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Gaming Groups => Spirit Games - Gaming Groups => Topic started by: Zarniwoop on 05 January 2009, 21:07:48

Title: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 05 January 2009, 21:07:48
Wednesday night Board Gaming Returns for the new Year.

Title: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 7th Jan 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 08 January 2009, 14:45:28
Tonight we played a game of Red November ( which is a fun game where you play gnomes trying to save you sub from destruction until you can get rescued. We managed to salvage several fires, floods and timed disasters. About a third of the way round the time track things started to go wrong, Phil's gnome feinted from having drunk grog which triggered several more events but then Sally and Myself also feinted causing more mayhem. Having survived being unconscious we had the Kraken to deal with, Philsy having the only Aqualung in the game left the sub and tried to defeat it but unfortunately failed leaving no-one else able to do anything about the disaster and so our crew failed.

Finally to end the evening we had a game of Marrakech ( which is another beautiful game. This was a close game where Phil eventually won with 44 but with Sally on 43, and Me on 42.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 08 January 2009, 16:43:33
The highlight of last night on our table was Phil wandering past to the pub muttering that he had just passed out drunk  +:beer=+::beer:. Richard's face was a picture until he twigged.

After a quick two player Dominion (which I lost 30 to 33) Carol, Richard and myself had a go at Settlers: the Reunification Edition or whatever it's really called. All agreed it was pretty and actually the board wasn't as hard to read as I first feared it might be. A predetermined board meant that each of us had the resources the others wanted so we pretty much had to trade from the off. My only worry was it seemed the best strategy was to concentrate on one or at most two parts of the board leaving a lot of "dead" board which of course came up a lot in resource rolls. I certainly enjoyed it more than vanilla settlers. Richard won and I suspect Carol came second with a sleevefull of cards.

After that Richard and myself had a go at Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear. The game is a squad level WWII light wargame that has a really good score on BGG. I thought it was okay, I'm a frustrated minis wargamer really with no painting talent and not enough money to get someone else to do it so I'm always up for a wargame. Richard hated it and as it was getting late we agreed to give it up and go home. I would've won though!  ;)

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 08 January 2009, 17:18:49
That you where winning was probably a lot to do with why Richard "hated" conflict of heroes, as we all know quite how much he loves to win.

As for the war games figures I have to plug EvilGinger Miniatures a bit and say that I am quite happy to paint figures for people at very reasonable rates. I will have to bring in my Carthaginians for you to have a look at.

On the lighter side if you want a proper go at Conflict count me in next week.


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 08 January 2009, 20:26:13
[puts fingers in ears] no, no, I really haven't got masses of 15mm AWI and WWII Germans that NEED painting...I'm not listening, not listening....

And to be fair to Richard (although he clearly loves to win!) he hated the randomness of it and most of the good rolls were in his favour (including a nasty natural 12 rolled for his rifles assualting my Maxim gun).

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 09 January 2009, 07:50:42
I would quite happily paint and base 15mm figures for 50p each but if you really cant afford it then I am not that evil as to case you for it just remember if you win the lottery or similar

As for Richard well he is my friend and a good sort but one of my cardinal vices is poking gentle fun at other peoples.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 09 January 2009, 10:04:47
Thanks, I'll bear your very reasonable rates in mind if I ever get the urge to get the minis out again. To be honest at the minute I'm enjoying the fact that everything you need to play a boardgame comes in the box and the vast majority of the time spent "on the hobby" is playing and not some sort of preparation. But you never know I tend to be fickle with these things.

As for Richard well he is my friend and a good sort but one of my cardinal vices is poking gentle fun at other peoples.

Richard's big enough to take a little gentle poking I reckon, hang on that didn't quite come out right...

Title: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 14th Jan 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 15 January 2009, 10:26:41
Tonight myself, Jim, Phil and Evilginger played a game of Carpe Astra ( a game of political intrigue where each player is attempting to win support from various guilds to become the ne3xt galactic emperor.

We had a very close game which, after a recount by the joint 3rd place candidates there was a slight change in order.The breakdown is as follows:

Jim 10 pts (All of the Priests - 6pts, 2nd Place Traders - 2pts, 2nd Place Engineers - 2pts)
Evilginger 9pts (1st Place Engineers - 4pts, 1st Place Political - 4pts, Joint 2nd place Militia - 1pt) Tie break with 2 credits
Me 9 pts (1st Place Trades - 4pts, 1st Place Settlers - 4pts, Joint 2nd Place Militia - 1pt)
Phil 8 pts (1st Place Militia - 4pts, 2nd Place Settlers - 2 pts, 2nd Place Political - 2pts)

Then we played Through the Desert ( which is about building camel trains between oasis in the desert. There are numerous ways to score points and in order to stand a chance of winning you need to score some in most of them. In the end Phil beat me and Evilginger convincingly leaving me in second place and Evilginger a valiant third.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 16 January 2009, 03:24:16
Through the desert was the point at which fatigue and Phils devious plot of plying me with beer designed to help him in Carpe astra finally  cut in. I am normally a lethal player of GO type games and through the desert has a large element of this with significant scores available from blocking off areas of the board.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 17 January 2009, 00:25:28
While you were doing that Carol, Sally, Frog and myself were having a go at Lost Cities: the Board Game (hereafter known as LCtBG 'cos I can't be bothered to type that again frankly) before diving into a couple of games of Roboralley. I'd not played it before and as you all probably know, it's harder than it looks!

Anyway, back to LCtBG. If you know the card game version then you'll know that its a game all about hand management with the player trying to put down as many cards of the same suit in numbered sequence as you can. The risk/reward element comes from the low scoring suits scoring in negative points.

Liked the card game - compulsivly play it on Xbox Live! - and this is very similar but plays up to four and adds a few new elements like the board (obviously) and the ability to start the sequence high and count down. The Indy Jones meeples are nice and grabbing stuff on the board adds a welcome new level of tactics and tension.

We did manage to burn through the deck too quickly though and Sally was suspicious that we had missed something...and she was quite right. We were only making one discard pile when we should have been making one for each suit which would have tempted more of us to pick up cards from the discard and not from the draw pile. Oops!

One for the end of the night maybe when you don't want too much of a brain burner, speaking of which Le Harve was still raging when I left....

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009 Leharve
Post by: EvilGinger on 17 January 2009, 07:19:24
I know It was, and I would like a go at that as I am very much an Agricola addict and if I do I will post a review.

Title: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 21 Jan 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 23 January 2009, 13:16:39
Tonight we started off the evening with Moto Grand Prix ( which is a motorbike racing game. The game has a heavy carboard count as there is a huge selection of track pieces that allow you to construct a wide variety of tracks. It also comes with some very nice Bike models and player mats which have various dials on used for the more advanced rules. I have to say from the basic game (which we did for one lap to learn the ropes) to the more advanced rules it feels like a bike race and you do have to make choices on when/where to accelerate/brake and its just feels right. There are expert rules which bring in things like slipstreaming, up/down hill effects etc. There is a lot of replayability here what with the various versions of rules to play by, the modular track and the unique dice mechanic. You have the option to "flip" your dice (what dice and how many is determined by where you are on the track) this helps reduce a lot of the luck element and enables you some degree of control of how to position your bike. I really liked this game, being a non-biker, and I would definitely play this again.

We then finished off with a quick(ish) game of Bang! ( which is another classic where some people are trying to bump off the sherriff and his deputy and one is trying to bump everyone else off. At the start of the game only the sheriff is revealed.  Phil managed to reveal he was an outlaw early on causing a constant 2-way fight with himself and the sheriff which he eventually won.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 23 January 2009, 18:52:08

We then finished off with a quick(ish) game of Bang! ( which is another classic where some people are trying to bump off the sherriff and his deputy and one is trying to bump everyone else off. At the start of the game only the sheriff is revealed.  Phil managed to reveal he was an outlaw early on causing a constant 2-way fight with himself and the sheriff which he eventually won.

 :o Noooo! How many times have I bought that on a Wednesday night only for you to sneak in a game when I was off L'Havreing?! No fair! [sulk mode off]

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 23 January 2009, 19:14:15
Speaking of which I was netted into a game of L'Havre when Richard and Peter were trawling for opponents (sorry, I'll stop the bad puns in case you think I harbour some sort of fetish for them  ;D ).

Simon summed it up pretty neatly on the night as "Agricola with ships" and so it is; a game of worker placement and resource management all based around that smelly old French port.

There are enough twists to keep things interesting though. One of the most significant for me was that some action spaces can now be bought which means that if the other players want to use them they need to pay you rent for the privilege (a steal from Monopoly? Unthinkable!) which in turn means that the game is a little less multiplayer solo than its big brother.

The turn track, or as it shall forever be called after Richard's exasperated shouts the "MOVE YOUR SHIP, YOUR SHIP!" track is also a nice idea adding a semi random element to what resources come up each turn.

The theme is a little thinner than Agricola I thought. Who were these people that wanted feeding every turn anyway and why did they want so much more on turn 11 than on the first turn? It was never explained but we have only the French diet to blame I reckon.

The game itself was an grudge match between Richard and Peter (Irish, as has been previously noted in Simon's review) leaving Simon and myself to scrabble around for third place. A scrabble he won with (I think) 67 points to my 62 with Richard and Peter's score nearly double ours. Peter won by 6 or 7 points so it was close.

My mistake was not to buy enough ships early on which would have lessend my food debt and to assume everyone would want to use my Shipping Yard to export goods - they didn't.

Not half as complicated to play as it looks and well worth a dabble.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 02 February 2009, 10:05:53
This week we were straight into a game of Moto GP which made it's début at club last week.

I think it's fair to say that some strong and forthright opinions where voiced around the table about this game, definitely a Marmite one.

It's not a fast a furious racer but even with 6 of us turns came around quickly enough although since the turn order changes with race position there was a little bit of “oh, is it me?” going on, often from me I have to confess.

For someone who has only ever “raced” on a videogame it felt realistic enough. Its all about the corners and trying to end your turn on a straight which gives you the maximum options to flip your dice to the opposite side and so to maximise your speed each turn.

We played the intermediate game and so missed out on the joys of slipstreaming and leaning through the corners (with real leaning minis! I won't repeat the lubricant conversation that this started...) which would have given another level of complexity and depth to the game but for a first game was still fun.  I wonder if the game would scale so someone used to the game could use the advanced rules and a child or non-gaming spouse could use the beginner or intermediate versions? Might be fun to find out.

As for the game itself it was a nail-biter right to the end. Darren, Richard and myself started out well but we soon found ourselves at the wrong end of the pack as Phil (winner), Vicky (a close second) and Simon took to the winners' podium.Although at least two of them would be pushing their bikes home afterwards.

Since everyone else on our side of the shop suddenly decided they needed an early night it was left to Phil, me and Rich to finish the night with a game of Hacienda (“th”s optional).

For what looked like an unassuming game I really liked this one and not just because I won for once!

