Games played at Epsom Games Club 14.11.13
Jimbo Sutherland
United Kingdom
HAMPTON
MIDDLESEX
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9 of us braved the latest trial venue, the River Club:

Nick, Dave, JimS, Gareth, AndrewB2, Crispy Chris, Jo, Gordon, Captain Chris. Just enough for two big tables for two big new Essen games.



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1. Board Game: Amerigo [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:302]
Jimbo Sutherland
United Kingdom
HAMPTON
MIDDLESEX
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The keenness to play the Essen goodies is still strong and the first two choices were both eagerly pounced on, I opted in for this one.

Tricky game to describe but it is "classic" Feld - many ways and routes to gain VP.

How he takes several familiar mechanics, gives them a gentle twist, sprinkles on a few ideas and adds a paper thin theme to turn out yet another game impresses the heck out of me. If you have played a few of his other games, much of the game will seem familiar, but I think he will be hard pushed to top this one for choices/decisions and angst.

Nick did his normal tremendous job of explaining the rules of the game and he and Andrew quickly "locking horns" with nip, tuck and gentle screwage happening.

Dave played with his normal certainty and poker face. I also made some moves, most of which were not much good.

I thought I had a commanding position in the ship movement (I did not) and made the classic mistake in a Feld game of diversifying too much (not deliberately, honest - it just happened)

Lots has been written about the dice tower holding cubes but this did not seem to happen for us very much - we seemed to get most of the cubes out most turns. And only I got screwed when neither the last green or red cube came out of the tower in either of the last two turns, but by then it would make no difference to anything.

In the end, one of Andrews uncertain late-on screwage moves against Nick had been just enough to edge him the victory.

*Andrew 171 (8)
Nick 168 (8.5)
*David 149 (6.5)
*JimS 103 (6)

Overall, I was left with a feeling of that it was too long for what it delivered (even allowing for the extra time for a first play) and somewhat fiddly, and in the last couple of the five rounds was suffering with a "rinse, repeat" feeling. Will play again because it was not a "meh" for me, but desire to own is a 2 (out of 10) - Iā€™d like to see this increase but have my doubts...
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2. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:159]
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: Jo, Gordon, Gareth, Crispy Chris, Capt Chris

After 30-35 mins of rules explanation (there are a lot of actions) and then 3.5 hours play we were still not finished, in fact we were not over the first set of mountains shake. The game would have accelerated but I suspect we still had 45 minutes to go - Jo had warned us a first game with five players was not advisable but, with 9 players attending, 4 already up and running with Amerigo and something of a dearth of 2-player games to hand, what were we to do? Anyway, our play of Lewis & Clark was far from a write-off, convincing me, at least, to pick up a copy.

The good:-

- It's a Euro race game rather than a VP salad chase, which is good.
- Pretty thematic for a Euro.
- Art and general production quality is terrific
- There is lots of stuff to do so lots of interesting decisions to make.
- The different character cards present lots of interesting strategic possibilities and good combos to find.
- Quite a bit of player interaction with timing as well as blocking elements.
- The game is not so tight that there is always something you can do. There is some mild screwage but nothing game ending which I really don't like in long Euros.

The bad:-

- It is a bit fiddly in places.
- Plays long with 5 and probably will even with 4 players who know the game. Hard to judge at this stage but may still be around the 3-hour mark with four players even if they know the game. Five players is right out.
- Is an AP vulnerable game - you have lot's of choices per turn and min/maxing a turn can require some thought. Add to that the different cards available each with different powers and it could drag with AP'ers playing.


The good definitely outweighs the bad - but stick with 3 players.
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