Games played at WABA Thornlie meeting 25th April 2015
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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This Thornlie meet fell on ANZAC Day.

What did we play, and what did we think of the games?
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1. Board Game: Asgard [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:1928]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Ian, Tegan, Tim K and I learned and played our first game of this. It wasn't the easiest rules teach (it was my first play of it too) and seemingly every rule had an exception. That aside, it plays quite smoothly and seems to fit together quite nicely.

Players have identical decks of cards, each representing a Norse God, who can grant you powers, God Stones or you can support in battles and build temples to. Everyone selects three cards they are playing for the round simultaneously, and reveals them one at a time in player order. If someone plays a God you chose and takes an action you wanted, you need to be able to roll with it and adapt.

Then, again in player order, you take back one of your discs and take the action associated with it. Meaning you don't have to take the actions in the order you selected the spaces, and you therefore need to be able to guess what your opponents are up to, or manoeuvre yourself to the front of the player order.

There is a lot of this second guessing your opponents, and timing issues, and that's what makes the game extremely thinky, and really interesting!

I really enjoyed it and look forward to playing it again soon, and hopefully shaving an hour off our play time

I am pretty sure Tim won this?
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2. Board Game: Stockpile [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:282]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Something lighter after that brainburner was in order, so we broke out Ian's copy of Stockpile (featuring, art by Ian)

Leah joined us for this quick and light filler based on stocks and trading.

Each round the group know what one of the shares is going to do, and each player has secret information on one of the other companies.

You have to buy stocks in groups, some of which you may be buying blind, then you get the chance to sell stocks before the movements of them are revealed to the group.

You play five rounds (at least with five players), it moves quick and it has a decent amount of bluffing along with the luck. I quite enjoyed it.

Leah won after cheekily calling it in one of the early rounds.
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3. Board Game: Witness [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:667]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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I played five games of this with Ian, Tegan and Tim over the course of the night, and watched a sixth so that Leah could try it out.

This was the FUNNEST game of the night.

Each player is a character from a Blake and Mortimer comic. Knowledge of the comic is completely unnecessary though. The important thing is that they get caught up in mysteries, and this game comes with sixty-odd mysteries to solve.

It can only be played in groups of four. Each has a book with the information they know about the case you are working on. The introduction is read to the group, then two of the players whisper what they know to the other two players.

Those players now whisper both what they have just been told, plus the info that they already had to another player. Then the first whisperers whisper back to the first whisperees the info they started with plus the two bits of extra info they've just been told. Finally, the second whisperer whispers all four bits of info they have to the players who just whispered.

Difficult to explain that without it sounding more complicated than it is, but it's very straight forward, and there are four little boards to choose from to keep track of who whispers to who.

During the whispering you can't ask any questions except for players to repeat what they have said.

After all four rounds of whispering are complete you may then take notes.

After everyone has had a chance to take notes, you go to the questions book and read three questions to the group. Everyone writes their answers down (no consulting) and then you read the solutions. Each player scores a point for each correct answer and you try for the maximum score (12 points).

It is an extremely clever design. Sometimes the questions aren't what you think they will be at all. Sometimes you need to solve a puzzle based on what you know, sometimes you the clue you have to describe is a picture, so you're not just memorizing words.

We all had a great time with this, I think.

Our highest score was 11 points, I forget what our lowest was. Maybe 6?

It hardly matters though. I highly recommend playing this game that I think will ultimately be a hidden gem.
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4. Board Game: Antike II [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:1060]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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After a few games of Witness, Ian, Tim, Tegan and I played this revised version of Antike. No one at the table had played the original, though we all had played Concordia, which certainly has some similarities.

This is one of those Gerdts rondel games that he is famous for, though it is the first of them I have played.

It's a kind of race to hit certain achievements and collect cards. (9 cards in a four player game). It is a nice design, it plays quite quickly, and is pretty easy to learn.

I think our play suffered from a) having just played Witness and all being very silly as a result. b) having played Concordia, which is maybe being a little bit more interesting?