It's an area control game with a big empty pampas plain in the middle of the board that is difficult to make inroads into but also, of course, holds the majority of VP scoring hexes.

I started off with three of the valuable pampas cards which gave me an early advantage but the game ended on a close 139 for Phil to my 146 mainly because I failed to stop Phil linking up two smaller areas and he managed to reach one more high scoring market than me. Rich had gone home earlier at what would turn out to be a reasonable time but we were still able to play around him easily enough.

The last turn ending cattle cards sat unplayed for at least 45 minutes as both of us tried to add as many score multipliers as we could which meant it was a horrific 12:30 (I can't say I wasn't warned though) by the time the game was finished. At least we finished before the table next door though...

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 28th Jan 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 02 February 2009, 15:06:21
Tonight we started off with a game of PowerBoats ( which is game of racing power boats. This is really a neat little game with some cool looking dice and boat pieces. You start with one dice to roll for speed and in later turns you can add or remove dice to your pool and/or roll existing dice. Each dice is a 1-3 and the idea is to go around a number of buoy's in order, in the correct direction and cross the finish line. You play over three races totalling your points from each race. If you over cook the speed and collide with land the remaining move points are taken as damage and the ship can only take 4 points of damage be3fore it sinks. This is just fun and is easy to pick up and play with a new group of people.

We then played a game of Tempus ( Players take it in turn to place land pieces on the board until there are no more pieces or you are not able to place a piece. Players then place 3 markers on the board.
On your turn you can move a piece, create babies, fight, place a city etc In order to make babies you have to have pieces on the plains. In order to be able to move further, have more pieces on each hex etc you need to progress up the technology chart the winner of each round gets to advance quicker than the rest getting the advantages early. This is a really good game where there is a lot to think about and a lot to do tactically to enable you to gain the most VP's at the end. I really enjoyed this game and look forward to playing this again in the future.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 05 February 2009, 16:04:10
First up last night was Red November, a coop game all about a group of old style-Soviet goblins (!)  surviving an hour in their rapidly deteriorating sub. Just an hour? How hard can that be?

Pretty hard as it turned out as our team of goblins was crushed (or run out of oxygen or blew the reactor up; I forget which turn track eventually ran out) seconds from victory. So what went wrong?

Just like my first game of Pandemic I was convinced we had the game beat for the first four-fifths of the game and just like Pandemic the home straight of the game was tense, analytical and eventually beat us into the ground within sight of the finish line.

A lot of the strategy depends on managing time. As you spend time to increase your chances of success more “event cards” or as they were christened last night, “Bad Things” are drawn from the deck which mean that more problems (fires, floods and locked doors mainly) spring up and need to be dealt with by spending yet more time.

We ultimately lost I reckon because we failed to protect the reactor, engine room and missile bay until it was too late. Right at the end we needed to put out two fires, crowbar open a door and shut down the reactor. We just plain ran out of time. Oh, that and not enough drinking was done which wasn't helped by the Captain's drink cabinet being underwater for most of the game.

A nice game that came in at about an hour and a half and perhaps would have been shorter with experienced players and one that I'd definitely play again despite the undersized board being a bit fiddly.

After that we obviously felt like a bit of competition so Richard pulled out Powerboats.

Always fun and quick to play and true to form Peter and Richard spent much of their time compete ting for first place. Richard eventually pipped Peter in the last race leaving Paul and myself to see who could make the least amount of stupid mistakes and fluffed rolls. I'm not sure the scoring system in Powerboats is entirely fair given that Paul seemed to consistently place better than me but was took fourth place because I had beaten him in the last race.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 13 February 2009, 15:12:59
Although we didn’t know it at the time the first two games we played tonight were connected.

First up tonight was Pandemic. This was the second time I’m played this co-op game and the first time we’ve won even if it was only by the skinniest of skin of our teeth.

I do like Pandemic. I like how the game changes substantially with each role you are assigned (I was the all important medic this time around) but as with any co-op game more experienced players are bound to take over. I’m not sure I want to play too many games where I didn’t notice that I’d taken my turn!

We won even though we had ran out of cards because we could cure all the diseases before we would have needed to take a new one. A really close run thing and thanks to Richard not so much reading the rules as litigating with them.

Then we played a new game by the designer of Pandemic, Roll Through the Ages a civ building Yahtzee variant that plays in under an hour. It’s a little pricey at just under £25 but the all wood components are nice and fit the theme well and you get a stack of player pads that should last for years.

Everyone agreed that it was a fun game with some interesting choices to be made. Peter managed to win mainly by discovering medicine and then infecting everyone else with the plague while Richard’s Kim Jong-Ils style of leadership (he didn’t feed his population for most of the game!) got him second place. Phil came next and I scraped a pathetic minus eight to come in fourth.

We finished up with a game of Race for the Galaxy which was the first time I’d played with the Gathering Storm expansion. Not that it made much difference as I was only just about hanging on to what was actually going on in each round. I still hate the Byzantine iconography of the cards which makes them so hard to read which is a shame because I’m sure that lurking underneath is a game I’d really enjoy.  With that in mind I’m promised a game of San Juan next week.

Richard won this one with Peter, Phil and myself following. In the end I didn’t disgrace myself too much thanks to some coaching from Richard.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 13 February 2009, 17:14:41
There is and once you get your head around the iconography it it plays very well and is fun especially two player. It does help not having Richard around as some times its more fun to blunder around and  find stuff out by oneself than be advised by Richard of the right way to do it. Indeed if you want a go at it any time I would happily drag may set along to a convenient Pub for a game.

Don't get me wrong I like Richard, but some times like many if not all of my friends family and acquaintances I find him irritating because of some of his behaviours. /Rant   


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 13 February 2009, 18:38:12
It does help not having Richard around as some times its more fun to blunder around and  find stuff out by oneself than be advised by Richard of the right way to do it. Indeed if you want a go at it any time I would happily drag may set along to a convenient Pub for a game.

Don't get me wrong, there was still plenty of blundering going on! Thanks for the offer though.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 25 February 2009, 10:05:19
As promised last week we started off with a game of San Juan to help me lay my Race for the Galaxy issues to bed. Did I understand it? Was it more fun than Race for me? Yes and Yes. Did I do any better at it. Sadly not.

While Liddy romped home almost unopposed but ably assisted by a more experienced player I left the way clear for Paul and Phil to fight it out for second place. Phil pipped Paul to the post with a couple of points lost to a rash Chapel investment and I was left looking at a score under 20.

I would love to play this again, especially Paul's slightly “pimped” version which made role cards so easy to see and use. Especially since I've been practising with the Java version in the meantime!

To end the evening we split into two groups with Paul and Phil going off to play that Galactic Senate simulator thing while we dumbed down with Pirate's Cove.

Edit: Liddy's helper and major domo pirate was Ian.

This is a game with a lot of theme and a lot of luck but still manages to be a fun way to spend an hour and a half. We got lucky with our first “pirate” which turned out to be an undefended treasure ship which sadly Liddy beat me to. After a brief spell of being chased around the board by the Dread Pirate (Robert perhaps?) the Royal Navy turned up to sort us all out only being bested about half way into the game but not before it was used as a shuttlecock to punish some players and cover the tracks of others.

It's easy to feel victimised in a game where a bad dice roll can ruin any plan you may have had but strangely the better and more considered players did seem to come out on top. So that was me last again! After a titanic struggle at Treasure Island on the last turn Liddy's adviser from San Juan came first (sorry, forgot to ask his name!) followed closely by Phillsy. The game was surprisingly close in the end.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 26 February 2009, 10:42:31
First up tonight was Caylus: Magna Carta, a game which is much more difficult to describe than play.

As the players work their way towards building a castle (represented by, you guessed it, VP counters) they must play cards in a “road” which they or the other players can then place their workers on to gain resources. There are a couple of nice twists to keep things interesting. 

Just like Le Havre you can own spaces which earn you bonuses when other players use them. The Provost adds an element of “take that” and allows you to effectively block an opponents resource gathering,  for sometimes hefty, sometimes temptingly low price. Just to complicate matters further the turn order for some crucial phases (like moving the Provost and buying VPs) is determined by when you pass your turn. Should you pass first for a chance to buy Vps (which are worth less as the game progresses) or should you risk going for another resource? Lots of decisions and ways to win in this one.

Peter was the first to grab a high scoring building card and that continued to be his strategy for the rest of game, ignoring the run of the mill VPs. Eventually both Phillsy and Richard followed with at least one building each. Not buying one of these was a huge mistake on my part but there seemed to be always something else to spend my scant resources on.

Although Peter won convincingly nobody was very far behind, even me thanks to grabbing a fair few high point VP counters early in the game.

Caylus: Magna Carta is a really nice quickish game (it took about an hour and a half with rules explanations) with some real subtleties that I look forward to exploring in another game.

 After that and back by popular demand was Roll Through the Ages.

This time we managed what felt like a full game with all the monuments being built. There was much less in the way of  disasters this time around (making my defensive purchase of medicine a bit of a waste of time) and some competition to build the bigger, high scoring monuments which was kick started by Philsy's early building program.

Peter must have been sacrificing something on the altar of the dice gods because they were smiling, Clash of the Titans like, on his game tonight. He managed to roll a lot of workers to start with allowing him to build his civilisation quickly which gave him an early lead and although Richard and myself weren't too far behind at that stage we didn't manage to capitalise on it as effectively as Peter did.

When the dust was settled and the histories written Peter had an empire of 7 cities which was enough to hand him a convincing 40 point victory which was a good 20 points clear of his nearest competitor although given a turn more and it would have been closer.

I like this game more each time I play it and it's so easy to teach since everything is on the record sheet. I owe Phil a game of this sometime too.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 26 February 2009, 10:48:12
Phil is often available for a quick game on Friday nights and I could be persuaded to join in as well

Title: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 18th Feb 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 26 February 2009, 12:23:30
Tonight I played a 2 player game of Carpe Astra ( and I was pleasently surprised to find this plays extremely well with two players keeping the same atmosphere as a game with more players. I lost, as this is my game and the universe may implode if I start winning my own games, but it was a close run thing.

Title: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 25th Feb 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 26 February 2009, 12:27:58
Tonight we played a game of Magblast ( always a classic. Players take control of a command ship control a fleet of ships. Each player takes it in turn to blast away at the competition and the winner is the last person surviving. The artwork and gameplay are superb and you can't beat a game where if you fail to make a silly sound effect for you laser blast you miss your intended target  ;D

Feeling a bit under the weather this was my inly game that night, but the others went on to play a couple of games of Rumis (

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 26 February 2009, 20:39:49
Phil is often available for a quick game on Friday nights and I could be persuaded to join in as well

I'd love to but think this may be pushing my luck a little bit too far with my wife. Maybe, at some far and probably fictional point in the future...

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 25th Feb 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 26 February 2009, 20:42:52
Tonight we played a game of Magblast ( always a classic.

