Wednesday, January 31, 2007

30th January - Mykerinos/Raub Ritter

Steve had wanted to play Heart of Africa again this week, but I think he realised that it was not one our favourite games and took pity on us and chose Mykerinos instead. Mykerinos is a game where the players are archaeologists working for patrons. The game consists of laying out a pattern of tiles to represent the desert, depicted on the tiles are pyramids, er lots of sand and symbols for the various patrons, they are divided into 6 squares per tile. Players start with a number of cubes in their colour and these are placed on the tiles, when everyone has passed the tiles are evaluated and the player with the majority of cubes has the choice of either of the two tiles (they are placed in pairs), or to place a cube in the museum. On the back of the tiles the patrons are depicted, each patron has a special power and as you collect them you can use their power once per round. They can do things like allow you to start an expedition with 2 cubes, place a cube in the museum, place a cube on a pyramid and so on.

The Desert

If you collect a set of the 5 different patrons at the end of the game this is worth 5VPs. When you place your cubes in the museum the various rooms have a number associated with a patron, at the end of the game you multiply that number with the number of that patron you have won. So cube management is basically the name of the game, you don't have enough cubes (8 in a 4 player game) to compete for every tile in the display, so you have to go for the ones you really need. For the patrons special ability and as a multiplier at the end of the game, also to get the set to a lessor degree I think as this is only worth 5VPs.

The Museum and Scoring Track

I really liked this game it plays smoothly in about an hour or just over, the components are good quality and gives you some interesting decisions to make.

The Patrons

Final Scores
Steve 49, Colin 44, Garry 42, Richard 36

Raub Ritter
As we had a bit of time left we had a game of Raub Ritter. I had only played this once before but after Steve had quickly revised the rules off we went. A tile laying game where you lay a tile in the landscape and play you knights onto the board to try and capture the Castles, Villages and Towns. You can place your knights on top of other players to capture them, and the player who's knight is on top at the end of the game gets the points. Again a nicely flowing game with some really hard decisions where sometimes you must play where you don't really want to.

Final Scores
Richard 32, Steve 24, Garry 24, Colin 22

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

23rd January - Canal Mania

On the table tonight was Canal Mania, we had played once before with 5 players, tonight we were only four. I really like this game, all be it another track/road/underground laying game. I like the way you have to choose contracts so you are restricted to build from a specific location to another. Richard and Steve quickly started excavating their canals in the centre of the map, I built Manchester to Stoke and then opted for long route from Manchester to Goole, in the end this slowed down the expansion of my network somewhat. I think that using the engineers more can make the game easier, a thing I keep forgetting to do. The efficient expansion of your network does depend to a certain extent on which contracts are turned up, sometimes you just can't make them link up, also taking cards with the right colour goods cubes that benefit you the best is important.

Garry had completed 6 contracts by the end of the game earning the 10 point bonus for most prolific builder, but 4 of these were small and 2 I think were isolated from the rest of his network, I had a good run from Stoke through Manchester to Goole, but couldn't expand it anymore as the right contracts didn't come up until right at the last. I managed to build a reasonable link from London to Nottingham on which I managed to ship a few cubes. In the end Richard's and Steve's network in the centre of the board was able to ship a goodly number of goods to get them to 1st and 2nd places.

Final Board Position

Final Scores
Richard 77, Steve 72, Colin 67, Garry 65

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

16th January - Leonardo Da Vinci

Ah......Leonardo Da Vinci, last time we played this on November 14th last year I had a pretty awful experience. Didn't invent a single thing, put the wrong components under my lab for one invention and came a dismal last place. Well, I couldn't do any worse this time.....could I? After a quick recap of the rules off we went, playing the advanced set-up where each player chooses 3 favours at the start of the game. I have just had a look at the Nov 14th report and I actually took the same 3, extra apprentice, 4 components and my other lab.

