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A banana, a suitcase and a game!
"Snazzy uniforms for the railroad workers "
I am giving up the internet for Lent. This means I will no longer be able to post my blog over the Lent period. Fear not, I will still write my blog and come Easter Monday I will post the "lost" blogs on a daily basis! There you can binge on my blog until the bad grammar makes you sick!
"End of Announcement"
9th February 2018
Friday night gaming lights!
"Prioritising transport links"
Everyone knows how you build railways. First you build the rubbish black ones, then you build over them with your grey ones and you do this until you build with the best track in the world-white. The issue is getting your workers to the building space before your competitors do. You have alternatives by hiring engineers or acquiring multipliers for your tracks that you will score at the end of each of the six rounds depending on how far your train goes on the said track. Manon and Shane joined me in building rails from Moscow to three different locations. Building takes time and with time technology improves. The difference between the tracks are the bonuses. Some tracks give you extra workers willing to build you the best route in Russia, others score your train for travelling a certain distance on a track. The Moscow to Kiev route for example can score you a maximum bonus of forty points per turn, a score that will push you to win. Naturally that is the strategy I went for. Shane decided to build up the longest route to Vladivostok. This long route takes time to build but persevere and you will be rewarded greatly. Shane scored over 180 points on the final turn! There is an alternative to building tracks and that was to improve your industry track. Not only does it give you an income of points each turn but it gives you abilities to use. Manon scored 36 points from her factories for her trains. I scored 26 points for my engineers. When all trains reached their final destination the game was finished and the points tallied for one last time. I had won despite Shane's big score at the end which only placed him in third.
I had enjoyed the game so much I decided to play the expansion with two experienced players- Hans and Juliet.
"Coal makes the train steam ahead"
Much remains the same in German Railways. Much like our plan to all build the route from Dresden and Bremen and score a bonus 20 points each turn. The coal makes the game one round shorter which makes it more difficult to build up the longer Munich line to score you high points. Hans did build from Munich to Berlin but only manged to use his brown track. I decided to build the Nuremberg track to Essen. The difference in Germany is that you get to choose your bonuses and I chose a bonus of an extra 20 points each turn on the Nuremberg line. Coal adds an extra option to build a refinery. This option is just as appealing as hiring an extra engineer and both spaces were hotly contested. Hans and Juliet both went strongly on the industrial track and opted for an income of money each turn from their routes. There was a few points difference between me and Hans in the end and both of us realised we made mistakes (admittedly Hans' mistakes were more crucial) but I came first. The great thing about the refineries is that once you use them they become coal men, pushing your train that one further stop and giving you that vital bonus you need.
I explained in my review of 2017 that this was one of my favourite games and it was great to play (and win) twice in a row. I love the engineers (I also date one) and how they adds to your strategy with a tense feeling of almost acheiving your goals.
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:05 pm
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
Is it me or is everything getting colder? The weather, technology? This week I managed to play more games than usual and a lot of the games involved hard cold metal. So let the sessions begin.
3rd February 2018
"I'll raise your cannon with a nuclear submarine"
Guns and Steel is a civilisation game where you are developing your society with the motivation of out doing your opponent. My opponent was the lovely Maartje, my concubine. Maartje is not a fan of conflict to the extent she will no longer play Carcassonne with me as I always attempt to steal her castles. Guns and Steel can be described as a recreation of the cold war through the ages. It is the trident missiles of gaming. The trident missiles are not for use but there to deter attacks. So imagine you know your opponent won't attack you and you don't want to attack your opponent for the risk of upsetting her. The game became a lesson in playing resources and using your new technology to gather you further resources, to grant you new technology. This made the game extremely dull. As soon as we started playing it, I knew it was a mistake. Warning: nuclear missiles and peace don't mix.
4th February 2018
Sunday lead to something all together more relaxing and metal free!
"Victory is only a word away"
Me and Maartje have tried and accomplished the guessing of words game multiple times, it was time to do the campaign. Our team name was "Juice in Boots Squad" and we lost three games on the trot. Incorrect clues include fracking and chalk, pentagon and black, triangle and Brazil. Spy games are never about the winning, right?
14th February 2018
There were seven of us for Wednesday gaming: Peter, Christine, Ben, Nick, Jacob and Martin. We started with a game that involved murder.
"Vacancy: Investigator for a murder"
"The murder, literally, could of been dozens of things "
For ease of play I was the Forensic Investigator giving clues from a selection of boards that gave specific clues. My investigations lead me to believe that Nick was the murderer. He had drove his delivery van into a business park with the jewel of his eye-his co-worker. She wore a hair-clip and would not see the end of the day because if Nick could not have her than no one will. The remaining investigators went on a wild witch hunt. Despite the initial connection with the delivery van for trading everyone started accusing each other. Martin the lab technician thought it could be Jacob with his superhero mask. Ben, the accomplice, became suspect number one as he was believed to be trading the Eiffel tower souvenir at a shadow puppet play(?). It took fine detective work for Peter to narrow down the murderer. As such, Nick accused him of being the witness and killed him also. The witness was Jacob and Ben sniffed him out to be the witness from early on. It was a fun old murder with no one really having a clue but good old logic from Peter saved the day.
The murder was probably committed by Nick running the delivery van over the girl of his affections. The next game was all about murdering each other over and over again.
Peter, Christine and Nick had left to make a peaceful house in Catan. Meanwhile Ben, Martin, Jacob and I were running around an arena inflicting damage to each other until we can bleed no longer. We would pick up weapons and shoot each other until we were red in the face with each other's blood!
Martin didn't have to chase anyone as he had the heat seeking missile. I could see his eyes twinkle every time he fired his weapon but only because I was carrying my whisper (sniper rifle) ready to blow out his brains. The more damage you take the quicker you run as your adrenaline rises. The only thing that would rise quicker was the temperature from Ben's flame thrower. Not only were you awarded for killing each other, but first blood, double kills were also rewarded. You had some items that would assist you with your killing, be it a teleport device or a scope, but damage was what you were seeking to inflict. After Jacob had killed another victim with his cyber blade the game was called to a halt. Murder does have it's limits and in this game it is 8. I had only killed one person and had scored poorly for that bonus. Martin had killed the most and was well rewarded. Ben had the same score as Jacob but Ben had won for killing more opponents. Me and Marin were a point away from victory just missing another person's drop of blood. Time flew as we had locked and loaded with the scores being impossibly close. Peter had mentioned that he would like to play this again and I would like to prove my worth with a victory.
Afterwards we joined forces again only to be divided by the colour of our teams.
"The other team is too blue for me"
"Why is the undercover assassin a bull?"
