Caylus roasting on an open fire: BGA Norn Irn meeting 15 December 2012
Peter Millen
United Kingdom
Greyabbey
Northern Ireland
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As we approach Christmas, the weather could be worse but I am into Winter lockdown mode where anything beyond the essentials does not compute. I have several new games unexamined and I recently got expelled from 17th century Paris for total non-communication.

Somehow I got myself to the club today as did the core membership.
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1. Board Game: Rhino Hero [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:613] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Peter Millen
United Kingdom
Greyabbey
Northern Ireland
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He fights evil,he wears a cape, he climbs tall buildings,uh...he's a rhinceros.

One of my favourite games with playing cards when I was young was building card houses. I used to build these and shoot them down with my Sekiden pistol.

Today our opener was Super Rhino, a simple dexterity filler for Eugene Ionesco fans everywhere. The object is to play all your roofcards to the building without collapsing it.


Colin adds a new floor.


Each card shows a pattern where you must place the L-shaped wall pieces and sometimes a special symbol requiring you to move the Rhino piece, miss a turn etc etc


near the end now

I decreed at the start that placements should be made from a sitting position. This injected controversy to the end where my last move for the win required me to move the rhino, which was only accessible from Colins side of the table, so I took my chair round with me.

Bill cried foul, I won. Silly fun stuff.
 
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2. Board Game: I Go! [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2511]
Peter Millen
United Kingdom
Greyabbey
Northern Ireland
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Scores (penalty points): Colin 18 Tim 27 Bill 28 Peter 37

After Super Rhino, Tim had arrived but there was still no sign of the Swami, so we played a hand of Corsari which did the trick as our missing compadre stumbled in muttering about dysfunctional alarm clocks.



Corsari is a rummy game. You have a hand of 12 cards and each turn you draw a card - blind, top discard or the Tavern - then discard one, until you are ready to declare by setting sail with as best a crew as you can manage.

Legitimate crew are a maximum of two of the ten suits, in unique values from 1 to 11. In addition cards which match the colour of the top card of the tavern stack are prisoners and score no penalty. But the remaining cards in your hand are stowaways and score their value as penalties.

Simple stuff and we had only one hand so could not uncover any subtleties.
 
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3. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:2256]
Peter Millen
United Kingdom
Greyabbey
Northern Ireland
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Cyborg Wars with bikini bimbos!

Result: Bill won by trashing Colin's HQ.

Actually the name of Tim's non-collectible CCG is just Cyborg Wars, but these days we all have to think in Kickstarter mode.


A gratuitous snap of Ms Welch in One million years BC...

ah that just reminds me that Raquel is now...mm,hmm..so if I am going to get that hot date I promised my younger self I had better hurry.

Oh well,there's always Ann-Margret.

Cyborg Wars was apparently first designed as a two player card conflict game but the deluxe multiplayer version was what we played. Each player starts with a headquarters to defend, a hand of cards and some power gems, needed to deploy cards in front of you.

The objective is to destroy any other player's HQ, when you win and everyone else loses.

On your turn you have a draw phase, a deploy phase, an attack phase and an end-turn phase. If you have to pay power gems, you pass them to the player on your left.


...and talking of balloons

The power gems proved to be the problem. They form a closed economy and first Colin and later Bill hoarded them, preventing any decisive actions from those of us at the other end of the table.

I concentrated on collecting cards as I had a special card deployed which gave me two extra cards each turn. My HQ had a special power, I could cancel an attack by discarding any three cards from hand.

As in the multiplayer version a player may only be attacked once each round, by the time I had 20 cards in hand I had a good hours worth of guaranteed defense. I also had a killer combo attack ready to unleash, if I could only get some bleeping power gems.


Davros, inventor of Cyborgs

Eventually Bill won by destroying Colins base. The cards are a lot of fun and there is a good multiplayer conflict in development, still needing a couple of tweaks.



Why am I out of bed so early?

I would be happy to play again.
 
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4. Board Game: Snowdonia [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:349]
Peter Millen
United Kingdom
Greyabbey
Northern Ireland
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Scores: Swami 55 Colin 43 Tim 36 Peter 34 Bill 28

Colin was eager to present this well-regarded new game of mountain railway building but with the overrunning of Cyborg Wars (*) we were running late and as I feared in spite of ferocious blitz play, spurred by calls for more speed from the Swami, we couldn't finish.



Snowdonia is a clever worker placement, ostensibly about building a railway up Snowdonia in the 1890's but as always the theme is as thin as anything.



Being lost in the rules, I pursued a surveyor strategy which at least avoided humiliation. Had I been able to hang on to my 9vp loco I would have been second equal at the enforced early close.

So there it is.

Snowdonia is an exemplar of the modern worker placement game of interlocking systems and exchangable cubes that is clever and popular but personally I cannot get enthusiastic about.

As we face the new year of gaming, this is my problem.


(*)with bikini bimbos!
 
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