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Games Played at Epsom Games Club 02.06.2016
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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So...what did Elizabethan Chris, Nearly Diceless Nick, T101 James, Nameless Steve, Roy, Biblical James, Mark, Gordon and Chris play this week.


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1. Board Game: Talon [Average Rating:7.69 Overall Rank:1947] [Average Rating:7.69 Unranked]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon and Chris

A spaceship combat game which is the streamlined offspring of 'Federation Commander' (sans Star Trek setting), which is itself the streamlined, but still uber-chromed, off-spring of 'Starfleet Battles'.

Pretty impressed by this. Easy to play and get to the table with some intuitive rules which generate a good deal of thought and tactical play. You write the stats and hits directly onto the units using dry-erase pens (can be a bit fiddly - Q-Tips may be the way to go) which does reduce the amount of look ups. The initiative system is clever and the impulse system of power v speed is very well integrated.

Chris and I played a 2 v 2 heavy cruiser engagement to completion in two hours and familiarity will bring that down further. Lots more things like fighters, bases, 'terrain' and missiles to still explore, as well as larger scenarios. The game also supports a campaign system and there is already a fan-made complete re-skin to turn it back into Star Trek.

I got off to a poor start in the scenario we played with Chris using his race-specific afterburners to good effect and blitzing one of my Cruisers, but my surviving ship manoeuvered well on the second pass to take out one of Chris's cruisers, with the other damaged from the initial exchange. It was touch and go but Chris just did enough with his final disruptor salvo to destroy my second ship - if one of the disruptor shots had missed I think the game would have gone the other way.

Really good game


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2. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:115]
'Biblical' James
United Kingdom
Ashtead
Surrey
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Played by James, Mark, Roy* and Steve*

*- new

We embarked on a rip-roaring, route claiming, office establishing, power upgrading romp through the Hansiatic league.

Early on in the piece I was playing with a slightly different strategy to one I normally play - completely randomly sticking pieces down but upgrading the move powers. During this time everyone else was squabbling over upgrades to their powers. This meant I only did 2 upgrades during the entire game, which is unlike me.

By mid game Mark had a couple of upgrade routes locked down which I had to move into to ensure I didn't finish on 0 points. Mark was also hoovering up bonuses and Roy and Steve were upgrading their bags and letters.

Thinking I had no chance to win I started rushing to 20 points whilst also picking up a decent sized chain.

With Roy looking to join up the two main town and locking in 7 points Steve put me on 19 points and I tipped us over the edge thinking I had an outside winning chance but likely to miss out to Mark.

As it happened I'd picked up just enough control that I won my first ever game of Hansa. Always a fun play through and a very different game to the animal adjacency on the next table

James 39
Mark 35
Steve 25
Roy 18
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3. Board Game: Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:157]
Chris Littler
United Kingdom
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Played by Nick, Chris and Jim. New to all.

Isle of Skye is a tile laying game about creating an estate on (surprisingly) the Isle of Skye

The two main hooks to the game are how you get tiles and the scoring.

After everyone has received their income, all players pull 3 tiles from the bag and place them infront of them. Then in secret, they set a price they are willing to pay for two of the tiles and select one that will be returned to the bag. Prices are set by placing money behind a screen.

Once all players have set prices they are revealed and the axed tiles returned to the bag. Each player is then given the opportunity to buy one tile from another player, paying the cost set to that player who also receives their money back. Once all players have bought or passed the money set down for each tile is returned to the supply and the tiles are then added to each players private estate.

At the end of a round points are scored according to 4 randomly drawn tiles at the start of the game. These score in different combinations for each round, but each will score a total of 3 times.

After the 5th round, you score extra points for special scroll tiles on you estate, as well as 1vp per 5 gold you have left over.

I really enjoyed this. The initial pricing makes for some very interesting decisions. You are trying to balance a correct price for a tile to either keep it or tempt someone to buy vs having enough cash left over to buy a tile vs where you are in the round.

I found myself in an early lead doc using on generating income through a road of whisky barrels. James found himself short on tiles as Nick and I ended up buying up his. However, we fed him a lot of cash that meant he was able to set some high prices on key tiles as well as buy up the tiles he needed from others giving him some chunky scores in the later rounds.

The result was:
James
Nick
Chris

(I failed to note the scores ... Again)
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4. Board Game: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:270]
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: Chris and Gordon.

This is an excellent stratego-esque take on 'Lord of the Rings'. After the early exchanges the baddies (me) were in the ascendancy with both Aragorn and Gandalf having taken early baths, and it was 3 hobbits v Saruman, The Balrog, Witch-King and Cave Troll. I then made a big mistake forgetting that Merry is a bit useful against The Witch King. After this the more manoueverable hobbits had an easy stroll into Mordor.

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5. Board Game: Love Letter [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:220]
'Biblical' James
United Kingdom
Ashtead
Surrey
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Played by the Hansa lot.

This game involved a lot of picking on Steve and a roaring (almost) comback from Roy with us all on 3 points to his one. In the end someone won that wasn't me or Roy but can't remember who

1 ? - 4
2= James - 3
2= Roy - 3
2= ? - 3
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6. Board Game: Gold West [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:693]
Chris Littler
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Played by Nick, Chris and James (new to Nick and James)

This is a nice little territory building variable scoring game about mining in the west of America.

I leave you to jump back to my previous write up for a brief explanation of the game.

In this game we all set out with fairly similar opening turns placing our resources in the 3 point scoring box and setting up for a decent couple of turns after. I invested heavily in boomtown for end game scoring and shipped little. James found himself shipping a fair amount and picked up a couple of investments, one of which gave him a couple of bonus resources. Nick ended the game with a huge connected territory for a very respectable 20 points.

However, neither my large haul in boomtown, nor Nick's excellent territory could stop the investment and shipping bonuses that James managed to accrue.

Final result:
James
Nick
Chris

(Again I failed to record scores. Also, I'm not 100% sure I've got mine and Nick's placement correct. Sleep deprivation is rubbish!!!)
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