I'm usually the last to find out things so many of you will probably know about this site already. But for those of you that are unaware this site has video shows describing many popular board games. Here is the link:
Scott has just won the Gone Gaming award for best podcast/videocast site!
Just been looking at referrals on my site meter and it's nice to see that Bruno Faidutti has a link to us on his website. He says that we are strictly session reports, but interesting ones.....well that's nice to know.
I'm always surprised by how many people pop in and have a look at what we're up to. So a big hello and thank's for dropping by to you all.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
By the way if anybody doesn't know, you can double click on any picture and a larger version will come up in my flickr account.
Sorry I haven’t given a run through of the game as I am assuming that everybody is familiar with this classic game. Anyway managing your money for buying resources, power stations and fuel is very important and working out what you want to buy before you commit yourself is a good plan. Funny I can do this in Power Grid and enjoy the game but with AoS it just blows my mind. So I managed to find a way out down the western coast before Garry could block me in so I wasn’t too bad. Richard was just doing his own thing down south. Steve did contemplate building in Sicily and paying a huge build through cost just to try to foil Richard’s plans, but decided against it. Although I thought the map looked really tight nobody really got stuffed with nowhere to build. By the time we had reached stage 3 it still pretty tight. At one point Steve bought 12 coal and 3 oil to try and stop Richard from powering his cities. Uranium was getting cheaper and cheaper but not many power stations were on line, I had one that powered 3 but had to get rid of it for a more powerful coal station. As the game neared the end it was so close, I knew I wasn’t going to win because I could only power 16 and if I bought a more powerful station I had no money to buy houses.The final scores were very close needing a tiebreaker between 1st and 2nd and 3rd and 4th.
Steve 17 (13 money), Richard 17 (7 money), Colin 16 (3 money, 17 houses built), Garry 16 (3 money, 16 houses built)
Saturday, March 25, 2006
I won’t go into the rules in depth, you can find out more on BGG, but I found the gameplay very engaging. The added element of gold and being able to manufacture goods and sell them to the other cities made it a very different game to the other Settlers I have played. For a start I have always had bad dice rolls (that’s my story anyway) in other games and the introduction of a deck of cards with numbers on seemed to even out the odds a bit. Also the events on the cards adds yet another element to consider. I managed to build a toll station on the road leading to Frankfurt, and controlled it for the whole game. Unfortunately there wasn’t a settlement on it for most of the game so I didn’t benefit from any toll fees! I did build a workshop on the wood space in the city and used this to good effect when I was able to manufacture two lots of helmets and sell them to Frankfurt for double, that would be 16 gold. I controlled the road so I didn’t have to pay a toll either. We were all on about 5-7 VPs and I could see the game rapidly escalating to an end when the council cards started to come into play. I had built a workshop in the Bauhof, which enabled me to build towers. I was planning to build one on my next turn and grab the high council card for 4vp when Steve build 2 city walls giving him the 3 prestige points necessary to snatch it. Unfortunately nobody had noticed how close Steve was to winning and this gave him a total of 13VPs, the winning total.
All in all I really enjoyed playing and hopefully will do a bit better next time. I think Steve was the only one who had played before so not surprising he burgled the win.
Steve 13, Richard 9, Colin 7, Garry 6
Originally uploaded by coljen. You can see Richard on the left and Garry getting ready to dive into the City of Nurnberg. Steve is making the necessary coffee!! Richard was just telling us how he managed to put 5 boardgames out for the trash. He looks surprisingly upbeat doesn't he :)
Thursday, March 16, 2006
As trick taking games go I think is right there at the top of the pile. I had read a bit about the game on the geek and was looking forward to playing. Basically you have 37 cards, 36 of them divided into three colours, blue, yellow and red. The yellow cards are predominately low numbers, red are high and blue are more middle range. The nineteen card starts on the table under the bottle imp, a nice wooden bottle shaped dobber. The cards are shuffled and dealt equally, with four players that’s 9 cards each. Then you select one card to discard under the imp, one card you pass left and one card you pass right. The four cards under the imp become the trick won by the player who ends up with the bottle imp after the last hand and these count as minus points. So the player to the left of the dealer leads and plays goes clockwise, you must follow suit (colour) if you can, if you can’t you can lay anything. If all the cards played are above the value of the bottle imp (nineteen on the first hand), the highest card wins the trick regardless of colour. If any cards are below the value of the imp, the highest card under the value of the imp wins the trick. That card becomes the new value of the imp and is placed in front of the player with the dobber on top. As you can see the value of the imp will gradually fall and getting rid of any low cards you have gets increasingly harder. If after the last trick you end up with the bottle you do not count any cards from tricks you have won, normally these count as positive points, but you take the imps trick and count those as minus points.