This time round we had more spy fun but in two separate teams. I was the clue giver with Ben and lead our team to failure on the last clue as I stated growth and my team chose a baby, which was the incorrect answer but the right choice. Afterwards Nick and Martin took over as the clue givers and my team, consisting of Peter, Christine and Martin had lost again. Interestingly the assassin did not come into play. Code names Pictures have less clues than the basic version but it is certainly open to more interpretations.
The night had ended once again with everyone satisfied with their gaming fix.
Played @ Bishops Stortford Tabletop
11th February 2018
Maartje and I had another two shots at Codenames Duet but lost both. Each time we were only one clue away so I think we are getting better.
Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:05 pm
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
With age comes more responsibility, responsibility is time consuming and that means less time for gaming. Nevertheless, I managed to play plenty of games new and old and here is my
top 10 thoughts and mentions about 2017 gaming. Note: being human, I played other games not from 2017. This is not a reflection on the board gaming industry during the past year but a reflection of what I enjoyed and did not enjoy during the year.
"The game with the biggest failed promise"
Yamatai is the most beautifully produced game ever with: bright Nintendo colours, beautiful oriental characters and a board that is slowly populated with big striking wooden tokens. The game also received favourable reviews and was described as a game that will be as popular as Five Tribes. A beautiful game which people are willing to play, what could go wrong? The game set in Japan makes you set out boats and build structures to score you points. You can hire experts to give you abilities and that’s it. The game is extremely limited and highly repetitive. One play was enough for me to decide this game was not for me.
Yamatai blog report
Pretty, pretty, pretty!
Most enjoyable 2 player games (3 awards)
"Games me and Maartje have enjoyed playing the most"
Viticulture Essential Edition
At the beginning of the year me and Maartje were playing this a lot. It plays within 45 minutes and packs a lot of gameplay within that short space of time. I really enjoy playing with the extra structures which you draft at the start of the game. For me the structures give you a starting strategy and opens the game up like the occupations open up Agircola. Maartje did not enjoy this addition as the additional structures was designed especially for the Tuscany expansion and created issues with hand size and the balance of the game. The last time we played it together was May. Writing this blog I may suggest we give it another play at some point.
Viticulture EE blog report
Maartje is a big fan of puzzles and crosswords and this game brings the two activities together. Being cooperative it does not feel like a game but it is more akin to a bonding exercise. You give clues to each other on the basis of what your partner will know. The game is just fun and the result doesn’t really matter. We started a campaign on Sunday (see next blog) but failed all three games. This doesn’t make the game any less appealing. Codenames has enough interest in it for a hard-core gamer like myself and enough appeal for an occasional gamer like Maartje. Truly a worthy winner.
7 Wonders Duel
The issue with 7 Wonders is that it is a three plus player game. 7 Wonders Duel allows you to get a similar experience with two. That is already enough to declare this game great. With the two alternative winning conditions that could finish the game before the end of age three, the game becomes more tense than the original game. You still draft, you still build wonders and there is still no predetermined strategy that will win you a game. This has also seen a drop in play during the year and the reason is that it is not a game to unwind to after a day of looking after a toddler. Also, we didn't really get on with expansion.
7 Wonders Duel report
"Games I like to play even more than before"
I didn’t buy many expansions last year so the winner is more a default prize and it which came out late 2016.
Agricola: Expansion for 5 and 6 Players
This game allows you to play with Agricola but with more people. The occupations are more interactive and the board gives you multiple options. This game gives you more of the same and is fun.
Agricola blog report
Best gaming experience/convention
"The most fun I had gaming during the year"
I’ve doubled this prize up as my favourite weekend of gaming was at the Birmingham gaming expo. The expo host a number of tournaments of my favourite games, which I get to play numerous times with nice people who know and enjoy the game. The tournaments I played this year were Dominion, Ticket to Ride, 7 Wonders and 7 Wonders Duel. My favourite day was the 7 Wonders day. 7 games of 7 Wonders Duel played and I placed 2nd after being defeated by the overall champion. I was so close to winning the trophy but got out played by a truly masterful player. I quickly had a gym session and afterwards attended the 7 Wonders tournament where I placed 6th overall. I have been going to the expo for years and recognise many of the players who go. Sadly it is very unlikely I will be able to make it this year.
7 Wonders Duel tournament blog report
7 Wonders tournament blog report
Worst game played
"Games I have not enjoyed playing"
A game has to be truly tedious and long to deserve this title. The problem with La Loire is that there is a lot of promise with nice choices to be made, good artwork and character abilities. You travel France on horseback visiting areas of land, getting resources (as I remember) and building houses. The tedium is that once you go down one route you are committed down that route. This of course is the challenge of the game but with only two long roads you have little choice. This game was not released in 2017 but was my worst game played of 2017.
La Loire blog report
Best games of the year (3 games)
"Games I like to play"
Great Western Trail
How could this not be in the list of games? There is something delicious about travelling north with cattle, encountering hazards, trading with natives and making friends with builders, engineers and cowboys. Every gamer loves trains and this game includes trains delivering your cattle around America and allowing you to employ station masters. The balance of delivering a selection of different cows and achieving victory is not short of gaming steak perfection.
I am truly disappointed by TMG for producing a deluxe copy of this game only for it not to be on sale. My friend who invested in the game on Kickstarter before playing it was lucky because it is an excellent game. But why do companies tell you to invest in games before you have a chance to play them? Many investments on Kickstarter turn out to be disappointments and I haven’t got time or money to play this lottery. The game itself isn’t spectacular. You wander around Japan picking up resources and donating to charity. The appeal of this game is that it is light with little stress but with meaningful choices. Turns are quick as you place a few workers and perform your action and then you achieve what you set out to achieve. This game gives me zen enjoyment that most other games don’t give me.
Ticket to Ride
Who doesn’t love the classic Ticket to Ride? With more maps to play then ever the set collecting, route building game still has as high an appeal as ever! I purchased the French map, despite not needing it, and looking forward to playing the Wild West version. I love how tight this game is and the frustrations for not building a route on time and the satisfaction for finishing a route.
Great Western Trail, Yokohama and Ticket to Ride gaming blog
What all the worthy mention games all have in common are that they are all heavy euro games that demand that you plan for the end of the game. In Agircola you need to establish the best way to feed your people and score points with the help of your occupations and improvements. In Russian Railways you decide on a strategy and try the best you can to stick to it as the other players get in your way. Railroad Revolution again sets up multiple strategies which you must concentrate to achieve. The contracts you receive also add something you must focus on and produces a tight balancing act. In Keyflower you build up your village with a plan to set you up with good scoring at the end of the game. The distractions in this game are the auctions you must win with your limited income. Finally, Marco Polo give you destinations to explore that reward you with nice bonus points. The difficulty is the limited resources and the dice rolls. All the games have that engine satisfaction that if you achieve your goals that is fantastic and if you do it better than your opponents well that is even better. You would be hard pressed to find any better games in 2017.
