Games played WABA Mnt Claremont 13 Nov 2010
Jason Dyke
Australia
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A relaxed day of gaming with an intimate number of patrons, spoiled only by the intermittent shouts of "You're the frakkin' cylon!"...
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1. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:187]
Jason Dyke
Australia
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Kris, Lauren and I warmed this one up for 45 min before a full game was played by Lauren, Jaqui, Craig and me.

The hotness on BGG, this is somewhat like Alea Iacta Est on steroids in space and drew a fair bit of attention. It took a few rounds for the newbies to grasp the potential combination moves that can be pulled off with all of the board locations and Alien Tech cards available. Once they did though, there were Dominion-style action chains happening on every other turn resulting in what had seemed like a runaway lead being whittled down to a nail-biting win to Craig. Definitely worth another go, sometime soon!
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2. Board Game: Lords of Vegas [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:374]
Jason Dyke
Australia
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Giving in to the cult of the new, we followed Alien Frontiers with Lords of Vegas. Jaqui made way for Peter, so it was a learning game for Peter and Craig with Lauren and I making up the numbers.

There was plenty of wheeling and dealing in this, with one player in particular having an atrocious run of dice luck. Peter's green 9-tile mega casino was the scene of much tension as millions were spent on expansions and remodelling. Lauren expanded in a few different locations on the board and managed to get in on some good card draws to finish level with Peter on victory points, but just pipped him on cash in hand. Closest finish I've yet seen in this great new dice-rolling, push-your-luck, tile-laying, area control and negotiation game.
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3. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:617]
Jason Dyke
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Jaqui, Lauren, Craig and I finished with a quick round of this fantastic filler. An easy victory to Jaqui in her first go at this game.
 
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4. Board Game: Condottiere [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:826]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Craig, Nathan, Judson and I managed three games of this in quick succession.

I know I didn't win any.
 
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Europe [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:102] [Average Rating:7.56 Unranked]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Gracie and I taught Craig how to win this game comfortably at your first attempt.
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6. Board Game: Shadow Hunters [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:809]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Took the shrink wrap off this for a seven player game. The Shadows (Mark and Nathan?) took out a victory over the Hunters and Neutrals with the demise of the Neutrals.
 
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7. Board Game: Fearsome Floors [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:997]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Aidden, Dean, Nathan and I raced the monster to the exit. Aidden looked like he had the game on toast before the marching monster had him on toast instead.
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8. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:622]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Rob controlled the yellow pieces, the Romans, the Romano-British, the Dubliners, the Norwegians and the Scots.

Dan, a first time visitor joined in with the Caledonians, the Danes the Jutes and the Welsh.

Greg was the Brigantes, the Irish, the Norsemen and the Saxons.

I was the Belgae, the Picts and Angles and the Normans.

*warning - gripe ahead*

Well what a horrible game, mostly due to dice lice. It's quite a good game, really.

Firstly, do you think anyone could even stop or slow down the Romans? The Romans could roll no wrong. You would think that you could get at least a couple of 'em but Nooooooo 6's were reserved for the use of Rob only, it seemed, for most of the game.

Severe dice lice infested everyone who even wanted to nibble on Romans, resulting either in mass extinction or subjugation as people gave in to the inevitable or just tried for survival.

It was a very bleak game if you weren't yellow. The Romans just stormed right up until they'd cleaned out even the northernmost islands. It was horrible and there wasn't a damn thing we could do about it.

I misread some of my victory conditions early on with the Angles with a stupid mistake and landed in the wrong place, robbing myself of a possible 20 points or so. I won't make that mistake again!

But my major invasion of Angles was a bit of a fizzog anyway. Dice lice you know.

Dan acquitted himself well with the Welsh, they were a big earner for him, there was nothing Rob could do to stop them cheerfully breeding quite well even while subjugated. And then they just went and scored 12 points for taking over York.

Greg's Brigante also lasted really well. And the Saxons, yeah, it was the Saxon Shore alright, couldn't dislodge the buggers, and they were everywhere.

