The Ross-on-Wye Boardgamers

Beer and Boardgames at The Plough Inn (formerly the Prince Of Wales, formerly the White Lion). "It's not F-ing Monopoly, alright?!"

[1]  Prev «  1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [46]

Recommend
33 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday August 14th - ...play the same games?

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
The blog this week might look somewhat familiar, as the officially logged plays were exactly the same as last week: two Innovations and a Snowdonia. But there was one very important difference...

We had a visitor! This is major cause for excitement in this day and age, especially when our guest was the revered Phil Dennis. Do I mean 'revered'? What's that word that means 'amiably baffled'?

Anyway, Phil joined us for our opening game of Snowdonia. Despite apparently not being able to run Skype and Yucata on the same device, he put up a sterling show in a game of such frenetic pace that his second turn came around before he'd finished post-morteming his first one. The game engine got in on the act as well: the weather was more Abu Dhabi than Betws-Y-Coed and stuff was being built at a frightening pace. At one point there were only 6 cubes in the bag, four of which were white, and we were in danger of finishing the game before the train-maintenance event, which certainly appealed to Phil as the sole train-operator. In the end, it was being able to score my fourth contract card that made the difference, a thrilling 74-71-69-64 victory the outcome. It was all the more delicious watching Phil pip Tony into third place. But, you have to give the man credit. Just when you think you've seen everything in Snowdonia, wacky games like this come along and mess about with your preconceptions.

Phil couldn't cope with all this excitement and bade us a good night, so we finished matters with our tradition round-up of Innovation. The first game was notable for Becky stripping Tony's display of nearly everything, only for him to repeatedly attack her with his...er...mighty Anatomy. The second went to a 10-pile finish, which Tony neatly foresaw and boosted his scorepile to just enough.

One week same as the next week? Not a bit of it.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:18 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
40 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday August 7th - Why do we always...

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
Just a three-hander tonight, although Tony was in fine rambling form and our handful of games veritably flew by. A fine Snowdonia to open saw Becky leap out towards 40 points or so while Tony and I were still in single figures. This, of course, prompted one of those tense endings where we accumulated points at an exponential rate while she struggled to keep her head above. She did it though, finishing with 109 points to Tony's 90 and my unexpected 92 after filling three contract cards on the penultimate round. It's always a guilty pleasure to push Tony into last place at Snowdonia, ESPECIALLY after he takes joy in telling us he's in Yucata's Top 50 ranked players.

A couple of Innovations to follow, and both were absolute EPICS, going right down into the Age 10 pile. For once, Tony didn't win one of these either, and Becky's thrilling finish beat a more controlled, points-heavy victory for me.

Tony retired for the evening on the second loss, and Becky and I mainlined Ulm in a big way, playing the best part of half a dozen games, most of which she won.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:48 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
33 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday July 31st - Domin-Ian

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
With Tony shortly expected, Ian suggested we kick off with a swift Kingdomino. A juicy little goldmine enclave and a long strip of wheatfield was enough to catapult me to a mid-40s score. Tony, arriving three rounds before the end, pooh-poohed the concept that this game could be won with a mid-40s score, but neither Ian nor Becky could break 30, so that was that.

"Do it again" cried Boydell, and comprehensively took us to town with a whopping 52 points. I tried to do something clever this time, and failed miserably, ultimately failing through a lack of crowns.

It was Troyes next, and a strenuous teach-via-Skype session for me. But Ian is quick on the uptake and didn't do anything desperately wrong. Indeed, he put in a good all-round effort and clocked plenty of points off the character cards. Tony went hell-bent on defeating ALL the events, but it didn't stop plenty of nastiness happening. For the umpteenth time, I had the 'cubes in the cathedral' dude, so my game was somewhat prosaic as I piled on the white dice and no-one really protested enough. It was enough to take me well clear of a thrilling three-way tie, but an 11-point victory was a bit embarrassing.

We finished with Macao, a game of perennially telling Tony to hit the Yucata 'Finish Turn' button, or so it seemed. Without a combination of Tony's memory loss and bizarre anecdotes then it might have finished in a comfortable 45 minutes or so, but it stretched into a second hour and got unexpectedly thinky. Regular blog readers might be tiring of me constantly winning at Macao and Keyflower, but I do have quite a knack for them both. It was a struggle tonight, though: Ian was quick off the mark in getting characters out, Tony was loading all the cheap goods, and we all took a punishment marker before halfway. Becky came through for an unexpected second place when Tony ran out of juice in Round 11 (it's his age). It was an exhausting exercise all round given that none of us had left our front room...
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Sat Aug 22, 2020 9:41 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
41 
 Thumb up
2.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday July 24th - Alright, dudes?

