14-Jul-2000All month
 
Elfenland

Scores : Andy , Boog , Tel , Oggie , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Andy 8, Boog 4, Tel 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Paul

Fair Means or Foul

Scores : Andy , Tel , Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 5, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Andy 10, Oggie 10, Steve 10, Paul 10
Winner(s): Andy, Oggie, Steve, Paul

Modern Art

Scores : Tel , Andy , Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7, Steve 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Perudo

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Tel 5, Steve 5, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul

Taj Mahal

Scores : Tel , Andy , Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 3, Andy 5, Steve 3, Oggie 2, Paul 4
Winner(s): Steve

Vinci

Scores : Steve , Oggie , Boog , Andy , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Steve 7, Oggie 5, Boog 8, Andy 7, Paul 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


15-Jul-2000All month
 
Democrazy

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 7, Paul 9, Steve 7, Tel 9
Winner(s): Paul

Ra

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 9, Oggie 7, Paul 6, Steve 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Really Nasty Horseracing Game, The

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Anne , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Paul 6, Steve 7, Anne 7, Tel 6
Winner(s): Paul

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 4, Oggie 8, Paul 7, Steve 7, Tel 3
Winner(s): Paul

Taj Mahal

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 6, Paul 5, Steve 8, Tel 5
Winner(s): Steve

Talisman

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 4, Oggie 6, Paul 4, Steve 6, Tel 4
Winner(s): Paul, Steve


16-Jul-2000All month
 
Bohnanza

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 6, Steve 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

Democrazy

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8, Steve 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Elfenland

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 6, Steve 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve

RoboRally

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Oggie 6, Paul 5, Steve 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy, Tel

Wiz War

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Oggie 5, Paul 6, Steve 5, Tel 6
Winner(s): Paul


25-Jul-2000All month
 
Expedition

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Kev , Steve , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 6, Kev 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

Expedition

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Kev , Steve , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Oggie 6, Kev 4, Steve 4, Paul 6, Tel 6
Winner(s): Paul


01-Aug-2000All month
 
Courtisans of Versailles

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Andy , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 6, Steve 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


08-Aug-2000All month
 
Euphrates & Tigris

Scores : Tel , Steve , Kev , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Kev 9, Andy 8
Winner(s): Kev


22-Aug-2000All month
 
Ra

Scores : Tel , Steve , Oggie , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 7, Oggie 6, Andy 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy


03-Sep-2000All month
 
Settlers of Catan

Scores : Tel , Mike , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Mike 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Mike , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Mike 7, Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


05-Sep-2000All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 9, Oggie 9, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


10-Oct-2000All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 9, Tel 9, Paul 9
Winner(s): Andy, Oggie, Tel, Paul


24-Oct-2000All month
 
Elfenland

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Tel , Anne , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Oggie 9, Andy 7, Tel 8, Anne 8, Paul 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Oggie


30-Oct-2000All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Boog , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Carcassonne

Scores : Boog , Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Boog 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Carcassonne

Scores : Boog , Anne , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Boog 8, Anne 7, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Cartagena

Scores : Boog , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Boog 7, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Cartagena

Scores : Boog , Anne , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Boog 8, Anne 7, Oggie 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Tikal

Scores : Tel , Boog , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul


31-Oct-2000All month
 
Cartagena

Scores : Tel , Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 5, Oggie 9, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel, Oggie

Metro

Scores : Tel , Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 9, Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


08-Nov-2000All month
 
Giganten

Scores : Andy , Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Steve 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Steve


11-Nov-2000All month
 
Metro

Scores : Andy , Steve , Anne , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Andy 7, Steve 5, Anne 6, Paul 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Paul


14-Nov-2000All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Tel , Oggie , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 9, Oggie 9, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Through the Desert

Scores : Steve , Andy , Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Paul, Oggie


26-Nov-2000All month
 
Lord Of the Rings

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Boog , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 9, Andy 8, Boog 9, Paul 9, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Andy, Boog, Paul, Tel


28-Nov-2000All month
 
Lord Of the Rings

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Steve , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 7, Andy 8, Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Andy, Steve, Paul, Tel


01-Dec-2000All month
 
Kathai

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


02-Dec-2000All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel, Paul


03-Dec-2000All month
 
Torres

Scores : Anne , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Anne 7, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


05-Dec-2000All month
 
Can't Stop

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 7, Andy 2, Tel 6, Paul 6
Winner(s): Tel

Torres

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 9, Oggie 8, Tel 9, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul


12-Dec-2000All month
 
Cartagena

Scores : Andy , Tel , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 7, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Through the Desert

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Tel 6
Winner(s): Tel

Web of Power

Scores : Andy , Tel , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


19-Dec-2000All month
 
Apples to Apples

Scores : Kev , Steve , Andy , Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Kev 7, Steve 8, Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Steve

Carabande

Scores : Kev , Steve , Andy , Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Kev 7, Steve 7, Andy 8, Tel 9, Paul 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

Democrazy

Scores : Kev , Steve , Andy , Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Kev 8, Steve 7, Andy 4, Tel 5, Paul 6, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Great Dalmuti, the

Scores : Kev , Steve , Andy , Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Kev 6, Steve 7, Andy 6, Tel 6, Paul 6, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Tel

Perudo

Scores : Kev , Steve , Andy , Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Kev 6, Steve 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Paul


24-Dec-2000All month
 
Citadels

Scores : Andy , Anne , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 5, Anne 8, Tel 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Anne

Metro

Scores : Anne , Andy , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Anne 5, Andy 7, Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Metro

Scores : Andy , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 9, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Andy , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 9, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


01-Jan-2001All month
 
Apples to Apples

Scores : Tel , Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 5, Oggie 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Carabande

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Citadels

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 2, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Sac Noir

Scores : Tel , Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 5, Andy 6, Oggie 5, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie


02-Jan-2001All month
 
Giganten

Scores : Paul , Oggie , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 7, Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Paul


09-Jan-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Oggie , Tel , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 9, Tel 8, Andy 9, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Paul


23-Jan-2001All month
 
Acquire

Scores : Oggie , Steve , Paul , Andy , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 7, Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Citadels

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Tel 10, Oggie 5, Paul 8, Steve 8, Andy 4
Winner(s): Tel


20-Feb-2001All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Paul 9
Winner(s): Paul

Carcassonne

Scores : Paul , Oggie , Andy
Ratings: Paul 9, Oggie 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul

Carcassonne

Scores : Steve , Andy , Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 9, Paul 9, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Castle

Scores : Steve , Tel , Oggie , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Steve 7, Tel 6, Oggie 6, Paul 6, Andy 6
Winner(s): Steve

Castle

Scores : Andy , Tel , Paul , Oggie , Steve
Ratings: Andy 5, Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 7, Steve 8
Winner(s): Steve

Expedition

Scores : Oggie , Steve , Tel , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 4, Steve 3, Tel 4, Paul 5, Andy 4
Winner(s): Paul

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve , Andy , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 4, Steve 4, Andy 4, Paul 5, Oggie 5
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Paul , Oggie , Andy
Ratings: Paul 7, Oggie 5, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Pass the Pigs

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul , Anne
Ratings: Oggie 6, Andy 5, Paul 5, Anne 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Ra

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 5, Andy 5, Paul 6
Winner(s): Paul

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Taj Mahal

Scores : Andy , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Paul 7, Tel 6
Winner(s): Andy


06-Mar-2001All month
 
Guillotine

Scores : Oggie , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8, Andy 9
Winner(s): Oggie, Tel

Lord Of the Rings

Scores : Tel , Andy , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 6, Andy 6, Oggie 4
Winner(s):

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Steve , Tel , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 9, Steve 9, Tel 9, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Andy, Steve, Tel, Oggie, Paul


07-Mar-2001All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 120, Boog 36, Paul 15
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


11-Mar-2001All month
 
Carabande

Scores : Abi , Tel , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Abi 8, Tel 9, Steve 7, Andy 9
Winner(s): Tel, Andy

Cartagena

Scores : Steve , Tel , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Steve 4, Tel 6, Paul 5, Andy 4
Winner(s): Tel

Guillotine

Scores : Steve , Andy , Paul , Tel , Anne
Ratings: Steve 9, Andy 8, Paul 8, Tel 9, Anne 9
Winner(s): Steve

King of the Elves

Scores : Anne , Andy , Steve , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Anne 5, Andy 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s):

Lord Of the Rings

Scores : Tel , Steve , Andy , Paul , Anne
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 7, Andy 8, Paul 8, Anne 8
Winner(s):

Metro

Scores : Paul , Andy , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 7, Steve 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


13-Mar-2001All month
 
Citadels

Scores : Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Steve 7, Oggie 6, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Torres

Scores : Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Steve 7, Oggie 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul


18-Mar-2001All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Sally , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Sally 9, Tel 10, Paul 9
Winner(s): Tel

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Sally , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Sally 6, Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


20-Mar-2001All month
 
Lords of Creation

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Andy
Ratings: Tel 4, Oggie 4, Andy 4
Winner(s): Oggie


27-Mar-2001All month
 
Guillotine

Scores : Tel , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul

Modern Art

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 6, Tel 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul

Web of Power

Scores : Paul , Andy , Oggie , Tel
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 8, Oggie 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy


01-Apr-2001All month
 
Caesar & Cleopatra

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul


03-Apr-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Oggie , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Tel


10-Apr-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Tel , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 10, Oggie 9, Paul 9
Winner(s): Andy, Tel, Oggie, Paul


17-Apr-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy


22-Apr-2001All month
 
Settlers of Catan

Scores : Boog , Andy , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Boog 7, Andy 8, Paul 7, Tel 9
Winner(s): Andy


24-Apr-2001All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Tel , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Oggie 8, Andy 8, Tel 9, Paul 9, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel, Paul

Dragon's Gold

Scores : Steve , Oggie , Tel , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Steve 7, Oggie 6, Tel 6, Paul 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Oggie


01-May-2001All month
 
Medici

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Tel

Space Beans

Scores : Oggie , Tel , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 6, Tel 6, Andy 5, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul


04-May-2001All month
 
Carabande

Scores : Oggie , Boog , Paul , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 6, Boog 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Paul

Cartagena

Scores : Oggie , Boog , Paul , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 7, Boog 8, Paul 8, Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul

Elfenland

Scores : Oggie , Boog , Paul , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 7, Boog 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Really Nasty Horseracing Game, The

Scores : Oggie , Boog , Paul , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Oggie


06-May-2001All month
 
Bohnanza

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Tel , Anne , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8, Anne 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Fair Means or Foul

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Tel , Anne , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 6, Andy 7, Tel 7, Anne 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy

Guillotine

Scores : Anne , Tel
Ratings: Anne 8, Tel 9
Winner(s): Tel

Guillotine

Scores : Tel , Anne , Oggie , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Tel 7, Anne 8, Oggie 8, Paul 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel, Anne, Oggie, Andy

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 9, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Mille Borne

Scores : Tel , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Andy

Ra

Scores : Anne , Oggie , Tel , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Anne 7, Oggie 6, Tel 8, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

RoboRally

Scores : Tel , Paul , Andy , Anne , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 4, Paul 4, Andy 4, Anne 4, Oggie 3
Winner(s): Paul

Through the Desert

Scores : Paul , Andy , Tel
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul, Tel


08-May-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Tel 9, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel, Oggie, Andy, Paul


15-May-2001All month
 
Acquire

Scores : Steve , Oggie , Andy , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Steve 7, Oggie 3, Andy 8, Paul 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Citadels

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Tel , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Andy 2, Oggie 7, Tel 8, Paul 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Steve


18-May-2001All month
 
Al Cabohne

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel, Paul

Carcassonne

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 9, Paul 9
Winner(s): Tel, Paul

Torres

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


22-May-2001All month
 
Bohnanza

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 7, Andy 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie, Andy

Fair Means or Foul

Scores : Paul , Andy , Oggie , Tel
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Medici

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy


29-May-2001All month
 
Mamma Mia!

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 6, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Taj Mahal

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 10, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie


02-Jun-2001All month
 
Tikal

Scores : Paul , Andy , Tel
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


05-Jun-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 10
Winner(s): Tel, Andy


08-Jun-2001All month
 
Pass the Pigs

Scores : Andy , Anne , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 6, Anne 7, Tel 6, Paul 5
Winner(s): Andy


09-Jun-2001All month
 
Lost Cities

Scores : Andy , Paul
Ratings: Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul


12-Jun-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Oggie , Steve
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Tikal

Scores : Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Steve 8, Oggie 6, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul


16-Jun-2001All month
 
Bohnanza

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Boog , Paul , Martin(Boogs Mate)
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 8, Paul 8, Martin(Boogs Mate) 9
Winner(s): Tel

King of the Elves

Scores : Martin(Boogs Mate) , Oggie , Tel , Paul , Boog
Ratings: Martin(Boogs Mate) 4, Oggie 6, Tel 8, Paul 8, Boog 9
Winner(s): Tel

Metro

Scores : Boog , Oggie , Tel , Paul , Martin(Boogs Mate)
Ratings: Boog 5, Oggie 6, Tel 7, Paul 7, Martin(Boogs Mate) 6
Winner(s): Paul

Perudo

Scores : Martin(Boogs Mate) , Boog , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Martin(Boogs Mate) 10, Boog 7, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Martin(Boogs Mate), Paul

Wiz War

Scores : Boog , Martin(Boogs Mate) , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Boog 6, Martin(Boogs Mate) 7, Oggie 6, Paul 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel


19-Jun-2001All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 9, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Perudo

Scores : Paul , Andy , Oggie
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 10, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Paul, Oggie

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 4, Oggie 8, Paul 4
Winner(s): Oggie


26-Jun-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 7, Andy 6, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul


28-Jun-2001All month
 
Formula Motor Racing

Scores : Anne , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Anne 8, Andy 7, Paul 6
Winner(s): Anne

Ricochet Robot

Scores : Anne , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Anne 5, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Andy


03-Jul-2001All month
 
Guillotine

Scores : Paul , Oggie , Tel , Andy , Steve
Ratings: Paul 7, Oggie 7, Tel 6, Andy 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Steve , Tel , Oggie , Andy
Ratings: Steve 9, Tel 8, Oggie 8, Andy 9
Winner(s): Steve, Andy

Ricochet Robot

Scores : Andy , Tel , Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 7, Steve 6, Oggie 6, Paul 8
Winner(s): Andy

Through the Desert

Scores : Oggie , Steve , Andy , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 8, Andy 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy, Tel


10-Jul-2001All month
 
Formula Motor Racing

Scores : Paul , Andy , Oggie , Steve
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 8, Oggie 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Paul

Verrater

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 5, Andy 7, Steve 7, Paul 9
Winner(s): Oggie


17-Jul-2001All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Unknown , Oggie , Steve , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Unknown 7, Oggie 9, Steve 7, Paul 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Cosmic Encounter

Scores : Andy , Unknown , Steve , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Andy 4, Unknown 4, Steve 6, Paul 6, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Steve, Paul, Oggie

Metro

Scores : Steve , Unknown , Andy , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Steve 7, Unknown 7, Andy 7, Paul 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Oggie


21-Jul-2001All month
 
Carrom

Scores : Anne , Paul
Ratings: Anne 9, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul

Guillotine

Scores : Anne , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Anne 7, Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul

Verrater

Scores : Tel , Anne , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Anne 7, Paul 9
Winner(s): Paul


24-Jul-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Oggie , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 9, Andy 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Steve, Andy

Ricochet Robot

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Andy 9, Oggie 7, Steve 8, Paul 9
Winner(s): Andy

Wiz War

Scores : Steve , Andy , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 7, Paul 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul


28-Jul-2001All month
 
Formula Motor Racing

Scores : Tel , Paul , Oggie , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel, Paul

Formula Motor Racing

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 6, Oggie 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul


29-Jul-2001All month
 
Kathai

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Anne 8
Winner(s): Paul

Perudo

Scores : Tel , Boog , Anne , Sally , Marcus , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Anne 7, Sally 7, Marcus 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog, Paul


31-Jul-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Steve , Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Steve 9, Andy 6, Oggie 6, Paul 4
Winner(s): Steve, Paul


05-Aug-2001All month
 
Limits

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne , Boog
Ratings: Tel 9, Paul 8, Anne 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Paul


07-Aug-2001All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 9, Andy 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Carcassonne

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Torres

Scores : Oggie , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 7, Paul 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Andy


14-Aug-2001All month
 
Java

Scores : Paul , Steve , Andy , Oggie
Ratings: Paul 8, Steve 8, Andy 8, Oggie 4
Winner(s): Paul

Ricochet Robot

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 6, Andy 8, Steve 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy


19-Aug-2001All month
 
Guillotine

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Limits

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 6, Paul 6
Winner(s): Tel


21-Aug-2001All month
 
Bohnanza

Scores : Oggie , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Carcassonne

Scores : Oggie , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 7, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Web of Power

Scores : Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel


24-Aug-2001All month
 
Through the Desert

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel, Andy


28-Aug-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy, Tel

Modern Art

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Through the Desert

Scores : Tel , Paul , Andy , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel, Paul


04-Sep-2001All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Steve , Tel , Oggie
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Steve, Tel


11-Sep-2001All month
 
Bohnanza

Scores : Steve , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Steve 9, Tel 9, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve, Tel

Guillotine

Scores : Andy , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Steve 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy

RoboRally

Scores : Andy , Tel , Steve
Ratings: Andy 6, Tel 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Web of Power

Scores : Tel , Andy , Steve
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel


16-Sep-2001All month
 
Empires of the Ancient World

Scores : Andy , Boog , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 6, Boog 5, Tel 4, Paul 6
Winner(s): Paul


18-Sep-2001All month
 
Elfenland

Scores : Andy , Boog , Steve , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Boog 8, Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Limits

Scores : Boog , Steve , Paul , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Boog 9, Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Boog


22-Sep-2001All month
 
Hell Rail

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Boog , Paul
Ratings: Tel 9, Oggie 3, Boog 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel, Boog


25-Sep-2001All month
 
Vinci

Scores : Steve , Andy , Boog , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 9, Boog 9, Paul 9, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


02-Oct-2001All month
 
Courtisans of Versailles

Scores : Steve , Paul , Andy , Tel , Oggie
Ratings: Steve 4, Paul 6, Andy 5, Tel 4, Oggie 4
Winner(s): Steve, Paul

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Tel 6, Oggie 8, Steve 7, Andy 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Steve, Andy


09-Oct-2001All month
 
Euphrates & Tigris

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 7, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Wyatt Earp

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 7, Andy 7, Paul 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


16-Oct-2001All month
 
Bambuti

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul

Carcassonne

Scores : Andy , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 9, Paul 9
Winner(s): Andy

Seafarers of Catan

Scores : Paul , Tel , Andy
Ratings: Paul 5, Tel 5, Andy 6
Winner(s): Andy


18-Oct-2001All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Andy , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Don

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy, Oggie

Limits

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 5, Oggie 6, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie, Paul

Lost Cities

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy

Lost Cities

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul, Tel


19-Oct-2001All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

Don

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Paul

Liberte

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Oggie 3, Paul 7, Tel 6
Winner(s): Andy

Pass the Pigs

Scores : Andy , Oggie
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy, Oggie

Pompeji

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Pompeji

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 6, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Pompeji

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Oggie 6, Paul 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Titus

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 5, Oggie 5, Paul 5, Tel 4
Winner(s): Andy, Paul

Troia

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 5, Oggie 5, Paul 5, Tel 5
Winner(s): Tel


20-Oct-2001All month
 
Alibi

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Oggie 5, Paul 5, Tel 6
Winner(s): Andy

Capitol

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel

Don

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 5, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Heimlich & co

Scores : Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 6, Paul 6, Tel 6
Winner(s): Paul, Tel

Medina

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Mulle + Money

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Mulle + Money

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Tel 4
Winner(s): Paul

Volldampf

Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 6, Paul 8, Tel 4
Winner(s): Paul


23-Oct-2001All month
 
Bambuti

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel, Paul

Fabrik der Traum

Scores : Oggie , Boog , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 7, Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Boog, Tel


26-Oct-2001All month
 
Don

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7, Anne 7
Winner(s): Tel


29-Oct-2001All month
 
Bambuti

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


30-Oct-2001All month
 
Nicht die Bohn

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Boog , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Tel 6, Oggie 8, Boog 9, Steve 9, Andy 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Steve

Ra

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Boog , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 8, Steve 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Boog


06-Nov-2001All month
 
Perudo

Scores : Andy , Steve , Paul , Boog
Ratings: Andy 9, Steve 8, Paul 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Andy

Ricochet Robot

Scores : Boog , Andy , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Boog 1, Andy 9, Paul 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy

T Rex

Scores : Steve , Boog , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Steve 7, Boog 7, Paul 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul, Andy


13-Nov-2001All month
 
Castle

Scores : Andy , Boog , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Andy 5, Boog 6, Paul 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Steve

Mamma Mia!

Scores : Boog , Steve , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Boog 7, Steve 8, Paul 7, Andy 8
Winner(s): Steve, Paul

Wiz War

Scores : Steve , Boog , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Steve 6, Boog 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Boog


20-Nov-2001All month
 
San Marco

Scores : Boog , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Boog 9, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog, Paul


24-Nov-2001All month
 
6 Nimmt!

Scores : Andy , Paul , Anne
Ratings: Andy 7, Paul 7, Anne 8
Winner(s): Andy, Paul


27-Nov-2001All month
 
6 Nimmt!

Scores : Andy , Tel , Boog , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8, Boog 9, Paul 8, Steve 9
Winner(s): Boog, Steve

Eschnapur

Scores : Andy , Tel , Boog , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8, Boog 7, Paul 6, Steve 7
Winner(s): Boog


30-Nov-2001All month
 
Hattrick

Scores : Anne , Tel , Boog , Paul
Ratings: Anne 8, Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Royal Turf

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul


04-Dec-2001All month
 
Nicht die Bohn

Scores : Andy , Boog , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 5, Boog 7, Steve 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel

Pompeji

Scores : Steve , Tel , Andy , Boog
Ratings: Steve 7, Tel 8, Andy 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel

Vabanque

Scores : Boog , Andy , Tel , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Boog 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Boog, Andy, Paul


07-Dec-2001All month
 
Don

Scores : Boog , Tel , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Boog 7, Tel 8, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog, Andy


11-Dec-2001All month
 
Mulle + Money

Scores : Boog , Andy , Tel , Paul
Ratings: Boog 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog


14-Dec-2001All month
 
Hattrick

Scores : Boog , Dispo , Anne , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Boog 8, Dispo 7, Anne 7, Paul 8, Tel 9
Winner(s): Boog


16-Dec-2001All month
 
Nur Peanuts

Scores : Boog , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Boog 8, Andy 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog, Andy

Royal Turf

Scores : Paul , Andy , Boog
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Paul


24-Dec-2001All month
 
Guillotine

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Anne 7
Winner(s): Paul, Anne

Hattrick

Scores : Tel 16, Paul 15, Anne 10
Ratings: Tel 9, Paul 8, Anne 8
Winner(s): Tel


25-Dec-2001All month
 
Apples to Apples

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne , Abi
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7, Anne 8, Abi 8
Winner(s): Tel, Paul, Abi

Carabande

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne , Abi
Ratings: Tel 9, Paul 8, Anne 7, Abi 7
Winner(s): Paul

Don

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Anne 8
Winner(s): Tel, Paul, Anne

Grab

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne , Abi
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 6, Anne 8, Abi 1
Winner(s): Anne

Nur Peanuts

Scores : Tel , Paul , Anne , Abi
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Anne 8, Abi 4
Winner(s): Paul


29-Dec-2001All month
 
6 Nimmt!

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul , Andy , Boog , Oggie , Anne
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Boog 8, Oggie 8, Anne 8
Winner(s): Boog

Carcassonne

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Carcassonne

Scores : Tel , Paul , Andy , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 9, Paul 8, Andy 7, Boog 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel

Elfenland

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul , Andy , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 8, Paul 8, Andy 9, Boog 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Andy

Formula Motor Racing

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul , Andy , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 8, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Tel, Steve

Gargon

Scores : Tel , Paul , Andy , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 6, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Andy, Boog

Hattrick

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul , Andy , Boog
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel, Andy

Limits

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul , Andy , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 9
Winner(s): Tel, Steve

Maskenball Venezia

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul , Andy , Boog , Oggie , Anne
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 8, Andy 7, Boog 8, Oggie 6, Anne 7
Winner(s): Andy, Boog

Royal Turf

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul , Andy , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 6, Paul 7, Andy 6, Boog 6, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Web of Power

Scores : Tel , Steve , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


03-Jan-2002All month
 
Babel

First playing of this. Paul and Tel took it for a spin checking if itís a train game (its not - needs too much space). Players are trying to build temples in 5 regions drafting workers from these 5 regions. Each race has its own abilities. Not suprisingly for a first play we got it wrong but only because the rules were wrong. The Red peoples ability only allows you to pinch the top set of matching people not all matching people in the column. Good game, just a shame its not a train game so wont see much play. Paul took the game by trashing Tel to below 10 then building to 15.
 
Scores : Paul 16, Tel 7
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

Piddinghoe

Pauls first attempt at designing a train game. 3 colours with cards 1-17. 7 dealt to each player with 5 placed face up in a row and 2 replacements also face up. Players fight for middle card in usual trick taking way. Winner plants the card played and takes won card to hand. Loser puts one replacement in hand and one to replace the won card. Winner then moves position 1 card either way. If player gets beyond the fifth card its reset to middle but they steal one of opponents planted cards. Play until all cards drawn. Winner is pleyer with biggest planted run + position on 5 cards. Great concept should see plenty of train game play. Terry took this game after winning all bar 4 of the tricks. Now changed.

And changed again.

With a few blank lines ddd fff qqq ff
 
Scores : Tel 6, Paul 5
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Pompeji

First try as a 2 player and it played great. Still one of the favourites from Essen 01. Tel pulled out a couple of big scores in the mid game to take the win.
 
Scores : Tel 539, Paul 474
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


12-Jan-2002All month
 
Hattrick

We were down the pub, wed managed to get a table and Kev mentioned games - what more excuse do we need then to introduce him to Hattrick. After explaining that it was a trick taking game, with each hand playing up to two of the three colours and your score being the number of cards won in one colour minus the number of cards won in the other two we were off.

Beers were drunk and 5 hands were played before we got kicked out of the pub. Kevs good start tailed off with him finishing last scoring just 1 point over the last three hands. A decent last hand by the Boog only just saved him from the wooden spoon. Andys consistent scoring gave him third. Paul managed a couple of big hands in the middle of the game to take second. But Tel won the game thanks to two big scores at the start.

As the scores show a corking game thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Scores by round

Boog 1 1 8 -2 10 = 18
Andy 3 6 8 7 7 = 31
Kev 7 6 1 1 -1 = 14
Paul 6 11 11 3 4 = 35
Tel 14 12 9 7 6 = 48

Tel 9, Paul 8, Andy 8, Boog 9, Kev 9
 
Scores : Tel 48, Paul 35, Andy 31, Boog 18, Kev 14
Ratings: Tel 9, Paul 8, Andy 8, Boog 9, Kev 9
Winner(s): Tel


15-Jan-2002All month
 
David and Goliath

And so with six of us we decided to try another new trick taking game for the group. David and Goliath provides a few twists to the usual rules. Firstly although you must follow suit if possible, there is no penalty if you cant. Favour is given to the last card played to resolve ties. The highest card played wins the trick and claims everyone elses card, however the lowest card played claims the winning card. And finally into scoring, for each colour where you have won more then 2 cards you score for the number of cards won. However for the colours where you have on won 1 or 2 cards you score their value.

Into the game, Boog got off to a flier, helped by a handful of low cards and being able to play last for many hands. It was only due to winning the last hand that he didnt score a huge total having to make do with 90. A lot of the fun of this game is seeing people expressions as they realise their 2 cards worth 30+ points is now 3 cards worth 3 points. Oggie seemed to struggle with this during the middle of each hand but a special mention has to go out to Kev by managing to perfect the art of ruining his score by winning the last hand on a few occasions.

As the game progressed 3 battles emerged. Tel trying to claw back the Boog, Paul and Oggie battling for mid table supremacy, and Kev and Steve fighting to avoid the wooden spoon. The final scores came through and Steve won his battle with Kev, Oggie overtook Paul on the last hand to claim third and after a re-count Boog held on to the lead hed held throughout the game by a single point.

Given that the group are fans of Hattrick it was no real surprise that this one was also a hit. However since we played the suggested 6 rounds (1 round per player), the game did take just under 2 hours to play. In future well probably restrict it to a couple of rounds.

Final Scores
Boog 345, Tel 344, Oggie 261, Paul 220, Steve 198, Kev 168

Ratings
Boog 9, Tel 9, Oggie 8, Paul 7, Steve 8, Kev 7
 
Scores : Boog 345, Tel 344, Oggie 261, Paul 220, Steve 198, Kev 168
Ratings: Boog 9, Tel 9, Oggie 8, Paul 7, Steve 8, Kev 7
Winner(s): Boog

Pompeji

While we we waiting for Paul and Kev to turn up we decided to have a four player game of Pompeii. Since we had all played the game before we knew that we were trying to build a network of roads, scoring for matching monuments and colour in the road, but being unable to place identical colours or monuments orthogonally next to each other.

The game produced the usual mutterings as players realised that great scores were missed due to someone else pinching their spot or an orthogonal colour prevented them playing where they wanted. The score remained close throughout the game with the lead changing hands during every round. At one point about half way through the game there was only an 11 point difference between 1st and last. However the Boog started to drop back and by the end of the game was 51 points behind (but having had 1 less scoring round then everyone else). Tel clinched the game but only because he drew the last volcano.

This is a great little game that does require some amount of thought. Luckily our group usually plays it quite quickly preventing too much downtime. Pompeii goes down as one of my better buys from Essen 01.

Scores
Tel 219, Steve 201, Oggie 184, Boog 168

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 7, Boog 7
 
Scores : Tel 219, Steve 201, Oggie 184, Boog 168
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel


17-Jan-2002All month
 
Bohnanza

And to end the night a game of Bohnanza. The game where players are Bean farmers trying to trade, plant and harvest beans in their two fields. This one hasnt hit the table for a while. With three we thought there may be a lot less trading. While there was a reduction in trading since less players wanting the cards on offer, there was still enough to make the game work.

After Diversifying in the previous game of the session, Tel had a change of tactics by Specialising in Cowboy Beans. He had Cowboys in one field for most of the game and they provided him with over half his score. Of course they take so long to score that while he was collecting these both Paul and Boog were steadily harvesting the more profitable beans. Both Paul and Boog managed to harvest 3 of the lucrative Angry beans for 3 coins. Interestingly despite there being only three of us nobody bought a 3rd field showing that there was enough trading going on to avoid too many unwanted harvests.

In the final tally Boog claimed the game from Paul with Tel getting the wooden spoon. We all enjoyed bohnanza but it was no match for the other two games of the night.

Final Scores
Boog 24, Paul 21, Tel 19

Ratings
Only 7s for everyone.
 
Scores : Boog 24, Paul 21, Tel 19
Ratings: Boog 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Boog

Medici

Second game to hit the table was Medici one of the Knizia auction games. There are 5 types of commodities and on each of the 3 turns you are trying to buy 5 items. At the end of each turn there are points for the two people who have bought the most of each commodity so far and possible bonuses for collecting large amounts of a commodity. Each card has a value
and points are also available for the highest total value each turn. Wed never played it with three so gave it a try.

During the first turn items were bought fairly evenly with Boog only getting one card for free to complete the round. He had gone for a majority on Furs, Paul had picked up 3 cloth while Tel had bought most of the 5s as they came out giving him 4 of the 5 commodites along the way. At the end of turn one Tel had a bit of a lead over the Boog with Paul trailing.

Onto the second turn and the Boog picked up the Gold quite early to take the highest value. Tel bought his 5 cards quickly closely followed by Boog filling his ship leaving Paul to take the top 5 cards for free. And what a draw, 5 high cards so that he almost caught the Boogs total and in the commodities he was collecting. This brought everyone back together with Tel still just leading from Paul and Boog.

The third day and Paul picked up the Gold early this time. Boog then bought out quickly, followed by Paul, leaving Tel with 5 freebies. These turned out to be 5 different commodities with a total value lower then Paul or Boog. In the final reckoning Paul and Boog had both managed to max out on one commodity scoring the 20 bonus points but had low to middling amounts on everything else, Tel had middling values for all commodites. Paul took the game by 5 from Tel with Boog a further 12 behind.

After playing the game Im not sure what the winning strategy is for this with 3. With more players you need to try and specialise, however with three players my unintentional tactic of diversifying almost won me the game. Another enjoyable game.

Final Scores
Paul 147, Tel 142, Boog 130

Ratings
Another round of 8s.
 
Scores : Paul 147, Tel 142, Boog 130
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Paul

Web of Power

Just three of us at this impromptu games session so we decided to hit some of the old favourites and Web of Power hit the table first. We needed a quick recap of the rules for the Boog.

The game is about placing monastries and advisors on a map of medieval Europe to capture influence. Cards representing each of the European countries are used to place influence pieces.You can play up to 3 cards to play up to 2 pieces into 1 country. You can play two types of piece - cloisters which go on the printed spaces or advisors where there can only be as many advisors in a country as the number of the most common cloister. Scoring occurs for cloisters, advisors and for chains of clositers.

Into the game and all of us were trying to playing advisors but Paul was struggling with the cards hed got. (though he did gain sole control of Aragon). Tel and the Boog were able to play more advisors. In a departure from the norm Paul opened France up very early and at the end of a mad scramble Tel had got contol of the advisors and joint most cloisters for France with Paul. At the first scoring phase Tel and Paul were on the same score some way ahead of the Boog however Tel
and the Boog were both in a good position with advisors.

Into the second round and Tel was trying to gain advisors near France, Boog was looking to tie up advisors around Bayern and Paul trying to get advisors adjacent to Shwaben and that Aragon. Once again Tel seemed to be close to running out of
pieces towards the end, having played quite a few wild cards. On the last play of the game Boog managed to get both a cloister and an advisor into Italy gaining sole control of the country and depriving Paul of points. And it proved important as he pipped Paul to 2nd place by a single point. Tel won the game 12 points clear.

As always a tremendous game of Web Of Power. I really wish this one could hit the table more often.

Final Scores
Tel 74, Boog 62, Paul 61

Ratings 8s all round
 
Scores : Tel 74, Boog 62, Paul 61
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


22-Jan-2002All month
 
David and Goliath

And to end the evening a quick hand of David and Goliath - the low takes high, high takes rest trick taking game. 20 mins of fun later and Paul by keeping a low profile during the game had stormed it. A very close battle for 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Boog grabbing 2nd by a point from Kev who in turn beat Andy by a point. Tel emphatically won the wooden spoon.

Scores
Paul 52, Boog 41, Kev 40, Andy 39, Tel 16

Ratings / 10
Paul 7, Boog 8, Kev 8, Andy 5, Tel 7
 
Scores : Paul 52, Boog 41, Kev 40, Andy 39, Tel 16
Ratings: Paul 7, Boog 8, Kev 8, Andy 5, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

En Garde

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

En Garde

Scores : Tel , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Mississippi Queen

We started the evening off with a first play of another game picked up at Essen last year. In Mississippi Queen each player takes the role of a Steamboat Captain racing down the meandering Mississippi River. Players have a limited amount of coal to try and fight the effects of momentum to avoid islands and riverbanks while charging down the river as fast as possible. The aim is to be the first to come to a controlled stop at the docks at the end of the river having picked up 2 passengers en route.

And we were off, Kev immediately chucked some coal into the boiler to try and get an early lead. However as he was heading left the river suddenly took a turn to the right and he had to pile on more coal to get round the turn. He did make it to the approach of the first pick up point first but was twice rammed out of the way before eventually getting the first of his two passengers but by this time was trailing the pack. Boog ignored the first two pick up points to pull open a lead. He was swiftly overtaken by Andy who decided to charge down river to gain clear water after missing out in the battle at the first pick-up point. Paul and Tel had a slight collision as they both picked up their 2nd passengers, but then put the boats acceleration to the test.

Andy had pulled out a big lead but not having any passengers was forced wide and into a long braking move to pick up at the last two pick up points. However Paul, Boog and Tel were steaming towards the finishing line. An island just in front of the dock provided some high spped tension. Tel made it into the mouth of the channel first but was barged out of the way by an aggressive Boog. Paul pulled in just behind playing for river position. Boog sped to the brink of victory, getting to within spitting distance of the dock. Tel was cranking along at high velocity and narrowed the gap to pull alongside him

Paul then pulled the master stroke by charging straight at Boog and viciously bumping him aside. He was now alonside Tel but moving faster and steaming towards the dock like a man posessed. By dumping half of the annual coal production of Yorkshire onto his brakes he managed to slow down enough to pull into the docks however the tidal wave must have swamped those on the docks.

Tel and Boog were just behind with Andy last seen ploughing full steam towards the river bank and Kevs passengers obviously insisted on a relaxing trip down the river as he was last seen taking the scenic route at a leisurely pace.

A thoroughly enjoyable game playing at about an hour. Enough thought needed to make it interesting but not too much to cause any noticeable downtime

Ratings / 10
Paul 7, Tel 8, Boog 7, Andy 6, Kev 7
 
Scores : Paul , Tel , Kev , Boog , Andy
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 8, Kev 7, Boog 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Paul

Web of Power

Launched into my game favourite of the moment next - Web of Power. None of us had played this with 5 before so werent sure how to approach the game. It played totally different to any game weve played so far and not in the way expected. Usually the game is very tight with countries only being opened as a last resort. Not tonight. Countries were being opened up all round
the board. The only real scramble to close out a country occurred for France.

In the final reckoning Tel had only pieces in 4 countries but had cornered the market it Italy having 4 cloisters and 3 of the 4 advisors. Having enough advisors in a couple of neighbouring countries to make these Italian advisors score plus scoring for a couple of cloister chains he acquired enough points to take the game. Andy and Boog both played less targetted strategies and picked up points for cloisters in most countries and a couple of advisors to tie for second. Paul was some way behind these two in foruth, with Kev one his first playing bringing up the rear.

Another great game of this.

Final Scores
Tel 50, Boog 43, Andy 43, Paul 32, Kev 23

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Boog 8, Andy 7, Paul 8, Kev 7
 
Scores : Tel 50, Andy 43, Boog 43, Paul 32, Kev 23
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Boog 8, Paul 8, Kev 7
Winner(s): Tel


24-Jan-2002All month
 
Battle Line

Scores : Paul , Tel
Ratings: Paul 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel

Caesar & Cleopatra

Scores : Paul , Tel
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel

Dvonn

Scores : Paul , Tel
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel

Dvonn

Scores : Paul , Tel
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


29-Jan-2002All month
 
Starfarers of Catan

Andy bought the 5-6 player expansion for Starfarers from Essen 18 months ago but we had never got round to playing it. Tonight was the night. Neither Kev nor Steve had played the original and the rest of us had only played it a couple of times. The aim of the game is to explore the Galaxy colonising profitable planets and creating trading partners of the alien races you meet.

Into the game. We all started to slowly explore the local planets looking for some where to colonise except Kev who almost immediately draws one of the better event cards and suddenly found himself alone at the far side of the galaxy. Due to the proliferation of 6s and 9s being rolled Andy quickly beefed up the speed of his mother ship and got a trade ship out to befreind one of the alien races. Tel, also drawing more than his fair share of resources, was pumping out colony ships and colonising the local planets, regardless of their value. Paul and Steve were struggling for resources, Paul being able to do little more then make his ship a mean fighting machine, with Steve pumping all his resources into a trade ship, only to immediately capture another one from Pirates. Kev was wandering round the outer reaches of space desperatly trying to find an habitable planet. As the game progressed Tel and Andy pulled away from the crowd with Paul and Kev battling away for last place. The intergalactic hooter sounded at 11pm with no-one having hit the required 15 points. Andy picked up 3 VPs in his last turn to take the win by gaining the most VPs, with Tel one point behind. A late surge from Kev drew him level with Steve tying for 3rd. Paul won the intergalactic carbon based wooden spoon.

The major complaint of this game was the speed of the game, we hit the 2.5 hour time limit before anyone had hit the 15 point winning condition although Andy wasnt too far away. This may have been due in part to 2 players new to the game but there was a definite feeling of downtime between turns despite having a building phase in each turn. The game was very unkind to Paul and to a lesser degree Steve. Throughout the whole game the 8 only came up twice while the equally likely 6 came up on numerous occasions. This is a criticism that our group has had on occasions with sister game Settlers. From a personal perspective Im not keen on the random event cards, they slow the game down and increase the luck element.

It is however not all doom and gloom. The majority of the group did enjoy the game, and all of us would play it again preferably at a quicker pace. Tel and Andy who finished first and second adopted very different strategies showing that there is not just one winning formula.

Final Scores
Andy 11, Tel 10, Steve 8, Kev 8, Paul 6

Ratings / 10
Andy 7, Tel 6, Steve 7, Kev 7, Paul 4
 
Scores : Andy 11, Tel 10, Kev 8, Steve 8, Paul 6
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 6, Kev 7, Steve 7, Paul 4
Winner(s): Andy


05-Feb-2002All month
 
Perudo

Scores : Tel , Andy , Steve
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Perudo

Scores : Paul , Tel , Andy , Steve
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy

Princes of Florence

Another new game to the group as we try another of last years Essen buys. Paul had gone to the effort of printing out translation slips for the cards and the phase summary on the board and this really did helped the game flow.

Each player starts the game with a choice of 3 from 4 artists, 3500 florins and an empty estate. By the end of the 7 turns of the game they will have built buildings and landscapes, employed architects and entertainers and allowed artistic freedom so that their artists have got the ideal conditions to produce pieces of work. Each turn is split into two phases and auctions phase and a building phase. In the auction phase there are 7 items that can be bid upon but only one of each is allowed to be sold each turn. Also each player is only allowed to buy 1 item each turn. In the second phase each player then gets two actions to perform which can include building buildings, hiring more artists, buying bonus cards ( which increase the value of works) or producing a piece of work. The work is worth points depending on whether the players estate matches the artists preferred environment. These points can then be converyted into cash, VPs or a combination of the two.

As you would expect with a new game the start was a little slow with nobody being really sure of what was worth buying or doing. The first round passed uneventfully with nobody producing any works at all. Into the second round and we got our first works out from 3 of the players. Into the third round and we were all wondering what Paul was up to, he hadnt built anything, only had a couple of entertainers on the board but had a handful of cards and was still on no score with everybody else having built and scored. Steve was going into building frenzy filling his estate up with buildings and landscapes. Kev had been caught out a couple of times trying to push the price up at auction and had bought 2 very early prestige cards which wouldnt score until the end game. As the game entered the late phase Paul was starting to catch up with some big works thanks to his entertainers, Tel and Andy were pushing for the lead having both produced 5 works during the game. However neither of them had got any Prestige cards and this was to lose them the game. Both Paul and Kev scored for 2 completed prestige cards with Steve completing one. This gave Paul the game by quite a margin. Tel, Andy and Kev were all quite closely bunched in 2nd,3rd and 4th with Steve bringing up the rear.

A great game thoroughly enjoyed by all and resulting in Andy giving it an extremely rare rating of 10. As with most good games you just havent got enough time to do everything you want so have to make some fairly difficult decision. The game came in at just under 2 hours but didnt seem anywhere as long as this. Everyone wants to play this one again soon.

Final Scores
Paul 54, Tel 47, Andy 44, Kev 42, Steve 34

Ratings / 10
Paul 9, Tel 8, Andy 10, Kev 9, Steve 8
 
Scores : Paul 54, Tel 47, Andy 44, Kev 42, Steve 34
Ratings: Paul 9, Tel 8, Andy 10, Kev 9, Steve 8
Winner(s): Paul


12-Feb-2002All month
 
Carcassonne

From the old favourite to the new with Carcassone. We decided to use the river expansion which replaces the original starting tile with a collection of tiles that build up a river.

Tel and Andy had had a few battles on BSW recently and so it continiued with both trying to fight there way into each others cities. Steve seemed content on drawing cloister after cloister at the start of the game. The river provides an extra barrier to fields and hence tends to produce more fields for the farmers to populate. Both Tel and Steve used there meeple early and neither could get any back for the last 6 or 7 rounds. Andy however had a couple of meeple left and managed to convert these into farmers in the end game.

Andys late farmers gave him the game quite comfortably. As always an enjoyable game.

Scores
Andy 89, Steve 74, Tel 66

Ratings / 10
8s all round
 
Scores : Andy 89, Steve 74, Tel 66
Ratings: Andy 8, Steve 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy

Pompeji

Only three of us tonight so we decided on a few shorter games. Pompeii hit the Table first. As with previous games of this the game had a running commentary of curses as we realised great scoring moves were illegal due to the rule of not playing same colours or symbols orthogonally. Next to each other.

Tel got off to a flyer largely due to both Andy and Steve both being unable to score with an early placement. However some good scoring brought everyone close again with a one point three quarters of the way through everyone was on the same total. However some big scores in the end game and Tel took the win.

Pompeii is a tremendous little game, playing in just under 1/2 hour.

Final Scores
Tel 288, Steve 231, Andy 222

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Steve 7, Andy 7
 
Scores : Tel 288, Steve 231, Andy 222
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Ricochet Robot

To end the night we thought wed give the brain aching puzzle game Richocet Robot a go. 4 robots start randomly distributed around the board. The aim is to be the quickest to find the least number of moves to get a robot to a position on the board, determined by a random tile. However robots can only move in a straight line and will keep moving until somethings stops them. This game requires thought and concentration and lots of it.

Andy, who was trying to maintain his 100% record at Ricochet Robot, got off to a flyer taking 3 of the first 4 tiles. Tel and Steve shared the next few tiles. Probably due to it being the end of the evening things got a bit scrappy, with incorrect calls and people forgetting the moves however it remained close with Tel stumbling over the line by being first to collect 6 tiles.

As long as you donít mind thinking quickly this is a gem of a game. Some in the group hate this game but all there last night thoroughly enjoyed it.

Scores
Tel 6, Andy 5, Steve 4

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Andy 9, Steve 8
 
Scores : Andy 9, Steve 8, Tel 6
Ratings: Andy 5, Steve 4, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Settlers of Catan

Its rare for there to be less then 5 of us, so with only 3 it was a rare opportunity to bring out Settlers. In a change from recent games the starting layouts did not have obvious strong start positions and made for a very close game.

The game got off to a very slow start with Andy not picking up brick, Tel not getting any wood and Steve only seeing brick and ore. An early road building card allowed Tel to beat Andy to a 3 for 1 port. Steve was still struggling hoping to roll 11/12s for a couple of resources but they were not coming up, in fact neither was rolled in the whole game, and on numerous occasions was forced to build a road with 5 brick. The middle game saw Tel and Andy buying Cards like theyd gone out of fashion, with Andy getting the Largest Army in the process, Steve had managed to craft the longest road out of his bricks. Andy then connected all his towns taking the longest road, giving him 8 visible points and a card he seemed reluctant to play. Tel had 6 visible points with 3 cards to one side. Steve had 5 points on display. After a couple of turns of both Andy and Tel buying cards and both increasing the size of their armies, Steve managed to extend his road to take the longest road back. Then Tel with 10 resources in his hand managed to trade in a couple of fields worth of wheat to build a town, revealed his 3 victory points and won the game.

The was one of the closest games of this weve played in a long time. The winner was not clear at any point with Steve catching fast at the end even though half his numbers never came up.

Scores
Tel 10, Andy 8, Steve 8

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Andy 9, Steve 8
 
Scores : Tel 10, Andy 8, Steve 8
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 9, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel


19-Feb-2002All month
 
Babel

Long game at 2hrs. Cards didnt come out very nice. Played through deck.
 
Scores : Paul 13, Tel 12
Ratings: Paul 5, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


21-Feb-2002All month
 
Don

With about 1/2 hour left we decided on a couple of rounds of Don. This was the game that Paul was so impressed with at Essen he bought two copies. Players as gangsters are trying to buy control of the various areas of Chicago. Each player starts with 12 carrots ( well they are orange and look like sliced carrots). The districts of Chicagos are shown by the colour of the card, each card also has a number ( 0 - 9). The cards are auctioned off, first 1 then 2,3,1,2,3... etc. The highest bid wins the cards paying the relevant number of carrots split between each player who shares a majority in the number matching the bid. Eg a bid of 12 would go to whoover had the most 2, 15 to 5s, 18 to 8s etc. Players are not allowed to make a bid that ends in a number they own.

Despite playing this quite a lot no-one has determined a winning strategy yet. Everyone seems to win their fair share of games. Yet the game certainly has strategy to it.

Tel won the first game by having enough carrots to ensure getting the last 5 cards. The second was moire interesting as Paul quickly got 1-5 and Boog collecting 6-0, things tended to very expensive ealry. Boog eventually won through with Paul grabbing 2nd place

Great filler for the end of the night ( or down the pub) playing a round in about 15 mins.

Final Scores
Tel 21, Boog 18, Paul 13
Tel 11, Boog 21, Paul 17

Ratings / 10
all scored it 8
 
Scores : Tel 21, Boog 18, Paul 13
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Don

Scores : Boog 21, Paul 17, Tel 11
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog

San Marco

A temporary change of night meant a low turn out this week of only three. This gave us chance however to pull out another 3-4 player game this time being San Marco. Both Paul and Boog had played it once before but Tel hadnt so a quick run through of the rules was needed. The board shows the 6 districts of Venice divided by the canals. The aim of the game is to have the most influence (wooden cubes) in a district when the Doge comes to visit. There are cards which allow players to put cubes into an area, build bridges over the canal, swap a cube in any district for one of their own, remove a number determined by a dice roll of cubes from a district or to move the Doge and hence trigger a scoring of one district. To determine what cards each player gets one player draws a combination of the action cards described above and number cards. He then splits them into three piles, with the other two players getting first choice of these piles. The number cards detremine the length of the game. There are three passages to a game, each passage ends when someone collects cards worth 10 points.

As is becoming traditional within the group, about 3/4 of the way through the game we discovered that we were playing it wrong. On the initial read through of the rules the concept of rounds and passages became confused and we played the game with one player splitting the cards for all rounds of a passage, in reality this should change every round.

Tel got to split the piles for the first passage and as he hadnt played the game before immediately shot himself in the foot by bad splitting of the cards. By the time hed worked out what was going on Paul and Boog had gained control of the board between them. Not many Doges came visiting in the first passage so at the end of the first passage Paul had only had a small lead from Boog with Tel trailing but he had bettrer board position after a good roll on a banishment.

Into the second passage and Paul had the task of splitting the cards. Boog was unlucky rolling a 1 on a banishmnet roll after taking a big hit to get it. Tel managed to gain complete control of 1 area and managed to score quite heavily on it for a couple of rounds. Paul having last choice managed to maintain control over much of the board but was not scoring as big. By the end of the second passage Paul still had a small lead but now from Tel with Boog languishing in third.

Onto the third passage and Boog splitting the cards. Paul was getting first pick each turn and it was at this point we realised we were playing it wrong. With Paul guaranteed to get first pick he could comfortably ensure that nobody could do too much to disrupt his control. With the proper rules this would not have been the case and made for a more exciting finish. As it was the Boog managed to wrest contol of a couple of areas away from Paul but it was not enough and Paul took a comfortable win, with Tel bringing up the rear.

A nice game that causes much gnashing of teeth as players try to firsat split the cards well, and then try and decide which pile to take. The game played at just under two hours but that was with references to the rules. We are all keen to play this again with the proper rules.

Final Scores
Paul 80, Boog 72, Tel 65

Rating / 10
Paul 8, Boog 7, Tel 7
 
Scores : Paul 80, Boog 72, Tel 65
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


26-Feb-2002All month
 
Carcassonne

This game is a great game to play but a pig to write up. Tel spent most of the game building two big cities, one got finished but not before everyone except Paul had found a way in, the second one was never going to finish. Paul scored a few small towns and roads and 1 clositer that scored him 9 points as soon as it was played. Steve and Boog seem to grab most of the cloisters between them, with Boog also going early and heavily for the Farmer strategy. Despite playing the River expansion which splits the fields up, it was his farmers that eventually won the game.

Final Scores
Boog 80, Steve 75, Paul 69, Tel 57

Ratings / 10
8s all round
 
Scores : Boog 80, Steve 75, Paul 69, Tel 57
Ratings: Boog 8, Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog

David and Goliath

Finished the evening with the, low wins highest card, highest card wins the rest, trick taking game. Because you only score face value for cards where you have only won one or two cards in that colour, it is often very difficult to determine who is likely to win, as a bad last hand can ruin a score.

Possibly because this was the last game of four in a busy session, this was not as vicious as previous games. In previous games everyone seemed intent on ruining everyone elses score often at the expense of their own score. The game didnt play this way with only a couple of hands getting nasty ( Boog has threatened to spend the whole of the next game in a vendetta against Steve - which should be fun). Tel managed to quietly accumulate a reasonable score in the first round. Everyone complained of a bad hand in the 2nd round. Paul looked favourite for the round going into the last hand, however the fates transpired against him as he won the last round spoiling his score, Steve also won with the lowest card taking a high card he didnt want. This gave Boog the round but Tel won the game by a large margin from Steve, Paul and Boog all close together.

Paul scored the game down due to the lack of nastiness, but it didnt seem to detract from the game for everyone else.
Scores
Tel 57 + 38 = 95
Steve 37 + 26 = 63
Paul 35 + 27 = 62
Boog 19 + 40 = 59

Final Ratings
Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 6, Boog 8
 
Scores : Tel 95, Steve 63, Paul 62, Boog 59
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 6, Boog 8
Winner(s): Tel

Mississippi Queen

The night was started with Mississippi Queen, the race game where players are allowed gentle acceleration, braking and turns for free but need to decide when to use the limited amount of coal to make those more aggressive moves.

It immediately became clear that Steve had never driven one of these steamboats before when his first move was a sideways one. Everyone else steamed into the distance leaving Steve gently cruising round the first few bends. Tel who was trail blazing was having problems navigating the river with 6 right turns on the trot. This gave Paul and Boog the chance to catch up as they had more time to plan ahead for these tight turns.

As the three leaders slowed down to pickup their passengers a speeding Steve, who already had his full compliment of passengers, shot past them full pelt. It was now just a case of whether the bends of the river could defeat him. Tel piled the coal on in vain to try and catch, with Paul trying to slingshot his way round one of the larger islands. Steve came home by the proverbial country mile, with Tel comfortably in second from Paul. Boog decided to end it all by causing carnage at the last pickup point by ramming the passengers.

This played much quicker than our first attempt coming in around the 40 minutes mark. Although the Boog is still not convinced about this game the rest of us thoroughly enjoyed it.

Positions
Steve , Tel, Paul, Boog

Ratings / 10

Steve 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Boog 7
 
Scores : Tel , Steve , Boog , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Boog 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Steve

Web of Power

After discovering that we had been playing this wrong so far we decided to try it with the correct rules. We had been playing that a player had to declare all the cards he was re-stocking his cards with before actually taking the cards, however this is not in the rules. The correct ruling allows for more tactical selection of cards producing more wild cards.

Franken and Bayern were the first two countries to be opened up. Bayern eventually falling under the influence of Tel with Franken being claimed by Boog with a little help from an open wildcard most turns. As the first round drew to a close the first scoring phase saw a very close contest with the four of us having consecutive scores. The second round opened with a scramble for Frankriech. Steve managed to grab the last cloister and advisor, which cost Paul 15 points and ultimately the game. Boog continued to specialise in the northeast of the board, with everyone alse spread across the whole board, and it the advisors in this area that won him the game. Despite trailing after the clositer scoring he came through strong on with his advisors, plus a 4 point chain and the victory was his. Steve and Paul tied for second with Tel languishing in last having scored no advisors.

The game was quicker using the correct rules as you get through the deck quicker but it did produce a much lower scores. Everyone still enjoys this game which is the groups 2nd most played game bought at Essen 2000 after Carcassone.

Final Scores
Boog 49, Paul 42, Steve 42, Tel 39

Ratings / 10
8s all round
 
Scores : Boog 49, Steve 42, Paul 42, Tel 39
Ratings: Boog 8, Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog


05-Mar-2002All month
 
Carcassonne

This was a very strange game. Kev who was amazingly playing his first game of Carcassone seemed to be drawing all the city tiles he needed. Steve seemed intent on building the road to nowhere as he laid road tile after road tile. Tel finished a couple of small cities and roads early on but then got over ambitious trying to build a couple of monster cities, that never finished. Paul built a couple of early cities and roads then invested heavily in Farmers. But Andy had the strangest experience. Despite getting plenty of meeple on the board early on roads, cities and cloisters, he didnt score any points or get any men back until laying his very last tile when he completed a city. Kev had built a considerable lead as we went into the final scoring, but Pauls multitude of Farmers dragged him back and won him the game. Kev comfortably held onto second with Tel, Steve and Andy fairly closely bunched at the back.

Im a huge fan of Carcassone and play it whenever possible with whoever possible. However a two player game plays vastly different to a 5 player. Where the two player version has attack and counter attack, with lots of spoiler tactics, the 5 player sees players more interested in furthering their own cause rather than spoiling other players scoring chances. The game today was as usual highly rated with Kev in his first game giving a rating of 9/10

Final Scores
Paul 56, Kev 50, Tel 44, Steve 43, Andy 40

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Kev 9, Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 7
 
Scores : Paul 56, Kev 50, Tel 44, Steve 43, Andy 40
Ratings: Paul 8, Kev 9, Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul

Perudo

Scores : Paul , Andy , Tel
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal received awful scores from all of us the first time we played it, but over the 3 or 4 plays its had the ratings have steadily increased. The board is split into 12 territories, all of which contain room for 4 buildings. 1 of the territories also contains Agra allowing for a 5th building and this territory is the last to be played for. Tiles numbered 1-11 are then randomnly distributed amongst the first 11 territories with the 12 tile going to Agra. These tiles show the order that the territories will be resolved, they also contain 1 or 2 commodities that are used for scoring.

Each player starts with 6 cards. These cards contain 2 from 6 symbols Elephants, Vizier, and 4 different people. The cards are also coloured. Play goes clockwise round the table with each player having the choice of playing a card or dropping out. If they play a card it must match the colour of the cards they have already played this round. When a player decides to drop out they compare their cards with everyone still left in the auction. If they hold more of any of the 6 symbols then anyone else they have won influence in that spehere for this territory. The four people allow them to build a building on one of the 4 unoccupied sites it also wins them a token of that person, the Vizier allows them to build on any of the four sites even oif its occupied and the Elephants wins the tile and commodities on it. The 2 tokens of the same person are swapped at the end of that turn for a special card which the player can use once per territory while they hold the card.

There are 4 ways of scoring, whenever a player wins a commodity they score 1 point for each instance of that commodity they own. At the end of the turn when a player placed a building they score for any chain made. A chain is a unbroken collection of like coloured buildings along a road. It scores for the number of territories passed through minus 1. One of the special cards grants a 2 points whenever played. Some of the building sites contain bonus chits claimed by whoever builds there , these chits can either grant the player 2 points an extra card or be a commodity. Lastly, at the end of the game each player scores for the number of cards in his most common colour. **When a player builds in a territory they score 1 point for that territory however we discovered this after the game, so not suprisingly, for our group, we were playing the game wrong.**

Kev was at a disadvantage having never played the game before. Weve found that its takes at least half a game before the mechanism of the game becomes clear. Despite the rest of us having played the game before nobody was confident of knowing how to win the game. Steve got off to an early lead building a chain of buildings. By the 4th round Andy and Steve had the 4 special cards split between them. Paul was struggling, frequently withdrawing immeditaly for an extra card or having to drop out of auctions for no gain. Half way through the game he had only 1 building on the board. After a slow start, Andy was managing to get palaces on the board but couldnt manage to link them into chains. He did manage to pull off an inspired bluff at one point though, convincing Kev that he had a hand full of yellow cards after having actually played his last one. This netted him most of the goodies on offer that round. Steve maintained his lead throughout the game, due in part to him maintaining the +2 point special card for most of the game. Tel made a break from the pack in an attempt to catch Steve, by building a chain of his own and winning a couple of commodities along the way. Andy claimed the +4 point chit in Agra with Steve taking the elephants. This, and frequently playing a card to allow him to play the +2 card, had depleted Steves hand down to 2 cards of different colours hence only 1 point for the cards. Tel had 9 cards of the same colour bringing the scores to 40 to 39, Steve had managed to hang on by a single point. Paul scored 10 for the cards in his hand, more than doubling his score to 18, Andy also scored 18. Despite numerous calls of At least Im not last during the game, Kev finally came in last with 15.

When I first played Taj Mahal I hated it so much I only rated it a 3. But the game has grown on me. I still dont have much of a clue as to how to play the game properly, but at least I can now see what the game is about. The game played in 90 minutes with 5 of us, and with ratings of 8s all round everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Final Scores
Steve 40, Tel 39, Paul 18, Andy 18, Kev 15.

Ratings / 10
8s all round
 
Scores : Steve 40, Tel 39, Paul 18, Andy 18, Kev 15
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Kev 8
Winner(s): Steve


12-Mar-2002All month
 
Dragon's Gold

The aim of Dragons Gold is to end the game with the most valuable horde of treasure claimed from killing dragons. The game starts with four dragons. Each dragon has a strength (5 - 10), a visible number of treasures and a hidden number of treasures. Each player has four characters they use to defeat the dragons. Each turn, he lays one character next to a dragon. Each character has a strength from 1-4, once there are characters with a combined strength larger than the dragons, it is dead. The hidden treasure is now produced, then all players involved in the killing have 1 minute to agree on how the treasure will be divided. If they cant agree the treasure is lost.

If a wizard is involved in the killing, and its players owner receives a red treasure then they also get a special power card (magic item). If a thief is involved in a killing then the owning player gets to randomly steal a treasure from any player involved in that killing, if there is a wizard and thief from the same player then that player gets to look and decide which treasure he wants to steal. The treasures score in different ways, some score per piece (red,gold,silver), others only if you have the most of that colour (blue,green,purple,white,yellow) or a set of colours. However, owning the black treasure at the end of the game renders this 2nd group worthless but is worth 15 points itself.

This was only our second playing of Dragons Gold and nearly a year since the first game. The group seemed to be in a very generous mood with no treasure being lost. Despite it being on the play screens most of us missed that there is a different distribution of the treasures, so no one batted an eyelid when Andy picked up 2 of the very rare white treasures early on. Because every dragon was divied up everyone was getting their fair share of treasures. Everyone seemed happy with the treasures to the extent that when the market came up and we got one minute of free trading - nobody used it. The Black diamond came up fairly late in the game but did come bundled with a few gold and silver tokens. Tel took the Black diamond and all the gold and silver that came with it.

In the final reckoning Andy had the majority in two colours, Paul and Boog in 1 each and Oggie having to make do with half a share of the fifth colour. The two colour majority only just won the game from Paul who tried to claim a win after miscounting.

The game seemed more fun this time around and although coming in at just under 90 mins seemed quite quick in playing.

Final Scores
Andy 42, Paul 41, Tel 39, Boog 37, Oggie 32

Ratings / 10
Andy 8, Paul 7, Tel 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7
 
Scores : Andy 42, Paul 41, Tel 39, Boog 37, Oggie 32
Ratings: Andy 8, Paul 7, Tel 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy

Formula Motor Racing

We ended the night with 2 races of the Knizia card game Formula Motor Racing. Each player has two cars in the race and plays cards to alter the order of the cars with the ultimate aim of winning the race. Unlike true motor racing the strategy (at least in our group) is not to try and hit the front too early. Players are looking to try and jockey for position to be in as strong a position as possible without looking like a threat and attracting the negative effect cards.

In the first game Paul managed this best, not taking the lead until the last card of the race. In the second race Oggie and Pauls first cars crashed out early, despite only having 1 car to concentrate on Oggie soon found himself at the rear of the pack. Desperate to reduce the field size he played a spin out card. He rolled the dice and rolled his own car, luckily for him he was allowed 1 re-roll which of course he used to roll the same number again. As Oggie trudged disconsolately back to the pits cheering on the non-player, the rest of us got down to the effort of trying to win the race. Oggie got some satisfaction in seeing the non-player win the race, but Paul finished high enough to secure the championship.

Final Scores
Paul 14, Boog 9, Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 2

Ratings / 10
Paul 7, Boog 7, Tel 7, Andy 7, Oggie 6
 
Scores : Paul 14, Tel 8, Boog 8, Andy 7, Oggie 2
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7, Boog 7, Andy 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Paul

Metro

Another game that hadnt hit the table for a while. Players are building the Paris underground but with an agenda to try and ensure the longest routes start at their own stations.

The Boog declared before this game that although he enjoys the game he is hopeless at it. Andy started as he meant to continue by diverting a number of other peoples tracks for low scores. Oggie scored a reasonably big track early on so everyone made sure he didnt score too many more. Everyone started to catch up as their tracks were finished except the Boog who managed to keep his stations open. As we went into the last round of tile placement Boog was 20 points behind the next player and 30 behind the leader, but the tiles were kind to him and he scored 70 points from the last 5 tiles, to take the game in emphatic style, hopeless indeed.

We play Metro as a very light game that plays in about 30 minutes regardless of how many are playing.

Final Score
Boog 73, Tel 44, Oggie 43, Paul 40, Andy 33

Ratings / 10
Boog 7, Tel 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8, Andy 6
 
Scores : Boog 73, Tel 44, Oggie 43, Paul 40, Andy 33
Ratings: Boog 7, Tel 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8, Andy 6
Winner(s): Boog


19-Mar-2002All month
 
Don

The evening started with a quick game of Don. The auction game where players are trying to amass cards of the same colour, but are not allowed to bid any numbers that end in a number they already own.

The game started with the first three auctions being won by different players. Steve and Boog had both won their second auctions before either Tel or Andy had bought anything. As the last auction came up the colours matched Boogs - if he could win this auction the game was his. Both he and Tel had a stack of cash in front of them. Boog started with a conservative 10 , Tel then bet the lot, all 24. Boog quickly counted his pile to find that he also had 24 so couldnt beat the bid. Tel had won, but only just because Andy had the majority of 4s he got all the winning bid,this gave him 2 extra VP to finish just a point behind Tel with Paul just one point back from Andy.

A gentle introduction in to the evening with a game that doesnt cause too many headaches but is good fun.

