Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Happy Easter!

So another evening missed, getting a bit tetchy and anxious I have to say... still managing a few games of Carcassonne and took a step up from Cluedo by getting out 221b Baker Street too!  Just in case you've all forgotten me here's my resemblance for Easter - looking good or what !?!
Attendees tonight - Jon, James, Gareth I, Barrie, Gareth II, Barry, Philip, Andy, Woody, Jeroen, Soren, Sean

Big welcome to newcomer Sean who had escaped family life in Ealing for an evening of Tzolk'in. Only time will tell if this was a good trade...

Only one game missing this week, can't be bad!  Many thanks to Jon, Woody and Soren (and his mystery guest!).

Dice Town (Jon, what a gent!) 
It had been far too long since this was last played at IBG, but the stars aligned tonight to not only get this back to the table, but also to allow the 3 founder members of IBG to play a game together for the first time in yonks.

With 4 players there is not quite as much competition for the goodies, but Doc Badluck was still used on a few occasions (which can actually be quite profitable to collect nuggets or cash). Barrie and James started off by collecting (and stealing) several property claims, Jon picked up nuggets, and Gareth's strategy appeared to be to spend his money as quickly as possible.

With regular card-stealing and sheriff-shifting being the order of the day, it was difficult to tell who was in the best position - although Gareth was constantly bemoaning his lack of liquidity. The final scores were close between the first 3 players, and with Jon having stolen a couple of valuable property claims from Barrie and James in the last couple of rounds, he had proved that crime really does pay...

Final Scores; Jon 35, Barrie 31, James 30, Gareth 14

Coup (cheers Jon!)

Just time for a quick filler whilst the Tikal boys scored their final round. Jeroen made an incorrect challenge, Gareth II assassinated his second character, as well as one of Jon's, whilst Jon retaliated with a coup and an assassination of his own for the win.

Jeroen's assessment after 1 play - "it's all mouth and no trousers" and the slightly more succinct "that was s***!" He's a hard man to please you know...

Kakerlaken Poker (thanks Jon)

With the new 'fillers before 8pm' suggestion, this 6 player game was started, assuming it would fit nicely into the 20 minutes of time available. Well, you know what they say about assumptions...

Soren and Jon were both at risk of picking up a fatal set of 4 creatures, but somehow survived, and it was (eventually) Gareth who ran out of cards and was declared the loser. This game was fun for 20 minutes. Not so much for 40 minutes!

Gareth lost the game. Everyone lost 40 minutes of their lives.

Tzolk'in (many thanks indeedy Woody!)

So ... final week as GOTM and Woody & Philip were joined by Andy and new member Sean. Detailed rule explanation to start with but the game itself went at pace (take note James). Not a high scoring game but it was hard to tell exactly who had won till the very end.

Sean 53 - picked up the skulls and banked his VPs early

Philip 44 - built substantial resources and converted them to movement up the temple tracks

Andy 40 - grew his workforce to 5 and ended the game with substantial resources which he converted to VP

Woody 38 - lost the plot and played like a doofus (his own words) as he once again mounted up the resources and then ran out of time to use them.

A note of thanks to all who gave GOTM a go, appreciate that the rules take some explaining but I think the majority enjoyed the game and would play again sometime.

Also, a huge welcome to Sean, always great to see a new face. Sean has a bit of gaming history with AD&D and Catan style games but as the scores above show, he's straight back into it and I think we have a rather good addition to our band!

7 Wonders (thanks again Jon)

James and Jon were looking to play a few shorter games tonight, with a view to finishing a game at the same time as another table and achieving some circulation! So after some democratic game selection, 7 wonders received the vote for another outing.

All 4 players had played before and the game absolutely flew by - done and dusted in under 30 minutes.

James had the 'lighthouse' wonder which gave him access to plenty of resources - meaning that he was in the strange position of having no resource trouble throughout the game. Oddly, Jon had exactly the same experience, as his 'Catan' wonder allowed a 2:1 exchange of resources at anytime, which turned out to be very useful, especially as he'd picked up some double bricks and wood in the first round.

