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Author Topic: Spirit Games Wednesday Night - 2010  (Read 30672 times)
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Zarniwoop
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« on: 04 January 2010, 21:40:24 »

Wednesday night Board Gaming Returns for the new Year.
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« Reply #1 on: 11 January 2010, 16:34:42 »

6th Jan 2010

Our first wed night of the new year so we got to try out some new games from christmas not yet played:

First up was Pony Express, an amusing little race game based on the Wild West. The idea is to be the first to deliver mail to Sacaremento. Most of the squares on the board have a little symbol which when landed on during movement have an action (Gaining action cards, gain gold, fight indians, visit the saloon or train station). If you land on the same square as one other player you have a duel or if there are multiple players you have a gamble. The basic mechanic is rolling a set of poker dice (blind) and bluffing or not about what hand you have which will then determine your movement. Someone near you can call your bluff but if they get it wrong you are sent to jail (lay down your piece).
Duel's involve placing a marker on the board and then your playing pieces on opposite corners of the board. You then, marble style, flick dice at your opponents piece, you have three shots each if you knock out your opponent they must pay you half their gold or if you hit an innocent bystander you go to jail.
If you have to fight the indians it is a similar mechanic to the duel, except that for each indian you known down you get 1 gold and for everyone left standing you have to move back one square.
Finally when you reach the Sacramento you have 3 mailboxes, you start on the first and then each subsequent turn you move onto the next. IF you make it to the last mailbox before anyone else reaches Sacramento you win the game otherwise you have a duel to the death or someone is arrested for shooting an innocent.
This was great fun and look forward to playing this again, it is a good start or end of session game. This game was won by Phil.

We then went on to play Letter of Marque which is another bluffing kind of game. Each player has a set of Cannon Cards, treasure cards and Ships in thier colour 2 of the 5 ships have a cannon marker on the base meaning the ship is protected. At the start each player shuffles their treasure cards and places one out with a ship on it. Each round the players can either collect a ship still at sea, turn over another treasure card and place a ship on it or use one of 3 cannon cards to attack another players ship.

If you collect a ship the treasure card gets put on you bounty pile the ship is removed from the game, if you place another treasure card out you place one of your remaining ships on it. Finally if you decide to attack another players ship you place your cannon card next to that ship and look at its base, if it is blank you grab the treasure to you pile and discard the cannon card to the box, if it has a cannon card on it the ship is protected and the defending players claims your cannon card as treasure.
This was a great little game and should be played again soon.
Sally won this with a good margin: Sally:37, Paul:26, Phil:25, Carole:22 and Philsy:20

Finally, as we had to leave early, we played Incan gold. This is always a fun little game and this was true to form. The final results were: Sally:51, Phil:51, Carole:16, Paul:12 and Philsy:0

« Last Edit: 12 January 2010, 21:31:42 by zarniwoop » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: 20 January 2010, 15:50:43 »

Wednesday 13th January (a bit chilly)

So I made it, trekking through the snowy wastes of Tamworth, along the fabled A38 pass to finally reach the promised land of Spirit Games where there’s always a free chair and ne’er is heard a discouraging word. Or at least not until someone brings out Power Grid.

But no grids involved tonight, just poker dice and a simple single track board. Looking at the track that wound it way from Sacremento to Gulch (or some such) I noted the Indians standing impassively on the bluff. “We’ll be meeting later.” I thought.

Movement in Pony Express (yes there is a point to this purple prose) is easy, you literally make it up as you go along or for as long as the other players are willing to let you. Now, I don’t play poker, I can’t play poker so I was having to use the instructions to plan my moves but I’m sure that would come in time.

Carol and Frog made early and effective use of the railways to romp three quarters of the way home in the early stages. Frog managed to scupper himself somehow (Indians?) and I managed to scupper Carol with a particularly evil lasso card which pulled her all the way back [evil chuckle]. Paul, yes this was his game, languished at the back pretty much the whole time while I was somewhere in the middle.

Frog got first shot at the Indians and proved himself an effective shot although nothing could beat Paul’s Pele-esque banana shot, too bad it went around the intended targets. My first shots weren’t so much off the board as nearly out of the shop. Glasses where moved at one point.

The game ended with Sally and Carol duelling for the win. Carol shot first and in a scene reminiscent of all the best 70s westerns killed us all including Sally, her intended target. Sadly for Carol Sally had been holding on to a “Miss” card which meant that as she was still standing and not in prison for the Great Middle of the Board Massacre gave her a clear win.