Having said that, I enjoyed Antike II and would certainly play it again, and expect it to get better with more plays.

We were also fairly peaceful, which might have caused the game to be not as exciting as it otherwise might have been?

Tim won with a final move that could have been stopped had we been more familiar with the game, probably, though I think we would have only delayed him.
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5. Board Game: Black Spy [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:3434]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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Next we played this little twist on a trick taking game.

Five suits, one of which is black and worth points. The goal of the game is to get no points.

Black 7s (of which there are six - All other cards only have one copy) are worth the most points. The sevens from the other suits are worth minus points, so it's good to win those.

You must always follow the lead suit OR play the same number (ie, if a player leads with a red six, you must play either a red card or a six, if you have them). Highest number in the lead suit wins.

That's basically it, I like trick taking games, and this was a good one.

I think Ian won.
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6. Board Game: Camel Up [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:385]
Robert Forrest
Australia
Embleton
Western Australia
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The last new game (we played Witness a few more times after it) we played was Camel Up.

It's a pretty easy betting game, where you can either roll a random dice and move a camel or bet on a camel (either for that round or for the final results) getting more points the sooner you bet, or place a tile that will either move a camel forward or backwards, depending on which way up you place it,

It was fun and quick enough. Seems a little over-hyped, but maybe I just had too high expectations?

Would certainly play it again.

Ian won this one as well.
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7. Board Game: Smash Up [Average Rating:6.84 Overall Rank:634] [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
Kent Hurley
Australia
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Finally got the newest expansion for this (Pretty Pretty Smash Up) and wanted to try the new factions. Luckily I was able to bookend the day with 3 plays and tried out most factions.

First up I played as Shapeshifting Fairies. The shapeshifters dominated this game, having copied some key abilities from the zombies for spectacular power plays (the best of which was Copycating the Zombie Lord to pull all three Mimics out of my discard pile at once).

Second game I played as Ghost Mythic Horses. Unfortunately the Horses fail to synergise well with Ghosts (which is not unusual) and this ended up being an abysmal round for me.

Lastly I tried Kitty Cat Elder Things. I got a lucky starting draw on this one and ended up with my Elder Thing (strongest minion in the game) immediately. Within a couple of turns I also got both my Shoggoths. The controlling abilities of the Kitty Cats definitely helped get these beasts into play.
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8. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:255]
Kent Hurley
Australia
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I don't even know what the other guys were doing. I was too busy blasting the building with my water cannon.

But how on earth does a bathtub get to be so flammable?
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9. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:342]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Comfortably leadng Jess 11 - 8 and ready to win on my next move I somehow lost 11 -15 (or something equally uncomfortable).
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10. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:391]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Had a five player game of this with Jess, Mark, Kym and Louise (the latter two in their first game at their first WABA meet after trying gaming at Oz Comic Con).

I won with a rather astounding score of -5.
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11. Board Game: Zooloretto [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:614] [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Was joined by Adam as I taught Kym and Louise this one.

Louise managed to put together almost the perfect zoo to score 30+ points. She also had any tie break covered with a hadful of money.

I blame the Adam/Louise thumb war battle and song for putting me off my game.
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12. Board Game: Stone Age [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:79]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Adam and I taught Kym and Louise this one.

With the thumb war song and Louise's zoo burned in my brain I ended the game with a heavy civilisation card scoring strategy to take out the victory. The other three finished very close together.
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13. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:729]
andrew
Australia
bayswater
western australia
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Played with Leah and Joss..

Thanks to Ian for his help and teaching..
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14. Board Game: Mr. Jack [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:416]
Mike
Australia
Greenmount
Western Australia
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I was kindly introduced to Mr Jack...a deduction game where one player tries to discover he other before he can escape.

I liked it.

Update: I liked it so much I just ordered one incarnation of it--the fantome one, which is the most recent version I believe.
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15. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:109]
Mike
Australia
Greenmount
Western Australia
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Tim and Andrew taught newcomer Li and myself how to play this game.
It had cubes and stuff.

