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Author Topic: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2015  (Read 36441 times)
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RichardD
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« Reply #15 on: 04 February 2015, 01:39:32 »

Almost nobody was there last week; they'd all gone to Derby.
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HairyDogWalker
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« Reply #16 on: 04 February 2015, 01:40:41 »

I wasn't in Derby; I was in Leeds. It wasn't all bad though, I had an excellent game of Keyflower whilst I was there. I'm still waiting for Keyflower: The Merchants to become available. That will be an instant buy for me.
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« Reply #17 on: 04 February 2015, 02:01:31 »

Wednesday 28th Jan
So I went with plans(well kind of) to try either Höyük or New Dawn again tonight or even Alien Frontiers I ended up playing another game of Zhanguo at philsy's suggestion.

Well not one to turn down a game of this I leapt at the chance to try it again and with Cameron taking the last slot we set off. I am much quicker at teaching this, which helps, but with so many scoring options to go over it is inevitable that players eyes start to glaze the first time of playing. That said once you get going it does slowly start to make sense.

I must point out that I still have yet to win this game, but that does mean the universe is still safe as I own it Wink It was a close fought affair with everything to play for in the final scoring. It is an extremely fun game with some harsh choices where you have to be prepared to adapt and react to others actions.



Other games being played:
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RichardD
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« Reply #18 on: 04 February 2015, 11:00:42 »

Me playing Roll for the Galaxy? Surely some mistake.

Hopefully I can persuade others to play it this week, as I need my fix.
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« Reply #19 on: 05 February 2015, 14:15:07 »

So Yesterday I played Tomorrow:

So yesterday at the Shop we played Tomorrow set in a future world where the major powers are forced to face a global de-population in order to survive. They need to achieve this whilst also trying to keep there own populations happy.

Players have a hand of cards that provide actions: Military, Espionage, Nukes, Biological, Cyber and each player has a unique card which provides some special action or ability for the game. Each turn players select two cards from these to use, played face down.

It's hard to properly tell from first play but it seems or felt like there was an imbalance between the powers and the strategy cards seems to swing widely from extremely powerful to weak.

I get that this game is supposed to be a interactive fun experience in a dark future and with the right group maybe this would be the case. For me it fell a little flat, your choices are limited really as the main way to reduce population is to use the biological action. There are different goals/events each turn but these do little to alter the main objective and in some cases distract players from this goal.

I didn't hate the game but it would not be my preferred option given a choice.

Next we played Roll for the Galaxy which is a diced conversion of Race for the Galaxy. Richards has gotten this to the table a lot in the last few weeks so felt I should give this a go, despite not really like Race all that much. I have to admit that I do like this better than the main game, as it was much easier to pick up basics, but the things that I disliked about the main game are still there.

For me it feels the game relies too much on you being able to predict and judge what others plan to do leaving you with limited choices. For those that love this style of game, and there are plenty within the Wed night group, I'm sure they have a lot of fun. For me it felt like experienced players get too much of an advantage with little in the way of catchup mechanisms to compensate for lack of "In-Game" knowledge.

Glad that I got the chance to try this and whilst I do not hate this game either, it would not be one I would rush to play again.

The rest of the shop was pretty full of gamers, with Imperial Assault taking up a group of players on another table. There was a game of Pandemic: The Cure on another table and a whole bunch of other games being played.

Another great evening at the shop and there is a chance to play more games there this Sunday as its the monthly gaming session this weekend.
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RichardD
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« Reply #20 on: 05 February 2015, 20:54:15 »

I liked Tomorrow a whole lot less than you, and like Roll for the Galaxy a whole lot more.

With Roll, I've found it easier to predict what players *want* to do than it is with Race - for one thing, the developments and planets that they could be working towards are on show rather than hidden in the hand, and you also have a good idea how many dice they are rolling (I believe that that is something you're allowed to check, if it's important to know precisely). But of course the dice can disrupt that.

It takes a few games to be reasonably confident of getting at least some of your predictions right (indeed, it takes a couple of games to get the rules straight in your mind, and avoid some of the bigger pitfalls - like running out of cash/dice). But I've seen my scores rise quite a bit between game #10 and game #20 - as Ive got better at giving up on tiles that won't help and prioritizing the finding and constructing of tiles that will. You can win by "leeching" actions off other players by good predictions (and preventing them from doing the same to you), but you can also win simply by "building a better mousetrap" - and to get a really good score, you need to do both. It's taken me a fair few games to work out what those better mousetraps actually look like, and how they need to be built and then exploited for best advantage. Which means that the game has far deeper decisions than simply which actions to take/predict.