After that I gathered up my victuals, saddled my horses and pausing only to wipe sand from my boots hit the road home.
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« Reply #3 on: 24 January 2010, 17:26:58 »

13th Jan 2010

After the fun and mayhem of Pony Express we settled down for a game of Thurn and Taxis which is an excellent little game which is easy to learn and has lots of replayability. It also plays extremely will with 2 people, tonight  we had a 3 player game which was good and provided a really close game with Sally leading with a score of 39 and myself and Carole tied for 2nd place with 31 points.
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« Reply #4 on: 01 February 2010, 20:22:09 »

Wednesday Night - 20/01/2010

Players: Zarni, Oscar, Sally, CrazyFrog + friend   Azn
Started the night off with Turso as it's a very nice simply game to teach new players due to its simple game mechanics.
Sally was the winner.


Players: Zarni, Oscar, CrazyFrog, Sally, Phil.
Then moved onto Factory Manager which I'm starting to like alot, its quicker than PowerGrid to play.
All the players tried different strageyies, including a very strange route where Phil's electricty bill went through the roof.
The game was setup so the enrgy cost increases were 0 for the first 2 rounds, then slowly increased.
I got not idea which method I tried, except to keep the electricity bill low if possible and the production of boxes and pallets equal throughout the 5 rounds.

Score:
CrazyFrog: 292
Phil: 262
Sally: 259
Zarni: 254
Oscar: 209
« Last Edit: 01 February 2010, 21:02:23 by CrazyFrog » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: 02 February 2010, 22:58:05 »

Wednesday 20th January.

Players: Peter, Richard and Carl.

We started off with my new bargain shop find: Clue(do) Express.

A quick-fix Clue(do) game that strips away all the gubbins that people don't like about the game and especially the moving about the board bit. Leaving a game of rolling dice, clever deductions and Phoneix Wright style j'accuse.

Richard won the game by some way but was feeling ebullient enough from a professional as well as 
gaming success to share his secret formula with us. Which will come in handy when I play it again and play it again I will since it does everything that it's big brother does but in about 10-15 mins which is just about right for Clue.Do.

After that we were joined by Phillsey to play Anno 1701. Ostensibly based on the ultra-hardcore German PC (and now Wii and DS game) but really a very close relative of Settlers of Catan. As well as building up your colony on your very own board you're sending your ships out into the nearby archipelago to found new colonies and since its Settlers potentially gain new resources.

1701's version of the robber is the dastardly pirate who appeared to be following me around which was tonight's excuse for loosing so badly. Peter (Stuyvesant for the purposes of this game of course colonial history fans) was the winner.

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« Reply #6 on: 09 February 2010, 15:43:32 »

Wednesday 3rd Feb

Game: Rush n' Crush

What's it like? Car Wars/Battlecars crossed with F-Zero. Race game with weapons.

How long did it take? 1 hour (1 lap game).

Players: Sally, Phillsey and myself.

Having tempted Sally in with the prosepct of a Smallworld we switched tack at the last minute and went with new-to-me Rush n' Crush.

Apart from sounding like a mid-90s arcade game I'd heard good things about it from a couple of people. I'd also heard that it's best not to let Phillsey get too far ahead so that was the sum total of my game plan.

True to form Phillsey sped away from the starting blocks at speed using a good part of his available boost points to leave Sally and myself in his wake.

After a small altercation at the back we decided that Phillsey was the bigger threat (being about a quarter of the board ahead of us at one point) and concentrated on catching up with him.

Reckless driving (and squandering of my handling points) got me so far but in the end I hit the same nasty corner that Phillsey had glanced off but full force and at speed leaving only a column of smoke and a regretful whisper on the breeze.

With Phillsey home dry Sally deftly chicaned around the deadly last corner and would have easily come in next turn.

A fun, simple race game that would need more strategy to play and lead to some interesting choices if we played more than a single lap.
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« Reply #7 on: 17 February 2010, 18:02:21 »

Wednesday 10th February.

We started off tonight with a quick Roll which first time player Andy did really well at conceding the game to Peter on the tiebreak of most goods. A high scoring game as well with the two top players scoring a very respectable 26.

Following that Phillsey, Paul and myself split off to have a go at Chaos in the Old World. I'm a bit mad at myself with this one since I failed to get my faction off the ground at all. The Nurgle (me) seemed destined never to earn sufficient points to move my development wheel. I'm blaming it on tiredness but I'd really like to have another game sometime, perhaps as a different faction which seem to play differently.

Phillsey won this one with Paul scoring a good few points to see him creep up the victory track.
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« Reply #8 on: 23 February 2010, 09:27:12 »

Wednesday 17th February.