We guessed. Right about the time we heard the first "fzzzwoppppp buddabuddabudda" or whatever inventive sounds you came up with.  ;D

Get well soon!

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 26 February 2009, 21:17:05
Phil is often available for a quick game on Friday nights and I could be persuaded to join in as well

I'd love to but think this may be pushing my luck a little bit too far with my wife. Maybe, at some far and probably fictional point in the future...

Well I did not specify any particular Friday and Phil needs to have something to distract him whilst the magic crowd are in most friday's. I wouldn't want to get any one especially not you in trouble with the management :)

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 05 March 2009, 09:14:14
Feeling more dopey than usual last night due to a cold and the stuff I'm taking like a southern lightweight to get rid of it.  ::)

What was the Yatzhee animal thing called? Anyone remember?

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: CrazyFrog on 05 March 2009, 10:00:35
Wildlife Rescue (

Or lets hunt the animals  ;D

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 05 March 2009, 15:45:05

Or lets hunt the animals  ;D

There's a thought retheme it as a big game hunter sim - points for the rarest animals still work but what would that make the zoo transfer card, sneaking into the back of his 4x4 for the rotting carcass?  +:scratch=+::scratch:

The reason I couldn't find it on the Geek is that it doesn't yet have a page. I feel so cutting edge.  ;D

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 05 March 2009, 16:46:27
Probably not geeky enough yet for a review but there are a lot of fun games upon which the geek pours scorn.

I say that mostly because I sense the fear in you at the possibility of being cutting edge!!!


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 4th March 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 05 March 2009, 21:05:13
Well the world should have shuddered to a halt after last night ........

I won a game I own.... Yes you heard me right we played a game of Around the World in 80 Days ( in which you have to play combinations of Travel cards in order to move around the world with the aim, of course, to get back to London in a little times as possible. Each travel card has a value of between 2 and 8 days and you add the cards you play together and this is how many days it costs for that trip. There are ways to reduce this cost, you have event cards that can help you on your journey, but there are a couple of bad events that effect all the players. Each turn there is a hand of face up cards dealt each of which also have an action the player may use when they pick a card. Once the first person is home, each remaining players gets a day added to their journey time each turn until they too make it back to London. This game is really fun to play and would serve well as an introductory game as it is simple to explain and play. Whilst Sally did make it back to London first, I just managed to do it a bit quicker shocking everyone.

We then played a game of Wildlife Rescue ( where each player has to collect rare species for their zoo, each of which has different point values. Each player is dealt a bonus card which has 3 species on it, if the player manages to collect all three they put them under the bonus card saving those animals from being transferred to another player and scoring them the bonus points. You also have a zoo transfer card which can be used once only to take an animal from another players zoo into yours when you are unable to collect that animal from the stockpile. Each turn you roll a set of dice with various animals depicted on them, and you have three rolls in order to get 3 matching symbols allows you take an animal. The winner is the one with the most points. This was a new and shiny game we were trying and it was quite enjoyable, obviously helped by the fact I managed to win this as well.

Finally we played a game of Cartagena ( a game of pirates escaping the Cartagena Fortress. Each player has 6 pirates they are trying to maneuver into a boat to escape, they achieve this by playing cards to match symbols on the track leading to the boat. You place your pirate on the first empty space matching the card played, in order to get more cards you have to move a pirate back to the first space with either 1 or 2 pirates on collecting 1 or 2 cards respectively. It becomes very tactical as to where to place you pirates and when to move them back. the first to place all 6 pirates on the boat wins. Amazingly I managed to win this one as well. Luckily this unprecedented winning streak appears not to have ripped any holes in reality so we should be safe for next week when normality of losing should return  +:thumbup=+::thumbup:

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 12 March 2009, 06:22:36
I assume our glorious leader has resumed his losing spate as I have heard no more trumpets of doom & the vogons haven't turned up to demolish the world.

Only played one game as I am a light weight and after a strange game of dominion I had rather lost the will to play I think Dominion is a great game but we played with an unfamiliar combination of cards which  made working out what to do a bit difficult. Dident do all that well finishing third in a four player game which was apart form Irish Pete very low scoring (curses curses)

Next game would have been Powerboats which I am not that fond of and which requires me to add up something I have trouble with at the best of times. A good evening if very abbreviated.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 15 March 2009, 23:55:09
Emboldened (or should that be embiggened?) by his successes last week Paul felt brave enough to have a crack at another one of his games, Carpe Astra.

I'd seen Phil and Paul playing this before and it always looked pretty complicated to me with the two of them hunched over the board centrating madly so to be honest I was a little apprehensive before playing this.

I needn't have worried though, once we got going it became obvious that this is a nice elegant game but still a bit of a brain burner.

The basic premise of the game is to place your pawns in on contiguous hexes that match cards either in your hand or cards in the central event pile. By doing that you either add  VP tokens to your pile or take them away from your opponents depending on where you start from.

About half way through the VPs  run out and the game becomes a scramble to get as many matching tokens and to prevent everyone else doing the same. All of which leads to lots of “take-that” as tokens are stolen and then stolen back again.

Both Paul and Carol got off to a (suspiciously!) flying start with them turning in two cards for the first couple of turns leaving Rich and myself to flounder. Although apparently we did catch up because the game ended with two 10s and two 8s to Carol and Paul and myself and Rich. Carol snatched victory with the tiebreak.

We spent a good two hours on it but it honestly didn't feel like it.

After what was an enjoyable but intense session we had a couple of games of Bucket King. If you've not played it before (and you should, soon) it's a nice light bidding card game where the aim is to have the last standing pyramid of buckets. The twist here is that depending on what colour you have been outbid for you might not only lose a bucket of that colour but also any of the buckets that were balancing on it.

Paul never seemed to be in danger of losing the first game and eventually won. Bucket King is nothing but a good leveller and he was out fairly early in the next game resulting in a titanic struggle between Rich and myself. I won but it was down to the last turn of the card.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 24 March 2009, 09:31:20
Another risk to the space/time continuum this week following on from Paul's winning streak of a couple of weeks ago as I win a game of something! Trust me, it doesn't happen often.

My unfortunate victim was Mission: Red Planet a really thematic steampunk game about space exploration in the age of colonisation.

Red Planet plays over a couple of layers as players attempt to blast their astronauts to the surface to gain precious resources. But beware, other players might be plotting to blow up your rocket or convert your astronaut to their cause with the dastardly femme fatale.

Once on the planet the struggle continues as astronauts explore and fight for the prime regions of Mars.

The mission and event cards are a nice twist to a familiar resource collection with variable player roles game. Both cards are kept secret with the event cards being played face down on a region only being revealed to an explorer or in the final scoring round which lends an amount of uncertainty and tension to the game.

It was difficult to tell who was going to win throughout most of the game due to those dastardly cards which upset at least two of us by making our most valuable regions entirely worthless. In the end it seemed to be a tie between Phil and myself which Phil generously conceded because of an ambiguous  rule but I'm not proud I'll take my small victories where I can get 'em!

But he soon got his own back by beating us all hands down at San Juan. Carol put up a valiant struggle against tiredness (it was getting on a bit by then) and managed to stuff her Chapel to the rafters bringing her in with a very respectable score. But it was Phil who was putting out pink cards at the end of the game to rack up a big score.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 31 March 2009, 08:29:47
First out of Paul's magic bag tonight was Blue Moon City. This was the first I've heard of this game but it came highly recommended by a couple of people so I was looking forward to trying it out.

First impressions where favourable as we started to set out the vaguely Settler-esque board and then the Dragons came out and it really got interesting. These chunky plastic dragons are used as a kind of high score multiplier and add an interesting extra layer to the game.

The rest of the game is about buying slots on the tiles. You win the tile either by buying the most expensive slot or by buying the most slots. Won tiles are turned over and yield a bonus. Even better if they are next to another already won tile in which case you receive the bonus on that tile too. You are ultimately looking to buy your way up the victory totem by using the tokens harvested from the tiles.

Perhaps I'm making it sound dull but it turned out to be a tense strategic game which rewards forward planning – my big mistake was to be so far out I was forced to sacrifice a turn to get back to where I needed to be.

Carol steamrollered into first place at the very end with her unstoppable pile of tokens, closely followed by Paul.

We followed Blue Moon City with another game of Roll Through the Ages which the nobody else had tried before.

Luke was the uncontested winner having built the Great Pyramid and a couple of other monuments before Carol finished it with her fifth development.

It's never been a game to blow me away but I like it a little more each time I play it. For those times when you want something a little bit more than a filler.

Another fun night at Spirit Games.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 03 April 2009, 10:10:42
Ahh, the smell of brand new games.

Tonight Peter, Zarni , Richard and myself had a go at Richard's brand new copy of Smallworld from Days of Wonder.

Smallworld is apparently a  fantasy near sequel to the designers earlier game Vinci although I had neither heard of or played that game before.

At heart it's an area control game where each player leads an army of fantasy hordes into battle with  everyone else on the board. The combat is extremely simple; if you attack with more units than there are counters on that space (including enemy units, terrain and fortifications) you win the territory and the opposing armies are destroyed and routed.

The twist is that you bid for what army you want to command which also comes equipped with a random special power which could be anything from attack bonuses to being able to fly around the board. When that army has run it's course you can miss a turn putting your civilisation into decline and bid for a new army the following turn. I'll never forgot my tussles with Zarni's bivouacing zombies!

 We played a four player on one big boards but it includes separate boards for 2  to 5 players. The 2 player board for instance is very small with few territories to fight over ensuring a confrontational game no matter how many people play.

During the game both Peter and Richard were able to leave remnants of their last civilisations on the board scoring points for them as well as their current army. Although both Zarni and I tried to chip away at the expanding Elvish empire Peter had picked up enough points to win comfortably despite the valiant efforts of my Dragon Master Trolls to win the Southern mountains. Richard came second followed by Zarni and then me.

Hopefully this will get lots of play on a Wednesday night because I would really like to play this again and play it soon.

Richard, Peter and myself had a game of Race for the Galaxy to finish the evening off as Zarni bowed out to go buy some games.

Now, I've had issues with Race ever since I'd been introduced to it. I never really got it.

Perhaps  it was the couple of games of San Juan I've got under my belt since then but I had a bit of a Race epiphany. It just seemed to click and I finally knew what I was doing with at least some of the cards.

I still lost mind but at least I knew what I was doing and more importantly because I could plan ahead and I understood what everyone else was doing I was having fun doing it.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 14 April 2009, 22:24:25
When I got to the shop at just before 8 On the Underground was already set up and just waiting for a forth player. Now that's the way to get your game of choice played.

Not the slightly more complicated Ticket to Ride that I assumed it to be not least since it takes a good deal more forward planning.

For the uninitiated it's a game of rail laying for the benefit of the underground's last remaining passenger (50 years of crap public transport policy having finally driven everyone else away presumably). Being a lazy devil he'll travel as far as possible by one set of tracks even if that means travelling around most of London.