We decided to play first to 150 points, and I was looking good for the win on 137 points. But then Garry, who was to my left, passed me the one card three hands on the bounce. Doh! Garry played the perfect game, managing to avoid ending up with the bottle imp altogether. I really like this game, there’s a bit of depth to the play but it plays smooth and fast.
Final Scores (running total of hands)
Steve -18 -2 -2 22 0 32 61 68 49
Richard 32 15 -4 -20 -16 19 43 49 90
Colin 0 51 75 106 137 117 99 87
Garry 11 20 41 62 82 82 107 139 155
Next up was Der Dreizehnte Holzwurm. I have had this game a while and played it a couple of times. The cards are in suits of six colours (red, blue, yellow, green, purple and grey). The cards are numbered from +10 down to -11. There is a -13 card that is set aside. The rest are shuffled and five are dealt off the top, these are laid out lowest to highest. The rest are dealt equally. Basically on your turn you lay a card to a trick on the table or start a new trick. You have five tricks on the table (not grey). The grey cards are wild and can be laid on any colour. The positive and minus values are not considered when you lay the card only the number. The card you lay must higher than the number of cards already in the trick. If it is equal or lower then you have to pick up all the cards in the trick and the highest card from the cards previously set aside. These go into your hand to be used again. That is it really, the game ends when one player lays his last card or the -13 card is won. If you get rid of all your cards you get 30 points. Otherwise you count the values of all the cards you have in your hand at the end, this is when the minus cards count against your score. Again an interesting game but not as good as the The Bottle Imp.
Final Scores (we played 2 hands)
Colin 29 + 18 = 47
Richard 9 = 37 = 46
Garry -9 + -28 = -37
Steve 50 + 10 = 60
We had run out of time so no time for David & Goliath, maybe next time.
Monday, March 13, 2006
Anyway, this week it was Steve's choice and he chose Il Principe, a new purchase of his although it was released at Essen this year. None of us had played before so we started off on a level playing field so to speak. Steve ran through the rules which seemed fairly straightforward. The components are very colourful and the quality was good. Little card markers with the players family shield on them are used in the game for various things but Steve felt that when you got a group of them onthe region map it would be a little difficult to see them so had substituted wooden blocks from another game which worked well.
Basically you have a deck of building cards with 20 cards each of five colours and a smaller deck of city cards that are available to build. The city cards have a cost to build, namely a number of coloured cards in various combinations and a cost in money. Each player starts with a hand of 4 cards, 2 of which are thrown away, these cards are placed face up and then auctioned. If you win a auction you have the option of building a city if you wish. Next you have the option of laying cards face up in front of you or building a city. On the board there are 2 jobs (cards) for each colour, a large card and a smaller card. The player with the most cards in front of him in a particular colour takes the large job and second takes the small job. The winner of the large job flips half of the cards he has of that colour rounded up face down. Ties result in another auction between the tied players.
who has the jobs because you may be giving VPs to your closest rival. The game ends when you are not able to deal four cards to players at the start of a round or there are only a certain number of city cards left. There are a number of ways to score VPs at game end. Majority in a region, most cards in hand, most money, sets of cards on the table and so on.
I don't think I have explained that very well, but more info is on the geek. Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed playing, there are several interesting mechanisms interacting which involve making tough decisions. The game doesn't run too long and doesn't get bogged down along the way.
Richard 61, Steve 52, Colin 51, Garry 41