Gareth II was the only player to pick up any science cards, but didn't quite pick up enough of them to make the most of it. Jeroen went for a balanced strategy, apart from taking a pacifist stance when it came to military might! The military battles didn't escalate as much as they sometimes do, with Gareth not picking any up after the first round, and Jon plonking one down with his penultimate card to just overcome James.

When the scores were totted up, it was (as usual) pretty close, but Jon's focus on military and blue victory-point cards had paid off, with his final round military victory against James being a crucial factor.

Final Scores; Jon 53, James 46, Jeroen 45, Gareth II 41

Paris Connection (thanks again Jon!! you’ve played this again without me you buggers!)

After proving last week that this was truly a quick game with some interesting decisions, it hit the table again. This time, at least one of the companies headed off to the South, opening up the map a little.
With 4 players, the maximum stock holding is 15, but again, no-one hit the maximum (although Gareth got to 14). In the final turn, Jeroen returned a stock of the red company, allowing Gareth to trade in a single stock of 8-value yellow, for 2 11-value red stocks, for a nice 14 point gain which turned out to be enough to win him the game.

There are still some interesting strategies to explore (do nothing but pick up stocks at the beginning / drive a company to Marseilles), so this may well see plenty more table time in the future (although Jeroen made it pretty clear that we needn't save a place for him again!)

Final Scores; Gareth II 145, James 140, Jon 138, Jeroen 114

Tikal (thanks Soren!)

A small group of brave (naive? stupid?) explorers ventured into Guatemala's rainforests in search of the lost temples of Tikal and their treasures. Against human decency and common sense of how to survive in the jungle the explorers were not exactly co-operating but doing all they could to block each other and steal each other's treasures.

That may be why none of the explorers seem to ever have made it back and the details of their exploits have been lost in time. All that has survived apart from the temples themselves are stories that Gareth was the most successful closely followed by Big Barry with Soren and Bearded Barrie somewhat less fortunate.

Infarkt (many thanks to Soren again!)

As part of the new NHS educational program for better living through fun and playtime Jeroen, Gareth II, Soren and who-the-hell-was-the-fourth-guy-whom-I-embarrassingly-cannot-remember-right-now played Infarkt. Soren quickly demonstrated how buying random drugs and throwing party after party is not the way to survive cancer; and it did not take long before life in general helped by Gareth II also pushed Jeroen and that-other-guy over the edge to their death of various deadly illnesses by feeding them bad foods, drinks and tobacco.


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Not that I'm missing the eggs, the games, the booze and someone nagging about it's my turn; I've just realised it's the people I'm missing most... well some of you anyway...

Through The Ages

How a game that takes so long to play can have so little written about it possibly tells you just how interesting it is…. (ooo, cheeky!) Or maybe it’s the contestants… Gareth, Barrie, Michel and Gareth II this week.

Tzolk'in (thanks Woody)

GOTM got an airing ... Woody, James, Barry & Philip sat down for some more cog turning resource managing, god worshiping fun. You know the plot by now, so let's get to the important things;

Woody 65pts - Took a new approach for him and went down the temple and skulls route.
James 59pts - Went corn mad, often spending 10+ corn to place his 4 workers. Build loads of buildings and took all night to make each move!
Philip 54pts - Hit the temples hard and was the only player to stay with 3 workers. Was a building away from winning.
Barry 38pts - Dominated the technologies and picked up the monument that rewarded that focus.

The Boss (Cheers Woody!)
Fun card game where you utilise your 'hired muscle' to dominate territories for the mob and take the reward. Nice little twists, warrants a start or end of evening airing and will be interesting to see how the expansion works.

Final Scores; James 13, Woody 13, Barry 12

Tumblin Dice  (thanks Jon)

This old favourite has been gathering dust in Jon’s bedroom for several months, so he thought that it was about time to let it see the light of day again – and it was met at IBG with the joyful welcome reserved for long-lost friends… Such was the popularity, it was played with 5 players, with varying degrees of success.

