Thursday, 17 December 2009

la la la la la la Brazil

I received a nice welcome from many gamers on Tuesday night. Paying what was my first visit to the ribs in several months. Both Jimmy and I had brought the latest power grid expansion to play and we got Pete, Jack, Katie (Jacks lady friend) and a joint Rachel Chris team to attempt Brazil.

The map was very interesting as far as power grid cartography gets with significant areas that had many cheap links and less popular ridiculously expensive zones. This created a lot of congestion but we where separated into two pockets of northerners and southerners, each group fighting over cheap links but neither really overlapping until perhaps the very final builds.

Jimmy won and I ended in second place, considering my ridiculously bad start I should be happy with, Pete and Jack where close behind and whilst they could power as many cities as Jimmy they just lacked the funds for expansions. Rachel / Chris and Katie where the next peg back. As always it was a tight game separated by small decisions in the timings of sprinting for the line.

As usual we mocked Jack who took it all in the spirit it was said…..Merry Christmas

The Two Richards, Luke minor and Mr Bond played …..something which escapes me for the moment but after that eventful game they cracked on with small world, which was still being contested when I left.

It was good to be back, some stress free gaming to end the year. Nice hohoho.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Last games night of 2009.

A quick announcement that tonight is the last games night at the Ribs this year. Make sure you get down tonight as we'll be having free mince pies, mulled wine, yule log and pork scratchings.* Plus the usual great banter and great games. So I look forward to seeing you all tonight at the usual time.

*Disclaimer: There will be no mince pies, mulled wine, yule log - free, or otherwise. Pork scratchings will of course be available from behind the bar at the usual price of 70p a bag.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

tempers flare as hot heads clash over the end of the triumvruate

it was a night of bitter incriminations at the ribs, as Ben, Rich and Andy tangled in the well considered, light weight, euro area control shenanigans of End of the Triumvurate. Andy was to cause much of the trouble, playing an aggressive, combat driven game as befitted someone who was playing Caesar. Ben became bogged down in a war of attrition and words with Andy, and Rich calmly hoovered up the gold, and won a political victory whilst Andy and Ben bickered and battled. the game came to a head at several points, perhaps causing eyebrows to be raised most when, after repeatedly attempting to regain vital territory that Ben had raided (particularly those with the useful civil servant counters), Ben accused Andy of "not playing to win". gasps went up from the room, how could one dare to make such a comment. calling into the very question of the high moral fibre that Mr. Malcolm displays at all, ALL, times. of course, Mr. Malcolm is slightly prone to playing Euro games that feature combat as if he is a reckless, marauding barbarian, throwing caution to the wind and fighting wildly. in EotT, it is a reasonable tactic, as owning 9 territories guarantees an auto win. yet, Andy and Ben's war was ultimately a waste. two proud armies, refusing to back down, refusing to bend and fall under the others yoke. this bitter war presented the game to Rich, who seemed a little disheartened that his easy victory was essentialy due to the rivalry that raged in the north of the map. to this end Rich, i apologise for the lacklustre game and the ill tempered discussion of actions between Ben and myself. but this was war. Caesar does not relent in the face of opposition, he attempts to stamp his own mark on the game. alas, this time he failed. Caesar will rise again.

this game? well, i am not enamored with it. i dislike that it panders to euro tradition, i dislike that the loser in battle is far too well compensated, so that losing can become an effective tactic, i dislike that it is balanced to the point that you could use the game as a spirit level. i rate it a weak 7 (translated: 5). over on the other table, Jimmy, Matt and Pete built boats in shipyard. given the duration of their game, i suspect that they were hand crafting the hulls themselves. i do not know who won, but the game had lots of nice looking bits. they may well still be playing, matt even had time to drive me home during one of the turns (at least i think that's what happened).

revelation of the week: you no longer need to bring an air raid floodlight to see half way across the room, due to new lamps being installed on the walls.