By round 13, which is where we had to finish I had only two units left on the board, both Angles in Lindsay and Suffolk, if I recall.
This was a result of continuous appalling rolls...

And no prospect of getting any more units except through very slow breeding over the next 3 game turns. Ouch.

Unfortunately we ran out of time before my most major invasion was due, which was kind of frustrating as I had been taking such a pounding, was so reduced and everyone else had had theirs. Graargh!

Next time this game is proposed it would be best to start as soon as we open to give us the best possible chance of completion. If I'm committing this many hours to a single game I'd like it to finish, and with the same people that I start with.
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9. Board Game: Trans Europa [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1326]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Rob, Dean & I taught this to a nice French-Canadian lady and her two kids.
 
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10. Board Game: Constantinopolis [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:1471]
Andrew
Australia
Perth Airport
WA
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Newly arrived a fortnight ago, Gracie and I gave this a 2P run through. Reinforcing the impression of my first play with Tim and Billie a week ago, this game is a pleasant surprise - elements of Puerto Rico, Cuba and Age of Discovery all combine to make a very accessible and easily learned game with lots of interesting (but relatively quick) decision making.

Winning by just 5 points, I was very pleased with this playing as well with 2 as it did with 3, and anticipate it scaling nicely to it's limit of 5 without going much out of its suggested 60-90 minute time frame (several phases can be done simulataneously).
 
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11. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:122]
Andrew
Australia
Perth Airport
WA
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This was my second playing of this game and, as with the first time, I find myself wanting so much to enjoy it and being slightly disappointed.

The alien powers add real spice to your strategies. I like the challenge of the game getting harder as you get closer to winning. And given that the draw of the cards has equal potential across all players the game feels as if it should be quite balanced.

But it does not. One of our participants threw in the towel and walked away, feeling his position was beyond recovery and he was not interested in trying. This soured the atmosphere somewhat, although his complaints were not without merit. Several of the cards and powers have effects that make developing any plan past your current turn impossible. And the likeable quality of it being more difficult to win the closer you get to winning also means the game can start to drag past the point of being interesting.

My feeling is that there is a disproportionate amount of luck in a game in which the mechanics seem to want to encourage you to develop a strategy. Regrettably, I am yet to see that come into play.

Aidden won the game after Mark played a card he shouldn't have (wasn't actually allowed to) and stole the win from me. Mark's remorse was sincere, if less than heartfelt.
 
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12. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:153]
Andrew
Australia
Perth Airport
WA
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Got this out to gauge Aidden's interest and, as anticipated, it was very high. After one practice build, and one test flight, he had the concept down pat and was building very sound spacecraft with very few exposed connections.

We didn't play past the first level, but this is truly a fun game and thoroughly recommended for any that haven't tried it.
 
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13. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:657]
Nathan
Canada
Vancouver
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Six treasure hunters, Judson, Emily, Mark, Warren, young Aidden? and myself dared to brave the crumbling beastie infested ruins for fame and fortune...mostly fortune I presume.

In fine Indiana Jones like style, using well timed early retreats with respectable armfuls of important artefacts of great historical value to be donated to museums and university archeology departments around the world loot, was Mark who took the lead to win the game.

An interesting little game that reminds me of the Dragon's treasure chamber in Dungeonquest, with the player facing a "should I stay a bit longer or should I go now?" dilemma.

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14. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:66]
Nathan
Canada
Vancouver
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The "Suspects":

Richard as Admiral "Where is my Presidency promotion?" Adama
Emily as Chief "Getting the job done...but suspiciously quiet like" Tyrol
Judson as Sharon "Why does everybody always look at me like that" Valerri
Kris (sp?) as Captain "Why do Viper pilots get all the glory" Helo
Eric as Giaus "Why can I never be president longer than 5 minutes at a time...and why does everybody keep looking at me like that too?" Baltar
Myself as Kara "I didn't do it" Thrace

Despite very good, relatively resource loss free progress by Galactica to the halfway point at Kobol, things ultimately went pear shaped.

