Wednesday, 26 November 2014

It's Christmas !

It's Christmas !!!

Christmas has arrived !

*checks watch*
 *checks it's still November*

 watch - an archaic device that was used in pre-internet-azoic ages that strapped to primitives wrists and allowed a person to tell the time, possibly the date, and boast that they could tell the aforementioned time and date in depths of water up to 30m - something that no one, ever, in the history of 30m water depth watches ever used. Latter age watches worn by particularly flamboyant and misinformed primitives also had calculator functions provided via buttons too small to use - which like the 30m water depth were never actually used other than to spell Boobies - at the time rated as cutting edge humour before the enlightened internet wisdom of youtube taught us that dancing cats are actually the cutting edge of humour.

This week the Ribs was resplendent in its Christmas attire with tinselly tinsel and apparently the entire European stock of twinkly lights stapled to every surface that wasn't a table.

All the Christmas regalia had a surprisingly subduing effect on the patrons of NoBoG where a room full of people managed to be almost entirely silent - except for James which goes without saying. James loves a good chat - probably something to do with the fact that he spends all his time working on fish ear bones which are notably 1) incapable of chat and 2) not great conversation starters unless you happen to meet someone else who works on fish ear bones. I think James might be the only person in the world that works on fish ear bones - I can make this claim safe in the knowledge that I have only ever met one person that works on fish ear bones - which therefore makes the chances of meeting someone else into fish ear bones remarkably unlikely. Thus he is starved for chat.

And with the theme of Christmas and shiny new presents to open, this week a whole slew of new games were on offer to partake of.

Imperial Settlers
First up Darren brought along the new Imperial Settlers, a 4 player civilisation card game that sees asymmetric sides competing to build their society up into the most VP earning society. Along the way you might get to steal or even burn your opponents stuff as well as the usual Euro type things of producing things, paying for things and deciding what action you want to take. This plays fairly quickly and is open to more player screwovers than is typical in VP engine building type games. It seemed to go down well, Elliot gave it an initial 7/10, mainly docked points because Ewan - as the Barbarians - was stealing his stuff. Mr Bond also gave it a thumbs up, but with some provisos about it being dependent on what cards you pull and how powerful they are for scoring opportunities.

Hansa Teutonica... Brittanica ?
Upstairs Pete had a play through of Hansa Teutonica with the new Brittania map. Hansa Brittanica ? As well as being a new map to play Hansa Teutonica on, the Britain map also introduces a new mechanic or two, and tweaks some of the balance of the different scoring capabilities via some clever map design. Hansa Brittanica brings in a rule about area domination - certain areas can be vied for dominance control with the winner gaining some victory points - which is a really nice idea that could have easily been implemented into the other Hansa maps. It also brings to the table the concept of only allowing placement in certain areas of the map if you have control of the right city spot.

Needless to say Pete really enjoyed the new map and its new balancing - but he's a pretty big fan of Hansa full stop. He went on to capture a win - also not unusual, this despite Rich IV attempting to pick on Pete all game to prevent him winning. It can be hard to pick on people in Hansa - doing so often just makes them stronger in other ways, and Pete adapts very well in Hansa.

Colt Express - Get outta my way ya no good varmint !
Sam finally managed to get his copy of Escape from Atlantis to table, which went down well, and then got the new and shiny Colt Express out for a play which has possibly one of the greatest themes for a game ever - deperados shooting, punching, roof jumping and stealing their way through an old West Cowboy Train Express. Yes, it's a train game, but I think you can forgive it of any Euro cube shuffling sins, in favour of the rootin' tootin' treasure stealin' gameplay.

Players get to romp through the train, shooting others - and filling the action card hand with bullets that serve no purpose other than to fill up their hand with chaff - punching others, making them drop a loot, stealing loot and avoiding the sheriff.

Not only does the game have a great theme, but it also looks great, with a nice 3d train to leap around on and punch your fellow robbers away from their loot. I really want to give this a bash myself to see how it plays - not sure what the feeling about the game was.