Players: Paul, Carol, Phillsey, Sally and me.

We started the evening with Risk Express. After playing and liking Clue Express and failing to resist this out of print game on eBay we gave it a go.

No board in this dinky version but instead a number of cards representing countries or groups of countries. Printed on each are a number of symbols (infantry, cavalry, artillery and a general) in a number of “battle lines” only one of which can be filled  per roll. Battle lines are filled by simply placing matching dice on the card.  And that's it. Once you've chosen your attack there are no more decisions to make you just keep rolling until you've filled the lines and take the card or until you run out of dice since you discard one every time you fail to fill a line.

Player interaction comes in the form of attacking cards in other player's territory however once a continent is complete it's unassailable.

To be fair Risk was never a stranger to dice and this version does a pretty good job of simulating it's bigger brother which will also tell you if you'll like it or not. Just like Risk this is often random and encourages you to push your luck a little too far. A couple of us broke our armies on Australia before it fell to Sally and was of course then safe from attack.

Sally won (I think! I've entered it onto the Geek which is now down) and there was a decent amount of interaction as cards needed to fill sets where passed around the table.

And so on to Endeavor.

From early on it was obvious Phillsey was building up a strong lead with his large army but it was all reasonably peaceful until the endgame where both European and colonial territories changed hands several times to make those all important scoring chains.

Speaking of chains those sneaky abolitionists managed to emancipate the slaves that Paul and I had invested in leaving us floundering at the back.

Phillsey won with a very respectable 64 with Carol coming in second with 49.
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« Reply #9 on: 10 March 2010, 20:24:03 »

24th February 2010

We started the evening off with a game of Infinite City which is a great little game, the rules are light as each tile has clear instructions written on them. Each player starts with a hand of 5 tiles and they take it in turns to place down a tile into the city, placing one of their tokens onto it and following the instructions written on it. PLay continues until one person has used all their tokens when play continues until everyone else has had one last turn or the fifth power station is placed when the games ends immediately. Players score 1 point for each of their tokens in a group of 3 or more plus any score on a card they are on. They is also a bonus score for having the most tiles with chains on. This plays really well, is easy to pick up and the artwork and tiles are superb. I managed to win this game, but my excuse is that it is technically Carole's copy not mine Smiley

We followed this up with a game of Ad Astra I always like playing this game there is a lot going on and plenty of replayability. That said I had a particularly bad game with more than my fair share of bad choices Sad, Philsy on the other hand had a really good run and romped home to win, however the rest of us were not too far behind.. honest...

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« Reply #10 on: 10 March 2010, 20:37:27 »

3rd March 2010

We started tonight off with a game of Blue Moon City which is always a classic, we used the mini exanpsion tiles in tonights game which I had managed to finally get my own copy. They add some new special powers usable when on the tile throughout the game. I found that this extra powers were well balanced within the game and placing the times at the four corners meant that was more incentive to explore the outer edges which helped keep the game flowing. I really enjoyed this and Sally ended up a resounding winner of this game.

We then had a quick game of Loot whilst we waited for the other game to finish. This is a lovely little game which is quick to learn and play with superb artwork and excellent quality cards. Sally was the outright winner of the first game of this, we had a second round where I managed to win but it was a lot closer.

Finally we rounded off the evening with a "quick" game of Citadels this is a lovely little game which has some lovely artwork on the cards and is quick to pickup and play. After a long game Phil was the Winner but the scores were extremely close (Phil:29, Andy:26, Paul:26, Sally:25, Carole:23)

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« Reply #11 on: 11 March 2010, 19:52:22 »

Wednesday 10th March

First, an apology: apparently I've been missing the 'e' in Carole's name, an unforgivable omission which I'm going to put right straight away.

Tonight's happy bunch of gaming elves were: Paul, Frog, Sally, me and e' it's Carole (sorry).

We started off with a four player Scrappers which was always going to be interesting since there were five of us leaving Sally and myself to make some sort of weird  Beeblebroxian composite creature; shudder at the very thought of it.

You know we really should stop being so nice to each other. We spent most of the game politely grabbing the bits we needed until someone won. Only in the closing stages of the second game was there any takethatery going on. Frog won the first game (and didn't tell us until we were half way through the next turn) and I won the second after Sally had wandered off to interrogate the computer. These two facts may not be related.

Sator (etc) was our second game this evening. This is always a close game and I'm always surprised it's taken 2 hours. You always just on the verge of winning if you can only move that little piece there. Of course by the time your turn comes around again that piece is either on the other side of the board, wedged in a corner or has been destroyed entirely. Frustratingly good fun.

