Games played at Epsom Games Club 10.04.14
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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Who was there this evening? Well - Paul, Andrew B2, Andrew 007, Steve, Graham, 3BS Dave, Mark, Hairy Martin, Abby, Crispy Chris, Gareth, Gordon and a rare but welcome appearance of Will.

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1. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:593]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon, Abby, Chris, Gareth and Will

I'm still mulling over whether, if faced with the same situation again, I would take the final move I did that ended the game.

The game started out following a standard trajectory for the first third with a bit of a scrum for tasty looking cards - Zombies (Gareth) and Vampires (Chris) both appeared and were grabbed early, so it was likely going to be a more chaotic/bloody mid/late game than usual. The second third of the game also had a usual feel of players starting to get a few points and causing mischief and harm to each other - Will was the victim of choice in this phase with a couple of turned agents. Then the final third, when players start jockeying for a final surge for the win, didn't happen.

With Chris and myself being fairly obvious Loyalists and Will plus Abby being equally obvious Restorationists, I found myself with a good points lead (due to 2 cities an assassinated Royal and the Necronomicon) and with Gareth the unknown, in terms of loyalties, languishing in last place. By revealing my id I could hit the game end trigger and if Gareth was a Restorationist the game was mine - as the current leader I was an obvious target with Vampires and zombies already cutting agents down so it struck me that this may be as good as it was going to get, so it might be worth a fifty-fifty punt on where Gareth's alliegiances lay so I 'revealed'.

Unfortunately he was a Loyalist so that eliminated myself/Chris/Gareth and left Will one point ahead of Abby due to one of his surviving agents giving a point.

An inspired move if it had come off but a dumb one as it didn't. Still fun.

Will(R) - 13
Abby*(R) - 12 needs to play again (and again) to give a fair rating
Gordon(L) - 26
Chris(L) - 17
Gareth(L) - 9 [?]
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2. Board Game: Kolejka [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:1211]
Martin (Hairy) Hatfield
United Kingdom
Little Kingshill
Buckinghamshire
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Yes, my oft-touted game of queuing in 80's Communist Poland finally made it to the table!

Paul heralded his arrival with a "where's the cabbages, then?" and I didn't need asking twice, setting up with Andrew-00 and Steve.

The object of the game is to gather a number of goods on yr individual shopping list. You may be looking for 4 goods from the food shop, and 3 from the clothing, 2 from the chemist and a single item of furniture, for instance. The order of play is roughly as follows:
1. queue your meeples up at the shops
2. Reveal which shops will get deliveries this turn (very few shops get a delivery each turn)
3. Players in turn play up to 3 cards that can manipulate the queue, or the goods delivered.
4. Players furthest to the front of each queue receive a good each, until the supply in the shop is exhausted

The game can be frustrating, as you can be queuing in a shop that never gets a delivery, or closes early, or dishes out goods to customers who barge in, (just as frustrating as in 80s Poland, the rule book tells us). You are also somewhat limited by the cards in your hand each round, although I was the only person who really seemed to fall foul of this on this session. The game is light enough and fun enough that I think this doesn't matter, and I am pleased to say everyone seemed to have fun!

45 minutes for a fun game, with a close ending!

1. Andrew-00*
2. Steve* (1 item short, would have got it if Andrew hadn't!)
3. Paul* (2? items short)
4. Martin (7 items short!)

If this continues to play fast, my rating will go up because I think there's a lot of fun in a short game.
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3. Board Game: Tribune: Primus Inter Pares [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:466]
Andrew Bennett
United Kingdom
Epsom
Surrey
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I talked Graham, Mark and Dave into playing Dave's Tribune - I'm on holiday so just winner and ratings for now:

Dave (winner)
Mark
Graham
Andrew
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4. Board Game: Citrus [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:1661]
Andrew Bond
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey
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Jeffrey D. Allers's follow up to New Amsterdam, this is a medium light tile placing game with area control thrown in. The aim is to surround fincas with your own plantations, so that when they are fully surrounded you score points for 1st or 2nd largest total plantation.

You have to pay attention to the colours of the plantations (which represent different crops). Each one requires one of your six workers to tend. When you harvest, you get 1 VP for each tile in the plantation (double for those with wells) and cash income from your returning worker. The more workers you have already back at your base, the more money you get. So there is a cost to pay for putting too many workers out at any one time (like I did!).

The market is elegantly simple and cunning: you can buy a complete row or complete column, but not part of either. You must then plant all the tiles you take. Sometimes this is very difficult to do.

Paul stormed away in this game as everyone except me paid attention to my warning about putting all your workers out. Ho hum

Scores:

1. Paul* 91
2. Martin* 76
3. Andrew 66
4. Steve* 61

If the other players let me have their ratings, I will add them above.
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5. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:11]
Andrew Bennett
United Kingdom
Epsom
Surrey
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Well,
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Both Graham and Dave had bought Castles of Burgundy and we'd all played before so we attempted to get this done in an hour and a half. We completed the first two phases in half an hour so were on track - but then AP started to set in and we eventually called it halfway through the fifth phase at 11:15.
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6. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:49]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon, Abby, Gareth and Chris - Will spectated.

With under an hour to go we decided on a game of RFtG - Will decided that his inexperience with the game (well the icons really) would slow us down too much so opted to watch. The first two expansions were included and those cards from the third expansion that don't relate to 'prestige'.

Chris went out quick with lots of cheap builds, Abby was going with 'rare' production worlds and trying to get a consume/produce engine going. I had some good 'Rebel' cards but struggled to get enough cards in hand to get them on the table. Not sure what Gareth was up to. Abby ended up managing to crank her 'rare' world produce/consume engine for VP's enough times to take the win from the Rebels.

Abby 39 [ ]
Gordon 30 [9]
Chris 26 [ ]
Gareth 24 [ ]
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7. Board Game: Gear & Piston [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:5923]
Andrew Bond
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey
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A light worker placement* game about constructing an automobile from patented, scrap, and (at game end) junk parts. The choices during worker placement are to grab a single patented part, pick up one or two scrap parts, build your car from previously obtained parts, or go to the 'back alley', which is the main/sole point of interest in the placement phase.

The back alley allows you to jump to the front of a queue for parts/building, to grab one of three patents drawn blind, or to steal a part from an opponent. The price paid for going here is that your worker sits out the next round.

The game is over when a car has been built from 12 parts. Points are awarded for parts that match certain goals known at game start, e.g., parts with added comfort (with a feather symbol on them) or parts with extra power (showing a piston), etc. extra points come from your largest contiguous area of car built in one colour - gold for steam engine, red for petrol, and green for electrical.

The main attraction of this game is its shortness and the look of your car at game end.

Paul stormed away in this game as well, grabbing nearly all the parts that I wanted before I could. Ho hum once again.

Scores:

1. Paul* 21
2. Martin* 16
3. Steve* 12
4. Andrew 6

If the other players let me have their ratings, I will add them above.

*of course, we started the game with a lengthy discussion of what exactly a worker placement is. Conclusion: this is one.
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