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Author Topic: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009  (Read 51499 times)
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carldjcross
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« Reply #45 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.
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« Reply #46 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  Grin  but common sense prevailed and we left well alone Cheesy

We finished the evening off with Buckets which is always good for a laugh, a light quick game to round things off nicely.
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« Reply #47 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 Smiley

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« Reply #48 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.

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carldjcross
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« Reply #49 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.
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« Reply #50 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.
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Zarniwoop
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« Reply #51 on: 11 June 2009, 00:35:58 »

No Games at the Shop on Wed 17th June as the shop will be closed early.
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« Reply #52 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!
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« Reply #53 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

 EvilGinger
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« Reply #54 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.
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« Reply #55 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.
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« Reply #56 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.
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« Reply #57 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 Grin

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« Reply #58 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.
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« Reply #59 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  Grin

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.

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