Games played at Epsom Games Club 24.10.13
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Well....a very different club evening. With a number of members in Essen and a few drop outs on the invite thread it looked like we might be a bit short on numbers - as it was I think we had about 9 turn up....but unfortunately Federation House was "Closed until further notice" - at present we know not why.

After some discussion 7 of us decided we would try a relocation a couple of minutes drive down the road at The Cricketers - quite a pleasant pub and we had no difficulty finding two out of the way tables to occupy - the lighting (as in most proper pubs) was a bit of a problem.

Those who played: Hairy Martin, Paul, Gordon, Gareth, Groucho Mark, and a couple of Ragnars (Steve and Gary).



So we may need to find out what the position is at Federation House, hopefully it's just a short hiatus, but we may need to discuss what next if not.

NB - Apologies to anyone who turned up after 7:30 - Mark and I waited to field the late arriving Martin (who we knew was due), but anyone arriving after that would just have found a closed venue.

PS - having relocated to the Cricketers we found ourselves sitting at the next table to a lady who's husband and son run Slitherine Games - publishers of many PC strategy games including Field of Glory and Battle Academy.
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1. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:551]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Paul, Martin and Gordon

I've been mildly intrigued by Spyrium and given it has a small footprint it was a good choice for our somewhat curtailed venue. The mechanics are fairly similar although the varied cards come with a complex set of icons which are not always logical and consistent (imo).

The game is another worker-placement, engine building, VP chase with little or no engagement with the theme, but it does have a couple of clever mechanics - the two phase place and use with variable player shift between the two is neat and so is the multiple option placement mechanic, the latter introducing some player interaction.

After you have picked up a couple of extra workers you have a fair few options at the start of each turn and this, along with the fact that the game is tight for money, resource and workers and requires very precise play to do well, means much scope for AP. The need for such precise play does mean it feels a little like work, i.e. if I do that then that I'll have 3 of them and can use 2 to exchange into that which will let me play those for 3xVP as long as he doesn't do that, and leave 2 of these to change into....... Some people love this kind of thing and I don't mind it when it's tied to a nice strong theme or there is another strong element to the game, but there isn't really with Spyrium.

So not a bad game, clever in places but lacking a little in the 'fun' department.

Our game saw Martin go big on money (he had loads) Paul invested early for the future and I did my normal strategyless opportunistic bimbling from turn to turn for VP's - this worked for two-thirds of the game but always looked like I would be caught by Paul in a late VP rush but surprising so was Martin.

Can't remember the scores but Paul won by about 8 pts follwed by Martin who beat me by 4 or 5 pts (I think)

My rating 6.75
 
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2. Board Game: Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:871]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon, Martin and Paul

Quite a while since I had played this (maybe 3-4 years shake), It's a quite entertaining rummy variant with a catastrophically bad and overly verbose rule book. I remember having to struggle through the rules (10 pages of multi-sheet fold out which invariably opens on the opposite side to the rule you are trying to find) when I first bought it and the game only made sense when you started to think thematically what the designer was trying to do.

It took the first hand to really iron out all the finer points I had forgotten and the cause of playing was not helped by the poor lighting which made differentiating between all of the 6 suspect/evidence colours a bit tricky.

Martin started well by escaping as Jack in the first hand and was never seriously threatened in the next three. A better game than last nights playing might have suggested. My rating from when I played this a fair bit several years ago was an 8 which may be a bot generous, but maybe still a 7.5
 
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3. Board Game: Spyrium [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:551]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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Played by: Mark, Gareth, Steve and Gary
 
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4. Board Game: Masques [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:2181]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Mark, Gareth, Steve and Gary

A game I brought along and which the above opted for after their Spyrium session finished - I don't think they liked it - Gary in particular. I've only played it once and that was with my wife and Abby (eldest daughter) and we rather liked it so I was hopeful it would be a good filler at the club - apparently not although I'm not sure why they took such a dislike to it.
 
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