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Author Topic: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2007  (Read 8135 times)
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Zarniwoop
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« on: 20 July 2007, 14:10:56 »

18th July
We decided to try out one of the Stonehenge variants this evening.
The rules were brief and somewhat hard to grasp at first with the group having to house rule certain tasks due to the rules not clarifying the action.
It was the race game using druids as racing vehicles and the disks as blocking or thrusting moves and the cards to determine where the blocking was done.
Placing a number of disks in the right or left hand depending on whether how many blocks or moves you wanted to make. At strategic points around the track were places to obtain extra disks.

It soon became apparent that everyone was going to blockade the final stretch of the track and this was done by just about everyone. The final winner was Sally who romped home clear. It was fairly close at early stages with the leadership changing as people hit blocks or maneuvered round.

Whilst enjoyable the rules seemed unclear especially around how to use the blocks and cards.

The second game we played was Hare & Tortoise and this is always a good game.
This was eventually won by Phil, I did manage to catch up in one large move and get within site of the finish line but was caught out with not enough carrots to close the deal.
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« Reply #1 on: 09 August 2007, 21:14:34 »

8th July 2007

Played a quick game of guillotine before the main event. This was a very fun little card game I would recommend to anyone as it was easy to pick up and quick to play so ideal to fill in those odd spare moments Smiley

The main event was War on Terror: The Boardgame

This was a fun game which is not to be taken seriously but is a good way to spend a few hours in good company. I didn't think I would like it when we first started reading the rules but after the first round I got right into it and was really getting to like the idea!.

You collect Cards which allow you to take certain actions and dice which determine how many development actions you get they also can turn an empire evil which gives you additional terrorist cards which perform actions which other empires cannot defend against.

At the point in the game when I became evil for a second time I had a fist full of cards which I then proceeded to use on every other player thus making enemies of everyone (at least I was fair handed Wink )

Sal & Phil became early casualties and looked in a losing position so Sal decided to turn fully terrorist then Phil joined forces on his next turn. Their first act decimated my empire and Neils and a bit of Caroles. The board looked very black (They used black pieces) but they did not quite manage to win. On subsequent turns they attempted to deal the final blows but failed and I believe Carole won in the end by virtue of having the most points as she still had most of her cities intact.

There is no way to really predict how things will turn out and that is always good.


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« Reply #2 on: 13 September 2007, 17:55:43 »

12 Sep 2007

We had enough people for 2 groups of 4 this week. One group played Phonecia and the other played Blue moon City and Mission: Red Planet.

Sal & Phil joined the later group with myself and Carole, Sal had not played either game so I attempted badly to explain the rules. I managed after a fairly even game to win the Blue Moon City game mostly down to having the the right cards at the right times Smiley

In the Second game things went a little wrong for me I completely misjudged my strategy (if indeed I ever had one) and winded up getting the lowest score ever on Red Planet of 20. Carole won with a large score of over 70.
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« Reply #3 on: 13 September 2007, 17:57:48 »

19th September 2007

Due to other commitments the shop will not be opening for late night games this week.

Normal service will resume the following week.

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« Reply #4 on: 27 September 2007, 11:17:56 »

26th September 2007
We played a quick game of Bloody Legacy to fill in while we waited for a few stragglers to come in. In the end it really was a quick game as several 5 damage point cards came into play taking lives in rapid succession.

We then played Hollywood Blockbuster which is a very easy game to play and very entertaining. Players compete to complete films by bidding on cards representing directors, actors, special effects, camera's etc. There are various oscars up for grabs based on Best film / Worst film and first to complete films of specific colours. These Oscars and points awarded for completed films (based on star ratings of components making up the film) go towards your final score. 

Finally we played a game of On the Underground,  the goal of the game is to build the most successful Underground lines and in doing so gain the most points. You can gain points by connecting your lines to various destinations on the board, and by having the passenger use your lines to travel from station to station. The player who has best balanced the demands by the time that the deck of destinations is exhausted will be declared the winner.

For yet another week I managed not to win a single game, on the other hand I didn't come last in all of them so there is hope!  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: 15 October 2007, 08:46:46 »

10th Oct 2007
Phil decided he would buy himself his other birthday game and chose Powergrid.
This is always a favourite game involving bidding for various powerplants, resource management for the supplies for the power plants and building of cities.

The winner is the person who can power the most of their cities in the final round where hopefully you have balanced power/expansion just right!.

