Friday, 29 February 2008


What a bizarre night. Not because everyone arrived on time, or because we could see what we were doing in the murky dungeon of the ribs of beef, but because the end results in the games we played was eerie and spooky. By this I mean there where more draws than usual. Now I come to read back what I wrote it occurs to me that things were not strange…..but they certainly felt it at the time…at least to me.

Chris and Adam played Pompeii which was decided in Adams favour by one extra guy being in the volcano for Chris. A very close game and thanks to the boys for generally sitting out of the first round of games in case some others turned up.

Rich, Jimmy, Dylan and Andy (I think this is correct) played cosmic encounter. Which saw a shared victory for two of the players – Or Rich won by of course playing well but also of the virtue that his combos kicked arse – Hello rich nice to see you as always.

Matt B, Ollie, Rachel and Luke played container. This was a first play for Ollie and I and we expected to get a bit of a whipping by Matt or Rachel and so it began as after three rounds Matt had loads of containers on the centre map and was smacking us down like the bitches we were. As the game developed Ollie got into an increasingly good position and after a few rounds he had equalled Matts position and a few rounds later he was ahead. By the end of the Game Luke was delivering and buying so much stuff that there was little noticeable difference between these three players. Rachel had hardly any containers delivered and was playing a different strategy and we wouldn’t know her position till the end.

The game was very, VERY money tight and this squeezed the market. As we became more desperate for cash we lowered the prices of the goods we had to try and gain some cash flow, resulting in very small cash incomes meaning we ourselves had very little to spend on anyone else’s goods. This seriousness of this credit crunch was a result of several factors. The money available during the game came down to the following factors. 1st 3 out of the four players took money out of the game early on by purchasing infrastructure. 2nd money only came back into the game when players agreed to take an offer from a player for containers delivered to the central island. Because nobody had any money, nobody offered anything worth taking, so players refused the four euros and chose to pay this instead for the containers and larger reward of victory points. Thus taking more money out of the game. 3rd several loans where taken by Rachel and Luke, a quick injection of cash you might think but they spent the money again mostly on infrastructure, again returning the money to the bank but this time with the added interest payment squeezing more money out of the game every round.

Two factors slowly changed the credit crunch. The first was when Matt and later Ollie took loans and used this money to buy goods or participate in auctions. A much needed cash injection. Rachel and Luke also took additional loans having paid off previous ones and used their money to do the same and capitalism started to work. The other factor was Rachel reminding everyone of the rule (all be it a beginners rule which we chose to adopt given the scarcity of wealth) that at the start of your turn after you have paid loan interest you can sell one of your goods at the production dock for 2 euros. A useless sum meant as a ‘if all else fails’ measure, however all else was failing as all players were offering all there goods for this price anyway and were sitting around waiting for anyone to buy. Selling back to the bank meant that every go you had an income and every two or three goes you could produce more goods and after a few goes you could buy someone else’s goods. They would then have enough money to buy yours and hey presto more capitalist success.

This selling back to the bank fiasco served to prolong the game just long enough for Crocker to get back into it. More over it was he more than any player who capitalised on the lack of money and was winning auctions for cargo for approximately the same price that he was selling cargo for shipping, money was off set for one round while the tankers where at sea but the revenues from victory points more than made up for this.

When it came to the final tally. Rachel was fourth and Matt was third. Ollie and Luke both finished with exactly the same amount of cash. Unfortunately the count back was number of containers in the centre and we had packed this away as we calculated the scores. Initially Ollie was insistent that he must have delivered more than Luke and Luke was equally as insistent. Much debate and frowning took place and eventually cooler heads prevailed and a draw was agreed. Don’t worry all will be decided with the next game…..

If Ollie and Luke were at a disadvantage for the first game being newbie’s then it was Andy and Ollie who had the upper hand over Luke and Matt for the second game of the night which was Thebes. A game which has so much luck that it kind of is ok. Every player is subject to the same random card draws and same random tile draws. Yes one player can be overly lucky but taken over time this we hope normally cancels itself out.

Despite multiple different approaches at the end of the game Luke and Ollie where again tied. Unfortunately there was again no count back that could separate them. So despite over three hours and two games Luke and Ollie remained drawn. Freaky. Well maybe not so much.

I hope to see you all at the NBG soon.

1 comment:

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