Noel proved to be the dice-master, with almost all of his dice miraculously ending up displaying a high score on top. Jon started and finished well, but was too greedy and saw a number of dice just topple off the end (proving that he hadn’t spent the last 6 months practicing the game at home…)

James had a good 3rd and 4th round, but scored a big fat zero in the last round. He was also distracted by all the bright shiny new games arriving, and had to be reminded when it was his turn...  Woody struggled with the ‘smoke’ coloured dice, and recovered only in the last round to make his score respectable. 

And Barry? Well – he averaged only 8 points per round. Maybe his red dice were magnets to the other players’ dastardly attacks. Or maybe he was just a bit more rubbish than everyone else at pushing dice down a wooden staircase…

Final Scores; Noel 145, Jon 124, James 101, Woody 91, Barry 42

Paris Connection (thanks again Jon, and can’t believe you all had the audacity to play a hora-family favourite without me, damn!)

This was a new game of Jon’s, which is a track-laying, stock-accumulating train game, with 200 wooden trains in 6 colours that plays in 30 minutes! The mention of trains had Noel interested, and the mention of 30 minutes had Paul hooked too. The game is played on a map of France, divided into small hexes and the rules are remarkably simple. On your turn either play 1-5 trains down onto the board in an attempt to make connections between cities or trade in one of your trains for 1-2 of a different colour. Each train company’s share price rises depending on which cities it connects to, and at the end of the game, players multiply their number of shares (trains) held by the company’s worth. Very simple to understand, but as it turned out, a decent level of thought and decision-making is involved.

Jon began by building out the Yellow company to Brittany, which prompted the other players to start picking up yellow shares. Noel took the red company out East, whilst Paul drove North with the black and purple companies. As it turned out, the track building was restricted to the northern half of the board, until late in the game when the purple company broke out South in a vain attempt to increase its share value.

At the end, 5 of the companies were within a few points of each other, whilst brown had not had a single piece of track laid.

Discussions were had at the end about the importance of picking up 20 shares (the maximum without incurring a large penalty). Jon and Noel had picked up 18, whilst Paul had only accumulated 16. With the value of each company’s shares being so close, picking up the maximum number was evidently essential to maximizing your score (although as shares become more scarce, this is not always as easy as it sounds).

When the scores were totted up, Jon’s focus on Red, Blue and Yellow shares had just sneaked the victory ahead of Noel, with Paul languishing a bit behind. This game genuinely plays in about 30 mins, so should hopefully see plenty more play at IBG. (it flipping better well had! ed)

Final Scores; Jon 190, Noel 185, Paul 151

Lords of Waterdeep  (many thanks Noel! who labelled it Lords of Purple Cubes)

After a sedate, pleasant journey through the French Countryside, Jon, Paul and Noel brought out Lords of Waterdeep for its first play at IBG (Dan, that 4th seat would have been yours! so you did miss some fantasy (ish) fare)

It was a close game with lots of fluctuation in total score and it was often difficult to determine who was best placed to take the win. There is a bit of take that from the play of some of the Intrigue cards and Poor Jon probably suffered most from that, although Paul did have to shake off the inconvenience of the only Mandatory quest. As the game moved towards the end, Noel obviously had his eye on a 25 point bonus quest for 5 purple cubes (oops sorry, eh wizards i think) This would have been easily achieved if he secured the spot that allows a 2 for 3 exchange. At this point, Paul suggested that 'we'll have to stop him getting purple' and promptly choosing something entirely different leaving Jon to 'take one for the team', which he duly did, slowing Noel's plans.

All was close at the end with Paul just holding off Noel and Poor Jon a little further back. Paul 174 Noel 173 Jon 160

This was a really enjoyable game and will look forward to more plays now that there is a feel for how many quests can be targeted for completion and which ones work well together. The start variants suggested at BGG certainly look worthwhile and while there are some balance issues with the Intrigue cards and Plot Quests the overall feel is fun and this could potentially be countered by more effective targeting of the 'attack' Intrigue cards as players get to know the game. A few more plays needed but the DnDeeples are definitely a potential purchase!