I had a really bad game where I ended up with more power capacity then cities due to bidding on power plants too early and letting myself get hemmed in and losing out on cheap expansion routes.

On the plus side, seeing as Phil bought this for his B'day he won the game quite successfully and he was ahead for a lot of the game so Very well done!

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« Reply #6 on: 25 October 2007, 08:53:49 »

25 Oct 2007
To start the evening off we split into two groups to play some quick games so Sal could join in a game later.

Our group played "It's Alive" which I have to say is a fantastic little game [http://www.reivergames.co.uk/ItsAlive/index.html], I lost but did not come last. It is a set collection and auction card game where players compete as mad scientists trying to bring a monster to life.
Considering this is a home made product the quality is very good and I really liked the theme and gameplay.

We then split again to play two more games, our group played "Around the World in 80 Days" which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The game follows the story of Phileas Fogg and the players compete to complete his epic journey around the world. You pick a card each turn which determines an additional action or bonus you can use. You then use travel cards to move along the journey, each leg requiring specific types of transport. You have to make decisions as to whether to stay behind and hope to get transport that will take less time to move or move ahead quickly to get back to London.

The first and last player at each destination get a bonus chit which awards travel cards, event cards, gold or increases other players travel by a number of days. Winning is determined by the total number of days taken to get back to London unless everyone takes more than 80 days in which case the first person back wins.

There is a detective piece which can be moved around which adds an additional 2 days on your journey if your piece ends its turn on the same location. Each travel card has a number of days travel marked on it and these are added to your travel time when used, if you have two modes of transport the same type and value you only score the number of days for one (which can be quite a saving). The balloon event card or additional action (as determined by the travel card you picked up) allow you to roll a D6 instead of using the travel value of one card, this can significantly reduce travel time for that leg. As my first play of this game coming 3rd  and fairly close to the 2nd player (we played with 4) felt quite good.

Carole's Group played Nix Fur Ungut!
Nix Fur Ungut! is a type of Yahtzee with cards, you have your hand of numbered cards to create hands to play,
there is also a Joker to use to make up any hand, these are not allowed in the fifth and final round.

various options are :
Two, three or four of a kind
3 or 4  card straight
Single card
No card option
And others

Once you have played your first hand you place a counter on the appropriate sliding scale of points against the type of hand you have played,
This continues until all five rounds have been played, you also have a double point counter that you can use at any time, score counted up at the end, highest wins.

This is a good and quick game, you need to be careful you don`t play your best hands too early because if someone else has the same hand their counter could push your counter along the sliding points scale to a smaller score.  All in all very enjoyable but I think the more players the more strategic you would need to be.

Then Carole's Group Played King's Breakfast: (Report by Carole)
You are at the Kings breakfast and need to eat as much as you can but not exceed the amount of food the King has or you don`t score any points at the end.

The number of cards is determined by the number of players, cards used each turn is double the number of players,
the cards are placed face up for players to choose the type they want each turn and all of that choice is taken, or take one card from the deck.
once all players have chosen the remainder goes to the kings Breakfast table. 
Play continues until the last full deal, any remaining cards are disguarded.
There are also Emerald the dragon cards which eats two random cards from the Kings breakfast pile, these are taken from the game.

Scoring - If you have more than the King in any one type then your cards are taken out of the game, no score.
If you Have the same or less than the king you score your number of cards times his,as this example ; 
King has 5 Bottles of wine, you have 4 bottles of wine, you score 4x5=20 and so on for each type of food [there are 7 types]

This game was entertaining with 3 players but may benefit from having more. Good game.
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« Reply #7 on: 02 November 2007, 23:32:24 »

31 Oct 2007

This week we were again in two groups, as we had quite a few players in store.
Our group played a game of Infernal Contraption with the new expansion Infernal Contraption 2: Sabotage!.

The original game of Infernal contraption is a very neat little game where players compete to build their contraptions ans consume the resources of the other players. Each player receives a power core and the cards are dealt evenly between all players to form their parts pile. Each player then takes 7 cards from their own parts pile to form their hand.

On each turn the player may place one card onto their machine for free any additional cards must be paid for by discarding a card from their hand into the scrap pile in the centre. Cards are added either to the main line or as a plug in. Each card has different coloured and shaped sockets and these must match for a card to be added to the machine, there are some universal sockets which allow anything to be connected.
When you have finished adding cards to your machine you pick a target fire up your contraption starting from the far left you work you way through the components of the machine taking the actions described on each card. At the end of your turn you replenish your hand up to 7 cards from your parts pile, or reduce it to 10 by scrapping the excess.