Paul won by carefully laying his track so that by the last few crucial rounds it was his trains the passenger used to travel across London and so edged ahead on points in what was a very close game.

Next up was Lost Cities: The Board Game.

It's the second time I've played this and after promising everyone it would be a reasonably short game it managed to come in at just under two hours. Sorry everyone. But at least by the third and final round we'd sped up a fair bit.

Still, a nice light game to finish the evening won by Frog by a massive gamble with his double point scoring researcher. Well done that amphibian.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 16 April 2009, 22:28:04
In a nice change of pace tonight our little group of Jason, Peter and myself played some light family friendly games.

First up was Lost Cities: the Board Game for the second time in as many weeks because Peter wanted to try it.

We managed to rattle through a full game in just over an hour from a cold start as both Peter and Jason picked up the pace along with some winning strategies really quickly. Both realised that a combination of  landing on rope bridges for a free move and grabbing artifacts as quickly as possible was a winner. Some long expeditions for the double scoring Researchers also added to everyone's score.

Jason won with a score in the 400s in what was a high scoring game anyway.

After that came Roll Through the Ages which I know Peter really likes.

Jason went out early for monuments and grabbed a couple of small ones early on while Peter and myself built up our cities. Mid game we were all chasing monuments but Peter managed to beat us to the biggies with his early and fortuitous acquisition of  masonry. My plan was to grab as many as possible to make my architecture development (+1 point for every monument) work for me but we ran out of time as someone finished the last monument before my dastardly plan had time to complete.

Peter remains the undefeated champion though. Jason seemed to enjoy it though as he wanted to play another there and then. We didn't though as Peter had bought Ticket to Ride: the Dice Expansion that he wanted to try out.

Obviously the dice replace the cards in the original game and it plays just differently enough to the base game to be interesting. Colours no longer matter as the dice allow you to build on either a single or double rail space depending on your dice roll.

Although I was skeptical the game plays out quite differently from the card driven game since you can't carry over resources from turn to turn as you can with the cards you're constantly judging whether you should build as many tracks as your dice allow or build the tracks that you really should build to fulfill your tickets and so waste a couple.

Jason won this one I think.

And so I left them preparing to go head to head with Roll Through the Ages one last time.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 24 April 2009, 01:11:26
Wed 15th Apr 2009
Tonight we started off with a game of Tiki Mountain (
this is always a good fun game we had a couple of new people join us. After a lot of struggling to climb the mountain, a few failed attempts to switch places with the leader by me, Crazyfrog managed to swap places and finally hurl himself successfully into the volcano as a sacrifice earning him the winners podium.

We then started a game of Citadels ( which is another great little game.
Starting with the player who is currently "King" each player in turn selects a role from a set of cards (Assassin, Thief, Magician, King, Bishop, Merchant, Architect, Warlord) these roles determine turn order and each has special roles within the game.

The aim is to get the most points gained by building various buildings which have different values. The game ends when someone builds 8 buildings, then the person with the most points wins. Bonus points are to be had for having buildings in multiple districts (there are 5 different coloured districts). Certain buildings have special abilities which aid you in a variety of ways. You build by paying the value of the building which can be 1-8 gold. On your turn you can take cards or gold tax certain districts (1 gold per building) depending on the role you selected. Each role has a specific function they can do which allows you to do extra things on your turn. In the final round I had a last demolish of Crazyfrog's building leaving him with a few less points.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 24 April 2009, 01:30:01
Wed 22nd Apr 2009

We had a smaller turn out tonight so we split into a 3 and 4 player games. We started with Condottiere ( which turned out to be a nice little game where you all vie to control cities. You have a hand of cards with either a numeric value or one of the special cards that aid or hinder. Each player plays a numbered card and this continues till all but one passes. The player with the highest value of cards in front of them wins control of that city which then gets them more cards when they are dealt out again. If you control a number of adjacent cities (which varies according to number of players) you win. After a brief start with just 3 of us Sally joined in and made a good show but ultimately, after a tactical blunder by me and a slight mistake by Oskar during the various rounds Philsy managed a winning string of cities.

Finally we swapped Philsy for Peter and setup for a game of Carpe Astra ( which he and Sally had not yet played. I always enjoy a game of this and after a a lot of slandering and counter slandering the final winner was Peter but as is normal with this game it was a close thing.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 27 April 2009, 18:14:57
Meanwhile at the other table we cracked out out Roll Through the Ages just for Phil who had been pining for a game all week (apparently).

The optimum strategy still seems to be to race to seven cities then race to wonders before finishing off with architecture or empire for big points and sure enough that was the path we all followed with varying degrees of success.

Peter won the game sitting on empire thanks to Phil finishing the game off while I had two half built wonders on the go with architecture. Bitter, moi?  +:bandhead=+::banghead:

The next table reckoned they were about 15 minutes away from finishing their game which prompted Peter to say that he didn't think any game could be played in that time and was just about to get up to have a browse of the shop/go to the loo. Luckily I had my brand new copy of Tsuro to prove him wrong . Peter and Phil even had a side bet (for a pint if the Gambling Commission is monitoring this channel*) to see if we could really finish it in quarter of an hour despite Phil's reputation for leisurely turns.

...and we so nearly did going just a minute or two over and using up every tile with all three of us in the game until the last turn. Is that unusual for a 3 player game I wonder?

Finally at about 9:30 we swapped Peter for Philsey and foolishly ventured into a game of Galactic Emperor. Foolish because despite what it says on the box it wasn't over in 2 hours or anything like it. By my hazy recollection it was quarter to one before I left Spirit Games that night! A new personal record.

Galactic Emperor itself is a kind of Twilight Imperium lite with players attempting to secure power by military or political means or both.

It took about an hour  and a half before we clashed near the centre of the board but when we did, thanks to my utterly reasonable annexation of a couple of sectors of space entirely neglected by Phil**, it went quickly and violently. Phil and I broke our space fleets in one epic battle leaving the way clear for Philsey to do whatever he wished safe in the knowledge that we were now too weak to contest him for the crown.

And that was us for another night.

*”Paranoid? Is that what they're saying about me now?” Rorschach. 

**  ;) !

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 30 April 2009, 13:25:59
Just one game for me tonight and I might as well get this out of my system now. I don't enjoy Power Grid. I find it dry, analytical and difficult to get worked up about.

We played on the Benelux map which wasn't so much of a maths nightmare for me as the Korean peninsula simply because we seemed to pretty much carve up our own area of the map (mind you we did hereticaly play with all 5 areas in a 5 player game) which meant that it was only at the very end of the game that we were jumping through occupied cities to get to our destinations.

The powerstations were kind to us too with lots of powerful ones turning up early all of which meant that we were rarely scrabbling around for money and there was very little competition for resources with most of us going after different fuels.

Phil vied valiantly with the juggernaut that is Richard&Peter and worried them enough for Richard to not so subtly hint that I should buy up the resources he needed. I didn't. Jan who had seemed to get off to a slow start finished strongly in fourth place.

At least two people at the table were acting like shopping wives during the last few turns: weighing up the pros and cons of every possible option before returning to the one they started with which slowed things down a fair bit. Phil and I suggested a side game of Race while they thought about it which may well be an option next time.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 13 May 2009, 08:49:40
Tonight was my first go with Kingsburg which I liked a lot. Now, I'd read the Zarni's review and he was right it did sound at the very least fussy but it plays very well indeed and it wasn't long before everyone was sure what they were doing.

There is just enough randomness to keep things interesting while rewarding better strategies and plenty of scope to try out different combinations and routes to victory. Lots of replay value in this one.

I've also discovered that it is present on BSW ( ( in their usual cack handed way and also in a very nice offline Java version with some competent AI players – well they regularly beat me on expert! ( (

Carol won this by several miles by making a beeline for the big scoring top line buildings. Everybody else drew with only the number of goods left to separate us.

We also had a quick game of Tsuro which was again very close but eventually won by Sally sending Carol careering off the edge of the board.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 20 May 2009, 08:30:13
More Power Grid tonight. See above for my thoughts on this game but basically: double maths=not much fun. Must learn to run to the back of the shop more quickly when that ones out. For those of you who are interested we played on the Italy board.

Then a quick Roll which started off unusually but ended in the usual way. It started with Peter and me throwing lots of coins meaning we could afford one powerful development each. And the end? Peter winning as usual. Must try to break that winning streak of his at this game.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 27 May 2009, 18:50:27
30th Apr 2009
Tonight we decided to play Pandemic ( in light of the current hot topic of Swine Flu. We managed after a few little hiccups to save the world and find the cures for all the diseases. There was some suggestion of letting the authorities know how to do it  ;D  but common sense prevailed and we left well alone :D

We finished the evening off with Buckets which is always good for a laugh, a light quick game to round things off nicely.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 27 May 2009, 18:57:18
13 May 2009
Tonight we played a game of New World ( which I always enjoy, its a fine variant of the Carcassonne line and adds some nice new twists which changes the way you need to play. I still can not win this game, I always seem to be several steps behind everyone else especially in this game where I was lapped by just about everyone at some point on the scoring track. Still it was fun and I would still play this one again.
To end the evening Phil & Sal introduced me to Magalon(?) which is a sort of magical race game which was thouroughly enjoyable even tough the two experienced players wiped the floor with me :)

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 27 May 2009, 19:12:24
20th May 2009
Tonight we played Killer Bunnies ( (plus a bunch of expansions). This is a very funny game of trying to put a bunch of Bunnies in front of you and keep them alive whilst trying to off the other players bunnies. The winner is whoever has the carrot matching the magic Carrot card (taken from another deck) wins the game as long as they have a bunny still in play. The only thing I would say is that whilst fun, this game did seem to play overly long but then this was my first go.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 03 June 2009, 08:36:54
A quick catch up since I've been remiss about posting session reports for the last couple of weeks:

20th May saw a reasonably large game of Antike being played. It was a strangely unsatisfying experience for me since I couldn't quite convince myself to use my military might and at the end it was all for naught as Richard nabbed a city I had left undefended – doh!

While the 27th was another Italian Power Grid for me.

In between those two I played Ice Flow, Lost Cities, Roll Through the Ages and Blue Moon City at Beer & Pretzels this year.

We nabbed Ice Flow from the library and once we'd figured out the rules we all really enjoyed it. It's a game of opportunity taking (what with all those ice flows swirling around in the Arctic currents) and careful resource management, you need to make sure you have rope to climb on icebergs or fish to throw to hungry polar bears in your attempt to cross the Baring Sea on foot.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 09 June 2009, 18:18:18
The first game we played tonight was Cutthroat Caverns from the excellently titled Smirk and Dagger.

Cooperative games have been a fairly recent flavour of the month but this one promises something a bit different, a co-op/competitive hybrid.

