As I have been away on holiday I havn't been able to post reports of the 2 sessions that I missed. Well, I am back after a very refreshing holiday in Austria and here, belately, are the reports diligently reported by Richard and Garry.
Richard's report for the 15th May
With Colin away enjoying the vacation joys of Austria, we were down three attendees, and I seem to have volunteered be fill you all in on what we played in his absence.
Anyway as it was my choice for the evening it gave me opportunity to try Age of Discovery, one of the games I had recently acquired from the excellent Clifton Roads Games in Exeter (www.cliftonroadgames.co.uk/), whilst visiting family down in Devon.
Age of Discovery is a recent release, that is based around the explorers and conquerors (ie Magellan & Drake) who sailed from Europe on voyages of discovery and trade in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Age of Discovery Layout
Essentially you have the option each turn of doing two of the following, but not two of the same action, Take 2 Money, Purchasing a ship, Purchasing a Trade Contact, Starting a Trade Contract or Adding to an Expedition. You primarily get victory point for contributing to Expeditions; however you won't be able finance the Expeditions without gaining money from fulfilling Trade Contracts.
Normal scoring (for Expeditions) happens twice a game, however you can gain extra end of game points according to the criteria of a random secret Special Contract you are assigned at the beginning of the game - Basically a multiplier of the number of Trade Contracts you have completed and a multiplier based on Special Contract criteria (eg Number Expeditions you have at least one ship in, Number Expedition where you have all the ships in etc).
After Steve had run us through the rules, the game started rather slow as all of us opted to take 2 Money so as to finance an Initial Trade contract - Gary beating Steve and myself to generating the first money by a couple of turns. I was quite lucky as the two of starting contracts dealt to me at the beginning of the game where both white, which meant I could concentrate on buying the white ships to which I could reuse on other white contracts. However as I had primarily concentrated on completing Trade Contracts and gaining money I lost out to Steve and Garry by the first scoring and they opened up a gap on me. It was around this point that we realised that me had misinterpreted one of the rules and had been restricting ourselves to adding only one ship at a time to expeditions - we played with the correct rule for the 2nd part of the game.
Age of Discovery End
As the end of the game arrived it was pretty obvious that Garry's special contract required him to have the majority of ships on an expedition and that mine was just to have a presence. Steve was stuck with having to have all ships on an expedition - something he didn't manage once.
In the end my Special contract proved to be winning issue as I had contributed to 10 expeditions and had completed 5 trade contracts and I managed to overhaul my points deficit on both Steve & Garry.
Richard 86 Garry 73 Steve 69
By the time we had completed Age of Discovery it was gone 9:30 and we suspected we wouldn't have time for another game, so we decided to finish with a game of San Jaun which we felt should be quicker.
It turned out, to my surprise, that Garry hadn't played San Jaun before, but it didn't take us long to run through the rules and start. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that San Jaun is one of my favourite games - it is quick, fun and easy to pick up. So quick to pick up that Garry had soon purchased a Library and looked like he might run away with the game. Luckily both Steve and I purchased Chapels and were burying cards under them like there was no tomorrow in an effort to mitigate our end of game scores.
As the game progressed it was obvious hat Steve wasn't picking up any '6' building as he kept taking the councillor to try and find some (Little did he know I had already buried 2 such buildings under my Chapel!). Garry soon built a Palace and eventually followed this with a Guild and City Halls (The first time I have seen three '6' building built by a player in a game!). I also managed to get Library and a Palace down and in final buildconstructed a Triumphal Arch - which neatly complemented the two monuments I had already completed.
In final scoring it turned out to be very close between Garry and myself - with my Chapel points just managing to counteract the extra '6' building Garry had built.
Richard 48 Garry 46 Steve 28
Garry's report to follow