nine tile enterprise just over the strip, but Paul had build a lead that was too big to claw back.
Paul: 44, Alex: 29, James II: 23

P.S “The Wiki Page for Physics Major redirects to Engineer” is a quotation from “Every Major’s Terrible”, which is a modern spoof on “A Modern Major-General”, which is found in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. You can find the spoof at

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