Three new games in one evening ? Phew ! But there was one more to try, as Nate brought along Stefan Felds latest design - Aquasphere, a hardcore Euro with one of the largest point Salads seen thus far in Euro design. This was a real pleasure for me as I have been itching to give Aquasphere a go for some time since I read about it in the Spring.

Aquasphere is a game for up to four, where each of you play the role of a scientist doing... sciencey things in an underwater research facility. Choose your actions, deploy your scientist and robots and accrue resources, tech, VPs and a long the way vie for area control. So far so Euro. There are some twists however.

Aquasphere. A cacophony of iconography and meeples !
First is the action selection - you'll get to pick three from a total of eight - but which ones you can pick is not set and varies based on a card that shows the layout for a round. This is tricky to explain unless you can see the action selector, but basically at any one stage you have a choice of one of two actions, until the third choice, when you have a choice of one of four. Just which actions are mutually exclusive varies - and the timing of when you can get access to each action also changes. This means game to game, and round to round, the actions you can select and the interactions you can perform on the board are ever shifting.

Put simply, you never have full access to all the actions available. Their timing and exclusivity varies. This obviously has major consequences for what you are doing.

Aquasphere - my board and the action selector / score track
As well as that action selection malarkey, your actions are actually selected at least one round before you get to play them. Effectively you are playing ahead one round - and, here's the important thing, everyone else can see what you are shortly about to do and thus plan around it, or against it, or otherwise. This adds another layer into the whole action planning stage.

Finally the board is split into six segments with a first come first served capturing of resources, and a last come mechanic for scoring the control of a segment - everything you do interfering with everyone else and their plans. A scrum of scientists and robots milling around the underwater station.

As for points. This is where the crazy point salad comes into effect. Points can be scored for
  • Placing submarines
  • Placing robots
  • Obtaining research
  • Killing Octopods
  • Performing actions that synergise with your research
  • Segment control
  • Resource overflow
  • Completion of a lab
  • Completely deploying all subs
  • Segment listed lab sections 
 But there's a number of subtleties beyond that with scoring limitations and time gathering - which is used to move about or gain access to extra actions. It has mechanics from Hansa / Terra Mystics with its removal of meeples dictating what you score / what you are doing, and a scoring somewhat similar to Lords of Vegas or perhaps Suburbia where to keep on scoring you have to pass certain requirements - in this case paying a crystal to breach the next scoring range.

Although a pretty easy game to understand the basics, the sheer amount of variability and permutations on offer mean this is a monster of plans upon plans and options. I could well imagine that with the wrong people this game could be the mother of all analysis paralysis games as someone sits there and works there way through hundreds of variations. Even without that, the a game turn can often be lost in a bit of thoughtful silence as each player tries to grok the layout and come up with a semblance of a good plan.

This game just about has it all - with the notable exception of bidding ( which if you were a glutton for punishment you could introduce as a variant for bidding for turn order ), and if you are into 'proper' crunchy Euros that have high variability and good player interaction, then this game could be for you.

Personally I thought the game was great, and is one of the best Euros I have played. Its variability in action timing and choice means that no two games are going to play the same, and it will always present an interesting challenge to even the most well versed player. The theme works really nicely, it's an attractive game to look at, its simple to grasp and hard to master. Excellent !

Nate won with a strong score, with poor Stu doing really well but failing to have enough crystals to keep on scoring and thus hitting a glass ceiling, without which he would have won. Moral victory to Stu then. I came last by a whole score range - I was brutalised a few times early game - the game can be brutal - and my sub strategy didn't do well for me at the end.

Elsewhere Max and Emma returned with Dead of Winter, Max turned out to be a bad guy, convinced the good guys to give him a rifle - which he promptly shot someone with before breaking the gun and throwing it in the trash. The colony now hopelessly tanked voted him out in a fit of revenge, causing his betrayer goals to change - turning him into a repentant bad guy which ended with everyone losing. Huzzah. I think Sparky the Stunt Dog played a prominent role once again. At one point I am sure I heard Emma stating that Sparky was one "suave bastard". The James Bond of stunt dogs.

