Halesowen Boardgamers March 2011
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
Righto. With Andy away, it falls to me to continue the lists for http://www.halesowenboardgamers.blogspot.com/.

We meet every Wednesday evening at 19:30 in Halesowen. If you fancy joining us please contact either

United Kingdom
Halesowen
West Midlands
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Emerson, Lake & PalmerMicrobadge: Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds fanMicrobadge: Prog Rock fanMicrobadge: Yes fanMicrobadge: Dream Theater fan
Andy Evans
United Kingdom
Solihull
West Midlands
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Microbadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level I - One small step for geek... One giant leap for geek-kind!Microbadge: Glorantha fan: Air runeMicrobadge: Glorantha fan: Motion runeMicrobadge: Glorantha fan: Mastery runeMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level II - If I have seen further, it's only by standing on the apex of other's dice.

or myself.

This is a geeklist of the games we played in March 2011.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: Halesowen [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Blockade Runner [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:6090]
Board Game: Blockade Runner
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
2nd March

Dave F's game, bought a couple of weeks ago, and which he's been itching to play. I'd sort of agreed to play it last week, semi-confirmed by email (it was a toss-up between this and Ascendancy but, in the event, that was not to be); however, whilst I was at the bar, Mike snuck in. Oh well, it looks like a game that is probably more suited to his considered style of play rather than my random barges around a board.

The basic idea is that the players are profiteers during the American Civil War, running supply ships to the Confederacy through Scott's Anaconda blockade of Southern ports. Other than that, I don't know much.

The game was in its last turn when I left, so I don't have a score; however, when Steve H turns to you with a big grin on his face and says, "Mate, I just made a ton of money on that last turn," you know it can't be good for the other players.

Consensus seemed to be that there were a few component quality issues, mainly to do with the fact that the coloured marker pegs didn't fit the corresponding holes in the ship tokens very well, but that these didn't detract much from the game. It's a nice clear map, I must say, though the card quality made me wonder how long they might hold up. Super-thin money too, almost like onion skin.

Steve H - made a ton of money.
Dave F - looked a bit concerned.
Mike - deep in thought.


Mike $278,000
Dave F $266,000
Steve $261,000
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.61 Overall Rank:99]
Board Game: Pandemic
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
2nd March

Two games of Pandemic for the rest of us, the first of which didn't go to plan. I had Containment Specialist, DaveD had Generalist and Andy S had Field Operative. This was played with the Virulent Strain option. Andy went first and things started badly as he drew an epidemic on his first turn. I think Dave did the same and I escaped for a turn, but it didn't take long - four turns, I think, before we lost through a high number of outbreaks.

The second game, Andy had Researcher, Dave had Medic and I had Dispatcher and was played with the Mutation variant.

This game was much better as the cards were kinder, plus the three roles worked very cohesively with Dave's spot treatment, Andy's ability to trade any card and my ability to shuttle people around the map quickly. We had a few easy turns where we only triggered a few epidemics and were able to contain them quite successfully. Unfortunately, a combination of Essen and New York having three cubes apiece being turned over and causing London and Paris to trigger twice each took them to epidemic spread, meaning one player turn triggered four epidemics and took us to the brink of losing. Luckily, Dave managed to give me the last yellow card I needed to cure the final disease and we won. Very close and definitely the most interesting game of Pandemic I've played.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1464]
Board Game: Ra: The Dice Game
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
2nd March

A game of Ra: the Dice Game to finish off.

Dave did very well with Monuments and I was following close behind when Andy triggered a disaster and made monuments his target. I still managed 7 columns, whilst Dave filled a row and had a fair few others scattered around.

Civs were not in abundance, though Andy managed 10 points across the game whilst I made 5 on one round and lost 5 on another. Dave lost 10 in total, suffering in two epochs without civs. Pharaohs were hotly contested, everyone ending up on the last space of the track, thus scoring nothing in the last round, though Dave had made the best fist of it in the first epoch.

1 Dave D
2 Andy S
3 Donald
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Blockade Runner [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:6090]
Board Game: Blockade Runner
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
9th March

Three of us sat down to a game of Blockade Runner, the second week it's come to the table. This was my first play, Dave F and Steve H returning after last week.

