Games played WABA Mt Claremont 12th March 2011
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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A good turn out this month. Rob and I taught Western style Mah Jong and Mystery Train. A spare Mah Jong set we'd set up was well utilised by passing players, I think it had a couple of games!

Edit - That should read Mystery Express, not Mystery Train...
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1. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:678]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Rob (playing) and I (supervising) taught this, 5 games were had. Although not a board game most passers-by were intrigued. We might bring this again if anyone else wants to learn.
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2. Board Game: Mystery Express [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1602]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Two games of this were running at the club this month. One group started before us.

However as Rob took on the job of instruction we got through this pretty quickly considering that I was the only one who'd played before, as far as I know.

This is a challenging game, especially trying to establish the time of death.

Mary had to leave 3/4 through, so Rob took her place.

I think I was only right about place of death, having narrowed it down to 1 of two choices every time, and guessing wrong for each time.
I was closest to the time, but only through guessing. None of us got that right.

Oh well. I think Elaine nailed it with 3 points.

This game requires a lot of concentration, and I think you could carefully track cards if you wanted to take the time and the notes. I might try that next time.

The other group, as I understand it, had a lot more success.
 
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3. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:58]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught this game to a collection of new players - Mark, Ben (2nd play), Paul and Jonova.

Being the only one who really knew how to play, I understandably got picked on with almost every negative move.

I squeaked home to win on the very last move.
 
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4. Board Game: Steam over Holland [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:2073]
Neil Bloomfield
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Jason did an admirable job of explaining this game to Tim, Eric and Neil. Then we started playing. I (Neil) was the starting player, and pulled off a brilliant coup, cleverly setting the price of my company so that no-one else could buy more shares than me. That was the high point of my game. From there on I went backwards fast. Jason pretended to buy a worthless company, and indeed his network was not extensive. However, this seems to be more a game about buying and selling shares than developing a railway network.

In a nutshell, you buy shares in a rail company (in this instance, developing train lines in Holland). If you hold a majority of owned shares (you are the president of the company), you also run the activities of the company - selling shares to raise funds, placing train tracks, buying trains, earning money by making runs between cities on track accesible to you, and distributing these funds as a dividend (and thus driving up the share price) or holding the funds for future development. As well, as a private person, you can buy and sell shares. In this particular 18xx game, there is one personal share buying and selling session to two company sessions, but this is misleading, since the share buying and selling continues until all players pass. So even though you are restricted to buying one share (10% of a company) in one buying transaction, during the personal session you could buy a lot more shares, if you had the funds.

The game took about an hour to explain (there is a lot to learn about), and about 2 1/2 to play. Jason won, but was closely followed by Tim and Eric (not necessarily in that order), and Neil well behind.

In spite of getting thrashed, I enjoyed the game, and would like to play it again. Next time I won't be nearly as passive on the stock market!
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5. Board Game: Railways of the World [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:105] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught this game to a collection of new players - Nathan (2nd play), Mark, David and William.

Mark enagaged in a building and bonus point strategy and got too far ahead for us to run him down by the end.

A mini power struggle between Nathan and I probably cost us any chance of winning.
 
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6. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:58]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught the full game to a collection of new players - Nathan, Steve, William and Greg (might have that line up wrong).

William came over the top of us to win in the last scoring round.

A mini power struggle between Nathan and I probably cost us any chance of winning. Again.
 
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7. Board Game: London (first edition) [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:313]
Eric
Australia
Nedlands
Western Australia
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Jason, Tim, and me played a three player game. Players are given the task of rebuilding the city of London after the great fire in 1666. Players can mainly do 2 things. Buying and building burrows in districts around London (the board), and building buildings (the cards) and activating them through a card driven mechanics.

It really is a card game with a board, I think buying in London (the board) adds a bit to the game mainly in the form of getting more cards (and thus play more) but otherwise most of the mechanic comes from choosing and utilising the right cards. There is some randomness, but the 'discard one to play one', and ability to pick discarded cards eliminate some of that randomness.

I think it's interesting and enjoy the game, although it could get boring with repeated play. I think the mechanics of pollution and draw 1 card per turn limits possible strategies and streamline the gameplay.

You need more cards to play more and gain more points and you only really get that by buying district. It means you need the money to buy extra burrows. In effect I cannot see any other strategy then just running through the cycle of buy district/play cards/activate/buy more district.

