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.


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