Tokaido, Incan Gold, Sechs Nimmt were also played, and quite possibly some other fillers which I missed.

A great evening, looking forward to seeing some of those new games turn up in the coming weeks.

28 if you are counting. Which my mom - like a lot of others - has started saying is a quiet week. Yes. My mom comments on the numbers at NoBoG. Don't ask me why. 28 is not a quiet week. You quiet nay sayers - and my mom - should stop spreading such quiet nay saying innuendo.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles

Germany is determined to safeguard her homeland, and especially her war industry and provisional centres for the fighting fronts. Therefore it has become necessary to create strictly forbidden zones, called death zones, in which all unauthorised trespassers will be immediately shot on sight.

Escaping prisoners of war, entering such death zones, will certainly lose their lives. They are therefore in constant danger of being mistaken for enemy agents or sabotage groups.

 Urgent warning is given against making future escapes!

In plain English: Stay in the camp where you will be safe! Breaking out of it is now a damned dangerous act.

The chances of preserving your life are almost nil!

From a notice posted up inside Colditz during the War.

This week the positively archaic board game Escape from Colditz paid a visit to NoBoG replete with its 'naughty' swastikas, 30 year old yellow sellotape and generally knackered box.

Myself, Fletch and the two Riches took this 40 year old game on, with myself playing the heroic Germans *cough*, and the rest playing the misbehaving allies. We agreed to play to a time limit of 2 hours and 15 minutes, and for the prisoners to get two of their guys over the walls and out to freedom. After a short and sharp rules session, we were off with the Poles of Punk Rich, the Brits of Fletch and the Yanks of Rich IV.

Disguises were gathered and equipment was collected - and the allies started whispering and muttering between themselves suspiciously. Odd clumps of prisoners began to form, and I as the Germans started nervously fidgeting guards around the most likely groups.

Punk Rich was defiant of the Germans. Sure he had escape equipment on him, but he wasn't going to be intimidated by any filthy German guard. Screw you you Nazi he sneered in my face.

So I arrested him. Schweinhund !

He was undeterred. Screw you ! So I arrested him again. Here then in our mini recreation of Colditz a battle of wills was going on between authoritarian jailer, and anarchist prisoner. Inevitably this ended up at one point with all the Polish except for one in solitary confinement. Fantastich !
The poles are so popular they get their own cell block.
Half the prisoners are in solitary. Huzzah !

This was branded as somewhat harsh to Rich. Unfair even. Pfah. Allied whining. Just doing my job ! You are prisoners and I am the jailer ! I personally was elated with the futile battle of wills, an easy contest for me to win whilst the other allies were still busy trying to put their plans in order.

Rich refused to go down however, busted all the Poles out of jail, taunted the guards... and got thrown straight back into solitary. As 2 hours rolled on, Rich had finally learnt his lesson. It's no good taunting the guards without a plan - and his defiant Poles scampered away from the Germans to look for safe spots. Yeah, that's right. Taunt me and you'll get a jackboot up your arse ! Muah ha ha ha.

Meanwhile a tunnel had opened up in the Chapel - a pathetic attempt by the Yanks and Brits that was immediately squashed and the offenders arrested - to join the ever present Poles in solitary. Fletch then managed to slip out to the parked staff car and brazenly drive it out of the front gates - only to conk out half way to freedom and find himself thrown in solitary. You cannot beat the Reich ! Filthy pig dogs !

Another largely unsuccessful tunnel opened up - one Brit escaping, one Brit getting shot, and the last turn of events, a mass escape at the North wall, with the Yanks ushering everyone over their roughly made rope. Poles and Yanks milled in confusion looking to jump the last 60' wall, but it was not to be as the guards descended and the Americans realised they had miscounted their rope and were caught like rats in a trap. Math is hard. How embarassing to lead your fellow prisoners to an escape that forgot to bring a valued piece of equipment ( to be fair to Rich IV I had decided to search the quarters he was in on the same turn and managed to confiscate a crucial piece of rope he was about to use... )

Despondency descended. How on earth do you get out ? This is impossible !