Players take on the roles of an adventuring party battling it's way out of a dungeon. Because of some plot element (no doubt involving too much ale down at the Red Dragon Inn) only the player who lands the killing blow can justly claim the bragging rights and more importantly vps, no matter how much or how little they have contributed up until that point.

The diceless combat simply involves playing a card each turn. The card either deals a set number of damage to the monster or modifies your own or someone else's damage. So far so simple.

I don't think we quite managed to grasp the required strategy for this game on our first go. There was plenty of take-that! moments but we neglected to make sure that enough of the party survived long enough to face the later monsters whose strength is based on how many players started the game not how many players currently survived. At the half way point one of us was dead and the surviving party members were low on health. When Phil died and I was left alone facing a monster who ignored the highest damage dealt (which effectively with only me still in it would have been me every turn making any effort on my part fairly pointless) I threw in the towel.

Then on to a game of Race for the Galaxy with the Gathering Storm expansion.

Although I spent half of the game (literally!) trying to remember what symbol did what and on what phase I could do stuff, I spent the last half really enjoying myself.

It's a game really worth persevering with. I'm afraid I can't report what everyone else was up to since I was far too busy trying to build up my military and brown-good producing empire. It was eventually all for naught though as Phil finished the game and claimed victory.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 11 June 2009, 00:35:58
No Games at the Shop on Wed 17th June as the shop will be closed early.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 11 June 2009, 22:50:13
Last night Richard bought his brand new copy of Automobile hot from the UK Games Expo.

I'd heard good things about this but I've also heard it was complicated and since Martin Wallace has a reputation for finicky designs I was also a bit apprehensive about trying it. I really needn't have worried.

It's an economic game based around the early car business with each player trying their best to manufacture and sell their cars. Complicated by the need to keep up to date and to pay attention to market forces it plays really quickly as our first game evaporated in just under two hours.

At first sight the board looks underwhelming and abstract and it kind of is but it also hides some  well thought out mechanics. The march of progress for instance is measured on a tech tree which costs resources to progress. Those who choose not to however are soon going to find their antiquated cars  attracting penalty points but also, since the market always buys the most modern cars first, that the market for their cars disappears.

In our game Richard's plan was to offset the effects of the slightly random market by buying salesmen and doing everything he could to sell outside of normal selling round. Phill's was to do a Henry Ford and corner the mass market with affordable cars while mine was to keep ahead of the tech tree and invest heavily in luxury cars.

As it turns out the build 'em quick and flog 'em cheap approach worked out well and Phill came in a close second to Richard's salesforce and since Richard had been playing it all weekend and it was Phil's first game I think that counts as a moral victory. Although I (as usual) came last it  was close.

There always seems to be something to do in this game with very little downtime for this sort of game. I'm really looking forward to playing it again.

Oh, and Phil kindly gave us some of Simon's extremely alcoholic cake which was lovely but I was sure I was weaving a bit on the A38 on the way home!

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 12 June 2009, 10:42:15
There always seems to

Oh, and Phil kindly gave us some of Simon's extremely alcoholic cake which was lovely but I was sure I was weaving a bit on the A38 on the way home!

Thank you for the above not only did it make me laugh out loud but I will pass on your complements to the cook


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 13 June 2009, 18:45:33
Where you not the cook? It really was very nice, please do thank whoever was responsible.

This conversation reminds me of that bit in Chelmsford 123 when Rory McGrath accuses the Romans of only building straight roads so that good Britons couldn't use them on the way home from the pub not like the good old fashioned twisty turny British roads.  Perhaps I should have gone the back way home.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 25 June 2009, 23:06:49
One from Richard's “to play” pile tonight: Cuba.

Like it's South American neighbours San Juan and Porto Rico Cuba is ironically all about raw capitalism. The players vie to fill the holds of the boats that constantly dock at the harbour with goods. These however are ships who know what they want and become increasingly desperate to get it as they are about to depart. Hold off until a ship is about to leave and it pays more but you risk the other players nipping in and filling the hold with there goods.

This is a game of variable player powers and worker placement and nothing here feels desperately new but it does manage to add it's own spin to an overcrowded genre. The workers are placed on a grid like Agricola but resources can only be gathered and buildings activated if your worker is on the same line. Add to that the need to build over a resource space if you want to build a building and you have a game which needs careful thought from the very beginning.

For all of that though it is a simpler and quicker game than Le Havre and feels all the better for it. It was a close game until the end with Richard pulling away slightly at the end with his unstoppable rum machine with Phil and his hydro empire not far behind.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 07 July 2009, 18:55:21
All sleeved and ready to go it was a foregone conclusion that tonight's games would include Dominion complete with its new Intrigue expansion.

I arrived a little earlier than normal so Richard and I played what we thought would be a quick game while we waited. First mistake. Intrigue seems to stretch a game 15-20 min game of Dominion to 30-45. That's okay,its a good enough game to want to play for that length of time.

Meanwhile Peter had turned up for the first time since the birth of his youngest and was itching to get some gaming done. So straight into a three player game of Dominion it was then.

If you're one of those who didn't like Dominion because of its limited player interaction. (“You'll do what? Over my dead Moat you will!”) its time to take another look. Intrigue adds cards which allow you to swap cards between hands and even modify them for something else entirely.

Richard and Peter won their respective games.

Next up was a two player Roll Through the Ages. A close game this one. Although I'd managed to build a big empire quickly I did it all on the back of the misery of my people leaving me with lots of disaster penalties. Peter managing to pip me to building some of the bigger monuments didn't help either but in the end I Empired and Architectured my way to a 30/31 win.

Just before leaving we came together for a 5 player Incan Gold. The perfect game for that time of night it was a game full of people pushing their luck just too far, leaving far too early and allowing everyone to grab else to grab all the good stuff and dastardly backstabbers running back to base with artefacts when no one else was looking. Carol won this one.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 07 July 2009, 21:10:58
1st July 2009

Given the high temperatures we decided we needed to start the evening with something light so we broke out Incan Gold (, a great little ice-breaker. We then played a game of Around the World in 80 Days (, always a light but good little game with plenty of opportunity for strategic play and scuppering the opposition. Sadly as usual I played a blinder to not win another of my games ;D

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 10 July 2009, 11:19:45
A four player game of Steam for us tonight. Two of our little band had played Martin Wallace's similar Age of Steam a fair bit and one of them had written the rulebook for this edition. Did that give them an advantage? We'll see.

Steam is an economic game with track laying and block delivery but as with many of Wallace's games there are several clever touches. One of which is the variable power you pick deciding the order for the next turn. As is the option to use some of the powers to skip to the front of the turn queue although usually at the cost of coming later next turn and so having less options.

One really nice twist is the decision to take your earnings from deliveries in either cash or VPs when to stop accumulating money and make a break for VPs is a major strategic decision  in this game.

Deliveries earn more points for each town they pass through but cost more in rolling stock to deliver to balance things out.

Our game started with a bunfight in the mountainous northeastern part of the board between Phil, Jim and Richard leaving the west almost entirely to me alone. I briefly managed to capitalise on it by delivering some early 3 or 4 pointers before, spotting that I had nearly sewn up several 5 and 6 pointers, the rest of the players stepped in to block me. All that meant I had to work around them and was restricted to 4 or 5 points each delivery for the rest of the game. Curses. Too many eggs in that Western basket methinks.

At the half way point neither Phil nor Jim seemed to be able to get their companies off the ground and into the black but thanks to some canny track choices meaning that other people were often paying him to use his railway, Phil started to chug out of the station.

The final scores were Richard winning with Phil not too far behind, then me and finally Jim within spitting distance. So yes, apparently it does help to have played it before with those players with more experience (I had played the playtest copy once) managing to steam away from the rest.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 15 July 2009, 09:39:29
8th July 2009
Tonight having got my hands on the Bookshelf Edition of Dread Pirate (
we decided to give this a go for the evening. Myself, Carole, Crazyfrog and Sally sat down and started our Pirate careers  ;D

We played with the advanced rules which adds the wind die and a few other tweaks which help make the game more interesting. This still played as well as I remembered and is extremely fun with lots of interaction between players. The pieces in this version are extremely nice: Cloth Map, metal doubloons, die cast ships etc. Which all add to the feel of the game.

As I owned this game I was safe in the knowledge I would not win but I did manage to be the Dread Pirate for a little while but it did change hands a few times during the course of the game. Sally was the eventual winner.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 16 July 2009, 08:58:58
15th July 2009
Started the evening off with a game of Dominion: Intrigue ( the new expansion for Dominion which can be played as a game in it's own right. We played one of the suggested Setups, which seemed harder to generate money than the base game but there was certain good combos to be had and with new cards that double as VP with Money or Actions there was a lot more to think about. The game plays a little slower than the base game, which is no bad thing, and eventually someone depleted the final stack triggering end game. Phil and Richard were busy working out which one of them had won when I finally managed to total my score and to my own disbelief found that I had WON!!....

We then went straight into a second game using the same setup, this game was not as smooth as the first with everyone struggling to get a decent hand working, there was not many VP cards bought until near the end resulting in a much tighter score.

Finally, after Richard left for the night Phil, Philsy and myself started a game of Plunder ( which we didn't get a full game of but did look interesting. It played well, once I started to get my head round it, and it does feel very piratey which is a good thing. I look forward to playing a full game of this sometime in the future.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 22 July 2009, 13:39:59
We had a bit of Intrigue going on too but before that we had a second go at Looting London. It turned out to be a much more tactical game than the one we played at Raiders with people looking ahead and trying to scupper each other but strangely not a lot of destroying evidence going on. That was probably more to do with me not explaining how to clearly enough but at least they’ll know for next time.

And so on to Dominion. Peter Tortured us all for most of the game to the point where we were convinced that none of us would be able to actually take a turn about half way through. Thankfully Frog read the rule clarification but it didn’t stop Peter winning with 0 points. Uh huh, you read that right no points at all (no VP cards were bought for the entire game). The other places were decided on the number of Curses we had picked up along the way. As Zarniwoop says in his review this is now a game full of player interaction with cards being changed and passed around aplenty.

Next up was a quick game of Lost Cities which was characterised by a mad scramble for those all important artifacts forcing some of us (well alright, me) to show my hand early to grab them at the expense of potential points later on.

Just as I was about to leave someone suggested a game of Incan Gold which is always hard to turn down. It ended with a tense showdown (it sez ere) between Peter and myself with Peter finally succumbing to a second spider card to come in second.

I really must start bringing a paper and pad with me. By the time I get around to writing these session reports I’ve often forgotten who won what. I do remember, unusual as it is, that I won two games: Looting London and Incan Gold and that Peter did won Dominion. It might have been Carol who won Lost Cities but I honestly can’t remember. Rubbish

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 02 August 2009, 23:05:40
Since I've been lazy and not posted session reports for the last two weeks it's time for a quick catch up:

Wednesday 22nd July

Phil, Sal, Peter and myself tonight and we decided to raid the games library with the vague idea of playing a classic or two I'd not played before.

