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Author Topic: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2009  (Read 49791 times)
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Pallet Ranger
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« Reply #90 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.... Smiley
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« Reply #91 on: 12 October 2009, 19:00:16 »

excellent stuff Smiley

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 Smiley

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

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« Reply #92 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  Drunken 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.

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« Reply #93 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.
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« Reply #94 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  Dont Know , 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  thumbs up

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.

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« Reply #95 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.
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« Reply #96 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.
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« Reply #97 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.

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« Reply #98 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 Wink

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« Reply #99 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. 
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« Reply #100 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.

 
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« Reply #101 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.
 
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« Reply #102 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.

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« Reply #103 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 '  Laughing 4
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