Tomorrow, on the other hand, didn't seem to have many decisions at all. Military action got you cards, which might or might not be worth having, and the possibility of VPs at the end of the game. Cyber warfare got you more cards, or allowed you to mess with the EU's otherwise God-given right to choose the (important) turn order. Nuclear war was simply a spoiler card - it made it much more likely that the game would end in a joint failure (and in a game such as this, if one or two players feel that they are getting behind - and I was WAY behind from quite early on thanks to my inability to roll the right number on a D6 - there's little reason for them NOT to "spoil" the game). The only positive card, group-wise, is the disease option - but that's quite dependant upon both geography AND die-rolling as to how well you're going to do from any particular outbreak. but the fifth action card. Espionage, allows you to spoil even that. After the rules explanation and the first turn (of eight) I was thinking "is that it?" Unfortunately, it was.

Like you, I found Tomorrow to be almost completely devoid of interesting or meaningful decisions, and the interaction was almost all of the "take that" variety. I could have put up with that from an hour-long, fun game (something like Plague and Pestilence, or Nuclear War - both of which cover similar ground, with few decisions but are at least blessedly short); but in a two-hour long game that was almost completely devoid of both fun AND decisions, it was inexcusable. I can only hope that we had some major rules misunderstanding, but even then I'd not be keen to play it again. I'd rather play something else that *might* be good, or something that I *know* is good, or maybe something that is in my collection but supping at the Last Chance Saloon.
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RichardD
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« Reply #21 on: 07 February 2015, 02:22:41 »

It looks like the Imperial Assault players are settling in for a proper campaign, so (similar to how it was when we've had Pathfinder or Descent campaigns running) I expect that the pool of *non-capaigning* players will be smaller and it'll be harder to justify using a veto (or forcing others to play a particular game; though I will keep on trying with Roll, I expect).

I do, however, reserve the right to veto Tomorrow. I'm not a fan of playing "quite good" games when "really good" games are being overlooked, but there's no reason at all to play the "not good" games.
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HairyDogWalker
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« Reply #22 on: 08 February 2015, 02:24:05 »

The Imperial Assault players are looking for another player as I dropped out last week. I wanted to try the game, but as I suspected, it is not for me.
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« Reply #23 on: 12 February 2015, 20:15:16 »

A pretty large turnout last night, with several new faces too.

Having arrived early, I played Diamonsters with Sally, Simon and Andy. I didn't want to like the game - it was clearly being sold on the wave of hype generated by Machi Koro, it comes in a ridiculously over-sized box (for a game which is no more than a deck of cards and a dozen scoring tokens), and it looks fairly lightweight. Which it clearly is. But it reminded me of Red7, another recent favourite - simple rules, fast play, with enough decisions to keep me happy but no danger of outstaying its welcome. Despite being on a new games' moratorium, I bought a copy.

I played Roll for the Galaxy twice - once to introduce it to two new chaps, and immediately afterwards as they were getting the hang of it.

We played Diamonsters, then Machi Koro. Mach Koro had the expansion mixed in, but instead of the ten-pile setup, I tried 5/5/2. An illegal football formation, but a nicely balanced way to play MK; 5 open piles for cards numbered 1-6, 5 open piles for cards 7+, and 2 piles for the purples. Nothing bogs down, all approaches are there to be tried, and the game was won according to the usual principle -he who rolls the right numbers (or has others roll them for him) wins. Which was the new chap. I ignored my own advice, and bought cards the numbers for which nobody rolled (well, Tony did a few times, out of pity for me I suspect, but it was never going to be enough).

Finally I rounded the night of with another game of Roll. Because I really can't get enough of it.
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« Reply #24 on: 12 February 2015, 21:59:11 »

It certainly was crowded last night.

Several games were already underway or setting up when we arrived but we had a chippy to devour first Smiley

Afterwards we did manage to find a table and then there was the usual faffing between all the spare players as to what to do. In the end we split into one group who went to play Infinite City, after Sal reminded Phil he needed to ask me to borrow my copy Smiley and another our group who went on to play Hoyuk.

Hoyuk is a great game that improves a lot when you go for the advanced game as it allows for more options for the players. A did a poorer job than normal going over the rules as it had been a while since the last game but we got there in the end. I scored early but fundamentally failed to gain any real majorities in any of the blocks I was in leaving me with very few cards. In the end Sal romped home with a huge win as we collectively failed  to stop her getting away with it ;0

After we finished that one we grabbed the Infinite City and finished the evening off with that. This ended in a 3-way tie for first place with Caz breaking the tie with the largest scoring area.
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« Reply #25 on: 13 February 2015, 12:42:52 »

I got out of work late, so when I arrived just before 8pm, there were already 4 full tables with games in progress. The 4 Infinite City players had only played one round, so they kindly dealt me in. I repaid their kindness by winning by a good margin, which I think was largely because I had played it a few times and most of the others were new to it.

