Games played at Epsom Games Club 29.12.12 (Games Day #26)
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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Twelve of us managed to spend varying amounts of time at this "Christmas Bonus" games day.

JimS, Josh, Scott, Daniel (starting to become a regular!), Russell, Jeff, Chris, JimF2, Gordon, AndrewB2, Gary and a rare visit for part of the afternoon by Rob.

Games played:

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1. Board Game: Liar's Dice [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:571]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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A favourite filler while waiting for any "late comers". Scott even allowed us to play with the board (although he hates using the board himself).

Josh won with ease - we did get one die of him at one stage but he got it back with a correct "exact" call.

Josh - 1st - [6.75]
Jim - 2nd - [6.5]
Scott - 3rd - [6.5]
*Daniel - 4th - [6.5]

A son - father 1 - 2. Neat. Clearly a very skillful game..... whistle
 
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2. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:487]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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Jeff's first play with me, Gordon, and Andrew B2. From memory Andrew won.
 
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3. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:415]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Russell, Jeff, AndrewB2, Dan sat down to play Russell's bright shiny new copy of the bright shiny new edition of a game I was only vaguely aware of - Vegas Showdown.

My one visit to Las Vegas convinced me that it was without doubt one of the the most objectionable places on the planet and the ultimate indictment of Western Civilization - fortunately the game itself is more acceptable and even quite clever.

It's a bidding and building game with various ways to earn VP from purchase of buildings and from the configuration you mange to place them on your individual boards.

Andrew always looked to be leading, having got off to a good start financially when his initial building choices were first to pay out on bonus income. He managed to buddy-up his premium buildings for more VP and to connect his Casino to his Hotel, which I don't think anyone else managed. I wasn't really aware of how anyone else was progressing which despite the competitive bidding does suggest it was a little multi-player solitaire for me (this may just have been as it was the first game for me.

Andrew007's game (Hold the Front Page) has a similar feel to this but on my one play of that game I preferred it to this - perhaps it was the the theme. I found this a little dry.

Andrew B2 43 [7.5]
Russell 37 [8]
Dan 35 [7]
Gordon* 34 [6.5]
Jeff 33 [8]
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4. Board Game: BraveRats [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1809]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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Scott and Josh gave this rather curious card game an outing between longer games. Scott likes it, Josh was unconvinced.
 
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5. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:415]
Jim Sutherland
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Several envious glances at Russell's shiny new copy of Vegas Showdown brought a request to play my original copy of the game (although I think both are identical apart from the corrected typos on one of the cards).

I am fairly sure this was a 5 player games and This was the 4 player game - I recall Scott winning by super use of the end game bonuses and I think Josh did rather well for his first try of the game.

Scott - 68 - 1st
*Josh - 59 - 2nd
Jim - 50 - 3rd
*Gary - 46 - 4th

The surprise for me was that Gary had never played the game before, although I suspect, given a choice, it is not a game he would normally ask to play.
 
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6. Board Game: Eclipse [Average Rating:7.97 Overall Rank:33]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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5-player (Dan, Gordon, Russell, Jeff, Gary) eclipse with a few bits of the expansion added - namely a hive-world to balance out the starting set-up for 5-players.

First game for Dan so we played as humans.

The surrounding systems weren't desperately kind to me (or Russell) in terms of getting off to a quick start, although in the long run they turned out advantageous as it proved easy to defend. I hit a lot of 1 VP systems with few resources, then a double-ancient which blocked one expansion route and a supernova which was difficult to explore through as my empire would be left separated when it blew up . I also had the hive-world on my other flank. This led to a desperate hunt through the outer reaches of the galaxy to try and find eco resources, but chewed through discs, and resulted in a sprawling empire. This forced me to reach alliances with Jeff and Gary in order to get some Eco cubes down to ease the financial situation, which along with the advanced economy tech eased my problems in the latter part of the game.

Dan was building up a mega fleet (but was, fortunately for me, on the far side of the galaxy). Russell was bottled up and trying to run a Monolith strategy. Jeff grabbed the galactic centre but his Supernova system blew up early. Gary played chicken with the ancient ships from the hive-world which allowed me to nip in and conquer it.

Gordon 40 [8]
Jeff 39 [8]
Gary 31 [10]
Daniel* 29 [didn't want to rate on first play]
Russell 26 [10]

(* = new)

One of the less eventful games of Eclipse but still very enjoyable.