After the usual umming, ahhing and I-don't-know-what-do-you-want-to-play-ings we came out with Days of Steam a newish game nobody had played before. Since only Sally had read the rules she gave us a detailed rundown of what we should be doing and off we went.

It's a tile laying train game boiled down to the basics: pick stuff up and deliver it to somewhere else. The trick here is the need to lay tiles to gain the steam needed to move your little engine-meeple and if you can screw over someone else where you're doing that all the better. Which to be fair happened a fair bit, especially towards the end to Phil who for a long time was one point away from winning. He eventually did though.

Next was Roll Through the Ages.

Phil always plays a defensive game of this. A favourite opening move of his is to grab medicine meaning that he's immune to the plague disaster, cue much teasing and accusations of paranoia. Well it worked out for him this time: plague was rolled again and again meaning that we all ended up so ridiculously behind while Phil steamed ahead by default. He probably taught his civilisation to wash their hands or something.

We followed this up with two games of Incan Gold the first of which Phil won again but true to the spirit of the game he pushed his luck a little too far and spoiled his winning streak for tonight by not winning his last game.

Wednesday 29th July

Not many of us tonight so with our visitor from Australia we played an 8 player Citadels. As usual there was much assassinating of the King, stealing from the Merchant and lots of complicated double bluffing going on.

Frog won convincingly with 25 points while everyone else came in at the 15-19 points range.

Leaving us just enough time to finish off with a Bucket King. Carol seemed to have it sewn up but it all ended in a thrilling duel between her and Ron* although she did eventually beat him down.

*Note: This might not be his actual name.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: CrazyFrog on 03 August 2009, 13:43:41

Wednesday 29th July

Frog won convincingly with 25 points while everyone else came in at the 15-19 points range.

Actually for the record Sally won with approx 37, I'm second.  ;)

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 03 August 2009, 23:07:15
Ooops!  :o I really am going to have to start writing these scores down.

I knew it was between the two of you.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 05 August 2009, 15:51:38
dont fret Carl sally will box you ears and then you wont forget again after all it almost works on Phil

BTW any one up for a quick game of EVE conquests as I NEED to play the game again


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 06 August 2009, 21:43:23
dont fret Carl sally will box you ears and then you wont forget again after all it almost works on Phil

So that's why he takes so long to take a turn.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 06 August 2009, 22:57:39
I arrived a little earlier than normal tonight and was waylaid into a game of Eve:Conquests with Phil and Evil Ginger.

Whitefire and Evil Ginger have done a sterling job of describing how the game plays in their reviews ( ( )so I won't repeat those here but instead try to give you a flavour of how the game actually played out.

By all accounts the rules are a pig to read so we had the advantage of learning the game from Evil Ginger and also of playing while we learned which meant we could get started fairly quickly.

For a game that looks like a complicated 4 X space opera  Eve plays surprisingly like an abstract game. For most of the game we were building and moving the admittedly nice poker chip style pieces with very little hint of any of the titular conflict since you can play agents on enemy territory without a fight and peacefully coexist unless it happens to be an objective world.

The scheduling wheel which looks horribly complicated at first sight becomes, after a couple of turns, second nature and keeps the game moving along at a reasonable rate.

I should be annoyed that Phil came from nearly 10 points behind to win in a single turn by picking lucky objective tiles that he got to take automatically but in all conscience I can't since I started with a massive 7 point (out of 15 needed) lead thanks to exactly the same kind of luck in my setup phase. Evil Ginger thinks that that this would even out in a longer game. I'm not sure it's worth it.

Eve isn't a bad game  though it's just that I can think of games that do it better. Galactic Emperor has a stronger theme and Antike's clock mechanism is more streamlined. Eve's combat system seems to have been well thought out though with tactical decisions with an added random factor but there seems to be very little incentive to use it. All that said I would play it again, particularly if my opponents had played a game or two before to make it a bit quicker.

Sadly I was too tired to take Zarniwoop up on the now obligatory Incan Gold game to close, how did it go?

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 07 August 2009, 20:35:46
I still like the game and its on my must get list, I will admit that phil was a spawny git of a high order in the way he won a pair of objective worlds turning up not only in his empire but on planets he already had outposts on. I will grant that having the largest empire by area probably helped a bit.

As for combat there was far more combat in the first four player game as we scrambled for the last VP's, so putting EVE into the category of games best played by more rather than less people.

I am also beginning to think that there are subtleties in the project cards which we have missed though that the cards are not explained in the rules other than in the most general way, is one of the rules many faults, and dosent help at all either. I will agree that it could have felt more like a space empire building game and less abstract.

I want to play it again a longer game with four players perhaps at raiders before I can form a definitive opinion of the game.


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 12 August 2009, 20:40:17
Started the evening off with some quick games of Hive ( whilst waiting for Sally to finish her chores  ;D

We then had a game of Kingsburg ( which Sally romped to an overwhelming Win with me and Carole tied for second place.

To round the evening off we ended up with a game of Incan Gold ( always a good opening/closing game. After many failed attempts by various parties to run away with the spoils only to have someone else try the same ploy thereby wrecking the plan it was eventually won by Phil (?)..

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 25 August 2009, 21:34:33
12th Aug 2009
Tonight we played Kingsburg ( with one of the new expansion ( modules (New Playmat with 2 additonal building lines).
The new buildings offered new twists which Phil managed to exploit and ended the evening as the winner.

The new playmat offers a bit more choice but does not have a significant change in gameplay. I look forward to trying some of the other modules to see how they play.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 29 August 2009, 23:21:23
19th August 2009
Started of with a game of Dominion Intrique ( rather than using one of the preset scenarios we went for a random selection of cards. After a fairly close battle between most of us Peter finally ended the game and won.

We followed this up with a game of Traders of Carthage ( this is always a good little game. After a really good game of this Frog came out victorious.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 08 September 2009, 00:44:57
26th Aug 2009
After a game of It's Alive ( played with Chloe and Jordan (grandkids visiting for the week) which is a really good game and everyone enjoyed it, Phil persuaded me to have a go at Mordred ( I liked this game, its a balance of risk taking and luck with a fair amount of player interaction. The board and pieces are very good, Peter was the eventual winner of this one, though as ,y first go at this I managed to hold my own quite well!..

Our table then had a go at Race for the Galaxy ( another popular game, having not played this for sometime it took a while to get back into the swing of things. I managed to start to put together some good combos and was about to place a decent addition to the set when end game was achieved. A close game where Phil won.

Finally we decided to plump for Around the World in 80 Days ( as we all knew how to play this :). After a good close game, where I shot to the front early I managed to win with a trip of 67 Days, Followed by Peter with 68 and Phil came home in 72.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 08 September 2009, 00:49:29
2 Sep 2009
We prepared early, planned to play Mwahahaha! ( and actually achieved the goal... Just let this amazing feat sink in a sec..... Right, now as for the game I had forgotten how much fun this game was, the rules are poorly put together but this we have come to expect from White Wolf but the actually game is cracking. Philsy turned up just as we started the first round so managed to jump in. After several rounds of sending in the minions to try and prevent the leaders from Threatening the world Carole managed to keep enough resources to power her doomsday device and made the world cower winning the game.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Oskar on 08 September 2009, 18:35:13
Yes I foiled the opposition and conquered the world again Mwhahahaha !!!!!
ooopps sorry forgot myself for a minute there, I'd forgotten how good this game was.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Oskar on 08 September 2009, 19:00:51
26th Aug 2009

Chloe and Jordan couldn't wait to get to Spirit Games on Wednesday night for some games, even though we had played games all week, [We had bought Jordan Destination Hogwarts for his birthday recently and he loves it, we enjoyed it too]
We started at the shop with It's Alive [already mentioned by Zarni] We then played Bonanza [the bean game] we had played this at home but it is better the more who play and there was plenty of bartering going on.
We then played Buckets which we can only play at the shop, this was one the kids had played last time and were eager for more, we had a couple of games,  I can't remember who won anything but that doesn't really matter, good time was had by all.
the kids eagerly look forward to their next visit.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 08 September 2009, 21:07:43
A long time ago in a brewing town just up the A38...

This is a seriously belated (a month!) catch up on my session reports so I'm relying heavily on whatever I noted on BGG at the time and my rapidly failing memory. Any mistakes that creep in are entirely to be expected. When in doubt Sally won. Even if she wasn't playing.

12th August.

Peter, Sally and myself started with Roll Through the Ages which turned out to be an interesting and unusual game and not just because I won. I managed to win by ignoring the monuments and going for an economic victory. Using masonry to grab extra resources and caravans to allow me to keep them I finished the game by buying the two big multipliers to finish the game. Finding new routes to victory in a game that we have played as much as Roll can only be a good thing.

Next we moved on to RttA: The Late Bronze Age the free print and play expansion. It seemed to seriously unbalance the game with Sally steaming ahead with shipping (ho ho) and Peter wasn't convinced that everything was as it should be. And he was quite right, we completely cocked it up and abandoned it there and then for a game of Marakesh.

This was my first game of this carpet fitting sim and what a lot of fun it is. Sally won convincingly though but I had fun trying to get Ahmed or whatever he's called to trample all over everyone else's axminster.

Next up was Beowulf: The Movie, a reimplementation of Kingdoms . It's really easy to explain and teach. You score points by playing scoring tiles in line with your pawns and try to force your opponents to take penalties using the same method. There are a few other tweaks like turning positive scoring carousing tokens into negative drunkenness but in essence that's it.

Peter won this one and apart from learning that we shouldn't keep all our available one-use only pawns until the last of the three boards (you play on a slightly different board for each one of the three rounds) I really enjoyed it. It's a quick and light game, I think we finished it in about 50 minutes.

Which left us plenty of time for two forays into Incan Gold territory: both being won by Peter which is pretty unusual for that game as he usually can't resist pushing his luck.

2nd September.

Just one game for me tonight and as previously mentioned by Oskar and Zarniwoop it was Mwhahaha! Aside from the dodgy rules which seem to be written on a pinhead by a twelth century court poet (there must be a reason they are so obfuscatingly unclear) it was a fun game and by no means as long as I had been led to believe.

I was foiled at last minute and could never quite get the last few required resources to complete my machine (curses!). Never mind at least Frog was in the same boat with his Super Secret Terrible Machine of Terrible Doom.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: RichardD on 14 September 2009, 15:38:49
Is nobody going to tell the world what happened on the 9th?  Momentous if for no other reason than my return?

Can't remember what we played.  King of the Elves and Ra the Dice Game I think.  If there was anything else I've forgotten it.

In deference to the feelings of the designer and the chief playtesters (all of who I count as friends), I'll avoid giving my opinion of Ra the Dice Game.  Clearly what the world really needed was yet another bleeding Yahtzee clone.  I long for the arrival of a dice game that has new and innovative mechanics, even stuffing them up my nose; because frankly I'd have more fun if I *did* stuff them up my nose than the standard, "roll three times, setting aside dice after each roll" mechanic that isn't so much tired now as lying comatose on the floor.