All really fantastic games that I am happy to play anytime.
The best social deduction game (2 awards)
"Games where I have enjoyed lying to friends"
We join Dark Moon at a critical juncture. The Saturn moon base is about to blow up and you may all die but to make matters worse you have infected players purposely trying to bring the end of your life. You have a few short missions to accomplish before you can walk alive free. To achieve these missions you must throw dice! This will either hinder the mission or not and suspicious eyes will be cast on you. Like life the best laid plans don't always go to plan. Every turn is critical and because the game is short you must cast your aspersions on incomplete information. The solitude setting of Titan adds a cold setting to a chilling game of survival and betrayal.
Dark Moon gaming blog
Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
A dead body lays motionless as blood creeps out of their body and meets its new friend the hard cold dirty floor. The investigators must find out who the murderer is by a number of seemingly unconnected clues. One by one the clues are revealed as the murder, who is also an investigator, tries to put them of the scent. The art of this game is that everyone is on the same team. It doesn't matter that the murderer is discussing the murder with everyone else as ultimately he does not have the power to stop you accusing him. The large amount of items and means create a richness to the tale. A recent game, where I played the forensic investigator, lead to many interpretations of what a business setting was and where trade took place (see my next blog for answers). Glorious narratives with every game played.
The game I would like to play more
"Oh when, oh when will I get to play this amazing game once more"
The ghost is trying to tell us who killed him! Through ghastly pictures we must narrow down the suspects, the location and the weapon. The reason I like this game so much is because I get to play it with Maartje and the reason we don't play it much is because together we don't go to gaming social events together. When we do get to play Mysterium, it is usually with non-gamer friends or friends we don't see very often and the occasional game we do play with them is special. I fear playing this on rotation with my regular gaming friends will soon lose the appeal and even though I want to play this more, I am happy to wait for that special moment.
That is my review of 2017. Different from all the year reviews I have seen but this one is certainly real and I am sure it reflects many gamers experience. I find it hard that people manage to have top 10 games of the year when the majority of the games don't come out until late Autumn. I don't say this as a criticism as I always enjoy listening and reading top 10 lists.
Next year, my year in review will include Nusjford, Ticket to Ride (again), Escape the Dark Castle and Downforce; possibly.
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
"Masters at work!"
I went to visit my friends in Cambridge for a night of gaming. Something was in the air, something was in the teas, something was not quite right!
"No rubbish in this game!"
It takes a lot to power up a big country like Brazil. Unlike other countries, Brazil uses bio-gas and there was lots of gas to spare. Coal was at a premium so when Shane and Ray invested in coal plants Pete, Peter and I decided to stay away from the resource for the foreseeable future. Shane and Peter set up their first power plants in the urban south, Peter and I established ourselves in the north and Ray was sandwiched in between us all. Shane lead from the start creating many connections and started powering Brazil. The rest of us squabbled for the poor power stations. The game some what stalled due to the lack of powerful power stations. Despite collecting a mass of money, we did not spend our money on connections as we couldn't power them. Slowly, we started expanding but Peter was a few turns behind in respect to his power plants. I decided at one point to expand my network to fourteen connections despite only being able to power ten. The game would finish after the next round when the fifteenth connection was built. I was first to bid on the power plants and with luck three power plants that could power six connections came up. With greed and misfortune I had lost all three auctions and ended up powering only thirteen connections. Ray had also powered thirteen connections but had more money declaring victory over me. During the game hilarity ensued as the temperature was burning us up and the general atmosphere was that of giddiness. The well deserved victor was Shane powering fifteen cities. Pete was a close second but really had no chance after Shane was powering so many cities so in the early games and earning more and more money.
"The North West of Brazil was rural and neglected with power "
The silliness continued in the universe thanks to an overambitious project.
"Lets shake things up!
If it wasn't tough enough building up a civilisation, now we had to help build the great projects. Collecting resources, constructing buildings for the people and building up your defences were just some of our core focuses in 7 Wonders. The great projects were expensive but on top of that we were all building the tower of Babel as well. The doomed tower of Babel slowly rose from the grounds up to the heavens. Each tower we built bestowed new rules upon the land. This is my tale and how I won life. I was building the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and my thoughts were that for every building which was discarded to help build Babel, I could pick it up and progress my science research to victory. I first assisted building Babel and made trade cheaper with our neighbours. This allowed me to pick up my second science building. Shane was in a combative mood and as he defeated me, my punishment was an extra loss token thanks to the rules of Babel. My plan was to be light on resources as I manged to produce each resource but only have a choice of two of them each turn. Pete foiled my plans by building a new rule in Babel which allowed only the basic resource production buildings to be used. A fellow friend did me a favour and allowed us to build our wonders for free. I had carried on building science buildings by using the chaining ability. When the first age finished the great project of the Rampart Road had not been built. As a punishment I was due to lose all my money, being broke I had lost a point instead. After the battering of age one the law punishing a lost battle was overruled by the rule reducing the prize of victory in battle. Peter, my second neighbour decided not to battle me until the third age when the rule would be banished. We cried and laughed at the new rules, how fate had betrayed us or helped our plans and the table just erupted with laughter. The Obelisk was not built and my punishment was to get rid of a resource card I could not use. Still broke in age three I decided to discard a card for money. Another helpful law assisted which rewarded you with five money every time you built a guild. To balance it out another law suggested you had to pay money to build them. I built the cheap Traders Guild rewarding me with lots of money and points for my neighbours commercial buildings. I had been further punished by Ray's Catan thief and had to pay yet more points. Generally everything was working out well and with the Baazar finished the people who contributed were rewarded with lots of money. I had overcome eight minus points to win and thus conquered the world.
Ray did well with his wonder Catan and had 33 coins to celebrate his second place. Shane built Stonehenge and scored well for all the rock he produced. Pete forgot how to play the game with Olympia and Peter did slight better with Alexandria. The general consensus was the expansions were fun but chaotic and a nice change to occasionally play 7 Wonders with. So as Babel didn't quite reach the heights of heaven I had discovered as writing this that my dreams had been shattered. My victory was erroneous as when I built the Traders Guild I had treated it like a guild from 7 Wonders Duel and took coins for my neighbours commercial buildings. Six coins, translated into two points, the amount I had won by. If you remove those two points I had drawn with Ray and because he had a fortune and a half he would have beat me on the tie breaker. I received all the glory at the time for my victory. I can only blame the jovial atmosphere for my loss of attention. What turned out to be a dream was actually nightmare. Just like dreaming you are rich and waking up that you are not. My apologies to Ray. At least the game was fun.
