Games Played at Chineham Board Gamers 8th November 2014
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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Chineham Board Gamers

Not bad turn out 17 and 19 Games played.

Attended: Rob, Mike, Doug, Mark, Dan, Alan, Steve We, Laura H, Stewart, Jimmy, Carl, Karl, Roni, Richard, Pablo, Laura L and Ian.
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1. Board Game: Eminent Domain [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:425]
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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Survey the galaxy to expand your civilization – will you colonize nearby planets, or take them over by force? Harvest resources for trade, and do research to improve your technology. Build the best civilization and win the game!

Eminent Domain is a civilization-building game in which your civilization's abilities are based on a deck of Role cards. At the beginning of the game each player has the same deck of cards, with just two cards for each Role in it. Every turn you must choose a Role to execute (and like Glory to Rome or Puerto Rico, your opponents will get a chance to follow suit), and in doing so you will add one of those Role cards to your deck. When executing a Role, you can boost its effect by playing cards out of your hand matching the Role you have chosen. For example, the more you Research, the better you get at Researching (because you'll have more Research cards in your deck).
 
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2. Board Game: Tiny Epic Kingdoms [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:970]
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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You are a tiny kingdom with big ambition. You want to expand your population throughout the realms, learn powerful magic, build grand towers, and have your neighbors quiver at the mention of your name. The conflict? All of the other kingdoms want the same thing and there's not enough room for everyone to succeed...

In Tiny Epic Kingdoms, a 4x fantasy game in a pocket-size package, each player starts with a unique faction (which has a unique technology tree) and a small territory. Throughout the game, players collect resources, explore other territories, battle each other, research magic, and work to build a great tower to protect their realm.
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3. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.77 Overall Rank:50]
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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In the card game Race for the Galaxy, players build galactic civilizations by playing game cards in front of them that represent worlds or technical and social developments. Some worlds allow players to produce goods, which can be consumed later to gain either card draws or victory points when the appropriate technologies are available to them. These are mainly provided by the developments and worlds that are not able to produce, but the fancier production worlds also give these bonuses.

At the beginning of each round, players each select, secretly and simultaneously, one of the seven roles which correspond to the phases in which the round progresses. By selecting a role, players activate that phase for this round, giving each player the opportunity to perform that phase's action. For example, if one player chooses the settle role, each player has the opportunity to settle one of the planets from their hand. The player who has chosen the role, however, gets a bonus that applies only to him. But bonuses may also be acquired through developments, so one must be aware when another player also takes advantage of his choice of role.
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4. Board Game: Lords of Waterdeep [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:51]
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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Waterdeep, the City of Splendors – the most resplendent jewel in the Forgotten Realms, and a den of political intrigue and shady back-alley dealings. In this game, the players are powerful lords vying for control of this great city. Its treasures and resources are ripe for the taking, and that which cannot be gained through trickery and negotiation must be taken by force!

In Lords of Waterdeep, a strategy board game for 2-5 players, you take on the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep, secret rulers of the city. Through your agents, you recruit adventurers to go on quests on your behalf, earning rewards and increasing your influence over the city. Expand the city by purchasing new buildings that open up new actions on the board, and hinder – or help – the other lords by playing Intrigue cards to enact your carefully laid plans.

During the course of play, you may gain points or resources through completing quests, constructing buildings, playing intrigue cards or having other players utilize the buildings you have constructed. At the end of 8 rounds of play, the player who has accrued the most points wins the game.
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5. Board Game: Splendor [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:112]
Rob Stokes
England
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Splendor is a fast-paced and addictive game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops — all in order to acquire the most prestige points. If you're wealthy enough, you might even receive a visit from a noble at some point, which of course will further increase your prestige.

On your turn, you may (1) collect chips (gems), or (2) buy and build a card, or (3) reserve one card. If you collect chips, you take either three different kinds of chips or two chips of the same kind. If you buy a card, you pay its price in chips and add it to your playing area. To reserve a card — in order to make sure you get it, or, why not, your opponents don't get it — you place it in front of you face down for later building; this costs you a round, but you also get gold in the form of a joker chip, which you can use as any gem.

All of the cards you buy increase your wealth as they give you a permanent gem bonus for later buys; some of the cards also give you prestige points. In order to win the game, you must reach 15 prestige points before your opponents do.
 