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 14 September 2009, 16:27:32
I enjoy Ra the dice game when not playing it with some one who moans about its unoriginalality valuably throughout the game and be moans their appalling luck with the dice, whilst demonstratably doing better than me. I lost convincingly I will point out. It is not original on two counts on the Yahtzee mechanic and two its based on another better game with the same theme, the original RA.

It is a pity that the dice mechanic did not mimic the random draw of tiles from the bag, and we had lost the bidding process with the sure and certain element of exchanging your nice 14 or if 15 Suns for the 3 or 4 Suns along with the other stuff you wanted, and devoutly hoping it was worth it. The dice mechanic does speed the game along which is not a bad thing.

I have put some thought into how to use dice to mimic the draw of tiles but have not come up with a mechanic which I feel would work to the point of being worth trying out. Crack that I feel and we can put the bidding process back and we have a faster but just as good RA.


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: RichardD on 14 September 2009, 18:42:19
I don't believe that I once moaned about my luck with the dice.  I won the game largely because I had the fewest "wasted" Ra rolls, so there was no cause to complain.  But it's not a remotely exciting or interesting game.  Risk Express and Roll Through The Ages both manage a reasonable facsimile of both, despite their roots in the Yahtzee mechanic.

I wasn't a fan when I saw it before publication, and I'm not a fan now.  And I can't think of a situation in which I'll agree to play another game of it. 

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: EvilGinger on 14 September 2009, 19:53:10
My recall is slightly different but its not worth arguing about really. I find Ra the dice game one I can have fun playing and which I wouldn't mind playing again, its not one I would rush out to buy. Unlike say Power boats where I would chew my own leg off to avoid doing so as it was much less fun than a school spelling test IMO.

I could say similar of Archam but I suspect that it was the conditions of my only game of that which was the problem in the shop window of 115 in a heat wave is not the best way to start. I just cant motivate myself to try it again.


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 16 September 2009, 00:31:06
September 9th 2009
Started off the evening with a Dominion ( & Dominion Intrigue ( Blend for 5 players (myself, Carole, Frog, Philsy and Carl) Played really quite well with 5 players the flow of the turns did not seem to be adversely affected. The random choice of cards produced a fairly difficult set of cards, which I failed to make a decent combo with. The others faired better in this leading to another fairly close game.

Having finished with time to spare we went on to play Magalon ( (Myself, Carole, Philsy,  and Sally) which is a really nice game which is a race game with a twist or two. You have to collect one each of three different items whilst avoiding obstacles, the Imps and the Giant. You also have to watch your magic strength as you need 16 or more in order to win. You have a hand of cards, each with a value on and additional action, each player places one down but can not use the same one as another player that round. Everyone gets to move, take their action from the card, pay/collect magic energy and move their blocking piece (in any order or combination). The mechanics are good and the game plays extremely well and is always good fun. It is never easy to predict the winner and very often the person looking most likely to win, rarely does. In this case I looked unlikely to win then managed to pip everyone else to the post at the last minute.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 16 September 2009, 08:38:20
September 9th – Richard's Prodigal Return Special.

And we played one of his favourites, Cutthroat Caverns which everyone seems to have diplomatically blocked from their memories.

Now to be honest I'm not entirely sure what to think of this game: it was certainly one I liked the sound of, co-operate until a point and then attempt to screw each other over sounded like it should be fun but it just seemed to fall a bit flat.

Could it be us a group? Where we being too nice to each other this time (unlike last game which was so competitive from the off that two of us died about half way in)? Maybe. I would have thought that if the game was going to work with any of us it would have worked with the people around the table that night; roleplayers and adventure/dungeon crawl fans all. Oh well.

Philesy won that one convincingly with everyone else at least getting off the starting blocks except me. I have clearly inherited the 'you will not win your own game' curse from Paul.

I did better on the Dominion game which you can read about above, winning what was a very close game by deviously ending the game by buying a card I didn't want or need to stop Frog and his army of witches. Only just though it was very close.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 16 September 2009, 15:24:30
See this is why I keep trying to deligate the writeups to you  ;D, my memory is obviously failing. How could I forget a whole game, I did enjoy the cutthroat Caverns and if I played again I would alter my tactics slightly. There is a good game lurking in there but it does rely on everyone adopting a certain style of play so I can see that this would be very reliant on getting the right sort of people round the table.

I would play this again..

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: RichardD on 18 September 2009, 14:53:52
I can't remember what we were playing.  Roll Through The Ages, I think, and Pompeii.   

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 18 September 2009, 18:45:46
I can't remember what we were playing.  Roll Through The Ages, I think, and Pompeii.   

And people mocked me for writing down the scores! At least I can remember what I've played.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: RichardD on 24 September 2009, 13:36:00
I remember that I won both - that's all that matters :)

last night, the 23rd, was Dominion:Intrigue (lost), Roll through the Ages (lost), and Steam (which I tried my hardest to lose).

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 24 September 2009, 16:41:15
I remember that I won both - that's all that matters :)

...strange that I don't remember a thing about last night. Where was I, what was I doing?

[...gazes deeply into the middle distance....]


Oh yes, Galaxy Trucker, the game that allows me to live out all those Ace Garp fantasies at last*.

This one was stripped back to the basic set, in the first round a little too stripped back actually, eh Paul?   ;)  After our two round game at Raiders I had a pretty good idea what was going on and fared a little better building my ships. As Frog kept on saying, damning with faint praise, “It'll lift off”.

And lift off they did although I often fell foul of pirates or meteor shower for want of batteries, shields or whatever else I'd missed off that build. Frog proved himself the master builder with his last ship the snappily titled “SS Cheese Munching Surrender Monkey”.

I can't pretend this was close, there was a massive 90 points between the winner (Frog) and the last place (me). I'll know to grab more aliens next time. And batteries. Oh, and the odd few double lasers wouldn't hurt.

We finished off with a pure game of Dominion: Intrigue. There were quite a few cards I've not come across before including the very nasty Saboteur which seemed to be the theme of the game. I admit I started it but with two of us playing them Paul quietly stripped his deck of action cards and replaced them with victory points late in the game to beat Frog to the punch by just one point. Hoist on me own Saboteur I was!

*and if you get that one award yourself the “geekier than thou” and “older than you look” achievements.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: RichardD on 02 October 2009, 00:31:32
*and if you get that one award yourself the “geekier than thou” and “older than you look” achievements.

That'll be a 10-4 good buddy.

Bellardinelli's artwork was fabarosi.

You're a week behind again, BTW.  This week was Le Havre, with Peter moaning that he was way behind whilst actually only trailing by a handful of points (mostly as a result of two wasted actions at the end of the game).

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: RichardD on 09 October 2009, 20:25:50
What happened this week, then?  I was stuck in Leeds, adding to my record for absenteeism.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Pallet Ranger on 12 October 2009, 15:45:11
So for the first time this calendar year, I'm actually very confident of attending this Wednesday night. I'm aiming for around 8ish and will be bringing Endeavor and Peloponnes (or however it's spelt!!) I suspect the latter may well save Richard spending his money on it at Essen too so I'm doing my bit for his bank balance....

Of course, why on earth I should take pride in saving a solicitor some money is beyond the limits of my comprehension, but it's been a long, long year.... :)

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 12 October 2009, 19:00:16
excellent stuff :)

There was a plan for me to bring my endeavor as Philsy was threatening to turn up around 8.30(ish) and fancied a play.
Hmm Ok some thought then, as with Me, Carole, Philsy and Frog that made 4/5 for Endeavor. Some pre-planning may be required :)

Still if we have enough people interested there may be call for 2 games of it!

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: CrazyFrog on 22 October 2009, 01:42:03
Shock & horror, I'm posting about a Wednesday Night session and within 1 hour of it ending (normally its about 3 years before I review anything  +:drunk_smile=+::drunk_smile: )

First game: La Strada

It reminded me of steam in the way that you use tiles to build the roads to locations as try to stop other players getting there, and have fun doing it.

End scores: Sally 26, Frog 23, Philsz 21, Phil 19.
It's defiantly a player order dictates the winner type of game.

Second Game:  Ad Astra (

Second time I'd played this, and still like it.  Philsz and Phil when for scoring often with resources, Sally cruised around the middle, and I went for stockpiling and not scoring except for building's when it occured.  Then at the end went terraforming and jumped into joint second with Sally, for the closest scoring of the game ever seen, Phil 56, Sally 55, Frog 55, Philsz 54.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 27 October 2009, 23:13:13
My last game of September was Le Havre with Richard and Peter. I came third of course but I did a little better than my last (and first) play in January. So as long as I'm improving then.

We played the shorter accelerated version which we did comfortably in two hours.

For the record I squandered quite a good start by failing to utilise the capital that I'd built up in the early rounds. I did buy a (smallish) ship this time round though hence the slight improvement in score.

Last week, otherwise known as the “where has everyone gone, oh is it Essen this week?” week started off with a quick two, three, no four player Roll. A close game with the winner pipping first place by just two points and Steve our first time Roller putting in a very respectable score of 18.

I must remember to throw all the dice I'm eligible for and before anyone else says anything not to confuse food with workers too. It had been a long week!

Lastly we played what seemed to be the easiest game of Pandemic ever with Peter slipping on his balaclava of evil from the On the Brink expansion to become the bio terrorist. Since the BT gets a turn after each player the game is instantly lengthened and personally I could never remember whose turn it was next.

Apart from blowing up a research station in the early stages of the game Peter failed to cause the requisite mayhem although as I mentioned the game wasn't doing him any favours by giving the rest of us lots and lots of breathing space between outbreaks.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 30 October 2009, 03:38:29
ooops my Bad left it far too long to post some writeups, so I will just have to do quick catchup:

Sept 2009
Ad-Astra ( this was played by Frog, Phil, Sally, myself and Carole, like this game a lot it has a good mix of mechanics and every game is a little different. Requires a bit of thinking and second guessing peoples moves but on the whole a good game that will see a lot of repeat play.

Galaxy Trucker ( played using the basic game, I had to strip this back to the base game after having played it with the 5 payer expansion, however I did manage to get overzealous and removed all the the double-engines  +:dontknow=+::dontknow: , I did spot the error of my ways and we rectified this for future rounds.. oops. Still I always like this game and it is fun to play.

Smallworld ( great game which always produces hilarious combos of races and powers. A well thought out game that provides a balanced game with plenty to think about.

Musketeers ( Really quick little game which seems easy to explain and pick up. The game comes in a neat little tin and the artwork is really nice. Good filler or start/end game with enough depth to keep most people happy.