The German Commandant smiled smugly. A last ditch Do Or Die by the American failed, leaving the score at 0 for the Poles, 0 for the Yanks and 1 for the Brits. A victory for Germany. All rise for the German national anthem !

Great fun. Rich IV was surprised how much fun it was and how tense. Fletch seemed to really enjoy it and was doing a pretty damn good job. Punk Rich... I think the authoritarian cosh of the guards was too much for his anarchist ways and his battle of wills that left his Poles broken and imprisoned left him subdued.

Old school games laugh at your pain.
Robinson Crusoe

Meanwhile away from our tense battle of wills, Takenoko romped its way through bamboo and gardening downstairs and Cash and Guns was called for at the start of the evening - madness. The excellent co-operative game Robinson Crusoe made it to the final table downstairs, with the first scenario given a walkthrough - I failed to note if they succeeded in their endeavours.

Upstairs next to Colditz, Lords of Waterdeep got another play - it seems to be a happy go to game when no one can make up their mind - and Mr Bond playing for the second time won again to make his waterdeep record an impressive 2/2.

Pillars of the Earth and Bruges also slipped in upstairs, with a whole slew of fillers following on in the rest of the evening - Resistance, Camel Up, Incan Gold, Blood Bound.

I got to finally have a go of the push your luck game of Incan Gold, and despite winning my first game, managed to slump to a score of zero for a following game, beating James' improbably pathetic score of 1.

James then adopted a low risk strategy of running early and managed to cash in significantly, ramping up some major scores in the 30's, which only just failed to pay off once at the end score with an amazing score from Ewan.

Blood Bound
34 this week. Not quiet then. Reduced to 32 when Caroline and Elliot decided that Takenoko was the work of the illuminati and refused to play it and instead left early, thus avoiding its subtle mind controlling ways of bamboo and panda.

Don't ask me. I only report the news.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Poo, huh, yeah, what is it good for ?

As Edwin Starr never sung, Poo, huh yeah, what is it good for ? Absolutely nuthin !

Which is not strictly true as we found out this week with Adrian finally bringing Poo to the table. Fortunately for all concerned this wasn't Adrian acting out some display of trousers down table top defecation, but instead introducing us to Poo the card game, which sees players acting out as Monkeys flinging poo at each other and utilising it to humiliate your foes.
Poo - a card game, not a dinner party lighter trick gone wrong

At this point you might be wondering if there is any topic that could not be made into a game. Given infinite, ahem, monkeys, or an infinite amount of time with finite monkeys, is Poo the Card game what they would come up with ? It's probably a fair bet they would come up with it before getting around to writing the entire works of Shakespeare.

Poo is a quick filler game that sees you playing a fairly limited set of cards to either do poo damage to other monkeys or defending yourself from flung poo. Poo totals can go up and down as some cleaning can go on, and in practice this can lead to the game dragging its heels at times as the merry go round of flung poo, clean poo, flung poo, defend poo goes on. There isn't a whole heap of strategy or depth to this, hang onto those handy defences, try and play some good poo flings when someone is on the ropes, but by and large it pretty much plays itself.
A handful of poo. The game writes its own jokes.
I think the main draw to this game is the humorous and offbeat game and art and fulfils something of a novelty niche. In many ways the game plays out like a simplified Nuclear War, where instead of firing nukes and other complex weapon systems at each other you are chucking poo. Indeed there is even a card that is straight out of Nuclear War - the final retaliation card that allows a defeated player to play all his remaining poo cards at his enemy. A mutual poo destruction card.

Caroline won the poo flinging contest with quite an OCD cleaning run. She revealed at the end that her win was quite true to life. I gather she meant the OCD cleaning and not the poo throwing. You never know though.

Elsewise we played a nice game of Glass Road, where my last round met with some disastrous results and I missed two building actions to stumble to a poor 15 points along with Adrian, whilst Sam and Caroline scored a slightly better but still off 18 points. Both Sam and Caroline attempted to claim the moral victory, with Sam stating he had half a point of sand over everyone else, and Caroline attempting to count overlapping sand pits twice - which the points building didn't actually rule out as illegal.