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
We had ENORMOUS fun this week (there was no gaming last week unless you count teaching my father Foothills and Riff Raff); a cracking game of El Grande and an astoundingly good game of Snowdonia. But everything else was overshadowed by Tony's inability to put the lights on and the fact he subsequently turned into Holly from Red Dwarf...


From gallery of ousgg

Spot the difference...


Jollities aside, it was a sterling bit of Ross-on-Wye gaming, full of great games, great endgame scenarios and generally aimless and filthy chatter.

El Grande was all Becky's after the first scoring, but I earned a whopper in the second with a carefully-chosen castillo destination. Despite Ian and Becky's earnest exhortations, the others couldn't drag me down and I split the century, well ahead of Becky who still claims she doesn't understand the game.

We filled a filler spot with a tradition pair of 7 Wonders plays. My Babylon took the first with a ma-HOOSIVE set of science cards (62 points out of 62 from green!), but the second was an intriguing three-way tie between me (now into war), Tony (bigging up the blue cards) and Gerv's wonder-ful Giza.

Our undoubted highlight of the night was a pretty epic Snowdonia. With the start player at my mercy, there was much debating over the merits of the 5 Rail For 40 Points contract, which I - probably foolishly - plumped for, given the prevailing sun. This is pretty optimistic in a 5P game as we all pointed out, and an off-on series of fog pretty much screwed it over, so I blew all the steel bars on station building. Becky had the stations all tied up, though, and was sailing into a decent lead by about halfway. Gerv slogged his way up the mountain in the despondent middle-third; Ian hogged the start player to fill his contract cards, and Tony snuck in for some late contracts on the final rounds and a rather unexpected second place. Unusually, it was the rubble backlog that held the game back. The broad banter tailed out into delicious brow-furrowing and concentration over the last two rounds, which is always the sign of quality gaming. Becky won, of course, but things went very close, and even the tussle between Gerv and I at the back took us both over 80 points. Terrific stuff.

One day, we'll be back at The Plough, but probably not for a month or so. But tonight rekindled some love for Skype-gaming, in many ways.
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:04 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
38 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday July 10th - Screw you, Kingy

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
Gerv was our visitor this week and we kicked off matters with an absolutely SUPERB game of Caylus. 4P really brings out the best in this classic for me, especially when we all got subtly devolved down our own building route. Tony went for the classic 'free builds off the royal favour board', Becky went for overload-the-castle, Gerv did some things with goods conversion which actually impressed me by being a lot more effective than I thought they'd be. And I played a very bad 'builder' strategy, mostly by not abusing the church properly and generally building stuff in the wrong order. Oh, and running out of money all the time, and being pre-empted by Gerv. As you might have gathered, I finished stone last. Tony thought he had it won easily when he built the cathedral, but it all got a lot more squeaky when Becky garnered a bunch of points off a final castle build. Eventually the dust settled and it was Tony by a solitary point. Outstanding.

While Gerv was off making a mystery phone call, we treated ourselves to a quick 3P Innovation. Becky won this to add a bit of balance to last week's results.

Despite last week's sulkings, Tony suggested a bit of Port Royal before he turned in for the evening. Gerv obliged and promptly won by a not inconsiderable distance (final scores 12-8-5-5), being the only one to cash in for an admiral.

With Tony retiring (if only...), Gerv suggested a 3P Keyflower to finish. I find it hard to say no, and I find it even harder to lose. I was pleased to construct a very effective Workshop/Mercers Guild combo on an uninspiring transport-free board, because it's rare you can build a viable end-to-end strategy in this game. A 85-45-45 scoreline is a shade embarrassing, I fear.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:08 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
40 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday July 3rd - Don't throw your Troyes out the pram

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
Dave joined us this week for the first time in yonks. Despite being a pretty optimum 4P, we cast around for quite some time trying to find a game that BOTH Tony and Becky wanted to play (and they call me the picky one!).

Eventually, we settled on a reprise of Troyes. Dave insisted that he didn't need any teaching, so we dived right in. Three rounds brought up a layout without any obvious dominant strategy, so I leaned heavily on my character card (cubes in the cathedral), while watching Tony use a peculiar worker-bouncing strategy that left him with very few dice. And very little money, which didn't bode well for his final score. Dave spent the final two rounds racking up money, which was a bit of a hint towards his character, and Becky just puffed around the board trying to keep up with everyone. The events were BRUTAL throughout, so no-one came even close to cracking 40 points. I consider it a game well won.

