Monday, April 27, 2009

Two Player Alhambra

Thumbs up to Queen Games and Ludo Fact, they didn't only send me my missing cards but a complete sealed deck!! Very handy, because now I can keep one deck for two player games and one for more players. Anyway, Tina and I played 3 games of Alhambra yesterday and as we were only two players we employed the excellent services of Dirk the phantom 3rd player.

Alhambra layout - Jubilee Edition

Tina had never played Alhambra before and I played quite a few years ago, but she picked up the rules very quickly and soon managed to complain about me not shuffling the money cards as they were coming up c**p! Still, she didn't do too badly in the first game, I managed to get the win. After thoroughly shuffling the money cards, I didn't want anymore complaints :) we started our second game, I know you are dependent on what tiles appear to buy, but how you position them is also very important, Tina was getting better at positioning her tiles in this game, especially regarding the walls for more points. She played really well in only her second game and won. I was even beaten by Dirk!!

In our third game, it was very close, right down to the last tile. When the tiles were handed out to the player with most money at the end of game, Tina got a purple tile which I thought gave her a share of first place. I had 4 and with her tile she had 4 as well, but looking again at her Alhambra I noticed she had five!! That gave her a close win by two least I beat Dirk to second place.

Tina victorious after the 3rd game!

Happy Gaming!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Day in Salzburg

Last Wednesday (15th) we had a day in Salzburg, my wife's sister was on holiday so she came with us. It was a lovely sunny day and the bus ride took about 90mins. Well, I can't go to Salzburg without having just a peep in the game shops there. The first, by the Mirabell Platz is really good, it has two doors, one for adults and a small one for kinder, my wife insists in going in by the kinder door!! Anyway, I saw the Jubilee Edition of Alhambra there and I had been meaning to get get this for some time, grabbed it. Walking back towards the old city you have to cross the river Salz and just over the bridge is another fairly good game shop. Browsing around in there I saw the Settlers of Catan Geographies: Germany. I had read good reports of this and seen Tom Vasel's video review (although the camera work gave me a headache), so I purchased this one as well. Our day was great, nice lunch, my wife and her sister did some serious shopping, finished off by coffee at one of the many cafes, ours was just by Mozart's birth house.

The board and game pieces are superb

I must say that the production values of the 'Germany' edition are extremely high. If you like Settlers this is a great edition to add to your collection. I haven't actually played it yet but it sounds great. The monuments and cathedral pieces clip into a special moulded box insert which keeps them securely.

Close up of the high quality playing pieces

I wasn't so lucky when I opened Alhambra, the Jubilee edition has some special playing pieces which is nice, but I was short one scoring card and 9 money cards. Doh!! Very frustrating when that happens, it hasn't happened to me before though so I guess I've been lucky. Anyway, a quick email to Queen Games on the Thursday elicited a reply yesterday with an apology for the inconvenience caused and a promise to mail the missing cards which I thought was pretty quick. I played Alhambra many years ago with my game group in the UK and I thought it would be ideal for the players I play with now in Austria.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A couple of game sessions

I know this is a bit late but we had my wife's sister staying with us for a couple of weeks so this is the first time I have had to write this up. Pauline and Stephen were also over here so we had a couple of game sessions. In the first one we played Zooloretto, my wife is not keen on this, but we have only played as a two player so I was hoping it would work better with five. Janet (wife's sister) is not really a gamer, we've played Army of Frogs a couple of times and that was it. Anyway, everyone picked up the rules fairly easily and they seemed to like it. I couldn't get going really and played terrible.

Janet and Pauline study the tiles

We played two games and had a good time. I didn't fair well in either game coming last in the second.

Final Scores
Game one - Pauline 23, Stephen 21, Colin 16, Janet 15, Tina 13

Game two - Tina 23, Pauline 22, Stephen 20, Janet 19, Colin 11

A few days later we adjourned to Stephen and Pauline's flat and played basic TtR. Again we played a couple of games, Janet was the only one who hadn't played before. In the first game the bonus card was for longest train route, but in the second we changed it for most routes completed, it's surprising how different you play when it's most routes.

Ticket to Ride

Tina and Janet played together on this one and couldn't seem to get the routes they needed so ended up getting a pretty big minus score on the second game.

Final Scores
Game one - Stephen 136 (didn't record the other scores)
Game two - Pauline 141, Stephen 107, Colin 91 Janet/Tina 36