Games played at Epsom Games Club 09.11.2017
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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Beneath this mask there is an idea.....and ideas are bulletproof.
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We were ten - T101 James, Mike, Elizabethan Chris, Paul, Gordon, Brother Chris, Nerijus, Ingrid, Biblical James, Andrew B2 and Nameless Steve.

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1. Board Game: Clans of Caledonia [Average Rating:8.27 Overall Rank:212]
Chris Littler
United Kingdom
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Played by EP Chris, James, Paul and Mike

This is an engine building economic game, which many people compare to Terra Mystica. I've not play TM so can't make any comparisons.

There are a number of actions available to you including expanding you settlements and trading at the market. All of this is to work towards fulfilling contracts with the goods you either produce or buy at the market.

Interaction comes in a couple of forms; fighting over territory on the board (spaces have different costs and can support different units), screwing people in the market (buying something pushes the price up for the next person making the purchase) and building next to others allows you to buy up the goods they produce from the market at a discount.

Game end scoring consists of points for goods you have, money, the contracts you fulfilled, who fulfilled the most contracts and who had the most interconnected settlements.

The contract scoring is interesting in that there are three goods to export that vary in VPs according rarity. The good exported the least is worth the 5 points, the second 4 and the third 3. So you have to be careful with which contracts you take so that you dont focus on a single good and drive its rarity down.

I definitely enjoyed this. This learning game ran a little long, but the second half went quicker once everyone seemed to get an idea about what their plan was. The market interactions were great and the economic engine you build satisfying.

The asymmetric factions seemed well balanced and different enough to push people in different strategies.

Scores were including clans and focuses:

James (Clan Stewart - Traders) 166
Paul (Clan Fergusson - Shippers) 140
EP Chris (Clan MacKenzie - Whiskey) 120
Mike (Clan Campbell - Factories) 106
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2. Board Game: Inis [Average Rating:7.81 Overall Rank:143]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon, Bro Chris, Nerijus and Ingrid

It says and hour on the box and my past experience with it has suggested that is not far off the actual play time with people who have played before and maybe add half an hour if there are first-timers at the table as there was for Thursday's play. Well this play took 2.5 hours and was different to earlier plays -

- all but one of the land tiles were explored
- all of the Sanctuaries ended up in play
- One round saw all of us claim a Pretender token
- two players ended with all of their clans on the board
- most 'clashes' had peace immediately called or after only a couple of manoeuvres.

Chris and Ingrid looked the likely winners for most of the game and I had a few opportunities which kept getting blitzed by Ingrid reserving the Geis card exclusively for me (well that's my version of events). Chris was majoring in Sanctuaries and looked good for the win, and should have taken it if he had gone for another deed rather than another surplus sanctuary. One round ended with them tied on victory conditions but myself as the Brenn. Then after everyone had countered each other Nerijus quietly snuck through for a territory and sanctuary win.

Good game.
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3. Board Game: Love Letter: Batman [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:415]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon, Br Chris, Ingrid and Nerijus

A completely unnecessarily rethemed version of 'Love Letter', which I am sure has had a rule book change recommending the winner needs to achieve seven VP tokens to win, which is an absurd number turning a fun light end of evening bash into a potentially epic grind. We played to four.

Chris won.
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4. Board Game: A Feast for Odin [Average Rating:8.23 Overall Rank:33]
'Biblical' James
United Kingdom
Ashtead
Surrey
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Board stupid. Get it...
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Played by B.James, N.Steve and Andrew B2

New to N.Steve who was quick to proclaim the game is pretty simple but tuning your engine is not!

Andrew B2 went for a long ship early when he thought I was on that particular track (I wasn’t, I was in the snare laying business). And that took him down a significant plundering strategy which including buying an early island. I was concentrating on income and unlocking bonuses on my board by using the forge work. Steve had picked up some animal husbandry professions as well as building some viking huts that, I assume, had horns.

By the end game I’d bought two islands that I couldn’t fill so got a few minus points from that (although both were in profit). With Steve whaling and Andrew plundering the 7 seas I started emigrating a turn earlier than the others with merchant ships. In the end what felt like a close race turned out to be just that with everyone around the same score. A failed hunt for me in the penultimate turn the difference between shared victory and solo victory.

This game is awesome. About the 4th different way I’ve played it and really enjoyed each time

Scores
James and Andrew 89
Steve 85
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