Wednesday, 27 February 2013

"Are we nearly there yet...?"

Players: Philip, Michel, Barrie, Barry, Gareth I, Neil, Noel, Jon, James, Woody, Andy, Dan II, Tom, Tonio

Relegated to the conservatory by a wedding party in the Riverview Room, but still a good number of IBG’ers convened to display our games to the general public. Except that we seemed to scare most of them off and pretty much had the room to ourselves anyway. Great to see Tonio back with us again too.

Not a lot of games played this evening, as the 3 main games took a wee while to finish. And in the case of Tammany Hall, enough time to watch 2 football matches, one and a half screenings of The Hobbit or drive to Devon. Which would you rather do…?

Playing this game in the ‘romantically lit’ portion of the conservatory didn’t make life easy, but a combination of squinting and asking those players with younger eyes seemed to do the trick.
Jon made the mistake of picking up 2 machines in the first round, and then spent the next 3 rounds trying to pick up any cards worth bidding with. Neil was picking up some mighty bidding robots, whilst Michel was also picking up some useful cards. Tom splurged on robots in the second or third rounds, and seemed to be doing a good job too.
The scores were totted up and Neil and Tom were way ahead of Jon and Michel. Except that Michel had misunderstood the scoring system, and had in fact scored loads more points. Which made the first 3 positions incredibly close, and Jon nowhere. Fortunately it was too dark for anyone to notice Jon’s embarrassment.
Neil 49; Michel 48; Tom 47; Jon 28

Castles of Burgundy (thanks for this report Neil)
A return of last week’s quest, taunted by San Michel de Mont San Michel in the chariot to the Apprentice, could I score two more points and beat him to top spot? Boats, tonight I would survey and take to the water.
Barrie of Up Nerth, Gareth of Architekton and I, Neil of the South Folk opted for board vanilla, whilst our French compatriot took off to Estate Eight to see if he could out-Barrie Barrie. He took an early lead, whilst bemoaning the die can you believe? Single areas were picked off for good early bonuses. Gareth begun with a good mix of knowledge, cows – the technical Castles term is ‘mooage’ – and castles. Meanwhile Barrie went after the mines and some good buildings too.
I did take a boat, but it didn’t impact on the turn order. I decided that buildings would be my saviours of the day and tried collecting them in threes to hopefully pick up on some end bonuses in due course. Barrie got his boats moving, as did Gareth in fact, but Michel was still fulfilling his area quotas and also flogging on a good number of goods, he even bought the goats, I mean, goats! It was about mid-game that he lapped me I recall, and last week’s 1 point defeat started looking like a joyous event… reeling, I ditched my second boat and took off after more buildings but it was late, far too late.
Gareth, and then Barrie, both forgot to spend their silverlings in a timely manner and despite some excellent trading neither quite made the most of endgame bonuses. For once 215 didn’t look like a good score. Michel had royally trounced us and became Le Roi de Burgund – and he’s never even been to Burgundy for heaven’s sake!!
Michel 252(high score of the month!), Gareth 211, Barrie 184, Neil 176

Tammany Hall (thanks for this one Woody)
In the fear that Tom's Kickstarter copy may never arrive and to meet the demand for a game of it, Woody borrowed Tammany Hall from Eclectic Games in Reading.
Quick game anyone? This turned out to be a three & a half hour marathon with five players. Tom, Woody, James, Jon & Noel got more than they expected.
Basically the game is about securing districts in early New York through management of the various immigrant natioanalities. There is a bit of El Grande about it with a nasty back-stabbing twist. Negotiation and debate probably went on too long and that caused the game to extend further than necessary.
Each four year term is divided into 4 single years and player place either two of their staff or one staff and a voter in whichever districts they wish. Voting occurs based on number of staff plus bribery chips relating to the nationalities in each district. Each term, a mayor is appointed who gets VPs but then has to allocate jobs to everyone else, each job coming with a benefit. More to explain but this is not the place for it.
In summary, a very long first game and I think very diverse opinions afterwards. Debate raged about whether five players were too many, whether if you got behind early there was any way to catch up and whether there was a 'kingmaker' role. I don't think we will all agree on any of these - Woody and Tom being definite fans of the game, others yet to be convinced. Recommend you give it a go, perhaps with four players.
Woody 24; Noel 22; Tom 17; Jon 14; James 11

No Thanks! (thanks again Neil)
We were then joined by Philip for three games of ‘No Thanks’, new to Michel and myself. Conveniently Gareth and Barrie were out to get each other and destroyed themselves in all three games as a result. Michel was clearly treating the first game as a learning game and also scored highly so it was left to Philip and I to compete for first place, pipped again, by 1 point… I mean 1 point, damn!
The second game was a little trickier as I ran out of coins to bid with, Phillip once again looking good but had to settle for a shared victory with Michel. Gareth and Barrie finally became chummy again and the third hand was close, tense, and fraught with excitement… only for the game to fall apart at the final hurdle and victory was handed to Gareth, how on earth had that happened?
Phillip 31/25/41, Michel 53/25/42, Neil 32/32/52, Gareth 59/92/39, Barrie 65/34/53

The only other game played tonight was Railways of the World but I’m afraid that we have no report from any of the protagonists. I do know that it was played between Andy, Tonio, Dan II, Philip and Barry. They were originally going to use the Eastern US map, but on getting out Noel’s as-yet-unused copy, they discovered an enormous ridge running across the centre of the map which was going to prove impossible to lay track on, so this was abandoned in favour of Europe. And apparently Andy ended up winning.

We’re back upstairs next week, hopefully managing to squeeze a few more games into our evening together!

1 comment:

  1. well there certainly seems to be a lack of polar bears...