Final scores; Paul 174, Noel 173, Jon 160 (brutally betrayed throughout the game....
, or so he reckoned!)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

In the news this week; IBG discussions warm up over ‘GOTM’ – with the longest thread in the history of the club, and individuals writing more words than exist in Oxford Concise, it’s great that our passion for gaming is so much in evidence. 

So, on to the reports… many thanks as ever to Jon, but also to Tom for a great review and Dan II for his first written words, and in poem form, that rhymes, how brilliant is that!?!

As I missed the week I’m led to understand that the attendees were; Jon, James, Dan II, Gareth II, Tom, Philip, Gareth, Barry, Andy, Noel, Brother Paul, now there must have been a couple of others for Gareth to play TtA with, I’d go for Barrie and Michel although I could be wrong, in fact I’m quite used to being wrong, especially at home. In fact I was right once and that really did confuse me !

Notable other games featured but history will be blank over quite what happened; King of Tokyo, Ninjato, Through the Ages I

Stone & Relic (many thanks Tom!)

Leaving feudal Japan behind (and several dead sentries in their wake), James, Tom and Barry agreed to try out Stone & Relic, the new card-based kingdom building game from Small Box Games.

The games is contested on a number of different fronts: largest kingdom, prosperity (achieved by a player placing cards under their wealth card), obtaining relics (of which there are four), and structure VPs. The vast majority of cards have a number of functions which include base VPs, spell actions, abilities (which often activate when the card is placed in a kingdom, or structures are played next to it), power (key for obtaining relics and accumulating wealth) and affiliation. There are four different affiliations which match each of the four relics which will come into play.

To make matters even more complicated, the reverse of each structure card shows a city. Cities are developed from existing structures in a kingdom through the use of a build action. Cities are worth 3 VP (higher than all of the standard structures other than those whose VP are based on attributes of the player’s kingdom) and contribute one power for the purposes of both relics and wealth. The downside of the city, however, is that the existing VP, ability and relic affiliation of the structure are all lost; the latter may affect the VP of other structures such as the Steam Needle which is worth 1 VP for each Cog structure in play.

Each player’s turn consists of a resource step (drawing cards), expansion step (expanding your kingdom), and the relic step (assessing whether there are sufficient cards in play to award the relic and, if not, playing a further card next to the relic).

For the resource step, players draw two cards unless another player has more card in their kingdom at which time they draw three. Therefore, early expansion by one player will give the other players more options ion their hand.

In the expansion step, the player can either take one action or two actions (the latter only if the player discards a card from their hand). The actions are: build action (place a structure into the kingdom or develop a structure in play), spell action (discard a card with a printed spell action and use that spell), wealth action (place a card under your wealth card), or influence action (place a card face-down next to the relic card in play). Once all actions are taken, the active player discards down to four cards.

During the relic step, the active player assesses whether there are seven or less cards played next to the relic card. If so, the player draws a card and then places a card face down from their hand next to the relic. If, however, there are eight or more cards, the cards are turned over and the player with the most power icons wins the relic which is worth 5 VP at game end. Not only do cities add 1 power icon for a player, but each card affiliated to the relic’s bonus icon give +1 power also.

Play proceeds until the draw deck is exhausted (very unlikely considering the frequent shuffling in of the discard pile) or a certain number of structures are played in one kingdom, e.g. nine structures in a three player game. Each player then gets one more turn after which the largest kingdom card (worth 5 VP) and the prosperity card (worth 7 VP) are handed out to the relevant players.

In brief, it’s an exercise in multi-tasking, keeping an eye on your opponents (with minimal take that) and prioritising accordingly. Tom despite having played the game before singularly failed in this task.

