Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Tuesday 1st February - Niagara

Originally uploaded by coljen.
This week we braved the raging river of Niagara. Some of us had played this on our Christmas games day and thoroughly enjoyed it. See that entry for a description of the game. We managed to get through 2 games this evening. The first game only took around 40 minutes, but the second, a much more tactical affair (Read the leader kept getting stuffed!), ran to about 80 minutes. The winning conditions of 4 the same or 5 different does prove quite hard to achieve and both our games were won by claiming 7 jewels of any type.

Actually the first time we played the game at Christmas we read one of the rules wrong and found it difficult to get 2 boats on the river at once. Doh! Garry won both of those games but when I suggested they should be void results he didn’t seem keen. Obviously being the farthest upriver, right on the brink of the falls in fact, makes the pink gems the hardest to collect. Good fortune rather than a planned move seem to prevail here. Boats that lurk empty downriver and try to mug the lucky possessor of the pink gem are frequent. Anyway, as I say, the first game ended quite quickly and the final result was:

Final Scores (*denotes starting player)

Neil 7 any, Steve 6, Garry 3, Colin 5, *Natalie 5

Game 2 was a much different affair with decisions over which tile to play taking longer. A lot of stealing went on in this game, indeed Garry was one move away from getting the winning gem to the bank when some nasty character stole it off of him. Errr, that was me then, sorry Garry. But of course I immediately had it stolen from me. Doh! Then Neil became the target getting quite close to winning, and myself actually. I had 6 and only needed one more. Unfortunately I was at the wrong end of the river. A lot of clouds appeared that kept the river flowing rather rapidly and both Garry and Natalie had canoes that plummeted over the falls. Steve was giving a lot of advice, aka ‘remember you need to be in position to stop X next time’. Which in fact Natalie did, stopping Neil from winning and sacrificing the chance to gain a pink gem that she had been trying for all game. Funnily enough in the next round Steve scrambled 2 gems to the bank to claim the win. Nice misdirection there Steve. As you can see from the final scores everyone was one gem away from winning. All in all a very enjoyable evening and Niagara is a game I can enthusiastically recommend for gamers and non-gamers alike.

Final Scores (*denotes starting player)

Neil 4 different, Steve 7 any, Garry 4 different, Colin 6, Natalie 4 different

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