Thursday, 28 October 2010

Stone Age Success

Many apologies last week left me wondering how many would attend. Rory came in and told me he’d be back in ten minutes and I sat alone and waited.......luckily Dylan decided to pay a visit, this rare and pleasant occurrence aloud a gaming session to take place. In my haste to bring all the games knowing Matt and Jimmy would be absent I neglected to bring San Marco. In the end we opted for Stone age and played the correct 3 person rules + a house adaption based on vagueness in the official rules. This all worked out splendid as once all players got used to the system there was good tension and competition for resources.

The three player rules only allow 2 players in any one resource area (except food hunting) usually the limit is 7 but only allowing 2 players mean you can easily miss your chance. Equally the centre resources of corn, axes and babies can only be occupied by two players (or one player twice) which means every third go you cant get one (unless a rival chooses to place elsewhere as Rory frequently did). There are normally 4 stacks of huts which acquire victory points. The rules say take away ½ for 2 and 3 players but this doesn’t work so the house fix is to take away ½ for two players and ¼ for 3. This allows the game to remain balanced. I’ve played this where fewer huts are available but 4 stacks are retained and this makes the game end faster. This Tuesday we removed a stack which felt significantly more in the spirit of the game (4 players 4 stacks and 3 players 3 stacks etc). This provided continued competition for resources and board position maintain the tension and choices from the 4 player version. I wasn’t that impressed with the scaled version of this game on my one previous play but this weeks outing was superb and I would recommend it as a three player game, the rule tweaks are similar to removing a region in power grid they don’t change the feeling the game just reduce the space so it keeps working.

Rory bravely played on despite realising in the last third that he was significantly off the pace, a lack of hammers and early expansion, a critical food miscalculation and it became a two horse race. Dylan benefitted from some extraordinary card luck and racked up a very good score but in the end I was triumphant.

We drunk....... a lot less than all the splitters who went to the beer festival.

Now Another word from our sponsors

More games which are for sale: all in good condition and complete

Marracash £18

Prophecy £35

Funny friends £17

Axis and Allies (2004) £30

Hamburgum £27

Eketorp £18

Comuni £18

Dominion intrigue £24

Die golden stadt (the golden city) £20 (new in shrink)

Dungeon twister £15 + Paladins & Dragons £15

San Juan £14

10% off for multiple buys - ask me questions by phone or in person ta. Luke

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Who Is This Rory? And How did he Manage to Win Puerto Rico???

We where 9 this week and cracked out Puerto Rico and Amun Re, I did the rules session for Puerto and we got together a group of players either new to the slave trade or at best inexperienced. Rory won but I don’t know how (Jimmy did ask and we believe it was corn strategy but Rory seamed unsure himself). A lot of euro games are about taking advantage of what’s available rather than strategy, what’s more, good strategy can be difficult on first and second plays. Some games just aren’t fair when experienced players know the strategy and puerto rico is often seen as that type of game. One of my personal favourite nights at games club was when we ran the puerto rico contest and this number one ranked game got 4 plays and an ultimate champion.

I played Amun Re with Dave and Hal who were new to this Kinizia classic, making up the five where Luke who I believe had played it before and Jimmy. Id forgotten a couple of things and was shouted down early doors and having creamed this game last time I played I wanted to avoid the temple strategy. Hal managed to acquire 4 temples in the first era and 2 other players went heavy for farmers so Hal had a commanding lead. Jimmy went the other way wanting camels, as a result he was left behind in what turned out to be a money rich game. At the start of the second era it was pretty close with me in second and all others close behind. With bidding becoming extreme and 21 being a typical price to pay for regions all players fed the system and those that stepped back ran a risk of either falling behind or with luck winning. In the final count Hals lead was virtually unassailable......virtually Jimmy got very close and even closer having finished with the most money and I finished in second two points short.....then Jimmy realised we hadn’t counted my one temple and I narrowly piped Hal at the last. All things considered Hal played a blinder for his first game and all patronising aside he had the moral victory.

I had for some reason thought Rory was called Hugo??? I dont know why??? but the original picture didnt make sense so I had to find a rory???? so Stoke fans know whats going on but everyone else is asking why does a boardgame blog have a picture of a mediocre footballer??

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Hugo the Glorious.

Tuesday saw Rory and Sarah saunter down to the Ribs of Beef for their first proper session at NoBoG. Rory was stung by a scorpion, trapped in a tunnel and ultimately fell down a bottomless chasm. Sarah, on the other hand, was showered with gold, silver and all manner of riches. What did they do to deserve such unbalanced treatment? Who could be so kind to Sarah and viscously cruel to poor Rory? Original Rich of course. He wasn’t doing it on purpose though, he was introducing them to the fantasy adventure Dungeon Quest. This is Fantasy Flight’s re-make of Games Workshop’s 1980’s classic. It’s a light game when compared to other dungeon romps such as Descent or Runebound and they managed to squeeze in three games - all of which, seemed to end with an abrupt and violent death for Rory’s characters and a horde of treasure for Sarah’s. I’m not sure whether luck was smiling on Rich , but he did wander over to our table and mumbled something about always winning the game we were playing, which perhaps was an indication that things weren’t going all that well in the dungeon.

And what is the game that Rich always wins? Why Louis XIV of course; the ultimate trying to impress the king game. Jimmy, Phil, Pharmacist Luke and myself were all trying to out lick the arses of the notables at the Sun King’s Court in order to try and be the king’s most favoured brown-nose. It’s a clever little area control game, which I am quite fond of, despite the lack of a proper board. Final scores: Jimmy 52, Luke 47, Matt 45 and Phil 37.

Phil and I then exacted revenge on the other two with a game of Tichu. We battered them and the game was called after three hands with Jimmy and Luke on -25 points and Phil and myself on 225.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Why don't you show your face?

Do you sit at home playing Settlers of Catan on your own?

Do you force your poor old nan to play Space Hulk and shout at her because she forgets the rules?

Are you sitting at home reading this imagining how awesome it would be to regularly play board games with intelligent, charming and good-looking opponents, but don’t know any?

Then why haven’t you been to the Ribs of Beef on Tuesday night to play games with us? We’re not intelligent, charming or good-looking (though Tom was kind of charming and there was that French girl who came along once), but we do regularly play board games and most of us are friendly.

If you’re reading this and wonder whether you could join us, then wonder no more. You are very welcome to join us . Come along to the Ribs of Beef on any Tuesday evening, go to the back of the pub, descend the steps into the bowels of the Ribs of Beef and there you will find us. Get there by 7.30 and you can join us in a game. No need to bring a game with you. No membership fees to pay. Just come long, have a few drinks and play a game or two. And don’t worry that you won’t know how to play a game - 95% of the time we explain the rules before we start, as most of us won’t have played the game before or at least need to be reminded of the rules.


Last night we played Steam. The update/re-make of Martin Wallace’s classic train game Age of Steam. We played the Northern England board, which comes with the Steam Barons expansion. The expansion comes with additional rules for stocks, but we chose to keep it simple and play with the rules from the base game. I say simple, but even with just the base game this is a meaty affair and with six players we just got it finished by last orders. Jimmy, the old hand, won easily almost 20 points clear of the pack. I just pipped Northern Luke to second place, Pete came fourth, Tash was fifth and poor old Lovely Rich was last, but it was very close between the five of us. This was the second time I’d played Steam and despite owning the original, I am now convinced that I need to get this. In fact, as if to prove how good Steam is we even had spectators for most of the evening. Rory and Sarah turned up a bit too late to join in any games, but hung around and watched the game and had a few drinks. Hopefully we’ll see them back next week and they'll get to enjoy some gaming.