Thursday, 21 February 2013

Bring the Pain

It matters not who won or lost, but how you caused the pain. The unofficial motto of Blood Bowl, for this week Andy put in a rare appearance to bring along Blood Bowl : Team Manager - a game I have heard good things about but haven't had chance to play.

Blood Bowl Manager... at a lull in the action
Ten people turned up this week, and it was left to Andy, Bondy, Ewan and newcomer Catherine to settle their differences over the brutal field of play.

Showing the boys how to do things, Catherine romped to an impressive win, her ecstatic 46 fans out-cheering and out-hooliganing everyone else, with Ewan managing second some 15 or so points behind.

Core worlds was played on table 2, Dean, Jerry and Matt taking on the deck building game to create the most impressive new space empire. I didn't take much notice of this - my bad. I can't even tell you who won !

Core worlds - snooping at Jerry's cards
I have become somewhat wary of card building games and by default - fairly or not - I will probably choose something else to play. However in this case the Core Worlds theme is something I find interesting, a bit of clashing space empire goodness puts me in Starship Trooper and Stellar Conquest frame of mind. If it comes up again I will probably take a punt at it - although to be fair, this week, I think Blood Bowl Manager would probably have been my top choice.

Merchant of Venus hit table three. Sam, Pete and myself learning the trade routes of the sector. The sector shaped up into a tricky trading zone, there werent a great many optimised trade routes, but Pete managed to get off to a great start and ply the Western borders of space to great effect - setting up an impressive chain of Pete-Mart space stations.

Merchant of Venus, the forgetful yet highly
profitable Pete-Express at work
But not all was rosey in the business empire of Pete. Whoever he had employed as his deck manager was appalling - arriving at planets only to find cargo had forgotten to be sold at the previous planet, passengers picked up, dropped off, then cancelled and returned to their origin seemed to be the order of the day. The poor Diva passenger must have been offered passage with Pete-Express a dozen times, loaded, off-loaded, delayed, diverted, before eventually being taken to where she wanted to go. If she wasn't a bad tempered Diva before hand, after Pete-Express she probably was.

Nevertheless despite Sam hauling some impressively high cash loads towards the end of the game, Pete-Express stormed to a massive win with some 2,600 odd credits, myself and Sam not even making it past 2,000. I managed to be the most famous of the entrepeneurs, but in the end this did little to combat the vast retail empire that Pete had put in place.

Cool game, there is definitely a random number generator at work in Merchant of Venus that maybe some players would find board throwingly infuriating, but I find it's quite cool. It's an old school throwback, and the enjoyment comes from analysing the always different shipping routes, flying your ship around, choosing what to concentrate on, and watching the possible misfortune of your fellow players.

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