Paul came close until we all ganged up on him leaving the way clear for Carole to execute a daring spell enhanced jump between platforms to win.

No session report from me last week since I was playing a practice Star Wars Minis game with Frog in which Darth Vader met a very uncomfortable end indeed. But that really is another story.
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« Reply #12 on: 29 March 2010, 14:47:14 »

Wednesday 17th March

Tonight we started off a couple of games of Bucket King an old classic, Frog and then Philsy being the winners of these.

We then moved onto a one-lap race of Rush & Crush, this is a really neat little racing game. After quite a lot of pushing and shoving, mine laying etc. there was a collective burn everything and push for the finish line. Car after car crashed and burned until in the end Sylvia won.

We ended the evening with Franks Zoo another classic game, always fun playing this one, a set collecting game where you need to collect certain animals to avoid penalties. One player starts by placing a card and then each other player plays more of the same animal than the last player or trumps it with another animal(s) indicated on the placed card(s). The last player to place cards grabs the pile once everyone else has passed. This was won by Philsy....

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« Reply #13 on: 06 April 2010, 22:29:07 »

Wednesday 31st March

Apparently Andy was dying to try out Sector 41 and hadn't as yet managed to persuade his family to do so. Good job Paul, Frog and myself where there to oblige then.

I do like a good space exploration game and it's surprisingly difficult to find one. Lots come close (Dust, Galactic Emperor) but fall somewhere along the way, often, it seems to me on the (s)lightness of the game/time it takes to play axis. No such trouble here. 2 hours it said on the box and 2 hours it was rules explanation included.

The board is randomly laid out using tiles with various galactic features marked on them, face down of course to be explored as the players send out their ships into the inky blackness. The game's USB is the ability to bend space by pushing a row of tiles up one tiles worth hopefully moving the dilithium crystals (thems your points then) nearer to you and/or further away from everyone else.

My first impressions where that there's an awful lot of luck in this game. Not so much of a problem since this is quite a short game. Both Andy and myself fell foul of early asteroid belts and I was beginning to think this was a celestial Snakes and Ladders with it's miss a (actually 2 or 3) turns and various bits and bobs that zapped you around the place.

We made up for our early bad luck by finding a couple of good point seams near to our bases and ended the game first and second but I'm still not convinced it was down to a large dollop of luck.

And on to a “quick” game of Carson City before going home.

If this game were being pitched to Hollywood execs it would be Puerto Rico meets Hacinda. Probably.

Players compete to own packets of land and build various point scoring buildings on them. Scores are multiplied by nearby buildings or geography.

Since this is a western themed game you can of course fight over the spaces using revolver counters  and a good ole dice roll.

To be honest I can't remember that much about it now (it was last week after all and it was very, very, very late by the time we'd finished) beyond than two salient points:

1)It was very good.
2)I completely cocked up the last turn and threw the victory Andy's way.

Future plans for this are to start the evening with this and end it with a suitably silly Bang if enough gunslingers can be found.

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« Reply #14 on: 10 April 2010, 20:30:35 »

Wednesday 7th April

There's been a lot of buzz about a game themed around evolving organisms these last few weeks. This isn't it and I haven't played it yet (whatever it's called) but Usuruppe or Primordial Soup is sufficiently like it to jog Richard's memory to bring this.

This is a fairly abstract game where each player attempts to feed his organisms so that they can thrive. To be full each organism must eat one cube of each other colour in play at which point it happily poohs out two of it's own colour.

It's a lot more complicated than that of course; for a start the organisms float around in the primordial soup pretty much at the mercy of the currents. As the game evolves so do your organisms gaining Cosmic Encounter style rule breakers like being able to move at will or only having to eat one less of the colours than everyone else.

Richard started the game doing his usual thing of building machines, keeping back resources to buy higher value genes as early as he could. Peter however decided to carry a big stick and go all out for aggression buying the "eat other players" gene early on. I did mention that there is often only one of each gene didn't I? Phillsey and I went for altogether more peaceful powers.

Peter did for my chance of getting anywhere near the top of the score track by eating several of my organisms in the middle game putting me forever behind, not helped by the essentially reactive powers I'd chosen. Richard was snapping at Peter's heels with Phillsey making a late break for the top but the billy goats gruff strategy worked well leaving Peter comfortably ahead at the end.

This is a very gamers game with lots of thinking but surprisingly few choices. A pleasant enough way to spend the evening but not one I'll be asking to play again anytime soon.
« Last Edit: 18 April 2010, 22:45:14 by zarniwoop » Logged

Ekil erif, ekam erif. Erif, erif DiMaggio.
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