Wednesday, 24 October 2012

More Essen Immigrants

According to our secret sources, Dean who couldn't make it this Tuesday ( he was gamed out from being in Essen ), has also brought a haul of games back from Germany, and all things being well may show up next week with a selection of new interesting shiny things.




Definition of Co-operation

A mild and slightly misty night found nine NoBoGers gathering in the Ribs this Tuesday.

Jimmy was fresh back from Essen where he had bought 'a suitcase full of games', and turned up with one of the new shiny games in his hands - Aeroplanes.

I say old chap, are the engines supposed to sputter like that ?
Four players grabbed their tickets and boarded the antique aircraft,  Phil, Tim and Stu joining Jimmy in learning how to be a better commercial aviation pioneer.

The board looked rather minimalist and plain to me - surely a missed opportunity to do something nice art wise, perhaps it's trying to grab that art deco style. On the other hand the aircraft illustrations were rather spiffy and brought back memories to me of countless years (!) spent playing WW1 aerial wargames.

Everyone seemed to enjoy trying their hand at being the Easyjet of the 1920's, and a triumphant Phil romped to a dominating win, lapping the scoreboard and shaming all others present with his business nous.

Archipelago was revisited again on table 2, Tom, Pete, Ed, Matt and myself tackling the management of our new colony. Everyone but Pete had played before and there seemed to be a definite improvement in knowing what to do - and everyone pitched in with rules help too to get Pete up to speed quickly. Despite this, an hour had passed before even the first turn had elapsed - quite a bit of arguing, planning and cajoling going on in the opening phases.

There followed a wholly fantastic game that stretched out for the entire evening. Mean economics saw the rise of the completely theoretical 'half coin' to be paid every other transaction as a single coin, and Ed bankrupting himself rushed for the rebel inducing pyramid earning him the suspicion of all the other players. Towns were the face up victory condition this game, and this saw a spate of them being built to control the areas they were placed into. Pete in typical Pete fashion declared that the first person to build a town would obviously be the Separatist - and then went onto build the first town, with a raft of diplomatic language to avoid being hoisted on his own petard.

As time wore on, infamy started to work its way into the colony, and Tom having temporarily left his town to build a church found himself outbid by a crafty Pete, who then promptly marched into Tom's area and declared ownership of Tom's town for himself.

The uneasy co-operation of the would be powers was shattered as Tom decried such underhanded activity. Pete was adamant however that he had spent vital resources on securing the play, and perhaps could be bribed to undo his move, but otherwise was unconcerned at Tom's complaints. Tom vowed to send the colony down and ignite the islands in uprising if Pete stuck to his ways, and Pete thought better of his move - only to steal Tom's market instead.

With discord well and truly sown Ed - who then openly declared himself as the separatist, finished Pete's work for him and marched into Tom's town, sealing the deal.

Time ran out on us as the game had gone on for longer than it should have - probably due to the volume of discussions, and dodgy grudging deals going on, and so the game ended in something of a draw. An early calculation of victory points saw Ed - the separatist taking top slot with 11, Matt and Pete on 10, myself on a pitiful 4, and Tom declaring nothing but vengeance for wrongs done !

A thoroughly excellent game all in all, a shame we couldn't quite finish it before time ran out.

Beer. Pete drank Gunner's Daughter, which after downing a pint and a half in a matter of minutes declared it to be very good indeed.

"Gunner's Daughter hits the spot.". A thoughtful smacking of lips as to how to describe it.

"Gunner's Daughter hits the spot. And the beer is pretty good too !"

Always finish with a joke.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Thievery Most Foul

Nine on the roll call for this week with new attendee Peter joining us for the evening's frivolities.

Hamburgum and Chaos in the Old World were first up, Peter given free choice between the two choosing economics over degenerate corruption. Matt, Stu, Peter and Nicky thus settled down to compete for economic power and prestige in 17th century Germany.
Is it me or do certain euro games have a penchant for historical economic mastery ?
I'm not sure who won this, I wasn't paying attention as I was busying winning the mid game of Chaos, just so that everyone would have a new person to beat up on. Have a picture of the Hamburg action instead.

This left Tom, Moritz, Pete, Phil and myself to clash in Games Workshops setting of the Old World. Chaos in the old world is something of a favourite with the NoBoGers, and it gets an outing every once in a while, more often that not with the expansion included, bringing the Skaven to the table increasing the players from four to five.

For those not familiar with it, the game is an area control game, with each player having subtly different capabilities and goals. Whilst the main thrust of the game is the domination of a region by placing an ever increasing amount of your faction's corruption - effectively control markers, there is also the not insignificant competition for faction powers - winning enough of your faction's advancements can win you the game regardless of region control and victory points.

The game in experienced hands can tiptoe its way through a fairly tight contest as any faction gaining an advantage can be clawed back by the rest of the table. One arguable flaw with the game is that Khorne, having the most straight forward objectives of all the powers - kill things as often as possible - is perhaps somewhat overpowered and requires all the other factions to effectively team up and make sure first and foremost that Khorne is not provided with easy targets. Do not feed Khorne is the oft repeated mantra down the Ribs. This balance problem can be most noticeable with a new player or players who being unfamiliar with the consequences of their actions can hand even an inexperienced Khorne player a fairly straight forward win as the bloody god devours its way to victory.

Despite this the game plays out well, and with a few pointers to those new to it, or old hands that know what to avoid, the game can shine.

