Wednesday, 25 May 2016
Isleworth Boardgamers reach for the skies
Contributors: Daniel, David
Another bijou night of gaming. Plico James was showing us all how to breeze to an easy win in Deception again (I'd love to play Poker with him someday), then we split into two tables.
Soren and Phil joined me for a three player bash at Android. Phil still likes it, Soren hated it, and I totally crushed them both as Bioroid Floyd 'master of unlocking the conspiracy'.
A funny moment was that virtually all the points the Soren scored came from me connecting social favours up to score 4pts each, particularly as circumstances meant that I ended the game without any favours myself.
Phil focussed heavily on gathering evidence on the murder suspect, and when tokens began to pile up into a cardboard ziggurat on one of the suspects they immediately became a target for the hit-squads and were taken out of the game. Fortunately, he was able to find a way to change his suspect card, however it wasn't to be as I had already thrown a couple of purgery tokens down on my target along with a juicy alibi that was destined to fall apart in the courtroom.
Then Raj replaced Soren for a couple of rounds of Spell Wizards, silliness and crudity for a few minutes to wrap up the evening.
James B and I were there quite early so played a game of Carcassonne with Carcassonne: The Tower expansion. I think the expansion is great for two player games, it prevents one player from playing farmers early and dominating the game as there is always a way of removing each other's meeples. This does lead to smaller cities and quick scoring which James was doing to build up a small lead. It was quite a close game for the first half up until James used his last tower piece. After that I was able to start playing farmers and running interference on his meeples as I still had 5 tower pieces left. In the last few turns I maximised farming and finished a couple of large cities that had laid dormant due to previous tower removals. When it came to scoring James made 97 and I was on 186 or thereabouts. After that was a game of New York: 1901 with Raj, James B, Peter and myself. I picked it up a few days ago as I was looking for something similar to Ticket to Ride and the theme was appealing. It looks fantastic and they obviously went all out on production quality. As for the game play, players compete by building skyscrapers in a small district of New York. On a turn players can take a lot card and then optionally build on their land or they can demolish one or more of their existing skyscrapers and build in its place. On top of this are bonuses for controlling certain streets or building certain types of skyscrapers.
There's a certain element of tetris as you try and fit skyscrapers into position as well as trying to grab all the land around your existing skyscrapers so you can build much larger ones later on. James B managed to stop me from doing this a few times by grabbing plots of land right in the middle of my planned construction areas, Peter and Raj meanwhile were busy getting most of their early skyscrapers built as well as securing future land. Towards the end it was obvious it was between Raj and Peter for the win and it would come down to who would score best on the bonuses. When it came to scoring Raj won by 5 points ahead of Peter with myself about 20 points behind and James B a bit behind me. I really like this one and will bring it next week if anyone is interested in trying it out.
The next game after that was Palazzo. Back from a time when Reiner Knizia made some great games. I would put this up there with Medici and Ra. It's a bit ugly and bland but has a simple auction and building mechanism that works well. The objective is to construct the grandest palace with the most windows using the same type of material to score the most points. As there is only three types of material and four players it meant that there was a lot of competition for the same types of building. Peter won comfortably, ahead of James whilst I came in just behind in third. Raj meanwhile was unlucky to have quite a few negative palaces still left in play as the game ended which pushed him back into last place.
To end the evening was a game of Jane Austen's Matchmaker, I convinced Raj to play and James B was keen to play again, he must love the theme more than I do. Interestingly Raj referred to the romantic courtship as attacking, which he did quite well, as he launched a series of unsuitable cads against my defenceless ladies. I was struggling to offload my useless and penniless gentleman whilst James was trying his best to catch Raj. It wasn't to be, Raj won with a landslide of heroines, whilst I ended last with James one point ahead of me.