Final Scores
Tel 13, Andy 12, Paul 11, Boog 6, Steve 5

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Andy 7, Paul 7, Boog 7, Steve 7
 
Scores : Tel 13, Andy 12, Paul 11, Boog 6, Steve 5
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Paul 7, Boog 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Nicht die Bohn

We finished with one hand of Nicht de Bohn. A great little filler of a game that allows people to try to really screw up other players. Each of the 4 colours has the same 15 cards and at the end of the game a player scores for each colour. The numbered cards (1 - 10) score at face value, the zero card cancels this players score in this colour, the x2 card doubles the score and each -1 card multiplies the score by -1. Play starts in each round with the starting player playing a card face up. All the other players then simultaneously play a card. The starting player takes whichever card he wants apart from the starting card. The Player who played the card chosen, gets to choose next, and so forth. The last player gets the starting card and becomes the starting player for the next round.

The secret of winning this game in our group is to not score too heavily unless you can be certain that your scores cant be negatived or zeroed by the rest of the crowd. While everyone was busy trashing each others scores, Boog managed to quietly acquire a reasonable score spread over the 4 colours.

A fun game even for Tel who would have got a bigger score by not playing.

Final Scores
Boog 59, Paul 38, Andy 34, Steve 11, Tel -15

Ratings / 10
Boog 9, Paul 7, Andy 7, Steve 8, Tel 7
 
Scores : Boog 59, Paul 38, Andy 34, Steve 11, Tel -15
Ratings: Boog 9, Paul 7, Andy 7, Steve 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Boog

Vinci

We then launched into the big game of the evening. Vinci is a civilisation building game that usually plays in between 90 mins and 2 hours. Each civilisation has 2 abilities, players expand their civilisations scoring points for the number of territories they control. Once they think a civilistion has outlived its usefulness they can put it into decline and choose a new civlisation to start. The abilities of the civilisations include giving more people, increasing attack or defense and scoring more points for certain territories. This was our first play with the 2nd edition rules. The cleaned up rules highlighted a few things wed been doing wrong.

From the initial setup of civilisation tiles there was a peach of a combo in postion 1. For the first time in as long as we can remember, Paul got a high dice roll to win the honour of going first. He took the strong combo and got off to a flyer. Steve went into decline after just one turn and with his second civ wiped Tel off the board forcing him into decline. Eventually Pauls civ drew too much attention and everyone turned on him and trashed his civ, but not before hed got himself over a third of the way to the target score of 100. Andy had acquired a civ with specialised fortification, this allowed him to quickly make each territory he owned more difficult to capture. He conquered the South West corner of the board with this combo. Since the fortification survived when the civ went into decline this area scored heavily for him. Andy looked certain to win, so the rest of the players trashed his civ. This allowed Steve to catch up. Hed been been alternating his civs in the North West and South East of the board.

The Score lay at Steve on 98 and Andy on 97. Andy was in decline so was able to come onto the board with a new civ, whilst Steves civ had been split up and suffering loss of cohesion. Andys new civ came on the board to score him 10 points. Steve now had 1 last turn to win the game. However his scattered civ was in disarray and the best he could do was to go into decline to score just 3 points. Boog managed a big score on his last turn, but not enough to drag him out of last place.

I thoroughly enjoy this game. Because every civ has different strengths each game is different, players have to employ different strategies during each game. Tonights game took 2 hours to play.

Final Scores
Andy 107, Steve 101, Tel 97, Paul 92, Boog 87

Ratings / 10
Andy 9, Steve 8, Tel 9, Paul 8, Boog 8
 
Scores : Andy 107, Steve 101, Tel 97, Paul 92, Boog 87
Ratings: Andy 9, Steve 8, Tel 9, Paul 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Andy


24-Mar-2002All month
 
Medina

Our last game of the day was Medina. A clever game and again the product of last yearís trip to Essen where the aim is to rebuild the city of Medina. The point scoring system is varied with no obvious dominant strategy to winning the game. Each player can occupy each of four building types (one time only) and bonus points are awarded for building sections adjacent to the city walls and the meeple trail within. Bonus points are also awarded for having the largest building of each type, or by having the last building joined to one of the four corner towers via a wall section.

The final scores & ratings were:

Tel 49 (8/10), Paul 20 (8/10), Oggie 34 (7/10) and Andy 41 (8/10)
 
Scores : Tel 49, Andy 41, Oggie 34, Paul 20
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Tenjo

Another new game and one that we had been waiting to play since purchased at Essen in 2001. Tenjo is a war game set in feudal Japan where players vie with each other to become Shogun. The game utilises a large game board and has some very high quality components. I should say before going any further that we are not experienced with games of this type so we spent a lot of time interpreting the rules. We also made a couple of mistakes when playing but just accepted the end result as it would have been too complicated to go back.

So where to start, this is a big ambitious game that promises a number of strategies with a fairly small number of rules. Each player starts with two castles, 3 family members (used to secure alliances with other players), two generals (or Diamyos), 100,000 Samurai, two shadow warriors worth 25,000 Samurai each Ė highly mobile reserve troops if you like, 25,000 money (Koku) and a number of element and ring cards (powerful cards used to manoeuvre troops, or affect combat by destroying generals/troops etc.).

Troops are manoeuvred around the board in an attempt to capture resource points, opponentsí castles, gain access to new provinces and of course destroy enemy troops. A 1D10 dice roll defines the number of moves and/or attacks you have available in any given turn (a turn is one month). Combat is again resolved using a dice role (1D20), but it is possible to weight the outcome in your favour by adding combat factors to the rolls. Troop losses could be harsh and at one point I managed to roll a 1 three times in succession much to my annoyance.

All of the castles are located around the edge of the board, so players can be spread apart initially. This did mean that it took several months before the first battle occurred as players were simply trying to gain position and hopefully also claim one or more of the 5 resource points in the middle of the board.

Occupying the resource points provided a regular monthly income (or additional Samurai). Failure to do this early on could mean that you would not have enough Koku to pay your castle maintenance at the end of the year (causing troops to desert/starve in proportion to the shortfall). However we found that combat over these was almost non-existent.

Every 12 months, there is an end of year sequence to run through. In truth we only achieved this once before ending the game. We had planned on playing the game for 1.5 hours but we had only completed the first 7 month of play by then, so we decided to end the game after 12 months (after 4 hours of play!!!).

We found that the Element/ring cards to be generally game altering in magnitude and cause several amusing moments during play. If anything they could be very harsh on the players and one player went from launching a devastating attack a castle to losing both his Diamyos (and as a result losing both his castles and all his wealth) in the space of a few minutes. The end of year event cards could also be just as harsh.

Generally itís hard for us to assess the game overall, and a lot of the mechanics were compressed into the last few months (in fact 3 out of the 4 players became Ronin as a result of playing the element/ring cards). Timing would seem to be everything in Tenjo, attack too soon and you could lose a Diamyo or even a castle in the long run. All of us felt that the game was way too slow, but we also felt that we would give it another go since some of the mechanics were quite enjoyable.

Too much down time gave this game a low score in the end and everyone scored it 5/10. Final results were:

Tel 540,000, Paul 818,000, Oggie 642,000 and Andy 72,000
 
Scores : Paul 818000, Oggie 642000, Tel 540000, Andy 72000
Ratings: Paul 5, Oggie 5, Tel 5, Andy 5
Winner(s): Paul

Very Clever Pipe Game

This was the first game of the day to hit the table and also the first time it had been played by the group. Recently republished (we were playing the republished version), the game is a pipe-laying game but with a couple of variants both as a two or four player game.

We played the most complicated version of combined pipes and fields with each player choosing one of the following: black pipes, white pipes, light fields or dark fields. The mechanism for this is interesting with the each player being dealt nine cards, and then each player in turn openly chooses one of the four pipe/fields to go for. They then discard four of their nine cards (these were reshuffled into the draw pile). Of course the last player has no choice of what to go for but they still get to choose which cards to keep.

The cards are oblong in shape and are played into a Ďvirtualí grid either horizontally or vertically. The only rule for this is that when placing cards adjacent to each other that like colour pipes must be joined. At no time are you forced to lay cards next to each other but they must be placed in such a way that they could later be joined to other groups of cards.

Play proceeds in the usual way with each player placing a card into the grid in turn and drawing a replacement card from the draw pile. Once all the cards are drawn, play continues until all cards have been played. The aim of the game is to either:

Complete a pipe system in the chosen colour.
Enclose a field with the field of the opposite colour (pipes are ignored for this purpose and that orthogonal enclosure is the norm).

Completed pipes/fields are removed from the board and count as one point/card at the end of the game. The person with the most points wins. Because of how the cards are placed itís possible to have a square enclosed by the cards. If this occurs then this is considered to be a pillar and counts as closure for pipes or as an enclosure for fields.

A very tactical game and one that typically appeals to us as by removing completed pipes/fields you can really upset your opponentsí plans. File scores/ratings were as follows:

Tel 14 (7/10)
Paul 7 (7/10)
Oggie 6 (4/10)
Andy 8 (7/10)
 
Scores : Tel 14, Andy 8, Paul 7, Oggie 4
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7, Paul 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Tel


26-Mar-2002All month
 
Euphrates & Tigris

Since there were four of us tonight it was the perfect opportunity to dust off E+T. This tremendous game does not get played anywhere near enough, mainly due to our one foray as a three player being a big disapointment, hence we only play this with four.

Each player is trying to amass influence along the banks of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. There are 4 spheres of influence in the game represented by different colours and the winner is the player at the end of the game with the most complete sets of VPs ie 1 in each colour. Each player starts with a leader in each of the 4 colours and 6 random tiles. On their turn a player has two actions comprised of: playing a tile, playing/moving a leader, playing a catastrophe or exchange someof there tiles. Whenever a tile is played into a kingdom containing a leader of the same colour, the owner of the leader scores 1 VP in that colour. Whenever two leaders of the same colour are in the same kingdom a battle occurs resulting in one of the leaders being removed from the board. Battles are resolved by comparing influence on the board plus support made from a players 6 tile hand. The victor also gains victory points. If a tile is placed to produce four similar tiles in a square then these four tiles can be converted into a VP generating temple. There are 10 treasures scattered throughout the land when captured these are worth a VP in any colour. When there are only two of these left the game ends.

Paul, Tel and Steve each started in a corner of the board, with Andy setting up base in the middle of the board. Steve and Tel spent most of the game expanding their little kingdoms, not venturing too far from their respective first tiles, to the extent that Tels Black leader never moved after being the first piece he put on the board. Andy and Paul spent more time moving there Leader trying to exploit the board. Andy played an early catastrophe tile to prevent Paul building an early temple. Andy seemed to be winning many small skirmishes and picking up a lot of red VPs on the way. Pauls tactics seemed to backfire at one point when all his leaders were sat by the board waiting to get back on, without leaders on the board he couldnt score any VPs.

Into the endgame and Andy and Tel were both picking up plenty of VPs from temples but only in 3 colours. Steve put on a late surge grabbing a VP in each colour 2 turns running, while Paul seemed to be regularly picking up a single black but little else. Andy made a bid to end the game by joining Tels and Steves kingdoms together. Despite being favourite to win the battle, Tel let Steve take the win forcing the kingdoms to be re-split continuing the game. Tel then grabbed a couple of blues tokens ( his weakest colour) on his turn. Andy tried to finish the game again on his turn by again connecting the same two kingdoms, this time Tel won the battle to ensure the kingdoms remained connected and claiming the treasure that ended the game. The 2 blues on his last turn won Tel the game, Steve late surge had pulled him into second with Andy taking third.

Although the game took 2 hours to play the time seemed to fly by. The game does require plenty of thought to especially when decide the consequences of initiating battle. A very enjoyable game reflected in the marks given.

Final Scores
Tel 8, Steve 7, Andy 6, Paul 5

Ratings / 10
Tel 9, Steve 8, Andy 8, Paul 8
 
Scores : Tel 8, Steve 7, Andy 6, Paul 5
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 8, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Wyatt Earp

Finished the night with two hands of Wyatt Earp. One of the mystery rummy type games. There are 7 outlaws to be caught and pleyers play cards to either add capture points to that outlaw, or Sheriff cards which usually increase the value of the reward for an outlaw. At the end of the hand ( triggered by someone running out of cards) the capture points for each outlaw are totalled to determine if they were caught. If they are then the reward money is split between the players making significant contibutions towards the capture.

The game was not as vicious as our previous playing. One of the cards, Hideout, allows a player to cancel the effects of another player towards one outlaw. Throughout the two hands only one of the were successfully played and I think only 1 other was attempted to be played. Similarly a card was stolen from another player (via another Sheriff card) only twice. Steve appeared to have the monopoly on Wyatt Earp cards allowing him to regularly draw extra cards. Hence it was no surprise to find Steve leading after the first hand. Into the 2nd hand and this time it was Andy drawing the Wyatt Earps, however Steve got a kind draw with allowed him to finish the game quite early.

Steve stormed the game almost managing to double Pauls and Tels score who tied for second. We did play this slightly wrong (no surprise there) not playing the Wyatt Earp card to its full potential. The game played at about 15 mins a hand once wed go the rules sorted out.

Final Scores
Steve 17, Tel 9, Paul 9, Andy 7

Ratings / 10
Steve 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 6
 
Scores : Steve 17, Paul 9, Tel 9, Andy 7
Ratings: Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Steve


02-Apr-2002All month
 
6 Nimmt!

We werent sure who was going to turn up so decided to start with a quick game of 6 Nimmt. The cards are numbered 1 - 104 and score depending on how many bulls heads they have. Four cards are laid face up in the middle of the table, these start the 4 rows which will be played ascending from these start cards. Each player then plays a card face down which are all turned face up together. The cards are played in ascending order. There are 3 rules regarding placement. 1- If the card is lower then the end card in all 4 rows, that player takes all the cards in any row replacing the row with their card. 2- The card must be played adjacent to the highest card that is lower then this card. 3- If the placement of this card takes a row above 5 cards, the player takes the whole row replacing it with their card. The first player to score 65 bulls heads ends the game with the lowest score winning.

Kev and Susan hadnít seen this before, but thatís no big disadvantage in 6 Nimmt as Susan quickly showed. While Paul and Andy, both veterans of the game, averaged about 18 a hand over the 4 rounds (72 and 74), Susan averaged less then 8 to finish with 31, a score matched by Tel. Kev finished in third on 64.

6 Nimmt is not a game for the deep thinker. Your random draw of 10 cards can win or lose a game but then again so can your opponents actions. This said the game is good fun.

Final Scores
Susan 31, Tel 31, Kev 64, Paul 72, Andy 74

Ratings / 10
Paul 7, Tel 7, Kev 7, Susan 8, Andy 7
 
Scores : Andy 74, Paul 72, Kev 64, Tel 31, Susan 31
Ratings: Andy 7, Paul 7, Kev 7, Tel 7, Susan 8
Winner(s): Tel, Susan

Carcassonne

First outing for the new expansion (however Paul, Tel and Andy have played a few games on Brettspielwelt). The expansion adds 18 new tiles to the game, lap counters for the scoreboard, a large meeple for each player and the pieces to allow a 6th player. The new tiles add extra city pieces to try and finish those awkward cities. It also introduces pieces that increase the value of roads and cities but only if they are finished, rendering them worthless if left incomplete at the end of the game. The large meeple is worth two small meeple when played.

We also added the river tiles. Andy played his large meeple into the main field about half way through the game, and despite trying no-one else managed to get into the same field. Added to a couple of cloisters and a share in one of the big cities, he won the game at a canter.

Because the new tiles have slightly lighter backs than the originals we split the tiles into piles and introduced a die roll to determine which pile the next tile was coming from. This made the game very cumbersome, next time all the tiles will be drawn from a bag.

The new tiles do bring a little variety to the game but for me the big advantage is that there are more tiles available in a 5 player game giving players a few more turns and options. A few of the tiles, especially those with a Cathedral on, introduce more screw your neighbour options, always welcome when playing in a cut-throat manner.

Final Scores
Andy 97, Paul 63, Tel 61 Kev 34, Susan 28

Ratings / 10
Andy 9, Paul 7, Tel 8, Kev 8, Susan 8
 
Scores : Andy 97, Paul 63, Tel 61, Kev 34, Susan 28
Ratings: Andy 9, Paul 7, Tel 8, Kev 8, Susan 8
Winner(s): Andy

Pit

This game can be summarised in one word - Chaos. We played the advanced version, using the bull and bear cards. A set of 9 cards for each player are shuffled together along with a bull card and a bear card. These are then dealt out so that 2 players have 10 cards and the others have 9. After a couple of seconds to assess your hand the market begins with a ring of the bell. Chaos ensues as players frantically try to trade cards with other players. The aim is to try and collect a set of cards. Trades must be between 1 and 4 cards of an undisclosed set and must be made for a like number of cards with another player. Once someone has a set they end the market by another ring of the bell. Scoring then occurs, the player gathering the set scores the value of that set. Whoever is left holding the bear scores -20. The bull can be used as a wild card to make up a set, or if the player has 10 cards doubles the value of the set if it is held in addition to a 9 card set. However, it scores -20 in a non winning players hand. No player can close the market if they have the bear card.

Id like to tell you what happened in the game, but all I can remember is being made deaf by Kevs constant shout of TWO!, and not wanting to trade with Andy after giving him the bear.

A very light, fun and VERY loud game which gets a rave review from all.

Final Scores
Susan 205, Paul 75, Tel 65, Kev -20, Andy -40

Ratings / 10
8s all round.
 
Scores : Susan 205, Paul 75, Tel 65, Kev -20, Andy -40
Ratings: Susan 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Kev 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Susan


09-Apr-2002All month
 
Don

Kev was running late so we played a quick game of Don while waiting for him.

Paul adopted his usual tactic of buying the first card. There seemed to be two tactics at play in this game. Andy and Tel seemed intent on buying cards, while Steve and Paul seemed intent on acquiring as much money as possible. So with about 3/4 of the game gone Andy and Tel were both struggling for cash but had most of the numbers covered between them while Paul and Steve had plenty of cash but were thin on the ground with cards. However things quickly changed, both Steve and Paul needed cards, so had to bid big to try and get the last few cards. These big bids found there way to Andy and Tel. Tel had enough to win the last set of cards with all the cash going to Andy. Tel won the game with a respectable 24, Andy finished in second ending the game with about 2/3 of the cash. Steve won the battle of the money hoarders ending with less cash but more points than Paul.

A great filler playing in about 20 minutes.

Final Scores
Tel 24, Andy 13, Steve 7, Paul 5

Ratings / 10
7 for everyone
 
Scores : Tel 24, Andy 13, Steve 8, Paul 5
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7, Steve 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Showmanager

This game shall be forever remembered as the game that Andy cheated at. In Showmanager each player takes on the role of a Producer trying to put on four shows. This is done by hiring actors to fill the roles required for each of the four shows, and in Andys case by cheating.

Everyone is aiming to put the same 4 musicals on, each of which has certain roles that need filling by actors. The actors are hired from an agency who always has 4 available, costing 0,1000,2000 and 3000. Once an actor is hired a new actor is unveiled in the 3000 slot pushing the rest down in price. Instead of hiring an actor a producer may decide to put on a show. This is done by using exactly the same number of actors as a show requires - did you hear that Andy? - exactly the same number. Each actor is adept at playing certain roles and scores if they are playing one of these roles. The show can then be rated by adding the value of the actors used. At the end of the game each show is ranked compared to the other players version of the same show and points scored accordingly.

During the explanation of the rules to everyone, the rule about a show requiring exactly the correct number of actors was missed. The first few rounds played relatively quickly as players took their required actors. Tel was the first to put on a musical (Queenie) using exactly the correct numer of actors. This was quickly followed by Kev and Paul producing King Lear again using the correct number of actors. Then the villian of the piece, Andy, put on his first show (Wolf). Now Wolf only needs 3 actors, but Andy decided that this was not enough so decided that in addition to the regular 3 (high scoring) actors he was going to miscast an additional 3 actors into roles that didnt even exist. Not content with cheating once, a couple of turns later he pulled a similar scam again. The game continued for another round before frantic reading of the rules discovered the incorrect ruling that Andy was merrily exploiting. We were nearing the end of the night after a late start so decided to continue with the game despite Andys clear advantage. The later shows scored lower than the first few as a rule. At the end of the game we all had to wait for Andy to draw enough actors to complete his last show because of his earlier blatant disregard for the rules. Unsuprisingly Andy won the game by a huge margin from Kev, Paul and Tel with Steve claiming the wooden spoon.

This game does have potential but the rules misinterpretation - oops sorry Andys cheating - did detract from the game for everyone. Yet again the Piddinghoe Gamers play a game completely wrong on its first play, I cant wait to play this one again. Oh did I mention that Andy Cheated.

Final Scores
Cheat 58, Kev 42, Paul 38, Tel 34, Steve 26

Ratings / 10
Andy 7, Kev 8, Paul 8, Tel 7, Steve 7
 
Scores : Andy 58, Kev 42, Paul 38, Tel 34, Steve 26
Ratings: Andy 7, Kev 8, Paul 8, Tel 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy


16-Apr-2002All month
 
Carcassonne

First outing for Carcassonne with 6 players, as the new expansion provides a 6th set of meeple in gray. Once again we started with the river expansion.

Boog after his dramatic late big score in Vabanque was obviously hoping for a similar result here with his first 4 meeple in play all being Farmers with more joining later. Of course this meant he missed out on other scoring opportunities. In fact he hadnt scored at all as the last tile was played. Oggie set out on the most ambitious city planning project of all time. It quickly attracted a Cathedral, and hence would score nothing if not finished. Andy was soon drawn to the potential big score and found a way in as did Boog. Tel was the next to be afraid of being left out closely followed by Kev. Only Steve resisted the urge to get into the city. At one point it was only 2 end tiles from completion, but a couple of tiles from Steve ensured it would never finish. The other Cathedral scored in a joint venture for Steve and Tel. Kev was amassing points by building a number of smaller cities. His last tile finished him a road with an Inn on it scoring 10 plus he put a man on a city edge. And that 1 point city won him the game. Tel and Steve tied for 2nd a point behind. Boogs farmer only strategy failed as he scored only 29 (24 from farmers) however this was enough to beat Andys 27.

Personally I prefer Carcassonne as a two player game and was a little skeptical at the downtime that would be involved in a 6 player version. We do alleviate this to an extent by allowing everyone to draw their next tile as soon as theyve played the previous one. This speeds the game up as it allows for some planning during the downtime. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the game seemed to be being played there was only a couple occasions where the game got bogged down during a round.

Final Scores
Kev 71, Steve 70, Tel 70, Oggie 34, Boog 29, Andy 27

Rating / 10
Kev 8, Steve 8, Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7, Andy 8
 
Scores : Kev 71, Tel 70, Steve 70, Oggie 34, Boog 29, Andy 27
Ratings: Kev 8, Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7, Andy 8
Winner(s): Kev

Guillotine

While we were waiting for everyone to turn up we played 2 quick games of Guillotine. The card game where the aim of the game is to execute the most influencial nobles. As games go they donít get much simpler. Each players turn consists of playing an action card (optional), execute the front noble card, draw an action card. There are 12 nobles in the line on each of the 3 days, each noble has a value. Whoever has the biggest total of points from the nobles at the end of the third day wins.

For the first game there was only 3 of us. The first day got prolonged a couple of times with cards being added to the end of the line. Things were fairly close at the end of the first day. Tel took the front noble on day two, Andy then played the Scarlet Pimpernel to end the day after drawing his card. On day 3 he immediately moved Robespier to the front to end the day and game. Boog didnt get to take a noble in either of the last two days.

Andy won by 5 point from Boog with Tel 2 point further back.

Steve joined for the second game. The first day played out as normal but again the 2nd and 3rd days were cut short. This time Steve had acquired enough nobles to win the game, with Andy 2nd, Tel 3rd and Boog last.

Ideal start game as each game was finished in about 10 minutes.

Final Scores (Game 1)
Andy 19, Boog 14, Tel 12

Ratings / 10
Andy 7, Boog 8, Tel 8

Final Scores (Game 2)
Steve 16, Andy 10, Tel 9, Boog 6

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Boog 7
 
Scores : Andy 19, Boog 14, Tel 12
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy

Guillotine

Scores : Steve 16, Andy 10, Tel 9, Boog 6
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Boog 7
Winner(s): Steve

Nicht die Bohn

We ended the night with a couple of hands of Nicht die Bohn. The Card game where the aim is to maximise your scores across four colours, trying to avoid the -ve and zero cards.

Neither Boog nor Tel had managed a win so far on the night but both scored big in the first round. Boog scoring the higher. Kev hadnt quite worked out the tactics for the game so was bemused at one point to discover he had the choice of 5 -ve cards after starting the round with an 8. Into the second round and Oggie amassed a big score but was 5 points short of catching Tel who claimed the victory. Despite only scoring 4 in the second round Boog hung on for third from Kev then Steve. Andy had the honour of the wooden spoon.

An entertaining way to end the evening, as the game does not require too much thought - although Kev tried.

Final Scores
Tel 103, Oggie 98, Boog 76, Kev 64, Steve 55, Andy 38

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 8, Kev 7, Steve 8, Andy 6
 
Scores : Tel 103, Oggie 98, Boog 76, Kev 64, Steve 55, Andy 38
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 8, Kev 7, Steve 8, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel

Vabanque

6 players for the first time in a long time. We decided on Vabanque as it plays with 6 and only takes about 40 mins to play. There are 12 casino tables which become more lucrative as the game goes on. Each player has 3 cards, a bluff card that does nothing, a doubling card that increase the value of the table and a cheat card taht will steal another players winnings. Each of the four rounds play the same way. Firstly players distribute the chips for this round between the 12 tables, then they distribute their cards face down between the tables, finally they move their playing piece and the tables are scored. Each player at a table wins the value at that table. If there are any doubling cards then the table value is multiplied by 1+number of cards . However if there is a cheat at the table then the cheat gets the money for each of its opponents at the table.

After the first round everyone had managed to win either 20 or 40 except Boog who didnt win anything. In the second round Andy got a huge win for both his player and cheat card amassing 320 points, Tel got 90, Steve 30 with Boog, Oggie and Kev failing to score. Into the third round and some of the tables were getting very inviting and attracting many cards. For the third round running Boog failed to win anything this time joined by Tel. Going into the final round Boog was 425 points behind the leader Andy, but he is starting to gain a reputation for a dramatic last round big score, and he didnt fail tonight. Despite winning 260 on the last round Andy slipped from 1st to 3rd, Boog managed an impressive 750 but had to settle for second as Oggie claimed victory taking 600 from the last round. Kev and Steve failed to trouble the banker in the last round.

Somebody remarked half way through the game that the game appeared to just involve putting chips and cards randomnly on the board, and seeing what happens. Whilst this is one approach, there is certainly scope for plenty of bluffing and the opportunity to attempt to lure someone to your cheats. A clever game that is very entertaining.

Final Scores
Oggie 840, Boog 750, Andy 685, Tel 630, Kev 200, Steve 150.

Ratings / 10
Oggie 7, Boog 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Kev 8, Steve 7
 
Scores : Oggie 840, Boog 750, Andy 685, Tel 630, Kev 200, Steve 150
Ratings: Oggie 7, Boog 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Kev 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Oggie


23-Apr-2002All month
 
Citadels

No other game has polarised our group more than this one. Three of us love the game, we each have a copy of the game, whereas the other four members of the group absolutely hate it. Im one of the three that loves the game but will attempt to reflect the opinions of the others.

We tried the game last night for the first time with the new English edition. This introduces 10 new characters to the game. Eight are potential replacements for the existing characters with the other two allowing for a 9th character to be introduced. The new characters have similar abilities to the cards they replace but different enough to affect gameplay. The rules suggest changing no more than 2 characters. We replaced the Assasin with the Witch, the Warlord with the Diplomat and introduced the Queen.

The major complaint of the original version was that the player to the right of the king, gets little choice on his turn and could be stuck there for a few turns if the king got assasinated. This has been addressed with a change to the new version in that the crown still moves even if the king is assasinated.

Another complaint of the dissenters is the downtime involved in the game. This was an issue in last nights game with players taking longer than usual to select their character, but to be fair we did have somone whod never played the game before, the rest of us havent played the game in almost a year and we were playing with new characters. I agree that with 6 of us there is going to be some downtime while players choose there characters but as with all games this should decrease the more the game is played and becomes familiar.

A final complaint of the game is that it is possible to have no action on a turn if you are assainated/bewitched. Since the crown was moving around a lot more last night due to the new rules, most players had a choice of a few characters most of the time, so nobody got picked on all the time, though Boog did seem to have more bad luck than the rest of us.

As to the game, Steve and Andy set an early pace which they maintained right to the finish, Since most of the players were obviously not enjoying the game we all marked it down.

From a personal perspective I think the new characters do add to the game and have improved an already great game. Unfortunately within our group I can only see this being played again in the near future as a three player game.


Final Scores
Steve 29, Andy 26, Oggie 24, Tel 22, Kev 19, Boog 12

Ratings / 10
Steve 6, Andy 4, Oggie 5, Tel 7, Kev 2, Boog 2
 
Scores : Steve 29, Andy 26, Oggie 24, Tel 22, Kev 19, Boog 12
Ratings: Steve 6, Andy 4, Oggie 5, Tel 7, Kev 2, Boog 2
Winner(s): Steve

Once Upon a Time

Introduction of a new game to group with Once Upon a Time. Everyone is dealt a number of cards, 5 in a 6 player game, which contain items, places, characters, aspects and events that often appear in fairytales. Each player also receives an ending card which contains the last words of a fairytale. The aim of the game is for the group to tell a fairytale with each player trying to incorporate their cards into the story whilst also pushing the story towards an ending that meets their end phrase.

Now the most important thing about this game is that winning is fairly unimportant. If players were trying all out to win the game would probably be over in a couple of minutes and be a very dry experience for all. Instead everyone should try and enter into the spirit of the game and an entertaining game should ensue.

Oggie is obviously a master storyteller for at one point in the game he managed to progress the story for about 5 minutes unfortunately not managing to play a card at all in that time. Just for interest our first story was an action packed affair with kidnapping, rescues, fights and illicit affairs, whereas the second story seemed to involve somone blind permanently running either through a forest or down a road (without getting hurt).

Certainly not a game to be taken too seriously but if played in the right spirit can provide some entertaining moments and could provide light relief after a heavy game.

Just for completeness Kev and Steve completed our two stories.

Ratings / 10
Kev 7, Steve 6, Boog 4, Andy 8, Oggie 4, Tel 7
 
Scores : Tel , Oggie , Andy , Steve , Kev , Boog
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 4, Andy 8, Steve 6, Kev 7, Boog 4
Winner(s): Steve, Kev

Pit

We started the night with a few hands of the noisiest game of the lot - Pit. The trading game that involves everyone simultaneously trying to swap cards with other players trying to collect all 9 cards of one commodity.

Ill need to re-read the rules to determine if there is a penalty for falsely closing the market without having the required cards, not that it would have made much difference as I think we all tried it at some point. The game is supposed to be the first to 500, but after about 8 rounds we decided to call a halt on proceedings as the highest score was only 180. Im not sure if there are any tactics to this game other then being able to shout louder than everyone else and being prepared to trade whenever possible, but it is certainly a great deal of fun.

Final Scores
Tel 180, Steve 60, Boog 35, Oggie 25, Andy 20, Kev -40

Ratings / 10
Tel 9, Steve 8, Boog 9, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Kev 8
 
Scores : Tel 180, Steve 60, Boog 35, Oggie 25, Andy 20, Kev -40
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 8, Boog 9, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Kev 8
Winner(s): Tel


30-Apr-2002All month
 
Through the Desert

Its been too long since the pastel camels saw the table. The board represents a desert and is made up of Hexagons. Four of these hexagons are filled with palm trees and then a lot more are covered with tokens worth 1,2 and 3 points. Each player takes a camel in each of the pastel colours, and places the rider of his colour onto it. Players take it in turns to play these riders onto the board. Play then starts in earnest, on his turn a player may play any two camels onto the board, such that each camel is adjacent to a camel of the same colour which in turn is part of a caravan of like coloured camels including one with that players rider. The same coloured caravans of 2 players may never be connected. As a caravan touches a tree that player gains 5 points and the player collects tokens from the board as they cover them. Once all the camels of any colour are played the game is over. Players then score for any enclosed areas formed and for the longest caravan of each colour.

Initial placement got rather aggressive as 3 of the four pink camels were all clumped together in one corner of the board, allowing Oggie to steam through with another coloured camel and pick up all the 3 pointers in that area. Elsewhere Andy was concentrating on his blue while managing to work his pink camel out of the corner, Steve was picking up plenty of tokens and connecting to plenty of trees. Tel enclosed a small area in one corner and set of after the opposite corner. Into the end game and Tel had a slight advantage in one of the colours from Steve but was forced to place just this colour each turn to maintain this lead. Andy was pushing his two main colours and Oggie claiming a couple of areas. In the fnal analysis Oggie had scored enough points to claim victory, Steve claimed a surprise second despite only sharing a single longest caravan. Andys 2 longest chains was enough to take third with Tel taking his first wooden spoon of the evening.

The big draw of this game is that each game plays in about 30 mins. Granted it also takes a few minutes to setup/put away with the many pieces. It does play well with any number of players and always scores well when played by the group.

Final Scores
Oggie 64, Steve 59, Andy 58, Tel 56

Ratings / 10
8s for everyone.
 
Scores : Oggie 64, Steve 59, Andy 58, Tel 56
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Vinci

After conquering the desert in our first game we decided to try and conquer Europe in the second. In Vinci players try and introduce new civilizations into Europe. Since each civilization is detemined by two tiles they each have different abilities. The knack of the game is to be able to determine when to put a civilization into decline and start a new one.

This was the first playing of this with 6. It was also the first time Ive ever seen anyone (Paul) put his first empire into decline before it had actually got onto the board. The second edition rules state that each time a pair of tiles is passed over it gets 2 VP, the first civ was pased over 3 time making it worth 6 VP to Paul. It didnt do him any harm as he and Tel opened up an early lead, Tel scoring big due to a specialised Weapon civ that allowed him to claim an early large territory. As is traditional in Vinci the early leaders get trashed, and Boog obliged by almost wiping Tel of the board. Andy was apparently supposed to do the same to Paul but decided that Oggie looked a better target. After some very nice combos of tiles at the start of the game the rest of the game produced some real junk. Hence people were trying to hold onto dying civs for longer in the hope of seeing better tiles turn up. No one achieved this better than Andy who somehow managed to go through the whole game with only 2 Civs. Granted after 2 hours of play we called a halt to proceedings before anyone had reached the 100 point barrier. Despite being frugal with his civs Andy managed to claim a comfortable victory with Boog being his closest challenger 10 points adrift. Paul claimed 3rd from Oggie and Steve with Tel again taking last place.

The game was rated slightly lower then usual for this excellent game, this was due to excessive downtime. Most turn based games that play with 6 players are going to suffer from downtime and this was no exception. Although some planning could be made during other players turns, things often changed dramatically during the course of one round. This was still an enjoyable game but the consensus within the group seems to be that the ideal number of players is definitely less than 6.

Final Scores
Andy 90, Boog 80, Paul 76, Oggie 75, Steve 72, Tel 69

Ratings / 10
Andy 9, Boog 8, Paul 8, Oggie 6, Steve 7, Tel 7
 
Scores : Andy 90, Boog 80, Paul 76, Oggie 75, Steve 72, Tel 69
Ratings: Andy 9, Boog 8, Paul 8, Oggie 6, Steve 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy


06-May-2002All month
 
Babel

Scores : Oggie 15, Tel 9
Ratings: Oggie 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Carcassonne

Scores : Paul 97, Tel 60, Andy 53, Steve 47, Oggie 18
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Citadels

Our second outing with the new English cards. We broke the rules a little by replacing 3 of the originals using the Witch (we definitely prefer this to the Assasin), the Emperor, the Abbot and introducing the Artist as the ninth card.

Andy, who seems to have a bad streak of luck with this game, got off to a bad start losing a turn to the witch and losing his early 2 districts to the warlord (they were the only 1 pointers in the game at the time). He claimed vengence on one and all when he got the crown. He somehow managed to deal the Emperor face down 3 deals running to keep hold of the crown while selecting either the Warlord, or the Witch who enchanted the Warlord, and destroyed some BIG buildings. Having claimed his revenge he then knuckled down to some building. While this was going on Oggie was repeatedly given what shall be forever termed Ogdens Choice of the last 2 cards. The new cards were obviously popular as only the artist of the new cards ever made it that far.

Steve with the advantage of having second pick for a large chunk of the game managed to be the first to complete 8 districts after building 2 small districts ( with the Architect) in the last hand. Although his districts were all relatively small the bonuses for 8 districts and for all 5 colours was enough to win him the game. Paul just beat Tel for second with Andy close behind in 4th. Oggie claimed the wooden spoon.

The game seemed to play in just over the hour and was enjoyed by most, though Andy is still not keen. The new cards do add more variety to the game.

Final Scores
Steve 27, Paul 24, Tel 23, Andy 21, Oggie 18

Ratings / 10
Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 8, Andy 5, Oggie 7
 
Scores : Steve 27, Paul 24, Tel 23, Andy 21, Oggie 18
Ratings: Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 8, Andy 5, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Steve

Die mauer

Scores : Steve -5, Paul -41, Andy -55, Oggie -58
Ratings: Steve 5, Paul 5, Andy 5, Oggie 5
Winner(s): Steve

Don Pepe

6 mafia bosses each with 4 members of their gang are sat round a table. One member of each gang is armed with a knife and another with a gun. Situated on the table are more knives and guns, drinks, business rights and a cash register. Each player takes control of one gang and is trying to earn more money than everyone else. To achieve this they aim to keep their leader alive as long as possible, occupy the seats containing the business rights and to occupy the income doubling cash register. Each player holds five cards that can be played to do such things as shoot the character across the table, knife the character sat next to you, poison 3 drinks, place an exploding cake, move a cake, explode the cake or move a character.

Into the game and after initial placement most of the gang leaders were clustered around the two ends of the table. So not suprisingly a cake (which wipes out 3 characters around the bomb) was soon attracted to one end of the table. After a bit of juggling and Oggies leader legging it down the other end of the table it blew up taking a couple of henchmen with it. On more than one occasion carefully placed bombs found their way back to their owners before blowing them to bits. Amongst all this mass carnage Anne and Steve were amassing plenty of cash. However Steve was also attracting more than his share of the hits, and was in the end the only player to be eliminated a couple of minutes before the end of the game. This left Anne a clear run to mop up despite taking a couple of late hits and Oggie finishing strongly.

A game that got a mixed reception, Steve was not too impressed while Anne loved it. It is possible in Don Pepe to eliminate players from the game, and while in our case Steve only had to sit out about 5 minutes it is possible with a chunk of bad luck for someone to get killed off early and be sat out for the majority of this 30 mins game.

Final Scores
Anne 15, Oggie 14, Steve 10, Tel 10, Paul 7, Andy 4

Ratings / 10
Anne 8, Oggie 7, Steve 6, Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 7
 
Scores : Anne 15, Oggie 14, Tel 10, Steve 10, Paul 7, Andy 4
Ratings: Anne 8, Oggie 7, Tel 7, Steve 6, Paul 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Anne

Dragon Delta

This game has been described as a cross between Chinese Checkers and Roborally and it sums the game up perfectly. 6 players try to cross the middle of the board by using a program of five moves made from a set hand of cards. Having bought the German version of the game at Essen and being unable to find English rules anywhere we had to resort to translating the French Rules using one of the Web based automatic translation tools. The rules came out on the whole readable, of course this doesnt mean they were correct. However we were able to play the game according to the rules wed got.

The game started with each of us having our playing counter located in our home village. Each village is on an island, with lots of small islands between them. The aim of the game is to place stones on these small islands,connect to these stones via planks then using these bridges cross to the village opposite yours. Of course everyone is trying to do the same, so the middle of the board can get a bit frantic. To confuse matters more, each stone may only support 3 planks, there are planks of different lengths and the islands are different distances apart and the are cards that allow a player to remove a stone/plank and cards to force a player to miss a turn. If a player tries to make a move which they cant (due to pre programmed moves) they fall in the water and return to their home village.

Andy got off to a flyer getting about 2/3 of the way across on turn 1. This just meant that everyone else ensured he got no further. In the ensuing madness Steve almost got home, but again everyone conspired to ensure he couldnt finish. Andy was then forced into the water as Tel made a push for home. As he was stopped, Anne got within a whisker of winning she somehow managed to grab defeat from the jaws of victory by forgetting to step of the plank. This allowed Paul to charge through and claim the victory. After an early dunking Oggie seemed reluctant to leave the comfort of his starting village.

While I dont think this will ever make my top 5 games list (before you ask I donít know !) it certainly provided enough entertainment and required enough thought in the hour it took to play that i cant wait to play it again.

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Tel 8, Andy 7, Anne 7, Oggie 7, Steve 6
 
Scores : Andy , Tel , Paul , Steve , Anne , Oggie
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 8, Paul 8, Steve 6, Anne 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Guillotine

Scores : Steve 24, Andy 23, Oggie 18
Ratings: Steve 7, Andy 6, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 9
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 9
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Steve , Tel
Ratings: Steve 9, Tel 9
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 9
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 9
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 9, Andy 8
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 9, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

Maskenball Venezia

A game that is absolutely in the party game genre. Up to 10 people sit around a table. There are cards depicting certain hand signals and gestures. Enough sets are used so there is one per player. One of each card is shuffled and one card is dealt to each player. Then follows a period where players try to make their gesture so that no more than two other players see it. Bluffing is allowed but if more than two people believe the same bluff then you lose points. Once a player thinks he has identified a gesture they take a matching card from the center of the table. Once a player has identified 4 people they can call a halt to procedings. Points are scored for correctly guessing a players gesture, and if upto 2 players correctly guess your gesture. Points are lost if you incorrectly guess someones signal or if more than 2 people guess the same incorrect signal for you. Multiple rounds are played until someone has hit 10 points.

Now Im not a big fan of this game, probably because Im absolutely hopeless at it. Despite spending the whole game desperately watching for even the slightest move I just dont seem to see anything. But people were obviously making the signs as Steve managed to acquire the required 10 points after only 2 hands. In the first game. After much staring and more bluffing we finished a second game, this time in 3 hands and won by Oggie.

A party game that plays in about 15 minutes. Ideal for some light relief in the middle of a games day and definitely a game where the more players the better.

Final Scores
Game 1 - Steve 10, Anne 8, Oggie 5, Andy 4, Tel 3, Paul 2
Game 2 - Oggie 11, Anne 6, Andy 3, Steve 2, Tel 2, Paul 2

Ratings / 10

Paul 8, andy 7, Anne 7, Steve 6, Tel 6, Oggie 6
 
Scores : Steve 10, Anne 8, Oggie 5, Andy 4, Tel 3, Paul 2
Ratings: Steve 6, Anne 7, Oggie 6, Andy 7, Tel 6, Paul 8
Winner(s): Steve

Maskenball Venezia

Scores : Oggie 11, Anne 6, Andy 3, Steve 2, Tel 2, Paul 2
Ratings: Oggie 7, Anne 6, Andy 7, Steve 6, Tel 6, Paul 6
Winner(s): Oggie

Mulle + Money

Scores : Steve 46, Anne 43, Paul 33, Andy 32
Ratings: Steve 7, Anne 7, Paul 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Steve

Pit

Scores : Tel 430, Andy 60, Anne 0, Steve -40, Paul -80, Oggie -80
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Anne 8, Steve 7, Paul 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel

Ra

Scores : Oggie 46, Steve 33, Paul 31, Tel 31, Andy 20
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie


14-May-2002All month
 
Bohnanza

Despite having bought the expansion ( which allows up to 7 players) to Bohnanza 18 months ago tonight was the first time any of the cards had been used. There are a couple of minor tweaks to the rules when playing with 6. Firstly a 3rd field only costs 2 gold, the players have different size starting hands (3,4,5,6,6,6) and players draw 4 cards at the end of their turn.

Play started slowly as we were aqll jostling for position to setup our fields as we wanted. But once the game got going there was plenty of trading going on, with Oggie regularly having to skip his planting phase due to having traded all the cards from his hand away. The game was played very courteosly with gifts often repaid with gifts or trades later in the game. As is usual in our group once it bacame obvious that the game was nearly over every turn became a trading frenzy for the active player, desperately trying to trade away those useless cards in his hand for anything useful. Tel claimed the win, now some would say this was because he had both the first and last turns, but I of course believe it was down to other factors.

A good humoured fun game where it is often to your advantage to gift a bean away which is useful to an opponent.

Final Scores
Tel 15, Steve 13, Boog 12, Oggie 12, Andy 11, Paul 10

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Steve 8, Boog 7, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Paul 7
 
Scores : Tel 15, Steve 13, Boog 12, Oggie 12, Andy 11, Paul 10
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 8, Boog 7, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Guillotine

Andy turned up 15 minutes early so the 2 of us played a quick game of Guillotine. 12 nobles are layed out in a line for each of the 3 days. Each player starts with a hand of 5 action cards. On his turn a player may play a card from his hand, then must take the front noble from the line and then draw an action card. Each noble is worth VPs from -3 to 5. Whoever has the most VPs at the end of the third daya wins.

There were most of the big scorers out on the first day, but Andy didnt think he was going to get any of them so ended the day using the scarlet pimpernel very early. The second day produced mainly middling cards, Tel did manage to acquire a 4 point card only for Andy to immediately force him to place at the end of the line and get it himself on the following turn. Day three brought 4 palace guards into play but these were split two each. The deciding move of the game was Tel managing to give Andy the 2 -ve cards in the line.

Excellent filler that plays great with 2 players and finishes in about 10-15 minutes.

Final Scores
Tel 29, Andy 26

Ratings /10
both rated it a 7.
 
Scores : Tel 29, Andy 26
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

RoboRally

Once everyone arrived we continued the evening with another WOTC game this time roborally. Since we didnt want to playing this all night we picked two of the easier boards and started with 3 checkpoints (this was reduced to 2 later in the game). We started with 1 option card each.

Boog got of to a flyer using his option card to speed his way across both boards, while Steve didnt draw a movement card so remained at the start, Paul misunderstood the board and got crushed on turn 1, and Oggie despite jumping on the conveyer belts managed to end the turn back on the start square, neither Tel or Andy made great progress but they did manage to escape the starting square. Boog drew only one movement card in round two so managed to step of the conveyor belt before it threw him from the board, but didnt get too far. Steve managed to use an option card to make good progress down the board. Oggie set about travelling down the alleyways and back streets to avoid trouble and managed to end the game without taking a point of damage. Tel and Paul got into a shooting match travelling down a conveyor both taking damage and both ending the turn next to a bomb which forced them to play the next round randonmly. Boog also got caught in the blast of this bomb. Steve meanwhile managed to find his way to the first checkpoint. While the three random robots wandered aimlessly around the board taking damage, Andy almost made it to the checkpoint. He finished his movement on the right square, only for Oggie to fire his tractor beam at him dragging him kicking and screaming onto a conveyor belt and ultimately his doom. Tel awoke from shutting down on a conveyor belt facing into a pit, he managed to back up and end the turn adjacent to the start square. Oggie did make it to the first checkpoint just before Steve finished the game by gaining the 2nd checkpoint.

I was a big fan of Roborally when I bought it many moons ago and am delighted to give it an occassional airing. However it can suffer from analysis paralysis, often a runaway leader cannot be caught and if the boards are make too tricky the game can last far too long. Tonights game didnt luckily didnt suffer from any of these, though Steve did always look favourite once he got the helicopter option card (which we played wrong). The game lasted 90 minutes and a good time was had by all, but Paul did complain that we didnt have the opportunity to be nastier to each other. Perhaps next time well start with 2 option cards.

Winner
Steve

Ratings /10
Steve 8, Tel 8, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7, Paul 6
 
Scores : Andy , Tel , Boog , Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8, Boog 7, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Paul 6
Winner(s): Steve


21-May-2002All month
 
6 Nimmt!

The second game of the night also took about an hour to play and is another game where luck is more useful than skillful play. 6 Nimmt is one of the favourites within the group for providing fun, and tonight was no exception.

Anne got off to a really bad start claiming 49 points in the first hand. The second hand proved a little better with her taking 16 to put her within a point of ending the game, Paul meanwhile pulled in more than his share of the points in this hand claiming 35 points. Hand 3 was one of the most unusual hands weve ever seen. After the first play 104 ended on of the rows, this was joined by 103 on the next round, 102 on the third and 101 on the fourth. So we now had the four rows capped by the four highest cards. And so the hand continued with in each round one row being replaced to be finally capped by another high card. The hand ended with Andy complaining that he could count that far while adding his total. Anne managed to avoid picking any cards up allowing the game to go into a fourth hand. Midway through this hand a chorus of Dont forget rule two went up as somebody tried to avoid picking a large total up by plaing his card in the wrong pile. Anne couldnt avoid taking any points this hand but Andy had another mare to finish in last place. Oggie had managed 4 good hands and claimed a convincing win.

Final Scores
Oggie 28, Boog 49, Tel 57, Steve 60, Paul 62, Anne 70, Andy 83

Ratings / 10
Oggie 8, Boog 9, Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Anne 8, Andy 7
 
Scores : Andy 83, Anne 70, Paul 62, Steve 60, Tel 57, Boog 49, Oggie 28
Ratings: Andy 7, Anne 8, Paul 7, Steve 7, Tel 7, Boog 9, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Autoscooter

First outing for autoscooter. The big attraction of this game is that it plays with up to 8 players with no downtime. Tonight we had 7. Each player starts with 10 VPs, these are won and lost due to collisions that occur as the players drive their bumper cars around the playing area. At the start of each of the 11 turns each player secretly selects a move from the 15 available. Each player also selects a number, the lowest number moves first. If there is a collision then VPs are exchanged depending on the speed of the 2 cars. Also if a car is hit from the side it rotates 60 degrees. So on its pre-programmed move it will be heading in the wrong direction.

On Turn one Steve set himself up for a hit on Tel for the following turn, unfortunately for him Anne hit him before he moved rotating him so that he moved straight into the path of Tel. For the next 3 turns the three cars remained locked together with neither Tel or Steve moving, but Tel ramming Steve each turn. Meanwhile everyone else was congregating in the opposite corner of the board. At one point 3 of the 4 cars in the corner were all motionless after a couple of head-on collisions. Oggie made a break for it and did a lap of the board. Halfway through the game and the dealock in one corner was broken as Tel, Steve, Anne and Oggie all had clear boards to play with however Paul, Andy and Boog were all still locked in the corner. To confuse matters more Oggie and Tel then steamed in as well. Anne steered out of trouble and stayed that way for the rest of the game. The game ended with everyone else involved in the gridlock in the corner. Neither Paul nor Boog had moved too far at all by the end of the game

There is a large does of luck involved in this game, so the pure stategist is unlikely to enjoy it that much, however it did provide a very entertaining hour of play. I dont think the game is worth the large price tag but will be quite happy to play it again.

Final Scores
Tel 18, Oggie 14, Andy 13, Anne 7, Boog 7, Steve 5, Paul 0

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Oggie 6, Andy 8, Anne 7, Boog 8, Steve 7, Paul 7
 
Scores : Tel 18, Oggie 14, Andy 13, Anne 7, Boog 7, Steve 5, Paul 0
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 6, Andy 8, Anne 7, Boog 8, Steve 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


28-May-2002All month
 
Great Walls

The first time the grit game has hit the table. The game comes in round tube and consists of a flexible board, a pack of cards displaying tetris like shapes, 4 racks to hold these cards and four bags of coloured grit. The game is Go with a twist. It plays with 2,3 or 4 players and players usually play more than one piece per turn depending on the card they play. Each player is dealt 5 cards and on their turn they play one of these cards to place grit onto the baord to match the shape on the card. The idea of the game is to totally enclose areas with a ring of their coloured grit. The winner being the person at the end of the game with the most captured board.

None of the 3 players had ever played Go so had no idea as to tactics, and hence 3 different tactics were used. Boog started with a small enclosure and kept expanding it. Tel started 2 enclosures and tried to connect them, while Andy tried to develop 2 areas on opposite sides of the board. Boog didnt pay too much attention to everyone else but was intent on making his area as big as possible. Andy however was spending more time employing spoiler tactics, sometimes at a detriment to himself, while Tel seemed content to employ spoiler tactics around his territory. Tel and Andy were both forced to pass (and replace their cards) with no legal move, Boog had a legal move but counted the scores before deciding if to pass and end the game or to play. The count showed that Boog and Tel were tied on 50 each. So Boog played on, claiming 2 extra points, however the redraw had enabled Tel to 2 further plays for a total of 3 points and he took the victory by a single point from Boog with Andy back in third.

On first impressions I like this game, the cards add an element of luck to the game, but not too much that it will supress tactical play. We played the game in about an hour.

Final Scores
Tel 53, Boog 52, Andy 29

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Boog 7, Andy 7
 
Scores : Tel 53, Boog 52, Andy 29
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Guillotine

Scores : Kev 32, Paul 26, Oggie 26
Ratings: Kev 7, Paul 6, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Kev

Mamma Mia!

Next up was the Pizza building game. Players are dealt 6 ingredient cards from a common deck and 1 pizza card from their own pizza supply. On their turn a player may play any number of the same ingredient onto the common discard pile followed optionally by a pizza card. Each pizza requires certain ingredients to be completed. Once the ingredient deck is exhausted whoever drew the Mama Mia card scores the round. This is done by starting from the bottom of the discard deck the cards are laid out, once a pizza arrives if the required ingredients are present the pizza owner gains 1 VP. If there are ingredients missing the player can make up the missing cards from their hand. Whoever has the most VPs after 3 rounds wins.

Andy got off to a flyer. He was the only one to build any pizzas on the first round, completing 3. The second round was a lot closer with everybody making pizzas. However the final round again belonged to Andy giving him a comfortable win.

Although this is a memory game, there is also an element of bluffing going on as to whether you are going to be able to complete a pizza from your hand. A great little filler that plays in about 20 minutes.

Final Scores
Andy 8, Tel 4, Boog 3

Ratings / 10
Andy 8, Tel 7, Boog 7
 
Scores : Andy 8, Tel 4, Boog 3
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Andy

Pit

While we waited for Kev to turn up we played a few rounds of Pit. Its becoming a bit of a regular start to the evening to spend the first half hour manically shouting numbers at each other trying to collect the 9 commodities of the same type.

Three out of the four hands finished when someone had collected a set of Barley. Boog took the first hand using the Bull as a wild card for the ninth. Tel claimed all 9 Barley cards in the 2nd hand, but then used the Bull to make up the nine in the 3rd. Oggie bucked the trend taking the last hand with Sugar.

It seemed a little quieter tonight but then again Kev wasnt playing.

Final Scores
Tel 170, Oggie 75, Boog 45, Paul -20, Andy -40

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Oggie 6, Boog 6, Paul 5, Andy 7
 
Scores : Tel 170, Oggie 75, Boog 45, Paul -20, Andy -40
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 6, Boog 6, Paul 5, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

T Rex

We finished the night with a game of T rex. Tel hadnt played this before so a run through of the rules was needed. Each player is given an identical deck of cards containing numbered cards in 5 colours. From these decks each player draws 5 cards. Two of the colours are chosen one as a trump colour, the other as a Negative Trump. On each of the rounds 2 egg cards are displayed and these are what the players are trying to win. On his turn a player plays a card from his hand onto his own discard pile. Each card has a colour number and symbol. If the symbol shows a number of cards then the player draws that many cards, if it shows a comet then if it is the highest numbered comet displayed the turn ends on this players next turn, unless someone playes a higher comet. At the end of the round the Highest displayed card gets first choice at the eggs with the second highest taking the other. All players then discard either their top card of the discard or deck. The player of the lowest displayed card has the option of changing one of the two trump colours. At the end of the game totals are calculated as the number of eggs in each coloured squared and then totalled.

Boog played the game concentrating on just two colours, saving his big cards for when these two colours were available, Andy played in 3 colours while Tel seemed intent on winning as many cards as possible in whatever colour was there. Boog held a close lead for most of the game, however Tel won the last hand and managed to sneak the game from Boog.

Initial impressions are that I like the game however I suspect I missed some of the subtleties that will come with more play.

Final Scores
Tel 23, Boog 21, Andy 18

Ratings / 10
7s all round
 
Scores : Tel 23, Boog 21, Andy 18
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Taj Mahal

With the other table engaged in Great Walls, the rest of use cracked open Taj Mahal. When we first tried this game, the whole group panned it. This was pretty much our first introduction to Knizias wacky score-lots-of-different-ways mechanic which led to much scratching of heads and perusal of rules. This, and a couple of rules which we managed to get wrong, conspired to suck all of the fun out of the game. So bad a time did we have that one member of the group even elected to go home to fix his boiler rather than continue. Of course, the next time we played it it started to click and has continued clicking ever since.

The board is split into 12 regions, each of which has a commodity chit and spaces for a number of fortresses. Roads connect fortress sites to other regions. Each round, players use cards to bid for the right to claim the commodities and build fortresses. The cards contain a number of symbols such as elephants and monks. Each turn, a player can either drop out of the bidding or play another card. If he plays, he lays the card in front of him and totals each type of symbol he has. If he has the majority of elephants when he drops out, he claims the commodity chip. If he has a majority of one or more of the other symbols, he builds one or more fortresses and takes a token for each symbol he had the majority of. Pairs of symbols are traded in for special cards. Except for the specials, cards are discarded when played. As a player can only usually expect to get back one or two cards at the end of the round, careful hand management is very important. Added to this, each player may only play cards of a single colour each round so having a fist full of cards is no guarantee that you will be able to lay a new card in your turn. This leads to a bluffing element, as well as some very interesting decisions. Points are scored for capturing commodities, building fortresses, and building chains of fortresses across multiple regions. Additionally, one of the special cards (known in the group as The Bird With The Bird) scores two points each time it is used and some of the fortress sites contain chits which may give additional points or cards. At the end of the game, each player also scores points according to the number of cards he has of the same colour.

Last game, I failed dismally with an elephant strategy, being forced to withdraw time after time without a majority and ending the game with only a couple of commodity chits and a massive four fortresses on the board out of a possible twenty-odd. I decided to vary the mix a bit this time and tried to supplement elephants with a few chains of fortresses and by trying to capture The Bird With The Bird special card early and using it often. About halfway though the game everything seemed to be going to plan with clear score track between myself in the lead, Kev a good few points back and Oggie somewhere over the horizon. Kev was picking up commodity chits and putting some nice fortress chains together and was scoring regularly. Oggie on the other hand has waving a bad run of the luck with the cards and had been forced to withdraw time after time with nothing to show. His frustration was reflected in his final mark for the game.

Everything changed however when Oggie managed to join two fortress chains together and wrest control of The Bird With The Bird. For four turns in a row he scored spectacularly. Kev was also building on his early chain foundations while Id stopped for a breather to restock on cards.

Coming onto the last round, there was only a one point difference between all three of us. Kev had managed to take The Bird With the Bird and had a connection point to a big chain, but was low on cards. Oggie had a connection to his bustling metropolis which by now pretty much spanned the whole board and was fanning an unhealthfully large number of cards. I could only connect to a smallish chain but would score well if I could take the commodity chit and had slowly been building up a set of yellow cards for the occasion. Finally, a tile on a fortress site was worth four points to whoever could claim it. So, everything to play for. In the final reckoning, Oggie stormed to victory by adding to his chain, taking the four point tile and having a set of 9 blue cards at the end.

Things to learn from this game - dont let anyone connect chains of fortresses together. Unless its you. The bidding rounds also proved interesting in a 3 player game. Playing to stop anyone being able to drop out to take a particular fortress site was sometimes more important than taking a particular majority yourself. And all, of course, within the confines of tight card management.

Final scores - Oggie 68, Paul 65, Kev 60
Marks / 10 - Oggie 6, Paul 9, Kev 8
 
Scores : Oggie 68, Paul 65, Kev 60
Ratings: Oggie 6, Paul 9, Kev 8
Winner(s): Oggie


04-Jun-2002All month
 
Carcassonne

A quick half hour game of Carcassonne to end the night. No expansions of any kind.

Andy seems to adopted a new tactic at Carcassonne, he doesnt seem to bother the scorers until the last few tiles. Whether this is through choice or not I dont know but he played it for the 2nd time in three games of CC. This was a very strange game, probably because we are all used to playing with the expansions but we are used to seeing plenty of finished cities by the end of the game, in this game we only saw 4 and one of those was a 2 pointer created with the last tile of the game. Andy seemed to be trying to build the road to nowhere, while Boog was attempting to tie up all his men on 1 point scorers at the end of the game whether it be city of road tile. Paul (from cloisters) and Tel (from finished cities) were the two runaway leaders by the end of the game.

Still a cracking game that can play in less then half and hour with four players.

Final Scores
Tel 65, Paul 51, Andy 37, Boog 33

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 7
 
Scores : Tel 65, Paul 51, Andy 37, Boog 33
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel

Puerto Rico

After seeing all the attention this was getting, we thought wed better give it a go. Unfortunately I hadnt had chance to read all the rules before we started. It took us about an hour to go through the rules which even for our group is excessive. In our hurry to finish the rules we missed one, so 15 mins into the first game we abandoned it as a dry run once we realised the missing rule. The rules arent actually that difficult. The aim of the game is to be in possession of the most VPs when one of the 3 end conditions occur. VPs are earnt in the form of buildings and are also gained when goods are exported. The game consists of rounds where each player selects a role to play. Selecting a role allows all players to use its ability but grants the selector an additional bonus. The roles allow the players the build plantations, build buildings, recruit colonists to man these, manufacture goods, sell goods locally for cash, export goods for VPs and collect some cash.

Since none of us had played the game before we all headed of with different strategies. Boog going after money with indigo and coffee production, Paul looking for a sugar monopoly, Tel going for the cheap building option of quarrys and Andy quickly filling his plantation. Boogs tactic of quickly building coffee production seemed to be paying dividends as he was always rolling in money, Pauls Sugar monopoly linked with no tobaco in the early game allowed him some early control over the selling of resources. Andy was also doing well at one time claiming that Pauls previous action had just won Andy the game. Tel wasnt doing so well as he couldnt seem to offload his goods with the ships and trading houses being full of the wrong sort of commodities. The end came quicker then anyone expected with the colonists running out. In the 2 turns before the end Boog had spent his huge wedge on 2 of the big bonus giving buildings and this swung the game his way bigtime. Paul and Andy were close for 2nd and 3rd with Tel trailing in last.

Unlike most games players have to beware that the best move for themselves is often an even better move for someone else. There are also a plethora of tactics that are likely to work in this game. All in all the hype was right, a tremendous game that seems on first impressions to have plenty of replay value and offers the opportunity to develop many tactics. The game itself played in about an hour. Cant wait to play it again.

Final Scores
Boog 40, Paul 29, Andy 26, Tel 21

Ratings
Boog 8, Paul 9, Andy 8, Tel 8
 
Scores : Boog 40, Paul 29, Andy 26, Tel 21
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 9, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog

Wyatt Earp

The second game of the night was another Alea game. Wyatt Earp is a Rummy derivative. Players lay melds of cards of 7 outlaws from the Wild West. The highest value of melds for each Outlaw then takes the cash on that outlaw. Sheriff cards allow for the reward to be increased and to increse the value of players melds.

Tel and Boog got off to quick starts in the first hand both getting early big melds out, but then attracted Hideout cards making the melds worthless, while Boog managed to clear his Tel didnt. This allowed Andy in and by the end of the first round he had already collect 12,000 almost half way to the finish line. The second hand was more evenly split with all of us getting a share of the cash though Paul was struggling to play cards and by the end of the game hadnt managed to match Andys first round score. The third and final hand saw Andy try to go out with a big bang plaiying all his cards at once unfortunately this included 2 sheriff cards, with is outside the law. So he was forced to wait another turn to go out, unfortuanately for the rest of us nobody could do enough to stop him, and Andy claimed the victory. Boog finished 2nd 4 points behind with Tel a further 4 points back.

An entertaining game which suprisingly took an hour to play. Itís a shame that it only plays with 4 players as it wouldve hit the table much more had it played with more.

Final Scores
Andy 28k, Boog 24k, Tel 20k, Paul 11k.

Ratings / 10
Andy 8, Boog 8, Tel7, Paul 7
 
Scores : Andy 28, Boog 24, Tel 20, Paul 11
Ratings: Andy 8, Boog 8, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy


11-Jun-2002All month
 
Drakon

Another new game to the group. Drakon is a tile laying game. The players are slowly building, altering and destroying a dungeon which they are travelling round with the aim of collecting 5 gold pieces by visiting the gold producing tiles. As rules go they dont come much simpler. On a turn a player may either place a tile (from the 4 in his hand) and then draw to replace it or move his figure one tile. The tiles are square and some of the four sides on each tile will have an arrow pointing of it. For legal placement no two arrows may face each other. Most of the tiles have a symbol in the middle which denotes the action for that tile usually performed on entry, these allow for gaining gold, stealing gold, rotating, destroying and swapping tiles etc. And thatís it.

The first game lasted about 5 minutes. In our ignorance we contrived to put 4 coin gaining tile together and a quick race round this loop ensued, Kev went off on his own and did manage to prolong the game by one move by preventing Andy from winning only for Boog to claim his 5th gold immediately afterwards.

So we started a second game and this one was more cagey. Boog set off on the road to Nowhere while the rest of us stayed clumped together round the start. Things soon got interesting as some of the more intersting tiles started to hit the table. Terry lost an early lead and ended the game with only 1 coin with Boog having stolen the rest. Andy also ended the game with less coins then he once had, he however having to place most of his coins on the start square. Andy and Tel spent the last 20 minutes sacrificing their chances of winning in attempts to stop both Boog and Kev. But eventually they run out of options and couldnt stop Kev claiming the victory.

The second game was very entertaining with plenty of humorous moments and took 45 minutes to play.

Ratings / 10
1st game - Boog 7, Tel 6, Andy 6, Kev 5 (Boog won)
2nd game - Kev 7, Tel 8, Boog 8, Andy 9 (Kev won)
 
Scores : Boog , Kev , Andy , Tel
Ratings: Boog 7, Kev 5, Andy 6, Tel 6
Winner(s): Boog

Drakon

Scores : Boog , Kev , Andy , Tel
Ratings: Boog 8, Kev 7, Andy 9, Tel 8
Winner(s): Kev

Jack the Ripper

Paul and I usually catch the same train back from work in an evening. This gives us an hour of prime game playing time but in an unusual location, ie a moving train with a small table space. Hence the choice of games is a little restrictive. Also since its on the way home the idea is to relax which cuts down the choice yet more ( No brain drain games). Our regular game is Lost Cities. Within the gaming group we have played and enjoyed Wyatt Earp so when Paul picked up Jack the Ripper we thought wed try it on the train. JTR is part of the Mystery Rummy series, ie a rummy game of playing melds but with a theme and a twist.

