Games Played at Epsom Games Club 26/03/15
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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Beneath this mask there is an idea.....and ideas are bulletproof.
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Numbers were somewhat down on recent weeks but still respectable - Russell, Nameless Steve, The Right Honourable MP for Epsom Garteh, Jon, Andrew B2, Roy, T101 James, Paul, Ash, Gordon, Alex, Matt and Josh.

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1. Board Game: A Study in Emerald [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:610]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon, Josh, Alex and Matt

A game that people tend to 'get' or 'not get' and 'like' or 'not like' and if you like it you tend to like it a lot.

New to Josh, Matt and Alex which did mean that some of the early actions I took to mislead on my identity were a little wasted as there was no one to 'read' them. It soon became moot anyway when Josh tried to claim Moriarty as a double-agent which I defended by revealing my alignment (Loyalist).

Having thwarted Matt's attempt at an assassination by revealing another double-agent Josh surged off into the lead by grabbing loads of cities. With the teams being fairly obvious by this stage and the two Loyalists languishing on zero pts, a Loyalist victory was on the cards if either of the Restorationists could have gone insane to end the game. That window of opportunity closed when Matt starting pushing the War Track up using his uber recycling deck.

I started to cut back into Josh's city points after an exhaustive influence battle with Alex over Cultists which convinced Alex to switch sides - and just after Josh, his fellow Restorationist had bought him a drink shake.

Matt now surged on points grabbing southern cities and the game ended with the War Track maxed out - the Restorationists were eliminated and Matt ended up 2 pts short of my total. Had the war track not ended the game then I would have been able to declare a win on my next turn anyway.

Always enjoy this, although I'm not sure it was the game Matt was looking to play yesterday.

Gordon (Loyalist) - 24
Matt (Loyalist) - 22
Alex (Restorationist / Loyalist) 16
Josh (Restorationist) 13


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2. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:213] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
Russell D
United Kingdom
Ewell
Surrey
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This week, Steve and I played one of the classics from the Paratrooper module: scenario 11, Defiance on Hill 30.

Shortly after D-Day, US Paratroopers were trying to hold a farm/road junction in the hills near Pont l'Abbé. I was the attacking Germans and Steve took the small US force desperately trying to hold on for reinforcements.

Steve set up an aggressive perimeter defence of concealed units. I moved onto the board fairly slowly. At the end of turn 2, Steve had revealed all his units and had daringly decided not to pull back yet, so I took the opportunity to swarm his flanks with my numerically greater troops. I encircled his troops and broke most of them. It was a big setback for the US, but good luck could have rescued Steve-- if he'd managed to rally, or if his reinforcements had come on early. Unfortunately, neither of these things happened: his initial forces were wiped out and the reinforcements came late. By that stage I had take all the best high ground and the junction farm buildings, there just wasn't the time in the 4 remaining turns for the US reinforcements to take it back again.

A very good scenario with lots of tactical options, but the US is pretty fragile with only 4 squads on the board at the start (perhaps they need to deploy into half-squads) and if the reinforcements arrive late I think that makes it pretty hard on the US.
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3. Board Game: Nations [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:98]
Roy B
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Gareth & I had played recently, new to John and Andrew. We started on the rules just after 7:30ish and it was gone 11 by the time we finished. My AP to blame somewhat I think.

I played China and I found myself whining throughout the game. Everyone seemed to have buckets of resources and I was bankrupt on food, poor on gold and miserly on stone throughout. Only having one colony sucks and causes you to gaze avariciously at the other players piles of resources.

I went into military early bagged myself a good colony then went for books for the Age I VPs. Unfortunately that left me as last player to play at the start of Age II. The few military cards that came out were snapped up by the others and I was forced into a high stability empire as the only way of mitigating the incessant wars all the others took delight in prosecuting.

This I think was a contributing factor to my lack of resources. The stability usually comes with books and I was streets ahead in culture but with all my meeples employed in the civil service there was no one to till the fields or work the mines.

Andrew was building wonders, Gareth and John built great engines and spent Age IV recycling their resources into VPs. I managed a couple of wonders but was mostly micromanaging my empire to try and survive the damm wars.

In the end my culture almost saved me but I was nickel and dimed of VPS by the wars. Andrews wonders diverted him from competing with the warmongers and Gareths great engine allowed him to make a last turn rush into Dreadnoughts which won him the game.

Gareth 42
Roy 41
John 31
Andrew 29



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4. Board Game: Colt Express [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:303]
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: Gordon, Josh, Matt and Alex

A near perfect game to end the evening - quick to explain, quick and intuitive to play, with some chaos but not without some skill and decision making. And it looks good.

Matt grabbed the briefcase but got shot....a lot. Alex picked up loads of gems but then got punched......a lot. Josh did a lot of the shooting but not as much as Alex, but in the end I managed to punch Matt and resisted a final shot to pick up the briefcase.

Gordon $2,550
Alex $2,250
Josh $1,250 (?)
Matt $0 (?)

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5. Board Game: Hanabi [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:277]
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: Josh, Gordon, Matt and Alex

We played with a Hanabi set that had Chinese rules and virtually no colour contrast between the blue and green cards. Still, we successfully edged to a score of 18 - not too bad.

I think the end game should be changed so that rather than allowing only one more round you can keep going after the final round but only to play card - no more clues or discards.
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6. Board Game: Mangrovia [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:1113]
Paul Bruce
United Kingdom
Croydon
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1. James 109
2. Paul 83
2. Ash 83
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7. Board Game: Lewis & Clark [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:136]
Ash Grant
United Kingdom
Leatherhead
Surrey
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I magnanimously left the Study in Emerald game to keep tardy Paul and James company. We settled on Lewis and Clark which we'd all played about once, a long time ago. Even having to read through the rules verbatim we got going reasonably quickly and I don't think we messed anything up.

There were two different strategies going on, I played a super lean deck with no boats and 2 indians, James went boat and Indian crazy and Paul wasn't far behind on the boat building.

I managed to get one card to produce canoes, one card to produce horses, and a +1 move in the mountains, and then methodically used them to push west.
James was using around 8 Indians, 5 boats and absolute piles of resources to buy horses at cost, but then he managed to get the canoe+horse=6 moves card and blitzed through the mountains and second river.
Paul was languishing horribly in the river, no idea what he was doing.

In the end it came down to the last turn, James had taken one more Indian than he needed, a real tragedy, and I managed to get just far enough over the line to take the pain from my superfluous Indian dragging me backwards.

Definitely an enjoyable game, though there's always that feeling that your move is helping other people almost as much as yourself.

Scores

Ash: Won
James: Lost
Paul: Really Lost
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