A Horsham gamer on tour: Pasteboard and Plastic XIV 05/03/2011
Matt Green
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Horsham
West Sussex
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I went to the fourteenth Pasteboard and Plastic games meet at Salt Dean near Brighton on March 5th. I'd been before in late 2009 and found the assembled throng to be a good bunch and it gave me a chance to play things I'd not normally encounter.

Many thanks to Steve Cox for the lift there and back.
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1. Board Game: Portobello Market [Average Rating:6.40 Overall Rank:1958]
Matt Green
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First game onto the table was a new one to me and seemed to be pretty accessible and interesting from the outset. This was a three player game that didn't require much rules explanation and the flow of game play was quite straightforward. I pulled out a bit of a lead then got rail-roaded into a number of unavoidable decisions that saw me run out of pieces before the other two players who took advantage of the turns that got after I triggered the game end to easily overhaul my lead.

Not a fan after my first play as I dislike scoring mechanics that seem worthwhile (points paid for jumping an opponents' road) that have little bearing on the end scoring.
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2. Board Game: Poseidon [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:1540]
Matt Green
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This was setting up just as Portobello Market finished and I sat in the fourth available seat for the rule explanation. It started with 'It's a bit like 18XX...actually it's a lot like it..."

The owner explained the rules and, with mounting horror, I realised it was in fact 18XX with a theme paste. I must have shown it because he then asked "if he was going to fast for me". No, no, I just don't want to get sucked into 3 hours of grinding through share trading, thanks. The theme looked quite clever but 18XX is just too dull to hold my attention. I bowed out quickly.
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3. Board Game: Salamanca [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:5767]
Matt Green
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We were joined by a couple more players for Salamanca including our gracious host, Dick. This was a good good game, nice amount of depth for the time invested and a good mix of strategy and tactics.

I sparked an interesting conversation with my wife when I got home, because despite this being a good game, it's not the best choice of game to play at a convention. The ideal convention game (and this is probably a separate geeklist) should be easy and fast to explain, ideally with at least a couple of mechanics that are easy to relate to. Salamanca seems quite nicely balanced, and has obviously been tested well, but is afflicted with 'fiddly rules' where tile placement is pretty standard in the most part but there are many exceptions and special situations that a new player has to take in and remember having been explained it in a busy hall.

Good game though, I'll certainly look to play it again.
 
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4. Board Game: Relikt [Average Rating:5.98 Overall Rank:6056]
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One of mine. We played this five player and I won because I'd played it before, is the short version. It seemed to go down well as a cut-throat little game. there was a lot of tent-switchery towards the end. I think this plays better with five players as the action moves faster.
 
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5. Board Game: Endeavor [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:243]
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The same five Salamanca players re-grouped for this one, which I've played once or maybe twice before. It went on for a while with five players and a rules explanation but the pace of play was good and the round-table action mechanism is great for keeping players' interested.

In conversation in the car on the way home we felt that just spending time looking ta the board after set up is probably the most important part of the game. Especially in relation to the positions of the urns for early population increases.

a great game- certainly one to play a few more times.
 
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6. Board Game: Thoughtwave [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:10686]
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A raffle prize! there wasn't much left when my ticket got pulled, but this looked interesting enough to grab. Two games so far and two draws. I sense a pattern forming.
 
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