We finished with some more cows from Sechs Nimmt, where as per usual, Round 1 and 2 I was in the lead, and slumped to an atrocious score in Round 3. Mr Bond was the greatest loser however, and Sam was the winner. Quite a good evening for Sam even though he continually professed to having no plan.

Meanwhile downstairs they played a wonky game of Tragedy Looper - Hal won again as the bad guy I believe. Hal is getting far too much practice as some evil doing time traveller. It's funny what board games end up training you for.
A Wherry room of Gamers, Room 25 front and centre.

Room 25 was also played. Lauren promised that she wouldn't kill me this time if I played. I wasn't falling for that however. And left them to it. Which was a good move as Lauren turned out to be an evil doing guard once again, and managed to win the game in preventing the hapless prisoners from escaping in time. Andrew as another evil guard won post humously after he blindly walked into a room of death in turn 3.

I think James got a blast of Five Tribes - can't quite remember, and I recall seeing Incan Gold out afterwards.

The seminal Settlers of Catan
Upstairs Mr Bond had a blast of retro Euro with Settlers of Catan. The title that kick started the board game revival and introduced the world to Euro / German gaming and the phrase Wood for Sheep, amusing countless numbers of American gamers. Mr Bond won this despite Lewis looking like he was in a strong position. Perhaps too strong, inviting everyone to ignore him with avengeance ? Who knows.

Pete got Lord of the Ice Garden to table for the fourth consecutive week. Everyone seems to be taking an exploratory stab at this, and this week it was the turn of what I rudely dubbed the old farts. Tom, Stu, Owein and Pete. I couldn't quite grab a thumbs up or thumbs down from this, from which I can assume it wasn't universally cheered as the next awesome sauce or the worst of the worst.

Werewolf had some blasts downstairs. I think the wolves won it. Richard the IV even went so far as to twitbrag about it. A lesson for werewolfers at NoBoG in future - check twitter for tells.

25 for this round of gaming. Giving rise to more than one person noting how quiet it was this week. 25 is quiet. Apparently. Just so you know. The stats reckon its average. This time last year 25 would have been a record attendance. Pfah.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

No Planes, No Trains and No Automobiles

After all that NoBoG statistic compilation of what was played where, I had to go have a lie down for a week. And so missed last weeks blog.

Mr Bond was attending the Beer festival, turned up for half an hour at the Ribs to say hello, and then went back to boozing taste testing with a vague promise to be back for the fillers. Which he failed to materialise for. Presumably by this point he was asleep in a shrubbery somewhere between the festival and the Ribs with a happy beer blissed face. So he wasn't going to write a blog post either.

Before we begin, if you've been keeping an eye on other NoBoG channels you might have noticed Owein has launched his own board game retailing enterprise. Here in his own words...

For those of you who couldn't make it to the club this week, I am really excited to announce that last Sunday saw the Grand Opening of my online games store

King Bee Games stock a wide range of games at great prices, with an emphasis on middle and lighter weight games. If there is a particular game (or games!) that you are after that we are not currently stocking, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I can check whether I am able to source it from our suppliers and let you know how much it would be.

I am also happy to bring along any games you would like to buy to the club and offer a 10% discount on our normal prices. If there are any games that you are interested in, please drop me a line at and I can let you know how much they would be!


Last week we had a record equalling 33 turn up - 34 if you count Mr Bond who didn't play and was asleep in the shrubbery. A few new games were on offer - Fletch had a virgin copy of Planes on the table which regrettably no one seemed to be fantastically interested in playing. This is no slur on either Fletch or the game, but if you've been to NoBoG you will know that by and large everyone is so laidback / indecisive to the point that although everyone has turned up to play games, no one really is any rush to actually suggest or play a game.

Elliot also had some new still sealed game to play, and despite a great marketing introduction ( where it wasn't entirely clear if he was trying to sell it or play it ) the game met with little enthused response. If it's not Lords of Waterdeep, expect no one to have an opinion !

No planes. And no Ticket to ride trains. And you'll be lucky to find a game about automobiles.