I do enjoy it though and would like to play more just to see if I am proved wrong.
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8. Board Game: Aqua Romana [Average Rating:6.33 Overall Rank:2497]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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The first game that Jess and I played was Aqua Romana. There weren't too many people there yet, and those that were were pretty much all in games, so we went ahead and played two players.

This was our favourite game of the day - Jess particularly loved it.

It's a tile laying game where you have to line up aqueducts, and there are rules as to what you can play etc. You score depending on the length of your aqueduct.

Simple and calm. Kind of reminded us of 2 player Ticket to Ride, which (for us at least) is a nice, relaxing, quiet game,

Jess wants to pick it up at some point.
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9. Board Game: Santiago [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:604]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Tyrone saw us playing Aqua Romano, and suggested Santiago to keep the irrigation theme going. (If I had a dollar for every time we've had an irrigation themed gaming day...)

So he kindly taught us how to play it, and we had a three player game. It has a light auction mechanic, where you bid on the available crops, and then it's a tile laying game - you place your crop so that hopefully it is connected to the watered areas, or you attempt to bribe the overseer who places a new ditch of water onto the board.

Your crop has to stay alive to score points, and if it's planted adjacent to more of the same crop, it's worth more points for everyone that has that crop.

I was pretty slow at catching on to the strategy, Tyrone won, with Jess in second and me in last place. Was a nice game though, and I would play again.
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10. Board Game: Attila [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:2084]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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And then Tyrone pulled a game from his collection called Attila. It's out of print, from 2000 and I had never heard of it.

He taught Jess, me and we were joined by Paul for a 4 player game. It's a area control / area influence kinda game, where you place out warriors and then sort of 'invest' in their clan. When a certain amount of warriors are in one area there's conflict. Once conflict is resolved you score depending on the number of warriors and the number of areas they occupy.

It was fun, but it does have a components issue - namely that the characters colours (and cubes) are the same as some of the clan members and yet they don't actually relate. Meaning it is a little difficult to teach the game at first, and occasionally makes the scoring a bit difficult too.

But yeah, we enjoyed it.

Tyrone destroyed us, not sure who came 2nd, 3rd or 4th, because Tyrone destroyed us by such a margin that we didn't do all of the math required for the final score. (Terrible we know)

Anyway, no duds this week.
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11. Board Game: Samarkand: Routes to Riches [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1422]
Roger Lai
Australia
Churchlands
WA
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Played with Dean, Paul and Tyrone.

A light game with initially difficult to explain rules. Also found out after 2 games we played one crucial rule wrong - you can sell a card for 3 gold OR keep it hidden for extra VPs not do both.

Still fun and quick (40min) though I expect it to be better with the correct rules.

I won the first game and Tyrone the second.
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12. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:75]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Photos of the endgame of that fateful Pandemic game!










 
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13. Board Game: 2 de Mayo [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1215]
Magister Ludi
Australia
Fremantle
Western Australia
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Newly added to the WABA library for March and not about salad dressing as the title may suggest..

Recreates the heroic uprising of the Spanish against Napoleon in 1808. A very quick 2 player filler that pits the Spanish populace against the French occupiers of Madrid.

The game uses simultaneous plotting of movement with area control, so there is a great deal of bluffing and double guessing, with the French aiming to squash the Spanish and the Spanish trying to hide and survive for as long as possible. As long as one Spanish piece remains at the end, then they claim victory. Each side has a set of event cards to spice up the actions permitted.

Greg and I played 2 quick games of about 30 mins each, swapping sides to see how we each fared...came down to the last game turn each time. Would probably not bear a large number of plays but a good quick little filler with nice components.

Would be a good travel game to pack..and it's probably big in Barcelona.

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14. Board Game: Runewars [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:184]
Renato Bruno
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Played with Christophe, his son Ben, and new attendee Joff. This game takes a long time to explain, but once you start playing it is easy to forget the time.

I liked how Ben declared he was just about to win and then had both his neighbours pound him to a pulp! I guess this is a game of "keep quiet" if you're close to getting the final rune.
 
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15. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:382]
Renato Bruno
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Went looking for a quick game and found this one. Played with Christophe and Joff who looked a bit queasy once they saw the weird fluorescent playing pieces.

Once we started playing, however, this game surprised us at just how much fun it was to have constant battles to achieve your secret mission, and gain the 12 Victory Points for the win.
 
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