After that, Phil was pushing for Concordia quite hard, so we let him have his way, as it is his shop and he doesn't get to play it that often. As we were setting up, it transpired that he had actually played it on Sunday. Concordia is good but we could have been playing the far superior Keyflower. When is Keyflower: The Merchants going to arrive at the shop? Anyhow, I'm getting off topic here. We had a good game of Concordia with a very close finish. I think that there were only a half dozen points between the first three places. Phil won with his wine producing strategy, which I had told Bamber and Mike, before the game had started, was what Phil's strategy would be. I was second, with Mike one point behind and then Bamber bringing up the rear.

Another very good night at Spirit Games.
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« Reply #26 on: 22 February 2015, 15:48:58 »

18th Feb 2015

So this Weds saw the return of Martin who has been MIA for sometime. Though it did not take long to remember his unique qualities Wink

He had purchased Steam Donkey and wanted to give that a go. So both of us not having played and Martin having to break open the box to learn the game straight from the rules. We managed to mostly get there but then Sally came in just as we started the first turn and helped fill in the blanks..

Nice game with some pretty decent artwork and was moderately easy to pick up, a little confusing at first but soon got into the swing of things. Another one of those that I am glad I got to play and would certainly play again but not good enough for to want to own a copy for myself. The final scores were very close with a joint Sal/Martin win with 45 and 3rd place for me with 39.

Next up was an old classic Thurn and Taxis which apparently Martin had not played before!! So it was decided he needed to be educated in the old school games Wink Having taken time to warn Martin of all the pitfalls one can make in this game to fail to score well, I preceded to walk right into one myself Wink This left Sally to romp home with a decisive win. We did forget the rule about dropping your hand to 3 cards after scoring rule, but that life it may not have had a significant effect on the final outcome.



Here were some of the other games being played:


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HairyDogWalker
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« Reply #27 on: 22 February 2015, 16:55:04 »

Nice report. I see that Richard is still working through his Roll for the Galaxy obsession

I missed last week, due to holiday and will miss this week as well, although through work rather than holiday. I guess that I'll see you all on the 4th March.
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RichardD
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« Reply #28 on: 22 February 2015, 18:57:14 »

There were only the two games! And I wasn't the one wh insisted on playing it the second time.

It's a fantastic game, though.
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Zarniwoop
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« Reply #29 on: 26 February 2015, 13:48:22 »

We managed an early(ish) attendance this evening but there were still games fully underway already :p

There was a spare player awaiting a game, Tony, so we broke out Harbour which I had just gotten from KS The other day. I had already tried in using the Solo play rules against the Test Dummy player, who won! how rude!!!..

So I got down to explaining the rules, which are quite simple really, and we got straight into it with the three of us. Really love the artwork of this game with the Icons and symbols mostly quite easy to follow.

Our game was quite close with all us getting to 3 buildings around the same time but it all came down to the final scoring with Caz taking the Harbour Master! title


So having tried one new game we immediately pushed our luck and went for a second in the form of Murano which is a kind of Rondel game, where the Rondel is around the edge of the whole board moving Gondolas around to take the actions. Players attempt to build Glass Factories, Tourist Shops and Palaces in order to score points. Also players can obtain characters who potential score them points based on meeting their requirements on the islands, you also need to have in place a Gondalier to transport the character to the scoring island. There are numerous actions players can take to create building to place later, take money or sell goods to shoppers on the islands to making glass but this is unpopular so costs VP to action. There is a lot going on here with some very tough choices to be made, money is needed for most actions and is in short supply. Getting characters early helps you focus on what to build where as you try to meet its end game scoring.

The special buildings provide additional cards that break the rules in some way to aid your ability to complete your actions or scoring.

I really enjoyed this game and unfortunately risked the fabric of the universe by winning the game! Yes it was my game!!.... I need to play this again soon both because I now know (hopefully) how to play better and also to help prove to myself this is not some kind of fluke. Likely though the other players also know how to play better so future games may be a lot tougher! :p


Finally, with the last stragglers, we decided to have another go at Harbour this time with four players. This was a lot tougher game both with the number of players and the building cards that came out. In the end only two people managed to get to three buildings before Philsy managed his fourth leaving the rest of us unable to afford any of the buildings left on the table. So counting the final scores it was Philsy who wrenched the Harbour Master title from Caz...



Other Games being played:
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