Tom managed to gain a victory with Tzeentch, with Pete as the Rats a single point behind, and me with Nurgle a point behind Pete. Just two points separated the top three players, but all players were fairly close, and Phil bringing up the rear with Khorne was very close to an advancement win.

With both games finishing at the same time the nine of us jammed together for another session of smack talk, jeering and underhanded shenanigans in Saboteur 2. Pete took the win with this with a total of 6 gold, myself Stu and Peter coming in second with 5 gold. However, it should be noted that I was robbed of a win - not once or twice, but three times. I had a total of 4 gold thieved away from my stash over several rounds which marred my otherwise efficient gold grabbing ways. The outrage of placing the perfect final card - a green door connecting to the gold - for a win, only for all my winnings to be thieved away. Shocking. It's enough to turn you into a Saboteur

Phil, of course, turned out to be a Saboteur, thus confirming the adage that Phil is always a shifty, untrustworthy Saboteur.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Earth Reborn - Pillage

For those unable to see the BGG forum...

Any interest in having a bash at Earth Reborn next week ?

Possibly Mission 5, Pillage. The NORAD forces must search the base and escape before the Evil Salemites can hunt them down.

Low Res or High Res mission details.

Gaming Galore

 T he dark and the cold have arrived in Norwich, and the weather minions at NoBoG HQ inform me that snow may be here by the end of October. However, I am dubious of the divinations of the weather lackeys on their crystal balls. We shall see.

Eleven souls sought comfort from the Autumn chill in the cosy confines of The Ribs of Beef, with more games on offer than a professional stick shaker could shake a stick at. Sheepland, Endeavour, Hansa Teutonica, Hey that's my fish, Archipelago and Saboteur 2 were played, in some instances more than once, for a total of ten plays, not including the multi rounds of Saboteur 2.

Pete's hair - a wondrous thing that is an almost honourary NoBoG member in its own right - was for the first time in quite a while not present. It seems that it had finally gained sentience after observing one too many games of Race for the Galaxy and had made a break for freedom and a new life in South America. Whether it was escaping Pete or Race for the Galaxy is hard to say. Pete on the other hand arrived somewhat diminished and sporting a new streamlined look, with a good deal less hair.

But on with the games !

Bondy brought Endeavour to the table, which in his own words is "a game about doing things". A surefire marketing tagline if ever I heard one. Stu, Matt and Moritz challenged Bondy in the battle of vying European powers, with Stu triumphing in building the most glorious Empire of them all. Next up on their table was Stu's Sheepland with which Bondy repaired his bruised Endeavour reputation by becoming the most sheep herding Shepherd.

Meanwhile myself, Ed, Tom and Alina tackled the deceptively tricky Archipelago which almost predictably saw the colony explode in rebellion during the first game causing everyone to lose. Vowing that everyone knew what was going on, the second game kicked off with suspiciously similar strategies in place. The ugly practice of Slavery quickly wormed its way into the colony which I snapped up to add to my capabilities - much to the disgust of everyone else. Enduring slurs about being an evil slaver during following negotiations it was somewhat ironic to then find both Ed and Alina indulging in the use of Slavery themselves.

 Hypocrisy of the highest order ! Unbeknownst to all however, I was the evil Separatist and was secretly happy people where employing the powerful slavery at the cost of increasing levels of rebellion.

Co-operation warred with blind self interest amongst the players, and given the number of times Ed disappeared under his hood with a pained expression, a certain amount of nail biting and worry was also involved. As time ran out on the evening levels of rebellion drew critically close to sending the whole colony down once more. The game finished with a probable win for the Separatist, but unfortunately we couldn't quite finish to find out.

Pete, Rich and Phil sat down with Hansa Teutonica - which once again is getting a hammering of plays - and interspersed the merchant shenanigans with brutal penguin fish gobbling.

 Rich and Pete took wins in Hansa, and as for the penguins. . . who knows. Hey That's my Fish seems to be slowly spreading its influence in the group as people get introduced to it or replay it.

Saboteur 2 finished the evening with a 7 handed set of rounds, the shifty Saboteurish Phil always a suspicious player.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Just Seventeen

Just Seventeen, often referred to as J-17, was a weekly magazine aimed at teenage girls, published by Emap from October 1983. The market leader until the launch of Sugar in 1994, after which sales began to fall. In 1997, the magazine was changed to a monthly format in response to the declining circulation, but finally closed in 2004. OK, so that has nothing to do with NoBoG and is just a circuitous way of mentioning that we had record attendance at the Ribs of Beef with SEVENTEEN turning up to play games. Is this the Golden Age of NoBoG? I’m certainly not declaring such a thing. I know full well that if I did we’d be down to just two of us next week -  forced to play Kogge, Vampire: Prince of the City or Medici with a man drinking cream.  So no, I dare not suggest such a thing.

Last night was great, if a little cramped in the Wherry Room. So I took a contingent consisting of Ed and three newcomers, Owen, Grant and Mark, upstairs to play Amun-Re. Nicky, Alina, Matt and Martin played Hansa Teutonica - and then played it again for good measure. Jimmy, Tom and Dean played Castles of Burgundy. And on the end table there was the only marr on the evening as Pete, Rich, Stu, Moritz and Sam inflicted Race for the Galaxy on themselves - twice - followed by Alhambra.

Winners for the evening were: myself (tie-breaker with Ed), Alina, Matt, Jimmy. And on the table of gruelling punishments: Rich swept the board with three victories.