The machine is made up of the following parts:
The Main Line: Each players machine is built in a horizontal line.
Plugs: Cards placed vertically on top or bottom of the Main Line.
Terminals: Any card in machine attached at only one socket.

The parts come is various guises,
Power Sources (Provide additional power)
Contraptions (Create the effects of the machine but require power)
Upgrades (Modify Performance of attached contraptions)
Consumables (One-Time effects removed from game after use)

Players are eliminated when their parts pile is depleted at which point their hand and machine parts are taken out of the game.
The winner is the last Gremlin standing with parts left in their parts pile.

In the new expansion their are more upgrades, consumables, power sources and new Sabotage Cards. These are all mixed in with the cards from the original game and the game is played as before. On your turn you now have the option to play a sabotage card (if you have one) on an opponents machine these are played like any other card but can only be played as plugs. Throwing a spanner in an opponents works helps even out the game making it a little longer but keeping it interesting. This is a fantastic little game which adds an interesting twist to the original game.
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« Reply #8 on: 12 November 2007, 12:29:13 »

7th Nov 2007
This week whilst some of the group helped Phil & Sal with a tricky techie issue the rest of us had a quick game of "Race for the Galaxy".
The players build up civilisations using cards that represent planets or developments. Each turn takes the form or one or more of five phases. Each turn the players choose one of seven action cards and reveal them. For the phases selected every player performs the phases actions, whilst the selecting player or players gets an added bonus.
"Develop", for example, each player may select a development from their hand to build. Each player can then adds his development card to his civilisation discarding cards from his hand equal to it's cost. Each player who selected "Develop" pays one less card as the bonus.
"Explore" allows players to draw cards and select which to add to their hand.
"Settle" allows players to colonise a planet and add it to his civilisation.
"Produce" allows those planets that produce goods to produce a good, represented by a face down card on the planet. These goods can be discarded for Victory Points or sold to add cards by selecting "Consume"
Military planets can only be placed when you have sufficient military might to concur that planet.
To build a successful empire you must manage these tasks wisely as well as anticipate some of what the other players may be doing or require.
The winner is the player with the most victory points.

It is one of those games where the first game is really a means to learn how to play and I would suspect subsequent games would be more compelling as you now have some idea how the mechanics and strategies work.

I enjoyed this game, despite not fully understanding what I was doing as I still managed to get a healthy score at the end.

                         

To round the evening off everyone played a game of "Citadels" which is an excellent 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 which are gained by building various buildings which have different values. The game ends when the first person builds 8 buildings, then the person with the most points wins. Bonus 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.

I do enjoy this game (this being the second time I have played) and it is relatively simple to learn to play but the strategies take longer. Luckily for me I don't do strategy so blindly stumble through on a wing and a prayer Smiley

I would recommend this as a fun little game.
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« Reply #9 on: 26 November 2007, 11:20:47 »

21 Nov 2007
This week Neil brought in his copy of Agricola to play. There is a LOT to do in this game the idea is to build up your farm by adding rooms to your farm house, ploughing crops, managing livestock, upgrading your buildings.. etc etc etc.

The game is played over 14 rounds, each round you get as many actions as you have people ( you get more people by adding rooms and using a specific action in the game). At the start of the game there are certain actions you can take by placing one of you people on them, you also have cards in your hand which consist of occupations and advancements. You need to take a specific action in order to place these and they usually cost a certain amout of resources which are collected by taking other actions.

As each round progresses you get more actions you can take, for the first half of the game, after 3 rounds, you need to be able to feed your people (2 food each person) so you need to have this ready, if not you get a penalty which reduces your final score. Later in the game you only have 2 roounds before this happens making your choice of actions very important.

There is a lot to do and think about in this game, not helped by the fact that a lot of the special card are still in german ( so having to keep asking Neil what they meant). Neil had done a fine job of adding english translations to the vast majority of cards which helped a lot.

I Liked the game, but on first play I did find it fairly complicated in as much as there was rather too much to think about and kept changing strategy through the game as people used the action card I needed.
I think I would possibly like it better 2nd time around knowing a bit more about what each card does and knowing where I went wrong the first time. It is a long game to play especially with the 5 people we had playing it so this is going to be one of those games you will devote a full evening to playing. Never the less it was enjoyable.

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« Reply #10 on: 03 December 2007, 01:29:30 »

28th November 2007
Tonight we had a 5 player game of Hamburgum which Richard brought along.