Peter had finished with the shenanigans and left for the evening. It was time for something more suited for our level of play.
"Don't be poor"
"Token tokens not included"
Amongst friends we are exactly as rich as each other, so how can we tell who is the better person amongst us? The answer is simple, who has the most prized possessions? We bid round the table to acquire horses, cars, yachts and more. At times our reputation was at stake or objects were at risk of being stolen and we bid not to win those misfortunes. The poorest at the end of the game would automatically lose and the one with the total highest valued possessions would win. High society is simple, what could go wrong? I miscalculated the thief as Shane could afford to lose his necklace. I forget who won the game but it wasn't me. A second round and Pete had bought a mansion and doubled up his fame. He won. The bidding is fun and the joy of the game is attempting to win without being the poorest. The game ends once the fourth red card is drawn and as that could be at any moment the value of all items are only as much as some is going to pay for it.
It was pretty late and tiredness was creeping in on our attitude. So what better than a game where you must concentrate?
"Forget the pretty fireworks, remember your clues"
We worked together to put on a spectacular firework show. We held the fireworks in hand but we could not see our own hand. Our options were to either to play a firework (must be in correct numerical order or you face a punishment), give a clue to another player or discard a card. Discarding a card allows you to give clues to other players as this option is otherwise limited. I had played this game only once before and vowed to never to play it again as my memory was terrible. I did not forget this but fancied a challenged. I was given a clue which I had forgot (of-course) but between us we put on a firework show rated excellent. There was still lots of chaos and groans as obvious mistakes were made; why would you give that person that clue, or play a card after you've been told explicitly not to is all fun. The challenge was as pretty as the fireworks and we were quite satisfied with the outcome.
The fireworks were launched and the other group had finished their one game of Clans of Caledonia. Goodnight!
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
26th January 2018
A weekend with nothing planned. Not rugby, not saving the world not anything! Next thing I know I am around Andy's house playing games.
"We've been transported back to the EIGHTIES!"
Also around Andy's house was the shifty looking Peter and the gothic intentioned Chris. Chris had brought with him a block box and as soon as he opened it we were warped into a terrifying world of horror nostalgia. A team of four were we and escaping the castle was our task. We would face drunk jailers, knights, doppelgangers and collapsing stairs. Many times we would have to test our wits with dice or fight statistics. After successful combat we were treated to new goodies. We were armed with a collections of weapons that would not put a poorly stocked vending machine to shame. Even rotten apples were welcome. The game was as rubbish as the castle; the narrative and experience were as captivating as a bear trap. Chris had lost his heartbeat and could no longer assist. Andy had made peace with the castle when his final drop of blood hit the floor. The heroics of both me and Pete were enough to defeat the Master of Darkness. This fable is certainly one I would like to relive (or possibly die) again.
"Still not on Transylvania's tourist guide"
After escaping the dark castle it was time to take life a bit slower and think of retirement.
"Old man every time you dig up the forest you find gold, are you a pirate?"
The seagulls gull, the fishermen fish and the retired eat. The one certainty in Nusfjord is that you will go fishing! The question is what will you do with all that fish? You can feed your Elders for their wise wisdom, you can help build up the town or if you leave the fish in your house long enough you can throw them back in the sea. Nusfjord is also covered in forests and from them you can get wood. Nusfjord is full of surprises, who would of thought you would have a thriving business? You can sell your shares and stocks for money and the purchaser of those shares will be rewarded with a dividend of fish. All and more in Nusfjord where the choices are limited as you place out one of your three workers in each of the 7 rounds.
Andy didn't understand the ways in Nusfjord to begin with. It didn't take long for him to realise that fish was the currency of the town. With an impressive fleet and many bonuses for his ships Andy would finish in the bottom two.
Peter joined in building his fleet. He built the lighthouse that would make his fish available immediatley. It was natural for Peter to build a market hall to trade his fish and score an impressive amount.
Fish was of no interest for this wood merchant. Chris would sell off his forest for gold by using his wood trade building and when he reforest he would get more gold and fish thanks to his forest lake hut. This is all Chris did, a simple, yet effective, combination had placed him in second.
I knew that the money was in the shares so I sold my shares to become rich. I invested my fortune into a fishing fleet and as my fleet grew so did my income thanks to the sailor. I finished my town with a fish market and the harbour installation. Being rich was it's own success, being first was the best.
After a big fish meal the bones were picked at. Andy commented that the game is about getting the best combination. He is not wrong. The game played quick and was very satisfying. The final response was that the game was a gentle sail rather than a tense river rapid ride.
"Plenty of games in the sea-wasteful!"
Friday night gaming was a success! What would be next?
27th January 2018
So I had another free afternoon....
Why is the Great Western Trail so great? Your main source of company are cows and the people you meet on your way are obsessed with their careers. The cowboys get you better cattle, the craftsmen help you set up shop and the engineers make your train move along. I always rush to Kansas to export my cows for cash. My dream was to make it to San Francisco where I would receive the most money for my cows. I was playing with Mark who was new to the game. He soon got on the saddle and understood the game.
"The best beef in the USA"
Knowing that Mark was inexperienced at cow herding I played with little focus and picked up the odd wandering cow, moved my train towards Kansas and built some houses next to the rapids. The rapids may not be considered prime location but the rewards they offer are worth the price. You trade in a Jersey cow for a ribbon and money! The more me and Mark visited Kansas the more career men offered their services and the more profitable trading with the Indians was. Mark's train was slow behind me and I was able to pick up most of the station bonuses. When I had the chance I learned to travel the Western Trail with more cows allowing me to export to cities further across the USA. It was an undisputed win for me but Mark was truly won over by the game. The trek across the west was challenging yet short with two. This game truly deserves all the ribbons and accolades it gets.
"The natives have goods to trade"
After racing down the Great Western Trail on horseback, it was time for a higher octane challenge.
