Nijmegenthe spunk plus the bomb plus the pump plus the torture instrument times frankie equalling the bang is an exclusive piece of ZTT exploitationYou don't need eyes to see, you need vision. (mj)
Playing time: 30 min
Players: Bas, Mark and Richard
Game 1: 7 Wonders
Jaap and Marianne were delayed a bit so we started the evening with a short game of 7 Wonders. Some other people in our group managed to make a game of 7 Wonders last for 80 minutes a few weeks ago. I was confident we could play it in 30, so just enough time before the delayed people would arrive.
Bas and Mark played for the first time so I was constantly reminding them of the rules and giving them some strategy tips. They picked it up very quickly. Allthough some of the tips did not sink in until it was too late. Mark played with Alexandria (A) and employed a green strategy. This was effectively blocked by Bas and me by denying him acces to one of the three science symbols. He ended up with only 18 points in green which just wasn't enough. Some good points from a guild saved him from a disastrous score. Bas played with Olympia (A) and tried a blue strategy In the first era this worked terrifyingly well as I was concentrating on resources and was unable to block his blue hunger. In the second era however, I dumped two of his follow-ups in my wonder and was able to build another one myself. This kept Bas from scoring really big on blue. I was playing the infamous Manneken Pis (A) and my first duty was to make sure I had all my needed resources available to me. This should ensure a steady income which would allow me to buy the few resources I didn't have. So I tried an allround strategy which concentrated on blocking the others. All went well and I scored no more than 14 points in a single category but scored more than 10 points in no less than 4 categories. Game played in 35 minutes including explanation. Mission accomplished.
1. Richard (Brussels) 55 points
2. Bas (Olympia) 46 points
3. Mark (Alexandria) 42 pointsSantiago
Playing time: 90 min
Players: Bas, Jaap, Marianne, Mark and Richard
Game 2: Santiago
Jaap and Marianne arrived just when we were drafting our last two cards of 7 Wonders. So it was not long before we could start with the main planned event of the evening: Santiago. I played this a few years ago and was not very impressed at the time. But the positive reviews and the high rating were enough for me to give it another chance. I'm glad I did.
For all other players but me it was their first game. But I tried to share some of my insights from my previous play with the others to ensure they had a better experience with their first play than I had. I think after a round or two everybody knew exactly what they were doing. Bas was being very carefull in spending his money as he realised early on that they were also points that could give him the edge in the endgame. However he did get hammered in boardposition in the midgame and had to spend big in the endgame to get at least some points. Jaap was playing the opposite strategy and was spending cash like water. Before the final scoring he actually had no money left, at all! Marianne was a bit lost in the first few turns and never really recovered from a bad starting position. I was trying to manipulate the others into doing my bidding and at the same time keeping my money in my pocket. This was done with varying success. But in the end I underspend in a few bids which gave other players the edge on the board. Mark was being his own self and just doing what seemed like a good idea at the time. One turn spending lot's of money while keeping it all in his pocket in the next turn. In the end he seemed to have made the right decisions however as only Jaap had a better board position than him. But Jaap had spent all his money and Mark hadn't. So it was tense going into the final scoring. In the end Jaap and Mark both scored exactly the same for a joint victory.
1. Jaap 96 escudos
1. Mark 96 escusos
3. Richard 89 escudos
4. Marianne 84 escudos
5. Bas 58 escudosSmall World
Playing time: 90 min
Players: Bas, Jaap, Marianne and Richard
Game 3: Small World
We still had time for another game and decided to get Small World on the table again. All except for Marianne had played this so we should be able to get it started quickly. Mark was supposed to also play but got called away for work.
Bas was the start player and decided to go with the Spirit Elves. A nice one to start with as they could potentially keep scoring until the end game. He started of in the north of the board. Jaap was next and went with the Underworld Kobolds. There were plenty of them and the underworld ability made it easy for them establish a good scoring run from the start. He started in the east. Marianne started of with the Hill Gypsies. They had lot's of possibilities to flourish in the west of the board with it's many hills. So Marianne did well for the first few turns. I finally choose the Ransacking Amazones. As Jaap scored the best in first round and I had to hit someone to get something out of my Ransacking ability, I decided to kill me some Kobolds. This scored me two extra points from Jaap in the first round. They would prove to be important.
In the second round Jaap went straight into decline as I had hurt his resources and position so much that he could no longer score big with his Kobolds. Also by going into decline he would ensure I could not get further points from his Kobolds by ransacking them. Bas went along with his elves but seemed unable to use them to the greatest effect. He kept scoring modestly. Marianne kept using her Gypsies to great effect. Clearing areas to get to the much loved hills. I was left with no real target for my Amazones as all the Kobolds around me were into decline. I decided to turn north and kill me some Elves. Just because they were closest. But I was only able to conquer one of their regions. I was not scoring well enough.
In the midgame Bas kept struggling even when he aquired Alchemist Sorcerers. Which seemed like a killer combo to me. But all the other players defended well and he was not able to use his turning ability to great effect. In his last turn he managed to score big with some Mounted Goblins who swept up all the declining races on the lowlands. But it was too litlle too late.
Jaap was playing with Hordes of Priestesses and seemed to be building up well to get his Ivory tower into play. But he kept on to the Priestesses just too long and in the end only scored 4 points a turn for the Ivory Tower. In the final turns he was doing well with his Forest Giants. However he seemed to forget who his closest competitor was. He attacked me very few times and kept hitting Bas who was clearly already down for the count.
Marianne was very attached to her Hill Gypsies and held on to them way too long. But when she finally switched she had the combo of the game. Bloodthirsty Halflings! Now who wouldn't want those? But it proved to be a bad choice for Marianne as she only threw blanks on the die for the entire game. She must have thrown that die at least 13 or 14 times and missed every single time. Disastrous! So the Halflings kept chopping off their own hairy feet.
In the midgame I choose Historian Tritons and was able to keep them in play until the very end. Scoring points for the other races going into decline and enjoying the bonus for coastal regions. My Amazons also kept scoring until the very end so the last few turns of the game I scored 12 to 14 points a turn. But would it be enough to catch Jaap?
In the end I was 2 points ahead of Jaap. The 2 points I stole the very first turn! Long live the Ransacking Amazons!
1. Richard 92 points
2. Jaap 90 points
3. Marianne 76 points
4. Bas 67 points