The Admiral attracted a lot of suspicion onto himself very early on with his quick acquisition of the title of President to consolidate supreme executive power. As it turned out, this was not cylon behaviour after all but rather a simple case of misguided megalomania as it occurred BEFORE his sleeper phase Cylon switch was activated.

Following repeated attacks by the Cylon fleet, relatively slow FTL spooling, and little consensus on who the remaining cylon was, the Galactica and it's fleet were inexorably drawn towards its doom. A very well played Baltar by Eric, who kept his true Cylon identity well disguised from the games very beginning, finally found himself facing the inside of the brig after his dastardly sabotaging ways was becoming apparent. But it was too late for the stricken humans. In the space of a few turns the very healthy population of the fleet quickly plummeted, over took the dwindling fuel and morale to finally be snuffed out in a pitiful whimper.
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15. Board Game: Kingsburg [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:297]
Neil Bloomfield
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Christophe had two games he wanted to play. Paul, Tony and Neil offered to play the easier one, to get started, so Christophe introduced us to Kingsburg.

It took us a little while to get used to the mechanics, but once we did, we hopped into a frenzy of building, seeking fame, and defending ourselves from the marauding baddies.

I was doing well with the building pattern, Tony struggled to throw any huge numbers on the dice, and the other two were in the middle.

Then, about half way through, Christophe decided he had made an error with the way the "King's Aid" die is used. Christophe decided that Tony could retain his die. Tony, with the least number of buildings, managed to accumulate more than one extra dice, and with their aid, he streaked ahead to a comfortable win.

Now, I'm not a sore loser (ha ha), but I looked up the rules (on BGG) the next day. So for next time I play this game (and I would like there to be a next time), here's what I found:

* The King's Aid die is used only once (for the Spring season)
* After the spring season it is returned
* The die can only be used to influence Advisors if placed with a coloured dice

Looks like we weren't even using the correct interpretation at the start of the game.

Other little corrections:

* You can only use one +2 addition for an advisor
* If you don't use the King's Envoy (the purple guy) by the beginning of Phase 5 (when he is re-assigned), then you have to return him to the board, so that he can be re-assigned.
* If you lose a battle to an Enemy, and you have to lose a building, you don't get any say in which building you lose. Instead, the top building in the rightmost column that you have a building is removed.
* If you use the Statue or Chapel effect, you can only use them once each for a season (though if you have both, you can use both during one season).

As I said, I'd be happy to play this game again. I especially like the small spiteful moves when you place your dice on an Advisor with the sole purpose of blocking another player. And the mechanics require planning and thought.

We never did get around to playing Christophe's second game.


 
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16. Board Game: The Resistance [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:210]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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To start the game off lightly, we had an 8 player game of this, well 3 or 4 of them as this game is very quick.

If I recall correctly, it came down to 3 spy wins and 1 rebel win

Also played this to end the day where the rebels seemed to keep winning due to pure luck that the spies were excluded laugh
 
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17. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:329] [Average Rating:7.19 Unranked]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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Original game with Emily, Chris, Eric and I. We played this as everyone knows this one, my personal preference is for cities and knights. Anyway, it wasn't long before both Emily and I were built out due to a thief on the 8 clay supply early but then we got revenge by sending the robber to the heavily harvested 8 ore in Eric's territory. Meanwhile, Chris had expanded such that nearly no number was not giving him resources, his only fear being the 7 but this didn't eventuate and he eventually won as we had all hampered Eric for a little too long (i.e. the robber didn't move!)
 
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18. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:405]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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New game for Emily, Eric and Chris. This time I tried Billy's strategy of not buying a 3rd bean field. Half way through, Chris proclaimed that bean farming "wasn't for him" laugh but all had fun. In the end it was cloase with myself taking first by only $1 from Eric, closely followed by Emily and then Chris.

As always, the game is fairly close towards the end as trades shift away from the winning players. Love this filler.
 
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