James managed to obtain one or two relics, Tom had one also and there was a dead heat for another between Barry and James which meant the relic was discarded. The largest kingdom was another dead heat between Tom and Barry, meaning that it too was discarded. Barry won the Prosperity card by a gnat’s length from James meaning a 14 point VP swing which proved decisive in the endgame with Barry being triumphant. Barry subsequently marched into Tom’s kingdom in his new ultra bling crown, declared it an inefficient, terrain heavy monstrosity and made all its inhabitants cry. The meanie.

It’s a game that takes a little while to get used to the mechanics, hence the long rules explanation but it is very rewarding on a gameplay front, especially for a pack of cards. Put it in the Manny Pacquiao school of small packages with a lot of punch along with Verrater and other luminaries.

Final Scores; James has the scores on the doors but if he doesn't send them to you: Barry 1st, James 2nd, Tom 3rd
 Through The Ages II
(thank you, Dan II, giving Pam Ayres, a few glares… fantastic!!)

Could three of us get Through The Ages, Four?
They told me that it had been done before.
If Stone Age can be done in 48...
Times that by four, and that's three hours. Great!
We started after 8 all thanks to Andy,
But Gareth II helped setup, which was handy.
The G man took an early lead like Portugal...
A dictator with colonies who fought you all.
As Gareth went for points, so Andy spurned them.
Selective breeding? I think he was German.
Taking a chance, I was like France,
With Bonaparte's advances... and operatic dances.
I won it in the end, but it was close
In racing they would call it by a nose.
Just 10, the gap between us, first to third.
Could we have missed a score or two? Absurd.
The point is that we finished it on time
And I also got the blog report to rhyme.

Rails of Europe (Railroad Tycoon) [Rails of Europe]  (thanks Jon!)

With a few ‘late boys’ arriving at 8pm, including Noel and Jon, this game was a shoe-in. I’m not sure that Noel’s brother, Paul, was given any choice, and Philip had also opted / been forced to join in too. The map chosen was Europe, which works great with 4 players. The game was new to Paul, so Noel gave him some fairly thorough instructions which got him up to speed.

The first set of cards available included a service bounty to Moscow, so Philip bid a relatively large amount to go first and build this link. This gave him the first cube bonus too, so quickly took him up to 5 points. Noel built Hamburg to Berlin, which is when Paul then stepped in to immediately build Berlin to Prague. Noel was not amused. Jon was.

Jon played the ‘Noel strategy’ and quickly built the Amsterdam to Marseille route for the first Major Line bonus. Noel had turned his back on his brother, and moved down to Spain, to pick up the ‘4 different cubes’ bonus. The ‘3 link’ bonus wasn’t picked up for quite a while, bit it eventually went to Jon.

The game settled down with Philip being left entirely on his own in the East, building a little circular route and eventually heading towards Vienna for another Major Line bonus. Paul had moved down through Eastern Europe and was now tussling with Noel again around Northern Italy. Jon moved west to Brest, and hoped that he had locked up enough cubes, as his track expansion options were now pretty much non-existent.

For much of the game, Noel had only a level 1 engine, but was picking up his points from completing Major Lines and collecting other bonuses (including a few free delivery points courtesy of Paul). He was almost completely blocked from connecting Spain to Italy, when Paul decided to build Marseille to Barcelona (cue more grunting and huffing), but Jon played nice and didn’t build the final link out of Marseille, leaving Noel able to take a slightly longer route round.

In terms of bonds, Philip’s early splurging soon came to a halt, and he finished the game with only 6 bonds. Jon expanded his network quite early and soon had 9 shares, whereas Noel invested slowly and surely, although still finished with 9 bonds. Paul was slightly more gung-ho, and soon had 12 shares, leaving him with not too much income in the middle game.

The game was coming to a conclusion, and Jon was finding his hoard of undelivered cubes too much temptation, and he lost a couple of valuable ones in Copenhagen to Philip, and a few more to Noel in Paris. But the game ended at just the right time for him – he completed a few 5-link deliveries (giving Paul a few points in the process) and had stretched out his lead enough to overcome his bond deficit to Philip.