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6. Board Game: Till Dawn [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:5187]
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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Don't get caught in the sun!

Till Dawn, a 20–30-minute game for 4-8 vampires (or 12, with the expansion), takes place over the course of three nights during which time all self respecting vampires leave their coffins to hunt. A deck of hunt cards is passed from vampire to vampire, each taking one card, reading it aloud, then passing the rest on. If a feeding card is drawn, all vampires gain blood tokens — but the deck is also loaded with events, vampire slayers, a vicious werewolf, invitations from the elders, and the creeping threat of sunrise. Feeling lucky? At any time during a hunt, a vampire may return to his coffin to protect his precious blood tokens. Return to your coffin too early, though, and you may miss all the fun. Then again, centuries of hunting should have taught you the folly of pushing your luck too far...

Till Dawn comes in a coffin-shaped box with approximately 120 cards, more than one hundred tokens, eight character cards, and a "night advancement" track. (An additional pack of four characters will be available to expand your game to 12 players.)
 
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7. Board Game: Wazabi [Average Rating:5.86 Overall Rank:5267]
Rob Stokes
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Basingstoke
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Simple Rules:
We've got dices and cards.
With dices we can give a dice to an another player, draw cards, and/or play a card.
Cards can remove dice from the game, give dice to another player, draw other cards, or many other interactive things.

The winner is the first player to have no dice left.
 
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8. Board Game: Seasons [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:161]
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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The greatest sorcerers of the kingdom have gathered at the heart of the Argos forest, where the legendary tournament of the 12 seasons is taking place. At the end of the three year competition, the new archmage of the kingdom of Xidit will be chosen from among the competitors. Take your place, wizard! Equip your ancestral magical items, summon your most faithful familiars to your side and be ready to face the challenge!

Seasons is a tactical game of cards and dice which takes place in two phases:

The first phase "Prelude" consists of a card draft: the goal during this phase will be to establish own 9-card deck for the main part of the game and with it the strategy.

Once the Prelude is complete, each player must separate his 9 cards into 3 packs of 3 cards. He will begin the second phase of the game with his first pack of three cards, then gradually as the game progresses, he will receive the other two packets of three cards.

Next comes the Tournament: at the beginning of each round a player will roll the seasons dice (dice = number of players +1).

These cubes offer a variety of actions to the players:
- Increase your gauge (maximum number of cards you may have placed on the table and in play)
- Harvesting energy (water, earth, fire, air) to pay the cost of power cards
- Crystallizing the energy (during the current season) to collect crystals. Crystals serve both as a resource to pay for some cards, but also as victory points in the end.
- Draw new cards

Each player can choose only one die per turn. The die not chosen by anyone determines how many fields the "time track" would move forward.
In addition, all the dice are different depending on the season. For example, there are not the same energies to a particular season. Throughout the game, players will therefore have to adapt to these changes - also the "exchange rates" of energy to crystals vary during seasons - the energy not present on the dice in any given season is also the best paid during the season.

At the end of the game, the crystals are summed with victory points granted by the cards (minus some penalties, where applicable). The highest score wins.
 
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9. Board Game: Have At Thee [Average Rating:5.60 Unranked]
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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Have At Thee is a card game of multi opponent sword fighting for 2 to 6 players aged 9+. It is a fast paced game which lasts between 20 and 40 minutes.

Players attack their opponents who then defend against the attacks, trying to avoid taking the most damage.

The game was conceived of and written by Richard Williams and Dave Skidmore, with further help, feedback and play testing from Ed Boreham and Calne Gamers Group.
 
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10. Board Game: Colossal Arena [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:754]
Rob Stokes
England
Basingstoke
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Colossal Arena/ Titan: the Arena is a strategic card game for 2 to 5 players with one of the best themes of any designer board game around: you play, not as combatants, but as spectators, cheering and betting on the melee ongoing in a fantasy arena/Colosseum in which eight pitting eight fantasy creatures are pitted against each other in battle!

Each round, one of the creatures will die. To decide which unlucky soul will be the victim, players put numbered power cards in front of the creatures, with the lowest one going to the graveyard. The jockeying for position and strategic diplomacy in playing the numbered power cards can be intense - but what makes this game even more interesting is that players the players' bets throughout the game which will sometimes allow them to use a creature's special power in battle!