 
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7. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:216]
Jim Sutherland
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Middlesex
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Having introduced Josh to the card game R, over lunch and upon our return, we played a game of this interesting card filler.

Very well received by all (and I recall a 10 rating by Scott!), although having seen the re-worked version, I definitely prefer the original Japanese version Scott has (it is the "minimalist" inside me!)

*Josh - 3 pts - 1st - [8]
*AndrewB2 2 pts - 2nd - [7]
Scott - 0 pts - 3rd - [9]
*Jim - 0 pts - 3rd - [6]

Clearly the playing of the game while we waited for our lunches to arrive was enough for Josh to come up with a winning strategy. There is a strategy in the game, right?

And I did OK, scoring the same as Scott.
 
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8. Board Game: Vegas Showdown [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:415]
Jim Sutherland
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Middlesex
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With Rob joining us, we looked for a 5 player game that we could not only agree on but also find (most games I have play a maximum of 4, but don't get me going on "the more players - (normally) the more down time" snore).

Curiously, Vegas Showdown was chosen.

This had a different "feel" to the game, especially as I was in the lead most of the game and managed a very narrow win right at the end by the use of the "red symbols" bonuses that Scott had employed so well in the first game.

Good game, but twice in one day may just be pushing the limits of its enjoyment for me, despite the win .....

Jim - 61 - 1st - [7]
Josh - 59 - 2nd - [8]
Scott - 55 - 3rd - [6.5]
*Rob - 50 - 4th - [8]
AndrewB2 - 40 - 5th [6.5]

A father-son 1 - 2. Neat. Josh did very well on only his second play of the game. He likes this game.

And another surprise for me. Rob, who has played almost every game there is, many of which we will never see or hear off, had also never played this game before.
 
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9. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:216]
Jim Sutherland
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Middlesex
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Another outing for this wee filler as we waited for another table to finish.

A win for me. Silly game. I quite like it, even if I had not not won.
 
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10. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:37]
Jim Sutherland
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Middlesex
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The opportunity for a change around of players at the table presented its normal "what-shall-we-play-nest-dilemma". Not for me though - I stood firm for my current favourite game, and the reason I had come along today.

Daniel was up for it and Scott decided that he should beat meat it once again but no other interest in playing.

What was strange, was that a few minutes later 4 people chose to play another copy of Tzolk'in. Not sure why not one of the others did not want to play against us three in the first place .........

I tried, and for the last time, to play the game with only three meeples. I do not think that doing so can win you the game against experienced players.

Daniel did his bounding up the temple tracks, and Scott followed along in step but also did the "magic flurry" on the skull track (I think he placed two or even three skulls last turn) which was enough to score great points and jump ahead or level with Daniel on the temple tracks securing him the win, just ahead of Daniel. I was a wee way behind with my monument bonus.

Still enjoying the game.

Scott 71 (7.5)
Daniel 58 (8)
JimS 46 (8)
 
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11. Board Game: Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:37]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Tzolk'in for 4 - Jeff, AndrewB2, Gary and Gordon - played to conclusion inside 2-hours.

I never really formed an overall strategy and ended up dropping into 'skulls' which I wasn't really set up for. I might have got away with this but Jeff began seriously competing for them. Gary was clearly going for the building/monument route and Andrew was going for temple tracks and buildings.

I always seem to have trouble in the second half of this game and today was no different as I struggled to get corn or resources. Andy and Jeff were tussling for the lead, with the latter taking it by a point. Gary's late monument surge (41 pts) saw him overtake me but was not enough to catch the leaders.

Jeff 64 [8]
Andy 63 [8.5]
Gary 54 [7.5]
Gordon 49 [8]

Still enjoying this.

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12. Board Game: Attila [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:1862]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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As the sun was setting, Josh, JimF2 and I were looking for a game, preferably militaristic-- I suggested that Attila, by reason of the theme, might fit the bill.

Jim seemed to hit the ground running, ahead on the scoring for most of the game. Josh cornered the greens by the simple expedient of ensuring that only he was dealt green cards for most of the game. Somehow-- not quite sure how-- I charged ahead to victory in the final lap.

Russell 71 (8)
JimF2 63 (7) new
Josh 56 (7) good as new - see below
 
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13. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:216]
Jim Sutherland
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Middlesex
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Just time for another round of this filler.

Not sure who won this time, but it was not me.

Fun filler.
 
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