Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Isleworth Boardgamers get lost in time, space, and mumble mumble mumble

Contributors: Daniel, David

To get the evening started, an IBGer who shall remain nameless persuaded us to try out his latest purchase Die Fiesen 7 which I think is German for "surely you can all count up to seven right? I mean, there's only three rules in this game, it isn't difficult or anything." The activity here is to basically count up to seven and then back down to one again, except sometimes you don't say a number, and at other times you have to mumble into your hand. It is a total load of crap and comes to an end when somebody becomes so bored by proceedings that they can no longer be bothered to keep track of where the count is currently at. I mean really, you only have to count to seven and back, and that is the extent of the entertainment. Off the poop rail with ye!

Next up, I joined Tom Juan and Original Flavour James in a bash at the much-hyped TIME Stories. It's difficult to provide a session report for this that doesn't give the game away, so I'll focus on the overall impression that the game made on me. I like the concept but found that the gameplay was very linear with the game leading us all the way through. Maybe we were just a bunch of idiot savants when it came to this game but our first play concluded with an 'Heroic' success within just a couple of hours. Everything just seemed to be so obvious, inclusing the rather silly moment involving a sink plunger that we knew wasn't going to end well but decided to follow through anyway. The game uses a system of tokens that look like very simple QA codes, and they could have exploited this system very easily to implement branching pathways. However, they haven't got anywhere past changing the text slightly to discern which way you came into a room, or whether or not you've been there before, which is a complete waste of potential. Ultimately, it ends up being a very straightforward story that slavishly repeats all the Lovecarftian cliches you hope they would avoid. Even so, it was kind of interesting to play despite being quite a shallow pool to paddle in, however I can't say that I have been left with much desire to play any of the other 'adventures' that are being released for this system.


We started the evening with Coup: Guatemala 1954. I play a lot of regular Coup and Coup: Reformation so have wanted to try this out for a while and I wasn't disappointed. It mixes things up by removing the fixed roles of Coup and adds a large number of different variants, I can imagine no two games being the same. Myself, Jon, Noel, Peter and Magnus started with the Radio Operator, Banker, Secret Police, Missionary and US Consulate as the characters. After a round where four people claimed the banker we soon reached the stage where myself and Jon were targeted by Coups. I used the Secret Police on Magnus but then unwisely called his bluff when he claimed to have the Telegraph Network and was knocked out quite early. After Jon and then Peter were eliminated it came down to Noel who had the last Secret Police but waited until he had 7 Coins to use Coup to finish off Magnus. After playing this I'm not sure I would want to play regular Coup that much now and is something I would love to pick up.

After Dan, Tom and James settled down for an evening of T.I.M.E Stories the rest of us split into two tables. TomTom, Raj and Magnus went for the new Fury of Dracula (Third Edition) whilst myself, Jon, Peter and Noel decided on San Juan (Second Edition). I believe I was the only one who hadn't played it before but I had played Puerto Rico so it wasn't that big a leap and was easy to pick up. I really enjoyed this one and is exactly the sort of game I enjoy, I started with the rather unspectacular Tower as my opening few hands were limited to expensive buildings meaning I had to play a bit of catch up. Although I managed to turn it around towards the end by utilising a Quarry and Carpenter Combo along with the Library. This allowed me to catch up but ultimately not enough. It ended with Jon on 30, Noel on 27 and myself and Peter on 25. Not sure how this game slipped past me all these years but I thought it was great and is another game I would want to play again.

As both T.I.M.E Stories and Fury of Dracula (Third Edition) were still going on we ended the evening with a game Pictomania. My drawing/scribbling hasn't improved although hats off to Noel for guessing Horseradish Sauce from my misshapen attempt at a horse and bulbous radish.

After that I headed home whilst the games continued.

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