The game flowed fairly smoothly this time and only lasted around 90 minutes, last time we struggled with the rules and mechanics and it lasted nearly 3 hours. We still played the last 2 rounds wrong, we thought that you couldn't declare new inventions in those 2 rounds, but you can....Ah well, next time we'll get it right.
The game is fairly straightforward once you get the hang of it, I think Steve put the wrong components in a lab once, so I am not alone in that :) Looking at the top 4 inventions on the deck seemed quite popular being taken a number of times, Garry took it last, only so he could rearrange them so that the last person to do it (Richard I think) wouldn't know what was coming up next. In the end Richard still won, beating Garry by 7 points. On the invention front, I had 3 different, Garry 4, Steve 2 and Richard had 3.

Final Scores (Inventions Bonus - Money in Hand)
Richard 8+50 = 58
Garry 13+38 = 51
Colin 8+27 = 35
Steve 0+25 = 25

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

9th January - Puerto Rico

When I compiled the list of games we played last year Puerto Rico didn't feature once, that's strange as it's such a great game. We had a talk last night about how we choose what games to play, for a long time we have had a rota of sorts, youngest to oldest, and they pick which game we play that week. Garry suggested that we tag on an extra place on the rota in which we play a game from the BBG's best games list, starting at the top and work our way down. We started doing that last night and as Puerto Rico is top that hit the table.
Jo was also able to make to our first session of 2007 so that was nice. Puerto Rico is such a good game and has many winning strategies, our game was extremely close for 2nd, 3rd and 4th with Jo taking first place with an extremely good score. He went down the corn route, combined with the small and large markets, which gained him some good income. I had indigo and tobacco and also small and large markets. . Steve had diversified into sugar, coffee, indigo and some corn too I think. Garry had tobacco and indigo and sugar.
I made a bad mistake when I thought the game wouldn't go on for too much longer and hadn't got enough for a second 10 building so I bought the cheapest 3VP building, I should have bought the wharf as I got caught out 3 or 4 times after that and couldn't ship. That cost me second place I think. A good start for 2007 then, next week Richard should be back and I think it's Garry's choice.

Final Scores (VP - Buildings - Bonuses)
Jo 40 - 20 - 18 = 78
Steve 21 - 22 - 7 = 50
Colin 14 - 24 - 11 =49
Garry 28 - 19 - 0 = 47

Sorry there are no pics this week......forgot the camera :)

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Games played 2006

After sweating through the night to compile a difinitive list of all games played by the Billygamers in 2006 here it is for your perusal (well I knocked it up this morning actually). Quite a spread of different games played, only a few of them more than once.

El Grande
Caylus (3)
Tower of Babel
E & T Card Game
Il Principe
The Bottle Imp (2)
Der Dreizehnte Holzwurm
Setters of Nurnberg
Power Grid/Italy
Ra (2)
Ticket to Ride Marklin
Stephensons Rocket
Industrial Waste
Thurn und Taxis (2)
Cleopatra and the Society of Artichects (2)
Age of Steam/China
Carolus Magnus
King Arther Card Game
Railway Rivals
Packeis am Pol
Heart of Africa (2)
Railroad Tycoon
Canal Mania
Masons (2)
Big City
Null und Nichtig (2)
On the Underground
Blue Moon City
Through the Ages
Leonardo Da Vinci
Power Grid/Benelux
Hameln (2)
Kampt um Rome
Ur (2)

When you look at it there aren't that many, I know a lot of you play tons more than that. But we only play once a week and as a rule the games must come in under 2 hours, anyway I enjoyed playing them all.....well nearly all.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Happy New Year!

First of all a Happy New Year to all of you that have read my blog during the past year. Thanks for reading. I know this is the first post for quite a while and I hope you had a great gaming Christmas. Myself on the other hand have played no boardgames at all, no Billygames sessions over the festive period, the first one of 2007 is next week. The only games I have played is some online Ticket to Ride and some Sit n Go Holdem Tournaments on Full Tilt. Not for real money of course......... that is grounds for divorce in our house!! But still enjoyable never the less. What amazes me is the passion some players have even though it's only play money, some of the language is quite appalling. I just sit there and have a quiet chuckle to myself, god knows how they would be if was real money.

Richard is once again hurling himself down a mountainside again, Austria this time I think. It's that time of year again so I expect he will be missing a few sessions as he skis round the world.

So I will post a report of our session next next week. Until then.

Happy Gaming!