Noel finished ahead of Paul, but that was scant consolation – I suspect that Paul was sleeping on the sofa that night…..

It was interesting that Noel’s (slightly forced) strategy of getting early points from bonuses and Major Lines very nearly paid off, although it is slightly easier to block than a delivery strategy. Nice to see even more depth in this great game.

Final Scores; Jon  x+2, Philip  x+1, Noel  x, Paul  x-1

Coup (ta Jon)

3 games – 2 wins for Noel (that cheered him up a bit) and 1 for Philip. Always a great way to kill a few minutes (and a few friends…). [nicely put Jon, very good!]

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

The News Tonight: As the country looks to leave the Euro, we delve deeper into it…

A select committee was assembled this week to consider Britain’s ongoing role in the Euro.  First up was our delegate from Roman times, Tonio, with his Teutonic Knizia game ‘Circus Flohcati’.  The sceptics, Gareth II, Ravi and Neil pushed the language barriers to one side and began collecting fleas.  Thankfully the theme only goes so far.  Colours and high numbers were fought over, and collections of small sets too for bonus points.  All in all, a neat game, one up to the Euro although the expert – he introduced it – failed in exhibiting it’s true glory.

Scores; Gareth II  51, Ravi  49, Tonio  47, Neil 45

Maybe property will be the determining factor for Britain?  A nation of homebuilders after all, not content to rent when materialism and ownership is thrust upon us…

For Sale (thanks Jon)

Return of the super-filler, which was new to Michel and Dan II. Jon bid all his remaining money to take the ‘30’ building in the last hand, but had he retained a single coin, he would have won. But he didn’t. So there. Really close scoring though.

Final Scores; Tom 49, Jon 49, Paul 47, Barry 45, Michel 39, Dan II 36

With the property boom being popular it was no surprise when many of the delegation moved up to

Kingdom Builder (thanks again Jon!)

A welcome return for this excellent 45-minute game, and there was no trouble in finding 3 others to join Jon. The 3 scoring cards chosen were Hermits (many settlements); Workers (congregate around castles and other fixtures) and Merchants (join up different castles etc). They were all slightly at odds with each other (although workers and merchants dovetailed a little) which made for an interesting game.

There was slightly more interaction than usual in this game, as it was possible to block other players from scoring points for merchants and workers.

The game stuck to its 45 minute promise, and ended with Tom scoring several Merchants which helped propel him into first place. Jon and Paul agreed to share spoils for 2nd place, with Tonio not too far behind.

Final Scores; Tom 52, Jon 45, Paul 45, Tonio 38

Meanwhile over at the Common Agricultural Policy Forum.  Would those French farmers have their tractors descending on the Houses of Parliament?  Indeed not it seems, their representation was too busy examining the hysterical, I mean, historical formation of Europe and it’s colonies in Through The Ages.  The only quote available came from MEP Gareth who said, ‘Not being put off by the lack of finishing this week, next week Gareth II has asked to join in so it will be a four player game, not sure if we will even get out of the first ages never mind the 3rd’.  So not much positive coming out of that one then.


Back on the farm Andy took Ravi – and I was all ears too – through the Agricola guidelines, Gareth II was expert adviser.  Not content to just try and sell the policy into Europe Andy thrust forward the ‘World Championship’ deck of Occupations and Minor Improvements.  Delusions of grandeur… mais oui, bien sur!

There was a brief moment when the Hora, in his second ever game, thought  he was going well, only to realise that not only could he not take his much anticipated next move, he’d also buggered up the move after that, and he still needed to feed the world.  No wonder he moved from countryside to city.

Meanwhile Ravi continued to plow fields.  Must be some sort of subsidy going astray there, he needed to get sowing too really.  He did pick up a good flock of sheep too though, to keep the wolf from the door.  Gareth II was looking confident, gradually building up resources and waiting for the perfect moment to fence his pastures in whilst extending his family to the max.