"Faith no more"
It was the start of pre-season formula one and with Ursula there were three teams bidding on the cars on offer. Each vehicle had a special manoeuvre that we would have to take in to consideration when bidding. We were limited with our currency we had which would also be the gas that powered our cars. Ursula had won three vehicles, I had won team blue and Mark had the remaining two. Each car also has a powerful gas charge that could be used each game. We played with a hand of five which limited our options as we raced. Mark started off super-charging one of his cars to begin with and he would remain upfront for the majority of the race. I focused on my blue car to keep in the race but with Ursula over taking me I was struggling. When you play a card you move the vehicles listed on that card from fastest to slowest. You can hear the roars of the engine until a competitor gets stuck behind you in a bottleneck turn. You place a bet for which vehicle you may win at three separate intervals. The bets are lucrative so if you see your car losing you will bet on your competitor. That was at least the logic of Mark and Ursula who bet on three different vehicles and I only bet on my own. I had all my energy in team blue and despite coming second in the race I had won the game. One small investment, a modest race win and a nice amount of winnings from betting had edged me over Mark's car winning. The race itself was quite intense as you had to manoeuvre outside of bottlenecks and move your competitors cars towards the finish line. The race had a nice streamlined dynamic created with all the contradicting aims. We were all enthralled and energised by the race and were keen to go again!
Sadly, my free time had come to an end. My racing day was over but extremely enjoyable.
Played @Bishosp Stortford Tabletop
"Good night friend"
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
24th January 2018
Four gangs congregated in Atlantis. What follows is a true reenactment of the night:
"Party theme for tonight is underwater"
Nick, Martin, Jacob and I decided to go have a party in Atlantis. We all brought some friends and with all the booze it got quite rowdy. We saw serpents, octopus, sharks and dolphins performing for us in the sea. The inevitable happened and Martin fell in the sea. The land just disappeared from under his feet. We all laughed at his drunken shenanigans watching him climb on to a near by boat. The laughs soon stopped as whirlpools obliterated the island and took the lives of many innocent millennials. It was at this point the party stopped and we tried escaping the island.
"Trouble in paradise"
My men boarded the ship only to be gobbled up by an unpaid serpent performer. Take this as a lesson- pay your staff! We swam for safety, some of us got eat by disgruntled sharks. The octopus destroyed the boats and the dolphins kept danger away.
"Lunch for one"
We spotted better parties over the lands horizon and as we sailed and swam to the less fatal party we would calculate the winner of this party to be the one with the most survivors.
"Party is over"
We had all reached the shore and laughed how Henry the funk pulled a disgruntled sharks fin only for the shark to fart and then eat him up. The blood and the therapy we will all need after this shindig will be expensive. I would cry more than the others as they all had an equal amount of survivors and I had less. It is true what they say: never negotiate around serpents.
What a classic party! We all agreed to play another classic!
"One route leads to Las Vegas"
The government entrusted us with tickets to build routes around America. We took up the challenge and agreed payment for each complete ticket we would connect and not only would we forfeit our fee for the failed tickets but we would pay the amount we would otherwise receive. The four of would collect trains to build on routes. The longer the routes, the more expensive the cost but the higher the reward. I focused on the long routes and built the longest continuous track. As building a route takes an action I covered more ground across America in a faster amount of time. This enabled me to pick up further tickets and achieve the most routes. I would score both bonuses for longest track and most tickets. The others did well at building routes with Nick being my closest competitor. He was three trains short to my longest track and one ticket short of having the most tickets. I had won by over 40 points and this was despite not fulfilling all my tickets. The game was as tense as ever, as you try to collect the right trains and lay the track before your competitors block you. In a word this game is classic!
"The routes were inspired by Jackson Pollock"
That was the end of the night for me but the others decided to visit Catan the alternative to Atlantis.
Played @Bishops Stortford Tabletop
HALT BONUS SESSION
I had picked up a solo game at Handy con and had a few rounds during the next few days after the con. I am not typically a solo gamer but I've always seen myself as a negotiator.
"Whatever you do, don't shoot the hostage in the head"
The situation is critical there are meeples on the verge of being assassinated. As I picked up the phone to the belligerent criminal, I tried to sweet talk him into a sense of calm. Over the next few phone calls his temper would change like the speed of a train going up and down hills. After each phone call a critical event would happen and at times we knew there would be at least one meeple funeral. My aim was to keep at least half the meeples alive and either capture the hostage taker or kill him. I would give the hostage taker personal details and he would give me his motives. My sweet talk would score me better negotiation techniques. My favourite technique is calling in the sniper and blowing out the criminal's brains. It does take a lot of sweet talk for the criminal to agree to give up their life for the other hostages. Some people are just weird. Whatever technique you try, you must roll dice and the calmer the criminal the more dice you roll. The true pleasure of this game is the narrative and discovering the motives and the best methods to deal with the hostage taker. With three different criminals in the base game it is sad how expensive the additional packs of criminals are. The punishment, for this otherwise fun game, is execution!
Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:05 pm
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
"A city overrun with crime, corruption and money! Let the negotiations begin"
19th January 2018
I was lucky to have a bonus Friday night gaming session with Maartje before the really excitement of Handy con would start the next day.
"A busy, busy city"
In San Juan your options are limited to five options. Despite the small amount of choices San Juan is grand-at least when it is fully built! Your main task is to build up San Juan. You can enrich yourself by building production buildings and us them for trading. The resources range from cheap indigo to the most expensive silver. You can go prospecting for resources or search the deck for a building that you need. Whatever you choose your opponent will have a weaker option of that action. Maartje quickly built up her production and started trading immediately. I built the Goldsmith building which made my prospecting more successful. The turning point was when Maartje started shipping her goods into points with the harbour. I prayed I would win by creating the Chapel. My prayers went unanswered and Maartje had won despite not having any six value buildings. The neat thing about San Juan is that the cards are not just the resources but also the buildings. It was fitting that in Maartje's San Juan she had a statue of a hero and this game could fit the description of the hero.
"The streets of San Juan"
20th January 2018
Having been greeted by the Handy con team it was time to play hard.
"Amongst my other powers, I force animals to breed!"
You finally managed to pay off your student loan and your parents have loaned you money to get your first cave. Your not going to let that horticulture degree go to waste and that cave isn't going to decorate itself, is it? What are you going to do with the livestock running around the cave and when will you get the ore to invest in weapons? This is the game of Caverna where you have to prove your worth as an adult dwarf. You and your neighbours compete for natural resources, capture and care for livestock and plant crops to eat. It is very much like living on the farm. If you want to eat you just throw a donkey or some other eatable thing on the stove and you on move to the next day. With six neighbours we had a lot of competition but also many options. Here is the tale of what the six of us did:
I opened up a boys club with a dormitory for four extra dwarfs. I was rewarded for being peaceful and having lots of company. I had to collect many resources to be able to build my house which postponed me doing anything productive. My animals ran in my caves and life was just a general riot! I produced beer to feed my dwarfs and I sold what I had left over earning me a fortune. The gods rewarded me with 75 points.