The idea of JTR is that the players are trying to put cases together to prove the identity of the infamous serial killer. Cards are split into Evidence cards and other cards. In a turn a player draws a card, plays any number of evidence cards and may play one non-evidence card (gavel cards), then discards a card. There are 5 victims and 5 corresponding scenes of the crime. Playing a victim/scene allows the player to draw a cards from the draw/discard pile. Once a victim is in play then Evidence can be played against the suspects. An initial meld of evidence against a suspect must be made up of 3 cards, after that anyonre can play evidence or the suspect card for that suspect. There are other cards which allow special abilities including the Ripper Escapes card, once all 5 victims are in play the Ripper can escape using this card. The end of the hand can occur in 3 ways- twice through the deck, ripper escapes or someone plays out. If the Ripper escapes the player playing the cards scores 35, with only scenes and victims scoring of the played cards, otherwise all played cards are worth their face value except for the cards of the ripper - the suspect with the most evidence (or card value) - these cards are worth double. Cards let in the hand that are unplayable to existing melds are sutracted. The game plays over multiple hands until someone hits 100 points.

Into the first hand and after almost reaching the end of the first time through the deck Paul played a card forcing all victims into play and then on his next turn allowed the Ripper to escape. In the second hand Tel managed to provide Pauls prime suspect with an Alibi ( preventing him being the ripper ) and then go out with less evidence against one of his own suspects to close the gap. The next two hands were really unkind to Paul as he drew almosyt exclusively gaqvel cards both hands while Tel had a handful of evidence cards, allowing Tel to build compelling cases and take the game quite comfortably. We played a second game but didnt manage to finish as the train pulled in before we broke the 100 point barrier though Paul was almost there.

The game is perfect for out train journey, it fits on the small train tables, requires some thought but not too much, as with Lost cities the biggest decisions are often which card to discard. Definitely recommended.

Final Scores
Tel 108 Paul 51

Tel 64 Paul 93

Ratings /10
Both gave it 8
 
Scores : Tel 108, Paul 51
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 93, Tel 64
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Jack the Ripper

While waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for Kev to turn up, myself and The Boog decided to start up a game of Jack The Ripper. This was my third game within as many hours but the game was new to The Boog. However, hed recently played Wyatt Earp which shares many of the same basic mechanisms and so picked the game up very quickly. The Boog used to work in the same area in which the Ripper peddled his grisly trade, but his experience of the back alleys and hostelries of the area proved not to give any advantage in the game.

The game started slowly with each of us collecting evidence and finishing the first couple of hands about square. Things got interesting during the third hand, which hinged on a nasty choice of which of three cards to discard. With the deck almost empty, four victims on the table and a nagging suspicion that The Boog had the fifth in his hand I didnt dare discard The Ripper Escapes. That left a straight choice between discarding the alibi card for my chief suspect or a wild evidence card. I decided to go with the wild card which The Boog promptly picked up and used to meld enough evidence out of his hand to end the round.

Having been burned for 8 points by having The Ripper Escapes in my hand, I decided to discard it as quickly as possible in the next hand as my fistful of Gavel cards didnt indicate Id be going out any time soon. This play proved to be a tad sub-optimal. Little did I know that The Boog had been dealt three victims in his opening hand. The Ripper escaped almost before news of his deadly deeds had hit the broadsheets.

Despite having been told that Jack very rarely escapes, The Boog seemed determined to disprove this theory. He was within a whisker of repeating The Great Escape, again building up a set of victims very quickly. I managed to catch him in the nick of time, as the Commissioner was about to resign in The Boogs next turn which would have flushed all five victims out onto the table.

This put the scores at 92-99, so the next round was almost certain to end the game by one of us hitting the 100 points needed for victory. This hand ended extremely quickly. I was dealt a very fortunate set of cards and was able to lay nine evidence and a suspect card at the same time after about four turns to claim the round and the game.

After three games each so far of Wyatt Earp and Jack The Ripper, Ive found the latter to be by far the most interesting of the two. It plays very well with two players and seems to have more scope for clever and subtle tactics than its Wild West counterpart. Despite a couple of rounds being heavily influenced by the luck of the initial draw, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule.

Scores - Paul 131, Boog 85
Ratings (/10, for this session) Paul 8, Boog 8
 
Scores : Paul 131, Boog 85
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Paul

Medina

Myself and Oggie have both played this three times, but it was new to Steve so we launched into a rules explanation. This was slightly hampered by none of us having read, or even seen, the English rules to this game. We were taught it by a very nice chap on one of the demo stalls at Essen last year so we know the gist of it. Any situations arising outside of our mental ruleset had to be handled by the time honoured method of making it up as we go along though. We do seem to be getting quite good at convincing ourselves that we can resolve these situations by referencing the original German rules however, despite only understanding roughly one word in each sentence.

We think the game is based around building the ancient city of Medina. Each player has an array of different coloured building blocks which can be placed within, or around, the grid representing the city. Blocks in four different colours represent the four different types of buildings. Smaller white blocks can be added to buildings to give the residents somewhere to keep their goats, with the additional benefit of increasing the size of the building. Meeples can also be placed to represent a queue of people waiting patiently in the streets. Or perhaps theyre celibrating the birth of the city with an alfresco conga. Wall pieces are used to partially surround the city. Each player has four roof tiles with which to claim a building. He can only claim one building of each of the four colours. Once a building is claimed, we believe it can only be further increased in size by adding goat sheds. Players compete for largest buildings, and score additional points for being next to walls or congoing citizens. Tiles worth 1-4 points change hands as players outbuild each other or connect buildings to walls.

Buildings do not belong to anybody until they are claimed with a roof, so the game is full of difficult decisions. Do I claim this building now or do a make it a bit bigger? But if I make it bigger, will one of my opponents claim it before I get the chance to? There is thus a chicken element and players spend much of their time trying to minimise helping their opponents instead of directly aiding themselves. This makes for a very thoughtful game. A lot of our groups games can be quite rowdy, but a typical conversation in Medina tends to go along the lines of Silence. More silence. Whos turn is it? Mine, Im thinking. More silence.

This was our first outing with three players so none of us were sure how big a building should be allowed to get before it gets capped. I was the first to crack, claiming a five point grey building. Steve seemed to be following a slightly quirky strategy of claiming six point buildings in the shape of churches. He appeared to be letting these out to families of farmers as one of the churches later became outfitted with three goat sheds. Oggie meanwhile had proclaimed his first building as the party capital of Medina and it was soon surrounded with a rowdy crowd.

Oggie seemed to be in pole position throughout the game, grabbing a couple of decent bonus tiles to supplement his partygoers. Indeed, the party must have been a good one as new people were turning up, bottles of wine in hand, to expand the throng. Soon it had snaked past two of his buildings and was about to hit a third. Unfortunately for him I managed to coax the conga line down an alley between two of my building. However, as soon as they ran out of room to dance, Steve started another party up beside Oggies new grey disco on the other side of town. I dont think Oggie was very pleased about this though as the disco had not yet opened. In fact, the building wasnt even finished yet, but the partygoers wouldnt clear the building site. He therefore ended up putting together a far smaller affair than the six floor, four bar metropolois he had originally envisioned.

Coming into the end game, we were all cagily playing fairly neutral pieces to avoid adding that vital last building piece, roof or wall too early. The decisive last battles came down to who could claim, or hold onto, the wall tile bonuses. We hit a hole in our rules knowledge when Oggie capped a building next to a wall to try to claim a tile that Steve had previously taken by connecting the same wall to one of his buildings. The tile is taken by the last person to connect one of his buildings to the wall. We werent sure if the tile could be claimed as the wall had already been built past this building to another. Not sure what the correct ruling was, we thoroughly consulted the German rules before arbitrarily deciding that wed allow it. We all thought this had cemented Oggies win, but I managed to wrest the four point wall tile from him at the death to steal victory.

As ever, this was a thoughtful experience with plenty of turn angst. I expect it to hit the table regularly now that our group has grown to the point of splitting to play two seperate games and are no longer restricting ourselves to just playing five or six player games. Though more of a tactical than a strategic battle, the decisive strategies in this session were to deprive opponents of bonus tiles and gain as many points as possible from adjacency to the conga line.

Scores - Paul 49, Oggie 47, Steve 43
Ratings (/10, for this session) - Paul 8, Oggie 7, Steve 7
 
Scores : Paul 49, Oggie 47, Steve 43
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Paul

Puerto Rico

Second outing for Puerto Rico. Paul and Boog decided to sit it out to wait for Kev to turn up so it was Tel, Andy, Steve and Oggie. Oggie and Steve were newbies so Tel gave them a 15 min intro to the rules while Andy set it up (and that takes a while).

Tel again adopted the quarrying approach to the game claiming 4 quarries very early on and was the only player in tobacco. Andy also used the same tactics as last time by building the hacienda to quickly fill his Island with plantations. Oggie and Steve were producing a plenty of goods, but where Oggies were all the cheap varieties and he kept being forced to discard them and was permanently short of cash, Steve had the lucrative coffee monopoly and was constantly loaded. So for the second game running the coffee monopoly took the game, however Tels quarry tactic proved more successful this time claiming 2nd place.

I am already a huge fan of this game. After only 2 plays its obvious that there is huge potential for a variety of tactics. Despite the coffee route winning both games so far, this was due in part to the naivety of the group. I hold my hands up to probably gifting Steve the game today as on a couple of occasions I produced goods to further my own cause but gave Steve an even bigger advantage. My only two gripes about the game are its setup time ( so many pieces) and that with an ever growing games collection within the group I may not play it enough to fully understand all the intricacies and tactics but hey retirements only 30 years away.

Final Scores
Steve 35, Tel 31, Oggie 29, Andy 26

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Tel 8, Oggie 6, Andy 6
 
Scores : Steve 35, Tel 31, Oggie 29, Andy 26
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Oggie 6, Andy 6
Winner(s): Steve


18-Jun-2002All month
 
Kingdoms

Andy and Steve turned up early so the evening started with a quick 20 minute three player game of Kingdoms. This is a tile laying game that is played over 3 identical rounds. Each player starts with a number of castles worth between 1 and 4 and a random secret tile. On his turn a player can either draw and play a tile, play his secret tile or place one of his castles. The board is a grid and at the end of the round each row and column is scored. All bar 3 of the tiles have a value of between -6 and 6 and at the end of the round these numbers are summed for each row to determine its basic value. The 3 special tiles either doubles the value of corresponding rows, splits the rows into 2 or ignores all positive values in corresponding rows. The value of the row is multiplied by the total value of a players castles for that row. At the end of each round only the 1 value castles are returned to the players the rest are discarded. Whoever has the highest total after 3 rounds wins.

Steve only placed a couple of small castles in the first round giving him a score of 9, over 40 points behind both Andy and Tel. Into the 2nd round and both Andy and Steve scored about 40 point but Tel played his big 4 point castle to score about 60 and open up a lead. Into the last round and Steve was able to play all his big castles and score over 80 points, however Tel managed to keep out of trouble and get a reasonable score, Andy however was forced to play last and had to play a castle into a row that scored lost him 20 points giving a total of 20 for the round.

The game played very quickly despite it making its first appearance. Its one of those games where the rules are very easy to learn, but determining winning tactics is going to take longer. Ill definitely look forward to playing it again.

Final Scores
Tel 178, Steve 130, Andy 121

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Steve 6, Andy 7
 
Scores : Tel 178, Steve 130, Andy 121
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 6, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Showmanager

Last game of the night was Showmanager. And before I start this report Id just like to say that Andy did not cheat.

Each player starts with a budget of 18k. With this money he needs to hire actors to be able to produce 4 plays. There are always 4 actors available for hire at a cost of 0, 1k, 2k and 3k. Alternatively the player may pay 2k to replace all 4 actors. Each actor is adept at playing either 1,2 or 3 of the available 18 roles, and will add towards the quality of the show. If an actor is miscast in a role, he contributes nothing towards the quality of the show. Performances made without a miscast actor recieve a bonus. Once everyone has produced the four shows the game is over and points are awarded according to the quality of the respective shows. Whoever gains the most points wins.

5 of the 6 players put the same show (Wolf) on first, only Kev was different prefering to produce the more difficult Ballet. As the players were collecting for the second show, Steve decided that he didnt like any of the actors available and seemed intent on searching the whole of Equity for the stars of his show. This of course was costing him 2k a time, but money was no object to a producer as determined as Steve. To the extent that at one point he had spent his initial allocation of 18k plus an additional 10k taken against his first production and was still missing cast members for his next production. Hence he was forced to take whatever actor came along to fill the last two roles. The final production was glittered with stars, unfortunately it was let down by a terribly miscast performance in one of the roles which prevented it from being the toast of the town. Impending bankruptcy also forced Steve to borrow heavily from the show further marring its reputation.

With 3 productions in place for everyone it appeared to be a two horse race as Andy and Tel shared the top 2 spots in the 3 productions theyd put on. However Kev had put an impressive Ballet on in the richest city. Four of the producers were desperately fighting over actors that could dance to put on a Ballet while Kev was happily having a free choice of the remaining actors for Wolf. While both Andy and Tel managed to fill the ballet without miscasting anyone, their productions were filled with the dregs of the acting community. However Kevs production of Wolf opened to rave reviews and he was soon crowned top producer.

The only gripe with tonights game of Showmanager was that it took 2 hours to play, far too long for the game it is. When we played with 5 earlier in the year the game played much quicker. Now whether the game took so long because there were 6 of us or whether it was because of the number of burn em calls to clear the actors roster Im not sure, but I doubt it will hit the table again as a six player game. Howver the game is good fun and will certainly be played again with fewer players.

Final Scores
Kev 55, Tel 45, Andy 34, Oggie 33, Steve 32, Paul 22

Ratings / 10
Kev 8, Tel 6, Andy 8, Oggie 6, Steve 6, Paul 7
 
Scores : Kev 55, Tel 45, Andy 34, Oggie 33, Steve 32, Paul 22
Ratings: Kev 8, Tel 6, Andy 8, Oggie 6, Steve 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Kev

Vabanque

We played a couple of 6 player games tonioght, Vabanque took the table first. The game of bluff, gambling and cheating. The aim of the game is to have obtained the most money after visiting 4 casino tables, by legitimate gambling or cheating. The four rounds consist of placing money of some of the 12 tables, then playing your 3 cards, moving to a table and then reaping the rewards ( or not as the case may be). Money is left on the tables after each round so the tables get more lucrative as the game goes on. The 3 cards are played face down by the tables and either do nothing, increase the value of the table or attempt to cheat the players there. When it comes to moving a piece can move upto 4 tables clockwise.

We have found that earnings in the first 2 rounds of the game are pretty inconsequential when it comes to the final tally, however the first 2 rounds do serve to identify the lucrative tables, and allow players to jostle for position. Its in the last 2 rounds that the money starts to get serious and a bit more thought is needed before placing the cards. Andy had built up a lead in the first 2 rounds and was still only just behind Steve after the third round. However the last round wasnt kind and he finished the game back in fourth with just over half of the winners total. Oggie had managed to acquire just 15k from the first 3 rounds but put that to right by winning 330k in the last round, however Steve claimed a comprehensive victory. Tels strategy of not moving from the first table failed miserably.

This is a game that seems to have slipped under the radar of most people. While its not a game full of deep and intricate tactics it does provide a very entertaining way of spending 30-40 minutes with up to 6 players. The poker chips provided do add to the atmosphere. Well recomended.

Final Scores
Steve 1050k, Kev 980k, Paul 895k, Andy 550k, Oggie 345k, Tel 140k

Ratings
Steve 8, Kev 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7, Tel 7
 
Scores : Steve 1050, Kev 950, Paul 895, Andy 550, Oggie 345, Tel 140
Ratings: Steve 8, Kev 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve


20-Jun-2002All month
 
Combit

Scores : Paul 65, Tel 51
Ratings: Paul 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

Union Pacific

Scores : Tel 116, Paul 103
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


23-Jun-2002All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Paul 119, Boog 73
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 7
Winner(s): Paul

David and Goliath

An enjoyable afternoon of games was brought to a close by a few hands of David and Goliath. The trick taking game of Low takes high card High card takes rest, with scoring occuring at face value of cards won if you won no more than 2 in a colour otherwise its 1 per card won in that colour.

We played first to 200 points. Tel got off to a flyer in the first round after two lucky wins in the last 2 tricks, but his scoring steadily reduced as the game went on. Andy managed to win 38 of the 90 cards in the first round but still only got the fourth best score. After the second round Oggie had acquired the miserly total of 34 to be over 30 points adrift of 5th place. Boog was playing very consistently scoring over 50 in each round. Into the third round and Oggie suddenly decided to play scoring a big total however Boog was still averaging over 50. Oggie managed an even bigger total in the fourth round to break through the 200 barrier however Boog managed yet another 50+ score to take the game.

A game that always goes down well at the end of a session within the group as players are given the opportunity to screw up fellow players.

Final Scores
Boog 209, Oggie 201, Steve 179, Andy 168, Tel 157, Paul 131

Ratings / 10
7s all round
 
Scores : Boog 209, Oggie 201, Steve 179, Andy 168, Tel 157, Paul 131
Ratings: Boog 7, Oggie 7, Steve 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Boog

Drakon

Anne left early which left 6 of us. So we decided to play a 6 player game of Drakon. The tile layinbg game where players build a dungeon to explore with the aim of being the first to collect 5 gold pieces.

The game started very cagily with plenty of the dungeon built before anyone ventured forth, and with good cause as it became obvious that this game was going to be nasty. I think we all decided early on that winning was not the prime objective here, causing chaos was, oh and victimising Oggie and stealing Boogs money. A few nasty combination of tiles came and went. Everyones cash rose and fell until there were no tiles left to draw. Oggie was leading on cash but found himself in a dead end. Boog also found himself in a dead end with no tiles to play so had to pass a few turns running. Tel blew his chances of winning by playing the wrong tile at one point which meant he couldnt play any of his last 3 tiles next to his current location so was stuck in another dead end. Steve and then Tel took pity on the stuck Boog so gave him moves to the extent that he went from 1 coin and being unable to move to winning the game. Paul was the only other player with money earning potential but couldnt earn it as quickly as Boog.

We found the flaw with this game today. At one point in the game three of the players were stuck in positions where they couldnt move, if it wasnt for the fact that winning was paramount in peoples thoughts these 3 players (and eventually a fourth) would not have been anble to move again and hence frozen out of the game. In only 1 of the four cases was this down to bad play (Me) in the other three cases players were manoevered into positions they couldnt get out of. In a 20 minute game this wouldnt be an issue but Drakon can play for over an hour and being sat out for up to 30 mins hoping someone else is going to allow you back into the game is not my idea of fun. However in the spirit we played the game it was entertaining.

Final Scores
Boog 5, Paul 4, Tel 4, Andy 3, Oggie 3, Steve 2

Ratings / 10
Boog 8, Paul 7, Tel 6, Andy 7, Oggie 7, Steve 7
 
Scores : Boog 5, Tel 4, Paul 4, Oggie 3, Andy 3, Steve 2
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 6, Paul 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Boog

Kingdoms

Scores : Paul 178, Anne 155, Boog 143
Ratings: Paul 8, Anne 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Paul

Lost Cities

Scores : Steve 43, Tel 42
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve

Mississippi Queen

Anne requested that we play a game of Mississippi Queen. 4 of us took part in the passenger steamboat race down the twisting Mississippi.

3 of the first 4 passenger stops transpired to be behind islands on the wrong side of the river for the next bend, this didnt stop everyone except Anne picking up an early passenger. Andy then set to trailblaze the river only to be undone by a vicious right hand bend which Andys captain was obviously not expecting. This left Tel to lead the way while Steve and Anne were both picking up passengers. Since he was unsure where the river was likely to take him Tel was unable to build up too much speed. Neither Steve nor Anne had this problem as they could see more of the river from behind and both managed to achieve reasonable speeds. Steve had obviously navigated the river before and was confident to cruise down the middle of the river, whereas Anne, the novice to the river, seemed determined to use all the river, veering from riverbank to riverbank. Tel and Andy were forced to slow down to pick up the last 2 passengers on the river, unfortunately Anne was also banking on picking one of these passengers up and steamed straight past the rest of the waiting passengers. By the time she realised there were not enough passengers left it was too late for her to about turn, so she decided to continue to the end much to the annoyance of the passengers on the riverbank.

Steve capitalised on his time at speed 5 by storming past the 2 leaders as they slowed to pick up their last passengers, and after some heavy braking arrived safely at the end of the river a turn ahead of Tel who finished a turn ahead of Andy with Anne bringing up the rear, a passenger short.

Another entertaining game of MQ that played in about 1 hour with Steve maintaining his 100% record.

Ratings / 10
7s all round
 
Scores : Anne , Steve , Andy , Tel
Ratings: Anne 7, Steve 7, Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve

Royal Turf

Scores : Oggie 3050, Boog 3000, Paul 2900
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Union Pacific

After shuffling the groups, 4 of us sat down for a game of Union Pacific. Tel had played a demo game earlier in the week to learn the rules, so explained them to the rest. The board is a map of the USA, with railtracks connecting the big cities. Each section of track is 1 of the 4 types of track and can accommodate between 1 and 4 trains. 10 rail companies are competing to use the track. Each starts in a different city and from these starting coities they are trying to expand out to cover as much of the board as possible. Each player starts with a hand of 3 track cards, 4 random shares from the 10 companies and 1 Union Pacific share. 1 of the four share cards is played in front of the players as their initial investment. On a turn the players draw a piece of track and then can either play a piece of track or lay some shares. To lay a piece of track the players play a track card and then select a train from a company that can utilise that sort of track placing it on a coresponding track on the board, extending that companies network, the player then draws a share card either from the four face up cards or the draw pile. Alternatively the player can lay share cards from his hand, either as many of 1 share as he likes or 1 share from each of 2 companies.

Distributed within the share deck are 4 dividend cards. These trigger scoring phases, with the fourth one additionally ending the game. Once a dividend card appears each of the 10 companies pays out to the 2 largest shareholders, depending on how many track sections the companies have built. Union Pacific doesnt build tracks but the players get increasing payouts for UP shares in each dividend payout phase. Whoever has the most cash at the end of the game wins.

The first dividend came out when everyone expected and hence most players had their available shares down on the table, so there was an even split of money. The second dividend was then quite late, so there was plenty of attack and counter attacks as people jostled for position in the companies, however it did arrive a round early for both Steve and Oggie as both had shares ready to lay. Tel still had exclusive ownership of a couple of companies, which gave him a slight lead but it was still very close. The third dividend was very late arriving with only 12 share cards left. During this time Oggie and Steve who were battling for ownership of the red track had managed to build a monster company, Andy who still had exclusive rights to white was quite happily extending this line until Steve managed to match his investment. Tel managed to extend Brown to its limits and had a reasonable yellow network, and still had exclusive right to their profits however he only had a token investment in Union Pacific, Oggie was the big player in UP shares. Again the payouts were quite tight but with Tel having a slight advantage. A couple of shares were laid before the final payout, Andy managing to break Tels monopoly of both brown and yellow. In the final tally Tel lost some ground due to his low UP investment but just managed to hold on to the win, with Andy and Oggie very close behind, Steve was 9 points adrift in 4th.

An extremely close game that went down to the wire. The game does borrow from Acquire, with plenty of similarities, but it is a game in its own rights and one I will be playing again. The game played in about 90 mins.

Final Scores
Tel 125, Andy 123, Oggie 122, Steve 113

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8, Steve 8
 
Scores : Tel 125, Andy 123, Oggie 122, Steve 113
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel


02-Jul-2002All month
 
Don

The evening started with a six player game of Don. The auction game where players are not allowed to bid an amount ending in a card they already own.

Wed not played with 6 before so it was interesting to see if it played any differently. The first difference to the usual game happened immediately as for the first time in our 11 games of Don, Paul did not buy the first card, he didnt even make a bid on it. In fact he didnt buy anything until the second set of 2 cards. He also bought the next single card which matched the colour of his first 2 cards, unfortunately the next 2 cards were the last 2 of his colour, but he didnt have enough cash to buy them, indeed he didnt get enough cash to buy anything else in the whole game. Kev bought quite a few cards early on, then just sat back and watched as he accumulated money, he then make a couple of big purchases towards the end to win the game comfortably. Tel claimed second thanks to claiming all the cash from the last auction giving him the most cash.

As usual from Don a great game. A 3-6 player game that plays in about 30 mins. The differences we found with 6 is that there is more money in the game and more players after the cards so prices were higher then normal with at least two auctions going for over 18.

Final Scores
Kev 14, Tel 10, Boog 9, Paul 6, Oggie 5, Andy 4

Ratings / 10
Kev 8, Tel 7, Boog 8, Paul 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7
 
Scores : Kev 14, Tel 10, Boog 9, Paul 6, Oggie 5, Andy 4
Ratings: Kev 8, Tel 7, Boog 8, Paul 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Kev

Dragon Delta

Only the second outing for Dragon Delta and again we played with a full compliment of 6. Neither Boog or Kev had played this before so we went through the rules as we know them. We go the German edition at Essen last year, and since there are no English Rules out there we play to the rules as we have managed to decipher from the Frensh rules, however since none of us can read french too well were probably playing it totally wrong.

This is not a game where long term strategy will not get you too far, as the board is permanently changing. There were plenty of dragons played and quite a few Ploofs as players were unable to move and hence ended up in the drink. On one occasion Paul dove into the water from his starting Island and enjoyed it so much he immediately dove back in. Andy was the first to come close to winning but a blocking move by Kev forced him off course. Oggie then made a dash for victory to again be thwarted. Next came Boogs bid for glory again to be blocked. At the start of the next turn Oggie, Boog and Andy were all 1 card movement away from winning. Tels dragon prevented Boog from moving, however he had no intention of moving as his dragon stopped Oggie from moving, nobody stopped Andy from moving and he took full advantage to charge to victory.

The game played in about 75 minutes but seemed a lot shorter. With the exception of Kev who marked the game quite low everyone else thoroughly enjoyed the game. This is a game where there is plenty of opportunity to screw other players, and thatís quite a popular mechanism within the group.

Ratings / 10
Andy 9, Boog 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Kev 6
 
Scores : Oggie , Kev , Boog , Tel , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Oggie 8, Kev 6, Boog 8, Tel 8, Andy 9, Paul 8
Winner(s): Andy

Sticheln

The deck is made up of cards valued 0 - 14 in 6 different colours. Each player plays a card in front of them with indicates their misery colour, cards won in this colour are worth negative its face value. All other cards won are worth 1 point. The players then play hands to determine who wins the cards. The first instance of the highest card takes the trick. All suits except that of the first card are trumps.

The first hand proved entertaining as Andy lead with a middling red. Paul who was next to play had red as his misery colour, unfortunately he played a low non red card. This allowed everyone else to offload their high red cards giving Paul the trick and about - 45 points. After that people played cagily with Tel picking up a few points up early. Half way through the first round Oggie beseeched anyone to tell him what he was trying to do. Paul suggested watching him and doing the opposite. Whether it was this or other tactics, Oggie managed to establish a small lead after the first round. Now at the start of the second round Paul played a low orange (Oggies misery suit). AT thi spoint Oggie decide to ditch hois strategy of not doing what Paul did and decided to play a low trump. True to form all the high Oranges came out. Not content with doing this once, a couple of tricks later, presumably just to make sure the tactic definitely didnt work he tried it again and again got royally stitched. All this was to the benefit of Boog who was also trying to avoid orange. Since Oggie had successfully captured most of the oranges, Boog was able to capture as many tricks as possible, to win both the round and the game.

This proved to be one of the most entertaining games weve played in a while. Whether it will have much replayability remains to be seen. According to the rules the game ends after 10 rounds or the first to 100. It took us 40 minutes to play 2 hands and the highest score was 21 with the lowest -53. Had we played the full game it wouldve taken us about 5 hours, and as with most card games this a 30 minute filler type game. Personally I still prefer Hatrick, but will certainly look forward to when this one hits the table again.

Final Scores
Boog 21, Andy 14, Tel 4, Kev -10, Oggie -36, Paul -53

Ratings / 10
Boog 9, Andy 7, Tel 8, Kev 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8
 
Scores : Boog 21, Andy 14, Tel 4, Kev -10, Oggie -36, Paul -53
Ratings: Boog 9, Andy 7, Tel 8, Kev 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog


09-Jul-2002All month
 
Carcassonne

We decided to play a 4 player Carcassonne with both expansions. As usual we played the original rules with the 4 point farmer.

This game was unusual in a couple of ways firstly there were two very large cities finished, both having investment from 3 of the four players, Boog missing out on the first and Oggie missing out on the second which was built around a cathedral. The second major difference to previous game was that although there were plenty of farmers played in the only two managed to find there way into the same field. The final layout of the tiles contrived to split the board up into many different fields, most of which contained a farmer. A presence in both big cities together with an advantage from the farmers gave Tel the game, the other player in both cities, Steve, claimed second from Oggie with Boog trailing in fourth.

This was an interesting game, there seemed to be less spoiler tactics employed than usual, and the game played very quickly finishing in less than 30 minutes.

Final Scores
Tel 148, Steve 123, Oggie 111, Boog 78

Ratings / 10
Tel 9, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7
 
Scores : Tel 148, Steve 123, Oggie 111, Boog 78
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel

Pit

To end the night we played 1/2 hours worth of Pit.

At some point in the game everyone was leading though in Oggie case this was very briefly. The game was fairly close throughout with nobody ever pulling out a big lead, and everybody (except Oggie) winning their fair share of hands. Oggie managed to score -20 for the first 2 hands, before claiming his solitary positive score of 100 for a Wheat hand, but 3 hands later was back down to a total score of zero. He then managed to totally steer clear of any scoring cards +ve or negative for about 5 hands. However he did manage to get -20 in four of the last five hands to finish with -80. While he was performing this amazing feat the other 3 were all battling it out , at one point the scores reading 260,260,275 (-20). Hoever Tel and Boog shared the last four hands between themselves to pull away from Steve with Boog claiming the overall victory in the last hand.

A great (but noisy) way to end the evening.

Final Scores
Boog 380, Tel 355, Steve 270, Oggie -80

Ratings / 10
Boog 9, Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8
 
Scores : Boog 380, Tel 355, Steve 260, Oggie -80
Ratings: Boog 9, Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Boog

Princes of Florence

After drawinng lots to see who was going to play Prince of Florence and who Puerto Rico, 4 of us started a game of POF. Boog had never played before so a quick run through the rules was in order. Having never played before he was at a big disadvantage, and it wasnt until half way through the game that he suddenly realised what we were trying to achieve, too late to make a push for victory.

In a departure from the normal start (from the few starts weve had) nobody produced any works until turn 3, people obviously trying to set some groundwork to start with. Tel claimed architects from the first 2 auctions before getting a forest
in the third turn, Oggie claimed 2 Entertainers and a landscape, Steve an Entertainer, Forest and Prestige Card and Boog got a Prestige card and a couple of landscapes. There was the usual scramble for freedoms early on with Steve claiming all 3 and everyone else having to be content with 2. Mindful of the last (aborted) game we played as a five player everyone also bought an early additional personality card. On turn 3 everyone except Steve produced their first work, Oggies being the most impressive to claim the extra 3 VP. Steve was again the only player not to produce on the 4th turn, Tel took less cash then everyone else so had opened up a small lead. However this shortage of cash was going to take its toll as he overstretched himself and was forced to convert VPs to cash at one point to be able to bid for something. Turn 5 saw Steve start to produce works, with all the groundwork he had put in before producing the finished articles were very impressive, he produced in 4 of the last 5 rounds. Both Oggie and Tel produced 2 works in this period, as bid Boog but he kept both of his for the final round. Boog needed to buy a lake in the last auction to get the full benefit from his prestige and bonus cards, however being short of cash he tried to draw people away from his intended purplose by first bidding for the entertainer, unfortunately nobody wanted it so although he got a very cheap entertainer it was at the expense of a handful of VPs. The only contested auction in the last rtound was for a forest that both Tel and Steve wanted, Steve won out and it was to score him 7 VPs from one of his prestige cards. He also claimed another 7 VP from a second card to win by the proverbial country mile. Oggie claimed a comfortable 2nd with Teljust holding on to 3rd from Boog.

This game has been criticised for its lack of interaction. Personally I dont see this, the main interaction between players is in the auction phase where there is plenhty of opportunity to screw people either by pushing the price up on things they want or, as happened to the Boog on numerous occasions, forcing them to take something they didnt want but was just pushing the price up. There are a lot of similarities with Puerto Rico, but at last night session the four player Prince of Florence finished well before the 3 player Peurto Rico. I havent played either enough to decide which I prefer but would me delighted to play either.

Final Scores
Steve 58, Oggie 49, Tel 42, Boog 40

Ratings / 10
Steve 9, Oggie 7, Tel 8, Boog 8
 
Scores : Steve 58, Oggie 49, Tel 42, Boog 40
Ratings: Steve 9, Oggie 7, Tel 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Steve

Puerto Rico

Scores : Andy 43, Paul 35, Kev 33
Ratings: Andy 9, Paul 9, Kev 9
Winner(s): Andy


16-Jul-2002All month
 
David and Goliath

Scores : Tel 48, Boog 28, Andy 24
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 6, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel

Fabrik der Traum

Onto the second auction game of the night. Despite being on his shortlist for purchases from Essen last year, Andy had never played this. Players take the part of film producers who start the game with the rights to 3 screenplays and have to hire the relevant components required to turn it into a film. The four rounds of the game are split into a number of auctions where players can bid for a randomn selection of these component. Each component is worth between 0 and 3 stars which count towards the overall quality of the finished film. Once a film is completed the player takes a token denoting its worth (in VPs) and takes a new sreenplay. Bonus VPs are available throughout the game for first films in a category and best film after each round. At the end of the game bonus VPs are also awarded for Worst film, best film in each category and most director points.

Boog seemed intent on spending the whole game hiring Directors, so despite ending the game with the rights to only 4 screenplays (all finished) he must have hired at least 8 directors during the game. Tel on the other hand seemed intent on buying everything he could possibly afford. Hence he was churning out movie after movie most of which would have struggled to achieve B movie status, included in this was the worst film ever made. He did however produce a couple of quality films, his first film 3 Musketeers took the best film of the year for 3 years running. And his last film Citizen Kane was also very well received. Andy managed to be the first to produce a film in one of the categories, which also won the best film in that category at the end of the game. Despite most of his films being useless, the sheer quantity of films produced gave Tel a comfortable victory.

Andy had never played this before and Boog had only played once a few months ago so neither had much of an idea about what tactics would work, Tel had played over the weekend with his sister so had a better understanding of what was required (after being hammered over the weekend). This made the game very one sided, with the last round really just being played out as the result was already certain. Despite this the game still showed potential, and will certainly hit the table again.

Final Scores
Tel 117, Boog 79, Andy 40

Ratings
Tel 7, Boog 7, Andy 6
 
Scores : Tel 117, Boog 79, Andy 40
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel

Guillotine

Scores : Tel 30, Steve 29, Andy 29
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Boog caught the same train as Paul and Tel tonight so we decided to Play a game of Jack the Ripper instead of the usual Lost Cities. Wed never played this with 3 before, and in my personal opinion it makes it an even better game.

Rather then play to any set target, we kept playing until the train pulled in. Boog got off to a flyer, going out in both of the first two hands to open up a 40 point lead. Tel then claimed the 3rd hand to pull within 20 points, howver then fourth hand proved very painful to both Tel and Paul as Boog managed to go out extremely early with Tel only getting a couple of cards down and Paul not even managing that. The last hand got into a bit of a stalemate as Tel tried to go out early only to discover that no Victims had been played. Of course Paul and Boog then ensured that neither of them played any victims. However things were getting tense as everyone had a full hand of cards which could prove very costly if anyone managed to get out. Therefore eventually Paul decided to cut his losses Playing a victim and 2/3 of his cards. The Boog followed suit, leaving Tel to close out the hand but not score anywhere near as he should have done had he been paying attention.

Unlike the 2 player version, where each player gets an opportunity at every discarded card, the 3 player game has the frustration of seeing cards you want disappear into the discard deck with no way of rescuing them without playing one of the 5 Scene cards. This added an extra dimension to the game.

Final Scores
Boog 113, Tel 83, Paul 32

Ratings / 10
8s all round
 
Scores : Boog 113, Tel 83, Paul 32
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog

Modern Art

We next started the first of two Knizia Auction games. The aim of Modern Art is to acquire as much money from buying and selling pieces of modern art via a variety of auction methods. Each player starts with ten pieces of work, at the start of the 2nd and 3rd round they receive another 6. In turn each player auctions off one of his card. Each card indicates what type of auction should be used from Open, Sealed, Once round, Fixed price and Double. The Double the player to sell off two cards at once. As soon as the 5th card by a particular artist is put up for auction the round ends the top 3 selling artists of the round are then awarded value, and any player having bought those artists work gets cash according to this value and any previously won value.

For the first couple of rounds Boog seemed reluctant to buy anything. Tel and Andy splitting most of the purchases between themselves. The market seemed flooded with Light Metals for these two rounds. Into the third round and Boog suddenly realised that he was allowed to buy things and started th ejob in earnest, this coincided with Tel only buying very cheap. Andy made a tidy profit on a couple of Gitters in the last round which everyone expected had won him the game, but to everyones surprise not least his own when everyone counted up Tel had managed to win. It was another of those how did that happen moments as he hadnt been getting as much money as everyone alse at the end of each round. It must have been down to his selling, but while this is obviously an important part of the game, in previous games has been shown not to be a winning strategy.

Modern Art is one of those game where players regularly claim I hate this game as they need to decide how much a card is worth, and then give it high marks at the end of the game. Tonight was no exception after plenty of difficult decisions everyone scored it as an 8.

Final Scores
Tel 480, Andy 415, Boog 379

Ratings / 10
8s all round
 
Scores : Tel 480, Andy 415, Boog 379
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Tel

Web of Power

We split into 2 groups of three for the evening. The first game to hit the smaller table was Web of Power. Everyone knew the rules so it was straight into the game. However we once again forgot to remove some of the cards with there only being 3 of us.

The game played very differently to most games weve played before. For one thing most of the countries were opened up very early. The usual strategy of filling each country before moving on was ignored as everyone seemed to follow there own plan. It is also very rare within our group for any roads to be allowed to be developed, this was again different today with Tel managing to form a road very early. The end of the first round arrived and after totting up the scores there was a single point covering all three players. The second half of the game and everyone was fighting to fill the opened countries, Andy concentrating on the West of Europe, Tel on the South and Boog playing in the Central areas. Everyone seemed reluctant to help Tel build Italy so he did it on his own building all 6 cloisters and deploying the only 3 advisors the country saw. Nobody moved into either of the remaining 2 unoccupied countries until all other countries were full. As the end of the game approached Tel managed to complete his third road, with Andy also completing one. If the final analysis Tels 3 roads provided him with 15 points and won him the game.

We nearly always forget to remove cards with fewer players but this does not seem to detract from the game. As usual an enjoyable game especially as this one played differently to usual

Final Scores
Tel 67, Andy 57, Boog 49

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Andy 7, Boog 7
 
Scores : Tel 67, Andy 57, Boog 49
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel


19-Jul-2002All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 119, Tel 118, Boog 58
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Paul


23-Jul-2002All month
 
Mystery Rummy: Murder at the Rue Morgue

Scores : Tel 102, Paul 75, Boog 71
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 8, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel

Settlers of Catan

With 3 playing Tikal on the other table, the remaining 4 of us decided to start the evening with a game of Settlers. This classic needs no introduction, except Kev hadnt played it before so we had a quick run through of the rules for him. After this we were into the game.

Paul made his intentions clear from the start up by placing one of his initial towns on the 2:1 brick harbour which happened to be on a Brick for an 8 hex. His other initial town was placed so that it would also gain brick on a 5. However 8s didnt come up much at all during the game, and since Kev was the only player not on the other brick hex, the robber set up a regular camp on this hex. This also had the side effect that for the first 3/4 of the game theres was rarely any brick in the game. The other rare commodity was ore, this only came in on a 12 (never came up), 11 (provided more than expected but still not a lot) and on a 5 which was next to the desert and unpopulated for all but the last round. Without Brick and Ore the game was always going to be a bit slow, but nobody expected it to drag out for 2.5 hours. Kev managed to join his 2 towns up quite early using a road building card, to take early custodianship of the Longest road, he was never to lose this. Oggie was having quite a bit of joy collecting more resources then you would normally expect from his towns around the 2 fours but theres not that much you can do with a handful of sheep and wheat. Tel had positioned himself in striking distance of the 2:1 Wood and Sheep harbours with a steady supply of both coming in, but like everyone else was hampered by the shortage of brick and it took him forever to get settlements on the two harbours. Kev was able to use the only ore coming into the game to buy development cards. Paul seemed to be trying to get a monopoly on the harbours, after starting with the Brick harbour he then built his next town on a 3:1. He then spent the rest of the game forcing a route from his town at the cente of the board towards another 3:1. It was almost a relief whan after 2.5 hours of play Kev announced that he had won, 4 towns , 1 city , the longest road and 2 VP cards. Tel claimed second with 7 points, neither Oggie nor Paul had managed to build a city and were both on 5.

While both Oggie and Kev really enjoyed the game, scoring it an 8, both Tel and Paul marked it down due to the amount of time the game took to play. Normally Im a big fan of settlers and had the game been played withing the usual 1 hour time frame I would have marked it much higher, but 2.5 hours is just too long.

Final Scores
Kev 10, Tel 7, Oggie 5, Paul 5

Ratings / 10
Kev 8, Tel 6, Oggie 8, Paul 5
 
Scores : Kev 10, Tel 7, Oggie 5, Paul 5
Ratings: Kev 8, Tel 6, Oggie 8, Paul 5
Winner(s): Kev


26-Jul-2002All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 201, Paul 166, Boog 26
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Tel


30-Jul-2002All month
 
Puerto Rico

In what is becoming a worrying trend we only managed to play one game in the evening again last night. But in contrast to last weeks game of settlers which seemed to drag on forever, the time just flew by in Puerto Rico and I was surprised to see the time when the game finished. It was the first outing of Puerto Rico as a 5 player game tonight.

In a break with his tactics in previous games Tel didnt build a single quarry in the whole game, instead he concentrated on producing and shipping goods. Everyone else managed to get at least 1 quarry. Andy used a coffee and corn production line to try and finance a building strategy. Steve was on a straight production run, producing plenty of sugar and corn on each visit of the craftsman, however a couple of turns of being unable to ship anything with the arrival of the captain hurt him badly, forcing a purchase of a wharf, but the damage had been done. Paul, who started the game in an unusual fashion by taking the prospector as his governors choice, was another player looking to be building cheap with plenty of quarries. He also built an early office to allow give him a steady cash flow from sugar sales. Oggie became the tobacco baron for long periods of the game being the only player with this commodity.

Andy was the early favourite after getting into coffee first and building a large market that gave him huge payouts at the trading house to finance his extensive building program. However once Tel to his right also managed to get into coffee, Andys opportunities at the trading house became limited unless he became the trader himself as both offices had gone. Tel was building up to producing all 5 commodities, however by the time hed got all 5, the 2 factories had been spirited away. After building his wharf, Steve was raking in the VPs on each captain phase, however his was often short of cash so didnt manage to get any of the big bonus buildings, Paul, Oggie and Tel all managed one with Andy managing to get 2. The victor was by no means certain as Steve selected the Captain to trigger the end of the game as the VPs ran out. Tel, Oggie and Steve all had large piles of VPs, while Paul and Andy had more buildings. Steve was delighted to discover that despite not having built one of the bonus buildings he had beaten both Andy and Paul who had built them, into third. Oggie claimed second spot with Tel taking overall victory.

An excellent game. On our fourth playing and weve managed to finish the game using all three end conditions, and no one tactic has proved to be a certain winner. The game did take just over 2 hours to play but as I said earlier, it didnt seem this long. I know Puerto Rico has been getting rave reviews everywhere, well add my voice to those shouting praise, when can I play again.

Final Scores
Tel 59, Oggie 52, Steve 51, Andy 48, Paul 43

Ratings / 10
Tel 9, Oggie 7, Steve 9, Andy 9, Paul 9
 
Scores : Tel 59, Oggie 52, Steve 51, Andy 48, Paul 43
Ratings: Tel 9, Oggie 7, Steve 9, Andy 9, Paul 9
Winner(s): Tel


07-Aug-2002All month
 
Giganten

We now split into 2 three player games. While the other group played Great Walls, our threesome decided to try Giganten. In giganten each player takes the role of an Oil Baron trying to make the most money. The board is full of prospective drilling sites, each having a hidden production value. The sites nearer the bottom of the board (start area) are cheaper to buy but produce less oil then those further up the board. Along the right side of the board are rail tracks where each player has a train for transporting oil back to market. There is a black train which progresses each turn and when it reaches the end of the track the game ends. Players move around the board prospecting the various oil sites, building where they wish. They then transport oil back to market, where they can bid to sell with one of the three companies, each selling at a different price.

One the first turn everyone produced 1 barrel of oil, and since all three companies prices had risen, they were sent to different companies. Only Steve didnt bid the minimum 1 to sell. Into turn 2 and once again the prices rose in all 3 companies, allowing Steve to sell 3 barrels of oil for a huge profit. It was Tels turn in round 3 to make a killing after manipulating the price of one of the companies to his advantage. From there on in Tel seemed to be able to sell most turns. On the occassions that Andy or Steve wanted to make big sales they were forced to bid heavily for the rights, scuppering any hopes of selling in the next round. So as the final scores were tallied Tel had managed a comfortable win. Steve pipped Andy for second place.

An enjoyable game, but since it had been 9 months since the last play everyone had forgotten what they were trying to achieve, so the first couple of rounds were more like a training exercise as we tried to remember how to play the game. As with most games within the group : we really need to play this one more often.

Final Scores
Tel 119,500, Steve 72,000, Andy 61,500

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Steve 8, Andy 7
 
Scores : Tel 119500, Steve 72000, Andy 61500
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 145, Boog 135, Paul 132
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Mamma Mia!

Scores : Oggie 5, Paul 4, Kev 1
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 7, Kev 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Mystic Wood

Scores : Kev 76, Paul 50, Oggie 32
Ratings: Kev 7, Paul 6, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Kev

Perudo

Scores : Tel , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Perudo

Scores : Tel , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Perudo

Scores : Andy , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Steve 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy

Perudo

Scores : Steve , Andy , Tel
Ratings: Steve 7, Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve

Ricochet Robot

The evening started with 5 of us ready to play and a sixth on the way so we decided to start with Ricochet Robot so that Kev could join in when he arrived, without us having to start again. Ricochet Robot is a game that challaneges the old grey matter. Its more of a puzzle than a game. The board consists of 17 target spaces, 4 in each of the four colours and a special mulitcoloured space. The board also contains walls. There are 4 robots in the same 4 colours as the targets randomly placed on the board. The are 17 tiles matching the target spaces placed face down next to the board. One of the tiles is turned over, and everyone is now trying to find the quickest route of manouvering the matching coloured robot onto the matching symbol. There are only a couple of rules regarding movement. Robots travel in a straight lineand once it starts moving it must continue in that direction until it hits something, either wall, edge of board or another robot. At this point you can either rotate the robot through 90 degrees and move again or move another robot. Once someone declares a solution, everyone else has about 60 seconds to declare their own solutions. Whoever declared the smallest move first gets to demonstrate their solution. If they managed to remember it they get the tile. If not the next declarer gets to try and solve it. Whoever has the most tiles after all 17 have been claimed wins.

Andy, Tel and Steve have a big advantage when playing RR as they all play regularly online at www.ricochetrobot.com. So it was no real surprise when Steve took the first 2 tiles with Tel and Andy then sharing the next 4. This was despite Paul claiming the shortest route on wone of the plays and succesfully moving the blue robot onto the correct square in the declared number of moves, unfortunately it shouldve been the green robot. Andy then embarked on self destruct by constantly declaring moves that required him to travel through a wall, or declaring too high to find shorter solutions later. One particular square came up and after about 5 minutes of searching, no soloution could be found, so it was put back in the pot and the game contiued. When it came out a few tiles later, still nobody could find a solution so again it went back in to the pot. By this time Paul and Oggie had claimed tiles, so with just 2 tiles left everyone (except Kev) was on 2, 3 or 4. Out came the penultimate tile and it was the one wed had trouble with before. After a couple of minutes Steve declared 23, nobody else came close to finding a solution, so Steve started his marathon move, and suprisingly remebered it to claim the tile. He was now a point ahead, However Tel claimed the last tile to tie the game.

RR is a great game if you donít mind some mental stimulation. Within the group there is a bit of a split with most players enjoying the game, but with one player hating the game with abandon. It is a game where practise makes a big difference, it was no surprise that the two winners were 2 of the 3 people owho play the game daily online. It also takes a while to get your head around how the robots interact, which expolains why Kev, whod not played the game before, gave it such a low mark.

Final Scores
Steve 5, Tel 5, Oggie 3, Paul 2, Andy 2, Kev 0

Ratings
Steve 8, Tel 8, Oggie 6, Paul 8, Andy 8, Kev 3
 
Scores : Tel 5, Steve 5, Oggie 3, Andy 2, Paul 2, Kev 0
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 6, Andy 8, Paul 8, Kev 3
Winner(s): Tel, Steve


20-Aug-2002All month
 
Don

With just 20 minutes left we had to end with a filler and Don got the nod. Another auction game, for some reason players are trying to buy districts of Chicago using slices of carrot. But the games much more important than the theme. This was the game that we played at Essen last year, and came back with 3 copies.

Paul was back to normal, buying the first card. Steve bought the next two cards which were both pink. Andys approach for the game seemed to be to try and hoard as many carrots as possible, which as weve seen before doesnt usually work. However it does mean that he got to pick which auctions he wanted towards the end of the game, and he managed to put together a nice portfolio. Tel had managed to buy a few cards early on but then went quiet. Allowing him to bid 21 for the last set of cards. All these carrot went to Andy who owned a couple of 1s. These last three cards gave Tel a score of 11, however the 2 point bonus for Andy having the most carrots, took his score up to 11 giving a tie. Steve and Paul were only 1 point behind on 10 in what was a very tight game. Oggie completed a miserable night for him with only 6 points.

As usual a great filler game. The game plays in 20 minutes and has all the element of a longer game. I personally prefered this to the earlier game of Medici.

Final Scores
Andy 11, Tel 11, Paul 10, Steve 10, Oggie 6

Ratings / 10
Andy 7, Tel 8, Paul 7, Steve 7, Oggie 6
 
Scores : Andy 11, Tel 11, Paul 10, Steve 10, Oggie 6
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 8, Paul 7, Steve 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Andy, Tel

Medici

The next game to hit the table was Medici. The auction game played over three rounds where players are trying to monopolise the market in goods. Each round the current player draws between 1 and 3 cards to form the current auction. These cards are of 5 different commodities and each has a value between 0 and 5. There is also a gold card that is worth 10 points. Bidding is done in a once round the table fashion, with the current player having the last bid. The highest bid claims the cards, but if nobody bid on the lot then the cards are discarded. Each players needs to try and buy 5 goods each round, there are enough cards at the start for 6 each so once a few have been discarded somebody is going to miss out. Once all players have there 5 goods, or all the cards have been auctioned a scoring phase occurs. There is a pyramid on the board for each of the five commodities. For each good a player bought they advance their marker one on the relevant pyramid. The highest placed player on each pyramid claims 10 points with the second place getting 5 points. The top 3 spots on each pyramid also grant bonus points. Each player also scores points for the total of the numbers on their cards, in a five player games the values are 30,20,10,5 and 0. The winner is the player who has the most points at the end of the game.

Andy got off to a good start to open a small lead after the first round from Tel whod managed to buy his 5 goods for 2. Oggie seemed to be struggling and ended the first round around the 40 point starting position. Into the second round and people now knew what they were after, Tel was chasing Spice, Paul was looking for Wheat, Andy and Oggie seemed to be after the same commodities, with Steve who was in his first game getting a presence in most goods. Tel immediately bucked his usual tightfisted approach, to buy the first lot of the second round for a reasonable amount, buying 2 more spice. Paul was also successful in claiming more of his preferred Wheat. Andy claimed the gold to guarentee the 30 point bonus. After the second round Tel had overtaken Andy for the lead with Paul and Steve close behind. Oggie was still straggling behind. There was some very strange bidding going on in the last round, with some lots going for as much as 12 yet Tel managed to buy a lot with 2 Spice for 1 and then later picked up the gold for another 1. These two lots secured a comfortable win as the final scores were a lot more spread than the second round was predicting. Andy claimed second with Paul just pipping Steve for third. Oggie never managed to catch up after his bad start.

Medici is one of Kinizias auction games, and is usual from his games does have multiple ways of scoring. The idea is very simple but does work very well. Im still not sure whether I prefer this or Modern Art. The game played in about an hour with five of us but the time just flew by.

Final Scores
Tel 132, Andy 107, Paul 95, Steve 92, Oggie 69

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Andy 8, Paul 7, Steve 7, Oggie 6
 
Scores : Tel 132, Andy 107, Paul 95, Steve 92, Oggie 69
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 8, Paul 7, Steve 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Tel

Through the Desert

Only 5 tonight so we started with Through the Desert. The game where the aim is to build long chains of pastel camels. The board is made up of hexagons. Five palm trees are placed on the board as are a number of tiles which have values from 1 to 3. Camels come in 5 colours and each player gets a rider in each. These are then placed on the board. Players on there turn get to place 2 camels onto the board. Each camel placed must be adjacent to a similar coloured camel belonging to that players chain. Camels cannot be placed adjacent to a camel of the same colour belonging to another player. When a camel chain reaches one of the palm trees that player gets a 5 point chit. Players also claim the tiles as they cover them with their camel. Once all the camels of one colour have been used the game ends. The owner of the longest chain in each colour gets 10 points. Players also get 1 point for each hexagon they have managed to totally enclose by a single chain and the edges of the board. Total up all these points and whoever has the most points wins.

In the first game we played everyone started playing camels of various colours to claim nearby trees and points, but then both Paul and Steve headed off after the longest green camel chain. Everyone else was desperately trying to grab points before the green camels run out. Nobody managed to capture particularly large areas, 6 being the largest. Sure enough the race for the green chain brought the game to an early end. What was strange about this game was that the longest pink chain was shared by Oggie and Steve which trains of three. In the final countback Steve stormed the game winning by 9 points from Andy, with everyone else fairly close behind.

Since it had nearly taken as long to setup as play the first game we decided on a rematch. After the initial setup on tree was surrounded, all five players had camels involved. As expected everyones first move was to charge into the surrounded tree. Before the game started Oggie warned everyone to beware the rush tactics. Tel and Paul obviously ignored him as they both set out to try and claim the longest cream chain. Paul capturing an impressive 14 point area into the bargain, while Tel only managed to capture a paltry 6 point area. While these two were at loggerheads everyone else was fighting over the rest of the board. Steve ended the game by claiming the last cream camel, after just securing a share in the longest purple chain. Despite Pauls impressive cream chain and area capture he only did enough for third. Steve had managed to acquire enough points elsewhere for an even more comprehensive victory than the first game, Oggie managed to pip Paul into second. Neither Andy nor Tel managed a longest chain and finished 4th and 5th because of this.

2 games played within 45 minutes, and 10 minutes of this was probably setting the board up and splitting up the camels between games. From a personal perspective I prefer this with fewer players, I think Through the Desert is best when played as a 2/3 player game. With 5 the board starts very cluttered and often trains arent able to expand after the first couple of turns. Tonights 2 games both played quicked than usual due to a rush on one colour by 2 players but we do usually finish games within 30 minutes and 5 player games that play in 30 minutes are always a bonus.

Game 1
Final Scores
Steve 60, Andy 51, Tel 47, Paul 45, Oggie 43

Ratings / 10
Steve 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 6

Game 2
Final Scores
Steve 61, Oggie 46, Paul 45, Tel 37, Andy 35

Ratings / 10
Steve 7, Oggie 6, Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 6
 
Scores : Steve 60, Andy 51, Tel 47, Paul 45, Oggie 43
Ratings: Steve 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Steve

Through the Desert

Scores : Steve 61, Oggie 46, Paul 45, Tel 37, Andy 35
Ratings: Steve 7, Oggie 6, Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Steve


26-Aug-2002All month
 
Kingdoms

Scores : Oggie 197, Boog 184, Anne 165, Andy 108
Ratings: Oggie 7, Boog 7, Anne 6, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Mississippi Queen

Scores : Andy , Boog , Anne , Oggie
Ratings: Andy 5, Boog 5, Anne 5, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Andy

Puerto Rico

What better way to end the day then with a 5 player game of Puerto Rico.

Steve made his intentions clear from the start by claiming whatever corn he could, playing most of the game with 5 populated corn farms. Tel seemed intent on getting one of every good, Oggie who started as the governor didnt pick up any farms until about a third of the game had gone. Both Paul and Andy also seemed to be looking for a balanced approached to goods. Tel was the first to be able to afford a factory, Oggie immediately picked up the second, which caused much groaning from Paul and Andy as they were also after this. Tel was prevented from producing all five goods by Andy taking the last Coffee warehouse. But he was getting 3 or 4 depending on whether Steve got all the corn or not, this provided him with enough cash, that he could concetrate on shipping out as many goods as possible. A wharf came in handy for this. With so many people collecting a diverse collection of goods the ships were rarely empty which worked against Steve as he couldnt always offload his corn. The game approached the end and the question was what was going to trigger the end either a shortage of settlers or Tel/Andy filling their cities. As it happened Tel took the Mayor to end the game. In the final countback Tels factory strategy had managed a comfortable win, Paul and Oggie ties for second. Andy just pipped Steve for fourth.

Another corking game of Puerto Rico, and another different startegy winning. This really is a game where you need to determine what to do only after seeing what everyone else is trying to achieve. Usually at the end of an 8 hour games day everyone just wants to play simple card games, but nobody had any complaints on finishing with this today, indeed it got the highest marks of the day.

Final Scores
Tel 56, Paul 45, Oggie 45, Andy 37, Steve 34

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Paul 9, Oggie 7, Andy 9, Steve 8
 
Scores : Tel 56, Oggie 45, Paul 45, Andy 37, Steve 34
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 7, Paul 9, Andy 9, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel

Really Nasty Horseracing Game, The

An old favourite that used to be a regular of Games days got a run out. We decided that we should actually try this with the original rules. The first time we played it, we misunderstood the rules and played it wrong. However we all enjoyed our version of the game that we had no inclination to try the proper rules. The difference is on landing on fences. In the proper rules this is allowed and a fall only occurs if someone plays a card. In the Piddinghoe variant anyone landing on a fence immediately falls, the fall cards from your hands can be played as someone jumps a fence mid turn. This makes the game REALLY NASTY, as there is no defence against falling. It also sees people suiciding if they had backed the horse just behind them, of course there is no guarantee that this horse is then going to finish. Anyway back to the proper rules.

The races were drawn and were roughly lowest value to highest, ending with the big payday. The first race saw carnage as the three favourites all fell. This allowed the 25-1 outside to come in with Tel, its only backer, collecting a 125k payout. The second race was a fairly low key affair with Paul backing himself to win to amass a 50k profit from prize money and betting profits. The third race saw Boog lose the last of his money. Unable to bet he was relying on some good rolling to win a race to get back into the game however race four saw him roll many 1s. Paul was rolling all the sixes to romp to victory. The fifth race and Boog finally got his 6s. He and Tel got off to a flyer and were well ahead of the field. Things were going so well for him that he took pity on Oggie who had just been felled at one of the early fences that he allowed him to remount. Oggie was so grateful that he returned the compliment by playing a card on the Boog soon after making him fall. As the final race approached Paul, Tel and Andy were the players in the money, though none had as much as the 250k payout of the final race so anyone could still win. After Tels horse facing the wrong direction at the start and then a false start, the rest of the race was quite uneventful, with Tels horse keeping the inside lane all the way round to storm to victory, Pauls horse came in second, with Boog finally winning some money by coming third. Tel and Andy had both backed Paul, with Paul backing Tel. Tels victory in the last race gifted Paul the game, with Tel second. Oggie claimed third, with Boog claiming fourth.

After playing the proper rules we were unanimous in that we all prefer our variant. The proper rules are just not nasty enough. The players do have more control over whether theyll finish the race with the proper rules, but the speed theyre running at is still determined by dice. As a group we are not usually overly impressed with dice based games, our house rules makes the game interesting enough for it to hit the table once or twice a year, I suspect the original rules would not hit the table anywhere near as often, but perhaps just because we are all nasty vindictive people.

Final Scores
Paul 575k, Tel 375k, Oggie 70k, Boog 50k, Andy 5k, Steve 0

Ratings / 10
Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Boog 5, Andy 5, Steve 5
 
Scores : Paul 575, Tel 375, Oggie 70, Boog 50, Andy 5, Steve 0
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Boog 5, Andy 5, Steve 5
Winner(s): Paul

Theophrastus

After trawling through the terrible rule book three times I thought Id understood the game enough to release it on the rest of the group. The aim of the game is for each player to lay cards so that their experiment matches as closely as possible the one everyone helps create for Theophrastus.

After the first round everything was very close with Oggie just having an advantage over Steve, Tel and Paul with Andy bringing up the rear 4 points back from Paul. The second round had the 2 high scoring yellow (Nitre and Vitriol) already preset. Tel was the first to lay a yellow face down, but a couple of minutes later he turned it face up himself as hed layed the wrong card from his hand. Paul then played a yellow face down, which was tunred face up by Steve - It was Nitre which Tel then proceeded to transmute to claim the Nitre himself. Steve then played a Nitre, which Paul promptly claimed. Paul played a yellow face down, Oggie not decieved by this turned it face up to reveal a Vitriol, Steve then discredited this. While all this was going on Andy and Tel had both managed to complete their own experiments. In the final scoring phase Oggie discredited Tels 5 point Nitre only to see it replaced with a 6 point Vitriol. Tel and Oggie now shared the lead with Steve and Paul not too far behind. The final experiment had all five red metals pre-set. Only Steve seemed to have a handful of red cards, managing to get all five out. Even Paul discrediting one in the final scoring round was not enough to prevent Steve from winning the game.

For pity sake will someone please take these rules out and shoot them. This was my third attempt at getting this to the table, but had to abort the other 2 as I hadnt managed to determine how to play the game before people turned up. Because the majority of the group come from a Magic the Gathering background, we are all used to pushing the rules to the limits so often we need to reference the rulebook mid game, this is difficult if the rules are hidden within a story. The game is actually quite simple and fairly enjoyable and will certainly be hitting the table again.

Final Scores
Steve 53, Tel 50, Oggie 48, Paul 42, Andy 42

Ratings / 10
Steve 7, Tel 8, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Andy 7
 
Scores : Steve 53, Tel 50, Oggie 48, Paul 42, Andy 42
Ratings: Steve 7, Tel 8, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve

Transamerica

Another first play, although some of us have played this on BSW. The board represents a map of America with 35 major cities depicted. Each player draws 5 cards giving them 5 target cities. The idea in Transamerica is to be the first to connect all 5 of your target cities. In each turn a player can play up to 2 pieces of track ( 1 if going through the mountains) to extend their network. If two networks are connected they become one large network. Once a player has connected to all five of his cities everyone else counts up how many track pieces are needed to connect their cities. This is subtracted from the starting score of 13, once a player hits zero the games ends with the highest score winning.

Everyone complained about their starting hand, but then again most players complained about most hands. Steve did have the difficult job of trying to connect cities in all four corners of the board. Paul successfully completed the first hand quicker then most wanted. The second hand saw Steve getting an easier set of cards and he capitalised to finish the hand first, but only just ahead of everyone else. The third hand saw Tel having to connect the 2 cities in the South East corner with the 2 in the North West, with no-one else aiming for the North West he had to trailblaze. By the time Paul had finished the round Tel was still miles from completion, bringing the game to a close. Pauls 2 winning hands were enough to ensure a comfortable win. Steve, Oggie, Andy were close with Boog managing to remain positive.

A perfect filler game. Plays 2-6 players in about 30 minutes. There is a bit of luck as a particularly good or bad hand can speed the game up considerably. However players do get 1 city in each of 5 regions so there is always going to be some sort of spread. A great alternative to a card game to end the night.

Final Scores
Paul 9, Steve 6, Oggie 5, Andy 4, Boog 2, Tel -3

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Steve 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Boog 6, Tel 7
 
Scores : Paul 9, Steve 6, Oggie 5, Andy 4, Boog 2, Tel -3
Ratings: Paul 8, Steve 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Boog 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

Volldampf

Scores : Tel 23, Paul 21, Steve 21
Ratings: Tel 6, Paul 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel


27-Aug-2002All month
 
Capitol

Scores : Oggie 65, Andy 48, Tel 30, Paul 29
Ratings: Oggie 8, Andy 8, Tel 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Pompeji

Scores : Paul 269, Oggie 210, Andy 181, Tel 158
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


10-Sep-2002All month
 
Cartagena

While the other table indulged in a heavy game (E&T) we decided to go light. Cartegenais a race game, the aim being the first playere to get all 6 of your men into the boat at the end of the board. Each space on the board is one of 6 symbols, and each player starts with 6 randomn cards, the cards depoicyt on eof the symbols. Each player gets 3 actions to perform each turn, these can either be: Play a card and move a man forward to the next free space matching the symbol on the card, or drop a man backwards to the next occupied square . If there are no free squares between the man and the boat that match the card played, the man is moved into the boat. If a man drops back he can draw cards equal to the number of men on the square before he dropped back. There can never be more than 3 men on a single square, so a man dropping back would pass straight through without drawing cards. Since the only way to get cards is by dropping back, we tend to find that there is a period in each game where you donít actually get anywhere as you drop back to re stock on cards.

Tel made an early move by forcing two men high up the board, but with only one other man on the board, he then struggled for cards for the next few rounds, by the time he had managed to restock to 6 cards, both Oggie and Kev had managed to get all their men onto the board with most of them on the second half of the board. Kev had managed to keep his men close together, so were able to provide support for each other, while Oggies were strung out across the length of the board. It was the close knit group of Kevs that managed to charge into the boat first, Oggie had managed to get 4 into the boat while Tel had to be content with just 2. Since the game had played in about 20 minutes we decided on a rematch. Kev, having won the first game by moving his men up on block, saw no reason to change strategy, so again we saw his caravan move forward together, unfortunately for him, he miscounted and it wasnt until well into the game that Kev realised that he only had 5 men on the board with the sixth still waiting at the start line. This time both Tel and Oggies men were bunched the difference being that Oggies were bunched together near the end of the board, while none of Tels men had crossed the halfway point. While Kevs straggler managed to claw his way past Tels bunch of incompetent people, Oggie made a dash for the boat. He managed to get all 6 home while Kev had to make do with 4 and Tel an impressive zero.

