Wednesday, 6 April 2016

It was a drastic solution to a little flambe problem

Contributors: David, James, Peter

Gareth, Sarah, Philip, James B and I started the evening with a game of The Great Dalmuti. Steve Jackson lists this as one of his favourite games so I've always wanted to try it and whilst fun I'm not sure we played it to its full potential. I think it could be great with more interaction and inventiveness from the players by ordering the peon about, switching seats and wearing hats rather than just a straight card game. Which is how we played it.

Once Tom and Dan turned up we followed that with a game of Family Business. It was an early blood bath and I could only look on as my gang (the infamous gang the Bank Robbers) were set upon by everyone else. However I bravely managed to hang on, that or the others felt sorry for me, to see at least a few other rival gangs take some hits. It came down to a 1v1 scrap between Dan and Peter (iirc) and Dan managed to come out on top by defeating Peter's Purple Gang (ehm)
Once a few more people turned up we split into a few tables and Raj, Peter, James B and myself opted for a quick game of 7 Wonders. Raj was new to the game but the rest of us were seasoned hands, this meant that the game went very quickly which threw Raj off a few times but I think he managed to pick it up by the second age. I concentrated all my efforts on science, as no other players were doing so this allowed me to build up quite a large selection. Peter meanwhile was building up a nice selection of civic buildings as my nearest rival. When it came down to scoring I ended on 61, Peter 47, James B 44 and Raj on 37. With no real competition for science I was free to score some massive points while ignoring military and I didn't even have to build the last section of my wonder. After 7 Wonders and Bohnanza (played on the other table) had ended Dan, Tom, Alex, James B and I started a game of Flash Point: Fire Rescue. I think we used Flash Point: Fire Rescue – Extreme Danger or some characters from the expansions. We got off to a terrible start, James wasted his first turn as the Dog, hanging around outside waiting for us to open the door for him whilst I managed to completely miss using the Fire Engine hose. However we soon turned it around and Tom went about removing hazardous materials from the building (although they weren't anywhere near the fire we were confident enough that we could contain it without his help). This was yet another mistake as some terrible rolling meant the fire spread rapidly trapping both Alex and I in the basement with no easy way out. Dan bravely fought the fire alone with a little help from James but it was too little too late as the entire building collapsed killing us all. We had only managed to save one person laugh

To end my evening was a game of Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Rumble at Castle Tentakill with Alex, James B, Dan and Tom. A pretty funny game with great artwork and tongue-twisting spells that should be fast and furious. However I think a few of us over thought the spells rather than just playing which slowed it down. Would happily play again but maybe faster next time


Was a week of lighter fare... with Jon/Phil and Paul providing most of the opposition.

Started with Karuba which feels like you should pronouce it like some kind of Mexican chant... to cut to the chase a great little family friendly Haba game where everyone has tiles numbered 1-36 and is looking to build routes and move explorers along the routes to temples... It was so good we played it twice ! I think Jon won the first time, but to be honest most time Jon wins tend to be wiped from my memory soon afterwards... Beginners luck for sure. Second time through Paul triumphed with me second and I definitely remember Jon coming last... That definitely happened.

After Karuba we upped the difficultly stakes with a game of CVlizations... a semi-hidden role game with wonderfully cute graphics, again a simple game play and (as I didn't win) oodles of luck involved. Phil got off to a flyer collecting many many cards, while Jon opted for this 'Hey, look how well James is doing' strategy to distract attention... WHY OH WHY do people still listen to him, he's been pulling the same trick for 6 years ! yuk Anyways, Jon picked up a card allowing him to make 2 purchases per round, and used this to great advantage with all the resources he'd been hording... Paul was picking up lots of bonus resources each round in a smooth and 'under the radar' kind of way... and Phil just seemed to be dominiating with loads of buildings, a seemingly endless supply of resources and the (ever) luxury of being seated on the left of Paul.
So third age was a points fest. Jon starting piling up VP's Paul continued to build and Phil kept taking the cards I wanted before I could get them... I had about 5 cards at this stage... nowhere near a winning position, but I had a nice engine going... you know the type - if only the game lasted another 10 rounds I'd have wiped the floor with everyone... I think Phil won (to be honest I can't remember)... might have been Paul. Given I can't remember it suggests it was Jon, but I'm *sure* it wasn't... convinced... bet the house and sell my granny convinced it was someone else... although not me... I'm also sure of that. Last... crySo last up, by process of elimination, we played Carcassonne. A much malaigned game which is way way better than most people give credit... James brought his big box +++ version with a zillion expansions but we opted for the basic river plus inns & traders and some other stuff, but not the pigs... and the ones that let you take a bonus tile... and the giant meeple that counts twice... bit random for sure.

This was more like it... surely the hours spent on the ipad version would give me an advantage.. Paul got off to a bad start with several meeples viscioulsy trapped before the 1/2 way point. Phil was builing in his corner, maybe because it was a good strategy, or maybe because he didn't want to have to get up and reach over the table so was easier to focus on one part of the map. Early on there was a small farmer battle between Paul and myself... more on this later. Midpoint a few largish cities were build benefiting James and Jon.. Paul was trying to build a metropolis but it always seems a long short. Jon had a lot of goods for the end game trader bonus scores... At this point I noticed a few good farmer spots and took advantage knowing I had a nice score at the end coming my way... noone else seemed to be worried about this (these guys were definitely not as cutthroat as the ipad) so it felt like a good strategy... At one point Jon put a cathedral in Pauls' city, and only then chose to explain the rule about this nullifying the points for the city... nice time to add a new rule Jon Jon was also insisting that we played by some rule from the 1850's around completing a 2 tile city being only worth 2 points... get with the show grandad.
So as the game drew to a close Jon was going to bag a lot of points from goods by wasn't involved in much farmer action. I had about 4-5 farmers on the board and could see $$ signs as I anticipated the scoring. Phil had lots of cities in his corner, but not much more.. and Paul was still desperatly trying to finish his super city.. Then... with the last tile Paul had a chance to finish... but the tile didn't fit (OUCH ! SO CLOSE)

To be honest we kinda lost count with the scoping having lapped the board twice and forgotten to use the 50/100 tile to track this... but with the farmers counted it was obvious (well to me) that I'd romped home with a large win... ahead of Jon (I think... again it gets hazy here) and Phil/Paul someway away back...

The farmer fight I had with Paul earlier was a tie, but bagged us both 36 points or something... I guess thats what having an EU farming subsidy can do for you. I look forwards to the Brexit expansion.

Oh, I forget... we also did some Deep Sea Adventure at the start and I won that as well... but being the modest chap I am I'll not talk about this anymore... blush 


There were a couple of rounds of Deception: Murder in Hong Kong early on, which was new to me. I made it a little easy for everyone in the first round by drawing the Murderer card and promptly managed to get the rules wrong and choose a card of an opponent. The detective put me right but the investigators used the full powers of their perceptive detecting skills and concluded that a new player might just be the murderer, someone, perhaps, who didn't know the rules. It was all over pretty fast. In the second game I drew the murderer again, but this time, in an attempt to avoid detection, I correctly choose two cards from my own tableau. Foiled by this deception a number of wrong guesses were made before Dan honed in on my weapon and motive, or whatever it is the cards represent. I liked the game, a refreshing change from the usual social deduction resisting werewolves in Avalon. 

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