The winner at the end of the game is bettor who's raked in the most winnings - just another day in the life of a fantasy monster gambler.

Titan: The Arena is actually a reworking of a Reiner Knizia game called Grand National Derby, but Avalon Hill's remake was quite significant from a gameplay standpoint.

The Titan: The Arena printing is often confused with its namesake, Titan. But other than the fact that they both use fantasy creatures as a general theme, there is very little that is similar between the two.

Reimplemented by: Galaxy: The Dark Ages
 
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11. Board Game: Seven Dragons [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2534]
Rob Stokes
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In Seven Dragons, players start with a secret goal color from the seven colored dragons and a hand of three cards. The Silver Dragon is laid on the table as the starting card; at this stage it is a wild card. The playing cards feature domino-like colored panels in the same manner as Aquarius, an earlier game design from Andy Looney.

On a player's turn, she draws one card and plays one from her hand. Cards are laid so as to connect matching colored panels. The deck also includes Action Cards such as Move a Card, Zap a Card, Trade Hands, etc. The used Action Cards form a discard pile, and the top card of this pile dictates the color of the starting Silver Dragon; once the discard pile has started, the Silver Dragon is no longer wild.

The first player to create a connected territory of seven panels matching her dragon color wins.
 
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12. Board Game: Cthulhu Dice [Average Rating:5.22 Overall Rank:15341]
Rob Stokes
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Serving Cthulhu is fun... except for all those other cultists out to get you. So get them first!

Cthulhu Dice lets you drive your rivals mad...very, very quickly. Players take turns rolling the big, beautiful, custom 12-sided die, embossed with tentacles, Elder Signs, and more. Destroy your opponents' sanity! Better yet, steal it. But watch out for Cthulhu – when he comes up, he takes sanity from everyone! Eighteen glass Sanity marbles are included. Lose all your marbles and you're mad. The last sane cultist wins...unless everyone goes mad together. Then Cthulhu wins!
 
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13. Board Game: Thunder Alley [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:540] [Average Rating:7.39 Unranked]
Rob Stokes
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Thunder Alley is a stock car racing game for 2-7 players with the feel and flexibility of a card-driven simulation. Drafting, teamwork, accidents, yellow flags, pit strategy, working to lead laps, and sprints to the finish are all included and bring the feel of racing to the game. Players control not one car, but a team of 3-6 cars. Thus, each race is not only a run for the checkered flag but an effort to maximize the score for every car on your team. Winning is important, but if only one car crosses the finish line, your team might end up outside the winner's circle looking in.

The game includes four different types of movement, often with many cars moving with the play of a single card, and each type has its place and time:

Solo movement allows you to break away from the pack.
Draft and pursuit movement are best used for keeping your team of cars together.
Lead movement can create a pack of cars that moves toward the front.
Turns are fast, each play is important, and the track situation is fluid. The wrong movement in the wrong situation can be disastrous, with you possibly being left out of the draft and all alone. Experienced players will be able to identify the best type of movement for the current situation.

Cars suffer wear over the course of a race and need to take pit stops. Tire wear, suspension difficulties, fuel issues, and major engine and transmission problems are all modeled in the game. If you feel lucky, you might try to hold it together just a little bit longer in hopes that a yellow flag will come out and cause a mass rush into the pits. Waiting on a yellow that never comes can be maddening as the rest of the pack moves by your worn-out car. What's more, an events deck can make your strategy pay off or punish you for your failure to take precautions. Accidents, yellow flags, worsening track situations, and deteriorating cars are all part of the game. Could all of your perfect strategy be derailed by those incoming rain clouds?

Included in the game are four different race tracks: a tri-oval super speedway for wide-open free-wheeling racing and a short track for a tight wheel-to-wheel bumper car duel. Each track uses the same deck of racing cards but the cards that work best on one may be useless in the other. The game also includes a second board with a road course and and 3 turned (triangle) raceway.

Most racing games call for a large number of players to play the game at its best. An unusual bonus for Thunder Alley is the very playable and exciting two-player version with six cars on a side.
 