Port Royal next, and Tony got all enthusiastic about the traditional Pinasse jokes until, about two rounds in, he got all arsey about the Yucata interface, and reduced his witticisms to a mild sulk. Seems like the ships had been liaising with the bad guys in Troyes, because this took far longer than should be seemly for a frivolous filler. Eventually Tony crawled over the line, and my exercise in enormous luck-pushing to try and level was in vain.

Dave was all done after this, so the three of us rejoiced in our traditional crazy trio of Innovations. I actually won one of them this week, but it wasn't as satisfying as the last game where I threatened (but narrowly failed) to win by collecting all the special achievements. Tony, as he tends to, bookended my victory with two of his own.

Becky and I finished off the evening as a duo with a hearty Ulm (a robust 49-46 to me on the back of some ludicrous boat movement) and [=lost cities]Lost Cities[/] (Becky won a round, which doesn't happen often, but still lost out by 40 points or so).
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:49 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday 26th June - Troyesieme des la Innovationne

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
Another call from the Boydell household this week. We had fond memories of our last trio of Innovations so decided to do it all over again (possibly without Becky gifting me the game in unlikely circumstances). Again, Tony managed to discern the indiscernible and won two games, and this time Becky took the other one. To attempt a meaningful session report would - I'm afraid - be futile.

We ALMOST moved onto the no-brain choice of Agricola, but just as I was hitting 'start', Becky queried 'is Troyes available online anywhere?'. This came a bit out of the blue given that it's a game we had barely touched for several months. But this, of course, is no fault of the game: we fired up BGA again and took to our artisan French citizenships. We diverged neatly; Tony hitting the events at regular basis, Becky retreating the cathedral, and I bought up yellow dice to set up a lucrative combo (the Year III yellow cards are always awesome, aren't they?). Near the end I found myself rolling in cash and vocalised an optimistic hope that the 'money' character was out. Pleasingly, he was face-down in front of Tony to garner me a stress-free six points.

Again, BGA has come up trumps with the implementation of Troyes. It's replaced the much-needed but tiny-printed reference sheets with neat pop-ups, but maintained one of the best aspects of the game, the fact that you are genuinely never sure who has won until the final reveal. I certainly had no clue, so the final scores of 37-36-31 to Becky were satisfying even if I lost out by a point.

From France to Italy; from Troyes to Pompeii we went, and another dose of volcanic chaos. I found it terribly apt as we had discovered Netflix' cult gameshow 'Floor Is Lava' the evening before. It was hard to stop Tony piling on the victims today, and Becky in particular struggled to join two numbers together. Once the eruptions started, we couldn't draw the right lava spouts to stop him, and with a comfortable 10 escapees he won all too comfortably. We definitely need a full 4P experience next time.
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:27 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
32 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday 19th June - Six-y Beasts

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
Time to stop complaining about the low numbers. We had fully six gamers this week!

But only five to start: it would appear Gerv has re-started dog-walking duties. With Tony, Ian and Dave on board, it made sense to start with something that they all knew, and so it was that we found ourselves in the lap of Yucata's Snowdonia. I am still enjoying this very much (although not as much as Becky, who has been bookending sessions at Virtual GridCon this weekend), and am even thinking of tapping up Yucata to see if they can implement some of the expansions.

It was a great Snowdonia, relatively fog-free and with free-wheeling events which hoovered up rubble at inopportune times, as they do. I had pinned my hopes on a handful of 10- and 11-point contract cards, which seemed to be the right strategy in the conditions, but my lack of a train held me back this time, and Tony superseded me by filling the critical 4x Track contract to finish the game. Ian has got skillz at Snod and filled a worthy 3rd place, with Dave and Becky lagging some way behind.

Gerv had arrived to listen to the final round climax, and our options with 6P were limited. But luckily, our saviour on the horizon was BGA's Libertalia. Like many things on BGA, it plays ridiculously quickly and intuitively, so there was plenty of time for manipulative banter and pirate impressions around the edges. Gerv got off to a flier, not for the first time, and was under pressure to maintain his lead after having thrown his last game away. He was pushed occasionally by Tony, until the last round when a Monkey brainfart put paid to the challenge. I didn't even KNOW you could score negative points in a round...

