Games played WABA Mt Claremont April 9th 2011
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Not a huge turnout this month, but we had a few tables going - not a lot of movement between tables that I could see.

We initially had come in hoping to play Powerboats as I've never played, but made the mistake of not making sure it was there. Oh well, perhaps another time.

We taught Mahjong, Bridge Troll, On the Underground and Sherlock.

The carpark seemed exceptionally full this month? Was the culprit Garden Week? Will we ever know.

Will we ever care? Probably not. Rob and I arrived late but got a high turnover of games nonetheless.

Rob and I were sorry to hear that this year's Swancon committee has chosen to forgo the services of WABA this year despite the huge positive response from previous years. Nevertheless, I encourage all my WABA friends to make use of the free Easter Thursday night entry at Swancon. The gaming room opens at 7.30.

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1. Board Game: Sherlock [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:4060]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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2. Board Game: Bridge Troll [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:4507]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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3. Board Game: On the Underground [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1111]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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4. Board Game: Mahjong [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:678]
Alicia Smith
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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5. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:428]
Jeremy London
Australia
Dianella, Perth
Western Australia
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Me, Hadassa (first time playing) and Kylie. I won thanks to an awesome wall.
 
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6. Board Game: Mansions of Madness [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:303] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Jeremy London
Australia
Dianella, Perth
Western Australia
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I was very excited to have the opportunity to play this fun, shorter, cousin of Arkham Horror. Mark taught the game well and, playing as the evil Walter, was deated by the 4 brave investigators at the last possible minute!
 
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7. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:414]
Jeremy London
Australia
Dianella, Perth
Western Australia
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Somehow I'd never played this before and was very glad to finally do so. Very simple rules but full of push-your-luck tension. I think Richard won against the newbies - myself and Hadassa.
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8. Board Game: 6 nimmt! [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:617]
Jeremy London
Australia
Dianella, Perth
Western Australia
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Even though this seemed a lot more random and a bit less strategic than No Thanks!, there was plenty of laughing with the many "take that!" moments this game produced. Hadassa thoroughly beat me, Richard and Hong.
 
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9. Board Game: Break the Safe [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:4814]
Roger Lai
Australia
Churchlands
WA
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Started playing this with Amelia and Owen. But Amelia got very scared when the guard and guard dog got activated and started patrolling the complex. So we had to put it away. shake
 
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10. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:414]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught four games of this.
 
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11. Board Game: It's Alive! [Average Rating:6.29 Overall Rank:2974]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught two games of this.
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12. Board Game: Diamant [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:658]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught two games of this.
 
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13. Board Game: Friday the 13th [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:1611]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught one game of this.
 
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14. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:278]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught one game of this.
 
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15. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:58]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught two games of this.
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16. Board Game: Cartagena [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:937]
Neil Bloomfield
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Priya and Jocelyn and Lee and I (Neil) tackled this one. None of us had played before, but we had no problems getting started, and soon were trying to balance moving our pirates huge distances with the need to have movement cards in our hands.

In the first game, we limited the play to one action per turn, which led to a moderately long but quite engaging game. Priya realised that we were not playing the correct rules, and so we resorted to allowing three actions per turn. This made the game faster, and allowed more strategic play, such as using a chain of items for the first two actions, then breaking it on the third action.

I think I actually prefer the WABA variation we played in the first game, but I might be biased, since I won this game, but not the second.

This is an easy to play game that offers room for moderately deep thought, and balancing acquisition of movement cards with actual movement leads to interesting dynamics. I'd be happy to play it again.
 
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17. Board Game: Sultan [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:5734]
Neil Bloomfield
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Another game new to Priya and Jocelyn and Lee and me (Neil).

This is a bidding game, where the currencies are cards valued from 1 to 15, and the goods are "jewels" of five values. But there are only three jewels for each bidding round, and the cards are issued in batches of five (which are then exhausted). At the end of the game, bonus points are issued for sets of jewels.

Not a difficult game to come to grips with, but the rule of splitting the cards into three batches means that there is a strong element of luck involved. I think Priya won - I certainly did not!

Nothing really gripped us about this game. I could possibly be cajoled into playing again if I had access to all of my currency cards at the start of the game, but I think I'd rather play "High Society", which uses a similar mechanic but is less fiddly.
 
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18. Board Game: Taluva [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:446]
Neil Bloomfield
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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This is one of my favourites, though I don't get to play it nearly enough.

Priya and Jocelyn and Lee and I (Neil) embarked on a couple of games of this. Lee was new to the game, the rest of us were familiar with the play and tactics.

This was the first time I've played this game with four persons. I've heard that with three persons, someone almost always finishes the game early, by playing all of two types of buildings, and with four persons, the win is decided after all the tiles are placed. Not so! In the first game, Jocelyn neatly played all of her huts and temples (though on her last tile placement). And in the second game, Priya did similarly, though this time with huts and towers, also on her last tile placement. And along the way, I was reminded that the elegant placement of a tower or temple can upset the best-laid plans. Bother (or something even stronger).