At this rate we will be giving mandatory play orders to those who can't name a game to play in 30 seconds. Punishment games will include, Race for the Galaxy, Munchkin, Ticket to Ride, Hansa Teutonica and Advanced Squad Leader. You will play the one you hate / sneer at. Which should cover everyone. ASL for the newbies and pacifists. Munchkin for the hardcore Euros. Ticket to Ride for the wargamers. And Hansa Teutonica / Race for the Galaxy for the thematic Ameritrashers.

Pete too was grasping a new game, Igglepiggle of the Night Garden Lord of the Ice Garden, but whether it's Pete's unique silver tongue/weaselly diplomacy, his amazing spectacular ever changing hair or possibly the game itself, his new offering quickly found some players to give it a shot.

Lord of the Ice Garden.
Peter ( top right ) appears to be giving a shakespearean
monologue / epic rules explanation to set the scene.
And what a pretty shot it is, the game is a real looker, possibly because of its Kickstarter heritage ( which in my experience all tend to have bling to encourage you to spend your moolah on an untested prototype ), and also possibly because it comes from an existing IP of a series of Polish fantasy novels. However, unless you are Polish the chances are you will have never heard or read it, as I don't believe it has ever been translated from its native language.

Lord of the Ice Garden is an area control game between competing players, where combat is distinctly deterministic - there is no dice rolling or randomness here. Pay to activate your troops. Get what you paid for.

Players get to choose what actions they will take in a turn via a typical worker placement / action drafting stage, before enacting those actions during gameplay. Combat occurs, influence can be placed, which allows players to change the domination of an area. Resources and victory points are gleaned from what you control on the board at the end of a turn.

Pretty, pretty models. Fletch however is unmoved.
All that glitters is not gold.
The four different factions are asymmetrical with differing special goals to secure for a goal win, so if you like being a special snowflake in a game, this will appeal. The problem with very groovy and interesting asymmetry in games is the multi headed hydra that is balance. It is balanced ? Good question. Pete has played this two weeks in a row, and for two weeks in a row the same faction has won. The straight forward, smash you in the face, melee orientated faction. Whether this is a bit of group think going on as Pete suggests, or is simply a faction easily accessible to newbies who don't quite grasp the depth of possibilties, or is a genuine balance issue only time will tell.

For the time being almost everyone that's played it has liked it. Fletch in particular did not enjoy it. His game had an epic rules session where Pete spent so long going through rules to the new game that other tables had actually just about finished their first small offering. Long rules sessions can be tiring. I am terrible for them - I tend to switch off and daydream instead of listening. I think Fletch also made a few mis-steps and as is the nature of some games could never really recover. Uh huh.

Richard IV on the other hand gave it a big thumbs up. And as is his recent trend played the new shiny in back to back weeks. Richard is becoming the Leader of the Cult of the New.

Elsewhere I got to play Legendary Villains - another of the Legendary deck builder variants, this time spinning you as the bad guys against the disgustingly upstanding heroes. Although we seemed to be a rather modest group of evil doers as our all powerful most evil globally devastating plan for world domination and suffering turned out to be.... spoiling the X-Men graduation day.
Legendary Villains. Not so Legendary in our case.

I bet they don't make a film about that.

See Wolverine have to cope with removing TP from a tree ! Watch Professor X deal with annoying prank calls to Hugh Jass. Gasp in awe as Storm deals with a sabotaged PA system. Flinch in horror as Rogue checks for the evils of chewing gum on the seating.

Despite our very modest, some would say almost schoolboy level of evil plot, we failed to defeat Odin. Who apparently had something to do with the graduation day. I don't know. What do you mean it's unreasonable to expect a near immortal king to be mucking about with a school graduation day ? You know nothing. It was a super hero graduation day. With super cake and everything.

The game was cool. I was disappointed with the ending. It just all went a bit damp squib. No grand speeches or failures. Just a shuffle of cards back into the box. Serves us right for losing.
Castles of Burgundy

Nate brought out Castles of Burgundy, and prised Elliot away from his trains and settlers. Elliot enjoyed the game, didn't win. I suspect Nate might have won.