As stated previously, this is a game of profiteering during the American Civil War. Run your boats past the Union blockades and buy and sell goods. There are four goods types in the game: cotton and tobacco, which you ship from the South to external ports; and black market- and war goods, which are in demand inside the Confederacy. It's a good idea to ship war goods because they mitigate taxation of black market goods and also serve to reduce the number ports that increase their blockade strength at the beginning of the next turn. This is nicely thematic as, given that war goods would be used to prosecute against Union forces, a lack of materiel would rightly leave the Union with a surplus of strength with which to blockade, which might otherwise be engaged against Confederate forces.

The core mechanism is action selection. You choose between load/ship goods/unload/transport by rail/play card/auction ship. Each can be played multiple times in the turn, and the goods actions count as one for all your ships, but you only get four total actions, unless you shipped most war goods the previous turn, in which case you get five. The object is to make the most money, which is the total of your shipping fleet value plus cash in hand.

Ships are a trade-off of speed/capacity/cost. Faster ships allow you to evade the blockades more easily.

Cards are played to improve port defences, add some weather effects, give ship bonuses etc., and each adds $5000 to the port defence fund. Each card played takes an action, but the defence fund may then be freely spent by the person who played the card, provided there is enough cash to upgrade the defences of their chosen port.

Ports fall pretty quickly in this game, so upgrades are a good idea, especially as, dependent on the number of war goods shipped, one or more ports may be assaulted and, if they are weak compared to the blockade, may be captured by the Union and thus closed for the remainder of the game.

Running the blockade is simple: subtract the blockade strength from a sum of ship speed plus modifiers (weather, captain etc.) plus port defence strength. Roll two 8-sided dice. If either die is less than the result, you ran the blockade. If not, the Union sinks you. Things are complicated when the High Seas Squadron blockades you into an external port because there are no port defences to add to your modifiers and things can be a bit risky.

Component issues aside, it's quite a nice game, though I don't think I deserved to come second - the luck factor meant that Dave, who was easily ahead of me, got blown out of the water at the eleventh hour. That happens when you take risks, though.

Steve H $224,000
Donald $217,000
Dave F $148,000




1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:2892]
Board Game: Unpublished Prototype
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
9th March

Following on from last year's Great Fire of London 1666, Claire, Mike and Andy S sat down with Dave D who was play testing Richard Denning's prototype. I didn't think I should give its name as I didn't know if it was under wraps but, given that the prototype testing is listed as part of this year's UK Games Expo, I guess it's in the public domain.

In The Great Museum, players take on the role of curators/owners whose task it is to furnish their museum with the most exotic and prestigious artifacts.

That's as much as I know about the game but, given that I really like Great Fire, I'm looking forward to having a go. I know Great Fire has its issues, and there are some detractors at the club, but I think it's great fun for its weight, and deserves success as a family game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Caylus Magna Carta [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:926]
Board Game: Caylus Magna Carta
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
March 16th

Steve H, Steve Pe, Andy S and Mike sat down to play one of my favourite card games. I was too distracted by what I was playing to observe their table, but the game ran 90 minutes.

Andy S 38 (1=) 36 (3=)
Mike 38 (1=) 36 (3=)
Steve Pe 36 (3=) 38 (1=)
Steve H 36 (3=) 38 (1=)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:62]
Board Game: 7 Wonders
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
March 16th 35 mins

I'm guessing Steve H had the most military over Andy but that Steve Pe kept pace given that they were his neighbours. Either that or Steve Pe went for a tech strategy and had lots of green multiples. Of course, I might be entirely wrong.

Steve H 56
Mike 50
Steve Pe 49
Andy S 36
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Omega Centauri [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:5252]
 Missing Image
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
16th March 120 mins+

Ha ha! Finally, we get my homebrew kit to the table. We had to fudge the Empire Expansion a bit because of a lack of tokens (my fault), but otherwise all worked fine. After a rules explanation we managed four turns of the long game.

This is a 4X game played over 9 rounds with scoring at each round's end - and that's something to really bear in mind as almost everything from advancement to sector control has potential to score points. The scoring can be, if not exponential, then super-polynomial in its increase (okay, that's an exaggeration, but you get the idea).

The round is broken down into five phases with the second phase further broken down into an action selection round where three action cards, known as Focus Actions, are chosen from a deck of five and placed down in order of execution. The five Focus Actions are Research, Move, Build, Assemble and Politics.

