Monday, May 16, 2005
I am typing this from the internet terminal in the hotel Franz Josef. Much to my wife's dismay they have installed internet access. So we arrived at about 10.45 on Saturday. Our journey to Stansted airport wasn't without incident as my friend who was taking us, well his car developed a problem. We limped to Gatwick airport, I know wrong airport!! This was so we could get a taxi to the correct airport, Stansted. The taxi was fast and we arrived at 4.30am, yes, am, for our 6.40am flight. The flight was on time arriving at Salzburg at 9.30am our friend Franz was waiting for us so we arrived at the hotel at 10.45. Totally frazzled we slept for about 3 hours in the afternoon. Still we are here, this is Monday and we have just done our first walk. About 3 and half hours around the lake, the weather is pretty changeable and we have had sun and a little rain but it was great. So we have planned to go to Salzburg later in the week, wednesday or thursday. The game shops beckon. I will post again when we have been to Salzburg and recount our time there. Until then happy gaming!!
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Anyway this Saturday me and the wife are off to Austria for a fortnight of walking around the lakes of the Salzkammergut. We go every year and never get tired of it. The scenery and the air are spectacular, oh, and there are a couple of good games shops in Salzburg. We stay in a village called St. Wolfgang, same hotel every year. It’s small and we have become good friends with the owner. We book direct with him now and just get a flight. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a flight from Gatwick this year which is just 30 minutes away, so we have had to go from Stansted. What a pain. That is nearly a 2 hour drive away! Luckily a good friend offered to drive us. I don’t think he realised that it would entail getting up in the middle of the night.
So if anybody from Billygames writes a session report for the 2 weeks I am away I will post them when I get back. Until then Happy Gaming!
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
The only differences between Ireland and normal was that you couldn’t urbanise, if you picked that option you could remove a block from the board. And if you picked the locomotive upgrade it allows you to upgrade twice instead of once during shipping blocks. The board has a number of brown cities that have 3 blocks on them at the start, you can never ship to them and they never get replenished.
This game always does my head in. How many shares do I need? First where shall I build, can I ship, what are my expenses likely to be and so on. It is a favourite game of our group and I will always play if chosen, but I can’t say I would choose it myself. As you can see from the picture Richard (red) starting building in the south, Steve (blue) in the north and myself (green) across the middle. I was getting tight on money and it looked as though I might have to go a couple of turns not taking shares at all. But I managed to get a 5 train and start shipping for five which eased my monetary concerns.
De-urbanisation and production seemed to be the most picked jobs. If you lost a block you could also seed the production chart and hope to get something back. The game was pretty tight with Richard easing into the lead with me second. But Steve was catching me fast and I shipped a yellow block for 5, giving me 4 and Steve 1. This was not ideal, but if I had left it Steve could have shipped it for all 5. We were all shipping for 4 or 5, nobody had a 6 train. The final scores had Richard the clear winner, but it was close between myself and Steve, perhaps that yellow block made the difference.
Richard 99, Colin 82, Steve 79
Monday, May 2, 2005
The tunnels and ferries give the game another dimension. Those tunnels especially, you have to have back-up cards or risk not completing it. Of course that gives the other players a chance to jump in and block you. I really enjoyed the game, better than vanilla TTR I think. Of course the result may have coloured my opinion. lol. I just pipped Richard to the win with the help of the longest route card. This took around 2 hours.
Colin 116, Richard 110, Jo 106, Steve 87, Garry 56
All in all we had a great day, thanks to Garry for hosting and Sally for putting up with some game geeks taking over her house.
Everybody had sussed out that the rail system in England is rubbish as nobody went anywhere near it.
Each player is a Venetian merchant sailing along the Mediterranean sea. Everyone tryes to increase both his own wealth and prestige to become the Best Merchant of Venice
On his turn the player can to play some cards from the hand in order to perform some actions. Actions allow you to gain Ducati (the currency of Venice), to draw cards or to move your ship on the map (where you can collect bonus). There is also a pirate action that is really a bad one! Cards also represent Goods (corn, wine, spices, silk ...) that are loaded on the cargo of the ship. More cards of the same Good you group, more Ducati you will gain at the end of the game. The cards you are playing will also influence your next turn, so choose very well your strategy!
Because of you are a merchant you can trade Goods for other Goods or for Ducati points.
If you want to win you have to be a wise merchant in your trades, you have to choose your right cards to perform the best actions (in accord to your active bonus) and you have to achive the greater cargo on your ship!
I think that we all decided that the buzz from Essen had been justified. A good little game with some interesting mechanisms. I seemed to collecting an awful lot of pirate cards compared to the others. But I also had some good sets going into my cargo stack. Ah well, I can live with pirates. In the end the scores were pretty close, I managed to sneak the win (tricksy hobbit) from Richard again, pirates an all.
Colin 53, Richard 50, Garry 39, Steve 34, Jo 33
In Boomtown, you start as a gold digger and try to end as a tycoon.
To do this, you must first buy the best mining concessions, hoping to find gold veins. You can also try to become the Mayor of Whiskey River or San Narciso, in order to get a small cut on concessions sales, or build a saloon where lucky prospectors will spend their nuggets in moonshine whisky. If business is really bad, you can still rely on bank or stagecoach hold-ups to reestablish you. A well placed stick of dynamite can also solve some minor problems.
Boomtown is game with auctions, dice, and some fun and nasty action cards to play on your fellow gold diggers.
Not too taxing a game, but quite fun nonetheless, Jo wasn't particularly keen on this one. I thought it fun blowing up players mines though. Knowing when to bid high for the right card is crucial. The scores were pretty close, except for Richard. Obviously not cut out as a miner.
Garry 75, Colin 71, Steve 62, Jo 62, Richard 46
We finished of our day with a game of Geschenkt. This little card game is a nice one to finish off with. Jo in particular liked this more than Boomtown. Do you take the card or let it go round again and hope to get more chips? A quick little filler.
Richard 66, Colin 45, Garry 44, Steve 22, Jo 22
By the way, lowest wins!!!