The aim of the game is to build prestige and the winner is the player with the most prestige points at the end of the game.
Prestige is gained by making donations to churches, each church has five bonus prestige tiles. The first gets you a straight five prestige points. The rest give you prestige points based on how many you have of a certain thing multiplied by certain amount. These bonus tiles, apart from the straight point one, can be scored at any point (usually when it will score you the most) but are any unscored ones are scored at the end of the game.

What you can do each turn is decided on a Rondel with tasks marked around it. You can move up to 3 spaces round the Rondel for free any more and you have to pay in prestige points.

The Rondel is made up of the following Tasks:
Dockyard
Where you can pay resources to build ships in the docks which are used to trade goods. There are 3 docks marked 1, 2 & 3, everyone starts with a ship in the no 3 dock which allows then to trade up to 3 items of the same good for the current value marked on the board. The price goes down as people build the relevant buildings giving them additional goods. When a dock gets one more ship in then players all the ships are moved down to the next smallest dock (Except for the new ship placed). If they are in the last dock when this happens the ships are removed from the board back to the owners stock.

Sugar
This produces 1 sugar + any additional sugar given by buildings.

Church
This allows you to make a donation to the church of your choice. You can make as many donations as you can afford to make. Each level of donation has a cost associated with it and this goes up the more donations are made. Players leave markers on church's to indicate the level of donations made. If you managed to complete a church you gain the right to build buildings anywhere in the city without restriction. Each donation to the church nets you a bonus scoring token, the first gets you 5 prestige points the others give you prestige points based on how many you have of certain things.

Trade
This allows you to buy or sell goods, using your ship allows you to get the best price for you goods. You can always sell goods without a ship for a base ?30 but this is a last resort move.

Cloth
This works the same as the sugar one.

Guildhall
This allows you to build a building provided you have made a contribution to a church. you can only build out from a church you have dontaed to or adjacent to a another one of your buildings.

Beer
This works the same as the sugar one.

Trade
Same as the other trade.

The resources you can buy are Wood, Clay and Bells. You can only ever own one bell and these are only used to complete churches.
Once a church is completed that player takes a church piece from the board and places it on the church he completed. This reveals the number of prestige points he gets for this. Play ends when the sixth and final church is complete when players score any unscored bunuses and the player with the most prestige wins. Players gain prestige at the end for every ?100 they have, resources and goods can be sold at this time for ?50 each.

Each turn in this game is pretty quick so the game plays through fairly quickly. There was an element of taking actions to scupper other players actions and scoring, especially near the end to prevent leader run away. In the end the scores were fairly close.

The pieces are very well made and the board is both large and colourful.

I did enjoy this game and I would play this again now I have a better understanding of what priority to do things, but have a slight worry that without any random elements and the same group of players it could become very samey.


To round the evening off we played a couple of games of Buckets, an old favourite which always goes down well and is quick and easy to play.
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« Reply #11 on: 13 December 2007, 15:31:57 »

5 Dec 2007
Tonight we played a game of Hameln
Based on the story of the pied piper this is quite a nice looking game with some beautiful pieces.

The game is played over 3 Rounds, each round ends when the last King Rat is placed in house.

Each player starts the game by placing 2 people on the board in either the female or male section of a house. Each player takes it in turn to place one person, and they can not put all their pieces in the same house you have to share with other players as these represent marriages.

On each players turn they have to take one of the following compulsary actions:
1. Male Influence - Activates houses where they have a male person inside producing a good (meat, cheese, bread or ale) or a florin.
2. Female Influence - Activates houses where they have a female person inside produce a child ready for marriage. or a florin (depending on the house)
 For options 1 & 2 it also activates the opposing function for the other player in the house (ie player one chooses Male influence, player 2 gets the female influence)
3. Sell Goods Player can sell as many goods as they want for money. Meat = four florins, ale = three, cheese = two, and bread = one. Alternatively they can take a random rat trap token good cube.
4. Marry and move into a house Player may marry one of their children in the church, but there must be a another player child available of the opposite gender. The owner of the male child pays the cost of the house they move into, whilst the player whose turn it is selects the house.

By using option 1 or 2 you generate Rat activity, each house has a figure which states how many rats appear which are placed on white space around the house. When all the white spaces are full a King Rat is placed in the house which can no longer be activated as it is overrun.

