Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Tuesday 21st September - Carcassonne/Hunters & Gathers - Ark of the Covenant

Attendees tonight were Neil, Steve, Natalie, Richard and myself, ready to go huntin’ and fishin’ in prehistoric times. This game is one of many variants of Carcassonne and is one of the best I think. Here is a brief description courtesy of Boardgamegeek.

A Carcassonne Variant set in the Stone Age. Players build a prehistoric landscape with tiles depicting forests, rivers, lakes and grasslands. They then send out members of their tribe to hunt, gather and fish. In other words, place their pawns in the best positions to score points.

Most of the mechanics are familiar from the original Carcassonne, but some new things are added to spice things up.

I managed to get my fishing hut on a system with good development potential, unfortunately I couldn’t keep it to myself and Richard muscled in so in the end we shared the points. One large meadow evolved with myself Natalie, Richard and myself contesting. I just couldn’t get my third hunter in so Richard and I shared the points with two hunters each. You don’t have many meeples, only 5, so you have to be careful how many you tie up in meadows otherwise you could be meepleless and restrict your scoring opportunities in the forests and rivers. Anyway in the end Richard came away a convincing winner. Obviously well endowed with considerable hunting and fishing skills.

Final Scores (*denotes starting player)

Neil* 77, Natalie 62, Steve 79, Richard 94, Colin 62

The Ark of the Covenant

Natalie decided to sit this one out so Neil, Steve, Richard and myself carried on preaching the gospel. Again a brief description from the Geek.

A new game based on Carcassonne, Ark of the Covenant has players vie for control of cities, roads, flocks, and temples by using the tiles to create the dynamic play area and by placing followers on the tiles.

New features compared to Carcassonne include oasis along roads which award 1 additional point to that road for each oasis, a one-time use "prophet" for each player which doubles the value of a completed city for that player, a simplified field scoring with each sheep in the field adding 2 points and each wolf subtracting 2 points, and a new scoring mechanism for temples. Additionally, players can forgo the placement of a follower on the board to move the Ark around the tiles and award 1 point to the owner of each follower it passes.

Well basically Neil ended up founding Jerusalem and I ended helping the Romans build roads, lots of roads. Very straight roads with not even many oasis on them! And if I wasn’t doing that my meeples seemed to be shepherds. Not a city segment for at least 3/4 of the game. Doh! Understandably founding Jerusalem is quite a feat and as Neil was the only one in it, and with a prophet it gave him a game winning 52, yes that’s 52, points. Ending up 26 points in front of Steve in second.

Final Scores (*denotes starting player)

Neil* 101, Steve 75, Colin 73, Richard 71

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