Thursday, 13 January 2011

Return of the Charming Man.

Last time he graced us with his presence was July 2009, we thought it had been longer than that. Anyway, Tom had been reading this very blog and the fact I’d referred to him as “vaguely charming” in a recent post must have got him excited, as on Tuesday night Tom drove from his manor, deep in the Norfolk countryside, to the Ribs of Beef. He strode past the bar with a nod and cheeky wink to the barmaids, swept down the stairs and back into our world…

With the return of Tom, who had brought his long-suffering friend, Stu, plus Jimmy, Crocker, myself and the Triumvirate of Rich, we had the joy of a nice rounded eight. We split into two fours. Harding, Lovely, Stu and I tackled Cadwallon: City of Thieves, while Punk Rich, Crocker, Tom and Jimmy settled down for a bit of London.

Cadwallon: City of Thieves is the latest offering from Fantasy Flight Games. A heavily produced game with sumptuous pieces and some nicely sculptured miniatures. Each player controls a gang of four thieves who are infiltrating the fantasy city of Cadwallon in order to steal its riches and complete contracts for ducats. They have eight turns to get in, load up with as much as they can carry and get out without getting beaten to a pulp by the city militia or rival gangs. At the end of the game all treasure is converted into ducats and most ducats wins. The game is more straight forward than the theme or fancy components would suggest and players use a mixture of action points and cards to try and get the largest haul.

The game seemed to play in three phases; the first where we all dashed around looting, the second where the gangs beat the crap out of each other, and the final phase where we made a dash for the exits or pushed our luck for one last grab at some treasure. The leader was never clear; Stu was well placed for most of the game with a balanced haul, Harding had made some good grabs early on, but was gradually losing loot to the rest of us, I made a lot money from a couple of contracts at the expense of only getting three thieves out and Lovely had very few ducats as his gang left the city early, but they all seemed to be brimming with loot. At the final tally both Lovely Rich and I had tied in first with 82 ducats each. There is no tie breaker so spoils were shared. Overall, it’s a fun game with lots of ‘take that’. It plays fairly swiftly, though it took us just over two hours, which may have been because we were all new to the game.

Punk Rich won London and declared that it wasn’t as good as Race for the Galaxy. Jimmy warmed to it slightly when Crocker compared it St Petersburg – which has put me right off. They finished with a couple of hands of Tichu. Rich and Tom won, but only because Tom is a cheating c… Charmer?

Beer: I enjoyed a pint of ale with a rancid sounding name: Liquid Bread (apparently a Saxon phrase for beer). Brewed by Bakehouse, it is a tasty, warm, golden beer with a slightly fruity finish. I rate it a 9 and compare it to Prussische Ostbahn, as how can something that sounds so terrible be so good?

1 comment:

Mr Bond said...

This wasn't our first meeting of 2011. Five of us gathered last week to play Age of Industry. It was a strange game and I wasn't drinking.