We began with a trick-taking game...
Die Sieben Siegel (thanks Jon)
Time for a quick card-game with the early arrives. Initially, Inago sat down to play a hand, but quickly passed it on to James II who made bids for the first round. Then, before the game started, his food arrived, so Philip took over his position. Philip claims that James’ bidding may have been suspect, as he ended the round on a massive 17 points! Consequently, James I’s saboteur earned him a big fat zero.
In the second round, Michel took the saboteur, but as only one black token was taken, he ended on -3. Philip did much better with his own bidding, and simply scored -1.
Jon managed a perfect second round, and therefore squeaked victory in this 2 round game.
Jon -2; James I -3; Alex -3; Michel -4; Philip -18
French or Industrial?
Revolution (thanks Jon)
It’s been a long time since this simultaneous action-selection / area majority game has hit the table at IBG, so it was a welcome return tonight. Alex and James II had played once before in the dim and distant past, and it was new to Gareth II.
Jon managed to get a foothold in the Harbour and Market early on, whilst Gareth went for the lucrative fortress and Town Hall. Alex put constant pressure on the Priest to earn influence in the Cathedral, whilst also constantly beating up the poor Printer to achieve a regular influx of 10 support (VP’s).
James II appeared to be having a difficult time winning any influence or support, and his final score of 36 is possibly the lowest ever seen! To his credit, he maintained a smile on his face throughout…
When the final cubes were placed and the scores totaled, it was very close between the first 3 players, with only the swing of a single area between them all. Gareth had picked up a lot of tokens in the last round, and this extra support helped him pull ahead at the end.
Gareth 191; Alex 175; Jon 167; James 36
Back to the...
Stone Age (thanks Jon)
5 years old and still going strong, this is one of the original mid-weight worker placement games, and still one of the best (if you don’t mind a bit of dice-rolling thrown in for good measure…)
Gareth II started as he meant to go on, by accumulating a shed-ful of tools (what is it with people called Gareth and this obsession with tools...??!!) Jon chose to ascend the food track, whilst Alex went for a large population as soon as he could. James II, meanwhile, took a mix-and-match approach…
Gareth was obviously trying to pick up as many tool multipliers as possible, but this focus left him unable to pick up many points as he went along from the huts. Alex did some fruitful gold-panning to build a couple of very nice huts, whilst Jon focused on the cheaper materials and drilled down a single hut stack, whilst also picking up a few hut multipliers when he could.
In the end, Gareth had picked up a stack of points for his tools, but this was not enough to pass Jon, who had accumulated healthy bonuses for both his huts and population.
Lots of fun in 60 mins – this game should definitely still be around in another 5 years time….
Jon 151; Gareth 112; James 85; Alex 77
Forward into space!
Andy couldn’t make it and was replaced by Barry. Michel went for the Hydra, Gareth for the Planta, me for the Mechaenama and Barry for the Eridani. Early turns saw the usual exploring- three ring I hexes without Ancients, followed by loads of Ancients, with Gareth finding all three double-Ancient systems!
Nevertheless by using the Planta’s Explore power to the fullest Gareth quickly burned through the level 3 stack and found plentiful Discovery tiles while exchanging ambassadors with me, his only neighbour. Barry and Michel also exchanged ambassadors. I had very good fortune in drawing a 6 materials discovery tile on turn 2, allowing me to build three cruisers in one action and storm the centre in turn 4. With the addition of a hex on the other side of the centre my dominant position was complete.
The rest of the game was rather boring: I had no desire to attack anyone since I already controlled the best real estate and everyone else was too impressed with my firepower to attack me. Gareth and Barry lost battles against the Ancients but recovered, in Barry’s case enough to treacherously take a system from Michel. The game finished somewhat faster than usual...
Philip 50 Gareth 42 Michel 28 Barry 23
Painting a picture...
Fresco (thanks Woody)
Get up, buy paint from the market, mix it to make the colours you need, paint part of the fresco, get paid, go back to bed, get up and do it all again !
A nice and relatively simple worker placement but with en ough strategy to really make you think. The earlier you get up, the more choice you have but the more expensive it is. Get up late, feel refreshed and be more productive but choices of paint and where to use it may be restricted.
James gave instruction to the three new players and off we went .. James 95, Woody 79, Neil 71, Inigo 68
P.S “Al-fresco-ly” is a quotation from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Sorceror. It is, of course, the adverbial form of "Al fresco".