Andy lead by example.  Occupations and improvements coming out all over the place, and his pile of resources reflected some of the strategic food mountains Europe is famous for.  And just when we thought he couldn’t do much more along came a massive consignment of cattle to add to his already crammed farm. Impressive.

Final Scores; Andy  46, Gareth II  38, Neil 30, Ravi 19.

The Health Delegation opted to tackle the ongoing infestation problems of Europe with the fleas finding their homes in a slightly larger form; Rattus, (thanks Jon!) and in particular the ‘Spread Across the Med’ into North Africa.
This was played with the Africanus expansion, which allows for up to 6 players. In this case there were only 5, as James had joined the Kingdom Builders after waiting patiently on the sidelines.

Tom firmly set up camp in Northern Europe, along with Tonio and Paul. James and Jon relegated themselves to Northern Africa. The game progressed with the plague sweeping first South then North then South again. Jon and James were using the King to squirrel away a few cubes, whilst Tonio was setting up a large contingent of blue cubes in the centre of the board. Paul and Tonio took it in turns to walk the camel around the board, whilst Tom did a good job of generally staying out of trouble.

Towards the end, everything seemed fairly close, but with a swing of points obtained thanks to one of the witch cards (Merlin?), and a final decimation of cubes (mostly Jon’s) when the last plague tokens were resolved, the result was that Tonio had come out in front. Maybe everyone had been a little too nice to him on his return to IBG….?!

Final Scores; Tonio 15, James 13, Paul 11, Tom 10, Jon 9

A smaller sub-committee somehow lost the plot, the Euro definition was fine but South American tribes were hardly on the agenda… Game of the Month no less!
Tzolk'in (Thanks Woody!)

Game of the month. Most players now have an idea of the game, so no lengthy explanation needed. Worker placement, resource management, moving cogs, crystal skulls !

First time plays for Barry and Philip, Dan II had played once or twice before and Woody seems to play nothing else (joking).

Philip quickly went down the workforce expansion route but didn't acquire enough corn to feed and maximise their effectiveness early although he rectified this in latter stages. Dan II decided to dominate the temples, picking up
resources and VPs early whilst Barry had a bit of skull action going on. Woody however appeared to be just collecting resources and not doing a lot else other than moving up the corn and resource technologies. When final scoring arrived, Woody was on 2VPs but having purchased three monuments in his final turn, shot through for a narrow victory.

Final Scores; Woody  63, Barry  56, Dan II  54, Philip  28

The German delegation then got all a bit agitated and out came 11 Nimmt!  No longer content with six, they now have to go to eleven.  Phillip joined Ravi and myself for four or five hands, some close games won by Phil and then me before Ravi took a ‘right ol’ fistfull’ as they like say in the East End.

We paused to watch the first of two attempted Escapes from the Euro, I mean, the Curse of the Temple. 

Escape: The Curse of the Temple (thanks Jon, again!)

James and Jon inducted Paul and Tom into the frantic dice-rolling fest that is Escape. With little time left in the evening, the game was played twice but without the curse and treasure expansions – they add to the fun but do take a little while to explain.
The first game went down to the wire, with only seconds remaining as James finally rolled his last key.  Only for Tom to pipe up that he was stuck with four Black Masks – they all lost a die each earlier – and that was that; Team-bonding failed!  The second game was a much more sedate affair, with over a minute left when the adventurers sauntered out of the exit, stopping for a celebratory cigar on the way out.

Definitely a fun way to end the evening!

The Euro Rebels in the meantime went even further off track;

Stone Age (Cheers Woody!!)

10.15pm, only time for fillers ? Hell no, time for speed Stone Age!  Woody, Barry, Dan II and Gareth sat down for a lightning fast game with the aim of finishing in 45mins. Woody went down the starvation route, Barry grabbed the buildings, Dan II took a mixed approach whilst Gareth had axes and food. Done in just over 30mins !

Final Scores; Dan II  139, Barry  132, Woody  120, Gareth  92

So, it looks like the Euro may well be making a strong return to favour… join us again next week for the next instalment.