This was the good life for Alex. He had a simple dream of keeping a dozen sheep, pigs and cows. He kept his donkeys in the caves as they were damn ugly! Food came easy for Alex as when the animals gave birth he eat the placenta in his birthing cave. Perhaps this is the reason he only had three family members: 71 points
Sally was more of an out door girl, focusing on life outside. She had her donkeys outside which, I assume, she would ride to collect her harvest. She would cook up a fantastic casserole in her cooking cave. Sadly the outdoors did not score highly for this new player. 34 points
Rachel focused on two things: mines and weapons. As Rachel built up her cave she managed to grab a lot of ore and went on many quests. These quests included furnishing rooms, getting animals to her farm and collecting resources. She had crammed her mines with donkeys and the mining caves made her dwarfs less hungry. The donkeys would sing songs to the dwarfs to distract them from her hunger. Going on many missions her land was starting to take shape and she scored an impressive 83 points.
Justin had also kitted out his dwarfs with weapons. He was the first to make room for a new born baby and his family got stronger and bigger as time went on. His family where hoarders and scored big for his weapons, his dozen cows and his tons of ore. His home was a masterclass of beauty and he had won with a huge 87 points.
Gemma did not much care for donkeys and was the only farm not to have them there. She was too busy writing rather than building up her farm. There are many tales to be told being a dwarf. She had a weaving parlour to compliment her sheep, but never had many sheep. Despite trying Gemma had only scored 47 points.
The win went to Justin and all the dwarfs around the table cheered him loudly. The two winners were the only two that focused on collecting their weapons. Alex and Sally were both new to the game; Alex doing fantastically well with only three dwarfs. The extra options with six players opens up the world even further and I look forward to diving down deep into the world of Caverna again.
Five new volunteers stepped up to play a game where we had to work together not to lose but work against each other to win, how does that work?
"The android is stuck entertaining the crowds, how do you expect it to produce energy as well?"
The tale of New Angeles had six key players:
Matt was the CEO of Melange Mining and had his fingers in every part of New Angeles. He had grown bitter against Jinteki and his prime objective was to beat them at any costs.
Christian was head of Haas-Bioroid and he wanted to bring New Angeles to his knees. He had little time for rivalry.
Ben controlled Jinteki and as fate would have it he had to prove himself more worthy than Melange Mining.
Richard was the broadcasting network NBN and had it in for the Weyland Consortium CEO.
Anna was to bring down the broadcasting network NBN as she controlled the security company Globalsec.
I controlled Weyland and I had to compete against Haas-Bioroid. It was the classic tale of two major corporations going head to head against each other.
To keep New Angeles a float we had to produce enough stability for the city not descend into chaos. At times New Angeles would demand energy, at other times they would demand credits and consumables. We were competing with sectors protesting, the human first gangs and organised crime. I would produce capital if I got rid of outages during the game but there wasn't many outages during the game. Ben got off to a flying start and I was ignored. I suggested we cure the city from the plague and my suggestions was laughed off by Christian; at the end of the game, his mission to bring down New Angeles would become apparent. Richard gave me a technology which would score me two capital. This convinced me he was an ally of me. He would reveal later that giving me the two points was a mistake. Actions are chosen by corporations each turn and the remaining bodies who did not suggest an action vote on which action should take effect. As Anna and I started to fall behind, I would feel anger, frustration and despair. I wanted to have the capital to prove my worth as one of the city controllers! It lead me to sabotage actions in an attempt to be heard. It worked, out of frustration the others gave into my demands and my capitals started to raise. We matched the city needs but Ben had almost doubled his capital compared to everyone else. Having riches and power, he was suspicious of me and voted me down. I did not understand, why his rival had not attempted to shut him down? During this time Anna kept calm but fell further and further behind. I would come up with schemes that would help the city win and despite Richard agreeing with my logic, he would never vote for me. Suspicions were that there was no one attempting to collapse the city and I acquired a technology that allowed me to steal Christian's and Richard's corporation ability.
"None of the players were injured in the partaking of this game"
I imagine Ben had a fantastic game winning from the outset and Christian had told me had I not stolen his power he would brought New Angeles into chaos and won the game. Ironically this would have been my preferred option as the game had two winners instead of one- Richard and Ben. Four hours of intense strategising, voting and negotiating was exhausting. At times I hated the game, other times I enjoyed the hatred that this game made me feel. Four hours is a long time to feel helpless but there was a strange satisfaction as relationships developed and the narrative took unexpected turns. The one thing I know for sure is that I will not forget this experience until I get Parkinson's disease and even then I will remember parts.
That was the end of my Handycon experience. The atmosphere was fantastic, the organisers were friendly and I got to play games that I would never have played otherwise. Top rating for a top convention. I got home relatively early and got to play a bonus game with Maartje.
"I'm feeling cocky and say FIVE!"
"If you let your guard down for just one minute you'll get assassinated"
We played two rounds of the fantastic give a clue game to find words on the table. If you get the right words you are rewarded with victory, if you select the wrong word either your turn is over or you hit the assassin and you both lose the game. We played two games and managed to win the first game on sudden death. You can give no further clues on sudden death but must guess using the previous clues! Having played many games of Duet in the past this was new to us. Our second game couldn't have gone better; there were three turns left and only two words left to get, one word each. I had declared leprechaun for luck. I had forgot the assassin was gold and Maartje had to choose gold! That lead to game over and bed for Maartje.
Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:00 pm
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
"Your life is in your hand"
10th January 2018
As we all congregated in the pub once more to play games, little was known that the games we would play would tell tales as old as time itself.
Tale 1: Following your dreams!
"Close your eyes and let the voices in your head explore your thoughts"
Gaming doesn't often(ever?) put you to sleep but in this case it is a prerequisite. Callum (didn't actually join in the mass sleep), Jacob, Nick, Christine, Peter, Martin and I sported a nifty looking eye mask as the others whispered sweet hints to help us guess what we were dreaming. Some of us would help us succeed in guessing the dream, others would try to make us fail to guess the dream and the others would try to have the same amount of fail and successes. The roles would change and we all scored points on how well we achieved our goals. There was a three way tie but the game created intrigue and fun and was a nice way to start the evening.
