Thursday, 9 May 2013

¡Ay, caramba!

Bondy returned to NoBoG this week after a hiatus of some months and brought with him a very compact but full card game - Pax Porfiriana - which is all about power shenanigans in turn of the 20th Century Mexico by ousting or perhaps supporting current iron handed ruler Mr Porfiriana himself.

Pax Porfiana is a game that oozes theme and does a nice job of actually marrying mechanics to this, so that it doesn't feel like some arbitrary piece of art connected to the latest greatest game mechanic wheeze. In fact it has so much of this that at first the symbology and number of rules that are attached to the bits of theme / mechanics is a little daunting. In practice however the game is very simple and breaks down into a card buying, increasing your tableau and competing for a global victory end point type game.

Theme aside the game is not a huge departure from what has gone before - Race for the Galaxy, Ascension and Core Worlds being games not a million miles away at all. Except pax has Mexican hats. And a slightly random unknown variable Victory point condition and timing. What will be the key to victory ? And when will it happen ? Who knows !

Bondy, myself and Stu played this, with Bondy taking up the character of Boss Hog, calling in Henry Ford, some US cavalry and at the final hurdle US president Teddy Roosevelt to clear a US interventionist win. In a strange turn of events Henry Ford ended up selling the US embassy in Mexico, which Bondy thought was exactly the kind of thing Henry Ford would do - the unmitigated capitalist.

For a follow up we played the popular Kingdom Builder, myself and Bondy as newbies taking on the seasoned Builder Stu. The split sector VP condition ended up as the real game swinger, and with myself earning zero for this, I came in last despite getting good scores from the other two VP conditions. Bondy strolled home a little in front of Stu and wrapped up his return to NoBoG with a double win.

Meanwhile on table two, Moritz, Pete and Dean competed in Core Worlds, Pete and Dean making some heavy scoring - not sure who won.

No dice to be seen this week, with a heavy dose of cards in play.

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