Cartegena is a very simple game that plays in less than half an hour. As the ratings below show the game was enjoyed by all three of us, though unlucky cards ( or was it bad play) dragged Tels rating down in the second game.

Ratings / 10
1st game
Kev (winner) 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8

2nd game
Oggie (winner) 8, Kev 8, Tel 7
 
Scores : Kev , Oggie , Tel
Ratings: Kev 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Kev

Cartagena

Scores : Kev , Oggie , Tel
Ratings: Kev 8, Oggie 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Grab

A second outing for the game that endangers everyones fingers. Cards are dealt face up by the dealer at whatever pace he likes. Once some sees a set of cards they want they slap the mat in the middle of the table. Of course more then one person is usually going to be after the same set of cards so a victorious claim is also usually accompinied by a stinging hand.

The Boog had never lost a hand of this (okay weve only played two hands before but he won them both). Whether this is down to a highly complex strategy, highly attuned reflexes or blind luck nobody can prove but he continued his winning streak tonight claiming both hands, the first one by a solitary point and the second one by a considerable margin. So he maintains his 100% record.

This is perfect as a 15 minute filler for a large group, though we are quite lucky in that weve never played more than 2 hands in a sitting. The winning condition is to win 2 hands, with 7 this could mean 8 hands which could become a bit tedious, however with Boog around we dont have that concern.

Ratings / 10

Boog 8, Kev 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Steve 7, Andy 8, Oggie 6
 
Scores : Boog , Andy , Steve , Paul , Tel , Oggie , Kev
Ratings: Boog 8, Andy 8, Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 6, Kev 7
Winner(s): Boog

Web of Power

With the other group still engrossed in E&T we decided to play a game of Web of Power.

After remembering to take out the extra cards for the first time, we started the game. 4 of the first 5 moves was to open up new countries. So there was plenty of placement opportunities throughout the game. Tel claimed an early stake in Frankriech(??), with Oggie and Kev sharing the countries down the middle of the board, as the first round drew to a close only one country (lothringen) was totally closed out, but more unusually for our group, only 2 countries hadnt been opened. Kev had a slender lead after the first round but it was all very close. In the second round and Tel managed to claim control of the advisors in the 3 far west countries but at the detriment to his cloisters. Kev had managed to get cloister representation in all opened countries and had managed a chain of 6 across the southern countries. Oggie had got claimed a traingle of control of advisors only to discover on scoring that two of the countries werent joined despite being adjacent. Tel miscalculated the end of the game and after setting himself for a big score with his next lay, discovered he wasnt going to get another. In the final analysisBoth Tel and Kev scored heavily in the final round with Oggie dropping behind, Kev just managed to hold onto his slender lead taking victory from Tel by 2 points.

Ive never had a bad game of this, with most games being fairly close. Today was no exception, an excellent game that was very tight.

Final Scores
Kev 58, Tel 56, Oggie 46

Ratings / 10
Kev 9, Tel 8, Oggie 8
 
Scores : Kev 58, Tel 56, Oggie 46
Ratings: Kev 9, Tel 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Kev


17-Sep-2002All month
 
Dragon Delta

Since Paul was going to be late we decided to start with a 4 player game of Dragon Delta. Of course as soon as wed got it set up Paul arrived, so it became a five player.

As usual one player got off to a flyer, this time it was the Boog. Getting very close to his target island after the second turn. However the game was beset with people most notably Paul and Boog getting their cards confused playing the Jump card instead of the move 2. Steve was also affected in this error ridden game by playing one hand in reverse. Boogs playing of the wrong card was particular painful as instead of ensuring victory he had to jump over someone moving away from his target island. Paul was about to charge for victory only to be thwarted by Tel forcing him into the only Ploof of the game. Boog made another charge for the line, this time successfully reaching his destination.

Half an hour of chaos as nobody is certain where there preplanned 5 moves will find their piece. Only one ploof in the game which was a bit dissappointing, perhaps were all getting too nice, ha not a chance.

Boog won

Ratings / 10
Boog 7, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Steve 6, Tel 7
 
Scores : Boog , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Boog 7, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Steve 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Boog, Paul

Princes of Florence

After the chaos of Dragon Delta, it was time for something a little heavier. A lot of people consigned POF to the scrapheap after the release of Puerto Rico, saying the games were similar but PR having much more player interaction. While its certainly true that the actions of one player does affect the others a lot more in PR, the auction in POF does have the ability to frustrate players as the Boog found out regularly. With a preset 7 rounds to the game everyone knows exactly when the game is going to end, and everyone knows that they only have 7 chances to get items in the auction.

As is becoming a tradition we started playing the game wrong (forgetting to add VPs for buildings), luckily we spotted the mistake early on and it didnt have too much effect on the game. Tel had read an early report way back that stated it was impossible to win without a builder, so in previous games had played a startegy around collecting builders. Having never even come close to winning he adopted a new strategy stearing clear of the expensive builders. Tonights game was unusual in that there were some absolute bargains appearing in the mid game, with builders, jugglers and prestige cards all going for 200 or 300. Everyone except Oggie picked a work car and freedom in the first round, Oggie prefering a bonus card to the work. Indeed Oggie seemed to have a fixation with the bonus cards buying one most turns. Steve built the first building and went on to produce the first work. As the game got going Boog was regularly found cursing after winning an auction, having been caught either trying to force the price up, or misdirecting people from what he really wanted. Paul, Steve and Tel all seemed intent on producing as many works as possible, all ending the game having produced 5. After getting his second builder Boog went into a building frenzy. As the game approached the end everyone was fairly tightly bunched. Oggies stack of bonus cards didnt help him as he only put on 4 works, and Boogs building spree prevented Oggie achieving his only prestige card objective, leaving him trailing the field. Only 9 Vps split the rest of the players. The deciding fact in the end was that Tel had managed to collect 3 prestige cards, achieving 2 outright with a share in the third. This gave him a victory, and he achieved it without a builder.

A very close game with nobody certain of who was winning or in a string position until the final scores were tallied. As the ratings below show everyone enjoyed the game. Comparisons between this and Puerto Rico are obvious because of the similarities, personally I like both games a lot, I would just select PR over POF as it is slightly more involved, but wouldnt be tto upset if the group decided on Pof instead.

Final Scores
Tel 60, Steve 56, Boog 53, Paul 51, Oggie 43

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Steve 9, Boog 8, Paul 9, Oggie 7
 
Scores : Tel 60, Steve 56, Boog 53, Paul 51, Oggie 43
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 9, Boog 8, Paul 9, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel


01-Oct-2002All month
 
Merchants of Amsterdam

With Essen just 2 weeks away we decided to break open one of last years purchases for the first time. To be fair this would probably have hit the table much earlier, except the timer was broken. This is an auction game from the master of such games Reiner Knizia. As with most of Herr Knizias games the objective of the games is to maximise your score across a number of different objectives. This time we have 3 different scoring areas. Players take it in turns as the mayor. The mayor draws the top card from the draw pile and decides whether it will be for auction, for discard or for himself, this is repeated until all three have one card. Once all three cards are distributed the mayor plays his card, then the auction card is auctioned off. Now this is where we should have used the gizmo that came with the game, unfortunately with it being broken we had to improvise. Andy had recorded a count down from 20 to 5 into his Ipac, we then borrowed the bell from pit. The way a dutch auction works is that the price starts high in this case 20k and then counts down, whoever is the first bid wins. The cards allow for the population of one of the three scoring areas. Also included in the deck are hourglass cards, these immediately move the timer marker on one square, which usually triggers some action such as extra population opportunities or scoring. Each of the 3 scoring areas are split into 4. These 4 are scored on a sliding scale with the most populated scoring highest for the first and second stakeholders.

As the game went on and we started to realise how the game worked, prices steadily rose, so the first auction went for 7k while the last one cost 20k. The first few auctions were split between Oggie and Steve. We then found the problem with our makeshift solution, with the countdown timer not stopping when we hit the bell there is no way of determining exactly what was bid. Tel was forced to pay more than expected for three auctions running as the others decided he had hit the bell before the cheaper price had come in. There was a shortage of hourglasses at the start of the game, but that was about to change big time. Oggie has got a bit of a reputation when it comes to unlucky draws. This is the man who managed to single handedly wipeout the whole party in our first Lord of the Rings game with his unique card drawing ability. And true to form he managed to draw enough houglasses on the trot to account for over half of the games scoring phases before completing his turn. Andy developed a strange tactic in the game. First he complained that everyone was getting the cards that allowed then to collect 3 commodities except him. Of course on his next turn he managed to draw one only to find that he was forced to discard it. Later having obviously learnt from this, he kept his pick until last to draw a populate Africa card, unfortunately Africa was full so he could do nothing. After totting up everyones cash it was a very close game with only 20 k between first and last, Oggie claiming the victory with Steve just pipping Andy for second and Tel trailing in last.

Oggie described the game as a cross between Ra and Pit. It was certainly a fun game to play, and the dutch auction adds a new element to the usual auction games. I need to play this again to be able to compare it to Knizias other auction games but after one play it is certainly up there with the others.

Finals Scores
Oggie 1450k, Steve 1350k, Andy 1330k, Tel 1250k

Ratings / 10
Oggie 8, Steve 7, Andy 8, Tel 8
 
Scores : Oggie 1450, Steve 1350, Andy 1330, Tel 1250
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 7, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie

T Rex

There are different coloured dinosaur eggs that the players are trying to collect. Each player starts with an identical deck of cards which they shuffle and deal themselves 7 cards. These cards are valued from 1 to 15 across 5 different colours, with 2 special cards. At the start of the game two colours are randomly selected to be the trumps and anti trumps. Each card also depicts either a comet or between 1 and 3 cards. When a player plays a card that depicts cards they draw the relevant number of cards from their draw pile. When a comet is played its sets the end of the turn as their next turn. If however someone subsequently plays a comet card which has an equal or higher value they reset the end of the turn as their next turn. Each player must play a card on their turn. Once the turn ends the last card played by each player is compared with the highest 2 cards taking one of the two face up eggs. In the event of ties the latter played card wins. Once the two eggs have been claimed everyone discards either their last card played or the top card of their draw pile. Then the player who played the lowest card last time may change either the trump or anti trump suite. Two new dino eggs are turned up and bidding starts with the lowest player from the last round. For scoring itís the sum number of eggs in each colour squared.

Steve started in an aggressive manner playing his major comet card on the first hand which was enough to win him the first hand. Oggie, who got second place on the first hand, got off to a flyer taking eggs in each of the first three tricks. After these first three tricks everyone was winning cards on a regular basis, with the normal tactic being trying to mimic the previous players card. Ogie managed to maintain his lead throughout the game. Steve could have caught him on the last turn had he managed to win the hand, unfortunately he only managed second so had to be content with a tie for second place. Andy struggled to collect any matching eggs, and trailed the pack at the end.

A harmless enough game which will never claim outstanding overtures, but similarly doesnt offend anyone into not wanting to play it either.

Final Scores
Oggie 15, Steve 13, Tel 13, Andy 7

Ratings / 10
7s across the board
 
Scores : Oggie 15, Tel 13, Steve 13, Andy 7
Ratings: Oggie 7, Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie


08-Oct-2002All month
 
BANG!

Scores : Andy , Boog , Kev , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 6, Boog 4, Kev 4, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Steve 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Kev, Steve, Tel

Great Dalmuti, the

Scores : Andy , Boog , Kev , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 7, Kev 7, Oggie 8, Paul 7, Steve 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog


15-Oct-2002All month
 
Vinci

The last game session before Essen, so an old favourite came out. We dont think weve ever played this with 6 before. Kev hadnt played before, so a quick recap of the rules for him was needed before we jumped into it. We tried a variant a couple of players had heard had got good reviews, by playing with hidden VPs.

With 6 players everybody starts with only 3 armies plus those supplied by the civ, this meant that some of us only started with 6 armies. With Armies at such a premium, Andy was given an advantage by starting and being able to take medicine, and with no VP penalty. In fact for the initial selections only Oggie chose to pay VPs to skip the first available civ. While Andy was able to keep supplementing his army, both Paul and Tels civs soon run out of steam and were both forced into early declines, to contrasting success, Paul managed to amass 15 points on introducing his new civ, while Tel managed a mere 6 points and was forced into decline soon after. Only Steve and Andy were able to consistently score double figures each turn, the rest of us were only able to get the odd decent score amongst mediocrity. About half way through the game, Andy and Steve went into decline, both picking up usefull combos, Andys Astronomy allowing him to attack at will along the north coast to pick up the mining areas he required, while Steves militia made it difficult to remove him from captured territories. Both players saw these civs through to the end of the game, Kev also managed to make his last civ last awhile but this was by doing nothing, The combination of fortress and currency, meant he was difficult to budge from his little corner of europe, but couldnt afford to go into decline as he would lose most of his score which was provided by currency. Tel and Oggie were waging there own private battle in Southern Europe. It was no major surprise when Andy declared that he had broken the 100 barrier first, the question was then whether anyone had managed to stay with him. Since Andy started the game, everyone else got another turn. Steve managed to outscore Andy in the last turn but was still 4 points adrift overall, nobody else was even close. Interestingly everyones final positions matched there starting position, so Andy, who started first, won and Oggie came last after being the sixth player to start.

The game did last slightly longer then usual with 6 of us, taking over just over 2 hours to finish. We wouldve been able to get a quick filler in to end the night except that we got off to a late start. After trying the hidden scoring, it did have the required effect of speeding up the end game, but from a purely personal perspective, I prefer the game with open scoring, though the game did provide a close finish with a 4 point gap seperating the first 2 and only 7 points covering the other 4.

Final Scores
Andy 106, Steve 102, Paul 89, Tel 87, Kev 84, Oggie 82

Ratings / 10
Andy 8, Steve 7, Paul 8, Tel 8, Kev 7, Oggie 6
 
Scores : Andy 106, Steve 102, Paul 89, Tel 87, Kev 84, Oggie 82
Ratings: Andy 8, Steve 7, Paul 8, Tel 8, Kev 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Andy


22-Oct-2002All month
 
Alles im Aimer

With the 3 intrepid conventioneers returned from the annual trip to Essen, we had a plethora of new games to choose from. The first post Essen game to hit the table was the Bucket game. Each player is given 3 buckets in each of the 6 colours, they are also dealt 12 cards. These cards range from 1 to 8 in the 6 colours. After examining their hand each player arranges their 18 buckets into a pyramid. The start player plays between 1 and 3 cards in a single colour and draws a card. The next player then either plays 1-3 cards in the same suit with a combined total higher than the previous players and draws a card or they have to remove a bucket from their pyramid that matches the colour of the hand. If this bucket supports other buckets then these are removed also. The player then starts a new hand. With six of us the game ends when two players pyramids have been completely destroyed, the winner being the player with the largest remaining pyramid.

Paul decided to adopt the tactic hed seen win the game in Essen by opening each hand he could with a very aggressive bid, this had the effect of quickly whittling away at Andys pyramid to his left, however Steve to Pauls right soon picked up on the fact that Paul was struggling for Yellows so kept leading with these to cause difficulties for Paul. Tel, Boog and Oggie were all playing very conservatively, and were managing to keep their pyramids in pretty good shape. It was no surprise to see Andys pyramid disappear first given Pauls aggressive intent, however this tactic of Pauls did have a downside. Two turns later he only had three cards left in his hand, which was not enough to keep him from being forced into the removal of his last bucket ending the game. Oggie claimed a comprehensive victory, having lost only a half of his original pyramid. Tel just claimed second from Boog with 6 buckets left compared to Boogs 5, Steve managed to hang on with a single bucket left.

After reading the reveiws of this, I was really looking forward to playing. Im not sure why but the game didnt quite live up to my expectations. It was an entertaining game and I certainly look forward to playing it again, but it just didnt seem to be as nasty as I was expecting. This could well be due to it being the first play for 3 of the group, so I will reserve judgement until weve played it again.

Ratings / 10
Oggie 8, Tel 7, Boog 6, Steve 7, Paul 7, Andy 7
 
Scores : Oggie 9, Tel 6, Boog 5, Steve 1, Andy 0, Paul 0
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 7, Boog 6, Steve 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Alles im Aimer

Scores : Boog , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Boog 7, Andy 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Boog

Billabong

Scores : Boog , Andy , Paul
Ratings: Boog 7, Andy 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy

Carcassonne

One of the most eagerly awaited games from this years Essens releases. Most of the group own copies of the original Carcassonne, so it was no surprise to see a copy make its way back from Essen. The mechanics of the original game havent been altered too much. On a turn a player draws a tile, plays that tile to extend the current layout, then optionally places a piece onto the new tile. The tiles contain 3 types of landscape : Forests, Rivers and Plains. Forests replace the original cities, once a forest is completed all meeple in the forest are returned to their owners scoring for each tile making up the forest. There are a few mushroom patches in the forest which act like shields in the original. Whoever completes a forest containing a gold nugget gets to draw and immediately place a special tile. The rivers replace the roads, again once a river is completed the meeple on that river are returned scoring for each piece of river. Rivers can just trickle to a stop in the hills but usually end at lakes containing fish, any fish found at either end of the river are added to the rivers score. The plains, like fields in the original, only score at the end of the game. Plains contain deer, Mammoths and tigers. When it comes to the end of the game whichever players hold the majority in a plain scores for each mammoth and for each surviving deer (deers are eaten by tigers, so for each tiger in a plain deduct one deer). As well as five meeple each player also starts with 2 huts. The huts can be played instead of a meeple, but can only be played on a river. Huts are scored at the end of the game. A Huts scores for all the fish in the river network it is connected to. Where rivers terminate on hitting a lake, the huts continue through the lake to include all connected rivers. Incomplete rivers and forest are worthless at the end of the game.

Steve struggled throughout the whole game, not getting pieces that offered him any real choice. Tel managed to fight his way into the two largest water systems shortly before they were closed off. Oggie was happily building forest after forest, claiming more than his fair share of special tiles. Kev was managing to get into Forests only to find he couldnt finish them. Tel managed to close off a monster forest towards the end of the game for a big score, which was enough to give him ethe game.

With the caveat that the following impressions are after a single game, I prefer the original. Hunters and Gatherers does offer new alternatives, while keeping most of the charm of the original. However Im not sure what but something just didnt seem to sit well. For some reason the idea that a river ends at a lake despite seeming to pass straight through seems a little counter-intuitive. The board layout at the end of the game looked too busy and not as elegant as the original. Dont get me wrong this appears to be a great game and will certainly get played, Im just not sure it offers any improvements on the original for the seasoned Carcassonne players.

Final Scores
Tel 96, Oggie 86, Steve 74, Kev 50

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Oggie 7, Steve 6, Kev 7
 
Scores : Tel 96, Oggie 86, Steve 74, Kev 50
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Steve 6, Kev 7
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Boog 100, Tel 81, Paul 29
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog

Reaction

Scores : Andy , Boog , Kev , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 4, Kev 7, Oggie 5, Paul 6, Steve 4, Tel 5
Winner(s): Andy

Sticheln

To end the night we went back to an old favourite, though somehow Steve had managed to avoid the game in the past. As regular readers will know, Sticheln is the home of the Muppet manouvre. And tonight we got a couple of beauties.

Now boardgames are a great way of socialising
 
Scores : Steve 19, Boog 13, Tel 12, Paul 7, Oggie -17, Kev -19
Ratings: Steve 8, Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 7, Oggie 8, Kev 7
Winner(s): Steve


24-Oct-2002All month
 
Apples to Apples

Scores : Tel 10, Paul 8, Anne 8, Abi 7
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Anne 8, Abi 10
Winner(s): Tel

Cairo

Scores : Abi 52, Tel 41, Paul 32, Anne 4
Ratings: Abi 9, Tel 8, Paul 7, Anne 7
Winner(s): Abi

Hund und Katz

Scores : Paul 50, Anne 35, Tel 18
Ratings: Paul 7, Anne 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


29-Oct-2002All month
 
Attila

The Piddinghoe Gamers continued Thin Theme Night with Attila. As the rest of the group vacated the table to take their places for Morisi, Kev, The Boog and me girded for battle. None of us had played before.

The first couple of centuries unfolded slowly as the tribes peacefully settled the plains of Europe. The most dramatic period of early history was marked by fierce conflict between the Goths, Saxons and Vandals. This was eventually resolved in the most bloody of fashions with complete annihalation of all combatants in the Swiss Alps. This led to a prolonged period of quiet throughout most of the third century. Tensions continued to simmer though and boiled over into a number of fierce battles as populations rose towards the end of the third century. All of the tribes were eventually dragged into conflict as war sprang up in three countries in quick succession. Further turmoil seemed inevitable at the dawn of the fourth century, until the Saxons rapidly expanded influence throughout the land to cool tensions.

Of course, though this is a true account of the game, it didnt feel like war, conflict and the grand unveiling of history at all. Remember, this was Thin Theme Night. In actual fact, it was an interesting game of cat and mouse as all three of us jockeyed for influence and tried to position ourselves for scoring rounds. Points are proportional to the number of tribes on the board and thus the first half of the game only produce about a third of the points. Therefore, despite opening up a good lead by concentrating on second place majorities, Kev and The Boog had plenty of opportunities to pull back in the second half. Realising this, all three of us saved all of our special tiles for the last round. However, wed been slow to initiate combat during the game and as a consequence we were close to completing the influence track in two of the tribes as the last round began. None of us had an opportunity to play the swap cards tile as the game finished two turns into round four when I ran off the end of the green tribes influence track to bring the game to an end. If I hadnt done this, The Boog was all set to end the game on his turn by maxing out the grey tribe which would have made the final scores a lot closer.

What a good game. Like Morisi earlier, it looks good (very good in fact) and plays quickly. Whoever decided to use the same colours for tribe and colour markers should probably be shot, but in actual fact this didnt cause any confusion at all. We latched onto a couple of obvious strategies but I glimpsed subtleties in the game that none of us came close to exploiting. I look forward to exploring those in further games. The battles are short and far between but give intresting opportunties for hand management and double think. Congratulations to Kev for pulling off a masterstroke, forcing a tie in all three colours he had little influence in during one battle. This was much to the chagrin of myself and The Boog as five scoring pieces disappeared from the board.

Scores - Paul 130, Kev 120, Boog 109
Ratings (/10, for this session) Paul 8, Kev 9, Boog 7
 
Scores : Paul 130, Kev 120, Boog 109
Ratings: Paul 8, Kev 9, Boog 7
Winner(s): Paul

Attila

The group split into a 4 and 3 with the aim of everyone playing Attila and Morisi. So it was that Andy, Steve, Oggie and Tel started the evening with Attila. Its a simple but effective game. Everyone is dealt a hand of six cards. The cards depict one of the 6 tribes in the game. On his turn a player plays one of these cards, to place a matching tribe piece onto the board. He can then either place another matching piece on the board or increase his influence with that tribe. Each territory can peacefully contain 4 pieces. However if at the end of a players placement ther are 5 pieces then a conflict arises. Each player is allowed to place any number of cards from his hand that match any of the colours in the warring territory. The number of cards in each colour is added to the number of pieces and the tribe with lowest representation is removed from the territory. This territory gets a peace marker, which prevents further placement in this territory. There are 4 scoring rounds in the game which occur after the 1st, 3rd and 6th conflicts and at the end of the game. Scoring is made per tribe with the player with the most influence getting a VP for each tribe piece on the board, and the second most influencial player getting a VP for each territory populated by the tribe. The game ends when either the 10th peace counter is placed, one of the 6 tribes runs out of pieces or a player reaches the end of the influence track for any tribe.

Andy started the game and immediately made an unexpected move by placing two pieces. For most of the rest of the game everyone played 1 piece and increased their influence. There was a conflict extremely early on forcing the first scoring round. Tel spent the early game concentrating on building up the grey network. All the other three expanded the black tribe. Steve was playing very aggressively forcing conflicts. So the second scoring round came fairly quickly, with Steve scoring well. After the third scoring round everyone decided to go into an expansion program, for the first time since Andys opening move a couple of players played two pieces rather then gain influence. Up until this stage Oggie had fallen well behind in the grey incluence, but four consecutive cards suddenly gave him a clear majority, Tel had a clear majority in green but first game naivety saw him expand the tribe into new teritories rather then consolidate those already populated gifting points to the second stakeholder (Oggie). Andy brought the game to a close with two consecutive red cards to reach the end of the influence track. Oggie managed to score heavily on a couple of colours, particularly Grey, to claim victory. Tel managed to scramble enough points to take second. Andys dominance in red was enough to beat Steve for 3rd.

This was everyones first game of Attila and the first couple of rounds could be seen as a training excercise, I suspect most of us will start the game differently in future. This has a feel Web of Power while it has obviously also borrowed from acquire. There is an element of luck as you are restricted to what you can do with the cards you are given, but I guess part of the skill of the game ios to make the most of what youve got with some forward planning. Due to the large influx of games just back from Essen Im not sure when this will get played again, but it wont be soon enough (but I can say that about most games). The game played in about 45 minutes.

Final Scores
Oggie 68, Tel 63, Andy 58, Steve 52

Ratings / 10
Oggie 6, Tel 7, Andy 8, Steve 7
 
Scores : Oggie 68, Tel 63, Andy 58, Steve 52
Ratings: Oggie 6, Tel 7, Andy 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Don

End the night with a quick game of Don. This has become one of my favourite filler games.

Oggie managed to win cards throughout the game, while the rest of us were winning bids in spurts. Andy managed to get some good groupings of colours, while Steve manage to acquire most of the numbers by the end of the game, unfortunately hed also managed to collect all the colours as well. Tel left buying anything until it was far too late to make any impression. He thought he managed to take the last auction with a bid of 19 only for Oggie to bid him with 20. Oggie took the last three cards to give him the largest total, unfortunatley for Oggie all the carrots went to Andy, giving him the 2 bonus points and the game.

Great game as usual.

Final Scores
Andy 15, Oggie 14, Steve 11, Tel 6

Ratings / 10
Andy 8, Oggie 8, Steve 8, Tel 7
 
Scores : Andy 15, Oggie 14, Steve 11, Tel 6
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Steve 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 103, Paul 51
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 101, Tel 46
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Morisi

After a year of trying, Morisi finally made it to the table for its inaugral play. All three of us were therefore completely new to the game. This put The Boog as firm favourite for the victory, as he has an impressive history of winning first time he plays most games.

From the start, it was evident that both The Boog and myself had a similar gameplan. We placed our dobbers in close proximity and proceeded to build mirror image trade routes between two cities. Not wanting to be left out, Kev also started to lay tarmac in the same area. Indeed, the first three cities to be connected ended up as the most populated cities.

The Boog and me seemed to be locked into a private battle. More by luck than judgement, I managed to block a couple of his intended builds as our trade networks mushroomed and intertwined and our dobbers stripped off trade cubes. As a player can gain a maximum of one cube each turn, resources are too precious to squander merely for the purpose of hindering an opponent so effort has to be concentrated on growing your own routes.

Kev decided to leave us to our feud and strike out to pastures new. He was soon surrounded by a fertile oasis of trade cubes which he began to use to build a second network.
The other two of us concentrated on expanding a single network and were both rapidly running out of buildings.

Regular readers of Piddinghoe Gamer session reports are well aware of the superhuman ability of the group to get rules wrong. Usually these are subtle oversights or omissions. Tonight however we did ourselves proud by completely missing one of the victory conditions. Despite knowing that the game ended when a player built his last building or took the last cube of a colour, wed failed to spot that placing your last building gives outright victory. In the interest of fairness, we decided to score the victory condition wed been aware of and totted up points for city occupancy. In the end it made little difference as both methods produced the same winner. I just snuck the win by virtue of being seated before The Boog. In his turn, he could have ended the game by either placing his last building or taking the last yellow cube. Kev suffered by splitting his efforts between two networks and not being able to join them.

We all liked this one. Its visually appealing both before and during the game, which is always a bonus. Downtime was short as we kept the pace pretty brisk, and there was always plenty to think about during other players moves. The fact that the board doesnt change dramatically between turns allows a reasonable degree of lookahead without forcing too much analysis. And it works with three people. The game came in at around the advertised 45 minutes, including rules explanation. Forget the theme though - we did after the first couple of seconds.

Scores - Paul 43, Boog 39, Kev 33
Ratings (/10, for this session) - Paul 8, Boog 7, Kev 8

Interestingly, despite only rating the game a 7, The Boog immediately tried to convince the other table to abort their game and play Morisi instead. As his tastes usually lie in short and nasty card games this has to be strong praise for Morisi.
 
Scores : Paul 43, Boog 39, Kev 33
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 7, Kev 8
Winner(s): Paul

Morisi

Surprisingly it has taken over a year for Morisi to finally hit the table. Having heard the other half enthuse about the game theyd just finished I was really looking forward to the game. While theyd played with 3 we started the game as a four player. The board is set up by distributing the 39 hexes into a shape such the the boundary is bot in excess of 22. Each tile then recieves resources matching the tiles colour. 1 if there is a circle on it otherwise 3. The aim of the game is to build trade routes connecting the city tiles. To start with each player places his token onto a hex taking one of teh resources available. Once all tokens are placed the game starts. On a turn a player must move his token to an adjacent tile. If this tile contains any resources the player takes one. He may then optionally build one trade route. Routes must start and end either in a city tile or in a tile containing one of that players routes. To build a route the player must discard a resource matching the colour of the tile the route is passing through. Build a leg of a route that has already been built by someone else is more expensive. As cities are connected the player puts markers into these cities for each other city it is connected to. The game ends when a player gets rid of all his tokens (automatic victory) or when all the resources of one type are exhausted. In the latter case the winner is the person with the most VPs calculated as a combination of the number of cities connected and presence in the biggest three cities.

The game starts quite serenly as player slowly connect neighbouring cities, however the game soon becomes a bit of a brain ache as the board starts to resemble a multi-coloured spiders web. Trying to find routes that will be beneficial and acquiring the relevant resources to do this is certainly a non-trivial task. Oggie seems to have got the hang of it the best as he rapidly expands his network over the whole board conecting city to city. Steves brain appeared to have gone into premature meltdown as he struggled to make sense of the board. Andy turned down the chance of ending the game by bypassing the last orange resource, however Tel immediately took it to manage to connect a new city to his existing trade route that connects 5 other cities. This final act managed to snatch victory from Oggie. Andy just managed to hold Steve off for 3rd.

The components look as if they come straight out of a settlers box, however the game playes radically differently. With 4 the board quickly got very cluttered and it almost becomes a puzzle rather than a game trying to find a route through the mesh of interlocking pieces. The game only got a lukewarm reception from our table. I now want to try the game as a 3 player to see if there is more control or whether this game just appeals to some and not others.

Final Scores
Tel 28, Oggie 36, Andy 29, Steve 27

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 6, Steve 3
 
Scores : Tel 38, Oggie 36, Andy 29, Steve 27
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 6, Steve 3
Winner(s): Tel


05-Nov-2002All month
 
Grusel Wusel

All 24 cards are dealt out. The dealer then roles the 8 dice. The images on the dice match the images on the card, though the differences between the images are slight. The aim is to find a dice that is showing a match with one of your cards. This matching pair is then passed to one of your neighbours, they then check that the two do match if so they get to keep the card and re-roll the dice. If they donít match then they are returned along with any card of the neighbours choice. Players have 1 minute to attempt to get rid of as many cards as possible. Whoever manages to get rid of the most cards over a number of rounds wins.

The game is played at such a frantic pace that I couldnt start to tell you what happened, other then Oggie and Tel managed to get rid of a few cards in the first couple of rounds, this was followed by a few rounds of stalemate. In the final round Tel and Oggie were the only players not to get rid of cards. Oggie claimed victory due to his strong start with Tel holding on for second. Paul brought up the rear.

This is an extremely light game that is ideal as a bit of relief between heavier games but donít expect too much in the way of subtlety or strategy.

Final Scores
Oggie 5, Tel 4, Steve 3, Andy 3, Paul 2

Ratings / 10
Oggie 6, Tel 6, Steve 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
 
Scores : Oggie 5, Tel 4, Steve 3, Andy 3, Paul 2
Ratings: Oggie 6, Tel 6, Steve 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Magellen

Magellen is an auction game. The game consists of 36 cards that are auctioned off, 18 in the first round, 12 in the second and 6 in the last. Each card depicts one of the 6 explorers in the game. In the first round each time a player wins an auction they place one of their ships onto that explorers trail, in future rounds they must advance one of their ships for that explorer. So in the 2nd and 3rd rounds players may only bid on explorers they won auctions for in the previous round. Each player starts with 9 bidding cards, these are valued 1-9. Between each round players draw 2 new random bidding cards. The explorers all give benefits to the players ranging from giving more bidding cards to giving victory points at the end of the game. At the end of the game victory points awarded by the explorers is added to the victory points indicated on the players remaining bidding cards. The player with the highest Vps win.

Andy, Paul and Oggie had all played the game at Essen so had the advantage over Steve and Tel. But the three experienced(!!!!) players all adopted different tactics. For most of the first round Oggie dropped out of every auction, so with only a few cards left it looked like he was going to be dispatched to make the drinks taking no further part in the game. To stay in the game he was forced to pay through the nose to buy some of the later cards. The explorers bonuses seem split between giving victory points at the end of the game and allowing for replenishing bidding cards. Paul seemed to concentrate his efforts gaining cards, he was the only player to manage to win two auctions for the same explorer in the first round. Steve managed to get representation in the same 3 explorers as Paul and one other. Tel managed to totally avoid Paul by getting a presence in the other three explorers. Andy matched each of Tels pieces plus also got one into Paul territory. Oggie had two in Tels explorers and 1 with Paul. Andy was forced to pay more than he wanted for the last card in round one which severly hampered him for the rest of the game. Into the second round, and Steve and Paul managed to close out their private battle by ensuring they both advanced 1 in each of the three explorers they were battling over. Tel managed to advance his piece in each of the other three explorers, Oggie managed to advance in 2 with Andy only managing to win 1 auction in the second round. Paul managed to win the batlle with Steve in the final round 2-1. In the other half Oggie won the first battle, but Tel took the other 2 to leaving Andy to win nothing in the final round. Tel scored 38 Vps from the board and the 10 points left in his hand was enough for victory, Paul claimed only 10 points from the board but the 29 in his hand was enough for second. Oggie just pipped Steve for third with Andy winning the wooden spoon.

This game got a very mixed reception. Oggie, who is not a big fan of auction games, marked the game down as a 5, while Paul rated as high as an 8. As with most games thare is a balancing act to be done, in this case decisions have to be made whether to go for the VP or card producing explorers, also since unused cash scores VPs the decision of when to drop out of auctions is not just a case of how much can I afford. One possible criticism is its replayability, although the boards are reversible so that each explorer has two possible sets of abilities, we can see the game being very similar. However with the number of games in the group I cant see this being a too much of a problem within our group.

Final Scores
Tel 48, Paul 39, Oggie 33, Steve 30, Andy 23

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Paul 8, Oggie 5, Steve 6, Andy 7
 
Scores : Tel 48, Paul 39, Oggie 33, Steve 30, Andy 23
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 8, Oggie 5, Steve 6, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Muckenstich

There if 16 cards in each of 4 colours. Cards numbered 1-11, 2 cards numbered 12 and 3 mosquitos. The cards are shuffled and all bar 4 are dealt out. Each player then discards 2 cards. The game then plays out in a fairly normal trick taking way. The highest card in the first laid colour wins the trick unless its trumped in which case the highest trump takes the trick. Players must follow suit if possible. The twist is that at the start of the game there is no trumps. These are selected by a player as he playes a mosquito card. However the mosquito card is classified as the highest card in a colour for trick taking purposes. For scoring each numbered card is worth 1 point, plays then get -5 for each colour they have a mosquito in. But before we count up theres a couple more twists. The player who won the least number of tricks in the round selects a colour which scores double. Then the player who won the most number of mosqitos chooses a different colour that scores nothing. Whoever has the most number of points after a few hands wins.

We played three hands to end the night. The first hand played extremely unusually with Tel, Paul and Oggie all finding different ways of scoring zero. Steve managed a respectable 10 points, while Andy struggled to a less than impressive -9. In the second round we all scored positive ( most of the mosquitos seem to be discarded), witrh Paul, Steve and Oggie all getting 2, Andy Managed his highest scoring round of the game with 4 and Tel stormed a 15 point hand. Into the final hand and Andys blushes at getting -7 were only spared by Oggies -12, Tel did enough to win though Steve was close behind.

As a rule the group tends to like trick taking games. They are an opportunity for us all to show our killer instincts, and laugh uncomntrollably as we stitch someone up, or even better they stitch themselves up. This is not one of the better trick taking games but still had us all giggling as people discovered new muppet manuevres.

Final Scores
Tel 20, Steve 18, Paul 8, Oggie -10, Andy -12

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Oggie 6, Andy 5
 
Scores : Tel 20, Steve 18, Paul 8, Oggie -10, Andy -12
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Oggie 6, Andy 5
Winner(s): Tel


15-Nov-2002All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 105, Paul 37
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 102, Paul 65
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 69, Paul 30
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


19-Nov-2002All month
 
Puerto Rico

There were only 5 of us this week, so we took the opportunity to get in a game of Puerto Rico.

There were four distinct strategies in play, only Oggie and Andy were playing similar, both going down the Loadsa money approach. Steve tried to flood the market with Corn, Tel was also playing the resource market, however he was after all resources. Kev went for the quarry strategy. About half way through the game everyone assumed Andy had won having managed to get both Markets and an Office making the trader very lucrative. However Oggie (to his left) had also got a large market and was able to pull in some serious money selling coffee. Kev was struggling with a common problem for the quarry route - a lack of cash, so was regularly unable to build despite having 3 populated quarries. Steves plans seemed to have come off the rails shortly after he moved into coffee, when Kev managed to build, nicking the Office that Steve was eyeing up (Andy was suspected of using his Jedi mind tricks to persuade Kev which to buy). Tel was quietly accumulating VPs by selling his goods to the ships. Despite cornering the market in quarries Kev didnt manage to get a single large building. These were split 2 each to Andy and Oggie with Steve claiming the fifth. When Andy signalled the end of the game by filling his city, everyone went through the process of totting up to see how much Andy had won by, but there was a surprise, only 2 points covered the first four, with Steve taking the win. Oggie and Andy tied for 2nd with Tel back in 4th. Kev was way back still working out what to build.

An extremely close finish which surprised everybody, not least Steve who claimed a highly unexpected victory from his position midway through the game. This game is truly becoming a classic, eveyone enjoyed it, everyone was involved, and still nobody has discovered a sure fire way of winning.

Final Scores
Steve 46, Andy 45, Oggie 45, Tel 44, Kev 26

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8, Kev 6
 
Scores : Steve 46, Andy 45, Oggie 45, Tel 44, Kev 26
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8, Kev 6
Winner(s): Steve

Transamerica

Puerto Rico was followed by a couple of games of Transamerica. Each player is trying to connect their 5 randomly cities scattered throughout the United States before anyone else. On his turn a player may lay up to 2 pieces of track from anyway connected to their starting point. Once someone connects their 5 cities everyone else sees how many track pieces were required to complete their target and subtract this number from their score. Once someone falls below the cut off point the game ends.

We played 2 games and both ended after 3 rounds. It is customaty for everyone to complain about how badly their statins are layed out, usually the loudest complainer wins the round. The most worrying thing about Transamerica tonight was just how good Oggie seemed to be at it. Granted Paul, the resident expert, was missing tonight but Oggie tried to fill his boots as king track layer. And sure enough after 3 rounds in the first game Oggie had claimed victorythough only just, as Steve was only a point behind. Kev seemed to be struggling and it was he who managed to end both games. Ogie was in with a shout in the second game until a disastrous last round saw him plummet down the leader board, though he couldnt have expected Kev to be 7 away at the end of the third round to end the game. Tel managed to win the last round and take the game.

Each time I play this I like it more. Its a very simple game that plays very quickly, but is thoroughly enjoyable. I can see this becoming a regular closer to the evenings.

Final Scores
game 1- Oggie 7, Steve 6, Andy 4, Tel 4, Kev 2
game 2- Tel 9, Steve 6, Andy 5, Oggie 4, Kev -2

Ratings / 10
Oggie 8, Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Kev 7
 
Scores : Oggie 7, Steve 6, Andy 4, Tel 4, Kev 2
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Kev 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Transamerica

Scores : Tel 9, Steve 6, Andy 5, Oggie 4, Kev -2
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Kev 7
Winner(s): Tel


22-Nov-2002All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 108, Boog 44, Tel 37
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Boog 105, Paul 28, Tel 23
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog


01-Dec-2002All month
 
For Sale

Another new filler before we start the heavy games. In For Sale players get to first buy then sell 4 houses, whoever has accrued the most money from the sales wins the game. Each player starts with 15 counters. 5 house cards are laid out, they have a numerical value from 0 to 20. Going clockwise players bid tokens, once everyone has finalised their bid the players each choose one house starting with the highest bidder. Everyone then gets half their previous bid back except the winner. This continues untill all players have 4 houses. Having bought 4 properties its now time to cash in of the property boom. Using the deck of cheques, 5 are laid face up ( aqgain these range in value from 0 - 20). Now each player places one of his houses face down. All are revealed and each player takes one cheque starting with the player with the highest valued house. Repeat until 4 times. Tot up the total of each players cheques add to this the number of counters still owned, whoever has the most wins.

Paul bid heavily to win the first auction, taking the 20 valued property with everyone else having to be content single figure properties. Oggie claimed the next round taking the highest of a wide spread of numbers. In the third round everyone got high numbers, with Tel the only person to actually pay anything. He also took the last auction bidding all his remaining counters to win the another high card. The selling phase started and again the highest valued card came out first. Paul used his 20 house to win the 20 cheque. The second round and Tel played his 19 to take the round just beating Oggies 18. The third round and Tel played the 17 to take another round. By the last round all the high bids had gone and a single figure bid waqs enough to win. Totting up the scores and despite not having any counters left Tel still managed a comfortable win. Oggie took second form Andy. Despite getting the 20 Paul only managed to accrue another 17 points to claim 4th with Steve bringing up the rear.

This isnt the cleverest game in the world but does fit the bill as a 10 minute filler. Opinions within the group varied with some liking it as is, others think it should be played over a number of rounds.

Final Scores
Tel 64, Oggie 53, Andy 47, Paul 37, Steve 34

Ratings / 10
Tel 6, Oggie 7, Andy 5, Paul 7, Steve 5
 
Scores : Tel 64, Oggie 53, Andy 47, Paul 37, Steve 34
Ratings: Tel 6, Oggie 7, Andy 5, Paul 7, Steve 5
Winner(s): Tel

Money

A light filler to start the day. Money is played over a number of rounds, at the start of each round there will be four cards to either side of the draw pile. The cards are made up of a number of gold cards all worth 10 and sets of currency cards with 3x20, 3x30, 40, 50, 60 in each currency. Each player starts with a hand of 6 cards and a bluff card. The aim of the game is build your hand up into a collection of preferably a few valuable currencies. Players bid some of there cards by placing them face down in front of them, whoever has bid the most money gets to go first. The have the choice of: taking one of the two hands in the middle or someone elses bid, in either case replacing it with their bid, alternatively they can just return their bid to their hand. If a player only uses his bluff card he takes no part in this round. Once everyone has had a go both the hands in the middle are replenished back to four, and off we go again. The game ends after a final auction when the draw pile is depleted. To score players add up the value in each currency. Totals less than 100 are worthless, between 100 and 200 are worth 100 less than the total, totals over 200 score at face value. Adding these totals to 100 point bonuses for any sets of 3 identical notes gives a final total. Highest total wins.

There appeared to be two strategies at play in the game, Tel and Andy were bidding high to have first choice, while Oggie and Steve were bidding low to claim any cheap bargains. Bidding high enabled Tel and Andy to take whatever cards they wanted, but were forced to recycle the card that were not in their immediate plans. Leaving Steve and Oggie to pick these up for very little. By the end of the game most players had collected either complete or almost complete collections of 1 currency, however Oggie had enough to make a big second currency.

A game with slightly more depth then originally appears. Not only do you have to think about what you want, but keep an eye on what you are dropping as this is almost certainly useful to someone else.

Final Score
Oggie 740, Steve 600, Andy 590, Tel 530

Ratings / 10
Oggie 7, Steve 7, Andy 6, Tel 6
 
Scores : Oggie 740, Steve 600, Andy 590, Tel 530
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 7, Andy 6, Tel 6
Winner(s): Oggie

Princes of Florence

As we had 90 mins to kill before the food was ready we decided to bring out one of those games we keep saying must get played more.

Paul went down the Architect route claiming two early on, and a third towards the end of the game, he also had claimed two jesters by the end of the game. Andy claimed a couple of early jesters, but spent most of the game complaining that he had screwed up by building the wrong building or talking the wrong card (but didnt he come second!). Tel got two early prestige cards, but then realised that he was going to struggle to complete both, the attempts to keep both alive screwed up his building area preventing the completion of two of his works. Both Oggie and Steve went for early landscapes, with Steve then picking up a couple of prestige cards that went on to score him huge points. Paul managed to get a couple of free buildings in from his 3 architects, but wasnt able to produce enough works. Andy managed to produce 2 works on the last round to almost claim victory. But it was Steve who claimed victory after cashing in big time on his prestige cards.

Weve never had a bad game of POF ( Apart from the game when we got the rules badly wrong). I think this would probably hit the table more if Puerto Rico wasnt around, but when youve got two such great games I guess the hardship of playing them both is one well just have to live with ;). A great game as the ratings below show.

Final Score
Steve 48, Andy 46, Tel 41. Paul 38, Oggie 38

Ratings / 10
Steve 9, Andy 9, Tel 8, Paul 9, Oggie 8
 
Scores : Steve 48, Andy 46, Paul 44, Tel 41, Oggie 38
Ratings: Steve 9, Andy 9, Paul 9, Tel 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Steve

Wallenstein

Compared to games we normally play (45 - 90 mins) Wallenstien is a long game (180 mins). So we decided to try it on a Sunday when the normal time constraints didnt matter. Andy had heard good things about it so he picked it up at Essen. The game is played out on a map centered on old Germany, and is split into a number of districts (colour coded). Each district is then split into a number of countries. Each country has three attributes: gold production, corn production and a number of cities. There is a card for each country, and this is held by the player currently ruling that country. In the usual game the first task is to determine who owns which countries, but since this was our first game we played with the suggested starting setup. With five of us each player got 7 countries, and these were then populated with some armies. The game plays over 2 years with each year being split into 4 seasons. The first 3 seasons of each year is when players perform actions, with the 4th season being reserved for a scoring round. There are 10 different actions per turn( variants on build, produce, reinforce and attack) these are randomly arranged each season. What the players have to decide is in which country they want each action to occur. A country can have only one action per season. A random action is also applied to each season once all actions have been determined. The player order is also shuffled each season. The novel part of Wallenstein is how combat is resolved. When an attack is declared each player decides how many armies (cubes) are involved in the battle. These are then collected together and dropped into the supplied tower. The tower has a number of shelves which catch some of the cubes, previously caught cubes may be disturbed and ejected. The battle resolution depends on what comes out of the tower. Of the two intersted parties whoever has the least loses the battle and all the armies involved, the victor loses as many armies as the loser and places the remaining armies in the contested country. The scoring round firstly ensures enough grain has been produced for each country owned. Then points are scored for each country, each building and for the owner of each type of building in each of the districts.


The game started with Steve being very aggressive attacking Paul with a large army. Tel went on an expansion drive conquering 4 neutral countries, Oggie also captured one while Andys magnificent attacking army was defeated by a pack of pitchfork wielding farmers. Paul claimed to have placed the wrong card on the attack square so aplogised while capturing one of Andys countries. Of the first 4 event cards 3 were targetted at a single district. This hit Steve particulary hard as he gambled incorrectly on there outcome. Oggie seemed to be having problems with the tower as regardless of how many were thrown in, they just didnt want to come out. Paul went on a building spree at the expense of his armies, but was lucky as everyone seemed to be in consolidationb mode towards the end of the first year. Tel ended the first year with the largest empire (11), however 4 of his countries were suffering with starvation as he hadnt produced enough corn throughout the year, this forced two of his countries into revolt, but neither caused any damage, infact one made his army stronger. Everyone else had similar size empires, but it was Paul who stood out from the crowd due to his proliferationb of churches and palaces. And so into the second year. The time of peace was soon broken with battles galore in the 2nd year. Two countries were totally devastated. Once again 1 country was the target of 2 of the event cards, with a third providing sanctuary for countries with churches. This was the card that caused major problems for Steve. Both Paul and Oggie were eyeing up a couple of Andys poorly defended countries, when the sactuary came out, in both cases the attacking armies were only left with one route, to attack (and capture) one of Steves countries. This left Steve without any gold production for a year, and effectively knocked him out of the running. The final season saw a major battle between Tel and Paul. First Paul captured one of Tels countries in the west, and then came the battle from hell. 9 of Pauls armies attacked a country defended by 12 of Tels. Tel managed to win the battle quite convincingly after half of Pauls troops decided to wait in the tower in preparation for the counter attack. However Tel bottled it and instead of attacking back into Pauls weakened country, decided to take a previously devasted neutral country. Andy had struggled for corn production throughout the second year, and came up 4 grain short. This caused 2 revolts, with the farmers again proving superior to Andys armies, devastating both countries. And so after nearly 3 hours of play the game was over. Tel claimed victory, with Paul and Andy sharing 2nd, Oggie just managed to beat Steve.

Firstly let me say that despite not usualyy being a fan of longer games, this game seemed to play a lot quicker then the 3 hours we were playing. There is obviously a good game here, but we did have one big problem with it, the random event cards. Four are drawn at the start of the year, with one randomly selected after everyone has determined there moves. WHY?. Why cant the event card be decided before people lay their country cards. This will give everyone the chance to work around this random factor, in a game that is already driven by the randomness of the tower. Talking of the tower, I was dubious before the game as to its effectiveness. It is random and occasionally we got unexpected results, but on the whole it worked well and did provide a certain degree of excitement. I certainly look forward to playing this again, but next time well probably determine the event card before the players choose their actions.

Final Scores
Tel 47, Paul 39, Andy 39, Oggie 32, Steve 30

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 8, Oggie 6, Steve 6
 
Scores : Tel 47, Paul 39, Andy 39, Steve 36, Oggie 32
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 8, Steve 6, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Tel


03-Dec-2002All month
 
Alles im Aimer

Scores : Boog 11, Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 4, Steve 0, Andy 0
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8, Steve 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Boog

Alles im Aimer

Scores : Boog 3, Paul 2, Steve 0
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Boog

Alles im Aimer

Scores : Boog 3, Paul 3, Steve 0
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Boog, Paul

Carcassonne

Scores : Boog 130, Steve 91, Paul 80
Ratings: Boog 8, Steve 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 100, Paul 64, Boog 19
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7, Boog 8
Winner(s): Tel

Transamerica

Scores : Oggie 6, Boog 5, Tel 3, Paul 2, Andy 1, Steve 1
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Andy 7, Steve 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Trias

Scores : Tel 31, Oggie 23, Andy 19
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel


10-Dec-2002All month
 
Ra

Ra would almost certainly appear in my list of top 10 games ( Im just not sure what the other 9 would be). Its very simple auction mechanism, multiple scoring methods and quick game time add up to a great game that can be won in a number of ways.

Despite vigourously shaking the cloth bag containing all the tiles, we did not get a particularly random distribution to the tiles (disclaimer for probability nuts. Of course it was random, it just didnt appear that way). The first two rounds seem to take an eternity to play, this was due to some extent of Kev playing his first game of Ra, so being unsure of what to do, but mostly down to the fact that there seemed to be a shortage of Ra tiles. In a usual game within the group there are a lot of player called Ras, this just wasnt the case tonight. For the first 2 rounds most of the auctions were caused by a Ra tile being drawn. There seemed to be a lot of god and civ tiles in the first round with very few pharoahs hitting the table. By the end of the first round Tel had managed to open up a lead due to collecting a hatfull of niles (and a flood) managing to eak out a majority in the limited pharoahs and somehow managing to capture three identical civs. The second round saw a few more pharoahs begin to appear, and a lot of monuments. As usual Andy was colllecting as many different monuments as possible, while Oggie was collecting specific monuments. Although we started to get a few more player calls of Ra, we were still getting fewer calls than usual, so it came as a bit of a surprise to find that Kev managed to win a whole row of tiles to win the last auction of the round. People were obviously more edgy in the last round as we knew there was a high proportion of Ra tiles left in the bag, so the last round saw more player called auctions (usually followed immediately by a Ra tile). By this time players were keen to finish the game as the usual 45 minute game had dragged out to 90. So it was with some relief that the final Ra tile was drawn to bring the game to an end. Andy had managed to acquire all 8 monuments (nothing new there) managing 3 of one of them. Oggie had managed to collect 4 of a monument and 3 of another, with both Kev and Steve managing the 3 of a kind. Andy got the only flood of the final round, so managed an impressive catch of points from the final round. But his poor showing in the first two rounds left hoime back in third. He did manage to pip Steve to that position who had managed a consistent scoring run throughout the 3 turns. Kev struggled back in last, but this was undertandable in his first game. Oggie managed a big final round total to bring his final total to 43 the same as Tel. A frantic search through the rule book showed that the tiebreaker ( that none of us knew anything about) was the largest sun, which was held by Tel.

The game just took too long tonight, taking twice its normal length. Both Tel and Oggie enjoyed the game, but both Andy and Steve felt the game suffered from some poor decision making, giving unfair advantages to other players. Kev had mixed feelings for the game. Overall a disappointing session for a game that is usually so well received. My overall impression remains unchanged, this is still a great game, one ropey game in a dozen isnt bad.

Final Scores
Tel 43 , Oggie 43, Andy 40, Steve 36, Kev 25

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 5, Steve 6, Kev 6
 
Scores : Tel 43, Oggie 43, Andy 40, Steve 36, Kev 25
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 5, Steve 6, Kev 6
Winner(s): Tel

Taj Mahal

Scores : Steve 38, Oggie 34, Tel 26, Kev 25, Andy 20
Ratings: Steve 8, Oggie 8, Tel 6, Kev 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve


17-Dec-2002All month
 
6 Nimmt!

On the last Tuesday before Christmas its traditional to play lighter games, while scoffing food. And so this year we started with 6 Nimmt.

The basic premise of the game is to avoid capturing cards, a fact that seemed to have totally passed Paul by. Regardless of what he did in the first round it invariably meant he got to pick a row of cards up. So it came as no surprise to find that at the end of the first round hed managed to acquire a total more then everyone else put together. He even managed to get 2 thirds of the way towards ending the game. Now being as it is Christmas, the time for charity and goodwill to all men, both Andy and Steve tried their best to help Paul carry the burden in the second round, by winning as many cards as possible, but when your in one of those games, theres not a lot you can do and Paul once again managed to collect a sizeable amount despite Andy and Steves best efforts, and so it was that we managed to finish the game after only 2 hands, with Paul claiming a resounding defeat. Steve actually managed to outscore Paul in the last round to claim 5th pushing Andy up to 4th. Back up at the top end of the leader board things couldnt have been mush closer with Oggie just claiming victory by a point from Tel with Boog a further point back in third.

The perfect game for Christmas Tuesday, a game that cant be taken too seriously but played very quickly.

Final Scores
Oggie 7, Tel 8, Boog 9, Andy 24, Steve 44, Paul 71

Ratings / 10
Oggie 8, Tel 8, Boog 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Paul 7
 
Scores : Paul 71, Steve 44, Andy 24, Boog 9, Tel 8, Oggie 7
Ratings: Paul 7, Steve 8, Andy 8, Boog 8, Tel 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Grass

We do have a serious problem with this game. The end game condition is when someone hits 1 million. Over the games weve played of this everyone averages a negative total. We could play until the proverbial cows came home after a detour via Alpha Centauri and still wouldnt be any closer to finishing then we had been at the start of the game. Hence we play the game for either a set number rounds or to a time limit.

Now after having that rant I must confess that 2 of the group did manage to end the game positive, though both did manage 2 positive and 2 negative rounds. The first round played out as usual, one person (Steve) managed to open an early market, only to find that everytime it got back to him the heat was on. He managed to get rid of the first few but then got stuck with one that he couldnt get rid of, so depite being the only player with an open market for most of the game, he didnt get to make any money. Eventually a couple of other markets opened, by whiuch time Steve had managed to attract most peoples heat on cards, allowing Paul to slap 50k down and then close the market. Ending the first round as the only player positive. The next couple of rounds follwoed suit with one player managing to close the market after getting a cash card to the table. Only the final round played any differently. Andy seemed to be drawing all the market closed cards but didnt see any market opens, so most of the others managed to get their markets open and laid a couple of money cards between heat on cards. By the time someone eventually got a market close, 4 of the 6 players had managed to accumulate positive scores, in most cases not enough to wipeout their negatives. Oggie claimed his 2nd victory of the night just pipping Paul who can claim a moral victory having never seen his total score dip below zero. Andy was the best of the negative scorers beating Tel for 3rd. Boog and Steve both scored in the groups usual scoring range, with Steve almost getting a third of the way to the million (negative)

I can only assume that we are either playing the game with the wrong rules or playing it not as the designer expected. It still does provide plenty of entertainment, and fitted perfectly into the mood of the night, but I Dont think well ever see that mystical 1 million.

Final Scores
Oggie 75, Paul 46, Andy -15, Tel -27, Boog -192, Steve -310

Ratings / 10
Oggie 8, Paul 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Boog 8, Steve 7
 
Scores : Oggie 75, Paul 46, Andy -15, Tel -27, Boog -192, Steve -310
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Boog 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Sticheln

We ended the night with a game Sticheln. When we first started to play this, it was a case of screw everyone else at all costs, which provided much fun and entertainment. The game tonight was a much more studied game with everyone being careful about what they played. This seemed to suck some of the fun out of the game for som eof the players. Much of the games entertainment is in seeing people reluctantly win cards in their misery colour, which just wasnt happening.

This first round saw all six players choosing different misery colours. After winning the first 2 games Oggie kept up his good run by openeing a big lead in the opening hand. He managed to hold onto the lead in the second round. However a big score for Tel in the final round saw him claim victory to deprive Oggie of a clean sweep.

Some of the marks for tonights game were quite low compared to its usual ratings. This was because everyone was being very cagey (except Steve in the last round) which made the game quite dry. Personally I quite enjoyed the game as it was provided a bit more depth to the game but some players marked it down because compared it to previous raucous games it was not as entertaining.

Final Scores
Tel 33, Oggie 23, Paul 20, Andy 13, Boog -12, Steve -42

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Andy 6, Boog 7, Steve 7
 
Scores : Tel 33, Oggie 23, Paul 20, Andy 13, Boog -12, Steve -42
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Andy 6, Boog 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel


20-Dec-2002All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Boog 122, Tel 62, Paul 58
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Boog 110, Paul 56, Tel 18
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Boog 34, Tel -21, Paul -37
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog


22-Dec-2002All month
 
Cairo

Scores : Oggie 41, Paul 35, Tel 34, Andy 16, Anne 16
Ratings: Oggie 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 7, Anne 6
Winner(s): Oggie

Die sieben weisen

Scores : Paul 30, Oggie 28, Tel 24, Andy 20
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 7, Tel 6, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul

Meine schafe deine schafe

Scores : Andy 10, Tel 10, Oggie 7, Paul 5
Ratings: Andy 6, Tel 7, Oggie 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy, Tel

Pit

Scores : Andy 235, Tel 110, Paul 60, Anne -40, Oggie -40
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Anne 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy

Royal Turf

Scores : Tel 2750, Oggie 1950, Paul 1400, Andy 850, Anne 450
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Andy 7, Anne 7
Winner(s): Tel

Street Soccer

Scores : Paul 1, Andy 0
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Paul

Street Soccer

Scores : Tel 2, Oggie 1
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Tel

Street Soccer

Scores : Oggie 5, Andy 0
Ratings: Oggie 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Street Soccer

Scores : Paul 1, Tel 1
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul, Tel


07-Jan-2003All month
 
Foppen

The night started with a new game. Foppen (or Fool) is a game where the aim of each round is to be the first to get rid of all you cards. There are numbered cards in 4 different colours and 4 colourless 1 cards. The lead player lays a card, the other players must then follow suit if possible. The aim of the hand is to ensure you dont become the fool. If everyone followed suit then the fool is the player playing the lowest card, if some broke ranks then the fool is the lowest card of the non starting colour. The fool cannot participate in the next hand. Wheoever played the highest card in the lead colour start sthe next hand. The round ends with hand in which a player plays his last card. At this point all players with no cards score 10 points unless they are now the fool. Players still holding cards get negative for each card. Whoever has the highest score after a number of rounds win.

Now, as is traditional, we got it wrong. We ( when I say we I mean Paul) didnt read the rule about scoring, so we played each round as a complete game. Which meant that a bad deal made a game a nohoper. The is almost certainly reflected in the scores that were given to the game hence Im not going to give them. But given that we were only playing it to give the final member of the group time to arrive, we would have only played the two hands anyway. In the first hand Paul and Steve kept possession of the fool for the first half of the game. Tel and Boog both claimed it once late in the round to give Andy victory. In the second round Steve and Andy were playing ping pong with the fool, with the other three all claiming the fool just once in the game.

Each hand takes about 5 minutes to play, so the game fits the mantle of a filler game. It is also extremely light, criticisms that it is too light could be due to our misinterpretation of the rules. Given that it will be competing with Hattrick, Sticheln David & Goliath and 6 nimmt, I cant see it hitting the tabl etoo often, but would like to play it again just to play it properly.
 
Scores : Boog , Andy , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Boog 6, Andy 3, Paul 6, Steve 5, Tel 5
Winner(s): Boog, Andy

Hattrick

Scores : Kev 20, Andy 17, Paul 14, Tel 5, Steve 3
Ratings: Kev 8, Andy 8, Paul 7, Tel 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Kev

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Boog 105, Tel 95, Paul 59
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Boog

Union Pacific

Half of the group had played this before back in June, but the other half were UP virgins. So after a description of the rules we were into the game.

After the first complete turn only Paul had decided not to lay a track, this immediately payed dividends as the first scoring round came up shortly into the second round. Giving Paul an early 5 point lead. This then caused a frantic laying of share cards. Followed by a period of track laying. The second scoring card came up, as we had 3 reasonably large networks ( about 10 trains) with the rest only being a couple long. Tel held the majority in the largest network, was 2nd in another large one and held the most UP shares to claim the most earnings from this round. Both Boog and Kev then laid shares before the third scoring card was drawn. UP was now a 3 way tie, but Tel still claimed the most money. To everyones annoyance the final scoring immediately came up. This gave Tel a comfortable victory. The dissapointing thing was that the game had ended with over half the share cards still available. Steve hadnt had a turn between the 2nd scoring round and the end of the game. Some how the three scoring cards had been shuffled together despite being split when placed in the pack.

The problem with this type of end condition is that it can leave a bad taste, especially when you consider we only actually playu the game every six months. For future games we will use the variant that ensures that the scoring cards are at least distributed into the releative quarters of the deck. The frustrating things was that the game was progressing quite nicely with a couple of personal duels just starting to emerge. Hopefully we wont have to wait 6 months for this to hit the table again.

Final Scores
Tel 89, Boog 76, Kev 68, Paul 63, Andy 60, Steve 34

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Boog 7, Kev 9, Paul 7, Andy 5, Steve 6

As a group we have mixed feelings about railway games.
 
Scores : Tel 89, Boog 76, Kev 68, Paul 63, Andy 60, Steve 34
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 7, Kev 9, Paul 7, Andy 5, Steve 6
Winner(s): Tel


10-Jan-2003All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 131, Tel 59
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


14-Jan-2003All month
 
Abenteuer Menschheit

To my shame I dont own any games from the Settlers stable (apart from a couple of the card games in german). To rectify this embaressing omission, the game at the top of my wish list for Essen last year was this new game by Klaus Teuber. It takes the Settlers mechanics, then adds some new ideas to create a game that is identifiably from the settlers stable but different enough to stand on its own. The game is played on a fixed board comprising hexagons in the rough shape of the continents of earth. The Hexes are in 4 different colours each containing a number 2 - 12. Each intersection is marked either with a light brown circle or a circle of one of 5 colours. All the non-black/non-light brown circles are covered by a people chit of the matching colour. Event chips are place on the board in the marked places. These are claimed by the first person to pass along the relevant hex side. The game start with everyone placing 3 tribes onto the intersections marked with black circles. These are all in Africa. Each player then gets to place one nomad marker next to one of his tribes.

Were now ready to start. Game play will be familiar to all Settlers fan. Roll a dice, all hexes with the corresponding number provide resource to all tribes camped at one of its vertices. On a 7 all players with 8 or more cards have to discard half their cards with the current player then moving the Neanderthal (Robber restricted to Eurasia and Africa) stealing a resource from a player who has a tribe on that hex. Next we have a trading phase, the current player can make trades with other players or perform a 3:1 trade with the bank. Finally we have the build phase and this is where things change a little. There are 4 options in the build phase. Movement- for each meat card the player can move one of his nomads along 2 vertices. Build Nomad: 1 meat + 1 skin allows the production of a nomad, however each player is only allowed 2. Convert nomad to tribe: If a nomad is currently sitting on a people chit, 1 flint + 1 Skin + 1 bone allows the conversion of this nomad into a tribe. This wins the player the people chit which becomes a VP. Each player is only allowed 5 tribes, so if a 6th tribe is built one of the previous tribes is destroyed, in Africa if possible. The final possible action is to advance along one of the 4 development tracks. Each advancement has a different cost and each track goes from 0 - 5. The first player to reach 5 on each track claims a VP and prevents anyone else from reaching the end of that track. Advancing along 1 track allows the player to move either the Neanderthal or Carnivore (the robbers). A 2nd track increases a nomads movement rate. Certain vertices on the board are marked with 2 numbers, these are the required level on the remaining 2 tracks that are needed to travel along that path. The first player to pass along these vertices collects the corresponding action chit. These action chit either provide a vp, allow the player to move a robber or force the conversion of one of the hexes in Africa to desert. There are two cards that are worth 2 VP. The first belongs to the player who has collected the most action chits. The second goes to the first player to collect at least one of each of the four people chit. The second player to achiece this gets a free people chit ( 1 VP). Vicotry is claimed by being the first player to score 10 VP.

