Games Played WABA Thornlie October 2012
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Whew! It was a hot day, but the new Thornlie location has much better air con than the last one, so it was a very pleasant way to play a whole bunch of games.

What did you get played?
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1. Board Game: Disaster Looms! [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:10453]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Tim kindly struggled through this notoriously bad rulebook to teach Andrew, Elaine and myself this new game.

Unfortunately, this meant we had a pretty difficult first game.

It's a pick up and deliver game with a large exploration component, essentially the planet Earth is about to explode and we are all shipping people off onto other planets as quickly as we can, and rather than attempting to save as many people as possible, we are also very concerned that we own the final colonies that people end up on, so we try to take over other peoples/protect our own. So many people died because we were too busy taking care of ourselves. What a bunch of jerks!

It's not a terrible game at all, I don't think, but we also felt it needed more play testing/refining.

I probably shouldn't make this kind of call on a first play, but the way the events and uninhabitable planets are distributed seemed not so great to me - They seem to be very heavy in the first third of the deck, meaning if you had unlucky draws it was very difficult to get going. Tim had a good draw on his first turn to be able to colonize right away and was earning two extra credits every turn, which is pretty significant.

I hovered over his planet though, meaning he was at least tied up with defending it from me.

Anyway, Andrew played very well with a particularly aggressive final turn that really won him the game.

There are some great ideas in the game, and we know for sure we played some of the rules wrong (we just had to make some calls on the go because the rule book is shocking) but for sure the next group Tim teaches it to will be playing a better game.

(Also they are releasing a new rule book next week I believe, which will hopefully clear everything up).
 
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2. Board Game: Rapa Nui [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:2239]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Next up, we wanted something nice and quick, so the same group played Rapa Nui the newish game from the designer of Carcassonne.

The players are Easter-Islanders building statues and sacrificing goods to their Gods.

It has an interesting mechanism where the cards are laid out in four askew piles of four (so that you can see each card in the stack) and you play a card in front of yourself from your hand, and then you take the top card from one of the piles and the card that is LEFT scores.

So if you leave a lumberjack, everyone with a lumberjack gets some wood.

The other interesting thing is the sacrifice stone where you are putting goods, which at the end of the game, the good that there is the most of in the pile will score three points for each of the goods you still have in your hand, the next most will score two and the third will score three and the final will score nothing*.

So you need to balance between building up the number of cards of the good you are collecting on the stone, but also keeping enough of them in your hand to actually score you points.

I really like this game a lot. I think it plays better with fewer people if you want to have much more control/strategy, but it's a perfectly fun game with four.

It's up on Yucata.de too, and I'm akways up for a game

Elaine won this one, and by a fair margin I think? I completely backed the wrong good. Oh well!

*If some of the goods tie, there are all different ways the goods can end up scoring, and that happened to us.
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3. Board Game: Biblios [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:320]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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After running out to get some dinner, we played a couple of great fillers, starting with Biblios, the game where you are medieval librarians trying to build up the most valuable collections.

Misha taught it to Simon, Jacob and myself.

It's fairly simple, but it certainly has a lot going on! On a turn you draw cards one at a time, and chose to either keep it (secret), put it up for auction (secret until after everyone else chooses their card) or put it out in the open for the other players to choose from.

So you must make your choice each time you draw a card and you only get to keep one, and there must be at least one card for each player, so it's pretty tough to choose some times!

Plus, in the middle of the table, we are all manipulating the value of the sets we are collecting, but only some of the cards that people are taking is open information, and only the person with the MOST points in a set actually earns the reward.

Very tough, very fun! Would play again for sure.

Jacob won.
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4. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:319]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Next the same group played Hanabi, which I taught.

It's a co-op game where supposedly we are fireworks manufacturers who have mixed up our fireworks and need to work together to sort them out.

Everyone holds their cards back to front so that the other players can see what you have, but you can't.

You can then on a turn spend a blue chip (from a communal pool) to tell one of the other players one piece of information (this card and that card are green, or these cards are fives for example). You're allowed to rearrange your hand with that information, but can't look at the cards, so you have to remember.

It's really tricky to remember everything though because of course you are trying to also think about everyone else's hands too.

You can also discard a card to earn the blue chips back, or you can play a card and if it is a card that you can legally play, it will ultimately earn you points, if not, you get a red chip.

Three red chips and you lose, otherwise the game ends when you have five complete sets of five cards (each a different colour, 1-5 in order) or when you run out of cards, then you tally up your points and compare it to a chart.

We scored 13 out of a possible 25, which is "honourable, but will not be remembered for very long..."

An excellent take on co-op games, and much tougher than it seems.
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5. Board Game: Trajan [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:72]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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And now onto the main course.

I taught Misha, Jacob and Tim Trajan, the most recent Stephan Feld game.

This is a themeless game, a big Euro with lots of different ways to convert things into points. But it is a really elegant one.

The game revolves around the mancala for action selection, which is just incredibly interesting. There's too many moving parts to really explain it very well, but there are a lot of very viable paths you can take to earn points, such as taking Trajan tiles and completing them using you mancala to match the colours on the tiles, there's a military section, a shipping section, a senate and a building section, each with its own points and rewards.

You also have to be careful to meet the demands of your people or face a pretty harsh penalty.

I caught that I had one of the rules wrong on the day (the shipping action doesn't tell you to take one card and discard one, but instead add two cards to your hand and discard one card from your hand, giving you much more control).