After the compulsary actions a player can choose to do one of several optional actions:
1. Buy The Cat You pay the bank 4 florins or if another player has it the bank gets 3 florins and the player 1. The cat removes 1 rat token of the players choice. The cat also scores at the end of the game.
2. Buy Influence Look at the influence cost track and pay amount indicated, receiving the influence. Marker is then moved changing the pay/influence ratio for the next player.
3. Bribe the Pied Piper Player places money on one of four Pied Piper spaces. The Pied Piper always moves to the space with the most money on it.

Play continues like this until all the King rat are out at which point the pied piper removes all the rats from the area attached to the square he is currently in, plus all the King Rats. Rats are also removed from the inner market area. Each player who has children in the church now pays the amount of florins indicated on the pied piper square or place their child on the first available space on the road to Transylvania each of which is worth negative points.The pied piper then moves to the square with the 2nd largest amount of money or clockwise. Player order for the next round is then determined by influence score.

After the 3rd round scoring occurs, 1 point for the cat, 1 point for the player to finish the game. Player with highest value of Rat Traps scores 3, players with most influence score 3, 2 or 1 (Top 3 Only). Most money gets players 5, 3 or 1 point and players score points for each house they have a person but only if it is not overrun. The negative points are then scored for children on the road to Transylvania, player with the most points wins, ties broken by influence track.



The game is novel and by the very nature of the gameplay makes players form partnerships which then influence how you take certain actions through your turns.

Overall I thought it was a fun game but a little frustrating to play at times, not helped by the fact on the night we played a major rule wrong so that once a player had activated a house we did not remember to allow the other player in the house to take the opposite action.

I think if I play this again properly I may get a better opionion of how the game plays as the way we played it made it that certain players were left with little or no choice of what to do on their turn.
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« Reply #12 on: 13 December 2007, 17:04:22 »

12 Dec 2007
Tonight we played a 6 player game of Tiki Mountain!.

First impressions is the box and pieces are all very colourful and the theme is just great.

Players take the role of a villager whose task is to race to the top of Tiki mountain and sacrifice themselves to save the rest of the villagers from the Angry Volcano God.

Each turn a player has the option to Discard/Draw cards so that they have a hand of 7 cards.
In their turn they can play item cards, Tiki magic cards or climb(climb better cards)

Climb cards allow you to climb the mountain but you can only play one per turn but you can play a climb better card with it which improves the climb card. There are several tracks up the mountain marked with arrows pointing the way up.

Item cards can be placed on the colourful players mat in either hands (x2) or feets spots. So at any one time a player can not have more than 3 active items. If they want to add another they must discard one already in play. Item's in play are active even when it is not that players turn. Items add different abilities to your villager like better climbing, protection from obstacles or means to avoid disasters.

Tiki magic cards can be used to lay down obstacles like Mudslides, Rock Slides, Gas Vents and Lava flows to hinder the other villagers on their race up the mountain. You can also use them to swap places with other villagers on the mountain and other nice/nasty tricks. To power Tiki magic some cards require you to spend Totems, but you will need 1 of each totem (Fire, Earth and Water) in order to sacrifice yourself to the Volcano God.

At the end of your turn you use a spinner to determine how many totems you collect. Play then passes round the table, certain cards can be played out of your turn (mostly blocking, defensive Tiki Magic Cards). When play gets round to the player to the right of the Angry Volcano God Cards he turns over a Angry Volcano God Card after his turn, the effects of the card happens to all players unless they have cards or items that can help.

Play continues in this way until someone makes it to the Lava pit, to make a sacrifice the player has to end his move in the pit, sacrifice one each of the Totems and then turn over the top Angry Volcano God Card this time they only effect that one player, if they can avoid the effects and when they read the "Is Tiki Worthy" Section and they meet the conditions they WIN.

This was a really fun game and I was impressed how well balanced it was with 6 players as despite it looking initially that one person was racing ahead the mechanics of the Tiki Magic cards, obstacles and Angry Volcano God Cards made it so the end game nearly everyone was at the volcano top and ready or nearly ready to sacrifice themselves.

I would definately play this again and it has that element of trying to get one over on each other as you race to the final goal.

It's very simple to pick up the rules, but a little longer to work out what are the best items, tiki magic cards to use and when.

Overall very enjoyable and will definately be dragged out when I raid the cupboard again.
« Last Edit: 13 December 2007, 19:22:41 by zarniwoop » Logged

Regards,
Zarniwoop

<*> I'm dangerous when I know what I'm doing <*>

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