A couple of early 4s gave Tel enough cards to charge into asia and build an early tribe. This gave him an early resource advantage. He used this to advantage to pick up a couple of event chits, both of which were deserts, giving him an even greater resource advantage. Boog was concetrating on expanding his tribe, by picking up an early movement boost he was able to get out of africa and get a couple of tribes on the board. Oggie seemed intent on progressing all the development tracks but at the cost of his tribe expansion. Paul was struggling for resources, but seemed to be playing a rounded game trying to do a bit of everything. Tel was using his resource advantage to advance all the development tracks and targetted the event chits, he was slightly hamstrung in that he wasnt getting any skins, and because of his lead everyone refused to trade with him. Boogs expansion policy claimed him the 2VP for being the first player with tribes in all 4 peoples. For three turns running Paul didnt see a single resource mainly due to a run of 7 and 9s. This also slowed Tel down as the Robber invariably hit him. Tel had managed to claim the VP card for 2 of the development tracks, two from the action chits, had the 2vp card for the most action chits, so when he managed to build his 4th tribe, he claimed victory (11vp due to free people chit as 2nd to claim all 4 people). Boog had managed to build 5 tribes + the 2VP for the first of each people. Both Paul and Oggie had managed to build 3 tribes, with Paul also managing to get a VP from an action chit.

I was very impressed after a first play, the game took 2 hours to play but that seemed to fly by. A couple of the group thought Settlers was a little overrated with initial Placement too important and finding that a leader is seldom caught. Obviously after one play we dont know if this is going to suffer the same, but there certainly are more options, especially the opportunities to trash a key resource provider in Africa, or leave a non-productive tribe. I am certainly hoping to play this again soon, but as its only 2-4 players opportunites will by restrictive within our group.

Final Scores
Tel 11, Boog 7, Paul 4, Oggie 3

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8, Oggie 7
 
Scores : Tel 11, Boog 7, Paul 4, Oggie 3
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

David and Goliath

Scores : Boog 98, Tel 82, Paul 81, Oggie 77
Ratings: Boog 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Boog

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 106, Paul 5, Boog -6
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Tel


28-Jan-2003All month
 
Liberte

Scores : Paul , Andy , Steve
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 9, Steve 8
Winner(s): Steve


18-Feb-2003All month
 
Hick Hack in Gackelwack

Scores : Andy 31, Steve 30, Boog 26, Paul 25, Tel 23
Ratings: Andy 7, Steve 7, Boog 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy

Hick Hack in Gackelwack

Scores : Tel 52, Steve 36, Andy 28, Boog 27, Paul 19
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 7, Boog 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Hick Hack in Gackelwack

Scores : Tel 36, Paul 35, Steve 34, Boog 21, Andy 11
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Steve 7, Boog 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Merchants of Amsterdam

Scores : Steve 133, Andy 113, Boog 111, Paul 96, Tel 73
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 9, Boog 7, Paul 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve


25-Feb-2003All month
 
Hick Hack in Gackelwack

Scores : Tel 37, Steve 34, Paul 32, Andy 31
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Hick Hack in Gackelwack

Scores : Tel 57, Paul 29, Andy 26, Steve 20
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Stephensons Rocket

Scores : Paul 74, Andy 67, Tel 59, Steve 58
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Paul


04-Mar-2003All month
 
Abenteuer Menschheit

Scores : Tel 10, Boog 9, Steve 6
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 9, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel

Puerto Rico

Scores : Tel 57, Boog 53, Steve 53
Ratings: Tel 9, Boog 9, Steve 9
Winner(s): Tel


11-Mar-2003All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Steve 98, Tel 72, Andy 65, Boog 43, Oggie 41
Ratings: Steve 7, Tel 8, Andy 7, Boog 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Steve

Magellen

Scores : Andy 57, Oggie 46, Tel 37, Boog 32, Steve 13
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 6, Tel 7, Boog 5, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy

Mamma Mia!

Scores : Tel 4, Steve 4, Andy 3, Boog 3, Oggie 3
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Steve

Pit

Scores : Steve 310, Oggie 100, Tel 0, Boog 0, Andy -60
Ratings: Steve 8, Oggie 9, Tel 8, Boog 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Steve


18-Mar-2003All month
 
Dragon Delta

A guaranteed way to ensure a chaotic start to the evening is to begin with Dragon Delta.

After a fairly uneventful first round, it became business as usual in the second. A couple of players went for a plunge and Tel found himself as the nearest to his target island which of course marked him as a clear target. True to colours in the next round all 6 players played a dragon, 5 of them aimed at Tel, allowing him only 1 action this round. This allowed Boog to charge down the board to finish the round a double move from victory. He was of course blocked via dragons for half of the round, this allowed Tel to make a charge for victory, to be thwarted by Steves dragon as he was about to step onto the Island. While everyone was watching Tel and Boog, Paul quietly managed to creep his way to victory. The game was over in four rounds.

As usual there was the stop the leader element to this game and as usual the leader changed a few times, however we did mange to finish the game very quickly which is a change. Still a good game if a little chaotic at times. There is a lot more to this game then first appears.

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Boog 8, Steve7, Andy 7, Oggie 7, Tel 7
 
Scores : Paul , Steve , Tel , Oggie , Andy , Boog
Ratings: Paul 8, Steve 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Boog 8
Winner(s): Paul

Limits

Scores : Steve 3, Boog 0, Paul 0, Tel -1, Oggie -2, Andy -5
Ratings: Steve 8, Boog 8, Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve

Limits

Scores : Oggie 1, Boog 1, Steve 1, Tel 1, Andy -1, Paul -4
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 8, Steve 8, Tel 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie, Boog, Steve, Tel

Transamerica

We then played 2 games of Transamerica.
After the obligatory screams of how awful peoples starting hands were, each round started and in the first game Steve and Boog shared winning the rounds. Andy stormed down the scoring track (a bad thing) only to be caught by Paul at the end. Tel and Oggie finished in mid table obscurity with Steve just pipping Boog to the win. The second game was a much closer afair with Andy looking favourite to win after the first 2 hands. As a real novelty we actually had to move the finish line after the second hand as nobody was close to ending the game. Howerver Steve managed a fairly quick connection of his 5 cities in the third hand. This caused Tel to cross the finish line and end the game. Andy had a bit of a mare in the last hand losing the lead, leaving it up to Oggie to challenge Steve supremacy, but Steve again took victory.

There are obviously tactics to this game that totally pass me by. I havent got a clue how to win this one. Im tempted to say that its all down to the pure luck of which cities you draw, and for a single hand this is possibly true however for Steve to win both games implies that either he was extremely lucky or more likely has discovered a winning strategy that has totally passed me by. Nevertheless this is an excellent fun game to play and one I want to keep playing just to discover that elusive secret winning formula.

Final Scores
Game21
Steve 8, Boog 7, Oggie 3, Tel 1, Andy -2, Paul -2
Game 2
Steve 8, Oggie 7, Boog 5, Andy 4, Paul 4, Tel 2

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Boog 8, Paul 8, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Tel 7
 
Scores : Steve 8, Boog 7, Oggie 3, Tel 1, Andy -2, Paul -2
Ratings: Steve 8, Boog 8, Oggie 7, Tel 7, Andy 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Steve

Transamerica

Scores : Steve 8, Oggie 7, Boog 5, Andy 4, Paul 4, Tel 2
Ratings: Steve 8, Oggie 7, Boog 8, Andy 7, Paul 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve


01-Apr-2003All month
 
Big City

Woo hoo
 
Scores : Steve 76, Paul 70, Andy 50, Tel 49, Oggie 44
Ratings: Steve 7, Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Steve

Klunker

Scores : Oggie 14, Steve 11, Andy 10, Tel 9, Paul 5
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 5, Andy 7, Tel 6, Paul 6
Winner(s): Oggie

Klunker

Scores : Oggie 13, Steve 11, Andy 8, Tel 5, Paul 2
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 5, Andy 7, Tel 6, Paul 6
Winner(s): Oggie


10-Apr-2003All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 136, Paul 118
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 118, Paul 44
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


11-Apr-2003All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 122, Paul 73
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 75, Tel 11
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


21-Apr-2003All month
 
Alles im Aimer

Scores : Steve 3, Susan 1, Tel 0, Andy 0
Ratings: Steve 7, Susan 8, Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve

Amun-Re

Scores : Steve 47, Oggie 42, Anne 41, Boog 40
Ratings: Steve 8, Oggie 8, Anne 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Steve

Carcassonne

Scores : Steve 84, Boog 76, Paul 74, Oggie 73, Tel 69, Andy 59
Ratings: Steve 7, Boog 7, Paul 7, Oggie 8, Tel 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve

Fische Fluppen Frikadellen

Scores : Andy , Tel , Paul , Susan , Boog , Anne , Oggie , Steve
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Susan 9, Boog 7, Anne 7, Oggie 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy

Guillotine

Scores : Tel 21, Andy 17, Steve 16
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Guillotine

Scores : Andy 30, Steve 20, Susan 17, Tel 16
Ratings: Andy 7, Steve 7, Susan 5, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy

Guillotine

Scores : Paul 22, Oggie 12, Anne 12, Boog 7
Ratings: Paul 7, Oggie 7, Anne 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Paul

Paris Paris

Scores : Steve 45, Andy 32, Susan 30, Tel 28
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Susan 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve

Paris Paris

Scores : Paul 25, Oggie 23, Boog 18, Anne 18
Ratings: Paul 6, Oggie 6, Boog 5, Anne 4
Winner(s): Paul

Samuraii

Scores : Andy , Steve , Susan , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Steve 7, Susan 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel

Torres

Scores : Paul 248, Andy 222, Tel 215, Susan 180
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Susan 5
Winner(s): Paul


22-Apr-2003All month
 
Puerto Rico

Scores : Oggie 50, Tel 48, Andy 45, Steve 34, Paul 33
Ratings: Oggie 7, Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie


29-Apr-2003All month
 
6 Nimmt!

Scores : Paul 78, Tel 56, Boog 47, Andy 36, Oggie 35, Steve 8
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7, Boog 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Steve

Billabong

Scores : Tel , Boog , Andy , Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 5, Andy 7, Steve 6, Oggie 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Carcassonne

Scores : Tel 110, Steve 104, Andy 95, Paul 91, Oggie 83, Boog 80
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 8, Paul 7, Oggie 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 110, Paul 88
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 83, Tel 82
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


06-May-2003All month
 
Acquire

Scores : Steve 44400, Andy 35100, Tel 30400, Paul 27600, Oggie 22000
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Steve

Lifeboat

Scores : Paul 29, Steve 25, Andy 23, Tel 18, Oggie 12
Ratings: Paul 7, Steve 7, Andy 8, Tel 3, Oggie 5
Winner(s): Paul


20-May-2003All month
 
Amun-Re

Scores : Paul 41, Oggie 38, Tel 35, Steve 29
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8, Steve 8
Winner(s):

Tichu

Scores : Steve 160, Tel 160, Oggie 49, Paul 40
Ratings: Steve 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Steve, Tel


23-May-2003All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 113, Boog 8, Paul 4
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 117, Paul 41, Boog 22
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 55, Boog 24, Paul 0
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


25-May-2003All month
 
BANG!

Scores : Paul , Steve , Tel , Oggie , Andy , Anne
Ratings: Paul 8, Steve 8, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 6, Anne 7
Winner(s): Paul, Steve

Fistful of Dragonstones

Scores : Oggie , Andy , Paul , Tel , Steve
Ratings: Oggie 6, Andy 3, Paul 4, Tel 5, Steve 5
Winner(s): Oggie

Hick Hack in Gackelwack

Scores : Tel 63, Anne 37, Paul 26, Andy 26, Steve 13
Ratings: Tel 7, Anne 8, Paul 7, Andy 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Mississippi Queen - Black Rose

Scores : Tel , Andy , Paul , Steve , Oggie , Anne
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Paul 8, Steve 8, Oggie 7, Anne 6
Winner(s): Tel

Monkeys on the Moon

Scores : Tel 17, Andy 16, Steve 11
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel

Muckenstich

Scores : Oggie 344, Paul 334, Anne 283, Steve 247, Andy 233
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 7, Anne 7, Steve 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Oggie

Ricochet Robot

Scores : Tel 5, Steve 4, Andy 4, Paul 3, Oggie 1
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 7, Andy 7, Paul 7, Oggie 4
Winner(s): Tel

RoboRally

Scores : Paul , Tel , Oggie , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Paul 6, Tel 7, Oggie 6, Steve 6, Andy 6
Winner(s): Paul


27-May-2003All month
 
Light Speed

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Paul , Steve
Ratings: Tel 5, Oggie 6, Paul 7, Steve 6
Winner(s): Tel, Oggie

Trias

Scores : Oggie 37, Tel 25, Steve 15, Paul 4
Ratings: Oggie 9, Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie


03-Jun-2003All month
 
David and Goliath

Scores : Boog 186, Andy 161, Paul 149, Tel 121, Steve 115, Oggie 103
Ratings: Boog 8, Andy 7, Paul 7, Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Boog

Showmanager

Scores : Oggie 43, Paul 38, Andy 37, Steve 37, Tel 33, Boog 33
Ratings: Oggie 7, Paul 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Tel 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Vabanque

Scores : Paul 810, Oggie 520, Tel 445, Steve 410, Andy 230, Boog 150
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 7, Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Paul


10-Jun-2003All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Tel 167, Steve 133, Boog 108, Andy 102, Oggie 69
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Boog 7, Andy 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

Drakon

Scores : Andy 5, Boog 4, Tel 4, Oggie 3, Steve 3
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 8, Tel 8, Oggie 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy


17-Jun-2003All month
 
Abenteuer Menschheit

Scores : Steve 10, Boog 10, Tel 7, Andy 6
Ratings: Steve 8, Boog 7, Tel 7, Andy 8
Winner(s): Steve, Boog

Modern Art

Scores : Boog 451, Steve 414, Tel 369, Andy 348
Ratings: Boog 8, Steve 8, Tel 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Boog


24-Jun-2003All month
 
Nicht die Bohn

Scores : Steve 130, Paul 112, Boog 98, Andy 94, Tel 79, Oggie 42
Ratings: Steve 7, Paul 7, Boog 8, Andy 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Steve

Vinci

Scores : Oggie 109, Steve 104, Andy 102, Tel 91, Boog 71
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Wheedle

Scores : Tel 47, Boog 38, Andy 38, Paul 34, Steve 28, Oggie 19
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 6, Andy 7, Paul 7, Steve 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Tel


26-Jun-2003All month
 
Al Capone - Mystery Rummy 4

Scores : Boog 104, Tel 97, Paul 92, Oggie 80
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Boog


01-Jul-2003All month
 
Amun-Re

Scores : Oggie 49, Tel 43, Boog 32, Steve 29, Andy 27
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8, Boog 8, Steve 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Formula Motor Racing

Scores : Oggie 19, Boog 11, Steve 11, Tel 10, Andy 9
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 8, Steve 8, Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Oggie


08-Jul-2003All month
 
Fresh Fish

Scores : Oggie 15, Tel 11, Andy 11, Steve 8, Paul -4
Ratings: Oggie 7, Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Princes of Florence

Scores : Oggie 58, Tel 49, Andy 49, Steve 45, Paul 43
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 9, Paul 9
Winner(s): Oggie


10-Jul-2003All month
 
Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 58, Tel 56
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


13-Jul-2003All month
 
Age of Steam

Being a group that plays most of its games in a weekly 2.5 hour session, Age of Steam was never going to regularly hit the table. However 9 months after its purchase it still hadnt hit the table so we organised a Sunday session to get it out of the shrink wrap. Since the rules are not on the Geek no one had had the opportunity of pre-reading the rules before we sat down at the table. Fortunatly weve all played Volldamf so most of the rules were familiar as AoS is Volldamfs big brother.

Andy quickly discovered a tactic that didnt work. Taking a lot of shares during the game is probably a valid approach as long as the resulting cash is used to ensure a plentiful income to offset the upkeep of the shares, however Andy struggled to generate income and got into a vicous cycle of needing to take out shares just to pay for his current shareholdings. Oggie tried to monopolize the centre of the board, with Tel also trying to maintain a presence in the same areas while also building in the north east. Paul seemed happy to concentrate most of his efforts in the south west, and Andy taking the east coast. The east of the board was seeing a lot of action with 3 players fighting for the goods, this allowed Paul to take his pick of the goods on the other side of the board, however the goods werent as nicley distributed preventing him from opening a big lead. Once the goods in the south central area were depleted everyone started to look further afield. I donít know if this is common in other groups but the production action was only selected once in the whole game, so as the game came to a close there were very few goods left on the board. Andys over-investment on shares cost him dear leaving him trailing in last place. Oggie suffered from his gridlock of the centre of the board, with everyone seeing him as the favourite for the win and deliberatley avoiding his tracks. This worked to Tels advantage as he was often the other alternative. However the freedom for the first half of the game paid dividends for Paul with him pipping Tel for the win

Im not a big fan of Volldamf after my two encounters with it, but not being someone to turn down the opportunity to try a new game I tried to approach AoS with an open mind and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had enjoyed the game. More importantly I was shocked to see how long the game had taken. Its usually a good sign when you realise that a game had actually taken much longer to play then you perceived. However this is the games major problem for me, any game that takes over 2.5 hours to play just isnt going to have time to hit the table very often within our group.

Final Scores
Paul 73, Tel 72, Oggie 60, Andy 31

Ratings / 10
Paul 9, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7
 
Scores : Paul 73, Tel 72, Oggie 60, Andy 31
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul

Funkenschlag

Scores : Tel 8, Oggie 8, Paul 7, Andy 5
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie

ZooSim

Scores : Paul 121, Tel 85, Andy 48, Oggie 47
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7, Andy 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul


15-Jul-2003All month
 
Euphrates & Tigris

Scores : Tel 6, Paul 6, Oggie 6, Boog 4
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Paul

Morisi

Scores : Oggie 17, Tel 15, Paul 10, Boog 6
Ratings: Oggie 7, Tel 7, Paul 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Oggie


22-Jul-2003All month
 
Billabong

Scores : Paul , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Paul 8, Steve 9, Andy 8
Winner(s): Steve

Puerto Rico

Scores : Paul 43, Steve 42, Andy 40
Ratings: Paul 9, Steve 9, Andy 9
Winner(s): Paul

Sticheln

Scores : Andy 45, Tel 30, Steve 16, Paul 11, Boog 10, Oggie 9
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Boog 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Andy

Transamerica

Scores : Tel 11, Oggie 9, Boog -2
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel

Trias

Scores : Boog 31, Oggie 28, Tel 24
Ratings: Boog 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog


30-Jul-2003All month
 
Al Capone - Mystery Rummy 4

Scores : Tel 62, Steve 49
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel

Al Capone - Mystery Rummy 4

Scores : Steve 40, Tel 30, Oggie 21
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Steve

El Caballero

Scores : Tel 75, Oggie 72, Steve 20
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 6, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Wiz War

The first time Wiz War has graced the piddinghoe table in 18 months. The two reasons that it doesnt hit the table more often is that you never know if its going to last 10 mins or 2 hours, and that it is an elimination game.

It was obvious from the pedestrian start that no player had many number cards. So the first few turns saw a proliferation of move 3 spaces. Only Steve was using the opportunity to discard a few cards. It was Steve who cast the first spell to rotate Oggies tile just before picking up a treasure. This was closely followed by Telbert placing a thornbush to prevent Oggies assault on his treasure. This caused Oggie to backtrack, on his way back he caught a glimpse of Steve and blasted him for 10 points of damage. Steve obvious took offence at this so retaliated by immobilising Oggie for 4 turns. He didnt have to sit out the full four turns because not long after both Steve and Tel dropped off their first treasure, both of Oggies eliminating him from the game. Tel and Steve crossed paths trying to pick up the others treasure, Tel setting of a fireball which was countered by a waterwall. Steve cast a spell preventing Tel from moving for a turn, Tel retaliated by preventing Steve from casting a spell on his next turn. As they passed out of LOS they both charged for a treasure, Tel had a teleport card which allowed him to reach home base first for the win.

A very quick game, over in about 20 mins. Of course one of the big apeals of german style games is that the vast majority of games has no elimination , so going back to a game where one player had to sit out half the game was a slight culture shock. Luckily for Oggie he only had to sit out 10 mins.

Scores / 10
Tel 7, Steve 7, Oggie 4
 
Scores : Steve , Tel , Oggie
Ratings: Steve 7, Tel 7, Oggie 4
Winner(s): Tel


05-Aug-2003All month
 
Bohnanza

Scores : Steve 13, Tel 12, Andy 12, Oggie 11, Boog 11
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Steve

Hols der Geier

Scores : Steve 56, Boog 35, Tel 31, Oggie 28, Andy 11
Ratings: Steve 7, Boog 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve

Perudo

Scores : Tel , Andy , Oggie , Boog , Steve
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Boog 9, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel

Ra

Scores : Steve 46, Tel 34, Andy 32, Oggie 28, Boog 26
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 9, Andy 7, Oggie 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Steve


10-Aug-2003All month
 
Balloon Cup

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Balloon Cup

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Andy

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Pyramids of the Jaguar

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Pyramids of the Jaguar

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Andy

Starship Catan

Scores : Tel 10, Andy 7
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Very Clever Pipe Game

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel


12-Aug-2003All month
 
Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Steve , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 9, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Oggie , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 9, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Oggie , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 9, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Oggie , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 9, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Torres

Scores : Tel 221, Oggie 203, Steve 198
Ratings: Tel 9, Oggie 8, Steve 9
Winner(s): Tel


26-Aug-2003All month
 
Cartagena

Scores : Tel , Boog , Andy , Steve
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 6, Andy 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Fabrik der Traum

Scores : Andy 88, Boog 76, Steve 68, Tel 60
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 7, Steve 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy

Puerto Rico

Scores : Steve 40, Andy 38, Boog 32, Tel 29
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Boog 8, Tel 9
Winner(s): Steve


30-Sep-2003All month
 
Fische Fluppen Frikadellen

Scores : Tel , Andy , Paul , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Paul 7, Boog 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel

Metro

Scores : Andy 55, Paul 45, Tel 44, Oggie 31, Boog 30
Ratings: Andy 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 6
Winner(s): Andy


07-Oct-2003All month
 
6 Nimmt!

Scores : Steve 101, Andy 74, Tel 46, Paul 33, Oggie 30
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 7, Paul 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Downtown

Scores : Steve 94, Paul 73, Tel 62, Oggie 58, Andy 56
Ratings: Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve

Transamerica

Scores : Andy 6, Oggie 5, Steve 4, Paul 1, Tel 0
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 7, Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy


14-Oct-2003All month
 
Acquire

Scores : Paul 49100, Boog 38800, Oggie 36600, Steve 28500, Tel 27700
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 8, Oggie 7, Steve 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Hick Hack in Gackelwack

Scores : Paul 42, Tel 33, Oggie 26, Boog 26, Steve 21
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Boog 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Paul

Web of Power

Scores : Steve 47, Tel 47, Boog 35, Oggie 34, Paul 32
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Boog 8, Oggie 6, Paul 8
Winner(s): Steve, Tel


19-Oct-2003All month
 
Carcassonne

Scores : Andy 94, Tel 89, Paul 74, Oggie 49
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Tel 12, Paul 5, Andy 4, Oggie 4
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 6, Andy 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

Street Soccer

Scores : Andy 1, Tel 1
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy, Tel

Torres

Scores : Tel 242, Oggie 209, Paul 203, Andy 183
Ratings: Tel 9, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Wallenstein

Scores : Oggie 54, Paul 53, Andy 52, Tel 46
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Zendo

Scores : Tel , Andy , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Paul 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel, Andy, Paul


21-Oct-2003All month
 
Capitol

Scores : Steve 41, Boog 40, Oggie 22
Ratings: Steve 8, Boog 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Steve

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Tel 39, Andy 17, Paul 16
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 6, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Medina

Scores : Paul 66, Andy 38, Tel 36
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Trias

Scores : Oggie 27, Steve 23, Boog 22
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Oggie


22-Oct-2003All month
 
6 Nimmt!

Scores : Tel 40, Boog 28, Paul 27, Oggie 15
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 7, Paul 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Bohnanza

Scores : Paul 17, Boog 15, Oggie 14, Tel 13
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Flaschenteufel

Scores : Tel 258, Paul 248, Boog 198, Oggie 103
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Boog 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Boog , Tel , Paul , Oggie
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 6, Paul 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Boog


23-Oct-2003All month
 
Alhambra

Scores : Paul 83, Martin(warfrog) 76, Tel 68, Richard(warfrog) 57, Boog 52, Oggie 48
Ratings: Paul 7, Martin(warfrog) 7, Tel 7, Richard(warfrog) 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Attika

Scores : Tel , Paul , Richard(warfrog) , Unknown
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Richard(warfrog) 7, Unknown 7
Winner(s): Tel

Edel, Stein & Reich

Scores : Tel 85, Oggie 72, Boog 66, Paul 66
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 7, Boog 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Finstere Flure

Scores : Paul , Martin(warfrog) , Tel , Richard(warfrog) , Boog , Oggie , Denise
Ratings: Paul 7, Martin(warfrog) 7, Tel 7, Richard(warfrog) 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7, Denise 7
Winner(s): Richard(warfrog)

Wildlife

Scores : Paul 124, Oggie 102, Tel 95, Boog 90
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Paul


24-Oct-2003All month
 
Alexandros

Scores : Oggie 62, Paul 49, Boog 49, Tel 41
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 8, Boog 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Attika

Scores : Paul , Tel , Oggie , Boog
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7
Winner(s): Boog

Eiszeit

Scores : Tel 61, Boog 55, Paul 54, Oggie 52
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 8, Paul 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

Pueblo

Scores : Paul 52, Oggie 49, Tel 43, Boog 43
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 7, Tel 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Tel, Boog

Time is Money

Scores : Paul 1080, Boog 1060, Tel 820, Oggie 670
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 8, Tel 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Paul


25-Oct-2003All month
 
Attribut

Scores : Tel 9, Boog 6, Paul 6, Oggie 4
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 8, Paul 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel

Das Amulet

Scores : Paul , Tel , Oggie , Boog
Ratings: Paul 6, Tel 6, Oggie 6, Boog 4
Winner(s): Tel

Finstere Flure

Scores : Paul , Boog , Tel , Oggie
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 8, Tel 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Isis & Osiris

Scores : Tel , Paul , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Tel 5, Paul 5, Boog 5, Oggie 5
Winner(s): Tel

Jack the Ripper

Scores : Paul 112, Tel 82, Oggie 51
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Paul

New England

Scores : Paul 35, Boog 34, Tel 31, Oggie 27
Ratings: Paul 8, Boog 8, Tel 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Paul

Pueblo

Scores : Boog 45, Paul 43, Oggie 37, Tel 33
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 7, Oggie 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel


26-Oct-2003All month
 
Die Fugger

Scores : Paul , Boog , Oggie , Tel
Ratings: Paul 6, Boog 7, Oggie 7, Tel 6
Winner(s): Boog, Oggie

King Lui

Scores : Oggie 67, Tel 63, Paul 50, Boog 42
Ratings: Oggie 6, Tel 6, Paul 6, Boog 6
Winner(s): Oggie

King Lui

Scores : Tel 39, Paul 31, Oggie 23, Boog 23
Ratings: Tel 6, Paul 6, Oggie 6, Boog 6
Winner(s): Tel

Settlers of Catan

Scores : Boog 10, Paul 8, Tel 8, Oggie 6
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Boog


28-Oct-2003All month
 
Edel, Stein & Reich

Scores : Paul 87, Tel 64, Steve 61, Boog 60, Oggie 51
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7, Steve 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Finstere Flure

Scores : Tel , Oggie , Steve , Boog , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 7, Steve 8, Boog 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Steve

Trendy

Scores : Steve 107, Boog 103, Oggie 98, Tel 89, Paul 76
Ratings: Steve 8, Boog 8, Oggie 8, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Steve


04-Nov-2003All month
 
Attika

Scores : Tel , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Ausgebremst

Scores : Andy , Paul , Tel , Steve , Boog , Oggie
Ratings: Andy 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Steve 7, Boog 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Andy

Basari

Scores : Paul 119, Oggie 96, Boog 95
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 7, Boog 6
Winner(s): Paul

Flaschenteufel

Scores : Tel 148, Andy 102, Steve 27
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Metro

Scores : Paul 84, Oggie 74, Boog 56
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 8, Boog 6
Winner(s): Paul


11-Nov-2003All month
 
Logistico

Scores : Tel 86, Andy 76, Oggie 70, Paul 30
Ratings: Tel 6, Andy 6, Oggie 5, Paul 5
Winner(s): Tel

Santiago

The evening started with 5 of us so we decided to play one of our new Essen purchases. The aim in Santiago is to plant farmland, and then ensure that these lands get irrigated and donít get transformed into worthless desert. The board is made up of a 4x3 grid with each square surrounded by lines representing irrigation channels. Each square is split into 4 smaller squares, hence there are 48 smaller squares each having 2 sides bordering an irrigation channel. The well token is placed on the board at the corner of one of the large sqaures. Each player receives 10 cash, a number of small cubes and a long stick in their colour plus a blue stick. With 5 of us the farmland tiles (5 types I think) are randomly split into 5 piles of 9.

The game is played over 9 rounds. Each round starts with the top tile of each pile of tiles turned face up. Then there are a number of phases to the round: Buying and placing tiles; irrigation; additional irrigation; drying. The buying of the tiles is a once round the table auction. Players must either submit a bid or pass. The player can bid any value higher or lower then existing bids but cannot match an existing bid. Whoever passed first, or failing that, bid the least amount becomes the new start player. Player in descending bid order pay their bid to the bank and chooses one of the face up tiles and places it anywhere on the board. Each tile also denotes whether 1 or 2 of the players cubes should be placed on the tile. Players that passed still get a tile but they place 1 less cubeonto this tile. We now start the irrigation phase. Each player can either pass or offer an amount of money for the water to be diverted into a selected channel. Players can offer money for an existing suggestion in which case the bids are combined. The start player then gets to place one of the blue sticks into one of the irrigation channels connected to the well or another irrigated channel. If it was one of the channels suggested by any of the other players then he collects all the money in support of that channel. Otherwise he has to pay 1 more than support for the highest combined bid. Unsuccessful bids get returned to the players. Each player has a bonus blue stick which can now be placed, however players only get 1 of these in the whole game and only 1 player may play one each round. Any tile that does not border an irrigation channel has a cube removed. If there are no cubes to remove then the tile is flipped and becomes a non-scoring desert tile. Each player receives 3 extra cash before the next round starts.

This continues for 9 rounds until all the tiles have been placed. We now have one final monster drying period where all non-irrigated tiles are immediately converted to deserts discarding all cubes on them. Scoring then occurs. Orthogonally adjacent tiles of the same type are classified as being in the same field, even if divided by an irrigation channel. Players receive cash for each cube left on the board equal to the size of the field they are in. Whoever has the most cash after this is complete wins.

We started with a typical Piddinghoe auction of pass,1,2,3,4. For the first couple of rounds the bids did remain low. However Tel opened the bidding with 6 ( that high for us) in the 3rd round, to add a 6th tile to a field that he already had a large presence. He won the bid easily and placed his tile in the last spot available for that field. It wasnt irrigated but was within reach. Of course the group motto of the piddinghoe gamers is if in doubt, screw em. So the irrigation was sent elsewhere for the next couple of turns and other players played their additional sticks, to ensure this became the most expensive desert of the game. While this was going on Oggie and Andy had built up a strong presence in the ever increasing banana field in the middle of the board. Low bids continued as a couple of other fields built up. I had read somewhere that the start player could expect to supplement his income with the bids for where the irrigation should go. Of course were all far too tight to give much money away in this fashion. By the end of the game Tel had managed to claim a narrow victory from Andy and Oggie. Paul wasnt too far behind with Steve behind Paul.

First impressions are that this could be a really good game, even auction hating Oggie seemed to enjoy this one. Ive read a couple of articles stating that the game could be broken, we were playing according to the new rules translation available on the geek from the author, and couldnt see any problems. This one will hopefully be seeing plenty of table time.

Final Scores
Tel 83, Oggie 81, Andy 81, Paul 76, Steve 65

Ratings / 10
7s all round
 
Scores : Tel 83, Oggie 81, Andy 81, Paul 76, Steve 65
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Paul 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel


02-Dec-2003All month
 
David and Goliath

Scores : Boog 149, Tel 119, Steve 115, Andy 100
Ratings: Boog 7, Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Boog

Finstere Flure

Having got hold of a copy of the rules Steve found that wed been playing a number of rules wrong since picking it up at Essen. Apparently the monster moves his full movement each turn regardless of the number of kills, the turning blocks are still pushed 1 space before the monster turns, crystals can be pushed as normal blocks and any block pushed onto the exit square is destroyed. So we set out to try the game with the proper rules. The immediate difference in strategy was that players could no longer hide behind other players. Despite playing the correct killing machine monster rules, the monster this game turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. On a number of occasions he just drew the wrong tile when carnage beckoned. Whilst Steve and Tel were trying to play cat and mouse with the Monster, and Andy was getting to grips with his first playing of the game, Boog decided on an all out charge for the exit. Despite having Andy and Steve conspire to get one of his pieces eaten 2 squares from the exit, Boog managed the win the game on the next turn by freeing his third piece

I think the proper rules should make the fun game even more fun and chaotic.

Ratings / 10
Boog 8, Tel 8, Andy 6, Steve 7
 
Scores : Boog , Tel , Andy , Steve
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 8, Andy 6, Steve 7
Winner(s): Boog

Pueblo

The evening started with a game of Pueblo. Andy and Steve hadnt played before so we had to go through the rules first, however since the rules are so simple this didnt take too long. In a 4 player game each player gets 9 pieces, 5 in his colour and four in the neutral tan colour. These should be arranged into 4 two tone cubes and 1 of the players coloured pieces. On a players turn he must place a piece and then must move the foreman marker. To play a piece, the player must use any solo pieces they have, if they only have complete cubes then they can use either piece from a cube using the oyther half on the following turn. Placement of the piece must be so that it is entirely within the building area and all down facing parts of the piece must be placed in contact with either the floor or another piece. Once the piece has been placed the player must move the token 1-4 places clockwise around the surrounding track. This will take the token to th end of a row/column or a corner space. If at the end of a row/column players are penalised for any colours he can see looking down that row/column. The further from the ground the colour the bigger penalty. If the marker ends in a corner then players are penalised 1 point for each square of colour seen in that quadrant of the board looking down from above. Once all blocks have been played the forman performs one last complete circuit of the building site scoring for each sqaure.

Tel screwed up the first move of the game, and was hence 10 points down before anyone else lost a point. Boog soon charged out to keep Tel company, with the 2 newbies yet to score. Tels pre game prediction that theyll see this as a learning game and not be in contention at the end of the game was looking very dodgy at this point. Steve was the first to hit level 3 and got punished for it, bringing his score to be on a par with Tels and Boogs. Andy was looking a clear favourite at this stage as hed managed to hide most of his blocks. However he did have a couple of blocks exposed and the foreman made a point of seeking these out. As we approached the last cube each, Steve had slipped into last place. The resat of us were quite close, with Andy still holding a slight advantage. Tel and Boog both decided to build right on the edge rather than hit level 4. Neither Andy nor Steve had any choice but were forced to hit the dizzy 4th level. They did manage to align their L4 pieces and then partially cover then on the last turn with the neutral colour. As the foreman did his final circuit of the building it became apparent that Andys last couple of blocks hadnt been as succesfully hidden as his earlier blocks, and he slipped out of contention. Steve, never a fan of spatial awareness games, didnt fare any better and slipped further behind. Tel and Boog fought it out for the win with Boog claiming a 3 point win.

I really enjoy this game, it is a change of pace from most of the games that we usually play, but variety in this case is definitely a good thing. Andy was very impressed with the game scoring it an extremely high 9 for a first play. Steve whilst not being overly keen spatially aware games still gave it a respectable 7.

Final Scores
Boog 45, Tel 48, Andy 54, Steve 61

Ratings / 10
Boog 8, Tel 8, Andy 9, Steve 7
 
Scores : Steve 61, Andy 54, Tel 48, Boog 45
Ratings: Steve 7, Andy 9, Tel 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Boog


09-Dec-2003All month
 
Clans

Third game of the night was Clans. And continuing the theme of the night another game that lasted less than 30 mins. Almost the longest part of the game was setup. As we had to put little cylinders into over 50 territories, ensuring that there was an even distibution of the 5 colours. Each player then takes 1 of the colour cards. This indicates what colour he is to be for the game - this is a secret only to be divulged at the end of the game. On his turn a player moves all the tokens from one area into an adjacent populated area. Villages are created when an area containing tokens is isolated from other tokens, ie when none of its neighbours contains a token. At this point whoever moved the tokens to create the village takes the top village marker (worth 1 pt at the end of the game) and the village is scored. At various stages of the game the different landscape type will either give a bonus for villages created in that type of landscape or will cause will cause villages to be worthless. Every colour that is present in a village scores the same value, the size of the village plus any bonuses, regardless of the size of its presenece in the village. Once the 12th village is created the game ends. Everyone reveals their colour and adds their village chips to their colours score. Highest score wins.

Nobody really knew what they were doing at the start of the game. Andy started clumping all the reds together, whilst Paul was doing something similar with black. Unknown to everyone else Paul hadnt looked at his card so didnt know what colour he was. Tel created the first village with all colours everyone except black. The game was being played at a fairly quick rate and with everyone ignoring the bottom right corner of the board. The blue and green opened up a small lead from the rest with black trailing behind. The game finished quickly as a Andy managed to create the last village. Blue was excluded from this last high scoring village. By this point nobody had a clue what colour anyone else was, though suspected that none was the trailing black. Oggie turned out to be green and won the game comfortably with everyone elses scores quite close, Andy just taking 2nd place. Black turned out to be the discarded colour much to the relief of Paul.

Not sure about this one. I suspect we missed all the subtelty of the game as we almost played it as a race to see who could create the most villages. This was born out by the fact that Paul finished level with Tel and only 2 behind Andy despite not knowing what colour he was supposed to be advancing. Id like to play a few more games to see what hidden depths we missed.

Final Scores
Oggie 44, Andy 38, Tel 36, Paul 36

Ratings / 10
7s all round
 
Scores : Oggie 44, Andy 38, Paul 36, Tel 36
Ratings: Oggie 7, Andy 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Cronberg

This is another tile laying game. The board is a large hexagon made up of lots of small triangles with an circle large enough for the playing pieces at each point of the triangles. The tiles are rhomboids the size of 2 of the triangles. Each rhomboid has points assigned to its 4 vertices ranging from -8 to 8. On his turn a player either places a randomly drawn tile onto the board or places one of his 4 playing pieces. When playing a tile it must cover 2 of the triangles on the board and must not overlap other tiles. When placing a piece it must be adjacent to at least 1 non-covered triangle. If a piece becomes completely surrounded by tiles it is scored then returned to the player for later use. The player scores points equal to the sum of all the numbers adjacent to its position. If an uncovered triangle becomes isolated such that a rhomboid cannot be placed to cover it then it becomes active. There are three types of triangles, 2 are used in scoring, but the third is a musketeer. When this becomes active it immediately forces any pieces at its vertices to be returned unscored to the players. These vertices are then out of bounds to any players pieces. Play continues until nobody can place a piece or tile. All remaining pieces on the board are then scored. Scoring is as before by summing all adjacent numbers however uncovered board tiles now may come into effect. A piece touching a yellow triangle has all its negative numbers made positive. The green triangle doubles the score (multiple triangles have a cumulative effect so 2 green triangles multiply the score by 4). Whoever scores the most points wins the game.

Oggie had a distinct advantage having played the PC version of Bonobo Beach (the same game re-themed). Everyone decided to place a tile in the first round, which turned out to be a wise move as all 4 tiles were negatives. Tel then claimed the centre spot which had avoided all 4 tiles. Most players followed suit, such that after the third turn everyone had 1 piece on the board. This is when players strategy diverged. Oggie decided on a playing pieces strategy and soon got all his pieces on the board. Paul and Andy both got 2 or 3 pieces on whilst Tel just consolidated his original piece. Paul and Andy both got a piece back just before Oggie managed to get all 4 pieces trapped such that none were going to return. With still a third of the game to go all he could do was try to minimise other players scores. With most of the board populated Tel lay his 3 remaining pieces on consecutive turns. Paul took a risk by placing his last piece in the only unpopulated area of the board, lucky draws for Andy and Oggie saw a potential 32 points for Paul transformed into a spectacular -16. Final tallying found Tel and Oggie (the 2 players that didnt get any pieces returned during the game) claiming first and second. Andy claim in third with Paul only just managing to stay positive.

Fairly quick game coming in in about 30 mins. One comment made by one of the group is that the downtime between turns, although fairly short, is downtime. You cant really plan your next move as you dont know if youll be drawing a tile or placing a piece and thatll be decided by what the player to your right does. Despite this I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to more games.

Final Scores
Tel 45, Oggie 37, Andy 27, Paul 3

Ratings / 10
7s all round.
 
Scores : Tel 45, Oggie 37, Andy 21, Paul 3
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Feurio!

This is a Tile laying game, where hexagons tiles, are placed to expand a forest fire. Each Hex is valued from 1 to 6, with 6 being the more ferocious fire. On his turn each player takes a random tile and places it face up at the current hot spot of the fire. To find the hot spot consider all possible placements and it is the place that has the highest sum of all adjacent tiles. If there are multiple hotspots the player can choose between them. After placing a tile the player gets to optionally populate any tile with up to 3 of his firefighter tokens. Rules of placement is that after placement there must be no more tokens on the tile then the lower of: the number of grey circles on the tile and the number of free edges on the tile. Once all the tiles are played players can still place tokens or pass. The Games ends once everyone has passed. Scoring is for each contiguos block of tokens in each colour where at least 1 of the tiles must have a free edge. The score is calculated as the sum of all tiles divided by the lowest numbered tile with a free edge.

The fire started as a fairly cool affair with 4 low numbers, however it soon caught as a run of 5 and 6s soon turned up. As shouldve been predicted the fire immediately headed for the nearest edge of the table, but luckily didnt expand off the table. Andy and Oggie claimed the centre (hottest part) of the fire whilst Tell and Paul seemed to be content to pick up the edges. Everyone managed to get 1 fairly large area with 1 or 2 smaller regions. As the game neared its conclusion Paul pointed out that Andy needed to connect two of his regions to connect his large area to a 1 divisor, but then decided to place his piece elsewhere forcing Tel to block Andy. Of course this being the Piddinghoe Gamers, Tel refused to be backed into a corner and played his own piece to advance his score allowing Andy to connect his 2 areas. This turned out to give the game to Andy.

This was an interesting game that played very quickly. Everyone was looking out for themselves with only a couple of placements made as blocking moves. I suspect as we play more of this there will be considerably more blocking making this a more strategic game. Certainly a game with a lot of potential. There is a firebreak variant that also looks intriguing.

Final Scores
Andy 38, Paul 36, Tel 35, Oggie 28

Ratings / 10
Andy 7, Paul 8, Tel 8, Oggie 7
 
Scores : Andy 38, Paul 36, Tel 35, Oggie 28
Ratings: Andy 7, Paul 8, Tel 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy

Transamerica

We ended the night with a couple of quick games of Transamerica.

Paul, never one to shy away from new tactics, discovered that in the first leg of the first game his starting position was isolated from everyone else, so decided to pass each turn until the communal track of everyone else passed close to his starting position. Of course the rest of us suspected as much when he started passing so ensured we didnt get too close until absolutely neccassary. Not long after Paul got into the main line, Oggie connected his 5 stations. Paul was surpringly only 7 moves away so we went into a second turn. This time Paul decided that he should get involved in some building, not that it did him any good as again Oggie was the first to complete his task and again Paul was 7 moves away. Make of that what you will !!!.

Final Scores
Oggie 13, Andy 7, Tel 3, Paul -1

After finishing the first game so quickly we played a second. This time the game was much closer taking 3 rounds to end the game and that was only because we moved the finishing line. Tel managed to claim victory in the last round despite spending most of the round building his own little line well away from everyone else. However when Oggie did connect to Tels line he immediately placed 2 tracks to finish the game, just as Andy had been warning Oggie.

Final Scores
Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 6, Paul 2.

Ratings / 10 for both games
Tel 8, Oggie 8, Andy 7, Paul 7
 
Scores : Oggie 13, Andy 7, Tel 5, Paul -1
Ratings: Oggie 8, Andy 7, Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Transamerica

Scores : Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 6, Paul 2
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


23-Dec-2003All month
 
Attribut

This is one of those games that nobody really cares who wins, its all about maximising everyones fun. The best way to do this seems to be basing categories on people on the group. Oddly, most of them seemed to be based on Andy. His diet, questions and answers all made appearances. Not so oddly, nobody believed that his diet was vitimin rich. Boog completely forgot the rules of the game in his excitement of having the perfect card to match a category and promptly laid "bitter" to match the category of "Real Ale". His speed of laying was only matched by that of Tel as he snatched the card and its companion sheep from the table faster than the eye could follow. Shame it was a red sheep. The game ended in a three way tie. No idea who the three people were - who cares?
 
Scores : Tel 5, Boog 5, Paul 5, Oggie 1, Steve 0, Andy 0
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 7, Oggie 8, Steve 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel, Boog, Paul

Carabande

Every year in the week before christmas we hold the Piddinghoe Christmas gaming session. The aim of this session is to play light fun filled games and scoff lots of food. The evening started with a game of carabande on a track made up of 1 box and 1 expansion. The track had a couple of longish straights and a jump over the chicane. Everyone pulled away from the grid safely apart from Boog who had engine problems and couldnt get his car started until over half a lap behind. Andy was on pole and got off to a reasonable start but was overtaken at the first corner by Steve. Tel followed the 2 leaders around the intricate turns in the run up to the jump. Paul got to the first turn safely but then spun off and it took him an eternity to get finally navigate this turn. Oggie managed the first corner but then struggled to get to the jump. Steve, usually apprehensive near the jumps, was the first to successfully leap the chicane. Andy, not convinced of his own abilities at making the jump decided to cut Tel up on upslope of the ramp, the ensuing shunt found Andy over the jump with going nowhere. Boog managed to finally get his car started and immediately got into a tangle with Paul, a battle that was to last the rest of the race. Steve had managed to open a small lead with Tel and Andy fighting it out for second. The battle for last place now caught Oggie as they all successfully made the jump. The rest of the first lap saw 2 separate races. Tel made a break for the lead halway round the 2nd lap At the same time Andy dropped back to join the backmarkers. Just after the jump the track narrowed dramatically followed by a turn, and these seemed to cause havoc on the 2 lap. With all 4 of the 2nd pack getting caught up. Tel and Steve had successfully made the corner and as Tel made his sprint for the line, Steve mustve lost half his gearbox and proceeded to ensure he get the car on the track as he slowly crept round the track. Paul was the last to make it through the disaster corner, just before Tel attempted the jump for the third and final time. It took him a couple of attempts allowing Paul to prevent the chance of being lapped. As Tel took the checkered flag the chasing pack had caught Steve, and Andy managed to out break Steve to get into the final chicane first, and since this was only a corner from the end, he managed to hold on for second. Steve blocked the chicane to prevent Oggie from pipping him for the third podium position.

As usual a great game and the perfect way to start the christmas session. Though Im not sure it mixes well with sausages and potato wedges.

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Oggie 7, Boog 8, Paul 8

 
 Comment by Paul  
Origial session report from web site -

Okay, I can see whats going through your mind. We open every session with Carabande, right? Wrong. Carabande usually comes out for a few plays around Christmas and then languishes in a box for the rest of the year. Its a bit of a faff to set up, but is good fun for gamers and non gamers alike and plays with up to eight people. This time Tel proved the to be the best driver of the bunch, after he, Steve and Andy had all had the lead for a while. Steve got so carried away with being in the lead that he confused forward and backward gears at one point, ramming Andy head on. Paul, Boog and Oggie all vied for last place, Boog catching up well after stalling on the starting grid at the first four times of asking.
 
 
Scores : Oggie , Boog , Tel , Paul , Steve , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 7, Boog 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Steve 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Nicht die Bohn

The trick taking game that hit the table tonight was Nicht die Bohn.

We played 2 hands of this, primarily to ensure that Andy didnt win after performing an action which would be seen as blatant cheating in some circles. Hence this game shall always be known as yet another game where Andy unsuccessfuly tried to bend the rules. Oggie was either extremely unlucky, very badly stitched up by everyone else or hopeless in the first round managing to get negatives for 3 of the colours and totally an impressive -21. Whether by fair or dishonest means (changing his card after seeing everyone elses card does seem a little dishonest) Andy managed to accrue a round winning 56. The second round saw Tel manage to win 4 -ve cards as his first 4 cards, luckily from him in 2 colours so they cancelled each other out. Oggie managed a storming round, but Boog did enough to claim victory in the game.

A good solid game.

Final Scores
Boog 100, Paul 89, Steve 88, Andy 69, Tel 51, Oggiue 45

Ratings / 10
7s all round

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

For the first few sessions, we wondered why this was called Night of the Beans. Then realised our German was even more rubbish then we thought. This one is always a favourite. Fast, short and evil. Oggie seemed to be stitch up target of the night, seeing a couple of impressive scores take on a decidedly negative cast towards the end of the rounds. Tel tried to collect sets of the negative cards, but didn manage this very well, only getting two of the three available in each colour. Have I mentioned that Andy cheated yet? Boog claimed victory after two rounds.
 
 
Scores : Boog 100, Steve 88, Paul 87, Andy 69, Tel 51, Oggie 45
Ratings: Boog 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Boog

Time is Money

Introduction next for probably the most chaotic of the Essen purchases this year. The game come with a stack of 6 different bank notes, 6 dice with sides matching the notes and a timer. The game is played over 3 rounds. In the 3 rounds the players get 10, 20 and 30 seconds to roll the dice and grab as much matching money as possible. The twists are that youre only allowed take money if the mrelevant money symbol appears only once on all the dice, any crosses left face up at the end of a players turn allows an extra 5 seconds, and the killer is that the players have to guess when their time is up and are penalised for every second they are away from the allowed time limit. Having read the rules at Essen we were not overly enamoured and had we not been waiting for a copy of pueblo to become free would probably have left it. However it turned out to be a great laughter filled 15 mins, hence a copy found its way back to Brighton.

As in its last outing Paul approached the game as a new fitness regime by frantically moving every part of his body for the entirity of his turn with his arms a blur grabbing money as if it was hot to touch. Steve by stark contrast played as if in slow motion serenly rolling the dice and taking the money as if he had all day. Bogg employed the tactic of totally ignoring all 10s and most 20s. This was mocked by all, however this tactic coupled with a productive run of 50/60s in his third turn gave him such a big win that he needed help counting his wad.

This is never gonna be a regular game to hit the table. But as an occassional blast is very entertaining. This is one of those games where its more fun to watch other players.

Final Scores
Boog 1700, Tel 1230, Paul 1000, Steve 820, Oggie 620, Andy 520

Ratings / 10
Boog 8, Tel 7, Paul 8, Steve 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from website -

Six gamers, six completely different approaches to playing the game. Some play in a state of Zen like calm, others in a limb shaking frenzy. Eventually, the "keep rolling high numbers and ignore any small ones you accidentally roll" strategy gave Boog the game.
 

 
 Comment by Abi  
A perfect game for the christmas games day.
 
 
Scores : Boog 1700, Tel 1230, Paul 1000, Steve 820, Oggie 620, Andy 520
Ratings: Boog 8, Tel 7, Paul 8, Steve 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Boog


25-Dec-2003All month
 
Carabande

What else is a gamers supposed to do while waiting for the turkey to cook. And digest. Obviously, play some games.

A seven car race, with two novice drivers. To give the novices a fair chance, we went with a fairly simple setup. We used the action set, but had a nice easy jump and placed the Y chicane the easy way round. For much of the race, we seemed to have been too fair to the novices as they immediately flicked to the front of the pack and stayed there for much of the race. Fortunately Paul managed to sneak through for a last gasp victory from Susan to spare the blushes of the Piddinghoe Gamers.
 
Scores : Paul , Andy , Tel , Abi , Anne , Susan , Rob
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Abi 8, Anne 8, Susan 8, Rob 8
Winner(s): Paul

Looping Louie

The Louie session was almost canceled before it started, when we noticed that Louie had made a bid for freedom by almost seperating from the plastic rod connecting hom th the central tower. Fortunately some sellotape saved the day. Eveyone had fun with this one. Rob seemed particularly enamoured by it. And Abi has now added a third game to the list of Games Approved of By Abi - a GABA award wil no doubt be winging its way to the publisher.
 
Scores : Andy , Paul , Abi , Rob , Anne , Tel , Susan
Ratings: Andy 8, Paul 8, Abi 8, Rob 8, Anne 8, Tel 8, Susan 8
Winner(s): Andy, Paul, Abi, Rob, Anne, Tel, Susan

Mu - Last Panther

Andy got a copy of Mu for Christmas. So obviously we had to christen it. Andy, Tel and Paul give it a whirl while everyone else collapsed on various chairs and sofas to let food digest. Being a nasty bunch, we immediately found a way to stitch someone up with a 50 point penalty in the first round. And then did it again. And again. Tel proved most astute at colecting penalties, triggering the end of the game by hitting -250 points. Andy provided stiff competition for Tel, but couldn emulate his disasterous performance. Paul somehow managed to eke out a positive score to take the game
 
Scores : Paul 50, Andy -100, Tel -250
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

Mu - Wimmuln

Having "mastered" The Last Panther, the intrepid trio moved onto another of the Mu games, Wimmuln. This one didn prove as nasty, but did still provide some opportunites for stuffing up well laid plans. This time Tel decided to persue bonuses instead of penalties and led the game from start until almost finish. Andy managed to grab a big bonus in the final round to take victory, wth Paul trailing in last place.
 
Scores : Tel 2, Andy 1, Paul 1
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


30-Dec-2003All month
 
Mexica

Last games session of the year. Just four of us this time (Andy, Oggie, Tel, Paul) so we cracked open a four player.

Paul had played this once before, but it was new to everyone else. And it showed. Everyone struggled at the start to figure out what they were supposed to be doing, and the game turned into a long one. Including rules explanations we finally clocked in at around two and a quarter hours. We realised at the end that we had double all of the counters, as the game came with two copies of each of the counter sheets. This meant that we had more of the big neighbourhood tokens than we should, leading to too many options for fighting over the big points. I hope this plays more quickly next time it comes out, as its unlikely to see the table again if it doesn . That would be a shame, as two of us did really enjoy the game. However, Andy wasn impressed at all - largely due to downtime between turns I suspect. Weve enough games between us now that those that people don like are unlikely to come out. Tel took the game by one point from Paul. Oddly enough, the margin between third and fourth place was also a single point
 
Scores : Tel 92, Paul 91, Oggie 75, Andy 74
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 7, Andy 5
Winner(s): Tel


02-Jan-2004All month
 
Carcassonne

Paul arrived just as a hand of Flasheteufel ended, so we decided on a game of Carcassone. We played with the original game, complete with original scoring rules. We decided not to bother with any of the expansion tiles, but did use the large meeple. A number of us have been playing quite a lot of the computer version of the game. This showed, as Paul immediately launched into the meeple deprival strategy that weve all learned from the computer. Not that it helped him at all, but had to be tried. Not sure who won this in the end - Telbert?
 
Scores : Tel 66, Andy 54, Steve 53, Paul 43
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Cosmic Encounter

This hasn been on the table for a couple of years, so we thought it was time to dust it off. Unfortunately the dusting off turned into wiping the mildew off, but thats a different story... Oggie arrived just in time to join us. This is the Games Workshop version of the game, with the addition of a couple of Eon expansions (moons and extra powers). We decided to use the Eon powers. Ive no idea what the names of the powers were, being more interested in what thay actually did. Steves allowed him to change the victory conditions. It was supposed to be secret but he thought it would be funny to reveal it. Oggie thought the "winner must be clean shaven" condition a little unfair given the bearded nature of his chin so insisted on new, secret, conditions. Telbert had the power to torture, allowing him to offer a deal instead of taking part in a challenge. Oggie had the power to take over someone elses attack, which he used to good measure on Telbert. Paul had the power to move a token to the warp when their colour was selected by the victory deck. He also used this to good measure, kicking Tel off one of his planets after having accepted one of his deals. Andy didn get an opportunity to use his power, as Steve suddenly announced that he had won the game after the third challenge of the game. He had reduced the victory requirement to three planets, a condition met by both him and Andy. However, a further condition was that the winner was not holding their cards. Andy, being a fiddler by nature, was always going to fail to meet this condition
 
Scores : Andy , Oggie , Paul , Steve , Tel
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 6, Paul 8, Steve 6, Tel 6
Winner(s): Steve

Flaschenteufel

Andy turned up next, and a 3 player bottle imp session started up. We got hold of a version of the first edition in the summer, and the game rapidly became a favourite of several members of the group. It was no suprise that three copies of the second edition made the trip back from Essen. The main differences between the two versions are that the colours and point distributions have changed a bit, but the graphics are a big improvement over the original. One day Ill have to find out how much that changes the game. Andy won. I think being dealt the 1, 2 and 3 in one hand helped him a little, but Im sure it was really down to his superior card play ;-)
 
Scores : Andy 57, Tel 50, Steve -6
Ratings: Andy 7, Tel 8, Steve 6
Winner(s): Andy

Magic the Gathering

Steve dragged himself out of his bed first and made it to Telberts ahead of the "crowds". They decided to take the opportunity to play a little magic. I think Steve plays quite regularly but Tel doesn get many chances to try out his many decks. Ive no details of the games, except that Tel played his Deck Of Many Annoying Cards and pinged Steve to death a couple of times.
 
Scores : Tel , Steve
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 9
Winner(s): Tel, Steve

Maya

Andy, Paul and Tel had played a three player game back in December. Oggie and Steve had not played. Oggie decided to concentrate his forces on just two pyramids, while everyone else tried to work with three or four. This turned out to be a very good idea, as it won him the game. How he managed this, after only getting three stones in the middle round, Im not sure.
 
Scores : Oggie 45, Steve 42, Paul 37, Tel 35, Andy 28
Ratings: Oggie 7, Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Sieben Siegel, die

This was the first time any of us had played. Its quite a nasty game, so quite appealed to all of us. Any game where somebody has the role of actively stuffing up everyone else is our kind of game. Steve, born to the role of stuffing others up, took the Saboteur in all but one round. His excuse was that it saved him having to calculate how many tricks he was likely to win. By the end of the game we were all getting a bit more adventurous, and actively playing to mess with other people rather than just worrying about getting rid of our seals. Andy took the game by a single point, despite taking five points in the last round. Oggie shot into last place by averaging five points in every round.
 
Scores : Andy -7, Paul -8, Tel -13, Steve -14, Oggie -25
Ratings: Andy 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Andy

Too many Cooks

This was the Knizia, not the Merritt, version. This got a bit of a mixed reaction. Some people liked it, others weren so keen. This seems to correllate quite well with those people who did quite well against those who did poorly. Paul took the lead in the first round and held it to the end. A couple of people picked up big handfuls of cards while trying to make "no soup today", knocking them out of the running completely.
 
Scores : Paul 21, Andy 17, Oggie 16, Tel 5, Steve 0
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 6, Oggie 7, Tel 6, Steve 6
Winner(s): Paul


06-Jan-2004All month
 
Amun-Re

The first Tuesday night of the new year, so what better way to start the year then with one of the best new releases of last year.

A variety of tactics were on display, Paul seemed intent on continuing the christmas spirit by doing a great impression of Ebeneezer Scrooge, hoarding as many cards and cash as possible for the first 3 quarters of the game. Tel went with a heavy farmer strategy and trying to win the highest sacrifice. Boog seemed intent on not building anything.

In the first round of auctions Steve and Paul payed for the big money generators, Leaving Tel, Boog and Oggie to fight for the scraps, Tel complained that hed only managed to buy a territory that gave no bonus and alllowed no cards, it did allow for plenty of farmers which he duly started to employ. Paul started as he meabnt to go on by buying 2 cards and little else on his turn. Steve and Oggie both made sure they got a couple of blocks to their new territory, whilst Boog was muttering about the number of duplicate cards he was holding. We were surpised that there was any harvest at all with a total sacrifice of -11, only Tel chipping in with a positive value. The rest of the first epoch followed a similar pattern with Paul not building a lot just hoarding, Tel producing farmers for fun and then sacrificing quite high (for our group). Steve, Tel and Oggie all managed a set of temples, with Boog concentrating all his temple building in a single region. The first scoring round found Tel way out in front doubling the scores of Boog and Oggie in second. The second round started badly for Paul, with so much money to spend he was obviously hoping to hoover up the double temples built in the first epoch, however 2 of them came up for auction together in the first round. Tel managed to buy back the starting territory he had in the first round and proceeded to rebuild his farming community at the same time get into a building war with Steve for the biggest temple complex. Paul still seemed reluctant to spend money or play cards. Boog decided it was time to start playing some of his cards, unfortunately they were mostly adjust sacrifice, not doing him too many favours. Oggie decided to build a respectable temple complex on the other side of the river to Steve and Tel. Despite hoarding 2 cards a turn Paul still didnt manage to find too many that were useful at the final scoring phase only managing a single 3 pt bonus. Tel managed to meet 2 bonus cards which together with a tie for the largest temple complex on one side of the river was enough to keep him out in front. The bonus for most cash wasnt quite enough to get Paul ahead of Steve, in the race for 2nd. Oggie managed to slightly outscore Boog, to avoid the wooden spoon.

This game is getting better with each play. Paul played the same tactic this time that won him the previous game and he wasnt close to winning this time. Certainly a game where some thought is needed as well as a little luck.

Final Scores
Tel 42, Steve 35, Paul 34, Oggie 28, Boog 25

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 9, Oggie 8, Boog 7

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Its been far too long since this one last hit the table. Hopefully it won be so long before it gets out again. We had a few strategise striving for victory, including lots of farmers, lots of camels and lots of cash (not being spent). Tels farmer strategy proved to be the strongest, as he swept everyone aside in the first round and held on for a comprehensive victory at the end of the game. High marks from everyone, so Ill be suprised if we don end up with another copy or two of this in the group come Essen time. Unless Tel sees one cheap in the flee market of course, as his buying stragegy dictates leaving it there for someone else to buy. And then regretting it.
 
 
Scores : Tel 42, Steve 35, Paul 34, Oggie 28, Boog 25
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 9, Oggie 8, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel

Limits

Scores : Oggie 2, Paul 1, Boog 0, Tel -2, Steve -3
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 7, Boog 8, Tel 7, Steve 8
Winner(s): Oggie


11-Jan-2004All month
 
Flaschenteufel

Andy was late of Kev proportions, so we started a game of Flashenteufel while we waited for him. This had the desired effect of causing Andy to arrive more or less immediately afterwards.
 
Scores : Tel 45, Paul 31, Oggie 15, Steve -15
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Oggie 6, Steve 6
Winner(s): Tel

Funkenschlag

Andy, Oggie, Paul and Tel had played a short game to eight cities a few months earlier but this was new to Steve. Not that it proved a handicap for him at all as he did about as well as anyone. Its a shame this one takes so long - about three hours - as its a very good game. Its too long to fit into a normal Tuesday evening though so is destined to only come out once a year or so on Games Days. True to form, the nastiness began from the start as Tel picked a starting city in the middle fo the board and everyone immediately chose the other cities he could easily get to as their sartign cities and proceeded to build out to the edge of the board. Paul had an early advantage in playing in an isolated corner, until Andy and Tel both decided to come play with him. We completely forgot that one of the windmills should power less cities than it says on the card but we can blame Andy for cheating over that one as we all forgot. This was quite a close game, with Tel being first to 18 cities but Andy takign the victory on cash in hand after also powering 18 cities in the same turn.

One thing we need to do next turn is decide how to handle storage of goods on the power stations. The rules allow you to store twice as many commodities as needed to power the station. However, the designer has since pointed out that players should avoid doing this as the ensuing higher commodity costs causes the game to take longer to play. In what is already a 3 hour plus game, its hence a good thing to avoid. However, what happened in this game is that only half the players were avoiding overstocking to help speed the game, which handed an advantage to those that weren . Perhaps we should modify the rules to ban overstocking completely in future.
 
Scores : Tel 18, Andy 18, Paul 17, Steve 16, Oggie 16
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Paul 8, Steve 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy

Guillotine

We needed a quick game while Abi put the finishing touches on some gourmet gamer scoff. And indeed it was a quick game, ending halfway through the third round when Tel scooped up Robespierre to finish, and win, the game. As per normal, nastiness kicked in as Andy played a -2 card against Paul on the basis that he "was winning". While that statement was absolutely true, it should be pointed out that Paul was the only person who had collected a nobel at that point as the game had only just started!
 
Scores : Tel 18, Oggie 14, Steve 10, Paul 9, Andy 9
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Steve 7, Paul 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Heave Ho!

Scores : Tel , Steve
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel, Steve

Puerto Rico

Woo hoo, PR! This game doesn get out of the box nearly often enough. Well, what does? Except obviously Bitin off Hedz and Cat Attack which were so awful that a single play was one to many. We
e getting the hang of this one now so its moving quite snappily. Andy played his normal collect lots of buildings strategy, as well as grabbing a Hacienda to fill up his plantations. Oggie saw a battle coming up for the Factory, so grabbed one and gleefully raked in cash from it. Steve also saw the battle coming and grabbed the other, unfortunately spending all of his cash in the meantime and leaving him completely broke for half of the game. Telbert, unable to grab the Factory was forced to try something different and grabbed a ship. Paul got a trading engine going and nabbed a harbour.

Andy finished the game by filling in his buildings, but that wa only enough for third or fourth spot. Tel took the victory.
 
Scores : Tel 56, Oggie 53, Andy 49, Paul 49, Steve 38
Ratings: Tel 9, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Paul 9, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel


13-Jan-2004All month
 
Giganten

As we had six people, we decided to split into groups of three. After an abortive attempt to determine groups by Tels suggesting of rolling dice where we all ended up in the same group - twice - we just decided on a couple of games and let people decide what they wanted to play. Andy, Oggie and Paul sat down for this one. This was a good session, despite being dictated by a big dollop of luck. Andy was unlucky with the 2/5 rigs, drawing 2s each time. This left the 5s for Oggie and Paul and they raced into the lead. The game came down to whether the black train was going to move two or three space. Paul had just sold a pile of oil and would win by a mile if the black train moved 3 to end the game. Oggie had a pile sitting ready for sale so would be the favourite if a 2 came up. Up came a 2 and the game went the way of the Ogden.
 
Scores : Oggie , Paul , Andy
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Ra

Surely this one needs no introductions one of the top games around.

Somehow Boog had only managed to play this once before and had claimed a victory. So he was keen to give it a second play and Steve and Tel were delighted to oblige. In the first round Steve went for some early buys leaving Tel and Boog to play chicken as to how many tiles they could each draw before the Ra tiles arrived. And the Ras were reluctant to come out. Hence Boog managed to buy a bucketfull of tiles, however once hed bought up Tel immediately drew a couple of Ras to end the first turn. Not a huge scoring first round but Boog had laid the groundwork for the final scoring with an abundance of monuments whilst managing to open a small lead over the others. Steve entered into the second round and seemed to pick up all the water based tiles, ending the round with 9 nile tokens!!!. The third round seemed to disappear quite quickly and the game was over with Tel and Boogs each holding on to their high tiles. Boog hadnt managed to increase his monument as much as he wished and everyone caught up to score the same for monuments. Tel and Boog tied for the most cash. Boog just managed to hold onto his lead, with Steves waterworld nearly catching him at the post, Tel was way back in third.