Tale 2: The challenge for a better life
"Your options may always be the same but your goals won't be the same"
"We aspire for the best life- please don't get in my way"
We split into two tribes and I joined Peter and Callum in the fight for a good life. The land was big and prosperous where we could all have had a good life but human nature lead us to fight for more. Callum had control of the capital and me and Peter had subservient lands. As Callum expanded his empire, Peter took him down. Weakened I invaded the capital all for myself. I would hold festivals and build many sanctuaries for my people to worship. We would choose amongst us (draft) the actions we could use each turn. The options included invading, building citadels for protection or building sanctuaries to worship. Some options would destroy the balance of power and others would assist in building it. A good life was defined by achieving one of the three conditions: To be present in land with six sanctuaries, to be in six different lands or to control six different clans. This was our first attempt at a good life and battle like dogs we did. This proved unfruitful but as we got the flavour of the land we explored more and acted more peacefully to each other. If one us had achieved a victory condition by the end of a turn, they would be declared winner. Ties were always in favour of the king of the capital city and in this case it was me. I declared I had achieved inner peace with six sanctuaries that my tribes had access to. In quick succession Peter then Callum declared they had majority over the tribes. They spent their actions and ganged up on me to lose my position of authority. I had bide my time and declared one final battle in the capital. I had won the battle and won the hearts of the people. I was not impressed with the limited amount of choices the game had to offer but as the landscape changed and we had became familiar with the actions the game became an intense battle of the minds. Did I say I won? The personality of the tribes had impressed me at the start and eventually their tales of bravery for a better life had won me and the others over.
"With the land so beautiful, why wouldn't you explore it all?
We joined again as one to become the world's richest dwarf.
Tale 3: Rat race
"That's my gold!"
The plan was to help each other mine the way to the gold. Once we would find the gold we would share it out amongst ourselves and be prosperous. There was a plan B. Two or three dwarfs would plot against the others to lead them astray. Whether they broke our equipment or mined incompetently on purpose, it was easy. We would try repeatedly to win with roles changing each time. Martin was new to the group and managed to convince me that he had seen the gold in one of the three locations. Martin, having been the saboteur dwarf twice before tricked me and when his intention were unravelled he was delirious in his deceit. I vowed to get my revenge. It's times like these that make Saboteur so enjoyable. Having managed to bring success to the saboteurs in the first round, Nick had won by obtaining one more gold piece than me. The lesson of the game is to be deceitful and honest depending the situation.
"Mine until you die"
Callum had called it a night and that left 6 of us to tell the final tale.
Tale 4: Power corrupts
"A tale of two comardes"
The leader hands out the guns and with the groups blessing we invade the "corporation" and try to defeat them. Peter was the first captain to choose a team and decided on selecting two resistance members. Peter knew this as he and I were the spies. Having gained the trust of the others me and Peter were on a easy route to victory. Martin agreed with my accusations that Peter and Jacob were the spies. My revenge was sweet and the "corporation" won. It doesn't matter who the "corporation" is; as long as the corporation stays in power!
"Throw in some cheese and the scent gets murky"
What was learned by the retelling all these tales? I can tell you it was fun and I leave it to you to interpret the message.
Played @Bishop's Stortford Tabletop
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
"All out at sea"
3rd January 2018
The outdoors in winter is cold and unappealing. With more time at home, we have more time for indoor pursuits. This includes trying out new games.
"Build routes and ask who will service them later"
How I wonder how Days of Wonder make their games so beautiful. Is it that they use simple bright colours or is it the bold pictures? Me and Maartje attempted to acquire enough trains to build routes to tickets we committed to. There was no pressure, little interaction and certainly no joy. You collect trains that you have laid out on previous rounds at the start of each turn and then you can either take more tickets, take trains or lay out more trains. The most excitement you can have in this game, is by making your fellow competitor discard some of their trains. The final calculation took as long as the game itself as you designate which trains go to which tickets. You score for the tickets you have achieved and lose for the ones you didn't. There are also majorities for who cares. I played this 10 years ago and remember enjoying it. It is common to ask what would your younger self think of you today. I am thinking the opposite and my conclusion is not positive. Gaming has certainly changed in the last 10 years, have you?
"All the trains of the Rainbow"
6th January 2018
A new game arrived in the post in the morning and I managed to get Maartje to play! That was a result!
"Something smells fishy"
Nusfjord is at the literal top of the civilised world. There's not much happening there apart from fishing. It's been going on for centuries. Maartje and I attempted to get rich in business by fishing. We sent our three workers over several seasons to get boats, invest in shares and build helpful buildings. At times we would ask the kind elders to help and in return all they would ask for is a fish dinner. After several attempts the richest and most efficient with their land wins. This being our first game Maartje and I drew. I successfully built a lucrative fish market and an armada of boats; Maartje had a light house which would automatically collect her fish she would otherwise need to collect herself. The simplicity of the game was a pleasure to play for me and Maartje. I missed two small rule: feeding the elders when we used them and not buying all the shares available. These are but small details. Nusfjord certainly felt like the catch of the day!
"Maartje's village is really thriving!"
13th January 2018
I was itching to play this game again which lead to me playing a solo campaign (I didn't manage to get ranked). The following week I had trapped Maartje in another game.
"The master manages to build a castle"
The elders demanding to be fed to use their ability really angered Maartje. In the previous game, using the elders was her key strategy and now she refused to use them. She didn't like that there was a potential that if she fed the elders table, I would use the elders myself. As I knew what I was doing I had built a castle and scored a huge fourty points. Maartje also had a good catch with over thirty points. The castle would house my accomplishment but the reality would mean Maartje would never play this game again. As with any Uwe Rosenberg game, there are pressures to fill your land, collect resources and out manoeuvre your opponents. Set in the distinct outreaches of Norway, the art is as sublime as the game play. I'm looking forward to playing this with more fishermen as more elders come out to play.
Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:00 pm
A banana, a suitcase and a game!
"You reap what you sow- I sow victory!"
1st January 2018
It was the first day of the year and my first opportunity to play games with friends. My new year resolution is to play more games (not true) so of course I went.
"The blue company just laid some track"
The first game of the day was snap as both me and Juliet brought a copy of the game to Ray's house. I trumped Juliet by having the expansion with me and with the addition of Hans and Pete we built railroads in Germany. The problem with allowing privatisation in the 19th century was that there wasn't many companies producing rail, the job market was limited and there were not many investors for material. As time went by technology and trains would improve but the competition for the basics was still strong. Pete and Hans competed on building the Munich track and the competition proved so intense that they competed for third and fourth place. The battle for first was between me and Juliet. I focused heavy on the industry track and succeeded very well. The other three focused on recruiting engineers; engineers I took no notice of. Juliet managed to score the government's bonus for employing the most people and it was a deficit I would never get back. Despite Juliet not succeeding to build many profitable tracks, her income gave her options. In Germany as you build your routes, once you get to a station you can decide what bonuses you gain for continuing to build the route. I had built the Dresden line but had not secured all my bonuses for building the track as I choose the wrong bonuses. The clincher was that Juliet had scored her engineers twice having built the factory with that technology. At the end of the game she declared had she not scored the engineers the second time I would have been victorious. I have been burned by this strategy before. My main surprise of the game was that Pete and Juliet did not take the bonus marker which gives them a an additional bonus scoring card. I thought this was the first thing you would do! The game was fantastically challenging and satisfying. Tense to the end and one of the best train games out there.
