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!)

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