In my opinion still the best auction game out there. So simple yet so compulsive. Why is this out of print, why hasnt someone decided to reprint it and why didnt I pick up the copy I saw in the Essen Flea market?

Final Scores
Boog 56, Steve 53, Tel 39

Ratings / 10
8s all round

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

With Giganten still going, Boog Steve and Tel decided that it was way too long since theyd last played Ra. RA!!!! Steve cashed in his suns early in the first round, allowing Boog and Tel the opportunity to pick up a lot of tiles. Boog took the opportunity, Tel didn . The next rounds were closer, with Steve picking up points by the Nile full. Boog held on for a narrow win though, giving him a 100% success rate at this game. So whats his secret? Only playing twice.
 
 
Scores : Boog 56, Steve 53, Tel 39
Ratings: Boog 9, Steve 9, Tel 9
Winner(s): Boog

Santiago

First play of this with 3 players, and Boogs introduction to the game. The game consists of players performing a once round the table auction for crop tiles, where each player cannot repeat another players bid other than pass. The players,in bid order, get to choose one of the 4 crop tiles and place it onto the board placing the indicated number of their cubes onto the tile. Any players that passed also get to place a tile but get to place 1 less than the indicated number of cubes. The highest bidder then gets to place the fourth tile onto the board but without any cubes. The lowest bidder becomes the canal builder and gets to build a canal adjacent to some of the tiles as long as its connected to the canal network. The other players get the opportunity to offer bribes to the canal builder to build in a particular spot. If he builds in one of these spots he gets all the bribes for that spot, if however he decides to build elsewhere then he must pay more than the highest bribe. At the end of each turn drying occurs, where each tile not irrigated (next to a canal) loses one of the cubes on it. If there are no cubes to remove the tile is flipped and becomes barren land. The game ends when all the tiles are played and scoring is the players cash on hand plus each cube being worth the size of the crop field it is in.

Tel tried a tactic of taking the canal builder for most of the game happy to usually take the others cash when building the canal. Steve and Boog got into a couple of battles in 2 large fields. Tel did manage to get a reasonably large chilli field however Boog managed to match his investment, and on the last turn Steve also managed to get a small presence in the same field. Into the final scoring and Tels repeated passing or low bids meant he hadnt to get into the high scoring fields. A miscalcultaion by Tel and Boog in the last round in bribing Steve to build a canal where he wanted to build it anyway was worth a net gain of 7 to Steve. Whilst he won by more than this, this would have brought the scores back to a very close finish. As it was Steve managed a handsome victory. Boog managed to claim second, with Tel determining that a predominantly canal builder stratergy is unlikely to be succesful in the 3 player game.

The game seemed to fly by with only 3 of us. Still not sure as to the tactics for this one. I am enjoying the games with its tough decisions on what to bid, what to pick, where to place and what bribe to attempt.

Final Scores
Steve 100, Boog 90, Tel 87

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Boog 8, Tel 8

 
 Comment by Paul  
Orginal report from the website -

On the other table, Boog Steve and Tel sat down to Santiago. This had only been out once previousy so Tel was keen to give it another go. Hed won the previous game, but instead of trying the same tactics again he decided to try the tactic that came in last in the previous game - drop out of the bidding to be canal builder as often as possible. The tactic came last again. Boog ans Steve battles for supremacy in the large fields, with Steve pulling out the victory.
 
 
Scores : Steve 100, Boog 90, Tel 87
Ratings: Steve 8, Boog 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve

Zendo

A game based on the icehouse system. A player is designated the Master and he has to make 2 arrangements with pieces from the icehouse pyramids, one which follows a set pattern and the other which does not. The aim of everyone else is to be the first to guess what the pattern is. To this aim each player takes it in turns to build their own design. They can then decide to either get the master to mark it (right or wrong) or call for everyone to predict its success. If everyone has guesses then each player that predicts correctly if the new design is correct or not gets a green token. These can be cashed in on your turn to guess what the pattern is.

We played 4 rounds of this and Steve and Paul shared the wins 2 each. The rest of us performing terribly. Andy regularly making guesses that contridicted marked designs. Tel, Boog and Andy also had no joy at all guessing the patterns.

This is not so much a game as a torture session for a couple of members of the group. Neither Boog nor Oggie are big fans of the puzzle based games hence the likes of ricochet robot and zendo do absolutley nothing for them which is shown in their respective marks foir the game

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Steve 7, Andy 8, Tel 7, Oggie 5, Boog 3

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Ra and Giganten finished at the same time leaving about 30 minutes of gaming time. We decided to get together for a quick six player. This game saw three distinct styles of play in use. Boog, Oggie and Tel tried the "I haven got the foggiest" strategy. Paul and Steve tried the "Making correct guesses" strategy, while Andy decided to have a crack at the "Im a complete idiot so Im going to make guesses which have already been proven wrong by my own previous koans" strategy.
 
 
Scores : Paul 2, Steve 2, Andy 0, Boog 0, Tel 0, Oggie 0
Ratings: Paul 8, Steve 7, Andy 8, Boog 3, Tel 7, Oggie 5
Winner(s): Paul, Steve


20-Jan-2004All month
 
Cartagena

Scores : Tel , Andy , Steve , Oggie , Paul
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Steve 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Sieben Siegel, die

This one is proving a bit of a favourite with the Piddinghoe Gamers. Its quite nasty with plenty of scope for stitching other people up. Or as Paul found out, plenty of scope by stuffing yourself up when trying to stuff others. A good closer game as it always generates a few laughts. Steve proved to be the best at hitting his estimated tricks, whilst Oggie revealed a rare talent for collecting "Doh!" tokens.
 
Scores : Tel -2, Steve -2, Paul -4, Andy -5, Oggie -13
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel, Steve

Titicaca

The rule book to this game is not that big so quite how it took 40 mins to go through the rules is beyond me. There are a couple of tricky concepts, not least of which is the 2 different definitions of adjacency.

Titicaca is by cwali and at first glance the components bear similarites with morisi, however the gameplay is very different. The 15 pieces that make up the board are shuffled and randomly connected together. Each piece is made of 4 connected hexes, 1 of which is a numbered lake, the others being made up of 5 different landscape types. Each player receives 20 cash (weapons) and all the huts in a colour. Each round is centred on one of the numbered lakes starting with 1. Players then have a sealed bid for the unoccupied tiles adjacent to this lake. This could mean that there are between 0 and 6 tiles up for auction. With 0 this lake is skipped. Each player starting with the highest bidder then gets 4 actions. First they claim one of the emp y tiles by placing one of there huts onto it and use the border sticks to isloate it from all other tiles. If there are no available tiles then the rest of the player dont have to pay there bid but dont get to have any actions this turn. The next 3 actions are all optional. They can remove a single border from their new tile to connect it to another (adjacent) group of occupied tiles. To do this the landscape tile of the current tile must not already exist in the other group. Secondly they can remove a border from between 2 other areas providing the following rules apply: the current player has representation in one of the 2 areas; Each of the 2 areas contains a landscape type not in the other; and one of the 2 areas is adjacent to the group now comprising the new tile. For this case adjacency means that the two groups share either a common border stick or a single lake tile. Finally the player can place one of his 2 temple tiles onto a hex that is in a group adjacent to his current group. A mini scoring phase occurs after lakes 5 and 10 have been auctioned. In these cases all groups touching the relevant lakes are scored. For scoring count the number of occupied tiles in an area and whoever owns the majority of each landscape type scores this many points. In the case of ties then the value of temples is added to the number of lake tiles each player is next to with the hihjest value breaking the tie. Iif still equal then point sare shared. Secondly the number of lakes bordering the group is scored by the player with the biggest presence in the group. Finally each player also scores for how much cash they have left. Extra cash is now awarded according to how many tiles you have claimed and the size of your largest chain. The game ends when all the tiles are occupied, if this hasnt been achieved after lake 15 then each subsequent round each player can choose any unoccupied tile. Finally we have a last scoring round this is as before except every country is scored and players get additional points instead of cash. Highest score wins.

Having read the Cwali website before the game Tel had worked out the majority of the game, yet this did not help him know how to play the game as he tended to overbid for low scoring tiles. Paul had spent some time pouring over the rules the night before, and this obviously helped as he quickly opened up a big lead without spending too much money. Although he didnt win too many auctions he seemed to have discovered where to place huts to get into the lucrative areas. Steve concentrated all his efforts in one small area of the board trying to construct the largest chain possible. Oggie seemed to be going for the quantity rather than quality approach as he got many pieces on the board. Andy started slowly but managed to get a presence in most of the bigger areas, plus he managed to get a reasonable chain. Both Tel and Paul suffered from a total lack of chains, causing Tel to slip to the back of the pack, and allowing everyone else to close the gap to Paul. Oggie missed out on a couple of the big countries which relegated him back towards Tel. Steve bid high in the last round to ensure he got a big chain this meant that he almost caught Paul. Andy scored heavily in one particular area to also close the gap to Paul , however Pauls frugality won out due to his mass of cash left at the end.

Most of us (Oggie excepted) realise that there is certainly a great game in here, we just missed most of the subtelties in the first game and despite how to play the game donít know how to play the game.

Final Scores
Pau 109, Andy 107, Steve 105, Oggie 84, Tel 79

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Tel 7, Oggie 5

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

This ones got a bit of a reputation for being difficult to comprehend. Paul read through the rules in readiness for teaching it to the rest of the group. And read them again. And again. And finally they clicked. Its not that the rules are overly long or complex, just that they
e not intuitive. We ended up playing a couple of sample rounds to teach the rules, which achieved the objectives even if it did mean the rules "explanations" and setup took about forty minutes. Andy started sluggishly, but gained a lot of points at the end by dominating a couple of big countries. Steve was slowly building a big chain of houses, which was brought him in plenty of cash and a goodly few points at the end. Tel and Oggie swapped their normal tactics, with Oggie winning auctions all over the place and Tel not getting many at all. Paul just managed to sneak a win by a couple of points by bidding enough to win some strategic areas and otherwise preserving cash. Oggie wasn keen on the game, but the rest of us thought it was quite decent. We need to get this one out again while we still remember the rules.

 
 
Scores : Paul 109, Andy 107, Steve 105, Oggie 84, Tel 79
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Oggie 5, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


27-Jan-2004All month
 
El Grande

Well it may have been 4 or 5 years late but we eventually got El Grande to the table. Its been sat on Tels gaming shelf for 15 months in its shrink wrap. I guess part of the reason that its taken so long is that we have played a couple of games of El Caballero and most of the group werent keen. Im not going to explain how to play the game as if you havent already played the game then go out and get it, it is one of the classics. It should be in every gaming groups collection ( and shouldnt wait 15 months to be played).

Since none of us had played the game before, and we only had a 2.5 hour session we decided to start with the short game, ie skipping rounds 1,4 and 7. Paul was immediately suspicious of the game as being an ardent Sunderland FC fan was dismayed to find that he had to call Newcastle his homeland. Nobody had any idea what they were trying to achieve so we got some unusual opening gambits. Steve was the start player, but wanted to ensure he didnt have to make the first move of the game so opened the bidding with his 1. Andy won the first auction and decided to take the king, but then deicded not to move him but leave him stuck in the corner, allowing him to place enough cubes to wrestle control of Pauls homeland. Tel then took the score 4s card. Since he was the only one on a four province, he immediately opened up a 6 point lead. Paul use his action to Andys detriment ( theres nothing like a bit of tit for tat) was the first to remember that he could place pieces into the castillo. Into the second round and Steve now deciding that bidding low meant that he had to bid first next round and he didnt like that idea so bid his 13. Tel also went high with 12 leaving the other three to all bid very low. Steve moved the king and then piled all 5 of his pieces into an adjacent region. Tel then took the move king into an adjacent region. Allowing him to move the king into a 5 region that Tel was already populating. Andy actioned the card that forced everyone else to discard all their caballeros in court ensuring that caballeros were now in short supply. Oggie then took and actioned the score 5 regions action card, Oggie managed to claim majority in one such region first, but Tel managed to extend his lead due to the kings region. Since we were playing the short game this was now the first scoring round. And Tel once again extended his lead. Of course being a runaway leader isnt always the best position to be in as all the others do there upmost to drag the leader back into the pack. For Andy this meant that he now faced so difficult decisions as he was desperately trying to ensure neither Tel nor Paul benefitted from any of his moves. Paul had obviously twigged some of the scoring as he started to pull away from the pack and slowly close in on Tel. Tel had the last move before the second scoring round, so managed to claim a majority in a heavily contested area, to a reasonable lead going into the last third of the game. Andys feud with Paul still hadnt abated with Andy trying to bend the rules to move Pauls homeland instead of his own with one of the cards, when that failed he waged war on Newcastle. This forced Paul to use his occupants of the Castillo to reclaim his homeland instead of making an assault on one of Tels strongholds. And it was this that cost him the game, with Tel just hanging on to the win. Paul claimed a comfortable 2nd with Oggie and Steve tying for 3rd and Andy bringing up the rear.

I suspect we wont have to wait too long for this to hit the table again. A thoroughly enjoyable game which took 1.5 hours to play (the short game). There was a delay at the start of each round as we had to translate the action cards as they were overturned. Apparently the English cards are available, and this will be a very useful purchase and should speed up the game enough to ensure that well get the full game played in future.

Final Scores
Tel 77, Paul 72, Oggie 59, Steve 59, Andy 46

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 7, Steve 8, Andy 8

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original reprt from the website -

Despite sitting on Tels shelf for more than a year, this was the first time El Grande hit the table. So nothing new there then. Tel was the first to suss the game, and opened up a lead from the rest of the pack. Andy and Paul didn help their cause when they decided to play a sub game of Tit for Tat. They could both take stisfaction at the end of the game for having compltely stuffed each other up. Steve decided that sub games are fun, and started a solitaire game of "I don want to bid first", which he won is style. Any game which can give four different winners has to be a good thing. Only Oggie failed to claim a victory, but no doubt he will be joining the rest of us next time we bring out the El Grande, create your own game, construction set.
 
 
Scores : Tel 77, Paul 72, Oggie 59, Steve 59, Andy 46
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Oggie 7, Steve 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Web of Power

Now the normal strategy going into this game is that everyone fills whichever country is opened before opening another, so when we found that most of the countries had been opened before any were closed it threw most of us. I guess it was all down to what cards people had, but the form book went out of the window as players were confused as to how to approach such an open game. Even when France was opened up there was no real clamber to fill it. Steve was going for a chain strategy, and while he only managed to complete 1 he did mange to get the majority in a couple of countires in the mean time. Tel went after France getting 3 advisors in there but then only managed to get advisors into 1 other country. Oggie and Paul fought over the advisors in 2 neighbouring countries, winning one each and hence neither scoring for them. Andy was the latest victim of incorreclty assuming that 2 neighbouring countries would have a scoring link. Steves strategy proved the most successful but only just in a very tight game for most of us, though were not really siure what Oggie was doing???.

Final Scores
Steve 35, Paul 33, Tel 31, Andy 28, Oggie 18

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 6

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Usually, the Piddinghoe motto is "stuff everyone else". However, in this game you could believe it is "confuse everyone else". Being a cagey bunch, the normal order of play is for someone to relectantly play into a new country and then everyone else to fill it up as quickly as possible. Very occasionally you may have a choice of a few countries to play into. But in this game everybody rushed to open up new countries, confusing the heck out of us. Nobody had a clue how to play like this, meaning we chalked up the lowest scores weve ever seen in this game
 
 
Scores : Steve 35, Paul 33, Tel 31, Andy 28, Oggie 18
Ratings: Steve 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Steve


03-Feb-2004All month
 
Don

With still half an hour to go, time for one of opur favourites from a few years ago.

This hasnt been played in quite a while and it hasnt been played much at all as a 3 player game. The first few rounds seemd to be fairly evenly split. Steve had a run of numbers restricting his bidding a little. Tel was reluctant to make bids that saw any player get all the cash, which was proving fairly easy as Steve and andy shared a feew numbers. Tel on the other hand had a majority in a few numbers meaning the others usually had to decide who to give their money to. Tel seemed to do nicley out of this, and had ammased a winning score at the end of the game.

This game doesnt get anywhere enough table time for my liking, but I can say that about 90% of my games collection.

Final Scores
Tel 25, Steve 20, Andy 8

Ratings
Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 6
 
Scores : Tel 25, Steve 20, Andy 8
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel

Flaschenteufel

Last 10 minutes and so time for 2 hands of flaschenteufel.

Tels first hand was the hand from hell, most of the blue cards, a couple of low reds and the 2. After passing the 2 on he then recived a low red and the 1. He decided that he couldnt avoid the imp so went out to take as many tricks as possible, to this end he slowly played down his cards and with only 4 cards in his hand had won every trick. Steve and Tel shared these 4 tricks. The second hand saw the tricks being shared around, however, when halfaway through the game Tel led Yellow, Steve was forced to play his only Yellow and it was very low. Now all Andy had to do was lay a Yellow card gretaer in value then the 9 (the cuurent imp) and he was home free. Unfortunately the highest yellow he had was a 7. Steve was ecstatic at being let off the hook and performed a dance of glee. Andy was never to get rid of the imp, and Steve went on to win the hand and the game.

Andys quote after the game was interesting I tyhoroughly enjoyed both of those hands but cant bring myself to give it more than a 6. Being denied a 3 win evening and Wooting until the cows come home obviously payed its toll.


Final Scores
Steve 68, Tel 34, Andy -14

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Tel 8, Andy 6
 
Scores : Steve 68, Tel 34, Andy 14
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Andy 6
Winner(s): Steve

Ricochet Robot

We were now in danger of experiencing Andys Woots, having won the first 2 games, allowing him to win the 3rd wouldve made life unbearable to Tel and Steve as he wouldve been Wooting for days. So whats the best way to stop him winning 3 on the trot, simple play one of his favourite games and one that he plays everyday online. DOH!

Steve and Tel upset the apple cart by taking the first 2 rounds. However Andy soon got into his stride taking the next 3. Not to be put off Steve redoubled his effort to draw level with Andy. Tel then also caught up. It was getting close, the next rounds were all shared, so that when Tel won the 15th round the scores were all tied on 5 all. The deciding piece was overturnedand after a few seconds Tel called 7 just before Andy then Steve called 6. Just before the time run out Steve called 5 and woin the game.

That was a very close and exciting game, hence the scores of 8 all round

Final Scores
Steve 6, Andy 5, Tel 5

Ratings / 10
8s for everyone
 
Scores : Steve 6, Tel 5, Andy 5
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Steve

Santa Fe Rails

The first game of the night was a new one to all of us. Luckily wes all read the rules before hand so went straight into the game. There are two ways of getting VPs: all cards in fornt of a player are scored, they get their value on the board multiplied by the number of different lines going through them. Money at the end of the game is also converted into VPs. Money is gained by being the first player to connect to a city, or being the first to connect particular lines to certain cities.

There were 2 distinctly different strategies in play. Andy seemed intent on ensuring that every city on the board be connected, but at the same time playing as many city cards as possible. While Tel and Steve both seemed to be trying to maximise the number of lines going through a couple of their cities. Despite playing predominantly city cards Andy did manage to play the x2 card to veryt lucrative effect on a couple of occasions. Early in the game Tel dead ended the white line (after only 3 tracks being laid), and nobody played a branch line to bring it back into the game. Because Tel and Steve were playing quite a few of the special cards we were not getting through the city deck very quickly, so by the time the game ended when wed run out of 4 of the main tracks with white still dead ended, we were still 14 cards away from seeing the first minor line. Since Andy had more cities then everyone else, and had a mountain of cash more then anyone else we assumed hed won the game by a much larger margin than he actually did. Steve and Tel both outscored him on the cities as the majority of Andys cities only serviced 1 line. He did still win by a comfortabl emargin but not by as much as wed all expected.

I think I like this game but need to play it a few more times to be sure. The game was finished within an hour.

Final scores (cities + money = total)
Andy 56 + 71 = 127
Tel 79 + 35 = 114
Steve 75 + 17 = 92

Ratings / 10
Andy 8, Tel 7, Steve 7
 
Scores : Andy 127, Tel 114, Steve 92
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy

Through the Desert

The pastel camels are always a welcome sight to the gaming table, though it does seem to take longer to prepare the game than actually play.

As usual there were some nasty tactics at the start of this game as we got groups of the same coloured camels trying to crowd each other. Andys strategy for this game was to go after enclosed areas, with Tel and Steve being more interested in Palm trees to start with. By the time they spotted what Andy was upto it was too late as hed effectively grabbed a couple of nice big areas. The end game was all about battles for the longest chains. Steve managed to get himself into 2 diufferent fights one with each of the others, and hence lost them both, leaving Tel and Andy with 2 longest chains each and Steve having to settle for 1.

Always a great game.

Finals Scores
Andy 87, Tel 73, steve 59
 
Scores : Andy 87, Tel 73, Steve 59
Ratings: Andy 9, Tel 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy


08-Feb-2004All month
 
Balloon Cup

Scores : Tel 3, Andy 1
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Canal Grande

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Canal Grande

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Andy

Die Burg - Carcassonne

Scores : Tel 75, Andy 70
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Die Burg - Carcassonne

Scores : Tel 72, Andy 68
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Floriado

Scores : Tel 40, Andy 22
Ratings: Tel 5, Andy 4
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Tel , Andy
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Tel

Magic the Gathering

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy

Starship Catan

Scores : Andy , Tel
Ratings: Andy 5, Tel 6
Winner(s): Tel

Very Clever Pipe Game

Scores : Tel 18, Andy 15
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

ZooSim

Scores : Andy 206, Tel 188
Ratings: Andy 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy


10-Feb-2004All month
 
Alles im Aimer

The game ended with 3 hands of the bucket game. The first couple of times I played this I wasnt too keen. But today I found what I had been missing, I was trying to win. This game is the perfect tool for the piddinghoe gamers to cause havoc. High marks were given by everyone tonight simply because I dont think anyone stopped laughing for the entire 45 mins that we were playing.

In each of the 3 hands Tel decided to construct his pyramid before looking at his cards. Steve looked at his cards first but then built exactly the same pyramids as Tel. The fatal thing to do in this game is reveal a weakness as it will be exploited repeatedly. Andy was the only one to avoid major devastation in the first round, this was mainly due to Oggie acting as a buffer and unwittingly taking the flack each round just before it got to Oggie. Needless to say Oggie was the first to depart closely followed by Tel. Tel made amends in the second game somehow keping his Pyramid intact for most of the game whilst pyramids were crumbling quickly. The third game was where we saw real devastation. The first 3 times rounds the table was almost exclusively Red, which caused disasterous for most players but Tel and Boog in particular who were both down to only 3 buckets very quickly. Despite being the first out in the previosu 2 games Oggie was the only player to show some resolve and claimed victory in the final game.

Winners
Andy, Tel and Oggie

Ratings / 10
Andy 9, Boog 9, Oggie 9, Tel 8, Steve 8
 
Scores : Andy 9, Boog 2, Steve 2, Oggie 0, Tel 0
Ratings: Andy 9, Boog 9, Steve 8, Oggie 9, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy

Alles im Aimer

Scores : Tel 7, Boog 4, Andy 1, Steve 0, Oggie 0
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 9, Andy 9, Steve 8, Oggie 9
Winner(s): Tel

Alles im Aimer

Scores : Oggie 4, Tel 2, Andy 1, Steve 0, Boog 0
Ratings: Oggie 9, Tel 8, Andy 9, Steve 8, Boog 9
Winner(s): Oggie

Metro

With still an hour of play still to go we opted for Metro.

Now I am going to buck tradition and not accuse Andy of cheating in this game, of course he did break the rules by placing a tile in the wrong orientation but who am I to decide if he was cheating again or whether it was an honest mistake :-). Steve got the raw end of the deal by being the only player to have 2 starting stations stuck in the corner. So when Tel closed of a couple of Steves lines cheaply, vengence was demanded, and when someone is after blood in Piddinghoe things get messy. And so we found plenty of good old fashioned spolier tactics on display. Andy quietly kept out of the way and amassed a nice score. Even a large doubled score from Oggie wasnt enough to beat him. This was the first time Ive seen the game end before the last few tiles were laid as everyones tracks were finished with a couple of hoiles in the board.

A great light and entertaining game.

Final Scores
Andy 57, Oggie 52, Tel 45, Boog 42, Steve 28

Ratings / 10
Andy 8, Oggie 8, Tel 7, Boog 7, Steve 8
 
Scores : Andy 57, Oggie 52, Tel 45, Boog 41, Steve 28
Ratings: Andy 8, Oggie 8, Tel 7, Boog 7, Steve 8
Winner(s): Andy

Transamerica

Only 5 tonight so we started with Transamerica. As is usual there were plenty of cries of disbelief as everyone received their cards and discovered that they were spread all over the board. In all three rounds we found that everyone was joined into the same network very quickly. Hence there were lots of small scores in each round. The biggest score of the day went to Tel who managed to remain 5 away in the second round. However he won the other 2 rounds to keep him in contention. Everyone else seemed to get 1,2 and 3s throughout. Boog emerged the surprised victor, Im not sure why he was surprised as he won 1 round and finished 1 away in the other 2.

A great solid game to start the evening.

Final Scores
Boog 11, Tel 8, Andy 8, Steve 6, Oggie 5

Ratings / 10
Boog 7, Tel 8, Andy 7, Steve 8, Oggie 7
 
Scores : Boog 11, Andy 8, Tel 8, Steve 6, Oggie 5
Ratings: Boog 7, Andy 8, Tel 8, Steve 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Boog

Trias

Next up was Trias, and the first game with the new dinosaur pieces. Usually Trias hits the table as a 3 player so it was interesting to see how it was going to play as a 5 player. Tel formed the first Island which Steve and Boog both managed to also get onto. The second island was of size 2 and was never to see land again as it slowly drifted of into oblivion with Andy and Oggie putting up a token fight for control. They were both more interested in the next island to be formed. Andy so much so that with 2/3 of the game goine hed only got dinos on these 2 islands, but they were both heavily populated. Tel and Steve had managed to increase the size of the first island, before Steve made a bid for control. A couple of independent drifts had effectively knocked Boog out of contention. Tel made a late bid at splitting of another island to be joined by Boog. As the metor hit Tel had opened a 6 point lead from all the island creations. The last moves saw everyone consolidate what they already controlled. Tels advantage from the island formations proved decisive as he claimed a 5 point victory from Steve. Oggie just managed to pip Andy with Boog unable to recover from his disaster mid game.

The game seemed to work as well with 5 as it did with 3. It was played quite quickly so there wasnt too much downtime.

Final Scores
Tel 23, Steve 18, Oggie 15, Andy 13, Boog 8

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Andy 7, Boog 7
 
Scores : Tel 23, Steve 18, Oggie 15, Andy 13, Boog 8
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Andy 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel


24-Feb-2004All month
 
Amun-Re

The group split into 2 groups of 3, so Andy, Paul and Tel went off to play Amun Re. Andy had only played the game once so a quick recap was in order before we started. The board is split into 15 regions, with each region being either old or new kingdom, east or west of the nile and riverside or not. Each region has spaces allocated for a number of farmers (0-8?), indicates how much revenue it generates each turn, indicates how many cards it allows a player to draw, what benefits are given upon acquisition plus may have 0,1,or 2 temples. Each player starts the game with 20 shekels. There are 2 epochs to the game with each epoch comprising of 3 rounds. Each round plays the same way. 3 cards are turned face up, these indicate which 3 of the 15 regions are to be bought this time round. The cards also show what bids are allowed (0,1,3,6,10,15,21Ö). The players then take it in turn to make a bid for one of the regions. You are free to bid any allowed amount as long as it is greater then any other player on that card. Once everyone has made a bid, anyone whos bid was bettered now gets to change their bid, however they are not allowed to immediately rebid for the same region. Only players who have been outbid may change their bids. This continues until everyone has bid for a different region. Players pay their final bids and place one of their 3 tokens into the claimed region. Each player then gets a building phase. Players can buy cards, farmers and building blocks. The same 1,3,6,10Ö sliding scale applies to each of the 3 types of purchase so if someone bought 1 card, 1 farmer and 3 blocks it would cost him (1+1+6) 8. Farmers and blocks must immediately be placed into any region the player controls. For Farmers they can ponly place them if there is available spaces. As soon as there are 3 block in a region it immediately becomes a pyramid. The cards either allow extra actions, extra income or bonus Vps in the scoring round. Once each player has performed his building phase there is a sacrifice phase. Each player gives up an amount of cash or plays a -3 card. Whoever plays a -3 card takes the card back to his hand and draw 3 cash from the bank. Each other player then gets to take extra cards/farmers/blocks. Whoever sacrificed the most gets 3, second most gets 2 everyone else gets 1. Finally there is the harvest phase. Each player gets the indicated revenue for each region plus cash for each farmre based on the size of the sacrifice. After the 3rd round is a scoring phase. Players score for each pyramid, sets of pyramids (a pyramid in each region), the largest number of pyramids in a region on each side of the nile, any met bonus cards, plus any temples score depending on the size of the last sacrifice. All farmers are now removed from the board, players tokens are returned and we start the second epoch. Only the regions from the first epoch are used in the second. Play now continues as before. At the end of the 6th round we score as before, with an additional set of points available for the players with the most cash left. Whoever accumulates the most points wins.

In our last game Tel managed to open an unassailable lead by monopolising the farmers in the first round. Paul was determined to stop that this time, so made sure he bought the big farmer regions each time. Andy was first to play in the first round so immediatley slapped a 6 bid for the region that immediately paid out 12, neither Tel not Paul were interested, claiming he couldve had it for 1. Tel was picking up the regions that allowed him to buy more cards. After his first region Andy then went after the temples. Paul had managed to gain a majority in farmers, though both Andy and Tel had managed to grab a few as well. Everyone managed to build 1 pyramid in every region, Paul however had managed a second pyramid west of the river. Pauls farmers and large pyramid enabled him to open up a small lead. Andys Temples forced him into second with Tel completing a bonus card to stay in touch. The second Epoch and Pauls farmer strategy was immeditaly thrown out of the window as the first 3 regions were all light on farmers. The second round saw the big pyramid come up for auction. Both Paul and Tel bid heavily for this with Tel finally getting the region for 21. Andy had managed to get both of the temple regions. Paul was swearing and cursing each time he drew a card and at one point trading in 5 cards for 5 gold. Tels strategy in the second epoch was to concentrate on pyramids, originally going for the largest regions but once Andy took up the challenge and matched him block for block, Tel resorted to building 3 complete sets. Paul maintained his emphasis on farmers but wasnt getting the cards to help. Into the last round and both Andy with his temples and Paul with his farmer advantage needed a big sacrifice, so both chucked loadsa money at amun re whilst Tel decided to preserve his cash. Despite getting a decent amount of cash back in the final round Paul hadnt scored too many points and slipped from first to last. Andys 12 points for temples plus his largest pyramid region was enough to claim second, but Tel ammassed 19 points for his 10 pyramids added to a bonus card and having the most cash gave him enough points to claim victory.

This was our first outing with Amun Re as a 3 player. The are a number of obvious impacts with only 3 players, these include; the sacrifice value tends to be lower with less players; only 9 of the 15 regions are used making achieving most of the bonus cards a lot more difficult to acheive. Usually each player manages at least one bonus card during the game. Neither Paul nor Andy managed to achieve one in either epoch in the 3 player. The other noticeable difference is that we had much less cobflicts over the buying of the regions. Only the sale of the region already containing a double pyramid caused a prolonged bout of bidding. The game still works with 3 and is still very entertaining, however I think I prefer it with more players.

Final Scores
Tel 47, Andy 42, Paul 36

Ratings / 10
8s for everyone

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

We had a full complement of six regulars tonight so decided to split into two groups. Andy, Paul and Tel kicked off with Amun-Re. It actually turned out to be a little disappointing. It was still a good game but not as enjoyable as the four and five player sessions weve had. The number of territories in play very much restricts opportunities for achieving bonus cards. In fact neither Andy or Paul managed to score a single one.

Paul managed to eke out a slight lead after the first epoch by gaining the pyramid majority on one side of the nile. His plan to score points from multiple bonus cards in the second half failed dismally though, and the others overtook him in the second epoch scoring. Andy picked up a lot of points via temples as the final scoring was on 4. He was just pipped to the post by Telbert the Pyramid King, who got 16 points in the final epoch from pyramids alone.
 
 
Scores : Tel 47, Andy 42, Paul 36
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

New England

Boog, Oggie and Steve squared off for two games of New England in the whirlwind time of 75 minutes for two games. Boog and Oggie had both played once at Essen, but failed to convert experience to victory. The New England virgin, Steve, took both games. Oggie to provide more details....
 
Scores : Oggie , Boog , Steve
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Steve

New England

Scores : Oggie , Boog , Steve
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Steve

Pit

Since the strange disappearence of Kev from the group there has been a dramatic reduction in the amount of times that PIT now makes the gaming table. The game is also a bit quieter without the forementioned Kev, however the game is still very boisterous, full of frantic trades and is still played to the almost unilateral yell of TWO!.

We managed 7 hands of PIT to end the evening. Paul was obviously the most succesful trader of the night ???, scoring in all but 1 of the rounds, unfortunalty most of his scores were negative for left holding the bear/bull. Steve was the least successful trader not managing to register a score until the final round, and then only because he held the bear. Oggie was slightly more/less successful managing 2 scores but negative. Tel manged a couple of big round wins to comfortably take the game.

Whilst PIT will never win any awards as a highly strategic game, it does provide great entertainment, and is a great way to wind down after heavier games.

Final Scores
Tel 375, Paul 135, Andy 120, Boog 80, Steve -20, Oggie -40

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 8, Boog 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

With just half an hour to go, we decided to combine groups. Pit used to be an old favourite but hasn seen table time for a while now. Tels luck held out yet again, giving him an easy victory. Paul proved quite adept at getting the bear card just as the bell was rung. Steve almost managed to avoid scoring at all, until he beat Paul to the bear in the final round. And Oggie proved to have a supernatural ability to avoid collecting any sets. Cries of "who had my last sugar???" were invariably met with a "Me! from the Ogden.
 
 
Scores : Tel 375, Paul 135, Andy 120, Boog 80, Steve -20, Oggie -40
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7, Andy 8, Boog 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel


02-Mar-2004All month
 
Alexandros

This was the first playing of this since the not so successful attempt at Essen. To be fair at Essen we were taught the game by an attractive young lady, so some of the group my not have been concentrating entirely on what she was saying. Added to this that her English was not very good and she didnt know how to play the game, it was not entirly surprising that after 10 mins we realised that we didnt know what we were doing. Even a 5 minute stint with the Designer didnt entirely light the way, though it certainly helped. Hence it was no surprise when we got the rules from the geek to find that wed got a couple of important rules wrong.

The board is made up of triangles, these triangles are either neutral in colour or are one of the 5 colours that are used on the cards that make up the deck. This deck is shuffled with one card dealt to each player, 2 dealt face up and the rest left to comprise the draw deck. The Alexandros token starts the game in one corner of the board on the vertex of a triangle. Play comprises of each player moving Alexandros, then spending 2 action points. To move Alexandros a player either takes one of the 2 face up cards or discards one of the cards from his hand. Alexandros is then moved to any vertex on the nearest triangle matching the colour of the chosen card. The route he takes ( which must be one of the shortest routes to th eselected triangle) is then mapped out with the black border sticks. The player now performs 2 actions from the following; Draw a card ; occupy a territory; taxation; remove one of his governors. The usual action will be to draw a card this can be either a face up card or from the draw pile. A territory is a group of triangles entirely surrounded by a combination of border sticks and the edge of the board. To occupy a territory the player places at least 1 of his 4 governor tokens onto the coloured triangles in the territory, discarding cards to match the triangles left unoccupied. If the territory is occupied then an additional 2 cards matching each of the coloured triangles containing governors (which are then removed) must also be paid, and instead of discarding all cards the evicted player receives half. The third action is taxation, this is triggered by discarding a card matching any coloured triangle occupied by one of your governors. Each territory that contains a single governor then scores for that player. The amount scored is the number of neutral coloured triangles. This is th eonly actoin that can be performed only once per turn. The last action available is to return a governor to your hand. The game ends when either someone hits 100 or when all the black borders are used.

As usual for the Piddinghoe Gamers we started very defensively, with the first 2 trips of Alexandros hugging the edge of the board to ensure no territories can be formed. However this didnt last and by the end of the first round Andy had managed to create a small area and taxed to be the first to score. Oggie and Paul then followed suit before Tel made the first eviction grabbing Pauls area. Alexandros was now slowly trundling across the board as players were hoarding cards trying to capture a large 12 point are that had been left near the start point. Tel was the first to have the correct cards and claimed the territory, however he couldnt tax as this was his only area and he didnt have any blue cards left. The next couple of rounds saw players claiming a few small areas but also ensure that Tel didnt see any blue cards. Eventually after a couple of rounds he managed to grab a second territory and trigger a taxation round from there, however his joy was short lived as Oggie then managed to evict him from the large area and manged to get a few taxations during the next few turns. Paul had managed to grab 3 smaller regions, but was consistently scoring from them. Tel and Andy both managed to grab larger regions for themselves only to find in both cases that they were immediately cut in half. Andy finally managed to muscle his way into Oggies large area, but Tel ended thre game on the very next turn as the border pieces run out. Oggies lengthy occupation of the large area proved decisive as he pipped Paul to the post by a single point. Tel managed to just hold Andy off in their private battle for 3rd.

It is certainly a better game when you understand what you are trying to achieve and how to play the game. It wil certainly hit the table again as an enjoyable game was had by all..

Final Scores
Oggie 91, Paul 90, Tel 74, Andy 70

Ratings / 10
Oggie 8, Paul 8, Tel 7, Andy 7

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Just four of us tonight, so the perfect opportunity to hit Oggies fabled four player tiny box collection. Alexandros was new to Andy. Oggie, Paul and Tel had played once at Essen - though without much of a clue as to what the rules were or what they were doing. This game is an exercise in getting evicted. First Andy claimed an area and started taxing. So he got evicted. Paul scared Tel by taking a small area and not taxing it. So he got evicted. Tel got a dirty great area and failed to tax it but got evicted just in case he taxed it. And then Oggie claimed a big area and lots of little ones but obviously didn get evicted enough as he won. Interesting game this one. Despite looking very similar to Trans America, it plays nothing like it.
 
 
Scores : Oggie 91, Paul 90, Tel 74, Andy 70
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 8, Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Cronberg

The small box evening was concluded with Cronberg.

Only the second time weve played this, but similar tactics on display both times. Some players going for regular points by trying to get their pieces back and others tying their pieces in so they get positives but dont come back. Pauls aim was to lock all his pieces onto the board for as many points as possible, and didnt get a single token back during the whole game. Andy was going for getting his pieces back and for a large chunk of the game was the only person to score. He managed to return 3 pieces before anyone else got 1 back but only 1 of these 3 scores was positive. Tel did get 1 piece back towards the end of the game however it scored zero. Oggie also got a couple of pieces back for a combined total of -5. Tels was delighted to place his last 2 pieces for a combined total of -10, this was because hed managed to avoid the 2 death spots of -20 and -42!!!! Andy and Oggie shared these to ensure they both finished negative though Andy was relived to remain on the score track. Pauls tactic came up trumps as he run out a comfortable winner.

Final Scores
Paul 47, Tel 24, Andy -13, Oggie -27

Ratings / 10
Paul 7, Tel 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Again second game for all of us. Interestingly, this stopped being a battle for who could score points about one third of the way in, and turned into a race to avoid having to play on an intersection which would score -20. This soon turned into an even more interesting race to avoid playing onto a -48 point intersection. Andy and Oggie were the unfortunate scores of the huge minus points, with Paul taking the win largely by locking all of his pieces onto the board early. The final score track was carnage - I haven seen such a wide spread in a game for a long time. Plenty of stuff your neighbour opportunites, so I expect this one will get plenty of Piddinghoe plays.
 
 
Scores : Paul 47, Tel 24, Andy -13, Oggie -27
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Feurio!

To continue the nights theme of small box games we went onto feurio. Players are firefighter trying to bring a forest fire under control and for a tile laying game the theme is very strong.

The game starts with a randomly drawn 4 tiles together in a group. Each tile is in the form of an hexagon and has a value from 1 to 6. On a players turn they draw a tile and place it at the hottest point of the fire. This is calcualted by adding the value of all adjacent tiles for each playable position, and whichever has the highest value is deemed to be the hotspot and hence where the fire will spread next. Once a tile is placed the player can add 1-3 tokens on any one tile as long as there are enough free spots on that tile; the total number of fireman on the tile does not exceed the number of free sides to the tile. Play then continues clockwise. Once all the tiles are played players continue playing firemen. The game ends when no-one can play a fireman token. Scoring is performed per chain of linked tiles for each player. Any chain that does not touch the edge of the fire is immediately discarded without scoring. All other chains score for the total of all tiles in the chain divided by the value of the lowest tile in the chain. Highest score wins.

The board started with a raging fire, and we all dove straight into the hotspots. The fire quickly spread in all directions and the firefighters seemed to form up into 2 halves. Tel was lucky to find the first water reserve (1) and was even luckier to be able to place it to cool down the end of one of his chains into the heart of the fire. Everyone had split their firemen into a couple of groups of firefighters, both Oggie and Andy managed to get one of their crews to a 1 valued tile. Paul was still searching out the low valued tiles when Tel drew 2 on the trot, immediately populating them both to ensure a high score for himself and in the process effectively halving the value of Pauls big chains. Tels successful action of connecting both his big chains to 1 tiles paid dividends big time as he claimed a comprehensive victory. Andy and Oggie tied for second with Paul suffering due the the lack of access to 1 tiles coming last.

This one totally slid under the radar in the run up to Essen last year, and may have been missed altogether by the group had it not been for Oggies policy of buying everything he sees in the small size boxes. The game plays in 30 mins, which is always a bonus, and provides a great strategic game. Paul voiced concerns at the end that the luck of the draw of the tiles could, in certain circumstances, be crucial in deciding the winner. His misfortune in this game of not drawing or being able to access a 1 tile displayed this, as acces to just one of these tiles wouldve increased his score by an additional 50% and given him a comfortable 2nd instead of the 4th he managed.

Final Scores
Tel 42, Oggie 27, Andy 27, Paul 22

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Oggie 7, Andy 7, Paul 7

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Second game for all of us. This is a good litte filler. Unusual theme, interesting gameplay and some room for strategic play. Unfortunately this one came down to the luck of who drew the most 1 tiles. And in the luck stakes there was only going to be one winner - Telbert by a mile.
 
 
Scores : Tel 42, Andy 27, Oggie 27, Paul 22
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


09-Mar-2004All month
 
Elfenland

The initial turn saw everyone hit between 5 and 7 towns. Despite complaining that his plan was scuppered by the placement of the second tile of the game, Paul managed to tie for the lead after all the way along the south border of the board. The Boogs legendary patience was again on display, when on his turn he just dropeed a pile of cards and took a handful of tokens, no-one decided to challenge his move. The pieces were split at this time between north and south of the board. The second round saw Andy and Steve claim big hauls, whilst Tel and Boog struggled to get 3. After the end of the third round it was quite obvious that there were two battles going on, Andy, Paul, Steve and Oggie were all in with a shout of winning, whilst Tel and Boog were looking to avoid the wooden spoon. Everyone bar Tel was in the North East of the board, with Tel camped out South West. Something happened next which I have never seen before nor expect to again. The fourth round finished with four of the players having not played their obstacle tiles. The Gamers of Piddinghoe usually never miss an opportunity to stitch as many players as possible, so to have everyone pass whilst 4 players could still wreak havoc is inconceivable. This worked to Steves advantage as he managed collect all 20 of his tokens and finish in his designated city. Andy and Paul were only 1 token behind (with Andy having more cards left) with Oggie an additional 1 behind these two. Tel managed to just pip Boog, to avoid the wooden spoon. All of us managed to finish in our respective cities.

In the opinion of most of our group (Boog being the exception) this is one of the better 6 player games around. Boog is not a fan claiming that there is too much downtime. Personally I donít find this an issue as Im usually trying to work out what to do on my turn.

Final Scores
Steve 20, Andy 19, Paul 19, Oggie 18, Tel 16, Boog 15

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Andy 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8, Boog 6

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

A full complement of gamers tonight, so out came a couple of games that can handle six players. This one devolved into two races. Boog and Tel were desperately competing to not get the lowest score ever recorded for the game. Everyone else was slugging it out to take the victory. An interesting situation came up in the final round where four of us had not yet played an obstacle tile. However, it seemed that we could all just make it back to our designated finish cities - as long as nobody played an obstacle on us. So it the style of 80s superpowers, none of us dared start the obstacle battle for the fear of mutually assured score destruction. Steve took the victory finishing at his city with all 20 cylinders.
 
 
Scores : Steve 20, Paul 19, Andy 19, Oggie 18, Tel 16, Boog 15
Ratings: Steve 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8, Boog 6
Winner(s): Steve

Finstere Flure

In my opinion this is certainly one of the better releases of 2003.

Everyone slowly spread out from the start square and the monster just as slowly lumbered towards the gathered masses. When he did eventually get into the crowd he took an immediate liking to Boog swallowing 2 of his dudes straight away. Everyone else legged it for the exit, with Paul managing to get 1 out before Boog managed to convince the Jellified, one-eyed limping tophatted monster to head back to the exit. Tel took a gamble on the monsters movement and lost big time, so instead of winning got 2 dudes eaten, taking Pauls 2 other chaps with him. This left the monster on the finish square forcing everyone to scatter. Despite the efforts of Tel, Boog and Paul, the game was soon over however with Steve just pipping Andy to the victory

Another Chaotic outing 2F game, with saw us almost finish the deck once, but not quite.

Ratings / 10
Steve 7 , Andy 6, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Tel 8, Boog 8

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

In most games, the thought process is usually "what do I need to try to do now to win". But in Finstere Flure, its so much more entertaining to adopt the Boog mentality - "what can I do now to cause the most chaos". Ad normal, this was the way the game went. Paul got a man out, and then all of the rest of his men eaten. Tel almost got a man out, and then got most of his men eaten. Steve unfortunately managed to sneak two men out before we could conspire to get them eaten. Spoilsport.
 
 
Scores : Steve , Tel , Andy , Oggie , Boog , Paul
Ratings: Steve 7, Tel 8, Andy 6, Oggie 7, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Steve


14-Mar-2004All month
 
Age of Mythology

The first game of the Sunday games day was the big game from Eagle Games. AoM is a board game version of the computer game. After reading the rules were were all struck by the fact that some elements of the gameplay was shared with PR. Firstly each player has his own game board, which contains an area for production tiles and an area to build buildings. Players get to choose to perform 3 actions in each of the 10 turns. But some of these actions allow all players to perform that action. For example the explore action forces the revealing of a number of production chips one of which may be chosen by each player. Gather allows each player to take cubes determined by their for each production tiles, however there is a limit on how many cubes of each type and often players get to go without. Despite these similarities there are some striking differences, not least of which is the 4hr+ game time. AoM is also a combat element with players building up an Army which can be used to attack other players. The winner is the player with the most VPs at the end of the game, with 5 ways of gaining VPs. One of the buildings a player can build allows for the conversion of certain resource blocks into VPs. At the start of each round 3 VP chips are placed amongst 4 cards (Wonder, Largest Army, Most Buildings, Last Battle won). The Victor in each battle takes all chips from the last battle won card, whilst the content of the other three cards are awarded at the end of the game. There are 2 ways of ending the game, either by 1 player building the Wonder building ( assuming they have advanced their people enough) or failing that after 10 rounds.

I suspect this was a very abnormal game. Throughout the whole game only 1 VP was ever placed on the won last battle card (and this VP helped determine the winner). Consequently there werent too many battles, 4 to be precise, and 1 of these was a last ditch attempt to prolong the game. It became apparent early on that there were 3 different strategies on display. Both Tel and Paul were recruiting like made building big armies, Oggie went down the building route whilst Andy was concentrating of getting prime production tiles. In this effort Andy had managed to get to get the majority of the favour producing tiles. This provoked Tel to attack Oggie to get some favour cubes, Paul to attack Andy to steal a favour production tile, and Tel to use a god power to steal one of Andys favour tiles. Oggie tried to build the wonder to finish the game, unfortunately hed forgotten that he need to have advanced his tribe to the last age, and was still 2 ages short. Andy was advancing slightly quicker then everyone else, with Tel and Paul still pushing for the largest Army. The victory cubes were being fairly evenly split between the three end game cards for the first half of the game. When it became obvious that Oggie had the buildings sewn up, this started to drop back as the army opened a slight advantage over the wonder card. Paul pushed ahead in the largest Army forcing Tel to give up the chase, and here Tel made the mistake of putting a VP on the last battle won card. Paul then attacked Andy in an uncontested victory to take the 1st VP of the game. At this point more VPs were placed on the wonder as Tel switched attack to this aim. By this stage resources were at a premium as everyone was starting to hoard to prevent other players winning. Oggie eventually buckled and recruited in a last ditch attempt to wrest the largest army card from Paul, Tel snapped up the resources and was ready to build the wonder. Oggie on his next go launched an attack on Tels production area, in an attempt to prevent him building the wonder. Initially the dice went badly for Oggie as he lost the first 3 skirmishes, however his last creature the Cyclops, went into a throwing frenzy, chucking 2 of Tels Heros from the field of battle (as Tel didnt see a 6 in 19 dice). However it was 3rd time lucky for Tel as he managed to see of the Cyclops and gain victory. Tel then built the wonder. This left Paul and Tel tied for the lead with Oggie back in 3rd. However Tel had used most of his cubes in the production of the wonder leaving the victory to Paul as he had most cubes left.

Not being a fan of dice based combat games, I didnt have particularly high hopes for this game, however I was pleasantly surprised. This may have been due to the lack of battles in our particular game but I did enjoy the game. There seemed to be plenty of decisions to be madeas there were never enough actions available. The obvious drawback is the 4+ hours it took to play, which is a shame as this will prevent it from seeing the table too often.

Final Scores
Paul 10, Tel 10, Oggie 7, Andy 0

Ratings / 10
unilateral 7s

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

We dedicate the second Sunday of every month to gaming. Well, obviously not the mornings which most of the group fully occup with sleeping. We tend to get out the longer games that we don have time to play during an evening. Age of Mythology meets this criteria handily. This was the first time wed got it to the table. Setup and rules explanation took the best part of an hour, with the game itself coming in at around the 3.5 hour mark.

Wed read that lots of combat really slows down the game so made a decision to try to avoid battles. This worked out okay as players only have three actions per turn and generally had quite enough to be doing without spending these actions on combat. It also had the side effect that only one victory cube was placed on the last battle won card all game. The competition thus came down to Andy, Oggie and Telbert scrapping for the wonder points, Oggie having an almost uncontested route to largest city, whilst Oggie, Paul and Telbert fought over largest army. Telbert eventually ended the game in the ninth round by building the wonder, taking second place behind Paul. After a single play, this seems quite an intesresting game but way too long for what it is. If it took less that two hours I could see it getting quite a bit of play, but 3.5 plus setup is going to relegate it to the occasional play pile.
 
 
Scores : Paul 10, Tel 10, Oggie 7, Andy 0
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul

San Juan

First outing for this eagerly awaited card game rework of Puerto Rico. The game is now played with just a deck of cards, the role cards and 5 strips that shows the prices for the trader. The cards depict buildings split into the production buildings and the violet buildings. Each player starts with a hand of 5 cards including an indigo plant. As in PR the players take it in turns to select one of the available roles. In San Juan these are Prospector (player only draw a card), Producer (all Players get 1 plant to produce), Builder ( all players may build), Trader (all players may sell 1 good) and Councilor ( All players get to keep 1 card drawn from 3). Each card in you hand counts as a prospective building, with a building cost indictaed from 1 to 6, and as cash worth 1 GP. Hence to build a card from your hand you must also discard other cards to pay for it, and this is one of the big decisions that often confronts the players which of the cards in your hand are you willing to discard to build one of the others. The game ends when 1 player has built 12 buildings and whoever has the most VPs at that point wins.

Straight from the start Paul went into a building frenzy building at every opportunity usually just a small building. Tel got a couple of early production buildings out but didnt get a purple building out for a while. Andy managed to get a couple of buildings out. Paul got a couple of buildings that made purple buildings cheaper which seemed to ensure that he always had some cards in his hand, allowing him to keep building whilst Andy and Tel were frequently unable to build due to a lack of cards. Mid way through the game and it looked like Paul was going to walk it. However towards the end the cards obviously turned against Paul as he slowed down allowing Andy and Tel to build a couple of big buildings. Paul did eventually end the game and claimed a 2 point victory from Tel, Andy was a further 2 points behind.

We were all quite happy with the game. Usually after following the hype of some eagerly anticipated release, the final product is a bit of a disappoinment, this is not the case with San Juan and was even better then some in the group mere expecting. This is not just a port of PR into a card format, though it does borrow heavily from its elder sibling, it is a game in its own rights. Being a card game there is obviously a bigger luck element, with the draw of the cards being important. A surprising fact was that a 3 player game took about an hour to play, though that did include plenty of references to the rulebook to determine what one of the buildings did. This will certainly be played again, and is a welcome addition to my collection. Everyone scored it a 7 though I expect to see the more common rating for this to be 8 in the future as the game speeds up with familiarity with the cards.

Final Scores
Paul 19 , Tel 17, Andy 15

Ratings
7s all round

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Wed bought four copies of the long awaited and much hyped Puerto Rico card game two days earlier and were eager to get it to the table. Oggie had to leave to reclaim his house from an invasion of Magic cards, leaving Andy Paul and Telbert. The mechanics are familiar from PR, but the powers of the buildings are all new so it took us a little while and a lot of looking up of building powers. Thus the game took almost an hour, which is more than a 3 player game of Puerto Rico would take us. This will come down when the players are more familiar with the buildings. Unfamiliarity with the game showed in the result, with Paul winning with whats probably going to be the lowest winning score well ever see - a mere 19 points. Id had low expectations of the game, being sure it coundn live up to its billing. And indeed its not the second coming of PR. I was pleasantly suprised though as it is a decent little game, which would proably be getting rave reviews if it had come out before its bigger brother.
 
 
Scores : Paul 19, Tel 17, Andy 15
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Paul

Tycoon

Another new game to the group, though both Paul and Tel had seperatly given the game a quick whirl online against the bots on Stan Hilinskis site (Tel despite not knowing half the rules). The game is about gaining majorities in Hotels across 9 different cities.

Andys lack of knowledge of the game found him falling behind almost from the start as he didnt take any loans out but then was forced too immediately after building his first factory. This found him behind the curve and in a position he was never able to recover from. Tel and Paul adopted 2 very different strategies, Tel concentrating on controlling Monaco and New York, whilst Paul managed to place his first nine hotels in all cities. Paul then attacked Tels advantage in New York. It was a battle that Tel was always going to lose so he gave up and consolidated Monaco. Andy by this time was busy hoovering some of the smaller cities up. But once Paul got control of New york there was only ever going to be 1 winner. And so it turned out with Paul claiming a comfortable victory from Tel with Andy Trailing in third.

At 99p from Ebay this was an absolute steal for Paul. A good game that will see some play, Andy wasnt too ken, though this was probably due to his bad startand being out of contention for 3/4 of the game.

Final Scores
Paul 173, Tel 124, Andy 60

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Tel 7, Andy 6

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

The three of us had time for one more game, and the third new game of the day. Well, third new game for Andy. Paul had played once before online and Tel had played four times, despite not having a clue what the rules were. Andys money was obviously hotter than anybody elses, as he was determined to spend it all as fast as possible before it burned a hole in his pocket. He therefore spent much of his time scuttling back to the bank seeking loans. Paul took quickly to the jet-set lifestyle, leaping from city to city. Tel meanwhile seemed determined to save his airfares, pretty much camping out in just two cities. This skinflint policy may have won victory if Paul hadn jetted into one of these cities in the last round and going into enough of a building frenzy to construct a factory and the largest hotel chain. Opinion after a single play - Im suprised this game isn better known and better regarded.
 
 
Scores : Paul 173, Tel 124, Andy 60
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Paul


16-Mar-2004All month
 
Alles im Aimer

Scores : Tel 12, Steve 1, Paul 0, Oggie 0
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 8, Paul 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel

Alles im Aimer

Scores : Steve 5, Paul 2, Tel 0, Oggie 0
Ratings: Steve 8, Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Steve

Medina

Only four of us this week, so a rare opportunity to try one of Oggies 4 player games, Medina won out. Each player gets a mass of wooden bits which during the course of the game has to place onto the board ( or in Pauls case build some spectacular architechteral impossibility ).

The usual cagey standoff was postponed in this game as Tel capped off 2 very early buildings, Oggie and Steve each capping a single building not long after. Normal service then returned as we went about three times round the table before another building piece was placed. Tel finally caved in and capped his third building. Paul finally succumbed and capped his first building, a size 1 orange !!!!. After a few more buildings and caps, Paul managed to place a couple of blocks to ensure no more other building block could be placed, this found Steve and Oggie forced to discard 7 useless blocks with Tel discarding 5 and Paul just the 1. This also ensured Steve was not able to get an Orange building. The game slowed down towards the end as each player was torn as to where to place his remaining pieces. Having effectually got another 2 turns to everyone else, Paul was able to ensure he claimed 3 of the four wall tiles. Tels early buildings saw 3 of the largest building tiles to pass his way only for 2 of them to move on. Oggie ended with a couple of large buildings and the remaining wall tile. And this was enough to claim victory. Tel only just held onto second from Paul with Steve close behind.

Three different strategies here as Paul tried not to build until the end game; Tel was building early; and both Oggie and Steve building in the midgame. Oggies midgame strategy won, but Steves similar strategy saw him get the wooden spoon??. A great game as usual seeing each player rating it an 8.

Final Scores
Oggie 41, Tel 34, Paul 32, Steve30

Ratings / 10
8s all the way

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Just four of us tonight, so the perfect opportunity to bring out the "whos turn is it?" - "mine, shh, Im thinking" game. Lots of different strategies on show tonight. Telbert launched straight into capping early and hoping to keep building size majorities. Oggie adopted his normal tactic of focusing on the conga line. Paul seemed determined to play spoiler with city pieces and try to score wall majorities. Steve however was working on his strategy for the next game, which apparently will consist mainly of not sitting immediately after Paul. As normal, this was a slow, quiet and thoughtful game. It did, however, contain more threats of violence than normal as prime building territory disappeared under a different building. Note to Boog - don even think of playing this one. Oggie grabbed a couple of majority tiles which, combined with his conga dancers, was enough to give him a comfortable victory.
 
 
Scores : Oggie 41, Tel 34, Paul 32, Steve 30
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8, Paul 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Oggie

San Juan

Oggie hadnt played San Juan yet, something we managed to remedy. Steve had played a couple of hands the night before, with Tel and Paul having played a game on Sunday. No surprise to anyone to find that wed all played the game slightly wrong before.

Both Steve and Tel went down the production route, both getting a few early production buildings and an aquaduct early. Paul wasnt getting the cards he needed being unable to build for a some of the early rounds. This was because he was trying to hold onto a couple of the big buildings. Oggie got an early chapel, and his strategy was to stuff this as full as possible. Steves production cycle kicked in towards the end as he started getting a serious amount of cards. Tel got a guild Hall out and his last 4 builds were all production buildings. Paul also managed to eventually get both his big cards out, including a Guild Hall, but wasnt seeing any production buildings. Tels push to build whatever production buildings he could brought the game to a close, and no surprise that a guildhall and production strategy had won the day. Tel claiming victory, with Oggie Chapel coming out early enough to give him 2nd, Steve just run out of time as the game finished just as he was starting to get a lot of cards. Despite getting 2 of the Big buildings out Paul still came in last.

On the basis of only 2 plays I cant claim to be any sort of expert, but at the moment the Guild Hall does appear to be extremely if not overly powerful. It yielded 14 extra VPs in todays game, which was the difference between Tel coming last by 4 points and winning by 6. I can only hope that further plays will see other tactics coming to the fore. As predicted after the first game, this game was much quicker finishing in not much over half an hour.

Final Scores
Tel 33, Oggie 27, Steve 24, Paul 23

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Oggie 7, Steve 8, Paul 7

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

As Oggie had missed out on Sunday, we decided to crack San Juan open again. Steve had played before so Oggie was the only newbie. Steve and Oggie launched into a purple building frenzy, while Telbert started laying production buildings with gay abandon. Paul concentrated on delaying builds to try to get out the 6 point buildings that he got in his starting hand. When Telbert plonked down the Guild Hall, it was game over. Victory to Telbert by a mile. We
e a bit unsure about the Guild Hall at the moment. Steve has seen a Guild Hall strategy win by a long way in each of the three games hes played so far. Perhaps we need to tweak it to only give bonus points for each type of production building. However, opinion from those whove played much more than us is that the card isn as imbalancing as it seems when you know what you
e doing. Some good news though - the game definately moves more quickly when you know the buildings. This session only took 45 minites with four players. Paul and Tel have subsequently played a few two layer games which have come in at around 20 minutes each.
 
 
Scores : Tel 33, Oggie 27, Steve 24, Paul 23
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 7, Steve 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


23-Mar-2004All month
 
Alhambra

I bought this at Essen last year purely on the basis that it was SdJ. Im not really sure why given that I avoided Villa Palletti, the previous years winner, like the plague. My first game was played in the Jung at Essen, and the experience was a major let down. This is probably why it took us 5 months to get round to giving it a re-run. The first play was under the influence of some strong German beer, so I had some hopes of improvement.

A deck of cards with values 1-9 in 4 colours is shuffled and cards dealt face-up to each player until the combined total of their hand exceeds 20. 4 cards also dealt face up in the middle of the table. There are tiles in 6 colours, each having a value and walls along its edges. The lower the value the more edges of the tile will have walls (0 - 3). Four of these tiles are drawn at random placing 1 on each of the squares on the central board. Each square is colour coded matching the colours of the playing cards. Each player also starts the game with a reserve board and a fountain tile, this tile is the start of the players alhambra.

On his turn a player may: buy one of the face up tiles; take some of the face up cards; or redistribute his alhambra. To buy a tile the player must discard cards of a single colour whose combined total is no less than the value of the tile on the corresponding square on the central board. The tile is then taken by the player and either placed on his reserve board or is added to his alhambra. To add a tile to the alhambra the placement must follow a few couple of rules: all edges must match those of adjacent tiles ie wall to wall and non-wall to non-wall; someone should be able to walk from the central fountain to the centra of everytile in the alhambra without going through a wall or leaving the tiles. If the total of the cards discarded exactly matched the value of the card taken then player can take another action, however replacement tiles are not taken until he has completed his whole turn. When taking cards the player may take any 1 of the 4 face up cards, or may take as many of the 4 as they want providing the combined total does not exceed 5. To redistribute the player has 3 options; remove 1 tile from the alhambra and place it in his reserve; swap one tile in his alhambra with 1 tile in his reserve; place one tile from his reserve into his alhambra. All placements in the alhambra must meet the same placement requirements as before.

There are 2 cards in the deck that trigger a scoring round, with a third score happening at the games end. Scoring occurs per tile colour. The players with the most tiles in each colour scores for that colour. There are also VPs available according to the longest link of unbroken external wall edges. The game ends when there are not enough tiles to replace the necessary sqaures. At this point the final tiles are awarded to the player with the most cash in th ecorresponging colours. The winner is the player with the most VPs at the end of the game.

Paul got a stinking opening hand collecting just 3 cards before he broke 20. Oggie fared only a little better, whilst Steve and Tel both received about 7 cards. Oggie went for a very structured and precise alhambra, seeing his first 5 tiles form an oblong totally enclosed on 3 sides, whilst this looked pretty it wasnt very practical as he was unable to build most of the tiles that were available and he was forced to waste a couple of turns rearranging his alhambra. Tel seemed was buying everything he could afford, and by the first scoring round had gained 1 in each of 5 colours. Both Steve and Paul seemed to be concentrating on a couple of colours and unfortunaltely for them they were the same colour. Hence after the first scoring round Oggie had opened a small lead from Tel with Steve and Paul behind.

Tel continued his strategy of buying whatever he could whenever he could and saw him reguarly low on cards. Oggie also seemed to be living on the bread line with his cards. In contrast Paul towards the end of the game was flush with them. Paul and Steve continued their battle in a couple of colours, with Steve having the advantage. Oggies reconstructed alhambra still scored big on walls and it still contained the majority of the highest scoring colours. Steve ended the game by buying 2 tiles knowing there was only 1 left in the bag. Oggie managed to extend his winning margin in the final scoring, with Tel only just pipping Steve for 2nd. Pauls policy of hoarding cash towards the end didnt pay-off as he couldnt build 2 of the three tiles he won due to having most cash left in each colour, and was left trailing the pack.

Some games seem to push all the right buttons for certain people, however this one seemed to miss them all for me. Im not sure why but I came away from the game thinking So What. I didnt think my strategy of buying everything in sight whenever possible deserved to come second. I assume I am missing something, and given repeated playing some discernable strategies may emerge. Unfortunately ( or fortunately depending on how you look at it) within the group there are plenty of (in my opinion) better games vying for the same tablespace, hence I cant see Alhambra seeing too many more appearances. That said this isnt a bad game I gave it a low 7 and I certainly wouldnt refuse to play it in future, indeed Oggie seemed to really enjoy the game so it may make more appearences at his request. I guess the real problem with the game is that I had higher than normal expectations given the SdJ.

Final Scores
Oggie 121, Tel 105, Steve 98, Paul 69

Ratings / 10
Oggie 8, Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Second play for everyone, but first sober play for most. Paul made the discovery that you don want to be challenging the person directly in front of you for colour majorities. Hes very grateful to Steven for collecting the same sets of colours that Paul previously had undisputed majorities in, for giving him the opportunity to learn that point. Telbert was adopting a different strategy to the previous game. Oh hang on, he wasn . He was buying any old cheap rubbish that he could, whenever he could. Rather disappointingly, this "where theres muck" strategy got him second place. Oggie yet again was doing something random. Except he wasn . He was collecting big scoring majorities, despite not actually being able to play half of them and stormed to victory.
 
 
Scores : Oggie 121, Tel 105, Steve 98, Paul 69
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 7, Steve 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Industria

Only 4 of us tonight so a chance to play 1 of the ever growing games that only plays with up to 4. Everyone except Tel had played this before, but as hed read the rules it was straight into it.