In spite of these thrashings, I still think this is a great game, and worthy of many more plays.
 
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19. Board Game: Samarkand: Routes to Riches [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:1420]
Neil Bloomfield
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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A game with pink camels? How could you resist? And Jocelyn and Priya and Christophe and his son (who wasn't wearing a name tag, so shall remain nameless) and I (Neil) didn't.

We quickly got into the swing of things, arranging marriages, placing camels, establishing trading routes, and generally having a fun time.

Priya was the most successful trader, ending the game with 60 points - the rest of us were in the range 40 to 50.

If you enjoy the "Ticket to Ride" games, then you will probably enjoy this game. The feel is very similar. Instead of trying to make routes between destinations, you try and establish routes from your capital city to commodities (you don't actually have to hold the commodity card to make money, but you make much more if you do). And even accepting commodity cards borrows the same mechanism as accepting journeys in Ticket to Ride - you can draw up to three, and discard two. (The only problem is that there is a limit of six, so care should be exercised.)

The problem with this game is, I feel, the same as with "Ticket to Ride" games - you tend to focus on what you are doing, so what others are doing is almost irrelevant. So the end of the game can come as a surprise. And because this is a territorial game, there is only interaction with some other players, and that almost incidental.

I am happy to have played it, and the blue and red and black and white and green and, yes, pink, camels make for a very colourful board as the game progresses. But now I've played it, I won't rush into a rematch.
 
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20. Board Game: Drakon (third edition) [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:1696]
Neil Bloomfield
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
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Feel like picking up a bit of spare gold? Then venture in the labyrinth of Drakon, who looks truly fearsome, but won't eat you when you are caught... so what do you have to lose?

Jocelyn and Priya and I (Neil), not knowing anything about the game, ventured into our first labyrinth. Jocelyn suggested we make a circular route laden with gold coins, and this we proceeded to do, finishing the game without poor Drakon making an appearance. Didn't take long at all. Then Priya checked the rules, and found that we could either move or place a tile, instead of doing both on a turn. Ah. That made a difference; and our second game took longer.

Alas, I got thrashed, with Priya just pipping Jocelyn as the first to get 10 points in gold. But at least the end game was interesting, with valiant attempts to block Priya, or move her to unproductive tiles. And Drakon appeared, and harried a player or two.

The drawing and playing of tiles makes this game quite chaotic. But there is room for strategic placements, and there is the small satisfaction of upsetting the plans of another player. I'd be happy to play this game again.
 
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21. Board Game: The Great Fire of London 1666 [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:2085]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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Learning game for Tim, Tyrone, David, myself and Roland and we did play a couple of things incorrectly and managed to generally put the fire out. The West London, Tim-Richard alliance worked well to create a huge fire break on the West of London whilst the East burned!

In the end, either David or Roland won by saving 2 of their landmarks as well as many of their houses.

A good game that I'd certainly like to play again (this time correctly!).
 
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22. Board Game: Dominant Species [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:51]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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This complex little evolutionary tale was taught by Tim to Roland, Tyrone and myself. After the obligatory 1/2 hour of teaching, which is really needed and thanks to Tim for yet again teaching this one, we started out with the Reptiles (Me) initially dominanting over the insects (Tyrone) and the Amphibians (Roland) moving Northward and the Mammals (Tim) making a stronghold in the South.

This all changed on turn 2 when the reptiles made a foolish move and didn't "adapt" accordingly letting the mammals and insects begin to take over. All was not well for the amphibians as the polar ice cap began to creep their way.

Towards the end, the behemoth of mammals continued to go from strength to strength with the insects starting to die out and despite the repitles moving towards more comfortable locations, they too were in trouble. Not as much trouble as the amphibians who were extinct due to unfavourable regression and polar ice expansion.

Tim won as this game does heavily favour people who know what they're doing but this is really a medium-heavy game as there is a lot of thought and factors to consider.
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23. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:666] [Average Rating:6.85 Unranked]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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None of the games wowed us this week, but I'd still play all of the games again, probably.

Zooloretto might have been more fun had the other two people we were meant to be playing with showed up. After waiting for a while we just decided to play the 2-player version, which was fine, but a little unsatisfying.

I don't really remember who won, I think maybe Jess? I would play again with more players.
 
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24. Board Game: The Golden City [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1949]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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This game was probably the most interesting of the day. Some people missed one of the rules, and I didn't notice to correct them until it was too late, so we just ignored it for the rest of the game.

Other than that it was nice, but maybe not original enough to be a 'wow' game? Still, I'd be up for another go at it.

Again, I don't remember who won - it was very close between the top three though. And then Tim in fourth place was pretty far behind.
 
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25. Board Game: The Princes of Florence [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:141]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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This was the game I was most keen to play, I've nearly had it to the table at every WABA meet I've attended.

And, I found it pretty disappointing. For starters we all had troubles with the rules, particularly how scoring worked. I know that it was about three rounds in I figured out how to actually do the scoring. So that changed things

I wouldn't be surprised if we were doing one or two other things wrong too.

Anyway, I would like to read up and see if we had made other errors, but it didn't really do much for me.
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