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?!"
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Friday July 20th - Maniacal Monsters

Ben Bateson
United Kingdom
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Oi! Hands off...
My routine apologies for not keeping the blog up to date, and I believe I've got three weeks to catch up on.

This week was technically the last day of our grand holiday tour of the UK (for more of which, see here), and Becky and I had preceded games with a dinner. I requested my curry extra-hot, and chef Cristo outdid himself with a generous splash of naga chutney which brought on palpitations and the shakes.

Having just about recovered, we started with a light bout of R-Eco, an enjoyable if largely undistinguished card game. Becky proved to be far too good a recycler, and finished some ten points ahead - no mean feat when the average score at this game is no more than about 8 or so.

Next was Troyes, that enigmatic and always enjoyable dice-placement game. Much and varied tactics were had, with Becky and JP fighting over the event cards, whereas I hoarded money and was rewarded when the expensive-but-powerful Sculptor came out in the last round. A comfortable 40-something points was a big win by Troyes standards.

John had recently picked up a first edition Canal Mania (Wales? Eh what?), and was keen to play it, so we slapped that one on the table next. After Becky and I got used to the small rules differences from our second-edition, we started constructing with alacrity, Becky exploiting the South-East around London, and myself dealing with the difficult Midlands and Liverpool routes. John threatened late in the game by shipping plenty of goods around Gloucester and Bristol. But it was Becky who came through to pip us both as I failed to co-ordinate my cards well enough in the crucial closing rounds.

The more I play Canal Mania, the more frustrating I find it, as there doesn't seem to be an obvious way to strategise your game properly. It's too dependent on knowing the most likely advantageous routes and often on the card draw.

We closed up with some boisterous rounds of my new holiday purchase, King of Tokyo. JP was less than enamoured with the silliness, although that might have something to do with him getting killed early both times. I beat out Becky in both nail-chewing finales.

A good balanced evening, I felt: an opener, two big main-eventers and a silly end-of-night closer. A most satisfactory end to the holiday.
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