Games played at Epsom Games Club 12.12.13
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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A good sized crowd this evening:-

Paul, Mark, Jo, Gordon, T101 James, Nick, RGB Steve, RGB Gary, Gareth, Peter, Crispy Chris, Andrew B2, 3BS Dave and Tom

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1. Board Game: Euphoria: Build a Better Dystopia [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:310]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Paul, Jo, Gordon and Mark

It was hard to resist the lure of Paul's super-deluxe Kick-started copy of Euphoria with real gold ingots, bricks and various carefully crafted wooden tokens. A full extra mark from me for the production quality.

Its another 'worker placement....with a twist'. Your workers are dice with the values on the dice denoting their 'knowledge' - high rolls can be good or bad depending on what you are wanting to do and there are ways to mitigate/utilise high-low rolls so the dice should really not overly deter the cube-o-phobes, although there is the rolling doubles mechanism .

There are a lot of actions you can select with your workers and there are quite a lot of 'moving parts' to the game so there is a fairly long rules explanation needed for first timers.

The aim of the game is to be able to play 10 starts to the board or cards in front of you - the ways you can do this are many and varied and I think a two line encapsulation of the game mechanics is beyond my skills - there is some player interaction and timing decisions to make and there are some good mechanisms to ensure every game will play differently.

I quite enjoyed the game but it's another Euro which doesn't really have a narrative or moments of drama - I couldn't tell you the story of last night's game. The game is a series of small actions and decisions with the potential for much clever play, which accelerates towards the end.

Gordon 10 stars [7.5]
Jo 8 stars - took second on knowledge tiebreak) [8.5]
Paul 8 stars [7.5]
Mark 7 stars [7.5]
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2. Board Game: Glass Road [Average Rating:7.48 Overall Rank:210]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Paul, Jo, Mark and Gordon.

Another nice production - oodles of thick cardboard tiles and nice artwork.

The wheel resource mechanism is very clever but I was a little underwhelmed by the game. Is it trying to be a brain-burner or a a quick light-and-frothy experience? It's easy to screw yourself over by finding yourself one resource short of what you need and trying to avoid that requires careful and precise play, which, given all of the card and building tile options, means serious scope for AP. Yet there is quite a large slice of luck thrown into the mix in terms of being able to play off other people's cards which suggests this is intended as a lighter exercise.

Jo 17.5 - 3rd [7]
Mark 22 - 1st [7.5]
Gordon 20.5 - 2nd [6.5]
Paul 17.5 - 3rd [7.5]

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3. Board Game: Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:455]
Chris Allan
United Kingdom
Ashtead
Surrey
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Chris, Tom, Dave
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4. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:214]
Chris Allan
United Kingdom
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Chris, Tom, Dave
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5. Board Game: Sail to India [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1113]
Nick Case
England
Epsom
Surrey
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Jimf Gary and I settled in for this while we waited for Steve Kendall to arrive.

A big game in a very small box. The layout is very simple. 13 cards are laid out in a line from Lisbon (card 1) to India (the last face down card in the line). Players have a card to record money and record their ship speed and a card to record VPs. Three other cards depict 4 technologies that players can buy into to improve their performance or score end game points.

Each player has 13 cubes of their colour and the clever bit is that these represent, ships, money, vps, goods, buildings or technology advancements, depending upon where they are deployed on the cards. The idea is that players sail out of Lisbon making their way toward India. The game ends when a player gets there or two players use up all of their cubes.

Sets of goods score money and vps, BUT unless you have a spare marker in Lisbon and a means to mark the progression on your cards you will not get them. This problem is compounded by the fact that the money and VP cards only go up to 5 so multiple cubes are needed to score >5. This is especially crucial at game end when players score their buildings and end game bonus's and both Jim and Gary fell foul of this. Regardless Jim scraped a win (with scores from memory let me have the ratings and I'll list them)

1st Jimf 20
2nd Nick 19
3rd Gary 15

For my 2d worth a stunningly clever little game.
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6. Board Game: Concordia [Average Rating:8.07 Overall Rank:23]
Nick Case
England
Epsom
Surrey
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Jimf, Gary, Steve and Nick played with me the only one who had played before (you know where this is going already don't you?).

A beautifully produced game that justifies the €34 price tag on looks alone. Mac Gerdts has managed to produce a game with not only a sublimely simple rulebook but for once without a rondel. There is however a cleverly substituted a deck of cards to play for your action options instead. Each player has the same starting deck and chugs around the med with their colonists building cities, producing resources and buying new personality cards which contribute to in-game options and end game multipliers. Some cards allow you to piggy back other players cards and a Prefect action cleverly acts as a reset to return previously flipped province bonuses once cash is collected.

As points are only totalled at game end its hard to assess who is in the lead but I had managed to leave myself without any tools and suffered terribly in the second half of the game, unable to build the in the towns that produce tools or buy personalities who needed them. As ever I was struck by the explainers curse and came a hideous last but I can only blame my dire decision making and proclaim deep love for this game. My best from Essen so far.

1st JimF
2nd Gary
3rd Steve
4th Nick
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7. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.55 Overall Rank:138]
Andrew Bennett
United Kingdom
Epsom
Surrey
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Following the fortuitous arrival of Peter, we split the five up into two threes and all got to play a game we wanted. Gareth, Peter and I had all played before so minimal rules clarifications were all that was required.

I made an early backwards move, Peter camped where he was and Gareth shot ahead to the mountains. Unfortunately, having burnt his travel card and me having grabbed the mountain card he had his eye on, he got stuck and that allowed Peter and I to catch up. I was able to create a wood-based river engine and an all goods based mountain engine to catch up and then shoot ahead and despite, deliberately camping early a few times to deprive Gareth and Peter of my cards.

A good game and nice to play with others with a similar level of experience. Gareth was unlucky that cards with mountains didn't come up but had an interesting strategy of building lots of Indian boats and effectively recycling them to power his cards. On reflection, he might have done better to just burn a few cards and clear the display. Peter probably suffered in that neither Gareth nor I noticed that he hadn't realised he could convert more than set of goods to horses each go until quite late in the game.

All in all a very enjoyable game with very good company. Final positions and ratings were:

Andrew B2 1
Gareth 2
Peter 3
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