The Thoughts of Chairman Tone.

Things that spill out of my head.

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Finally finished my Eclipse review!

Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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There's a lot there; took me ages:

Eclipse: New Dawn for the Gamer.
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Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:08 am
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Short Review of Pret a Porter

Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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It must be good; because I came in last.
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Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:54 am
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Failsafe for Killer Strategy?

Anthony Simons
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Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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Perhaps I worry too much; perhaps it's just not as big a deal as I am making it out to be; but I cannot help but feel rather dejected when a game I particularly like for its variety of approaches seems to buckle under the strain of one particular strategy.

I recently acquired a copy of Navegador, last year's rondel-based offering from the inimitable Mac Gerdts via Eggertspiele. I think it's a fantastic game; it does for me what I wanted Endeavor to do, and it's a great strategic experience. But one player in our group is starting to clock up consistent wins through a church-building strategy.

By the time the rest of us realise what she's doing, it's usually too late to easily prevent it, so on we go pursuing other approaches. Maybe I have missed something; Alexfrog's excellent strategy article would seem to point towards a couple of options, but the best I could come up with was trying to force the game end by exploration to reduce the church-builder's chances of putting their engine into overdrive (and forcing game end through building). The closest success I have had is a gap of eight points.

One hopes this is just a touch of initial panic on my part, and that the approach proves to be about as guaranteed as the corn strategy in Puerto Rico. I remember how folk first thought this was almost insurmountable, until they discovered the various choking points that could be used to quickly undermine it.

Still, regardless of whether or not it is a problem, I am rather concerned about the church-building strategy. If it truly cannot be beaten (even with some difficulty), then it would seem my first impressions of Navegador are wrong; the game is less about Portuguese exploration and more about - well - building churches. That bothers me; to the extent that I might as well be packing up the game at turn six, when one player has built their second church.

Of course, I'm not going to give up on the potential strategies just like that; for example, to date there has not been much rondel skipping. The probable reason is that it costs a ship for each extra space in this game; and ships are a valuable commodity for progression. There's only one thing for it; I am going to have to play this game much more. Yes, I think I'm gripped by it; compelled to find a way past the church-building. I must be missing something...
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Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:27 am
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Games Day at Chippenham Boardgames Club - Quiet...

Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
Wiltshire
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The most difficult aspect of trying to get the interest of outsiders is getting the outsiders to the venue in the first place. In the absence of interested parties, we had to find something else to do. So our little games day consisted primarily of members in attendance playing games with each other.

I say "primarily", because Mrs S was in attendance for a short time, watching how engaged we were in Navegador. After a morning of games with tenuous Irish links (it being St Patrick's Day, after all), we played this over lunch. It was enjoyed by all, and when we decided to a break until the evening, even our spectator took an interest in returning for the evening session.

We wandered around the oft-filmed village of Lacock for a while, enjoyed a cream tea, did some shopping and returned to the club for the evening session. Mrs S joined one of the tables, playing the Irish-themed game of Keltis, followed by On the Underground.

So all in all, the rather quiet response brought success in another way.
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Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:32 pm
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Games Day at Chippenham Boardgames Club

Anthony Simons
United Kingdom
Royal Wootton Bassett
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Well it's a dull and dreary St Patrick's Day morning, my head is banging, and I am waiting to hear back about a potentially life-changing job interview.

But enough of all that unimportant stuff; today at Chippenham Boardgames Club there is a day of boardgame demonstrations and - erm - boardgames. It is part of the club's venue, Chippenham Sports Club's launching of Thursday all-day opening. The games demonstrations will take place between 10:15 and 16:00 or so.

The basic idea is to try and introduce non-gamers to our wonderful hobby; and naturally to do something we all enjoy. So if any of you lovely gamers in the area would like to drag along a non-gamer who might be interested, we will be running instructional sessions for a wide range of excellent games, but not just what is considered "gateway" fare (from experience they can often put off as many potential gamers as they turn on).

We will also be continuing with our usual session from 19:00 onwards, so feel free to pop along later if the daytime doesn't appeal. I look forward to seeing anybody there.
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Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:50 am
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