"Railroads is all about the structural integrity ie. table space"
Talking of which, Anne had joined us to make five and participated in building another country's rail infrastructure.
"No express here"
Not only do you have to build routes to different cities in France but you also must build the tracks to build the routes. "Oh Merde!" After finding myself at a lose end near the end of the last game of Ticket to Ride I advised my fellow players to be more ambitious, a little more jena se qua. I kept all of my tickets which I couldn't finish and came last. "Putain!" The others enjoyed building up France and connecting tickets. Gentle reminders were needed for the others to build the tracks after their turn. Because I failed to connect my tickets I lost the credit I would have otherwise would have earned. One person that didn't have that trouble was Juliet who won the game- truly the master of train games! The others just picked up trains to lay their routes but didn't manage to do it as skilfully as Juliet. In France, it takes more time to to get the desired results but with that time you do not have more control. With more control, brings more stress and what usually is an express train to happiness, is more a scenic journey to satisfaction.
"All railroads lead to croissant and frogs legs"
Next up was a light game before dinner. Despite the quick playing time, the game was heavy with intrigue.
"The age old battle of good V evil"
Outnumbered, as usual, are the spies. The resistance aim to overthrow the current regime as they do not have enough resources to police dissidents. What the spies do have on their side is confusion and chaos. Ann and Hans dropped out of the last game and recruited were Marco and Kerrin. The leader selects a team to go on a mission to overthrow society. The group votes on whether the team should go on the mission. Once a team is selected, in secret, they pass or fail the mission. First one to get three successes for their group wins! As we see missions fail and pass, we gather more information and with the information we start spitting fire with our excitement of finding out who the evil scum are. I was the resistance and what I noticed was Marco's silence and Ray's crazy accusations. I first went on a mission with Juliet- obviously a success. When it came to Kerrin to pick a team he was confident who the spies were and didn't pick himself. The resistance failed that mission and we were no further along working out who the spies were. Juliet and Marco were the spies and managed to keep their leaders in power. The Resistance is always fun but infuriating in equal parts. It is pure social deduction and I would stake my life on it(?).
The spies were satisfied with their win and their were no fatalities during dinner. Having just eat it was time to play the feeding game.
"A human is worth six sheep"
The straight and narrow path requires the average farmer to have at least one sheep, one boar, one cow, vegetable crops, grain crops, pastures, fields and more. You will need to feed your men every season which is a hard and arduous task; just ask Marco, he had to borrow and lost the game badly. We all competed for the resources starting with just two family members and as the sun come up we had more and more choice for what our family members could do. Procreating was a favourite option but only in the spare room! We played with new toys and here is the story of how my life got flipped upside down and I started life as a farmer just out of the medieval period.
My family was obsessed with baking. I had the clay oven, stone oven, the well and needed to focus on getting grain for all my baking. Fortunate for me I had seed pellets. The seed pellets could only be used once I had three fields so for the first three rounds I made three fields. With seed pellets, every time I sowed I got a free grain. I no longer needed to worry about feeding and set up a fantastic farm scoring me 50 points.
Ray was all about acquiring free resources.The Pan Baker gave him free clay and wood every time he picked up grain, the Hollow Warden gave him food everytime he used the hollow, he also would get grain for acquiring animals he already had on his farm with the feeding dish. Ray's house even had a fire protection pond giving him free food once he refurbished his house with clay. Even with all the freebies Ray could do no better than 3rd place with 34 points.
Poor Marco had to borrow and beg but it had all started so well for him. Hiring the shifitng cultivator and animal reeve had allowed him to build the wheel plow. The wheel plow allowed Marco to plow three fields with one action. This made my first three rounds seem pitiful!The animal reeve offered up to 5 bonus points for each type of animal the farm had. The more animals the higher the bonus and this was a bonus for every player. This had allowed for a game of high scores. Marco however did not feed his people or procreate until late in the year and his people sadly lived in squalor. Marco had scored 13 points but stated he liked the game but wasn't very good at playing it!
Andy felt hard done by all the goodies the other farmers had but after Marco had learned how to be an animal reeve, Andy knew his destiny! He had set up his farm to hold livestock. His buyer would buy boars and sheep from the supply once others had acquired them. What Andy had not counted for though was how nice they would be with Asian spices. With his oriental fireplace he eat his animals up, one at a time. Still Andy had a successful time buying animals and resources, scoring an impressive 45 points for 2nd place.
Discovering the new improvements and trying to make the best out of them is a real pleasure in Agricola. The interactive occupations and improvements change the way you build your farm and certainly create a level of uncertainty the game would otherwise not have. I never wanted to be a farmer but this game does make me think I am missing out.
It was late but Ray and Andy soldiered on playing games into the night.
"Warriors, fishermen and bankers living on their own private Utopian islands"
"Forget about the protection money,give me fish and I'll protect you to make money, money, money"
Vikings get a bad rap. Bloody, merciless and monster are just a few descriptions that are said of them. They are not known as segregationist though. In Vikings you acquire vikings with different occupations and different segments of islands. With the islands I made a beautiful country with lots of little islands. Each occupation had their own stretch of land and never the twine should meet. Interact the vikings did; the scout scored victory for all the workers below him and the warriors halted any foreign invaders. Each season you get income from your goldsmith and every-other season you score. We were playing the in game expansion and I had upgraded all my occupations to be better at their deemed task. I had it all money, protection and a beautiful utopia. Ray and Andy were convinced I would win. They were right. I had it all. Ray and Andy tried hard to catch up by accommodating bonus scoring tiles into their land. At the end of the game, my vikings needed feeding but I didn't have enough fish. From forging land to create the most beautiful land to letting my people starve, I had thrown away my victory in the name of vanity. My troops died! My country had became a true dystopia. In the end Ray won with his functional but ugly country. Acquiring the troops is unique in this game with ever changing prices. The bloodshed in the game is also entertaining as you have warriors frustrating your plans. I must go back to Sweden to prove my worth and battle the strongest vikings in the world.
This was my favourite night of gaming of the year! Yes it was my first but it would be difficult to beat.
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:00 pm
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