Saturday, 16 November 2013

The Dark Side of Worker Placement

Back to 18 on Tuesday with Tuck joining us for his first taste of the sweet, sweet NoBoG honey.

Dean, Paul, Tom and Stu played Spyrium, which was sold by Dean as “A game by the same bloke that did Caylus”. Then, as if that didn’t sell it enough – “It’s worker placement, but you don’t put workers on cards, you put them in between them”. Ah, cunning. I look forward to the next evolution in worker placement games, where cards are placed on top of workers. Heavy thick cards that crush the workers like some malevolent industrialist exploiting the people. Worker Exploitation it would be called. Far more representative than the sugar coated 'Worker Placement' phrase. Right, Punk Rich? Anyway… that Caylus bloke is William Attia and from a quick squint into the murky corner where Spyrium was being played it certainly had a resemblance to Caylus: Magna Carta with that pale blue look to the cards. Apparently, Spyrium is set in a steampunk version of England. Players build factories and recruit workers to produce a commodity called "Spyrium". Producing Spyrium in one factory, then processing it in the next results in victory points. Alternatively, Spyrium can be purchased, but the material is rare and expensive, and players are constantly short of precious cash. See? Better to exploit the workers.Their lives are cheap! This is definitely worker exploitation. Dean won as he was the most ruthless and cruel mill owner – flashing his gaudy VPs in the face of his down-trodden workers that had broken their backs for his superfluous gains. Boo hiss.

Ewan, Ed 2 and I played Bloodbowl Team Manager. I am pleased to announce that it ended with a crushing win for the Bondy Dwarves, who swept away the opposition with 48 fans, to the Orc and Human teams’ 24 fans a piece. Admittedly, I got lucky getting to compete in 4 match ups twice. However, all my dwarves were well treated and although they fought for their lives in a grim and bloody version of American Football they were paid well for their services. Ewan’s Orcs even had comprehensive health care in form of an apothecary. Better than working in Dean's Spyrium mill.

Rich, Pete, Martin, Ed and Richard played another Fantasy Flight spin-off from the Games Workshop stable in the form of the popular Chaos in the Old World. But despite this being seen regularly at NoBoG, this week, the players must have rested on their demonic laurels as the Old World (the game itself) beat them all. Chaos defeated, good wins!

Alina, Matt and Sam played Suburbia. Creating three Utopian neighbourhoods. Such beautiful neighbourhoods that they should all be declared winners.

On the final table, Fletch took Sam 2 and Tuck on a medieval farming journey with Agricola. Fletch won by five points. His family of farmers enjoying the simple pleasure of providing for themselves. Only for their children to bear witness to the ushering in of the industrial age, where in time, they would be forced to endure back-breaking tasks in those dark, satanic mills and eventually be thrown into destitution by the emergence of the spinning jenny.

At the end of the evening we split again for a games of Smash Up, the newly Resistance re-themed Coup and of course Resistance: Avalon. Various people won.

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