Tuesday, 18 November 2008

SUKOTHAI, Brass and spilt drinks

Just a quick entry to say last week I played Brass with Jimmy Hal and Ruth. One of my favourite games with different strategys emerging, Hal went for the ‘do as many bad moves as I can think of strategy’ which surprisingly didn’t pay off for him, he always seemed to know exactly what he should have done and had we had the will or inclination to re-play the game I’m sure Hal would have done better. Both Ruth and myself where getting a large amount of money each round thanks to our build strategy and only because of my experience and diversification I ended up in front of her. Jimmy went for ship yards and for want of either of a few crucial cards could have won….but victory was mine.

Bondy, Rich, Lewis and James played Reef encounter. Some speedy coral eating and responsive play saw Rich win. This was followed by ‘King of Siam’ with the now infamous SUKOTHAI no idea who won that as I was too pre occupied with the spilling of liquid over a then abandoned game of For Sale. This had followed two games of ‘shadows over Camelot’ where Luke*, Jack and an unknown uni friend (sorry) kicked the games arse convincingly not once but twice. Well not suprising as they had failed to follow a crucial rule of playing 1 card at an event and had instead been putting down pairs and 3 of a kinds in the tournament areas. Ho hum, they will know for next time.

I mostly drank grapefruit and lemonade! Roll on next week (which is today!!)

Sunday, 2 November 2008

First Essen taste 2008

Twelve arrived and over time departed. The early players got to experience the dexterity game ‘Hamster wheel’ this was a hit and drew interest from players as they arrived. As a result Jack requested to play it later after he had beaten Luke and Lewis at Mykerinos but had lost miserably at Pueblo.

Matthew very kindly led a five player game of Agricola which took all night and the rules session for that and Jimmys rule session for Comuni for Richard, James and me took as long as the other groups game of Pueblo.

Comuni has a few neat mechanisms and gives players 3 choices of actions. Placing workers, retrieving workers and gaining the benefits or raising revenues. In addition you can build buildings that you have won and build walls to stave off one of the four attacks scheduled in the game. Each player has a strength in income of one of the types of cubes and each type of cube that can be won has its own benefit. Gold helps workers win regions, white helps build more and increases the quality of cards to help build, 2 brown cubes are wild and a brown also aids in worker displacement leaving black cubes which represent soldiers and a way to defend your city when under attack.

As you build you acquire victory points which relate not just to final game score but also to exposure to the savage attacks from the hordes. But when you fall victim you don’t lose VPs (which would limit your exposure later) you are given negative VP markers which lose points at the end of the game. Be warned then that steaming off on a build strategy has serious long term repercussions. James very nearly won this game which came right down to the wire.

After the brand new Comuni we played the equally brand new steel driver, a Martin Wallace train game that nods a head towards Wabash cannonball. The game is played over six rounds and despite a few maintenance mistakes (both Jimmy and I must be slipping) the game flowed well. Richard had dropped out so it was just the three of us and the game felt really tight with some master tactician moves from James and some experienced train game tactics from Jimmy the end result was as Comuni with Luke wining.

I loved both games as was to be expected and I am so pleased Jimmy continues to bring back winning Essen releases. This is the first of what promises to be a bumper batch from 2008 role on next Tuesday.