Oct 2009
Settler of the Stone Age ( A settler of Catan variant themed around the early man. It is played on a fixed board and has several twists and modifications to the normal mechanic. I really like this game and I played a blinder by using the shop copy so my usual curse failed to apply letting me win a game  +:thumbup=+::thumbup:

Endeavour ( only the second time playing this game and it was still a fun game, lots to think about and plenty of options. There is a lot of replayabilty in this game and I really like the way it plays and changes with player choices. There never seems to be enough time to do what you need. This will definitely be played some more in the future.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: RichardD on 02 November 2009, 12:38:24
Obviously I missed the 21st, as I was in Essen.  Neil was right, through - suing Peloponnes in advance saved me the expense of buying it in Germany.  I played it again whilst there, and remain of the view that it's a perfectly inoffensive game, overpriced for what it is, and it's not something that I need to own.

The 28th saw me in attendance with some new Essen games.  While Peter Wilson and Sally spent the entire night trying to get to grips with Dungeon Lords, I played Tobago and Power Grid Factory Manager.  The former earns it's keep by being quite different to anything else (though I suspect that it's not the greatest game in the world, it is at least in the category of "interesting family game" like Pompeii and Around the World in 80 Days).  The latter joins it in the large pile of Essen games that I am as-yet not convinced about.  It has some of the se features as Power Grid (turn order, competition for some limited resources and a preponderance of mental arithmetic) but it plays pretty quickly.  Certainly the last turn arrives faster than everyone expects.  I was in a commanding position all game, but my thoughts about the game's merits were enhanced somewhat when it turned out that Phil had beaten me by a single Electro.  The game clearly has more than one path to victory.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 03 November 2009, 23:11:22
What have you got against Peloponnes? It might be average but does it really need litigation?

Okay, moving on...

I liked Tobago which reminded me somehow of Incan Gold. Maybe it's the sense of shared risk/reward, maybe it's just the theme but it's certainly fun if a little longer than Incan Gold.

It seemed difficult if not impossible to set up and collect the treasure but since everyone who contributed to finding it is proportionally rewarded it's not so much of a problem.

I seemed to remember Frog won this one comfortably.

Power Grid. Two words that normally send ice shards of loathing shredding into my soul but (despite doing predictably dismally) I quite enjoyed this one. It's a much more focused affair than PG since you only have a small amount of slots of fill and as Richard says a good deal shorter. It still scratches that “efficiently maximising resources” itch and does my mental maths the power of good.

Phil's thrifty last move won the day for him.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 05 November 2009, 23:43:48
November 4th

I arrived a minute of two after eight  last night and Phil was just about to sit down to a grudge match of Power Grid: Factory Manager with Richard, Peter, Darren and Vicky. Manfully forgoing that (sorry, Phil) we settled on him introducing me to Torres instead and we were soon joined by Phillsey.

Torres made a good first impression by having great graphics on the board (reminded me of the knight episode of Mr.Ben which can only be a good thing) and being straightforward to play.

It's a game of building castles one tower level at a time and claiming them with knights. Assuming you have a knight on a given castle you score by multiplying the height of the tower your knight is standing on by the area covered by the castle. You do all this with a limited set of resources and moves by aided by the ability to buy cards that allow you to break the rules.

Initially Phillsey went for the 'eggs in one basket' approach by building and then blocking off a very tall tower on a very large castle while Phil and myself ranged a little further. Phil assiduously claimed the bonus points on offer every turn while I tried to build or claim a couple of mid sized towers.

Experience won through with Phil winning at 250+ (we stopped counting at that point) a good 20-30 points ahead of the nearest player.

To finish we had a couple of (very!) quick games of Musketeers. Playing like a streamlined Cutthroat Caverns we rattled through a couple of games in about 15 mins. I won the first and Philsey the second with me scoring precisely no points on that second game.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: Zarniwoop on 06 November 2009, 01:34:42
November 4th

We started the evening off with a game of Scrappers ( which is by the same people who did Infernal Contraption. The artwork is superb and is in the same style as infernal. You each play a Bodger scrabbling for parts to build your machine, the first bodger to complete his machine wins the game. Action cards with buttons affect yours or other badgers and occasionally you tussle with other Bodgers to win a part. The game is extremely fun and plays a lot quicker than Infernal and has optional Bodgers you can mix in to add variety to the gameplay. In the end Sally and myself were one component away from winning but as I was foreman so therefore had first pick in that round I got there first to Win!! Which is unheard of, it was my game and also my first play!

We then played a game of Dominion Intrigue ( which had yet another randon set of cards which made for some different combos, the final scores were extremely close: Crazyfrog 22, Me 23, Sal 24 and Carole the winner with 25!.

To finish off we had another game of Scrappers this time Phil joined in as Crazyfrog had gone home by then. After another game of chaos and fun it was another close call where turn order yet again allowed me to take the winning part.. Yup thats 2 for 2 in the same evening, the curse may be lifted or I have just found my gaming level ;)

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: RichardD on 12 November 2009, 19:15:12
November 4th 

Played Power Grid Factory Manager again - and ploughed it, again; Peter won, I think.  I'm still getting to grips with this game; I understand the basics, but (like Power Grid, for the first few games at least) I have no idea what it is I'm supoosed to do to actually win.

Also played two games of Monopoly Deal (hey, it was only £2.25); obviously a game of skill, I won both games.  Light and frothy, there's enough of a Monopoly feel without any of the Monopoly tedium. 

We must have played something else that week, but I've already forgotten what it was.

November 11th

Played At The Gates Of Loyang - the new one by the man that brought us Le Havre and Agricola.  It *ought* to be shorter than both of its predecessors (Jan and I polished off a two-player game in under 90 minutes), but this game with Peter and Phil took 3.5 hours!  Which is at least 1.5 hours longer than it ought to be.  The one silver lining is that it is the sort of game that genuinely does get faster in the second game.  I won, but made plenty of mistakes along the way.  Phil stuffed it up completely early on, partly by not listening to how important buying VPs were and partly by trying "something different" - which is a perfectly valid way to play after you've got the hang of winning in the conventional manner, but probably wasn't wise for a first game.  Hopefully I'll play it again soon, as I'm still not sure what to make of the game.  It's clearly better than Peloppones, though. 

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 13 November 2009, 22:34:14
November 11th

Once again I arrived slightly late and once again I managed to cock up everybody's plans. So instead of the game of Scrappers that Carol, Paul, Sally and Frog had planned we set our ornate brass sextons towards Endeavour instead.

As we were setting up Phillsey arrived and very kindly declined my offer of a two player so that I could have my first game of this and boy was I glad he did.

At heart it's just a game of managing resources and buying actions (in the form of buildings in this game) and all the usual rules apply: you will always want to do more than your resources allow, keeping your sliders roughly equal is never a bad idea and deciding which future actions to buy is one of the most important decisions in the game.

So why is it so great? It just seems to hang together very well. There is no luck in the game at all but plenty of interaction, those who plan wisely will find themselves edging ahead while those who dither about strategy will find themselves floundering.

The end result was close with Frog and Carol tieing in first and my poor showing mostly due to Frog's late surging Napoleon complex as he tramped around kicking me out of all of the best palaces of Europe.

All of which just gives me another excuse to request another play. Soon I hope.


Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 02 December 2009, 16:32:01
The games I've been playing over the last couple of weeks have had a historical theme, that is apart from that four in a row variant that Sally repeatedly thrashed me at  last week and that I'm going to conveniently gloss over, only partly because by the time I got around to doing this write up I'd forgotten what it was called.

November 18th saw m'lords and ladies gather in the nearest coffee house for another game of Endeavour which I was determined was going to be a much bloodier affair than the rather gentlemanly first game I played. The plan was to play aggressively and scupper everyone else's plans. I did but sadly it didn't.

Europe was much more hotly contested this time and many more trade routes were established before the end of the game. Sadly for me the cards played a much bigger role than I had anticipated and helped Sally to a convincing victory with Paul close behind, now if only I could've abolished slavery....

The first Wednesday of December saw me introduced what looked like a venerable old classic, well actually it looked like one of your mum's tea towels since it was played on a cloth map which I  suppose is thematic if nothing else! Kings and Castles is not without it's problems – due to an uniformed choice at the very start of the game I didn't get a go for nearly an hour and half and  it has lots of very familiar mechanics but the whole is greater than the parts in this case.

Playing both the king and his barons you get to rampage around England, Scotland and Wales (although why anyone would want Wales....) and northern France with both your own armies and interestingly, those of your opponents. The idea being that you can use your vassals to knock  either your rival barons or the local revolting peasants out of the way before sweeping in unopposed.

Andrew always seemed to be way in the lead thanks largely to digging his heels into London and holding onto it but Phil couragesly did his best to knock him off with a last minute splurge. And it nearly worked too with Phil  making up a good twenty points in the last rounds finallycoming in at 74 to Andrew's 79.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: carldjcross on 09 December 2009, 09:58:27
Richard, Peter and myself found ourselves loitering At The Gates of Loyang last week, desperately flogging veggies to whoever was coming or going.

Since it's the last game in the trilogy that includes Agricola and Le Havre it won't come as any surprise to find out that it's all about selling resources, this time vegetables.

Like Agricola crops need to be sowed and harvested but here it is much quicker with crops being sown and harvested on the same time, a bit of medieval Chinese GM-ing maybe? The resulting veggies can then be sold to either regular customers or passing trade. Regular customers are similar to your family in Agricola in that they demand to be fed  every turn and although you can get away with ignoring them once without penalty do it twice in a row and you'll start losing points. Casual customers are much more, well casual about the whole thing and are happy to hang around until you've got what they want.

Variety is added by markets and the usual rule overturning cards. Markets allow you to trade with yourself to get the veggies you need to satisfy your customers.

There's more to it than that and during the rules explanation it seems as if there is a lot more to it than that but as you work your way through the many phases and some of the odder sounding rules it all makes perfect sense.

At the end of each turn you buy your way up the VP track deciding how much cash, if any, to leave to start your next turn with.

I was told at the start of the game that a score below a certain point would be “moronic”. No pressure there then.

We pretty much matched each other's scores throughout the first two thirds of the game (to be fair the game has an inbuilt advantage for new players) until Peter and Richard pulled away slightly in the last couple of rounds.

At the end of the game I'd managed 16 (above the moron threshold thankfully) with the other two on 18. Peter won the tiebreak by having more veggies in his fields.

I like all three of Uwe Rosenburg's harvest games. This isn't as long as Le Havre (can be) but perhaps not as accessible as Agricola so I guess it depends on what type of game you want and who you're playing with.

Title: Re: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009
Post by: CrazyFrog on 24 December 2009, 00:58:32
23rd December

Me, Andy, Phil and Sally opted for a quick game of Powerboats as we wanted to escape earlier due to the changeable weather conditions.

We played 2 rounds, and at the end Andy was the winner.

Its a very easy game to pick up, and you need to be thinking about 1 move ahead, however if the dice rolls go bad you can either be stuck at the back with no speed or Mach 10 into the coastline and damaging your boat.

There's only one way to play the game and that's ' POWERRRRRRRRRRRR '  +:laughing4=+::laughing4: