Yet another very enjoyable playing of this, it crams so much decision-making and tactics into 60-90 minutes and yet I find it a deceptively simple game, no real chrome. I'm usually the guy who can't tell that he's actually winning, this time it was Donald's turn after he made an indifferent start but powered ahead in the castle-building VP tokens.
1st Donald 41 VP 2nd Dave F 39 VP 3rd Mike H 37 VP 4th Steve H 30 VP
A new game to the Club, a co-operative game, which I normally like, but getting the usual Fantasy Flight make-over / 'house style' which I'm starting to get a bit tired of. Still, the game's the thing and everyone seemed to enjoy it I think, and even managed to beat the system.
This and Guillotine seem to be the 'Fillers du jour' at the moment, this one saw very little violence (except for a 5-pointer I hit Donald with!) but an awful lot of Steve H rolling triples and even a quad of 3's for a very easy victory.
1st Steve H 20 VP 2nd Mike H 8 VP 3rd Dave F 5 VP 4th Donald 4 VP
Honestly, I teach them the game, and then they go and thrash me at it! I could claim a bit of bad luck in drawing my preferred buildings, including the small quarry just after Andy T built his. I decided to build it anyway to mitigate the huge amounts of extra freebie commodities he was getting from his production sites, only for Claire to immediately build a large quarry! It wasn't going to be my night, but they both played their first games of this very well and deserved the result, and enjoyed the experience.
1st Andy T 55 VP 2nd Claire 48 VP 3rd Mike H 39 VP
As Dave D says, I suspect whether you prefer this to the original may depend on which one you have played and come to love first. Both are fine games. I think this was Andy's first game of it so it was always going to be tough as the newbie.
1st Steve H 66 VP 2nd Donald 59 VP 3rd Dave D 55 VP 4th Andy S 30 VP
Not sure we'll ever get tired of playing this at the Club. There are a few of what some of us feel to be unbalanced cards, but none is a game-breaker really and everybody gets a fair distribution of them over the course of all the games of this that we play. Dave D has all the stats but I've a feeling that my own record against Steve H at this isn't too clever, and he triumphed here too.
1st Steve H 42 VP 2nd Dave D 41 VP 3rd Donald 34+ VP 4th Andy S 34 VP
It took a while for a few chains to get established, and this can often mean that everyone has spent their money before the first merger, so if you don't get a bonus out of it you'll struggle for a while, and this happened to Dave F. This was mitigated a bit as Dave D and I immediately started fighting each other rather than picking off Dave's bonus holdings, but he was always struggling to catch up from then on. I conceived a plan for which I had the tiles and which I'm sure would have given me a quite comfortable victory, but it was slow and risky, and before I could execute it Dave D derailed it and he just shaded the game.
1st Dave D $53800 2nd Mike H $52100 3rd Dave F $43000
Featured some elements of 'On The Brink' I think, and was hellishly tough virtually from the off. Managed a creditable 2 cures between us but I can't help thinking this game is tougher with 3 rather than 4 players, though it's not supposed to be. Really keen to play again soon.
I know a lot of people like this, but it's just another "Poor Man's Caylus" to me, with a ridiculous random player turn sequence mechanism. Anyway, even this luck element is unlikely to save a newbie from struggling against experienced, but Andy T wasn't too far behind in the end.
As it took less than 30 minutes for the world to die horribly in Pandemic we had time for our latest fave filler. A bit more violent than the last encounter, with me mostly on the receiving end though to be fair I was chancing my luck a bit. Dave D would have won on his next turn, but Dave F managed to roll his 3rd '3' to snatch victory.
.... and still waiting for Donald. Steve P, Dave D and I spent most of the game rolling for heart symbols rather than doing much constructive as we always seemed to be on the wrong end of the damage rolls, leaving a close 3-way fight which James pulled off, despite no favouritism from his Dad.
1st James 20 VP 2nd Dave F 17 VP 3rd Steve H 14 VP 4th Dave D 1 VP 5th Mike H DEAD 6th Steve P DEAD
With 7 of us, we finally split into two tables. My first playing of this, and as the rules were explained I got a feeling this wasn't a game I was going do spectacularly well at as a newbie, as it is very difficult to judge the balance between progress up the mountain and gaining acclimatisation. In the end my progress was a little too sedate, and probably I tried to get my climbers to stick together too much rather than get one to trail-blaze, but it was very enjoyable with plenty to think about and some nice mechanisms - would definitely play again.
1st Dave F 17+ VP 2nd Steve P 17 VP 3rd Donald 14+ VP 4th Mike H 14 VP
Recognisable under a variety of names through the years, and still a lot of fun packed into 10 minutes. I would have won if the '12' had turned up, but my hopes were dashed. Somebody usually comes a cropper big time in this game - Hi, Mr. Perkins!!!
1st Dave F 25pts 2nd Mike H 30pts 3rd Donald 31pts 4th Steve P 83pts