So, yes, Gerv wins something. And there was much rejoicing. Tony and Dave rejoiced their way to bed, leaving us as a still-substantial foursome. Ian demanded an attempt to rectify his lowball Thurn & Taxis score and did manage to crack single figures, but all the action was up at the top end. Gerv piled up nearly every district bonus tile in the deck while I focussed on nailing Bayern and building some lengthy routes. Going into the last couple of turns, there was a brief pause to make sure we had the Game End procedure right, because it was that close, and I came out ahead in a heroic 29-27 finish.

It had been a while since we'd cut up our old favourite Las Vegas, so we stayed on Yucata to finish, throwing in the $100,000 notes for extra juiciness. A very-evenly paced first round left everyone in contention, but the second and third both went Gerv's way. No-one could come close to touching him in the third and he cruised to a victory: wins now apparently in 'effortless' territory.
Twitter Facebook
4 Comments
Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:43 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday 12th June - Pomp and Circumskype

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
We had no gaming on the 5th, although I did have a nice phone call with Dave who optimistically rang in for games after I'd gone out for a walk. We had a smashing chat until I got interrupted by a bloke looking for the Land Rover garage. As luck would have it, Dave knew where the garage was. You see, real life sometimes is more interesting than games?

We're still struggling a bit for turn-out as people are getting embittered with lockdown. I can't see us getting back to the pub any time soon, but maybe we could entertain the thought of some outdoor patio games in a few weeks?

As it happened, then, it was just Tony joining Becky and I. But this is no bad thing because at least we have variety in our line-up which means we can play something a bit different according to current tastes. We started with a teaching session: Tony having recently re-discovered The Downfall of Pompeii was keen to play and had to train Becky up first. As soon as she discovered the potential for chucking Tony's citizens into the volcano, she was hooked, and as a result Tony finished dead last. Always a pleasure to viciously take out the person who requested the game...

One of the best things about Skypeing the Boydells is the occasional intervention from other family members (who Tony has somehow trained to supply him with cups of tea and suchlike). They seem to be shy of on-screen appearances, though, so we have to distinguish by voice. This is trickier than you might think since Benedict and Fred sound somewhat similar, and over Tony's tinny microphone, Arthur sounds worryingly like Karen. Especially if she's had a couple of glasses of wine, which - in the current climate - is any time after 11am or so. But I digress...

I have enjoyed a fair amount of Innovation with Becky and Tony on separate occasions, but we don't play it enough as a three-player. We had trio of such tonight, Tony winning the first two and the third finishing in a tumultuous climax as Becky gifted me a dogma which drew the perfect three clocks AND splayed my last stack of cards, which gave me two achievements off-turn and a win. Tony and I broke out in hysterics and Becky stomped off to make a gin-and-tonic.

That was it for the 3P stuff as Tony logged off, but Becky and I hadn't tired of electronic implementations. We played Macao (I scored a whopping 105 points with a rainbow of office cards), Ulm (a thrilling 29-point tie) and Hive (Becky always beats me at this and didn't disappoint) to round off an evening of many games.
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:09 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Friday 29th May - When Spanish Skypes are Smiling

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
Ross-on-Wye
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Oi! Hands off...
Avatar
Microbadge: Keyflower fanMicrobadge: I delete all my 'Free Game Contest Participant' microbadges so people don't think I'm a scrounger.Microbadge: Glass Road fanMicrobadge: Game Group OrganizerMicrobadge: Pianist
Having more or less recuperated from the horror of the previous week, the same trio caught Ian on the correct work shift, so he was in for three hefty games (and not even time for our traditional Las Vegas climax).

In an uncharacteristic spurt of innovative thinking, and the aftermath of Becky and I doing our Fawlty Towers impressions (MUCH to Gerv's amusement) we plumped for El Grande to start. I'd always prefer it with 5P to 4, but it was still a thoroughly good experience, especially because Ian and Gerv had enough prior experience to make it competitive. Becky is still a bit wary of it (not really sure why) but still managed second place.

After our adventures in diversification we retreated to known ground in the form of Thurn & Taxis. Well, it was known ground for three of us. Ian required some teaching in order to kidnap Gerv's 'lowball' record with two points. But things up top were squeaky close with finishing scores of 17-16-15 when I put a quick end to the game.

We finished with another Keyflower, and everyone beat Becky. I got a worryingly high score again this week, Gerv also pipped her with another score in the mid-fifties. And Ian took away her 'lowball' record with his second lowest-ever score of the evening: a whopping 14. Well, somebody's gotta be last - Gerv can't claim it all the time.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:40 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

[1]  Prev «  1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [46]

Subscribe

Categories

Contributors