Well, in this session we managed to play a couple of games, Hansa, the newish offering from Michael Schacht, and Favoriten, a 1989 game involving betting on racehorses. First up was Hansa and participating in this one was Neil, Steve, Garry and myself. Only Steve had played before so first plays for the rest of us. Here is a brief desciption of the game from Boardgamegeek.
Players are merchants of the Hansiatic League. Players take control of the ship and buy and sell goods, establish trading posts, and sail to find new markets. The board is a very simple map of Scandanavia, with arrows from point to point restricting where the boat is able to move. Active player takes control of boat and must pay to move to each new city where he may either buy, sell, or expand. Players wants sets of goods that they can trade for victory points, but also need to expand market presence to generate revenue.
Steve definitely had an advantage having played before, Garry and myself were struggling a bit early on trying to find the best strategy. Neil seemed to grasp the game pretty good and was keeping up with Steve. The action to replenish the goods tiles seemed to fall at my door quite a lot, good play by the others I am sure. Anyway Steve ran out a comfortable winner with Neil and Garry being quite close together and me finishing in a pretty lame last place. Need to play again, I enjoyed the game even though I came last and as it plays in less than hour is sure to hit the table again. Only four player though which could restrict its choice.
Steve 12 City + 36 VP = 48, Garry 10 City + 25 VP = 35, Neil 16 City + 22 VP = 38, Colin 10 City + 17 VP = 27
After our expoits trading in the Baltic Neil sat out and Natalie joined us for a game of Favoriten, a fairly old (1989) game involving betting on 5 horses racing round the track. This game by Walter Müller is fairly light with quite a bit of luck in the dice rolls. But there are decisions to be made and the game rolls along fairly quickly and we played a 3 race series which played in about 40 minutes. Ah, games with dice and a splodge of luck, right up my street then. The turn sequence involves betting on the horses, anyone can bet in anyones turn, rolling the dice and choosing which horse to move. You roll the dice once for each horse and obviously you want the good rolls for the horses that you have bet on and the bad rolls for your rivals. A good deal of banter and such make this game a light but enjoyable romp.
Natalie 30+38+44 = 112, Steve 46+40+41 = 127, Garry 28+0+61 = 89, Colin 60+60+41 = 161