Update: well, it did have more than just cubes and stuff, but I didn't realise that until quite a ways through the game. Need another play to get the hang of it. Some interesting mechanics, but not sure it would ever be a keeper.
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16. Board Game: VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1399]
Mike
Australia
Greenmount
Western Australia
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I fumbled through the rules and played with newcomer Li for his introductory game.
I heard good things about this dice game, but so far I am not so enamoured with it. I think it will take a few more plays to get used to it.
And Li beat me.
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17. Board Game: Carcassonne: Gold Rush [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:1280]
Mike
Australia
Greenmount
Western Australia
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Tim, Li and I played this. About my 4th game, and I only now realised I had one of the rules wrong. (Two trains on a track negates the double score!)

Tim won with a veritable mountain of gold to tally up at score time.

Ah, Carcassonne, you are like a familiar friend to me, coming out in new versions almost every other week.

Would play again, and I do like the changes to the scoring system. (Good bye, farmers, and your pesky cities!)
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18. Board Game: Istanbul [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:91]
Kent Hurley
Australia
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I mentioned to Sel last time I saw him that I'd be interested in playing this with him. So he bought it. And we played it. ~fin~
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19. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) – A Dance with Dragons [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.90 Unranked]
Kent Hurley
Australia
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This was a six player game between Myself (As Greyjoy), Jacob (as Baratheon), Ernest (as Bolton), Mark (as Tyrell), Gareth (as Lannisters) and Stuart (as Martell).

Mark suffered an early beating at the beginning of the game, at the hands of Stuart and Gareth, due to starting the closest to victory. I cemented my dominance of the western seas, and Ernest and Jacob tussled briefly for the north.

Jacob eventually gave up the north for greener pastures down south, leaving Ernest free to kind of just spread across the north at his leisure. I decided to indulge in everyone's favourite type of GoT wish fulfilment, a bloody (and somewhat successful!) rampage against the Lannisters, due to some very duplicitous parleying. Mark lost a few castles and got a reprieve from Jacob's arrival in the Stormlands.

The end of the game saw an Alliance between myself and Mark to secure land. I think Ernest eventually spread throughout the north? and began clashing once again with Jacob's newly located southern forces. Stuart clashed with Jacob and Mark unsuccessfully, allowing him to take back his castles. Unfortunately I was too eager to secure Mark's support for my crusade against Gareth that I ignored an opportunity to take one of his castles, allowing Mark to win on the second last turn.
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20. Board Game: Sushi Go! [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:345]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Mark and Mike taught me this game, with the final scores being me on 45, Mark on 40 and Mike on 31. I can now understand why this game has the attraction it does.
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21. Board Game: Thebes [Average Rating:7.17 Overall Rank:382]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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I taught Mike and refreshed Elaine in this archaeology-based game. This play session was notable in us having some very productive digs (e.g. 7 things out of 9 pulls). The best of us turned out to be Elaine who won on 81, followed by me on 64 and Mike on 56.
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22. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:42]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Looking for a short game to finish my time, I hadn't played a 3-player game of 7 Wonders for some time. It was nice to play a game without having to teach or refresh rules, just getting straight into it. I confirmed my general ineptitude in this game with Mike winning on 63 over Elain on 44 and me on 36.
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23. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:127] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Kym Westwood
Australia
Rivervale
Western Australia
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Played with Louise and Adam. Previously played at Comic Con so on more of an even footing with the rules of the game however still left in the dust....royally whooped by both Louise (winner) and Adam who kept blocking my every move....cry
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24. Board Game: El Gaucho [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:1423]
Jess
Australia
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4 player game with Mark, Tim and Mike for my final game of the night. Mark won, I think. As it turns out we played a number of things wrong though so I'll reserve judgement for now. I found it quite brain-burning but it's hard to say how much my tiredness or our rules errors contributed to that.
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