Once the cards are stacked, players execute their first card action in turn order, then their second, then third. Research is used to develop technology; Build allows you to build shipyards, defences and monuments; Assemble allows you to place a starfleet (if one is available) for each shipyard; move allows you to mobilise your fleets (with combat automatically occurring if the sector is occupied by another race and continuing until the elimination of one or both combatants in that sector); and Politics allows you to add to your resources, fleet availability (through cards) or cultural achievement (which is different to cultural advancement).

Now, I don't want to go into too much detail because it makes things sound an awful lot more complicated than is the case. In essence, the mechanisms are straightforward and transparent, but explaining it all can be quite obfuscating. Suffice to say there is an AWFUL lot going on in this game. The cards give benefits that shift your powers; there are racial powers; variable winning strategies. I'd heard that it's best to have a plan going in, and I might agree but, with four players all fighting for technology, it's unlikely your plan won't need re-thinking. There is resource management, cultural development, combat and everything is condensed into a game that seems quite quick for the level of involvement, even though I think the two-hour play time is optimistic.

Oh, and you need a bloody big table for the 117 Technology-, Advanced Technology-, Mobilise- and Advancement cards, shared board, galaxy map, player mats and areas where they can lay out their tableaux, Empire tokens, shipyards, fleets, resources, monuments, somewhere to play your Focus Actions and your race-specific cards too.
From gallery of Microver99


As you can see, we just about managed it on one table, but there is a box of stuff on the floor.

I really enjoyed it (which I'm glad of), but Nigel didn't have a great time. I think it's just one of those games that doesn't click with him in the same way that World Without End doesn't work for me - it ends up as an exercise in frustration that sucks all the fun out of everything.
From gallery of Microver99


Although he does look like he's having fun. Sorry Nigel.

Anyway, we got to the end of turn four, at which point Paul was leading.

Paul 1
Dave F 2
Donald 3
Nigel 4

2 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Puzzle Strike [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:1953]
Board Game: Puzzle Strike
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
16 March

Everybody left except Dave F and me. We played Puzzle Strike and Dave destroyed me.

This is an interesting game with some Dominion-like mechanics, but it has enough novelty to be considered different. I actually preferred the way you could smack your opponent directly and SEE IT HAPPEN! Smack! (or crash, as the game has it) you take one of my gem hits and add it to your stack. But NO! I block you WITH MY MIND... or rather with my counter. It's back-and-forth smack, punch, combo up, HADO-ken!!! Hai! ShiRYU-ken!!!

Oh no, it's Chun-Li a generic female fighting character with no big-name fighting title associations, and she's got a piggy bank! (That won't make sense if you've not played the game, and I'm not at pains to explain it.)

I think I'd like another go, please, Dave.

Dave - Kicked ass.
Donald - Lying on the floor, bleeding.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:41]
Board Game: Power Grid
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
March 23rd

I've not played six-player previously, five being the number that generally seems to inspire calls for Power Grid. This game was played on the Central Europe map, the blue north-east corner marked out-of-bounds. Steve started in the nuke-free north-west, Dave D in the mid-west, Dave F in Vienna, Andy S to his immediate east, with Mike and I in mid- and south-east.

I came first in the turn order, did my usual nominating of what I thought might be an attractive plant to others and promptly found myself buying it at cost when everyone passed.

I am rubbish at this game.

Power plants came out at an alarmingly low rate due to only poor plants being available early- to mid game, thus few were purchased early on, expansion was slow and the resource market overflowing with goodness until both Daves began a trash war.

Steve won through being able to expand freely whilst the rest of us clustered at the bottom of the map.

I think I play this game too conservatively despite my sometimes extravagant spending. I finished last.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Pickomino [Average Rating:6.56 Overall Rank:1251]
Board Game: Pickomino
Second in a one horse race
Scotland
Bloxham
Oxon
flag msg tools
Cardboard rocks. It's just not the same on iOS.
badge
F&%K YOU, DODGEBALL!!!
Avatar
Microbadge: Championship Formula Racing fanMicrobadge: Parent of One BoyMicrobadge: Parent of Two GirlsMicrobadge: Guitar fanMicrobadge: Remembrance day - lest we forget...
March 23rd

6-player Heck Meck.

That is all I have to say on the subject.

... excepting that Andy won.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}