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14. Board Game: Terra Mystica [Average Rating:8.24 Overall Rank:8]
Rob Stokes
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In the land of Terra Mystica dwell 14 different peoples in seven landscapes, and each group is bound to its own home environment, so to develop and grow, they must terraform neighboring landscapes into their home environments in competition with the other groups.

Terra Mystica is a game with very little luck that rewards strategic planning. Each player governs one of the 14 groups. With subtlety and craft, the player must attempt to rule as great an area as possible and to develop that group's skills. There are also four religious cults in which you can progress. To do all that, each group has special skills and abilities.

Taking turns, the players execute their actions on the resources they have at their disposal. Different buildings allow players to develop different resources. Dwellings allow for more workers. Trading houses allow players to make money. Strongholds unlock a group's special ability, and temples allow you to develop religion and your terraforming and seafaring skills. Buildings can be upgraded: Dwellings can be developed into trading houses; trading houses can be developed into strongholds or temples; one temple can be upgraded to become a sanctuary. Each group must also develop its terraforming skill and its skill with boats to use the rivers. The groups in question, along with their home landscape, are:

Desert (Fakirs, Nomads)
Plains (Halflings, Cultists)
Swamp (Alchemists, Darklings)
Lake (Mermaids, Swarmlings)
Forest (Witches, Auren)
Mountain (Dwarves, Engineers)
Wasteland (Giants, Chaos Magicians)
Proximity to other groups is a double-edged sword in Terra Mystica. Being close to other groups gives you extra power, but it also means that expanding is more difficult...
 
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15. Board Game: Yardmaster [Average Rating:6.42 Overall Rank:2213]
Rob Stokes
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The freight is rolling into the yard and it's up to you, the Yardmaster, to organize and manage it making sure everything is where it's supposed to be and readying the trains for departure.

In Yardmaster, 2-5 players compete to build trains comprised of railcars of different goods and values. However, players are restricted in connecting railcars of only the same value or good type, so if you grab a railcar you can't use, it needs to wait in your sorting yard until it can legitimately hook up to your train.

Players start with five cargo cards in hand, and four railcar cards are laid out into the Arrival Yard. Each player has one exchange token, representing one of the five cargo types, and whoever is to the right of the start player has the Yardmaster Token. On a turn, a player takes two actions, repeating an action if desired; whoever holds the Yardmaster Token takes a third action on her turn, then passes this token to the right. Players can:
Draw a cargo card from the deck or from the top of the discard pile.
Buy a railcar by discarding 1-4 cargo cards of the same color as the railcar, with the number determined by that railcar's value.
Swap your exchange token for another one; you can discard two cargo cards matching the color of your token to represent one cargo card of the proper color when buying a railcar.
Five cargo cards provide bonus actions during play, such as paying less for new railcars or drawing free cargo cards. The first player to reach 16 points in a 2-3 player game or 18 points in a 4-5 player game wins.
 
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16. Board Game: Power Grid Deluxe: Europe/North America [Average Rating:8.09 Overall Rank:152]
Rob Stokes
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Power Grid deluxe: Europe/North America is a standalone game in the Power Grid universe.

For the 10th anniversary of the highly successful game Power Grid we present this new deluxe version including brand new components. Wait for a huge double-sided game board presenting Europe and North America, newly customized wooden parts and an entire deck of new power plants, some of which use natural gas instead of garbage. New overview cards for the resource refill improve game play. An exciting new two players experience is also added - “Against the Trust”!

The game is still Power Grid, with all the exciting auctions, the nerve-wracking resource speculations, city networks and the competition among the players, all the way to the tight game ending with several players fighting for the win.

The goal of Power Grid Deluxe is to supply the most cities with power when someone's network reaches a predetermined size. Players mark pre-existing routes between cities for connection, then bid against each other to purchase the power plants that they need to power these cities. However, as power plants are purchased, newer, more efficient plants become available, so by merely purchasing, you're potentially allowing others access to superior equipment.

What's more, players must acquire the resources (coal, oil, natural gas, and uranium) needed to power said plants (except for the "renewable" windfarm plants, which require no fuel), making it a constant struggle to upgrade your plants for maximum efficiency while still retaining enough wealth to quickly expand your network to get the cheapest routes.
 
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