Misha picked up another - the Trajan tiles that can be used to meet people's demands are not discarded (but not the forum tiles that you collect from the forum or from military actions - those are still discarded) so that makes those tiles MUCH more valuable. Tim really suffered at the hands of the demands of the people, and it might have made a huge difference to his game, so, sorry about that Tim!

I usually browse the BGG rules section after my first game of this size/complexity to see that I interpreted everything correctly, but hadn't had time to do that yet.

So yeah, next match will be different!

In the end, Misha won with me just behind him.

Many people are calling this the best game of last year, and I agree!
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6. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:180]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Then I played my last game, which I taught to Tim, Mark and Misha.

A great, somewhat light (though with a lot of potential combinations and depth, I think) card game where moves are dictated by dice, the season of the year and your cards. It plays very fast, it has a really good beginners game to ease you in, and it's fairly smooth to play too.

There's a lot of buzz around this one, and I think it is a really fun game.

My first win of the day, but it was super close between Mark and I.
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7. Board Game: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:77] [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
 
Nathan
Canada
Vancouver
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Rowland and Oliver and their motley crew of Tie Fighters Vs Mark and myself leading the Rebel Scum.

A tightly fought game which the Rebels won. Until they didn't. But they should have because Rowland and Oliver broke the laws of probability with only one of their rolled dice ever showing a miss. Almost only one. But they got lucky. Except the part when they nearly lost. I suppose it was anybodies game in the end.


Great game.
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8. Board Game: Railways of Europe [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Nathan
Canada
Vancouver
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Warren, Rowland, first time Railwayer Michael and I set off with our Barons to conquer the railway industry before picking up some bread sticks in France.

Relatively close game with only a few points between each players score markers. Everybody managed to set up some nice networks without getting in each others way too much.

Warren managed an impressive low Bond game with total control in Spain and made inroads across to Italy and up over to Western France. Michael did very well in Eastern Europe, setting up the long required links and not exhausting all available options too early, a problem I always have when focusing on that side of the board. Rowland spidered out from central Europe trying to achieve the longest railway network for bonus points. I managed to steal that for myself luckily. I was mostly French and Dutch based in my endeavours. I managed to pick up a lot of bread sticks before winning the game.
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9. Board Game: Powerboats [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:1493]
Nathan
Canada
Vancouver
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The resolute, in for the long haul, night owl (or homeless) among us, stuck it out to the very end for some fierce competitive powerboating.

Leading positions chopped and changed each race, and every boat had managed to crash at least once or twice before the final round. Warren was trying his best to upset the Greenies and conservationists by attempting to inflict as much damage on the lush vegetative banks with his boat as he could.

bonus points to Jason and Mark for spending one race each trying to survey every nook and cranny of the entire board, although I don't think it was actually intentional.
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10. Board Game: Cold War: CIA vs KGB [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:1233]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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Oliver (KGB) vs Rich (CIA) on this 2 player game.

Was great fun with me getting an inordinate number of unlucky draws but hats off to Oliver for capitalising on my misfortune!

In the end it was closer than we thought after a well played Director by me gave me 40 points in one turn.

The end was KGB 105 vs CIA 75
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11. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:287]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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Thank you to Andrew for lending this copy to us.

Played about 10,000 games of this Saturday (not literally).

The first crew kept failing until Mark left us to 5 and then we seemed to win again

On the second crew, well they got the easy side quick enough but the advanced side had us there for about 1 hour going through 4 fire chiefs before our eventual victory

Looking forward to playing the advanced game soon.
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12. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:47]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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2 games of this, with Natasha winning the first to just scrape out the heavily science invested Owain. This one included the Cities expansion

The second game was good, however I forgot who won although I don't think it was me. I think it was either Owain or Natasha again
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13. Board Game: Fluxx [Average Rating:5.68 Overall Rank:7483]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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The people I had been playing with wandered off to find some dinner and so Steven(?) and I looked for a two-player game in the WABA stash. We weren't able to find one but I had a copy of Fluxx in my bag (that I had yet to play) and it claimed to be 2-player so we thought we'd give it a go. We were about 4 rounds into our first game when another game finished and we gained two new players. That first game ended with me being forced to play a new goal that caused Steven to win. We played a second round too that was forcibly brought to a close by player-hungry-ness after about 20 minutes. Highly random and unfair but strangely addictive I think I'd like to try one of the flavoured Fluxxes as the base game is a bit bland.
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14. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:152]
Mike Minutillo
Australia
Stratton
Western Australia
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Build a ship out of scrap and then limp your way to victory through a gruelling gauntlet of challenges. Mark trained Steven, myself, and one of the young lads (Blake?) through a game against Oliver who had a Metal Fatigue handicap as he'd played before.

With some trepidation and panic we rapidly built our first rust-buckets in a race against time and either through beginners luck or some inordinate skill, none of our ships fell apart immediately before launch. After launch was a different matter altogether.

My first ship had a single engine and managed to limp it's way into last place with just a few sections falling off of it. I didn't make that mistake again with my second ship but I forgot to add shielding and lasers so the first meteor shower we went through sheared off half the ship. The last trip out, space pirates managed to decimate our ships despite what I thought was a fair array of lasers for a junker.

Only Oliver's ship actually made it to the destination with the other 3 floating out there somewhere, crew-less and dark in the endless night (probably to smack into one of my ships in a future game and tear off my alien life-support system again).

Despite Metal Fatigue dropping chunks off of Oliver's mighty craft whenever we reached open space he won prettiest ship a few times and I reckon that won him his well-deserved victory.
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