With 4 players the game is played over 15 rounds split into 5 epochs. Each epoch has its own 12 tiles made up of factories, technologies, bonus and resources. In each round everyone gets 1 cash from the bank. The start player turns over 4 tiles from this epoch which are then auctioned off. Next up is a building phase followed by a change in the start player.

Each player starts with 4 cash and gets 1 at the start of each turn, plus and additional 1 between the latter epochs. The start player turns over the top four tiles from the current epoch. He chooses 1 of these tiles and puts it up for auction. The auction is once round the table, but the twist occurs back at the auctioneer, he can either sell the tile to the highest bidder pocketting the cash and choosing the next tile to sell, or he can take the tile for himself paying nothing to the bank but passing the auctioneer role to his left. There is no limit as to how many of the four tiles any player can buy, and each bought tile is taken into the players hand. Once all 4 tiles have been bought we move into the building phase. Each player has the opportunity to build a Factory, a technology and a bonus tile. These tiles have a building cost which is made up of an amount of cash plus 0-2 resources. Cash used to build is put back into the bank. Resources are available from 4 sources. The resource tile is a one shot resource that is discarded when used. Some of the factories produce resources, and being the owner of a built factory provides that player with these resources for free. Thirdly, other players may pay the owner of production factory 1 coin to use a resource from his factory (the owner may not refuse). And finally if (and only if) no player has built the factory that produces the required resource a player may purchase the resource from the bank for 1 coin, however the bank only sells resources produces by factories from previous epochs. Any Factory or Technology built whilst play is still in the corresponding epoch scores VPs. Once everyone has had an opportunity to build, the role of start player is passed to the left.

The Epoch changes every 3 Rounds, upon changing epochs everyone must discard any unbuilt technologies. The game ends after the 15th round, ie the end of the 5th epoch. It is now that the majority of the VPs are gained. There are 3 ways of scoring extra VPs. There are connections between some factories and also between some technologies. If a player has built both ends of one of these connections they get 3 VPs. The bonus tiles depicts an icon, these icons also appear on some of the factories. Players who built the bonus tiles score for each factory that had been built having the same icon. (The rules didnt specifically state if this was for all built factories or just those built by that player, so we played that it included all factories). Finally Cash on hand at the end of the game is converted into VPs at a rate of 3 coins to 1 VP. Whoever has the most VPs claims victory.

In the first epoch only Steve didnt manage to get a producing factory. Tel claimed 2 linked factories, while Oggie and Paul shared the 2 available technologies, with Steve having to make do with a single factory, and a bonus tile. Into the 2nd Epoch and Steve managed to buy (but not build) the two factories that were linked to his 1st building. Once again Paul and Oggie claimed the technologies, leaving Tel with a bonus tile and 2 factories. Tels building of the Bank and Stock Market enabled him to build factories 2 coins cheaper than printed, and saw him go into a building frenzy. Oggie and Paul were still advancing their technology networks, whilst Steve was able to buy another couple of factories in his factory network. Everyone except Oggie was picking up bonus tiles. As we entered the final epoch we eventually saw a couple of bids for tiles rise above the 2 coin barrier. Steve made a late bid to grab a couple of technologies, Oggie still declined to take bonus tiles, leaving them to be fairly evenly split amongst the others (Steve claiming the extra tile of the 10). The last round bidding frenzy saw Tels coffers see a dramatic upturn in fortune. At the end of the last round Oggie had a small lead with Steve trailing behind. However Steves factory network, coupled with his bonus tiles saw him catapult past Oggie. Oggies lack of bonus tiles was a decisive disadvantage and saw him become the only player not to lap the board. Tels late influx of cash gained him the only VPs from cash, and the 4 VPs were enough to beat Steve by a single point and draw level with Paul. A quick search through the rules showed that ties were broken by the number of built tiles. Tels 14 beat Pauls 11 to give him the game.

I had been looking forward to playing Industria for the last 5 months, since buying it at Essen, and was not dissapointed. A clever game where money always seemed to be tight, and quite a few tough decisions needed to be made, especially as auctioneer deciding what to auction and whether to take someones money or take a wanted tile. I just hope I dont have to wait another 5 months before it gets played again.

On reflection I suspect that we chose the wrong interpretation of the bonus tiles. Their scoring seem well out of proportion with all the other tiles. In our game all the factories with icons were built hence all bonus tiles scored at their maximum. Oggies decision not to buy any bonus tiles was the only reason he was so far behind the rest of us. Making them only count for factories that you build also seems to fit in better with the feel of the game, so unless anyone can tell me otherwise Im going to suggest we try playing this way next time.


Final Scores
Tel 68, Paul 68, Steve 67, Oggie 36

Ratings / 10
Solid 8s all round

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Woo-hoo! Got a write up on the web before Telberts got the session reports up on The Geek this time! The same four this time, so a good opportunity to hit a four player game or two. Telbert had been desperate to get a game of Industria in, and we were happy to oblige. Four different strategies on display today. Steve was doing his bird with a broken wing impression, bemoaning his empty coffers whilst quietly building up a city of interconected buildings. Paul went all out for technologies, and was disappointed to see seven points disappear toiletwards as the two technologies he wanted in the third epoch both came up in the last round. Telbert went into cheapskate mode, buying both the borse and the bank so he could slap up cheap slum buildings. Bonus points for anyone who could figure out what Oggie was attempting to do. Paul, Steve and Tel all ended up within a point of each other, with Telbert taking victory on the most tiles tie breaker. We probably got the bonus tiles wrong though, scoring them regardless of who owned the building. They seemed way over powerful scored that way. As Ogden Nobonus found out to his cost.
 
 
Scores : Paul 68, Tel 68, Steve 67, Oggie 36
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel


30-Mar-2004All month
 
Ausgebremst

The last time we played this the 2 players on the front row of the grid got off to flyers and left everyone else to fight it out for 3rd. To try and even up the books this time we decided to have 2 races, with the starting orders reversed. Players would sum their 2 finish positions and the lowest value won the game.

The other difference this time was that there was only 5 of us so we had a rogue random car to deal with. Andy got lucky with the dice to claim 2nd on the grid (after the rogue car) followed by Paul, Oggie, Tel and Steve bringing up the rear. As we were playing the Pro game we had to remove some of the cards from each deck before starting. This shouldve been quite a simple job as each card has a number of dots in the corner and all the cards with a particular numer of dots had to be removed. Of course this caused confusion, and Paul got it totally wrong and found he was missing half his cards during the race and had to randomly replace his missing cards midway through the game (Muppet). Like I said, the first time we played this the front row racers (Andy and Paul) run away with the game. Just to prove this was a fluke, they along with the rogue got caught up at the first 2 corners, somehow Oggie, Tel and Steve managed to bulldoze their way through from the back of the grid. Not only was Andy delayed at the first corner but was forced to go wide a couple of times, so much so that he decided to pit after his first lap. Tel, Oggie and Steve were battling it out at the front of the race. Steve somehow managing to maintain the inside line all the time. Oggie was just leading for most of the race, so unable to play his 6s. On the couple of occasions that Oggie did drop into 2nd he was forced to take a wider line. Tel made a pitstop at the end of the second lap. Paul, Andy and the rogue were all reasonably close at the back. As the lead pack approached the finish line Oggie was looking a little pensive. He was only 8 sqaures from the line with only 2 cards in his hand. One of these was a 6 which took him to within touching distance of the line. Neither Tel nor Steve could catch him before he played his last card, so the race was his for the taking. Unfortunately hed gone wide once too often and not pitting had been a mistake as his last card was a 1 leaving him stranded 1 square short of winning. Tel came flying round the corner to take the victory, Steve followed closely behind. Andy had managed to edge ahead of Paul on the final lap and managed to grab 3rd. Paul comfortably beat the rogue to claim 4th, with the rogue finishing to ensure Oggie did come last.

Onto the second race, this time we went for one of the harder tracks. Steve having learnt from Andys misfortune in the first race, got off to a flyer. Tel was obviously not watching as he got caught up in the traffic and despite starting 3rd, was the last to emerge from the first corner. Throughout the first half of the first race the rogue car seemed to unerringly block Andy at every opportunity, in the second race it turned its random attention to Tel. Steve managed to quicklly open up an almost was almost half a lap lead before Oggie made an effort to catch up. Paul and Andy were battling it out for 3rd with Paul doing his utmost to ensure Andy was forced wide as often as possible. This battling allowed the rogue and Tel to catch up. Having a clear run, Steve was able to ensure he could take the shortest route round the track, but as with Oggie in the first race was unable to play his 6s. This allowed Oggie to close the gap. Tel realised that he needed to pit to finish the race, but as expected the rogue car managed to draw the precise card needed to prevent Tel getting into the pits. Oggie finally caught Steve with less than half a lap to go. Andy finally managed to edge ahead of Paul, but the numerous wide curves took its toll as he stalled with still a couple of corners to go. Steve and Oggie were now running neck and neck, with both worried as to whether they were going to reach the finish line. Oggie was unable to force Steve wide at the last corner, which allowed Steve to coast over the line, just. Oggie on the over hand repeated his performance in the previous race by stalling in the final straight. Paul managed to just stay ahead of the rogue car round the last half a lap to claim 2nd. Tel finally managed to overtake the rogue car shortly before the end, but his inability to pit caused his car to fail just as it reached the line, allowing the rogue to come through for 3rd. Steves 2+1 gave him the game, Tel claimed second with 1+4, Paul third with 4+2. The rogue car beat both andy and Oggie with its 5+3, Andy wasnt too far behind 3+6, leaving a disgruntled Oggie with 2 walks back to the pits 5+6.

Well I guess we dispelled the myth that the winner is going to come from the front line of the grid in the first race, with the back 2 claiming 1st and 2nd, but normality was partially restored with Steve winning the second race from the front row. The game got a mixed reception with Paul rating it a highly enjoyable 8, whilst Oggie score matched his position of 6.

Final Positions
Steve 3, Tel 5, Paul 6, Andy 9, Oggie 11

Ratings / 10
Steve 7, Tel 7, Paul 8, Andy 7, Oggie 6

 
 Comment by Paul  
Originl report from the website -

After the heady heights of getting a session report up before Tel, he beat me by a fortnight with this one. Doh! We decided to go for a pair of races so that everyone got a fair crack of the whip at the early positions. And then found that grid position isn as important as we first found as those at the front of the grid got trampled in the dust. Only five players as Boog was elsewhere for the night, so we had one car being driven by an imaginery driver. Despite being imaginery he got the Piddinghoe Gamers style of play from the off, constantly hitting the choke points as others sat and fumed behind him. He particularly enjoyed pcking on Tel and Andy. The highlight of the first race was Oggie running out of gas just before the finishing line. The second was brutal with the course littered with non-finishers on the final lap. Steve proved best at avoiding the menaces of the imaginary driver to take the win overall.
 
 
Scores : Oggie 11, Andy 9, Paul 6, Tel 5, Steve 3
Ratings: Oggie 6, Andy 7, Paul 8, Tel 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Steve

Don

Pauls has, almost without fail, bought the first card of every game of Don. Tonight he tried a new tactic of hoarding his cash until the last colour came out, then tried to monopolise this colour. Unfortunaltely for him he started bidding too early when th eblues came out, not realising that green still hadnt made an appearance. He unstuck came unstuck by most of the cash regularly finding its way to Oggie after his early buys. For most of the game Tel and Andy had only 3 card bought very early, but neither saw any revenue from them. Steve was able to buy a few cards during the game, but Oggie just seemed to be able outbid everyone whenever a card came up he wanted. So it was no surprise to see Oggie claim a runaway victory. Steve claimed second with a measly 10 points. Andy managed to outbid Tel for the last auction to tie with Paul for 3rd, Leaving Tel with most of the cash but little else at the end of the game.

Oggie isnt the biggest fan of Auction game. In fact he was heard grumbling when Don was brought to the table tonight. Despite all this he rated the game a high 8. Surely this cant be anything to do with the fact that he descimated the rest of us, scoring more that double Steves 2nd place score. Ill leave this for you to decide.

Final Scores
Oggie 23, Steve 10, Pauil 8, Andy 8, Tel 6

Ratings / 10
8s across the board
 
Scores : Oggie 23, Steve 10, Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 6
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Metro

Metro is all about advancing your own lines whilsat at the same time stitching everyone else up. As such it is one of the staple Piddinghoe games. Any game where there is an opportunity to stitch some one up is likley to get rave review from the group.

Usually the tactics in the game are advance your own cause first, then secondary stitch someone up. Not tonight. The game was a bloodbath, with lines being finished as cheply as possible. Andys lines were all closed first, but he managed to get a couple of them into the centre to score double. They did go almost straight into the middle so didnt score too highly. By the time Andy had finished scoring everyone else was tightly bunched together on the score track, with Paul having the advantage of most station remaining. Tels promising looking line was spotted by everyone and curtailed. As was Steve last remaining line. This left only Paul and Oggie on the board, and both of them in with a chance of winning. It was Paul who was able to finish the game by finish the last 2 line to give himself the game and prevnt Oggie from overtaking Andy.

This wsa the lowest scoring game Ive ever seen of this. There are normally a couple of very high scoring lines by the end of the game, but not today. Only 2 lines made in to the centre and neither of these scored particularly highly, and we didnt see any line venture too far across the board.

Final Scores
Paul 41, Andy 35, Oggi e33, Tel 32, Steve 26

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8, Tel 7, Steve 7

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original repor from the website -

This could be the lowest scoring game weve ever seen. Everyone went into "this move would be good for me ... but this will really stuff someone else up - so Ill do it!" mode. Nobody managed to string any big scores together. Paul won, with a pitiful score.
 
 
Scores : Paul 41, Andy 35, Oggie 33, Tel 32, Steve 26
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8, Tel 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Paul


06-Apr-2004All month
 
Feurio!

The last time this one came out we decided there was too much luck of the draw as to who got the 1 point tiles. Especially as Tel got the lions share and took the win handily. So this time we tried the variant of counting all of the 1s as 2s. It did have the desired effect that the 1s were far less important. Indeed, three of them were unclaimed at the end of the game. However it introduced a new problem in that it was too easy to claim one of the many 2s so there weren many, or any, painful decisions over whether to place on big point tile or sacrifice the opportunity to lock in a low multiplier. Also, it tended to bunch all of the scores. There was only a one point difference between first and second place, with Tel taking it from newbie Steve by a point. And that only because Steve had messed up an earlier play by placing two men on a tile when one would have been enough to prevent anybody else from getting on it. I thorougly enjoyed the first play of this one but subsequesnt plays haven proved as satisfying.
 
Scores : Tel 25, Steve 24, Oggie 21, Paul 19
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Magna Grecia

Two non shows this week, so a prime opportunity for a four player game. This one has been roundly criticised for the choice of colour scheme, but I have to say I didn have any problem with it at all. Its also got a reputation for striking players down with a case of "what the heck am I supposed to do?" syndrome on their first play. It certainly gave Paul a case of "how the heck am I supposed to describe this game". A couple of thorough readings of the rules are recommended for anybody trying to teach this game.

Oggie had the dubious honour of having first turn and slapped down a couple of roads and a city. After a brief round of applause everyone else decided to leave him to his own little territory and go build up a metropolis elsewhere. Being Piddinghoe Gamers, we all immediately noticed something very interesting - roads are free and cities aren . So we all started slapping down roads with gay abandon whilst our stack of cities shrank at the same rate as continental drift. Steve spotted that Paul has begun to dpace lots of speculative markets and decided that, if Paul had a masterstroke, hed best follow it. Unfortunately Paul didn have a clue what he was doing. Tel also seemed a bit confused about the rules for taking over an oracle, first claiming one for his first city and then mounting a successful takeover with another of his cities. Confusion must have been contageous as Oggie was next to succumb, forgetting the first rule of Piddinghoe Gaming - don spend cash. The game hinged on Paul managing to get a six connection city which he used to take over two oracles. A very interesting gamers game that plays in about an hour. Its not going to come out very often but will be welcomed when it does.
 
Scores : Paul 47, Oggie 34, Steve 34, Tel 31
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 8, Steve 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


11-Apr-2004All month
 
6 Nimmt!

The original chaos game. Just time for a couple of hands before scoffing down an Abi-special chili. Oggie showed us how to collect lots of points in the first round. Andy had obviously learned from the feet of the master as he collected a bucket full of points in the second.
 
Scores : Andy 43, Oggie 40, Anne 34, Boog 26, Steve 14, Paul 13, Tel 5
Ratings: Andy 7, Oggie 8, Anne 8, Boog 8, Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Tel

Carabande

This doesn come out very often as it takes a little while to set up and tear down, as well as forcing everyone to shuffle around the table. Movement? Surely not! It is, however, a games day staple. Tel took first place on the starting grid, but that was to prove the last time hed be first in the game. After stalling on the grid, he revealed an impressive ineptness at the jump and almost saw himself lapped before hed finished a single circuit. Anne and Andy managed to pull in front, and finished a private tussle over a chicane just in time to build up a lead before anybody else threatened to catch up. Anne finished a single flick in front of Andy to mount the winners podium.
 
Scores : Anne , Andy , Paul , Steve , Oggie , Tel
Ratings: Anne 8, Andy 8, Paul 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Anne

Finstere Flure

Scores : Oggie , Anne , Andy , Steve , Paul , Tel
Ratings: Oggie 8, Anne 6, Andy 7, Steve 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Karriere Poker

Yet another filler hits the table. Wed all played a fair amout of Dalmuti, though mainly not whilst sober. Anne, being insane, likes this one but doesn like Dalmuti. Something to do with counting up rather than down apparently. We had three quick hands, and couldn dislodge Anne from the rank of Boss at all. Next time well make her play Dalmuti. Grrr.
 
Scores : Anne , Paul , Steve , Boog , Andy , Oggie , Tel
Ratings: Anne 8, Paul 7, Steve 6, Boog 6, Andy 6, Oggie 6, Tel 7
Winner(s): Anne

Maskenball Venezia

This is a staple of games days for one reason, and one reason only. The card with a picture of somebody rubbing their chin. The picture is a modern Piddinghoe Gamer icon, famed for its resemblance to the beard scratching Ogden. We make him play so that he has to stop playing with his beard for a while. Petty, but thats the sort of people we are.
 
Scores : Oggie 10, Steve 10, Tel 8, Boog 7, Andy 5, Paul 4
Ratings: Oggie 6, Steve 6, Tel 6, Boog 7, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie, Steve

Mississippi Queen - Black Rose

Time for one more game to finish the day. And we all gained a valuable piece of information. If you
e ever on a Mississippi river boat and a cry goes out for anybody who can drive to go to the captains cabin, beat Steve to a bloody pulp before he gets there. Otherwise youll be in for a speed-fest ram-a-thon. He grabbed control of the Black Rose by the horns and chaos ensued as he surged back and forth at Andy, Boog and Tel. Then Oggie and Paul broke away so he went on an Oggie and Paul ramming mission. Then Andy, Boog and Tel caught up again so he had another few rams at them. Then Oggie got way so up river charged Black Rosie again.

The patented Boog technique is to have so much fun with the Black Rose that you forget to navigate your own ship, usually ending up half a dozen river lengths behind everybody else. Steve however managed to cause enough chaos that his boat almost made it first to the finishing post. Oggie eventually managed to get there, after a convoluted turning-braking manouver which saw him cross the whole width of the port twice. He was eventually followed in by another three ships after theyd spend a fair number of turns jousting and blocking each others path.
 
Scores : Oggie , Steve , Andy , Tel , Paul , Boog
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 8, Andy 7, Tel 8, Paul 8, Boog 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Puerto Rico

Second sunday of the month? Must be games day! Woo hoo! No idea what happened in this one as I hadn turned up yet. Apparently Andy came last though. Oh, and Tel won.
 
Scores : Tel 61, Steve 46, Andy 45
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Wildlife

At last, time for a meaty game! Boogs shiny new copy finally made it to the table and underwent the offical unshrinking ceremony. Wed played this just once before, at Essen, and got most of the rules utterly wrong. And thoroughly enjoyed it. Despite hearing rumours of this a bad choice for 6 players we thought wed give it a crack. We were especially interested to see how the game would work under the offical auction rules. The Unofficial Piddinghoe auction rules were that the winner gets to put the winning card in his hand. This led to rather deflated auction rounds. They usually went something like "Ill put this desert up for auction! Who wants it! Erm, its a really nice desert! Look, its got a little cactus on it! Somebody? Anybody? Come on, someone must want it. Going once. Going twice. Okay, nobody wants it." We couldn figure out why the girl who explained the game to us said "Sometimes the auction goes REALLY high!". Now we know why. We even hit double figures once. Opinions were divided at the end. Those who enjoyed chaotic games largely enjoyed the experience, those looking for something with a bit more heft were in the main left disappointed. Theres quite a bit of downtime between turns and not much planning to fill it. Also, you don get very many turns in a 6 player game so the fact that players will usually get a different number of turns seems a bit unbalanced. Ah well, itll definately come out again but hopefully with less players next time. And at least we got the auction rules down pat this time.
 
Scores : Andy 64, Steve 64, Boog 61, Paul 57, Tel 56, Oggie 51
Ratings: Andy 8, Steve 7, Boog 8, Paul 6, Tel 6, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy, Steve


13-Apr-2004All month
 
Bohnanza

With three quarters of an hour left, we dedided to bring out an old favourite. Oggie had bought a copy at Essen on the basis that it comes in a small box, and hadn had an opportunity to christen it yet. We were happy to oblige. This turned out to be a very close game despite, or perhaps because of, some very odd trading. "Ill give you a pukey bean as long as you take a hippie bean with it." Oggie and Paul shared the win, with the others hot on their heels.
 
Scores : Steve 13, Paul 13, Oggie 12, Andy 11, Tel 9
Ratings: Steve 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve, Paul

Santa Fe Rails

The game board is a map of the USA, with a whole bunch of cities connected by drawn railways lines. Each city is given a value from 2 to 7, with the values tending to increase the further west you go. There are 5 mainline train companies which have their starting cities on the East coast. At the start of the game each player is dealt 4 random cards each depicting one of the cities on the board. A turn consists of each player drawing back to 4 cards ( skipped in the first round) then simultaneously playing a card, finally there are 2 rounds of each player laying a single piece of track onto the board. If the player plays a city card then that card remains in front of the player until the end of the game, when it will score. There are some other cards that can be played which Ill come onto shortly. Next up players each place a single piece of track. The track can be for any line in play, at the start of the game all 5 mainlines are considered in play. The placed track must extend the corresponding line, ie the first track laid must come out of the lines starting city, with each subsequent piece of track extending this line, such that the line always starts at its starting city and continues in a single line. Whenever a laid piece of track causes the line to connect to a city that hadnt previously been connected to any line the player gains 2 vp. Certain cities also grant the player 4vps when a particular line is first connected to that city. The start player piece now passes to the left, and each player starts by drawing back to 4 cards. This can be done from the draw pile, containing more city cards. Alternatively there are 5 other types of cards the player can choose. These are not shuffled into the draw deck but always available ( in limited numbers). There are 4-1 and 3-1 cards, these must be played the turn they are taken. The 4-1 card allows the player to choose to only lay track pieces in 1 of the 2 phases, but allowing him to place 4 pieces of track. The 3-1 card allows the player to place 3 pieces of track in each of the 2 phases, however they do not receive any connection bonuses. There are a number of 2-1 cards, these donít have to be played immediately. When played they allow the player to place 2 pieces of track each phase, additionally it doubles any connection bonuses scored this round for the player. There are boomtown cards that when played allow the player to upgrade the value of 2 smaller valued cities. Finally there are branch line cards (3 for each mainline), these cost 1 vp to take and must be played or discaded this turn. This allows the player to start a new branch to the corresponding line. This must start from one of the cities already connected to the main line.
Shuffled into the middle third of the draw deck are a number of short line cards. Once drawn these allow the players to play track for the corresponding short lines. These behave as the mainlines except, they dont score first connection bonuses and effectively have a permanent branchline card in play. The game ends when either all the mainline tracks have been played or a player cannot play a piece of track on his turn. Players then score for each card they managed to play. The score is the value of the city muliplied by the number of different lines that connected to that city. The winner is the player with the most VPs.

A fairly uneventful first round saw only Oggie failing to score a first connection. Andy was start player for the second turn and took a x2 card as did Steve who went second. Steve then politely pointed out a way of connecting 2 new cities for 8 points. Andy jumped at this claiming that it was better than the 6 point move he was considering. Of course Andy had forgotten that scores were doubled with the x2 card, allowing Steve to take the 12 point move whilst maniacally cackling. As with our first outing at Santa Fe, the white line was quickly dead-ended and didnt see much action for the rest of the game, having only a single branch line which immediately dead-ended. So the game was effectively played with only 4 main lines. The Yellow line was heavily used early on as it made a break for the west, but some of the cynical players decided that it shouldnt be allowed to reach the lucrative West coast, and was dead-ended in Mexico. A branch line was also needed to salvage the red line as it made an early forray into Canada. In the first half of the game there were a lot of special cards being played, meaning that we werent getting through the draw deck very quickly. Hence we were never likely to see too many short lines. Oggie played more city cards then anyone else, but towards the end of the game everyone was playing them. Tel sent the two ends (mainline and branch) of the blue towards Salt Lake city claiming that he was certain of at least scoring 1 line for his city, this of course was a red rag to a bull and hence a new blue branch line was started. By the time it got back to Tel he had 3 blue lines all within 2 tracks of the city but with only 2 bits of track left. However everyone had something better to do in the round rather then stitch him up, hence he managed to connect it the following turn. To everyones surprise Oggie drew a short line card, after a quick check of the rules to see how they were played (wed not seen one in the only previous game), Oggie started the brown line. For what seemed most turns in the 2nd half of the game Andy seemed to take branch line cards. But in almost all cases seemed to find a way of dead-ending the line almost immediately. The game ended quicker then everyone expected when Tel played a 4-1 and Paul a 2-1. All track tiles were depleted except the white line which was of course still dead-ended. Tel had a VP advantage from connections going into the city scoring. Steve scored heavily on cities, but all of Tels cities were valued 5 and above and he scored just enough to hold Steve off. Paul took third. Oggie and Andy probably had more lines servicing their cities, however they both seemed to have a majority of the low valued cities. Oggie managed to claim 4th despite not claiming many connection bonuses.

I like this game a lot despite having only played it twice. The group has had played Expedition a couple of times, which shares a similar idea of building networks to connect to particular places. Exdpedition was not particularly well received (we really should give it another go), whereas Santa Fe was universally enjoyed ands acclaimed. Thoroughly recommeded and I cant wait for its next appearance.

Final Scores
Tel 99, Steve 95, Paul 83, Oggie 75, Andy 70

Ratings / 10
a universal 8

 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Five players tonight, so Steve brought along Santa Fe. We had a few different strategies on display tonight. Oggie and Paul went with playing lots of city cards, hoping that some of the tracks would make it to the lucrative point scorers at the Eastern side of the board. Tel went with a city / 2 x combo, dropping a few cities then trying to force lines where he wanted them. Andy tried out a bizarre branch card strategy which seemed to involve playing a branch line card and then immediately dead ending the line again. Steve went for an out and out psychology strategy, pointing out stupid moves for Andy to make and then cackling like a madman when he gleefully made them. Telberts strategy proved to be superior, but Steves psycho strategy got him a very close second place. Very nice game, Ill be happy to see this one come out again.
 
 
Scores : Tel 99, Steve 95, Paul 83, Oggie 75, Andy 70
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel


27-Apr-2004All month
 
El Grande

5 of us tonight (Tel, Steve, Andy, Oggie and Paul), so it seemed a perfect chance to get an extremely under-played classic to the table.

Much to Paulís relief (hailing from south of the Tyne) he didnít have to call Newcastle his home this time round. So it came as a bit of a surprise to find him launching an extremely aggressive move to gain control of it. This started a battle that escalated throughout the game, culminating in him having 13 cubes in the region towards the end of the game. Andy and to a lesser extent Oggie also seemed keen on grabbing some parts of Newcastle. Tel and Steve decided to leave the others to this battle field preferring to instead concentrate elsewhere. In our first game of El Grande back in January Tel got off to a flyer and was never caught. Paul seems to be able to remember the details of every game hes ever played, so it was no surprise to see him grab the early scoring opportunities and open up a lead. Andy also benefited from some of the scoring. Tel was obviously trying something different (or couldnít remember what he did last time) as we approached the first scoring round, he was the only player not to have scored, but had plenty of cubes in reserve in the Castillo. The first scoring found Paul still leading with a bit of a gap back to Andy who was just ahead of Steve and Tel tying for third with Oggie just behind.

Andy had the advantage in the 5 point territories so was delighted to see 2 of the next 3 rounds produce scoring cards for these territories. He was even happier to be able to claim both cards to ensure they were actioned, enabling him to overtake Paul for the lead. The build up in Newcastle seemed to take a break in the middle of the game as players seemed happy to concentrate on other areas. As would be expected within the group whenever cubes had to be moved or removed, it was always done in a way so as to stitch up as many players as possible. This usually meant forcing to opponents into a tie. Once again Tel had been putting a decent percentage of his cubes into the Castillo. As we approached the second scoring round Andy was still in the lead. So with Andyís home territory all but empty it was no surprise to see 4 of us decide to move all our Castillo pieces into this territory. The scoring phase saw it being very close in the lead with Andy holding a 2 point lead over Paul. Tel and Steve were still neck and neck about 8 points behind the leaders, with Oggie dropping further behind.

Into the last 3 rounds, and Steve was grumbling that heíd played all his middling cards and was only left with cards at either extremity. Tel on the other hand seemed happy to play extremity cards laying the 2, 1 and 13. There were quite a few cubes of all colours finding their way into the Castillo. Paul eventually gave in to the inevitable and moved his home base to Newcastle (why didn he get any stick for this??), prompting Oggie to finally decide to back out of the Newcastle fight, leaving it to Andy and Paul to battle over. Tel started the last round and moved the king into his home territory. Whilst this is usually a prudent thing to do, in this case it probably wasn the best move as taking the score 4 points territories wouldíve scored him at least 9 points on everyone else. The final scoring round saw everyone owning their home territory. As the scores were coming in it became obvious that it was going to be close. Even Oggie, whod trailed everyone for most of the game, was only 9 points behind the winning score. Tel was fourth with a total of 83. Steve claimed third a point ahead, with Andy and Paul both a further point ahead to tie for the win.

This is one of the classics games in the genre, it seems to be in most peopleís top 5 and plays within the 2.5 hour session we have available to play every week (but only just on tonightís evidence). So the obvious (but so far unanswered) question to ask is why has it only seen the Piddinghoe gaming table on 1 occasion before? This is something that I think we will have to remedy, and get it to the table more frequently (I guess we just need 10 Tuesdays nights a week to address the same issue with all the other good games). With tough decisions aplenty, the game offers plenty to the fans of the heavier German style games. My only reservation with tonightís game was the 2.5 hour playing time, but it is a great game and thoroughly recommended.

Final Scores
Paul 85, Andy 85, Steve 84, Tel 83, Oggie 76

Ratings / 10
Paul 8, Andy 8, Steve 9, Tel 8, Oggie 7


 
 Comment by Paul  
Original report from the website -

Five players tonight, all but Boog attending. Tels obviously developed a liking for this one. After having it on his shelf for over a year unplayed, hes got it to the table twice in a couple of months now. However, we were all wise to the rush tactic he successfully used last time and made sure he didn get an opportunity to pull to the front this time. Instead, Andy and Paul managed to get a slight lead from the rest of the pack and spent much of the game striving to get the upper hand over each other. Last time we played this, everyone seemed to be playing a private game consisting of completely made up rules. Steve appeared to have enjoyed it so much that he did the same again, merrily entertaining himself with a game of "play the middle cards". He was having so much fun that he took an action specifically to get one of the middle cards back so that he could play it again. Oggie dropped off the pace in the early game but started to claw his way back in the second half, getting a couple of useful majorities. Indeed, the end was very close with only nine points seperating first and last place. After swapping the lead in the early game, it seemed somehow appropriate for Andy and Paul to share the victory, though a more considered play in the last round could well have taken it by Telbert.
 
 
Scores : Paul 85, Andy 85, Steve 84, Tel 83, Oggie 76
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8, Steve 9, Tel 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul, Andy


04-May-2004All month
 
Euphrates & Tigris

Telbert managed to miss tonight, and even the second choice scribe wasnt available so we ended up with me writing up a report for the Geek instead. And if you think you are going to get a seperate report here, then you are very much mistaken. So, for your viewing pleasure, heres the report from the Geek.

Just as a celestial body warps space and time, the Piddinghoe Gamers are well on their way to proving that luck can be similarly affected.

Telbert is well known around these parts for his ability to turn the laws of probability on their collective head whevever he has a hand of cards. Oggie is developing a similarly uncanny knack of bending the laws of chance with tiles. Hes already been banned from drawing tiles in Lord of the Rings, so bad was our run of fortune the last time he was allowed to do so. He has also shown a talent for having exactly the tile needed to start a new chain in Acquire. There may only be one tile on the board which can be used to start a new chain, but Oggie will have it. In this game, he revealed a new ability to have exactly the right tiles to win a battle whenever he was challenged. Internal or external, whatever the odds, Oggie would squint carefully at his tiles and then lay down whatever was needed to win the challenge. He did lose one, but only because he needed nine red tiles to see off the challenger.

And so went the course of the game. Steve and Paul started kingdoms near the centre of the board and spent the early game sniping at each others borders. It took a few turns for the Ogden juggernaut to get going, but when he did join battle in the centre he turned it to rubble, sending opposing leaders scurrying out of his path. The deposed leaders launched a series of counterattacks to push him back and wrest control of a valuable monument, but the favour of the gods was on Oggies side.

Steve eventually retreated from combat to settle a minor kingdom along the banks of the Tigris, but Pauls thirst for battle had not yet been sated. He continued to raid from the mountains in an attempt to counter the rapidly escalating influence of his mighty neighbour. He also attempted to sow the seeds of discord within the heart of the empire, seeking to discredit and replace Oggies leaders. This was to prove slightly more effective than the persuit of war, but still ultimately futile.

The tile bag ran dry just before Oggie managed to reduce the number of bonus tiles on the board to two. One more turn for Steve would have brought the game to a tie break, but as it was Oggie took victory by a couple of points. Hed have won the tie breaker anyway. The game swung on a couple of major battles in the mid game. Once Oggie won them, the conclusion was never really in doubt.

 
Scores : Oggie 13, Steve 10, Paul 6
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie


09-May-2004All month
 
Power Grid

Paul had been drooling over this one ever since he spotted that a new version was due out which made the game playable in a couple of hours. The nice components were just the cherry on the cake. A couple of shiny new copies thus found their way heading out of Adam Spielt almost before they made it in.

The verdict? Woohoo!!!!!

The two main changes are that the drawing phase has been replaced by paying a fixed cost to join two cities according to a pre-drawn network, and the income chart has been tweaked to bring more money into the game. We spent a few minutes scratching our collective heads when we spotted that some of the direct connections are more expensive than the sum of multiple indirect links. Thus it seemed to be cheaper in a couple of cases to go from A to B via C than to go direct from A to B. We eventually concluded that you can only go via C if either you build in it or it is already occupied.

Steve and Paul took a slight lead from Telbert after a couple of rounds, putting Tel behind the curve for much of the game. Coming into the end of the first stage, Paul throttled back on builds so that he was nicely settled into position for first build in stage 2. This would allow him to mop up a lot of cheap city connections. It would, that is, if he hadn got the rule completely wrong, thinking that the stage only began at the start of the round after it was triggered. This allowed Steve to hoover them up instead, much to his suprise. He had, however, been stockpiling cash so managed to make up for lost time in the next round. Coming towards the end of stage 3, we were waiting for the big powerplants to start working their way into the market. The most cities any of us could power was only 10. Unfortunately for the owners of the two biggest powerplants, they both needed oil. In fact, between them they needed more oil than was actually being replenished each turn. Paul and Tel thus each spent a turn only powering half of their cities, much to the glee of Steve.

The end came from nowhere. Stage three was triggered and we all started to eye up the bigger plants which would soon be available. Steve grabbed a plant allowing him to power 12 cities, with Tel and Paul both deciding to wait for the next turn when they could seriously upgrade their capacity. However, that proved to be the final auction round. Steve quickly connected four cities to trigger the end game, and take the victory with a mere 12 cities powered. Paul was close behind with 10 whilst Tel was suffering a fuel shortage and could only power 6. Mental note - the end comes up very quicly in this version. The game played to completion in around 100 minutes, though it only seemes like half of that. If it plays in less than two hours with four or five, well surely be seeing a few visits from this one on a regular Tuesday night.
 
Scores : Steve 12, Paul 10, Tel 6
Ratings: Steve 9, Paul 9, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve

Zug um Zug

On the negative side, only three of us were available for games day, and we only had time for half a day. On the positive side, out Adam Spelt order had just turned up. So, old game, new game, old game, ... new game!

Wed heard lots of good things about TtR so decided to open proceedings with it. The rules took all of a couple of minutes to go through. In fact, mopping up a tea spill which threatened to christen the board took longer. It lived up to expectations. In fact we liked it so much we played it twice. In both games we pretty much followed a pick up cards, connect routes, get more route tickets strategy. In the first game, Telbert was lagging in last place coming towards game end so tried a desperate swing of the wheel, taking three more tickets. It failed. Badly. Steve had longest route and thought he had won as his score marker sat furthest round the track after final scoring. Then we spotted that the score track only went to 80 and not 100. (Why????) Thus adding 61 to Pauls score of 63 did not put him on a final score of 24 after all, and correcting the score gave him the win. Tel obviously learned a lesson from the first game as he got his tickets early and made a big effort to connect them. He managed to get a massive 79 points in tickets. Wed learned from the first game aswell, and laboriously worked out his score correctly. We obviously hadn learned the lesson very well though or wed have spotted we could just move his score marker back one on the track. Doh!
 
Scores : Paul 123, Steve 118, Tel 71
Ratings: Paul 8, Steve 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Zug um Zug

Hello world - didn work.
 
Scores : Tel 137, Paul 123, Steve 117
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel


11-May-2004All month
 
Fabrik der Traum

There was something very badly wrong with this game. Nobody could remember how to play it except Boog. How odd.

Its not suprising therefore that we played most of the game oblivious to a fairly important rule - each contract is worth a point in your final score. We discovered this just after Tel spent 9 contracts for a tile worth a maximum of three points to him, with just one auction to go. Steve had a large pile of contracts behind his screen at the time, so we were all given the opportunity to bask in his happy smile.

Telbert launched straight into his usual tactic of spamming out lots of cheap films. He treated us all to some words of wisdom at the half way mark - "Hmm, this tactic doesn work very well with 5 players." Paul seemed determined to explore the opposite extreme, going into the final year with no films complete. His tactic of grabbing actors at any opportunity to guarantee first pick at the parties wasn bearing fruit, as the only ones he was invited to were the ones being avoided by the stars like the plague. This did have the side effect of preventing Boog from finishing very much either, as his studio seemed determined to only make films with a heavy cast of actors, all of whom preferred to lounge around at Studio Paul instead. Oggie and Steve meanwhile were partaking of some surgical bidding, throwing large amounts of contracts around to get decent tiles. Oggie managed to win a key bid to take two tiles to finish the first green film, as his bids quickly outstripped everybody elses cash supplies.

It must have been Steves night. He won the game handily, with 16 points more than his nearest contender, to make it two wins out of two
 
Scores : Steve 85, Paul 69, Oggie 53, Tel 51, Boog 35
Ratings: Steve 7, Paul 6, Oggie 7, Tel 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Steve

Zug um Zug

Hang on, this is a cut and paste error, isn it? Ticket to Ride was the first game played in the previous session. Absolutely right, it was. But as Andy, Boog and Oggie hadn played it we thought wed take it for another spin. Andy still hasn played it as he wasn there, so we now have an excuse to get it out again. You can tell that we quite like this one.

Boog was obviously having problems with the simplicity of the rules, not quite grasping what was going on for the first couple of rounds. Thats right Boog, it really is that simple. Oggie on the other hand picked it up like a cheese in a sandwich. Speaking of which, we are all eager to find out the result of the toasy cheese and cream egg experiment he duly promised to carry out soon.

The good news is, the game plays just as well with five players as it does with three. The board is noticably more congested, increasing both the opportunities to block other peoples builds and the "will I get to build that really important link?" angst. As we all found put on at least one occasion, the answer to that particular question is an emphatic "No!". A number of us thus found ourselves failing to complete all of our tickets. An inspired blocking manouver from Oggie cost Paul 26 points as he grabbed the final link in a 13 point chain just before Paul could build it.

A few different tactics on offer today. Steve got lucky with his ticket draws and managed to build one long meandering line for lots of points and longest route. Telbert tried his hand at taking additional tickets as his first move, which might have proven more successful in a less congested board. Boog more or less ignore tickets, building his initial ones and then concentrating on building 5 and 6 train links. Paul tried a little of Telberts tactic with grabbing early tickets (but not that early!). Oggie went for a more traditional "get cards, build links, get tickets, draw random cards because all of the ones in the display are useless" strategy. After the first few rounds, Boogs cluelessness saw him in last place. Then he spotted than building short links doesn score very much and catapulted ahead of Steve. Steve then build an enormous network and catapulted ahead of everyone to win by a massive margin.
 
Scores : Steve 125, Boog 97, Oggie 89, Paul 86, Tel 80
Ratings: Steve 9, Boog 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve


18-May-2004All month
 
Puerto Rico

Scores : Paul 56, Tel 42, Steve 41, Andy 36, Oggie 31
Ratings: Paul 9, Tel 9, Steve 8, Andy 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Paul


19-May-2004All month
 
Ra

Scores : Andy 36, Steve 34, Tel 31, Oggie 30, Paul 25
Ratings: Andy 9, Steve 9, Tel 9, Oggie 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy


25-May-2004All month
 
Hansa

First play of this, and none of us had a clue what we were doing. Oggie was so confused that he just sailed round in one big circle in the north east of the board. As he won, Im not sure what that says about the state of confusion of the rest of us. As per normal we played this wrongly initially, forgetting to pay the majority market holder for purchases in cities. Fortunately we are old hands at recovering from getting rules wrong though so we seemlessly switched in the correct rule. Phew, I think we got away with it. Interesting game. The only real downside is that there is very little you can do to plan your next turn before it arrives as you usually have no idea where the communal shop will be. Each turn is an interesting litle puzzle to maximise what you can do though. Must remember to introduce this one to Boog.

As per normal, the Piddinghoe stinginess gene kicked in, and we were all reluctant to pay to replenish goods. Thus the board was usually more empty than full. Eventually we begrudgingly stared to shell out if we were cash rich at the start of the turn, though we did have a few rounds of passing just to spite everyone else.

The final outcome was very close, with just a couple of points between the top three scores.
 
Scores : Oggie 32, Paul 31, Andy 30, Steve 28
Ratings: Oggie 7, Paul 8, Andy 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Zug um Zug

We finally relented and let Andy play. That must meant that Boog and Telbert are the nasty ones as they were not along here to stop us. We did not let him win though - we are not that nice. Steve took (yet another) win by building one long connected railway (yet again). Youd think we would learn, and stop him doing that.
 
Scores : Steve 130, Andy 113, Paul 104, Oggie 102
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Steve


01-Jun-2004All month
 
Domaine

First play of the game which Paul was quite suprised to find himself the owner of. Its a bit different to the usual German style game, with about as much direct conflict as you
e likely to see. After a bit of territory grabbing, everyone suddenly finds themselves in direct competition with each other. This is pretty much guaranteed due to the initial seeding of the board which intermingles the players. Scores tend to wax and wane as each players score changes as they gain or lose territory. This all makes it very easy to target the leader, as he will be surrounded by other players who can all knock down his score by grabbing his land. I suspect it may turn out to be too easy - the leader can adequately protect himself from attack by more than one player as he only gets to play one card, at best, in a turn. This probably means there are only two ways to play the game - grab a big enough score by mid game that nobody can catch you, or settle just behind the leader and take advantage of his plight. Whatever you do, you don want to be just a point or two ahead of the pack unless the game is over.

Andy got himself behind the curve when Paul and Oggie both gained control of a couple of mines. The income this brought in allowed them to open up a small lead before gradually pulling away. Warmonger Ogden continually tried to set himself up to invade the rich neighbouring lands controlled by Paul, to his frequent disappointment as Paul responded by declaring peace with him. The game pretty much turned on a move which split a large chunk of the board between Andy and Paul, catapulting Andy into second place and Paul into a large lead. Despite three or four rounds of leader bashing, Andy and Oggie couldn quite pull this lead back.
 
Scores : Paul 32, Andy 26, Oggie 26
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul

Pompeji

This has been a Piddinghoe favourite since Oggie was attracted to the small box size in Essen. It was such a hit that there are now at least three copies in the group. Oddly though, it hasn been out of the box for well over a year.

This turned into a very close game. Everybody seemed to be scoring at a consistent rate, despite the frequent cries of "you g*t!" when anyone claimed a space that somebody else had their eyes on. The look of outrage on peoples faces brought a tear (of joy) to the eye.... So close was it that, after the first volcano, no more than 20 points seperated first to last place. Each turn, the active player was scored enough to put their nose in front. It began to look like whoever drew the final volcano would win the game. And so it transpired, as Andy grabbed both the lead and the final volcano in his turn.

Excellent game - we should really make an effort to get this one back out before another year passes.
 
Scores : Andy 255, Paul 225, Oggie 220
Ratings: Andy 8, Paul 8, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Andy


08-Jun-2004All month
 
Tongiaki

With 5 of us tonight there was a chance to try another new game to the group. The idea behind Tongiaki is that the players are playing Polynesian tribes who are exploring the islands. At the end of the game players are awarded points for each island they have a presence on, whoever scores the most points wins the game. The game starts with a single hex (Tonga) which contains 6 beaches, each of which can hold 3 meeple. Players now place 2 of their meeple onto Tonga ensuring that each beach maintains at least 1 empty space. Now the game starts in earnest. On his turn a player will play meeple onto any island they currently occupy, they will place as many meeple onto the island as they already have on that island up to a maximum of 1 per beach. Once the player has placed all his meeple they check for exploration. Any beaches that are now full must be emptied. All meeple on the beach are moved onto an adjacent tile in the direction of one of the jetties from that beach. If the is no tile there then 1 is taken from the draw pile and placed next to the evacuating beach. The drawn tile can either contain islands or sea lanes. If itís an island then landfall occurs and the meeple are distributed amongst the islands beaches. If itís a sea lane then their must be at least as many different coloured meeple as the number on the sea lane, if not all meeple drown and are returned to the players. If enough different meeple are travelling then they continue along the sea lane to the next tile. Instead of taking a normal turn a player may claim an island for themselves if they are the only player with meeple on the island. This prevents any meeple from entering this island. The game ends when either all 16 sea tiles or island tiles are in play.

Nobody had much of a clue what they were doing. The first strike out from Tonga failed sinking meeple from 3 different players. This meant that by the time it got round to Steveís go he was only able to place 1 meeple, a move he was to get only too used to. Oggie also suffered at the start, being stuck on 1 island but was able to build his forces up whilst there. Steve was being moved around as the games board expanded, not allowing him to get a build up of troops anywhere, and he was also occasionally losing pieces to the sea. The hexes are supposed to form a series of islands split by sea tiles, somehow we managed to form 1 huge continent surrounded by sea. Andy was the first player to claim an Island and in the process isolated another Island which was only populated by Tel. Since there was no other way into the island Tel didnít bother to claim the island, thinking it was safe. Both Paul and Tel had managed to get their meeple scattered around the map, though Tels slowly started to converge again around Tonga. Steve was still having no luck still not being allowed (unintentionally by the others for the most part) to create any sort of build up of meeple. In an attempt to bring his misery to an early close he invoked one of the special moves, removing all his pieces from the board, and placing new tiles until he found an island. As could have been predicted by his luck so far, instead of drawing the 2 sea tiles he needed to end the game he immediately drew an island, which he claimed the following turn. Tel had managed to play all his meeple onto the board, mainly grouped around Tonga. Since Steve now didnít have any meeple left on the board, he was allowed to place a meeple on any island, placing it on Tels deserted island forcing all on the island to explore to their death. Oggie also managed to sink some of Tels meeple. This meant that Tel was able to place 5 meeple onto Tonga. This had a domino effect, and about 10 minutes later Tel finished his go by ending the game. Steve still had no meeple on the board and only scored the 1 island he had claimed. Andy and Oggie had both managed to scatter a few meeple around the land mass, Tels end of game charge saw him populate a few new islands, but not enough to catch Paul.

The game left a bad taste with Steve, and I suspect he wont be keen on seeing the game for quite a while if ever again. He never seemed to have options that could have improved his position. The other players werenít victimising him, but were inadvertently splitting his forces, preventing him from grouping meeple and having some control over where he wanted to go. The game seemed a little too chaotic with 5 players, but less players will render more of the sea lanes will be untravellable. Iím sure there is a very good game here, but suspect more plays are needed to determine the necessary tactics, and I suspect given the competition for table space this one wont be at the top of peopleís wish list for playing.
 
Scores : Paul 19, Tel 18, Oggie 14, Andy 11, Steve 3
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 6, Steve 3
Winner(s): Paul

Trias

We ended the night with a game of Trias. Initial setup saw everyone positioning their 2 herds of dinosaurs near the edge of the map and at opposite sides of the landmass. Tel and Paul were close together, as were Andy, Steve and Oggie. Steve adotped a tactic of regularly drifting a tile that he was populating, in order to be able to move multiple dinosaurs for a single action point. This allowed him to quickly scatter his herds to allow him to cover any major breaks. All of the other four players were spreading out more slowly from their starting positions. Most of the drifting seemed to be occuring in 1 half of the land mass leaving the other fairly untouched. There didnt seem to be much scoring going on as islands started to drift. Steve almost escaped on a largish island, only to be caught by Tel. Oggie and Andy seemed to be waging a private battle, with Steve also getting involved in the periphery. Paul seemed to be on auto-destruct as he suddenly found most of his dinosaurs couldnt swim. Tel launched a successful bid for sole control of the large island he shared with Steve. The other half of the land mass now started to fragment, and Tel was surpised to find he had a share in the majority on an new island hed been ignoring. As the meteor struck Paul was facing iminent extinction. Tels control on the two large island gave him the victory. Steve and Andy shared for second spot ahead of Oggie.

Despite initial skepticsm we only just overran the 1 hour suggested playing time. Having played this as a 3/4 and 5 player game I think it works well with all. I do prefer it with less players as players seem to have more control of their own destiny, the 5 player game is a little more chaotic. Still I would be more than happy to play this with whatever number, as I have thoroughly enjoyed every game Ive played.

 
 Comment by Paul  
Hmm, I was not overly impressed with this as a 5 player. Too much chaos, and too little planning you can do between turns. I think Ill try to stick to this with fewer players in future.
 
 
Scores : Tel 24, Andy 14, Steve 14, Oggie 11, Paul 7
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Paul 6
Winner(s): Tel

Web of Power

There are a few tactics that work in Web of Power, many of them centred on the prudent use of advisors. However they do usually require the backup up of some strategically placed cloisters to supplement the score. Oggie seemed determined to discover how you would get on without the need for clositers. Each of his first 4 turns entailed playing a single advisor. And it wasnít until the very last action of the first round that he played his first cloister. This meant that he did score in the first round, albeit a single point. Whilst Oggie was busy trying this new strategy out the rest of us were adopting more conventional ways of playing. For the third game running, multiple countries were opened up very early (all of our early games saw the one opened country completed before the next was opened). The opening of Frankreich saw the usual stampede with Tel and Paul leading the way. Steve ignored the stampede and build a 4 point chain spanning 3 countries whilst no one was looking. This was later expanded to 6. Tel and Paul fought for the control of Frankreichs cloisters with Tel just taking it. In the second half of the game Oggie decided that he should place a couple of cloisters, but not too many. Tel managed to build a couple of 4 point chains. In the final scoring Tel had somehow accumulated a big score with cloisters, advisors and chains all scoring. Steves 6 point chain was enough to claim second much to Andys dissapointment. Paul was just behind Andy. Oggies experiment (well be generous) was an unmitigated disaster, he did get into double figures but only just and mustve scored the lowest score ever seen 10.

Most of us are starting to see some of the more subtle tactics to this (Oggie obviously excluded) as we saw a couple of occasions people leaving free cloisters to allow other players to share the lead in countries where previously we wouldve fought to the death for sole control. The fact that the game was finished in 15 mins also suggests that we are becoming more proficient with the game, well most of us.
 
Scores : Tel 60, Steve 35, Andy 30, Paul 27, Oggie 10
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 8, Paul 8, Oggie 5
Winner(s): Tel


10-Jun-2004All month
 
San Juan

Scores : Paul 40, Tel 38
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 9
Winner(s): Paul


13-Jun-2004All month
 
Attika

Attika - or as it shall be known by Tel from now on, the game where you put some tokens on your player mat and Steve says *Ive won!*. This game took longer to set up than it did to play - much longer. Nobody was really taking Steves connection threat seriously, which as it proved was a pretty major tactical error. He needed four tokens to connect, but had already collected an amphora. And the necessary four tokens. Must remember to look at other peoples mats occasionally....
 
Scores : Steve 1, Oggie 0, Paul 0, Tel 0
Ratings: Steve 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve

Attika

This was a bit more like it - we managed to get a few tiles on the board this time. Everyone managed to put up a connection threat at one point or another, each one being handily blocked. In fact, outsiders looking on would have thought we knew what we were doing as a few plays were made which took up a vital spot needed by another player to allow them to play a free tile. Shame it was usually done accidentally. Just as it was shaping up for a victory by placing all tiles, Paul made a death or glory charge for a temple connection, added a new landscape tile, chucked in an amphora, and flipped the top tile from one of his stacks to reveal ... a tile he could play as a freebie to claim victory.
 
Scores : Paul 1, Oggie 0, Steve 0, Tel 0
Ratings: Paul 8, Oggie 7, Steve 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Coloretto

Wed tried this one before, and it crashed and burned. Which was a shame as the game was getting good reports elsewhere. So, never ones to give up on a game after a single play (well, unless those games are Bitin Off Hedz or Car Attack) we decided to have another go. And this time, it turned out to be an enjoyable little game. Definately in the filler category, but it gave the opportunity for a few interesting choices and to knacker the best laid plans of Oggie so definately a thumbs up. It probably won come out hugely often just because of competition from too many other games, but should be welcome when it does.
 
Scores : Oggie 44, Paul 36, Steve 35, Tel 26
Ratings: Oggie 7, Paul 7, Steve 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Die Burg - Carcassonne

Scores : Tel 65, Steve 62
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Tel

Galaxis

Galaxis - or Get Tel as this one turned out to be. Tel started to collect negative points from the start, and by mid game was obviusly out of contention. Normal games would of course have moved the misery elsewhere at the point - but not the Piddinghoe gamers. Paul and Steve were having far too much fun with Get Tel. And so it was no suprise to see the final scores showing Telbet with a heavy negative. This is another filler and is ... alright. Its not going to set the world on fire, and may even gravitate towards the back of a drawer. Its a small box though and quite cheap so no harm done. The basic idea is that players blind bid for cards which have one of two attributes - value and multiple. Both can be positive or multiple. This means that taking a single card is usually quite dangerous as it has a nasty habit of attracting another card which turns in into negative points. I suppose its possible that some groups could play to maximise each persons score, but thats not our style
 
Scores : Paul 18, Steve 2, Tel -14
Ratings: Paul 6, Steve 5, Tel 5
Winner(s): Paul

New England

Well we learnt a lesson in this game. Paul, Steve and Oggie all spent most of the game waiting for a 4 square development tile to come up for auction. Unfortunatley these only exist in 1 of the 3 colours so they were all waiting in vain. Tel on the other hand went for a build whenever possible strategy. Oggie gave up waiting before the other two and managed to succesfully convert enough of his lands, to just grab victory from Tel.
 
Scores : Oggie 27, Tel 26, Steve 21, Paul 18
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 7, Steve 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Princes of Florence

Paul tried a new tactic today. This is usually followed by the comment that Paul now knows a new tactic that doesn work and results in him coming hideously last. This provides a useful service to the group though, as he provides everyone else with something to laugh at and saves everyone else wasting their time trying out tactics that don work. So he continues to do it. And sometimes, just sometimes, it actually works. And today was one of those rare occasions where a blue moon was hanging in the sky.

So what was this new tactic? Basically, don bother to build any buildings. In fact, it seemed a shame to clutter up that nice player mat with parks, lakes and such so he didn bother with them either. Of course he cannot claim full credit for this tactic, as his cards told him to do it. With seven profession cards in his hand, it would seem reasonable that some of them would share the same buildings. But no, seven cards, seven buildings. And what were the other players thinking when the let him get seven cards? They were taunting him, obviously, by making him pick up cards that all had different building requirements.

So, a new strategy was born out of desperation. The basic plan is to win either a jester or a recruitment card on every turn. Fortunately not buying any buildings helps the treasury a little. Supplement this by taking profession cards whenever possible and trying to pick those which use just one or two freedoms. Take a bonus card or two to boost point totals. And do as many works as possible. Make sure you keep a lot of cash in hand after putting on a work so you can afford to bid high in the next auction round.

Unfortunately, Paul was so busy trying to figure out how the heck to get enough points to put the works on, he hasn got the foggiest idea what anybody else did in the game. But fortunately everyone else can add their own comments (hint, hint).
 
Scores : Paul 65, Steve 58, Oggie 57, Tel 48
Ratings: Paul 9, Steve 9, Oggie 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul

Stephensons Rocket

This was only the second time the game had hit the table. None of us had much idea what we were doing in the first game, and the long gap betwen plays hadn done much to help cement strategies. It had, however, given us plenty of time to forget the rules. It had also given everyone else a chance to forget the winning strategy Paul used in the previous game, so he did the same again. Play stations, steer lines into them, collect points. Hopefully it will be another year before we play again so everyone else will forget the strategy again.
 
Scores : Paul 105, Tel 74, Steve 71
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Paul


15-Jun-2004All month
 
Big City

5 players showed up this week so we cracked open Big City.

Weíd only had one outing of this before but none of us could remember much about it so a recap of the rules was necessary. There are 9 tiles each containing 8 or 9 numbered squares, each square has a corresponding card which are grouped into piles according to the tile they are on. These piles are individually shuffled with each player taking a card from each of the first 6 piles. The number 1 tile is placed in the centre of the board. Each player then adds a tile adjacent to one of the already laid tiles. The game is now ready to start. On his turn a player may perform 1 of 5 actions; Build a building, place a streetcar, place a tile, switch cards or pass.

There are a number of different buildings available each with a different criterion that needs to be met for it to be built, i.e. all buildings except businesses and residences require that the city hall has been built before they can be built. The buildings come in different sizes occupying between 1 and 4 squares. When a player wants to build, he must discard the cards matching all the squares that the building is going to occupy on the board. Each building scores its builder points according to where it is built. Finally after building the player restocks his hand back to 6 cards if possible. There are 4 special buildings (2 parks and 2 factories) that have matching a card in one of the piles. These buildings only require that matching card, to allow the building to be built anywhere on the board. Anyone owning the cards matching the squares on which these buildings are built is allowed to replace them at the start of there turn.

The first player to place a streetcar only places 1, but may place it on any road. Subsequent players may place 2 streetcars but they must extend the existing streetcar network. Buildings may not be built over the top of streetcars. Buildings built next to streetcars tend to have the value increased. Once the City Hall has been built players have the option of laying one of the unused tiles adjacent to any other tiles on the table. The fourth type of action is to return any number of cards from your hand and replace them with an equal number of cards. The returned cards are placed under there respective pile, with the drawn cards coming from anywhere with a restriction of no more than 2 coming from any 1 pile. Finally the player may just pass. The game ends when each player passes in turn and the winner is the player with the most points.

Paul opened the game with a 2 square business. Boog decided on a very early pass. Tel followed Paulís lead by building a similar 2 square business. There was then an amount of card swapping before Boog bit the bullet and built the City Hall. Tel followed this by starting the streetcars and the game started in earnest. Steve decided to pretty up the town by building a park, he didnít give too much thought as to where to build the park as he just wanted to replace the ďuselessĒ card in his hand. Unfortunately he ended up placing it on one of his own squares. Oggie seemed to have grasped the game better then everyone else (or was he just lucky with his card drawing?), and seemed to be constantly building. Even the big scoring Department Stores werenít enough for Paul or Steve to catch Oggie. When the first of the extra tiles came onto the board there was a scramble for the cards, so it shouldíve come as no surprise to anyone when Oggie effectively trashed it by placing a factory in the middle of it. The game was approaching the end, and Oggie was still building, managing to sneak out a church towards the end of the game. There was nothing anyone could do to catch him, so the game ended with a few squares undeveloped. Oggieís constant scoring had won the day, with Tel and Paul having to make do with a tie for second. Steve claimed 4th leaving Boog, who hadnít enjoyed the game, claiming the wooden spoon.

As mentioned above Boog was not overly enamoured with the game, but the rest of us enjoyed it. Personally I did enjoy the game but would like to try the game with fewer players. I suspect this would make the game more interesting, allow more control and require more thought.
 
Scores : Oggie 82, Paul 75, Tel 75, Steve 47, Boog 25
Ratings: Oggie 8, Paul 8, Tel 7, Steve 7, Boog 5
Winner(s): Oggie

Royal Turf

The evening finished with the return of an old favourite. We havenít played Royal Turf in a long time. The one criticism we have for the game is the similarity of colours between some of the horses, especially Sahara Wind and Caramello. I know the colours are supposed to be fairly realistic for horses, but personally I would prefer to see blue and green horses so that they could be easily distinguished at a glance. Whilst discussing the colours of the horses we decided that the colour of Caramello was particularly offensive and spent the rest of the game cheering on Diahorea Bob.

The horse Earl Grey has a problem in that it only moves 1 forward when a Horses Head is rolled on the dice. Given that the horses head is on half the faces of the dice, it doesnít tend to get to far round the track. Despite this Paul seemed to have an unswerving belief in the grey horse, backing it each race, twice with his 2. Tel was also seen to back it, but usually with a 0. The first race of the night saw an awful lot of horses heads appearing on the dice, so it was no surprise to see the darker horses doing well, however the few non Horses heads were used to give Diahorea Bob a kick start and he managed to claim victory. Tel faired worse in this round winning just 200. Pauls ability to back the loser cost him and he was on 400 with Steve and Boog both winning about 600 and Oggie leading with 800. Into the second race and we had two horses with only a single backer, both Sahara Wind (backed by Paul) and Albino (backed by Tel) started the race near the back of the pack. Much to everyone elses disgust Paul managed to roll well for Sahara Wind propelling it round the track like greased lightning. It claimed the early lead and then victory in double quick time. The real race then proceeded behind with Nougat, Red Fox and Othello fighting for podium finishes, and Albino and Earl Grey out for a Sunday afternoon stroll. As the podium finishes were finalised it was Earl Grey that was left stranded at the back. Not only had Paul played his 2 chip on Earl Grey to claim -200 but heíd also been bluffing on Sahara Wind with his 0 chip so didnít win anything. Oggie was the only real winner in round 2 and opened up a hefty lead. Into the last race and all payouts are doubled. It looked like everyone had learnt there lessons with Earl Grey by leaving it well alone until the last betting round when 3 chips were inexplicably placed on his already tired back. And he got off to a slow start and never speeded up. The 3 darker horses were having a ding dong battle for the lead and after the dust settled in a very close finish it was found that Tel had backed all three horses on the podium plus Earl Grey that brought up the rear. His 3 positive chips were all on the 3 podium finishers to gather a windfall. Boog also stuck gold backing 2 of them. Pauls 2 chip was again on Earl Grey to ensure he wasnít going to make his fortune. Tels windfall was enough to catapult him to victory ahead of Oggie. Boog claimed third place. There was then a big gap back to Steve and then Paul.

This is a great way to end the evening, its not a game that should be taken too seriously, with no heavy analysis required. It is not going to see regular play with all the other games out there, but will certainly be welcome for the occasional appearance.

 
 Comment by Paul  
Well, thats another tactic that doesn work then. Being in last place after the first round, I needed to get my 2 chip on a horse that nobody else would back and get it past the post first. Earl Grey fitted the bill admirably for the first criteria. Shame he failed so dismally on the second.
 
 
Scores : Tel 2050, Oggie 1750, Boog 1600, Steve 650, Paul 300
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 8, Steve 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


06-Jul-2004All month
 
Abenteuer Menschheit

We got that magical number of 4 tonight which opens up the possibility of a whole raft of games that donít usually get played. We decided to go with Settlers spin off.

The initial setup was very interesting seeing Paul placing all three of his starting tribes on the 5 meat tile. Andy had managed also managed to claim a hex for himself, having 2 of the 3 tribes on the 8 meat with the last tribe unpopulated. Steve had left himself with needing double figures for meat, and as these werenít forthcoming, was left with a very slow start. Tel was the first out of the blocks quickly building a couple of tribes. Steve decided that he was going to have to grab some meat somehow, so decided to advance 3 spots down the Neanderthal track, hitting Tel each time looking for one of the 2 Meats heíd just picked up. Whilst he missed the meat each time he did manage to collect 3 of a kind to swap for a meat, and finally move out of Africa. We seemed to throwing quite a few 7s early on, with the Neanderthal bouncing between Pauls 5 Meat, Andys 8 Meat and the 6 Flint shared by everyone except Paul.

After about 30 mins the dice behaviour suddenly changed, they decided that certain numbers were not going to appear. The dice seemed incapable of rolling 4, 6 and 10s in particular. This had the effect of making Ivory very scarce. Now Ivory is needed for both building settlements and for advancing the tribes abilities. Without Ivory the only option is to move nomads. So Tel used the lull in the game to hoover up some of the chits. He also managed to jump across into America and grab a tribe in his third colour. All he needed was a tribe in Australia claim the bonus for being the first player to get all four colours and to win the game. Andy was the only player seeing the occasional Ivory so was the only player in a position to stop him, so charged into both America and Australia building tribes in both. Tel followed Andy into Australia but had got the ivory needed to convert to a tribe. A short while later we realised that Andy had moved into and built a tribe in America without having the pre-requisites, similarly Tel was short of an advancement for his exodus into Australia. Despite claims of cheating from Paul and Steve, the moves didnít have any impact of the final result (other then inflating Andyís score) as the 4 and 6 finally came up in 1 round allowing Tel the advancement he needed to legitimately move into Australia, move his second Nomad in Legally and build the tribe he needed to win.

