Games played at Epsom Games Club 04.10.12
Andrew Bond
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey
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Two tables:

Adam, JamesF, Mark, and Martin
Joe, Malcolm, Andrew-B2, Chris, and Andrew-00

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1. Board Game: Power Grid: Benelux/Central Europe [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.04 Unranked]
Andrew Bond
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey
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With three players new to the game, it took a while to explain and then get going. However, Chris established an early lead while Andrew-b2 went too early into trash and could not exploit the expensive power station he had bought and fuelled up.

Malcolm was also slow away, but because this is a hare and tortoise race, everything was up for grabs as we entered Step 2 with 7 cities built. At this point, the game was between Joe, Chris, and me. At this stage Joe held back in expanding on the board in order to build a cash reserve. Smart move, because the power stations fell unkindly for Chris and me and we effectively stalled our game engines. This allowed Joe to rush over the finish line with a 5 city purchase in the last round and Malcolm to catch us up from behind.

Andrew-b2 never recovered from his start, so it was only a close game for the middle three spaces.

Scores:

1. Joe 15
2. Malcolm* 12
3. Andrew-00 11+
4. Chris* 11
5. Andrew-B2* 9
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2. Board Game: Extra! Extra! [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:4460]
Andrew Bond
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey
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Once again, I will let others comments of how they like the game (or not).

With just an hour left after Power Grid and there being no fillers available (JimS, where are you when we need you?), I persuaded the group to try out my newspaper game on the bold claim it would 'only take an hour'. (Remember, the same claim last week led to a 2.5 hour game!)

However, I had made some serious changes to the card draft (chronicled in my blog Shaken #9. Front page improvements) to speed the game up - and this was the test. Basically, what we did in this game was:

1Each player drew 3 cards, kept one, and placed the other two along the bottom of the board
2The position of each card below the board was determined by the 'continent' symbols that have been added to the cards (print and paste job for me!). Six continents in play: Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, South America, and Australasia.
3The reporter placement and story claiming remained unchanged from previous games
4At the end of each turn, any unclaimed cards were moved from the bottom of the board to the top (the newswire), where they remained for potential 'hire' on later turns

And, bingo, despite a 10 minute rule explanation, the game finished in 50 minutes - making the total time 1 hour. There is still some tuning to be done on the value of adverts (we tried something stupid in this game that didn't work). However, game time is back on course.

Scores:
1. Andrew-B2 43
2. Joe 38
3. Malcolm* 30
4. Andrew-00 22
 
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3. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:12]
Adam Rees
United Kingdom
Rowlands Castle
Hampshire
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Don't have the score sheet. I seem to recall that it scored 7.5 from most of us, with one person giving it an 8(?). James won by a big margin, I came 2nd, Mark 3rd and Martin 4th.

A good euro, but like many euros the theme was not that strong. I liked the dice and there was a little scope for trying to block others, but mainly just a case of trying to make the best of your dice when your turn came along.

Would play it again if needed, but wouldn't go out of my way to call for it.
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4. Board Game: Tsuro [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:777]
Martin (Hairy) Hatfield
United Kingdom
Little Kingshill
Buckinghamshire
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Before Castles, we had a game of Tsuro to fill a dew minutes in case others arrived.

We took no ratings, but ranked as follows:
Joint 1st: Mark* and Martin
3rd: Adam*
4th: James*

I really wasn't expecting this to hit the table, but I brought it as it's a fun easy filler for up to 8, which I thought might be useful.
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