Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Wherefore Art Thou, Mombasa?

Contributor: David

An early start for TomToo, Philip and myself with a game of Guillotine. A card game set during the French Revolution where the players are the executioners pandering to the masses by executing famous faces from the nobility, the church and the military. Of course you might inadvertently lop the head off someone the crowd approves of such as The 'Hero of the People' who then count against you as negative points. It's a light-hearted game with wonderful artwork and remains one of my favourite fillers. I believe Tom won this one with Philip second and Paul M (who joined us halfway through) third whilst I bought up the rear having chopped the head off said 'Hero of the People'.
After the quick game of Guillotine Jon and Peter arrived and we settled for a game of Poison. A game where each player has to discard their hands by playing numbered potion cards into one of three cauldrons in the centre of the table. Once a player pushes one of cauldrons above thirteen he has to take what is in the pot which then count as negative points. There are also poison cards that players are trying to avoid as they count as double. It's a nice filler where you are trying to push each pot to boiling point and thus force the next player to go over thirteen whilst trying to avoid the same fate. Philip won this one by managing to avoid any pick ups during the round whilst the rest of us followed closely behind. I would recommend the Japanese Version which has a much reduced box size and lovely artwork.
Once Paul D, James B, Alex had arrived we split into two different tables. TomToo, Peter, Paul M and Philip decided on a game of Village, whilst myself, Jon, James B and Paul D went for a quick game of Codenames as we waited for Noel and Raj to arrive. Somehow James and I managed to win, although my instant quick-fire guesses weren't always paying off. Having said that I believe my guess of Shakespeare for the clue 'Books' was pretty spot on only to find out James was thinking of Novels and Schools.
Noel and Raj then turned up along with Deception: Murder in Hong Kong. Having been the murderer for three times in a row I opted to be the Forensic Scientist giving the team the clues. Everyone had closed their eyes and I looked across to see Raj was the murder, he gave me 'Pesticides' and 'Confidential Letter' as his means of murder and clue left at the scene. It was up to me to provide enough clues to help the team uncover Raj. Unfortunately most other players at the table also had poisonous substances so it was important to highlight the Confidential Letter. My clue of Hospital for the location only steered players away from Raj towards Alex and Noel. A couple of times throughout the game both pesticides and Confidential Letter were discussed but Raj deftly steered the team away and onto something else and in the end Raj managed to evade capture. I'm not sure if my clues weren't good enough or too cryptic but Raj didn't have to work too hard for his victory.
After that James B, Alex and Raj went for a game of Bohnanza whilst myself, Jon, Noel and Paul D set up a game of San Juan (Second Edition). This has been getting a lot of table time over the last few weeks and for good reason as it's a great game. Each of us went for a slightly different strategy, Paul and I both had custom houses whilst Noel and I both had prefectures, this meant that the Councillor role was paying out nicely for me and was also pretty good for Paul and Noel. Noel also had the library and was using this to maximise on the Prospector role. Both Jon and Paul went for the trade and harbour route whilst I went for a mix of buildings that included the Chapel (yet again laugh). I also built a bank alongside Jon but threw too few cards under near the beginning that eventually denied me the victory. In the end Jon and I were tied on 42 points but Jon won on the tie break. I believe it was then Noel on 40 and Paul on 39. An incredibly tight game.
To end the evening, myself, Alex and Raj decided on a game of Sail to India whilst James B, Noel, Jon and Paul D went off for a game of 7 Wonders. (I should mention at this point that Village was still being played on the other table). Sail to India is yet another Japanese game that has been revised by AEG. This time however it's a rather deep and strategic game for such a little box. Each player has a number of cubes which are used as the player's money, victory points, ship speed, traders and builders. It's all about how well a player can manage the movement and timing of those cubes. If you build too many buildings and don't have any spare cubes when you score victory points or money then you lose the points and money. However the more successful you are the less cubes you have at your disposal. It was a tight game with Raj and Alex going for increased ship speed and technology updates first whilst I went for more cubes to give me more choice. The ship speed and technologies allowed Raj and Alex to sail further away and score good points on trading whilst I was a little slower. Towards the end it was between Raj and Alex as I was too many points away to catch up. Raj successfully managed to score the vital last few points for discovering India and pip Alex to the win.

Another good evening. 

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