I really want to like Abenteuer Menschett, I like the settlers mechanisms, and feel this version allows for a certain amount of catch the leader, however it does share one big problem with its illustrious cousin. The resources available are at the whim of the Dice, whilst in most games this is fine with a fairly normal distribution of all the numbers, in the game today Ivory wasnít readily available for three quarters of the game due to the lack of 2 numbers. Trading was almost non existent for most of the game as everyone was missing the same goods. The 7 was being rolled regularly so players were reluctant to hold onto too many cards allowing 3 for 1 swaps. Hence the game dragged on for almost 2 hours, and this is just too long. As a 60 minute game this would be an excellent game, but doubling this when the dice donít behave makes it outstay its welcome. The obvious solution seems to be replacing the dice with a dice deck, however I suspect this may be too rigid, making the 2 and 12s less attractive then they already are. Perhaps also adding a shuffle card or 2 may help. Unfortunately we have too many games that only play well with 4, and we donít see this number that often so this will have to wait to see the table again.
 
Scores : Tel 10, Andy 6, Steve 4, Paul 3
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 6, Steve 7, Paul 5
Winner(s): Tel

Citadels

In last months Counter one of the ďre-counterĒ games was Citadels. Paul from our group submitted an article stating that the game di-polarised the group like no other and he wasnít expecting to see it hit the table anytime soon. So to prove him wrong we brought it out. To be fair we had the 3 fans playing tonight (Tel, Paul and Steve) with only Andy representing the dissenting half of the group.

Andys major gripe with the game was that every time heíd played it the same player had been hit with either the Assassin or the Thief on multiple occasions effectively knocking them out of contention. Hence we replaced the Thief with the alternative role the Tax Collector. We also played a couple of other tweaks apparently suggested by the designer Bruno Faidutti, one to end the game at 7 buildings, and secondly to reverse the order of play if the King doesnít move. It has been over 2 years since this game has been played within the group (though I suspect Steve has been moonlighting as he was very familiar with the rules), so most of us needed a recap and blindly run through the first part of the game.


The Merchant and Magician were obviously very shy, spending the first 3 turns as part of the 3 cards removed from the hand. With the Tax collector in the game everyone was keen to spend all their money when they built. From what I can remember the Assassin killing the Bishop was a fairly traditional opening gambit. Obviously Tel forgot this as he took the Bishop in the first round and was forced to watch everyone else build. The second round proved that the group has moved on a little in the last 2 years, as the Assassin was not chosen by any of the 4 players, something that would never have happened in previous games. Tel caught up on buildings thanks to the architect. Andy was obviously keen to keep the game moving, every time he was King he would call out the roles, allow the player to identify themselves, then he would try to call the next role, not allowing the players the opportunity to do anything. Tel managed to get ahead in the building stakes thanks to another round as Architect, though they were all small buildings. Steve was a building behind but 5 points ahead. Paul was level with Steve on buildings but behind on points. The Architect then hid for a couple of turns preventing anyone from pushing for an early finish. Tels ability to end the game a turn later marked him as a target and he ended the round without cards (Magician), having spent up and minus a building (Warlord). Steve was the first and indeed only player to build 7 buildings. Most of us had managed to get 1 of each coloured buildings including Steve. This gave him a comfortable win, Paul claimed second from Tel leaving Andy to bring up the rear.

We really need to get this to the table much more often. The tweaks to the rules helped make it enjoyable for all, the King didnít move for the first 3 turns, where this wouldíve previously hurt Steve, giving him last choice each time, the reversing the order meant he got second choice on one of the occasions, keeping him in the game. The introduction of the Tax Collector radically changes players strategy compared to when the Thief is in the game. With Andy scoring the game a 7 we may have a convert, now if only we could get Oggie and Boog to want to play.
 
Scores : Steve 31, Paul 24, Tel 20, Andy 15
Ratings: Steve 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve


11-Jul-2004All month
 
Carcassonne

After Andy left we played a game of Carcassonne. We used the base set plus the tiles from the king and scout expansion and used the king. The ideas being that it would encourage players to finish of cities. What actually happened was that players were reluctant to leave cities in a position that they could be finished. We did complete 7 cities in all but only 1 was larger than 3 tiles. There was one big city everyone was fighting to get into at the start, which was eventually left unfinished, stranding a meeple of each player on an unattached 1 point city piece. Paul had a run of cloisters and scored big due to them, Steve also saw a couple. Tel completed the only decent sized city in the game so claimed and held on to the king. He also managed to sneak into the large field right at the end to just pip Steve for second, but Paul took the win by being the only player to lap the scoreboard twice.
 
Scores : Paul 104, Tel 92, Steve Cox 85
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Steve Cox 10
Winner(s): Paul

David and Goliath

Andy had to leave at 7 so we closed his night with a single hand of David and Goliath. Steve hadn played this one before and was slow to win his first trick. However this played to his advantage as later in the game when we all stated to win tricks he didn have any suits to ruin and ended up with 1 or 2 cards in each of the 5 colours, taking a comprehensive victory.
 
Scores : Steve Cox 66, Andy 36, Tel 33, Paul 30
Ratings: Steve Cox 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Steve Cox

Don

Don was a new one on Steve, and he was doubly disadvantaged as its another auction game. Andy quickly built up a decent set of cards, and then accumulated cash to ensure he could win the latter auctions. Steve kept his money in his pocket until well into the game before he bought a few cards. Tel bought a few early cards but then didn see too much more money to allow him to supplement these. Paul suffered from a similar problem but saw even less money come in than Tel. Andys late spending splurge wrestled victory from Steve. Paul didn make it into double figures.
 
Scores : Andy 21, Steve Cox 15, Tel 10, Paul 7
Ratings: Andy 7, Steve Cox 6, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy

Dos Rios

Dos Rios is the Spanish for 2 rivers, and this game is about the flow of 2 rivers from their source in the mountains down to the city or lakes below. The aim of the game is to be the first player to build a number of farms and a hacienda onto the board.

The board is created by randomly placing the hexes into the framework. The hexes contain either mountain, forest or farm lands with the farms containing different types of harvest. The start player then creates the 2 rivers by plotting there course from their source down the board. The river will only run down the board, so it can only exit a tile by one of the 3 lower edges. It will always move to the lowest available land type (Mountain > Forest > Farm > Lake/Town). If there is a choice the player may freely decide between the lowest land types. Once the river is created each player gets to place 3 meeple onto the board. 5 tiles are turned face up to show what the next 5 harvests are going to be.

Each player has 6 movement points to move their meeple about the board. Moving to an adjacent hex costs 1 movement point. However meeple of different colours may never occupy the same hex, so to move through an ďenemyĒ occupied hex you must return that enemy to town by either coming from higher ground or outnumbering them. Each player starts the game with 2 logs, each log can be used at any point in a players turn to dam one edge of a hex they occupy. If this interrupts the river the player gets to re-course the river following the original placement rules. A player may also build up to 2 buildings during his turn (before harvest), but this costs money and he doesnít start with any money. At the end of his turn the player decides whether to action the next harvest tile. If not it is moved to the back of the row of 5. If he decides to harvest then all tiles that match the indicated harvest good that has a river passing through produces 100 cash to the player that has a presence there. If the harvest tile shows forest then each tile produces a log instead of cash. If it shows a river then all tiles on that river are scored. This tile is now discarded and another drawn and placed at the start of the row. If this tile is a bandit tile then the bandits come out of the hills and kill the first 3 meeple they meet on the particular river.

We had a couple of different tactics on show. Steve accumulated a pile of cash but seemed reluctant to build anything. Tel was building Farmhouses as he could afford them, with Paul and Andy playing somewhere in between. Paul and Andy both got there hacienda on to the board fairly high up, allowing them to get meeple high up the board cheaply (2 movement points to teleport a player from town to hacienda). Tel managed to reap a bumper harvest when he diverted one of the rivers through all three of his farmhouses and a couple of meeple. He was only 100 short of the money needed to build his hacienda, desperate measures were needed so Steve set of up river and set up a dam to ensure Tel couldnít route the river through all three farmhouses at the same time. This gave everyone a little bit of breathing room. However Tel did manage to acquire 100 during Pauls turn. Tel now built his hacienda and managed to re-route the river to claim another 400 (better placement of the hacienda wouldíve got him 500). On the next turn Tel gained the 100 he needed to build on the following turn and managed to ensure that no-one else could beat him to the finish. After double checking that no amount of conspiring could stop Tel winning the game was declared over.

An absolutely corking game. A copy of this one will certainly be joining my games collection by the end of October. Again a little worried that the 1 hour time frame mentioned on the box grew into a 2.5 hour game, but I was genuinely shocked when I saw how long weíd been playing, then time seemed to fly by.
 
Scores : Tel 1, Andy 0, Paul 0, Steve Cox 0
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7, Paul 8, Steve Cox 9
Winner(s): Tel

Goa

For Julys Sunday Games day we had a guest, Steve Cox from Burgess Hill joined regulars Tel, Paul and Andy. The first game of the day was Goa, a game new to the regulars but Steve had played before so he gave a run down of the rules.

Each player has 2 game boards of their own plus there is a communal game board. The communal board has room for 25 tiles in a 5x5 grid. It also has room for stacks of cards for gold, colonists, ships, additional actions and expeditions. It also has room for the 4 specific colony tiles. A set of coloured ďcubesĒ are placed beside this board, these represent the 5 types of spices in the games. The first of the players game boards has room for 8 tiles plus somewhere to store the players 5 auction marker disks (numbered 1-5). The spaces for tiles are split into 2 rows of 4. The top row being all empty and available for tiles bought in the auctions, each space in the bottom row depicts one of the specific colonies, and can only be populated with the relevant tile. The second board has 5 tracks; Gold, colonists, ships, spices and cards.

The game is played over 8 rounds with the board cleared and refilled with a second set of tiles after the 4th round. Each round is split into 2 phases an set of auctions followed by a set of actions. Firstly the start player takes the flag marker and places adjacent to a tile, placing his 1 marker on top of it. Player 2 then places his 2 marker onto any tile that is horizontally, vertically of diagonally next to the flag. Players 3 and 1 follow suit all placing next to the previously placed marker. We now hold the 5 auctions. Each auction is once round the table, with the owner of the marker getting the last bid. They also receive the cash for the winning bid unless they won the auction in which case it goes to the bank. Winning the flag makes the player the start player, gets them an additional action card, plus the right to place and hence sell the flag in the next round.

The tiles come in a number of different flavours. Some are colony tiles, which should be immediately placed on to the players game board on the top row. Some tiles are played immediately to receive various cards. Some are worth Vps at the game end. Some bestow an additional card in each round for the rest of the game, and some allow the player to perform a certain action once in the game.

Once all the auctions are complete we have 3 phases where each player can perform an action. The available actions are to advance 1 space on one of the tracks on his game board (discarding the relevant spices and ship cards), action one of the tracks to receive the relevant number of ships, expedition cards, spices or gold, or he can attempt to acquire one of the specific colonies. This is done by turning 2 cards from the expedition deck and adding the number of colonists shown to the number on the players track, any shortfall can be made up from the players hand.

After the 8 rounds are over VPs are awarded for the advancement of each track, the number of specific colonists built, any VP tiles and for matching expedition cards held.

It took about 30 mins to go through the rules, but once we started playing they seemed fairly obvious. Of course most of us hadnít a clue what we were doing to start with. Steve explained that the flag was worth at least 4 gold due to the additional action could be used to get gold, plus you got to sell the flag next round hence it was worth much more than this. Of course this was his first exposure to the Piddinghoe bidding style. Suffice to say for the first half of the game the flag switched between Paul and Steve, with Steve paying much more than Paul for the honour. Steve also pointed out that the free gold tile was often much sought after, hence true to Piddinghoe style we kept it out of the game. Not really knowing what we were doing it was difficult to say who got off to good or bad start. Tel was the only player to get spices in the auction so was able to advance one of his tracks early. Everyone else made a run at getting the cheap colony with everyone succeeding except Paul, who drew low cards from the expedition deck. The game settled into a rhythm with Steve regularly shaking his head at the disparity in his expected value of tiles and the actual selling price. As the first set of tiles was discarded nobody had made great moves down any of the tracks still being on level 2 or below. The pace picked up in the second half, Tel started to take an interest in the flag, and was the first to hit to bottom of a track making it all the way on spices, closely followed by Steve on cards and Andy on colonists. Being able to restock plenty of Spices came in very useful to Tel as he drew the cards that allowed him to sell each spice for 3 gold twice and the card that allowed him to advance for just cash twice, allowing him to get to the bottom of 2 other tracks. Everyone else managed to complete all 4 named colonies. Steve had picked up a set of 3 matching expedition cards fairly early on, so held onto them looking for a fourth which never came up. Tel used 2 additional actions to draw cards, picking up 7 points in the 2 draws. This was enough to ensure a comfortable win. Steve claimed second by quite a margin from Paul and Andy who were tied for third.

I really like this game. Whilst most of the mechanics have been used elsewhere including the communal auction followed by individual building phases of Prince of Florence and the multiple tracks to advance of Industrial Waste, the game is thoroughly enjoyable and a worthy addition to any games collection. The one down side is that it took 2.5 hours to play but as with all good games it didnít seem like anything like this amount of time. This should shorten with regular play, but Iím still not sure it will fit on a Tuesday evening session. I certainly hope it will as I havenít felt this good about a game since Puerto Rico.

 
 Comment by Paul  
Very nice game. Im hoping this will come out reasonably often. As per normal we managed to get a few rules wrong, so Im also hoping to play it properly some time too. And the answer to the question of what is the flag worth? Not much if you are playing with the Piddinghoe Gamers, that much is for sure.
 
 
Scores : Tel 52, Steve Cox 43, Andy 32, Paul 32
Ratings: Tel 8, Steve Cox 8, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Heave Ho!

Tel and Andy have tried on numerous occassions to complete a game of Heave Ho, never to accomplish the feat. Well today they actually made it (forcing Paul to brew his own tea when he turned up). The first tug was over almost before it started with Tel getting a small advantage and maintaining and scoring it each turn. The second round was much closer with the rope going first one way then the other. Eventually Tel won the war of attrition just before the cards run out. The third hand was again relatively quick with Tel putting on an early pull and maintaining it for the win.
 
Scores : Tel 3, Andy 0
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel

Quivive

Steve brought this nasty 10 minute filler along. The playing field is created by placing disks onto the board either 1 2 or 3 high. Each player then places his piece on top of one of the disks. A players turn then comprises moving your man to an adjacent disk, then removing a disk. A player is eliminated when they cannot move. Tel was quickly eliminated, getting stranded in the middle of the board. Andy almost followed as he was isolated on an island of 2 adjacent disks, however Steve and Paul left him in the game whilst they concentrated on each other. All of a sudden all three players were down to similar islands. With Paul to move first. He could eliminate either player, but would then have been forced to take second, However by taking a neutral piece he allowed Andy to make the aggressive move of eliminating Steve, this allowed Paul to eventually win after 2 more moves.
 
Scores : Paul 1, Andy 0, Steve Cox 0, Tel 0
Ratings: Paul 7, Andy 7, Steve Cox 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


13-Jul-2004All month
 
Citadels

After last weeks enjoyable game of citadels, we decided to try it again, this time with all 6 of the regular players. Once again we used all the original characters except the thief which was replaced by the tax collector. Neither Oggie nor Boog had played the game in over 2 years so needed a refresh on the rules before we started.

Boogs only real memory of his last game was in taking the King to try and get a shot at the better characters only to be assassinated each time. He neednít have worried as Steve took the King in the first round and held onto it for the next 3. Since we were playing the variant where turn order reverses if the king doesnít move, this didnít stitch too many people up. Oggie was assassinated early on and had a hand full of big cards so couldnít build too many. Just as he was gearing up to build 1, Boog used the magician to steal his hand. As Boog was saving to start building, Steve used the magician to swap cards. Before Steve had had chance to build any of them Oggie completed the circle by stealing his cards back. As Andy, Paul and Steve all hit 4 cards (we were only playing to 7) the assassin started to hit the Architect almost every round. Andy was the first player to get to 6, only to find Steves Warlord knocking him back to 5. This gave the advantage to Steve and Paul who had both moved up to 6. Steve was the first to build his seventh building closely followed by Paul. Paul had got the bigger buildings in play, and took the win. Oggie had eventually managed to build a couple of his starting hand, and was able to sneak third from Tel by a point. Despite being the first to 6 buildings Andy had to make do with a share of last with Boog.

This game was a major disappointment after last weeks game. The extra 2 players prolonged the game beyond its welcome. With four last week there was little downtime and the game run along at a happy pace finishing in under an hour, tonights game on the other hand seemed to drag on, and took about 90 mins to complete. There is nothing to do whilst each player chooses their character, and waiting for 5 players to do this seemed like an eternity. I still like citadels but donít think Iíd want to play it again with more than 4, which is just as well because judging from some of the ratings from the game I suspect we may not be able to persuade a couple of players to give it another go.
 
Scores : Paul 29, Steve 25, Oggie 19, Tel 18, Andy 15, Boog 15
Ratings: Paul 7, Steve 6, Oggie 6, Tel 7, Andy 7, Boog 5
Winner(s): Paul

Pueblo

Scores : Andy 45, Boog 41, Paul 38
Ratings: Andy 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Paul

Puerto Rico

The group split into 2 threes for the last hour and Tel, Steve and Oggie embarked on a 3 player game of Puerto Rico. As is usual with the 3 player version the game started off at a decent pace. Tel went for a corn and tobacco run, Steve gained an early monopoly on Coffee whilst Oggie had Indigo coming out of his beard. Steve managed to build his own wharf, and this is when the game slowed a little. Steve had managed to get coffee into one of the ships, and since he was the only coffee producer was keen to keep the ship tied up. Tel and Oggie realised that producing was playing into Steves hands so didnít. Steve also seemed reluctant to produce, so the game went through a lull as the end approached as everyone was playing very cagily. It was all to no avail for Tel and Oggie as the damage had already been done, with Steves early coffee monopoly had already won the game for him. Tel and Oggie were battling for second, a battle that Oggie won.

For most of the games we have played of this I have been quite successful with a shipping and factory strategy. For tonights game I thought Iíd try something different, but ended up getting it totally wrong. It was interesting to see that tonights game is one of the first Iíve seen where the factory wasnít used, I built 1 towards the end but only because I thought the game was about to end and wanted to build the biggest points possible. I really would like to play more of this to see what other tactics work, but I just canít find the time to play all the games I want as often as Iíd like.
 
Scores : Steve 62, Oggie 45, Tel 39
Ratings: Steve 9, Oggie 9, Tel 9
Winner(s): Steve


20-Jul-2004All month
 
Finstere Flure

Tel, Steve, Oggie and Boog tonight, and Boog suggested a game of Finister Flure. The usual formation of everyone packed into the first corner was soon thrown into disarray as a kill 2 tile came up, and with the aid of a blood spill, the monster was immediately in amongst everyone. Everyone scattered but the monster didnít go hungry over the next few turns claiming an impressive 6 adventurers in one particularly vicious rampage. As the blood settled Steve had been least affected by monster, and had managed to get 2 men well towards the exit. Despite getting off to a bad start, Boog was also in a full on charge towards the exit. Tel seemed to be performing ritual suicide in his attempts to get the monster to teleport over towards the start, and had to reintroduce characters onto the board for most of the first half of the game. As the first pile of tiles was depleted we found Steve had managed to get 2 men out and had the other 2 close to the exit. Boog had also got 2 men out. Tel was still toying with the monster ( or was that the other way round ?) with 3 of his men near the start With Oggies pieces scattered round the board.

The exit area was looking very busy, so there was a few worried looks when Tel finally managed to avoid getting eaten and persuade the monster to teleport back towards the start. Steve was the first to suffer as the monster took both of his remaining men, eliminating from the rest of the game. Tel was now being careful to hide from the monster. Oggie managed to get 2 men out, but lost 1 man in the process. Boog also lost 1 man which was quickly followed by his second. Tel managed to sneak his second man off the board. We were now down to 2 of Tels men and 1 of Oggies, left on the board with everyone having 2 men escaped. Tel sacrificed one of his men to lure the monster into also eating Oggies last man. This left Tel on his own to charge for the exit, while he managed to avoid capture and get within 2 spaces of the exit, he ran out of time as the movement tiles were depleted for the second time ending the game. With everyone having 2 escapees, and it being such an entertaining game we decided to declare the game a tie all round.

An unusual game for us, usually someone manages to gain the required number of escapees, and the winner is usually the person to get of to the best start. As such we were all expecting Steve to canter to a victory. However with more men left on the board for most of the second half of the game, Tel got to make the last moves of each round, which gave him some limited control of the monster, which he used to ensure nobody managed to get all 3 men out, and only running out of time stopped him from winning despite only getting 1 man out of the first quarter of the board for the first half of the game. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this one.
 
Scores : Boog 2, Oggie 2, Steve 2, Tel 2
Ratings: Boog 9, Oggie 7, Steve 7, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog, Oggie, Steve, Tel

Industria

Second game of the night and we went for Industria. This was a new one to Boog so needed a run through the rules. Tel was start player but only managed to generate 1 income before taking the second tile. Steve seemed reluctant to buy anything and horded cash for most of the first round. Boogs building strategy seemed to be to go after the production buildings, ensuring a steady stream of cash for the rest of the game. Oggie was building a network of connected buildings down the left side of the board. Steve finally started spending money when the bank came up for auction. Tel bankrupted himself to buy a network of buildings, only to find heíd bought the wrong tile and was actually missing the central building, and then couldnít afford to buy the tile when it did come up. His money problems continued when he was forced to take the first tile due to no bids when he was start player. Boogs production centre was paying big dividends as he was seldom short of cash. Steve managed to outbid him for the stock exchange, to make everything 2 cheaper. Oggie having completed his building network now started to go after connected technologies. By the end of the game almost everything had been built. Despite both building up stockpiles of cash in the mid game, neither managed to keep up with Oggies regular buying and were competing for second with Boog just managing to sneak it. Tels mistake at the start of the game coupled with the shortage of cash in the mid game knocked him out of contention very early and left him on about a half of Oggies final score.

Three of the group enjoyed the game scoring it very high, but I wasnít so enamoured with it this time out. A players main source of income is the money received when they sell off tiles as auctioneer. I had over spent at one point but expected to be able to recover cash as I was soon to be start player, however Oggie (the auctioneer before me) had managed to sell all 4 tiles, denying me any money as auctioneer. When it came to my turn to be start player nobody was interested in the tiles available, hence I got no cash, and had to effectively sit out the next three rounds as I couldnít buy or build without cash. I am hoping that the situation I got into was down to bad play on my behalf and can be avoided in future but am wary that a bad draw can severely handicap a player.
 
Scores : Oggie 50, Boog 46, Steve 45, Tel 26
Ratings: Oggie 9, Boog 8, Steve 8, Tel 5
Winner(s): Oggie


27-Jul-2004All month
 
Goa

I wont write a detailed session report since Im getting old and my memory aint what it used to be. But anyway after an explanation of the rules by me (Andy) conducted to the tunes of the Hallilujah chorus rendered by Oggie and Steve, we got underway with just the 3 of us playing. I am happy to say that the game played just as well with 3 as it did with 4 on its first outing. The most noticable difference being that more tiles remained on the board at the end of rounds 4 and 8 which didnt seem to adversely affect play in any way.

The final scores were (I suspect) still quite low and I assume that this is more down to lack of experience on our part. However it was a fairly tight finish with Andy winning on a tiebreak (most cash).
 
Scores : Andy 40, Steve 40, Oggie 33
Ratings: Andy 8, Steve 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy

Hick Hack in Gackelwack

The 2 group finished their respective games at about the same time, so we ended the night with 2 6 players game of Hick Hack and Gackelwack.

Oggie had a hot streak at the start of the first game playing nothing but foxes, and claiming chickens on each occasion, usually more than 1. But whilst Oggie was having success playing foxes, Steve was having just as much success playing chickens that avoided the foxes. Paul had a little success in the game and made a token effort to keep up with the 2 leaders, but this was really a 2 horse race. Steve was the one who finally came out on top.
 
Scores : Steve 45, Oggie 39, Paul 33, Tel 25, Boog 20, Andy 16
Ratings: Steve 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Boog 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Steve

Hick Hack in Gackelwack

The second game and Oggie had something to prove, so this time he decided to also play some chickens, and these were even more successful than his foxes had been in the previous game. That said the foxes were still having a field day, and as in the first game the chicken population was shrinking fast. This time it was Boogs turn to challenge Oggie for victory, but Oggie wasnít going to let anyone deny him of victory this time.

This makes a great alternative filler to the usual trick taking games. Paul commented that the games tonight were very different to all previous games. In previous games the chickens have held sway throughout the whole game, whereas in both games today the foxes were much more successful than they have ever been before, managing to capture all but 1 chicken in one of the colours. Itíll be interesting to see if this was a fluke or a sign of things to come.
 
Scores : Oggie 43, Boog 39, Paul 37, Tel 25, Steve 24, Andy 21
Ratings: Oggie 7, Boog 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 7
Winner(s): Oggie

King of the Elves

The second game to hit the table was another that has been sat collecting dust for far too long. As a group we do enjoy the occasional game of Elfenland, so I had to pick up the game Iíd heard described as being the travel version. The last play of this had been down the pub and Boog had enjoyed it so much had scored it a 9. As this was his only game of it, it has sat as his highest rated game on the stats page of the piddinghoegamers website.

Players get a starting hand of 10 cards and play a number of rounds equal to the number of players, in our case 3. Each round is split into 2 phases; planning and travelling. In the planning phase the players build the ďboardĒ. To do this each player in clockwise order keep getting 1 action until all players pass. The action can be used to play a village (to a maximum of 2 in front of each player) in front of any player, play a special card onto any village, pay to buy a card (up to a maximum of 3 in the round), draw 3 cards then discard 4, or pay to destroy a village in front of you. Each player can only play 4 special cards in a round, these cards either make it more difficult for everyone else to reach a certain village, steal 2GP from anyone passing the village or doubling the value of a village for that player.

Once everyone passes we have a travelling phase. The cards in front of each player are now considered to be a circuit of linked villages. Each village has a terrain type and a value. As in Elfenland to visit a village the player must discard cards that match the terrain type. On reaching a village the player receives GP equal to the value of the village. There are 2 special cards that can be played during the travelling phase, one allows the player to reverse direction, the other protects the player against all hazard cards on villages in front of 1 player. Once everyone has had a travelling phase all played cards are discarded including the villages. 8 cards are dealt to each player which are added to any cards they didnít use in the previous rounds. Whoever has the most cash at the end of the game wins.

Tels first move was to place a small village in front of Paul. It had been a long time since weíd played this so it seemed like a good move especially as it later transpired that it had stopped Paul claiming No villages and hunting for the village of his choice. This is exactly what Tel did next, but after examining his hands found that the only type of village he could pass through was the one heíd placed in front of Paul so had to pay 1 gold for the privilege of drawing a village heíd already played Ė Díoh.
Everyone picked up a couple of cards, with Tel and Boog both building 2 villages. Paul played a robber onto one of Boogs villages. Tel managed to double back to travel through both his villages twice. Boog used a soldier to protect himself from Pauls robber on his short tour. Paul decided that heíd rather keep his cards then embark on a fruitless journey. In the second round we saw a couple of river villages, one in front of Tel the other in front of Boog. This saw Tel frantically drawing cards and swapping cards looking for a raft to no avail. We didnít see to many special cards this time round. As expected Paul managed complete a whole circuit to claim a bonus 10 GP. Boog had been hoarding certain types of cards as he managed to keep changing direction to fly an army of dragons over the mountains in his region 4 times. Since Tel hadnít found a raft he didnít go anywhere.

The last round and finally things started to get nasty. Tel played his maximum of 4 special cards placing 2 obstacles, 1 gold card and 1 robber. Paul also played a gold and obstacle card, with Boog also chipping in with an obstacle. The last action before everyone passed was Tel placing a village in Boogs kingdom. In the journey phase and Boog expressed his annoyance at Tel for preventing him from completing a circuit with the placing of the last village. Of course he couldíve played 2 GP to remove it but itíd been so long since weíd played it that heíd forgotten that. Both Tel and Paul managed full circuits and then some. Pauls 2 complete circuits were enough to take victory. Tel wasnít too far behind. Boog was the only player to score in each round, but his failure to complete a whole circuit cost him the game.

The last time we played this, we played with 6 and I thought the game dragged on a little, and making a complete circuit all but impossible. With 3 the game was almost over before it started and 3 of the available 9 journeys getting all the way round. So the game does play very differently with different numbers. Personally I think I prefer it with fewer. Now this one has been dusted down Iíd like to try a few more times, possibly on the train. With 5 or 6 players I would much rather dig out its elder sibling Elfenland, but with 3 then I suspect the card game would be better, but not having tried Elfenland with 3 I canít be sure.
 
Scores : Paul 70, Tel 67, Boog 62
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Paul

Meine schafe deine schafe

6 of us tonight so another chance to split into 2 groups of 3, so whilst Andy taught Oggie and Steve how to play Goa, Tel, Boog ad Paul sat down to a game of Warring Sheep. Boog hadnít played before so we had to go through the rules. Considering Paul has only played this twice, and not at all in 18 months he did a remarkable job of remembering the rules, not that there are that many or that complicated.

The game is a tile laying game. The tiles are double sided with each edge containing either a village, forest or coloured sheep. When placing a tile the edges must match where they are played, with the exception that a forest may be placed next to any other tile edge. After placing a tile the player draws tiles equal to the number of existing tiles the new tile touches ie 1-4. The sheep on the tiles are in 4 colours, and as the tiles are placed fields are built up containing sheep of a particular colour. At the start of the game each player is secretly assigned one of the colours, and their aim is to completely enclose the largest field possible in their assigned colour. The final score is the number of sheep in the largest completed field in their respective colour. Added to this is a bonus for when they decided to finish playing. As soon as a player thinks they have achieved everything they can they can decide to take no further part in the game. Bonus points of 6,3,1 are available to the first 3 players to drop out.

After a few meaningless tile plays where players were just trying to increase the size of their hands, Tel declared what colour he was and went after a large field. Paul spent the next few turns trying to prevent Tels field from finishing, but whatever Paul tried Tel always managed to come up with just the right tile. Whilst the 2 of them where duelling, Boog took the opportunity to build up a decent size blue field. By the time Tel had finally managed to secure his city, Boogs field was already approaching the same size, Tel took it upon himself to make Boogs life difficult, whilst Paul tried to start his own field. Boogs field started to grow, again whatever Tel tried Boog always seemed to have the perfect tile to counter. Paul struggled with his field as he wasnít seeing many tiles with more than 1 of his sheep on them. He completed his field just before Boog, with everyone starting with Tel dropping out in the same round. Boogs monster field more than made up for his 5 point deficit for being the last player to drop out. Tels field was large than Pauls giving him second.

This is by no means a classic, and as a tile laying game does not come into the same class as carcassonne, however it isnít ready for the scrapheap just yet. Its a shame that it has sat unplayed for so long, Iíd like it to hit the table at least once a year, but somehow I doubt it.
 
Scores : Boog 26, Tel 22, Paul 17
Ratings: Boog 7, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Boog


03-Aug-2004All month
 
Billabong

Just 4 tonight (Oggie, Boog, Paul and Tel) so we decided to start with a race around the billabong.

The board is made up of a grid of squares with a billabong (lake) in the middle. There is also a start/finish line marked. Each player starts with a team of 5 kangaroos and the aim of the game is to be the first player to get all five kangaroos to cross the start line, lap the billabong and cross the finish line clockwise. To start the game each player takes it in turn to place a kangaroo onto the board behind the start line. Once all the kangaroos are on the board the game starts. On his turn a player can move 1 kangaroo. This can either be a single move to any of the 8 surrounding squares, as long as its unoccupied. Alternatively being a kangaroo it can jump. When jumping the kangaroo can move in the same 8 directions as before except this time he jumps over the first other kangaroo he sees in that direction providing he meets the following criteria. Firstly the kangaroo must land as far away from the jumped kangaroo as it started, secondly only one kangaroo may be jumped in a single leap, thirdly kangaroos cannot cross or land on the billabong and finally kangaroos must stay within the limits of the board at all times. A kangaroo can string as many jumps together as it likes in a single turn.

The started in the usual fashion with all the kangaroos tightly bunched behind the start line, and the first couple of turns saw everyone jostling for position, trying to get out of the scrum. Eventually a couple of kangaroos got out, and that started the exodus, in very short time half the kangaroos had made it to the start of the back straight, but having spent a burst of energy to get there, they were reluctant to move on, so the field concertinaed back together as most of the back markers were given time to try and rejoin the group. Tel was the first player to get all of his kangaroos back into the main pack, so was forced to start the second push and spent the rest of the game trailblazing. Once heíd managed to bring his back 2 kangaroos into the pack, Paul seemed determined not to isolate any of his kangaroos again and moved them up in a loose pack. Boog and Oggie both went for the other approach sending scouts of ahead, leaving the stragglers behind to look after themselves. Tel had created a chain from the back straight, all the way to just short of the line. Boog took advantage of this to get the first 2 kangaroos past the finish line. Oggie also managed to get 1 off and one to the line. As Tel started to get his kangaroos off, the bridge between the front and back of the pack started to disappear. Before the link finally disappeared everyone managed to send a few kangaroos up the field, this gave Paul his first 2 finishes, and Boog his fourth, but his last kangaroo was languishing right at the back of the field. Oggie and Paul had kangaroos in a small bunch ahead of Boog but were always positioned to stop him getting a quick escape. Whilst Paul and Oggie were jostling to try and find a way to get towards the finish without helping each other, Tel slowly moved his last 2 kangaroos over the line to claim victory.

This was a more open game then some of its previous outings. In a previous 4 player game involving Paul and Oggie the game was very intense, almost chesslike, as players looked for openings and blocking was extremely prevelant. In tonights game it was more open with many more opportunities to make big moves. This was entirely down to the contrasting playing style of the different players. A 2 hour game with 4 very cautious players became a 1 hour game with a change to 2 of the players. Tonights game was enjoyed by all with only Boog not rating it an 8, as he is not overly keen on games that has any sort of downtime as other players work out their best moves.

 
 Comment by Paul  
Im claiming a moral joint second place with Oggie. If Boog can be bothered to finish the game and wipes the bits off the board after the first person gets round, thats as good as an admission of last place for me :-)
 
 
Scores : Tel 5, Boog 4, Oggie 4, Paul 2
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 7, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Cartagena

Cartegena continued the small box quick game theme. A fun pirate game where a player has three actions to play a card (which moves his pirate down the corridor) or drop a pirate back to the next populated space and collect cards. The aim is to get all your pirates down the corridor into the boat at the end to sail away to safety.

So off we charge down the corridor. The highways came and went, a key highway allowing Oggie to make good advances up the board. A cheese highway lasted one turn with a skull highway being the most useful. In the end Oggie got all his pirates out with other players still needing to get 3 or 4 more into the Boat. Oggie wins (hurrah, hes dead good).

Scores:
Oggie 6 pirates
Tel 3
Boog 3
paul 2

Ratings:
Tel 7
Paul 8
Boog 7
Oggie 8

 
 Comment by Paul  
Its a pirate game - and Oggie was playing. Come on, what chance did any of us have?
 
 
Scores : Oggie 6, Andy 3, Tel 3, Paul 2
Ratings: Oggie 8, Andy 7, Tel 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Feurio!

Feurio up next, a quick game of fire management. On a players turn they reveal a fire tile which has a number and places it next to the hottest part of the fire (determined by adding up the values of adjacent tile). Tey they place up to three men on any one tile. The aim is to get populate high scoring tiles in a chain whilst maintaining a link to the edge of the fire (cos they dont score if the chain doesnt meet the edge of the fire).

The game progressed swiftly with the players being seperated quickly. Tel and Paul got prime positions following the heat of the fire with Boog and Oggie relegated to populating the lower scoring edges of the board. Boog managed a detour into some higher scoring tiles in the endgame and it was a blocking move by Tel that stopped Paul connecting a high score tile to his chain that made the difference. Another Tel victory.
 
Scores : Tel 24, Paul 18, Boog 18, Oggie 16
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 8, Boog 6, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Tel

Transamerica

What a game. Transamerica, simple fun and guaranteed to elicit a gasp from every player as they figure out how to connect their disparate cities.

Each player has 5 cards with an american city on and they have to connect them all to the railway to win placing two tracks per turn. The scoring gives everyone 12 points (or so) and points are deducted when someone connects all cites based on how many tracks a person is away from their cities.

This was quite a close game with Oggie taking the first round having a handy column of three cities close by. Boog took the next round and Tel took the final round to tie for first place with Oggie. Boog coming in next dispite having all four corners of the board in the last round (Lol) and Paul a sad last, not his night tonight.

 
 Comment by Paul  
I seem to remember Boog actually claiming to have all five corners of the board.
 
 
Scores : Oggie 10, Tel 10, Boog 8, Paul 7
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8, Boog 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie, Tel


10-Aug-2004All month
 
Flaschenteufel

Scores : Boog 101, Oggie 40, Tel 26, Steve 16
Ratings: Boog 8, Oggie 7, Tel 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Boog

Vinci

Only 4 this week Oggie, Boog and Tel made there way to Steves. First to hit the table was Vinci.

Steve won the roll for start player and took the plum combo of militia and medicine. Starting with 13 armies, he got 1 additional army each turn, and was more difficult to attack. Tel was next up and got a big army combo, the only bonus Barbarians and Messages gave him was the ability to ignore cohesion, but he did start with 15 armies. Both Oggie and Boog had to make do with smaller armies but were getting bonuses for land types. Steve game onto the board in Scandanavia and spread out. Tel came in from the East and took control of the solitary Mountain to try and control the surrounding by lowland. Oggie was looking for yellow land and came on in the south east corner. Boog decided to keep the game congested by coming on in the north east corner. Steve, Tel and Boog were on collision course with Steve sniping at the edges of the other 2s civ. Tel and Oggie saw the control of 1 region swing back and forth between themselves.

Everybody was scoring at roughly the same rate, with Tel and Steve using their size of armies to make up for their lack of bonuses. Tel was the first to go into decline, taking the mining and Field General combo. He used this to claim the area from Spain to England. With his declining civ still prevalent in a big chunk of the board, Tel started to pull in points in the high teens. Boog followed Tels lead and went into decline, re-emerging alongside Tels new civ and hemming him in. With nobody to challenge him, Steve monster civ continued to spread eventually reaching all the way across the board to take one of Oggies big point earners. Tel split Boogs civ in half in his bid for expansion. Oggie was unable to take his territory back from Steve so hit Boog instead. Having lost 2 of his 4 countries, Boog decided he was onto a loser and went into decline again.

By this stage the game had split into 2 races, Tel and Steve were battling it out for the lead, with Boog and Oggie fighting to avoid the wooden spoon. Tel, Oggie and Steve all went into decline at the same time. Oggie and Steve had made their original civs last 3 quarters of the game. Tel started to attack Steves declining civ, while Oggie took a chunk out of Tels. Steve didnít have too much choice of where to come onto the board as his declining civ covered most of the north of the board. Steve army headed north making a beeline for Tel, unfortunately Boog was in the way so after both Tel and Steve had hit him he went into another decline.

By this time both Tel and Steve were in sight of the 120 finish point and were both scoring in their teens. Boog now had a huge army to come onto the board, and their mountaineering skill made the north east mountain range made the obvious place to come in, it also helped that Tel was leading, and could be almost removed from the board as Boog came rampaging on. Tel managed to just hold on to a single territory. On Steves next turn he flew through the 120 barrier to trigger the end of the game. Everyone else got 1 more go to finish the round, Tel hadnít enough armies left to attack out of his single territory but couldnít afford to go into decline, so he didnít do anything scoring just enough to hit 120. Oggie and Boog finished the game with Boogs huge army doing enough to claim third place.

Its first outing in over a year, and Iíd forgotten just how much I enjoy this game, despite never having managed a victory. Steve and Tel got a huge advantage over Boog and Oggie just by going first and second. The first 2 civs available were very powerful, particularly Steves allowing him to capture a huge chunk of Europe and making it difficult for anyone to attack him back. His only disadvantage was the lack of a declining civ for the majority of the game.
 
Scores : Steve 126, Tel 120, Boog 85, Oggie 54
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 8, Boog 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Steve

Zug um Zug

After conquering Europe in Vinci it was time to try and conquer the railroads of America.

Tel went into card hoarding mode, collecting facedown card after facedown card, after Oggie and Boog, both seemingly fighting over the same tracks in the north/central part of the board, had between them built on the tracks between 2 of Tels cities very early. Steve was desperately looking for black carriages for one of his routes in the North East of the board, but couldnít get any for love nor money. Tels choosing of facedown cards wasnít working according to plan, as instead of getting a smattering of wildcards he was hoping for, he was getting a real mixture of standard carriages, at one point holding either 2 or 3 in all carriages but no wilcards, and still not having built anything. Steve gave up waiting for his black carriages and decided to build round it, of course as soon as heíd finished his detour, the black carriages started to reappear.

Oggie and Boog were still making the centre of the board congested. Tel changed tactics and started to complete his sets using face-up cards, this allowed him to then start building, and he began work on a very long and circuitous route between his blocked ticket. Oggie was the first to take on new tickets. Boog started to build some of the longer routes, in the vicinity of LA. Steve was struggling to build anything useful and started to drop behind in the scoring. Tel and Boogs longer routes were paying off as they opened up a lead on Oggie. Oggies reply was to take yet another ticket, closely followed by Steve. Tel had finally managed to connect his first ticket and started to go after his second.

Steve was slipping further behind and his curses implied that his new ticket was not going to be of any use. Tel depleted all the cards in his hand to finally complete his second ticket, again using a long roundabout route, connected to his first. Everyone went into a phase of collecting cards for one last push, which was brought to a premature end when Tel played all 5 of the cards in his hand to leave him with only 2 tracks left. Everyone had their last go cursing the early completion of the game.

Tel and Boog were very close at the front with Boogs larger completed tickets giving him the slight edge. Oggie had slipped further back but still in third, with Steve way off the pace. The 10 VPs for the longest track was jointly won by Steve and Tel, which wasnít enough for Steve to move out of last, but was enough for Tel to sneak victory.

Another enjoyable game of Zug um Zug. The only concern mirrors comments made by other people on the game, in that the tickets seem to be under powered. Tel and Boog were quite a way in front of Steve and Oggie, despite not taking any extra tickets in the course of the whole game. This doesnít cause any major problems as everyone is aware of he problem so can play accordingly, but having balanced tickets may make for an even better game. Of course it is possible that the game is finely balanced but we havenít played enough to find out. I guess weíll have to play more to find out 8-).
 
Scores : Tel 109, Boog 105, Oggie 77, Steve 60
Ratings: Tel 8, Boog 8, Oggie 8, Steve 8
Winner(s): Tel


21-Aug-2004All month
 
Einfach Tierisch

Scores : Andy 16, Boog 10, Paul 10, Tel 10, Oggie 0
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 7, Paul 7, Tel 7, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Andy

Einfach Tierisch

Scores : Oggie 16, Andy 10, Tel 9, Boog 4, Paul 0
Ratings: Oggie 7, Andy 7, Tel 7, Boog 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Einfach Tierisch

Scores : Tel 19, Boog 8, Andy 1, Oggie 0, Paul -10
Ratings: Tel 7, Boog 7, Andy 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Limits

Scores : Oggie 3, Boog 0, Paul -1, Andy -2, Tel -3
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 7, Paul 7, Andy 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Limits

Scores : Andy 1, Boog -1, Oggie -1, Paul -2, Tel -3
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7, Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy

Pass the Pigs

Scores : Oggie 117, Paul 68, Boog 57, Andy 43, Tel 43
Ratings: Oggie 9, Paul 7, Boog 7, Andy 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Pass the Pigs

Scores : Paul 105, Oggie 79, Boog 76, Tel 64, Andy 62
Ratings: Paul 7, Oggie 9, Boog 7, Tel 7, Andy 8
Winner(s): Paul

Pass the Pigs

Scores : Andy 109, Boog 55, Paul 51, Oggie 47, Tel 34
Ratings: Andy 8, Boog 7, Paul 7, Oggie 9, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy


24-Aug-2004All month
 
Kingdoms

Change to the usual tactics by Tel in this game. Usually everyone waits to see how the board is panning out before placing their pieces. Tel tried going for early lays in all 3 rounds. The final scores might suggest that this almost worked, but to be honest he get seriously stitched in the first 2 rounds, and only scored so well in the last round because everyone saw him as not a threat, so gave him points instead of everyone else. Oggie wouldve walked this one, but stitched up like a kipper on one of his big pieces in the last round, which gave victory to Paul.

This is a good little game that just plays too long to be called a filler, but probably needs the 3 rounds to make it work properly.
 
Scores : Paul 192, Tel 185, Andy 166, Oggie 161
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7, Andy 7, Oggie 8
Winner(s): Paul

Perudo

Scores : Tel 2, Andy 0, Oggie 0, Paul 0
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Santiago

Scores : Paul 84, Andy 82, Tel 80, Oggie 79
Ratings: Paul 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Paul


29-Aug-2004All month
 
Cairo

Scores : Tel 62, Oggie 34, Anne 16, Andy 7, Paul 0
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 7, Anne 6, Andy 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Die Burg - Carcassonne

Scores : Tel 100, Andy 83
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Mit List und Tucke

Scores : Paul 17, Tel 9, Oggie 9, Anne 6, Andy 5
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7, Oggie 8, Anne 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Paul

Railroad Dice

Weve waited almost a year for this one to hit the table, waiting for four players to be around at the same time as Paul having brought it along. As we went through the rules the game sounded quite complicated, but once we were into it the game seemed to flow quite intuitively. The game is about building a single railway line. And on a turn players can buy shares, extend the track, take income or roll dice.

As the name of the game suggests the games main components are dice. There are 2 types of dice, plain coloured dice that represent stations (coloured according to the company they belong to) and white dice with symbols on. The white dice all contain 4 sides with track (2x straight and 2x bend), 1 share symbol and 1 question mark. Each player starts with 4 white dice in front of his screen with ? face up. The ? is a wild card and can be used as any other type of white dice. The share symbol is used to purchase shares. There are 10 shares in each of the 5 companies, and the majority holder at the end of each round becomes the new director. To start with shares are bought from the bank, but eventually they will have to be bought from the director. The line can be extended at either end with straight tracks, curves or stations. Anyone on their turn can extend the line using track, but only the current director of 1 of the 5 companies can build stations. Stations cost 3 or 5 cash (dice from behind the players screen or ? from in front) and each can only be played on certain landscape types (the board depicts plains, mountains and water). The amount of income is dependant on whether you are (or were) a director and of how many stations. Depending on circumstances income must either be placed in front or behind the screen. Once per turn players can convert cash into dice, i.e. move dice from behind to in front of the screens. To do this they must roll the dice and place the rolled dice in front of the screen in the rolled orientation. ? from in front of the screen can be added to this roll and for each ? rolled the player gets to add 1 dice from the bank to his roll.

The other components in the game are tiles. There are a number of large and small tiles, both made up of grids. The smaller tiles are use to show overall low definition map of the railway, whilst the large tiles show a close up of either end of the track. The game starts on 1 large tile, but as soon as one end of the track moves off this tile, there will always be 2 large tiles. At this point as soon as the track moves of the edge of a large tile it is replaced with a new large tile, however the small tiles are used to show where the large tile fits into the "landscape" of the whole line.

Whenever players build stations, or move into new tiles they receive 2 ? dice as payment. There can only be 1 station of each company on each tile, and when the large tile is removed, these station dice are moved onto the corresponding small tile. All the track dice are returned to the bank. At the end of the turn (before directorship changes) the current director of each company receives points for each passenger carried. This is calculated as the largest chain of dice in each colour on the smaller map. The winner is the person to have carried the most passengers during the game.

We were not really sure what we were doing so all followed Pauls lead in only buying 2 shares on the first round. Track laying started in the second round and 3 of the companies built stations, Only Oggie missed out. Paul and Oggie got into a bidding war over a couple of the companies, whilst Tel and Andy expanded a single company each. Andy was the more successful of the 2 and managed to build a handy little network and also managed to acquire 9 of the 10 shares in this line. Tel built a slightly lesser network with the smaller green company, which had less stations available forcing Tel into paying more to build his stations.

Paul had now gone into hoarding mode waiting for enough shares to be bought to allow him to wrest control away from Andy. Oggie finally managed to gain control of a company and gained his first passengers shortly before Paul bought the shares from the bank enabling the purchasing of shares from the director. This is where the game was supposed to get interesting, unfortunately for the rest of us, Andy had been stockpiling dice for the previous 2 rounds and was able to deplete the bank on his turn, one of the game end conditions. Andy had carried most passengers every turn so there was no way anyone could catch him. Tel hung onto second place with Paul very close behind, leaving Oggie trailing a way behind.

Apart from the abrupt end to the game, this was a very clever game. It got a mixed reception from the group ranging from Oggie bemusement at what he was trying to do, through Pauls want to play it again (at least a couple of times) before being able to determine if he really like it, to Andys unequivocal enjoyment of the game.

Personally I think I enjoyed the game. I was impressed on how the game seemed to fit together, despite struggling to get my head around how the game would work having read the rules. I was disappointed that the game finished just as it was looking to get interesting, but this was probably down to how we played the game. Iím going to have to play more of the game before I decide whether I really like the game or not. Given that it has jumped to the top of Andys Essen shopping list I donít think this is going to be a problem.

 
 Comment by Andy  

Just to add that I believe that the main reasons why I won were as follows:

1. I was able to maintain 4-5 ? dice in front of my screen.
2. After the first few turns I tended to roll 8 or more dice.
3. If possible, I used the rolled dice to build a station and move the track to a new board.
4. By doing 3, this guarenteed me 4x? dice in front of the screen (see 1 above).
5. I tried to ensure bonus dice as often as possible by choosing to roll the ? dice.
6. Towards the end of the game I stockpiled cubes to ensure that I could end the game.

7. The other players were too slow finishing off the shares from the bank.

NB: 7 is typical Piddinghoe style, by the time the shares went I was able to finish the game almost immediately. If they had gone 3-4 turns earlier, the game would have been a lot closer as dominance over the high scoring company would not have been guarenteed. For many of the turns, Tel was only scoring 1 point less than myself.

I agree its a shame that the game didnt reach the second phase with any effect, as I think that the game would have changed nature at that point.
 

 
 Comment by Paul  
One more reason Andy won - turn order. Or more specifically, me only getting enough resources together to launch a takeover for the yellow railroad when he went last in the round. It was only the 6 dice he got from my share purchases and the 4 from Oggies which allowed him to empty the bank. If he had already taken a turn, he wouldn have been able to deplete the bank until the next round. This would probably have forced him to raid Tels green railroad instead, and wed have been in for an interesting few rounds.

Turn order seems to play a very important part in this game. Earlier, Oggie was badly on the receiving end of it. He was pretty much eliminated from contention when I used a turn to buy up a majority in two railroads we were tussling over, my turn coming before his. You don want to be fighing with the person downstream of you if you can help it.

Very interesting game, and nice to play something that felt quite different to the normal fare. I think I like it quite a bit, but Im not sure yet.
 
 
Scores : Andy 25, Tel 20, Paul 17, Oggie 7
Ratings: Andy 9, Tel 7, Paul 8, Oggie 6
Winner(s): Andy

Sleuth

Sleuth is a classic game from Sid Sackson. As a group we havenít got too many of his games Acquire and Edle, Stein and Reich being the only ones that spring to mind.

Sleuth is a deduction game. There are a deck of 36 gem cards 4 colours x 3 gems x 3 styles. At the start of the game these are shuffled, 1 removed and the rest dealt out evenly amongst the players. The aim of the game is to determine which card has been removed. This is done by means of each player in turn asking another player a question about how many gem cards he has with particular attributes. There is a second deck of cards, this time indicating 1 or 2 attributes. 4 of these are dealt face up to each player. The question the player asks must match one of the cards in front of him. If the card has only 1 attribute then the answering player announces to all players how many cards he has matching the criteria. If the card has 2 attributes then he still announces to all players how many he has but he also has to show the asking playing the respective cards. After actioning an attribute card it is discarded and replaced. Each player has one shot at identifying what the card is, an dthe first to correctly ID the card wins.

Being a group being predominantly made up of computer programmers you wouldíve thought we would thrive on these sort of logic games. But in reality the group is divided. Ricochet Robot has 4 big fans in the group, but the other 2 hate it with a passion. What was surprising about Sleuth was that the player most vocal (and boy was he vocal) about his dislike of the game was Andy, the biggest Ricochet Robot fan. His major gripe was that the grid given to each player wasnít too useful at capturing all the information available. However he was given a blank piece of paper so couldíve captured whatever info he needed. From my personal perspective I enjoyed the game to an extent. The game did go on a bit, but I suspect it would speed up considerably with more play as players work out systems for capturing the data. It was probably significant that I won, being the only person whoíd used a system to capture all the information within the grid. Unfortunately I canít see this hitting the table at all, given the terrible reception it got with most of the group. Only Paul and I seemed to enjoy the game to any degree but the rest of the groups dislike of the game had to have some effect on our enjoyment of the game.

 
 Comment by Andy  

My dislike of this game is mostly down to the dry, tedious nature of collecting information (NB: per-player information grids would make this easier). Its not a social game as people dont talk other than to ask questions, it doesnt come across as being especially competative with other players as it boils down to pure logic/deduction. Ironically I actually enjoy doing those Logic puzzle books (which are very similar in nature to this game), but those are for solo play and I simply dont like this multi-player random card game equivalent.

Its been said that I like RR, and thats true. Although RR is a puzzle/logic game, the difference is the highly competative nature of RR as you desperately try to find a solution before someone else does. Down time in RR simply does not exist, down time in Sleuth is compounded by the limited number of questions you can ask plus waiting for others to decide what questions they will ask.

Basically, if you want to sit for 90 minutes in relative silence giving yourself a headache as you try to collate your notes, do yourself a favor - read a book instead.
 
 
Scores : Tel 1, Paul 0, Oggie 0, Anne 0, Andy 0
Ratings: Tel 6, Paul 8, Oggie 5, Anne 2, Andy 1
Winner(s): Tel

Zug um Zug

All hail the mighty Warlock. Never in my years of playing games have I seen a tactic go so hideously wrong. A couple of players have tried in the past to take extra tickets before they start their building, and it has had mixed success. Paul decided that this was gonna be his strategy. Take as many early tickets as possible, then make a push to finish as many as possible. By the end of the game, he had managed to acquire 8 tickets. And by the end of the game he still had 8 tickets unfinished. A 100% failure rate, now that is impressive. Apparently he was stitched up by the first 3 tracks layed that effectively blocked half of his routes. Despite building a big chunk of his tracks he managed the lofty heights of -17, only 151 points behind the winner.

At the other end of the scale, Tel managed a runaway win, this was almost certainly due to hime not having to venture into the north eats corner of the board. Everyone else was fighting over the limited track space up there, whilst Tel could concetrate on building the longer routes in the west without worrying about being usurped. He also managed to sneak a route from Miami to the West coast right at the end of the game.

Ignoring Tels runaway win and Paul a runaway loss, the other 3 players were incredibly close with only 7 points seperating Andy in second and Oggie in fourth, with Anne sandwiched between them.

Im enjoying this game more with every play.
 
Scores : Tel 136, Andy 80, Anne 75, Oggie 73, Paul -17
Ratings: Tel 8, Andy 8, Anne 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel


31-Aug-2004All month
 
Ausgebremst

The first time we played this, there was a huge first player advantage. In the second game this seemed not to be the case, but this was almost certainly down to the introduction of a rogue car. Tonight we went back to a six player game and the winner was never in much doubt as Andy took control of the race right from the start and never looked like losing. Being in the front he was able to ensure he got the inside line round all the early corners, and by the time he was eventually forced wide, late in the race everyone else was short on gas. So much so that apart from Andy who finished quite easily to win, Steve was the only other finisher and he only just crept over the line. Boog did make it into the finishing straight before stalling, With Paul, Tel and Oggie all failing to navigate through the final corner complex.

 
 Comment by Andy  

If you know what you are doing it was way to easy to stay out in front and force people to go the long way around corners. The game becomes a logic problem and nothing more - definately broken with 6 players.
 
 
Scores : Oggie 6, Paul 4, Tel 4, Boog 3, Steve 2, Andy 1
Ratings: Oggie 5, Paul 7, Tel 7, Boog 7, Steve 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Andy

Finstere Flure

Scores : Steve 2, Andy 1, Boog 0, Oggie 0, Paul 0, Tel 0
Ratings: Steve 7, Andy 7, Boog 8, Oggie 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve

Hattrick

Award for best in-game moment goes to **** Tel **** who leads with a Blue 1 card saying "I bet I dont win that" immediately followed by 5 red cards and Tel winning the Blue 1 card.
 
Scores : Oggie 15, Andy 14, Boog 12, Tel 12, Paul 10, Steve 10
Ratings: Oggie 8, Andy 7, Boog 7, Tel 8, Paul 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Oggie


07-Sep-2004All month
 
6 Nimmt!

Scores : Andy 20, Boog 15, Oggie 9, Tel 6, Paul 1
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 7, Oggie 7, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Paul

Dragon Delta

Boog was the first to attract the attention as a potential winner. He managed to get within a double move of his target island with an empty plank in front of him. Of this is where the mind games start as everyone tries to figure out when Boog is likely to try and move, and whene everyone else is going to try and stop him. True to Piddinghoe standards, nobody attempted to stop him on phase 1, but Boog assumed they would so didn try to move. What was surprising, was that despite managing to stop him moving for the whole turn, nobody removed the plank he needed to travel down. So he started the next turn in exactly the same position. Midway through the next round he managed to sneak a move in, however someone had managed to nick the plank before he did, forcing him to move backwards. In the following turn he was forced backwards again. By this time Both Andy and Oggie had moved into contention. So now the question was how did the rest of the players stop them both. Somehow they managed it, ensuring Andy didn move and Oggie was forced away from his target. There had been a surpisingly low number of PLOOFs in the whole game, Tel managing them both. Boog had managed to come close to finishing again, so it was a showdown between Andy and Boog, both being within a move of winning. However both Paul and Tel realised that Oggie could also finish if left to his own devices, so they both blocked Oggie. This opened the door for Andy who managed to move onto his target Island before Boog.

This isnt a game I would want to play every week, but as an occassional game it has an awful lot going for it that appeals to the Piddinghoe crowd.

-We are always finding that we are playing games wrong
{We dont have an English set of rules for this so are playing according to a Frensh review that has been through Google. We must be playing it wrong}

-We like to make moves that are not optimal but are Funny
{Thats what Dragon Delta is all about}

-A healthy dose of Chaos occasionally makes for a fun game.
{Few games are more chaotic}

-We like to stitch up other players
{You are supposed to stop other players winning.}

There are no dice, no elimination, plenty of opportunities to make a muppet manoeuvre (TM) and usually plays well within an hour, its no wonder this game is usually so well received.

 
 Comment by Paul  
One more for the list of appeals to Piddinghoe traits - Im not stopping him, you stop him!
 
 
Scores : Andy 1, Boog 0, Oggie 0, Paul 0, Tel 0
Ratings: Andy 9, Boog 8, Oggie 8, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy

Trias

Tel openend a small lead from everyone else with the first few island formations. By the time the game was established everyone was on either 2 or 3 islands. Paul managed to grab sole control of 2 islands, but realised he couldn win from that position so managed to get one of them connected to an island shared by Andy and Oggie. Boog drew the comet as the first card from the second set of cards to trigger the end game. Tels early lead was enough to give him the game, with Oggie and Andy not far behind.

Very low ratings for some on this game, and this was due to the downtime caused by playing it with 5. Personally I enjoyed the game and didn mind the downtime, but Boog was desperate for the game to end, and Paul wasn enjoying it as much as he does with 3/4 players.

 
 Comment by Andy  
The biggest problem with Trias is that if you are unfortunate enough to place your dinos in the wrong places you can be shut out and shut out fast. The trouble is that this is fairly arbitrary in the early part of the game and in a 5 player game you may not be able to get a turn quickly enough to do anything about it.
 

 
 Comment by Paul  
As my last two scores for this game are a 6 and a 5, Im obviously not particularly fond of it. It has a number of traits that I usually dislike in a game:

The board is quite chaotic. The position on your next turn can be very different from the last one. This means that you cannot do much planning between turns, so the downtime can be painful. This is especially so as each player does most of their planning in their own turn so everyone seems to spend a long time not doing much. The tactical nature of the game further exagerates this.

Your options are limited. You only have four action points, and moving a tile costs three of them. You often need to spend points rescuing swimmers or reacting to threats, which leaves very few to do anything positive with.

Your area of influence shrinks as the game goes on. If you aren on an island after its formed, theres often nothing you can do to influence it, so you end up with smaller and smaller areas to work with. The game winds down rather than building up.

You can be completely out of the game quite early, with no way to pull yourself back in.

The more players are added to the game, the more these traits are emphasised. For me, its sweet spot is 3 players. Its an average game with 4 people and a poor one with 5. Not one I would ever suggest playing.
 
 
Scores : Tel 23, Oggie 19, Andy 18, Paul 10, Boog 9
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Andy 7, Paul 5, Boog 5
Winner(s): Tel


14-Sep-2004All month
 
Power Grid

An outing for the new version of this FF game. Neither Andy nor Oggie had played the new version of the game so needed a run through of the rules. Granted both had won games of the original, so the rules run through didn take all that long.

Unlike every other game weve played of this, power plants were bought by each player in each of the first 3 rounds, so everyone had a full compliment of power plants as early as possible. Paul was the greenest of us going for 2 wind powered plants. Steve tried to bid up another of the wind farms, only to get "stuck" with it (oh the hardship). Oggie was buying every hybrid he could lay his hands on, and stockpiling the cheapest resouces he could buy. Andy was building his network up quicker then everyone else, whilst this meant he was usually goping first, it also meant he was getting more cash each turn. Paul and Steve both decided to stop building their city network up once they hit 5 cities, and since Paul had found it neccessary to buy resources this menat he was well ahead in cash reserves. Andy, Tel and Oggie all eventually built to 6 cities, Oggie and Tel were paying more for resources and hence slower to get to 6 cities. There was a single round where everyone deigned not to build before Andy triggered the 2nd round by building his 7th and 8th cities. A couple of power plant purchases at the start of round 2 immediately triggered the 3rd round. And suddenly we had a mad scramble to build as many cities as possible. Within 2 turns everyone had managed to build at least 15 cities, with everyone being able to power all the cities they had built. Pauls huge cash reserves gave him the victory with 17 cities, beating Steve 16 cities. Oggie, Andy and Tel all just managed 15 cities, with Oggie having the most cash to brak the tie. Tel beat Andy by a single shekel.

The game played in 2 hours, though Im not sure where most of that time went. I was keen to play this before the trip to Essen to determine if I liked it enough to buy a copy out there. I did and hopefully there will be another copy within the group by late October. The group seemed split as to whether they preferred the new board or the original crayon board. The overwhelming advantage the new board brings is the ability to play it in a single 2.5 hour evening session making it much more accessible to the group.
 
Scores : Paul 17, Steve 16, Andy 15, Oggie 15, Tel 15
Ratings: Paul 9, Steve 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7, Tel 9
Winner(s): Paul


21-Sep-2004All month
 
Kanaloa

I bought this game by mistake. I got it because I thought I was buying Kanaloa, originally designed by Bambus. Instead I found Id bought a different game from Bambus with an unpronounceable name, which theyd renamed as Kanaloa then they licenced it to Tilsit. Ho hum. Still, it turned out to be a reasonable game.

The basic idea is to play cards to add bridges between a set of islands. Having the majority of bridges to a given island scores points during two scoring phases. If you control an island, you score for the number of bridges you don control.

The game quickly turned into two seperate battles. Oggie and Paul slugged it out for control of one half of the board while Andy and Boog contested the other. This continued until everybody decided to declare open season on Andy.

The game seemed to go down well with everyone. There is opportunity for a bit of thought, but not enough that it slows the game down. Your options are pretty much limited to which island cards you have. Opportunities also exist to stitch people up, always a popular trait for the Piddinghoe Gamers.
 
Scores : Oggie 21, Boog 17, Andy 12, Paul 4
Ratings: Oggie 8, Boog 7, Andy 8, Paul 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Sieben Siegel, die

We hadn played this one for a while, and didn have a copy of the rules to hand. So obviously we managed to forget how the scoring worked. So we ended up scoring all tokens as -1, except white ones at -2. We did, however, manage to persuade Andy that he couldn get positive points as the saboteur. We also forced somebody to take the saboteur every turn. Neither of these impromptu design changes seemed to hurt the game. Definately one that should come out more often.
 
Scores : Andy 9, Paul 5, Oggie 4, Boog 3
Ratings: Andy 6, Paul 7, Oggie 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Boog


28-Sep-2004All month
 
Alexandros

Scores : Tel 77, Steve 64, Andy 51, Oggie 49
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 7, Andy 5, Oggie 7
Winner(s): Tel

Capitol

Scores : Steve 54, Tel 50, Oggie 39, Andy 26
Ratings: Steve 8, Tel 7, Oggie 7, Andy 6
Winner(s): Steve


05-Oct-2004All month
 
Magellen

Scores : Oggie 44, Tel 42, Andy 34, Boog 34, Steve 26
Ratings: Oggie 8, Tel 8, Andy 7, Boog 6, Steve 7
Winner(s): Oggie

Santiago

Scores : Oggie 72, Andy 47, Steve 46, Tel 44, Boog 34
Ratings: Oggie 8, Andy 8, Steve 8, Tel 8, Boog 6
Winner(s): Oggie


10-Oct-2004All month
 
Atta Ants

Not sure about this one. I think there might be a decent game in here, but we didn find it in this session. Not that we game if a fair crack. We missed a couple of rules, such as not being able to move onto the same space as the spider. We also set up the start tiles in such a way that the two leaves were on a road tile which pointed directly to the nest. This gave Tel such a massive starting advantage that we couldn haul him back. The whole game was over in about three rounds. It may come out again sometime, but theres not going to be any rush to get this one back to the table.
 
Scores : Tel 6, Andy 2, Paul 1, Steve 1
Ratings: Tel 6, Andy 4, Paul 5, Steve 4
Winner(s): Tel

Goa

Really must remember not to leave it a month before trying to write up a session. Can I remember anything about this game? Can I heck. Perhaps I should just write some random rubbish to fill up some space. I do remember that the game came down to a tie break, which Tel won by having the most cash. How unsatisfying. Its like playing a game for two hours and then just tossing a coin to decide the winner. We could have just tossed the coin and played something else. Still, it was a good game. Oh, and Tel cheated. Allegedly.
 
Scores : Paul 49, Tel 49, Steve 38, Andy 36
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8, Steve 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Tel

Looping Louie

Steve has obviously been playing this too much. He wiped the floor with us. Either that or the rest of us are just pants at the game. We
e going to have to bring it out for some sneaky practice plays of it in if we
e to have any hope next time.
 
Scores : Steve 6, Andy 1, Paul 1, Tel 1
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 7, Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Steve

Mamma Mia!