Sunday, 9 September 2012

Saboteur Ascendant

Hello ?

*tap tap tap*

Is this thing on ?

*sounds of shifting around and papers moved*

Well, it seems as though NoBoG HQ is empty at the moment except for myself, so I shall bring the blog up to speed.

September, the final days of Summer here in Blighty - if you can call it Summer at all with the rain and the wacky weather - and twelve made it to the Ribs. Two new souls stumbled through the worn doors - Sam and Matt, bringing our total allotment of Matts for the evening to three. Rather unsportingly the three Matts did not sit at one table for an evening of Matt-tastic gaming, but instead split up onto one table each in order to spread the Matt love between Traders of Genoa, Small World and Feudality.

Pete, A Ubiquitous Matt, Tom and Stu sat down for a bash at Genoa at the far end, where Pete got to exercise his silver tongued skills beguiling, complaining and feigning innocence in quick order to navigate his way to the top of the pile. Half way through the game with Pete having nipped off, I quizzed the players as to who was winning.
"Pete. Although he says he isn't."
"He's doing his 'usual'."

The darkly muttered Pete 'usual'. No more explanation was needed. Everyone understood. I laughed and left them to it.

Table 2 had Sam, Another ubiquitous Matt ( the all new one ), Elena and Phil sitting down to play Small World. Dean and Phil had rather fancied getting Ascendancy to the table, but there seemed to be little appetite for it - a lot of NoBoGers having already played it, so with the new Sam and Matt declaring they would like to try Small World, the crazy mix and match fantasy trope game was wheeled out. A tired Elena put off sleep to join in with the guys, and with her flying humans - or was it flying elves - she managed to show the lads how it was done, and swept away to victory. Tired or not. Excusing herself after her win she left to get some sleep - or perhaps she left so she could quit whilst she was ahead and leave as a winner.

Feudality was on the last table, a somewhat random wacky kingdom building game, a recent output from the old war horse Tom Wham - he of Kings and Things. The game plays pretty well, its light weight without much in the way of thinking too hard, or maybe at all, it tickles the requirement to build your own nice little enclave of stuff, a la agricola or ora and labora or sim city, and it has a dose of humour and player interaction. Rich, Yet Another Ubiquitous Matt, Dean and myself played this, Rich getting off to a great start with a strong military and some nice early victory points.

Dean flush with cash from his Alchemists, Traders et al was doing his best to sabotage Rich's lead, and after some spectacular failures managed to assassinate poor Wolf the elephant and knock down Rich's tower, leaving the game much more open.

Wizards, wars and much healing was going on towards the end, the game winnable by anyone in the last round - everyone just a few victory points away from the win. Dean and myself breeched the victory point end of game marker, and after calculating tie breakers it seemed that I had the victory with a better military force than the sabotaging underhanded Dean.

The latter half of the evening saw Ascendancy finally hit the table, Dean, Phil, Sam and Matt marshalling their resources to recruit the best into their ranks - not sure what happened to this one, as on the other table all hell broke loose with a seven handed game of Saboteur 2.

Gone was the simplicity of Are you a Saboteur or Not from Saboteur 1, to be replaced by, are you a green team, blue team, boss, lazy, geologist or saboteur ? The threats from saboteurs faded into the distance as the miners began infighting, pitting the factions against each other, and even team mate against team mate, in greedy grabs to be the sole gold earner. An early victory for a combined miners team found Stu jump into the lead as he took his share of the prize - and stole one of Tom's hard earned pieces of loot. Realising however that Tom was giving him a lift home, he evinced a cool piece of diplomatic back pedalling and let Tom off to steal someone elses.

After two more rounds, underhanded Stu once again had a fistful of stealing cards enabling him to loot by hook or crook, and push himself 1 point in front of me. Matt however refusing to let anyone win decided to steal one of Stu's gold, leaving the final tally a draw - 7 gold for Stu and myself.

Great game. I think however the identity cards could do with some labels telling you exactly who you are. Saboteur 1 has two choices. Either the card says Saboteur or it doesn't. This is easy to tell who you are. When you add blue team, green team, boss, lazy, geologist into the mix, and only the saboteur has printed on it what it is, it means identifying who you are can be a little tricky if you are not familiar with what you are looking at. Not a problem once you have played a few hands, or are particularly paying attention to the cute art at the start, but I think a handy printed word could have avoided the problem altogether. A few people grabbed the rules at the start of hands to check just Who The Hell They Were.


Mr Bond said...

Damn it John, you're putting me to shame. Another great post.

I will do the next one. Probably.

Alina said...

It was my horde of amazons that did it in Small World. Girl power, I guess.

Phil's flying humans were very good at farming, but that's not violent enough.

Anonymous said...

I will bookmark your blog and have my kids check up here frequently. I'm very certain they will understand lots of new stuff here than anybody else.

Mr Bond said...

Hi Anon.

Well, if your kids are over 18 then they're welcome to join us for games any Tuesday evening at the Ribs of Beef.