Betrayal at House on the Hill got a play, with something of a very awesome haunt about all the players being shrunk to the size of mice and hunted by cats. Very nice ! Which if you know your Neil Gaiman is something he riffed on with the excellent Dream of a Thousand Cats. If you haven't heard of it check it out, it's very good.

Betrayal at House on the Hill.
Other games were played. Ave Caesar. Lords of Vegas. Fillers. Family business. Tim brought along a lovely little filler that I hadn't seen before - Guillotine. A number of aristocrats are lined up for the chop, each with a point score, and the idea is for each player to execute as many points worth of aristos as possible. Cards are played to alter the queue order hopefully manipulating good aristos for yourself, and tanking everyone else. Set collection, special powers and a bit of screwing around is the order of the day, and the theme is comically great. I've put this on my buy list, and if you get a chance you should check out - simple and fun for all, including gameophobes.

This week there are no pictures. The camera was out of juice. Deplorable. We had 35 turn up - a record, but Elliot and Caroline went to see a film instead as no one wanted to play Ticket to Ride Marklin reducing us to 33. I take this as a personal failure - even after offering to play as a third, Elliot sadly declined, game clutched to his chest. Ah well.

Instead I got to introduce 3 people to Glass Road. Three people who had in fact never played a Rosenberg game before. That's right. No Agricola. No Caverna. No Ora. No Le Havre. Shocking. Which went down well. Secretly I would have preferred Ora and Labora - I have been itching to play it for some time. But given a choice between the heavier Ora and the more streamlined Glass Road, it was the Road which took the play time. Martin had a great start with Glass Road, whilst I had a terrible one. I managed to make ground up in following rounds - at some expense to Martin it has to be said. I had predicted new players scores to be something of the order of 15 or 16 and a winning score somewhere around at least 20. As it turned out Tim scored 15, Martin scored 18, myself 19, and Byron 23. The game was great, and seemed to provide just enough head scratching and thunkery to be a challenge but not an obstacle.

Lords of Vegas got another outing. Fletch had his first go of this. Enjoyed it. Noted there was quite a lot of dice rolling. The lovely Random Number Generator. Tim, Stu and Nicky joined forces to play Revolution. With an exclamation mark. Revolution ! Which seems like a nice game of blind bidding for control. Nicky humbled all competition with a face slapping win that saw her some 150% or so above the next player, and almost double the last two. Yikes. Well done Nicky. They then played some old school Ra.

1775 was played downstairs, where the upstart yanks were handed their marching orders by the courageous Brits, and the Kings Colony of New York remained. Although Ewan seems to think the Dutch won it instead. Lies.

The relatively new King of New York got a blast from an enthusiastic King of crowd, and all really enjoyed it. The maniacally grinning Lewis won. You can always tell when Lewis wins. He grins like a demented Victorian bad guy.

Dead of Winter got played. Not sure if the colony collapsed or not. A bunch of fillers. Incan gold. Sechs Nimmt ( where I went again from leader in round 1 and 2, to abject last place by round 3 ). Hamsterrolle. Cash and Guns. Avalon Resistance and classic Resistance. Classic resistance turned out to be a triumph of the bad guys. With all three bad guys going on the mission and tanking the two fails to lose. Epic. Myself and the two Sams were triumphant in our evil doings. Sam II played a great but very risky mid game play, playing a card that allowed him to see if someone has failed or succeeded the mission. Two spies and two good guys were on the mission. He chose the good guys card and revealed it was a fail. Risky. If none of the spies had put a fail in he would instantly blow his cover. Which given there were two spies on a single fail mission was not unreasonable. As it turned out a single fail was revealed, badly incriminating the good guy who had refuted he had included a fail. A masterful ploy that sunk one of the good guys, and by incrimination sunk another suspicious good guy. Leaving the ring leader good guy to completely trust two spies. Oh dear. He looked so confident in the last round too....

His sad little shell shocked face at the end was a picture. Shame the camera was flat.

*Cackles evilly*