Games played at Epsom Games Club 18.11.2017 (Games Day #85)
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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1. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:9.01 Overall Rank:1]
'Biblical' James
United Kingdom
Ashtead
Surrey
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Played by B.James, Garteh, Dan and Jon



Result: lived to fight another day
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2. Board Game: Terraforming Mars [Average Rating:8.38 Overall Rank:5]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon, Chris and Joe

My first play with the Advanced corps and the drafting rules for card selection - both are probably a good things but they do add a little length to the game and neither really changes the underlying issue with the game that good, or bad, luck with the card draw largely determines the winner unless there is a wide gap in competence between the players.

It is still a fun way to spend a couple of hours and the scores ran out pretty close - I had only 3 of my cubes on Mars at the end of the game but had majored on scoring cards awards and milestones, but it wasn't quite enough to catch Joe's terraforming and 'planty' points and Chris's heat based strategy simply ran out of steam shake

Joe - 77
Gordon - 75
Chris - 75 (sort of - slight misinterpretation of a card and he felt morally obliged to award himself last place).

Despite the flaws this is always fun to play and I would pick up a copy if I see it cheap or if they bring out a (deluxe?) second edition which does a better job with the player boards and some of the card art.
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3. Board Game: LYNGK [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:1600] [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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Played by: JimF and JimS

Having opted out of playing in either Gloomhaven and Terraforming Mars (neither being my type of game), I read the rules to Whitehall Mystery as a possible game to play with Gordon + 1

Later on, when JimF arrived, he suggested playing a two player game and before I could produce my suggestions (Times Square or Parade) Gordon had suggested a new GIPF series game (was it the 7th of a series of 6?) - Lyngk.

I like abstracts. Total rubbish at playing them, but there is something about them that I find appealing. And this is a beautifully simple game - elegant even.

A board (marked out in a similar manner to Chinese Checkers board), some nicely crafted pieces in 5 colours and a "few" wild pieces; add some simple movement, ownership and capturing rules and away you go.

A game of real depth started to reveal itself early on and I am keen to play again, although not hopefully as the first game of the day - it rather melted my brain!

A win for JimF
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4. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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Played by: JimF and JimS

JimF and I needed another 2 player game but something way simpler than the last game we played.

JimF had spotted my shrink wrapped copy of this interesting take on Dominos and was keen to play not having won the game before (and perhaps seeing me as a possible route to expunging that record).

We opted to play the 5 square area although the 2 player version allows us to go to 7 x 7 (apparently we are playing this next games day).

Very different feel because you get to take two tiles out of the four, but the turn order selection remains the same as for more than 2 players.

Only my second play of the game but enjoyed the simplicity and ease of play - jut enough light decision making for the time taken to play.

A narrow win for me.

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5. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:28]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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Played by: JimS, JimF, Roy* and Daniel

This was without doubt both the longest and strangest game of Power Grid i have ever played. More about that anothe day.

But the result came to a three way tie break in the end between Daniel, JimF and JimS, all built 17 cities and could power them, but Daniel took it with 25 remaining, JimF with 15 and JimS with 5.

Roy, with an amazingly strong performance for his first ever game of PG came a very credible 4th with 15 cities powered.
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6. Board Game: Spirit Island [Average Rating:8.49 Overall Rank:53]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Chris, James and I also played this - we lost (it's a co-op).

Despite this being my second game I struggled to get my head around the turn sequence and when I could trigger my abilities and what they did and their range - I had picked up one of the more complex Spirits. Mind melt - I think this is a game that I would need to play solo a few times to really understand.
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7. Board Game: Vanguard of War [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:6311]
Jon Waggett
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A first outing for this tower defense coop game. with Joe, Mike and Jon taking control of 4 heroes to defend a church from a demon invasion.

After a couple of close calls, we killed off nearly all the waves before the boss spawned. Being able to banish the boss back to the spawn point without him ever getting in range allowed for an easy win at the end.

The game allows for 3 sets of invasions, each progressively more difficult. The one we completed was clearly intended as a way of gearing up for the next 2 levels and made for an easier game than I might like if we stop after a single level. Fortunately the game does allow for deliberately tuning how difficult the game is and next time if we are only playing one tier, I will suggest playing at a harder level than the base level.

I am also not convinced that we should have been allowed to repeatedly banish the boss to the start of the spawn (although the rules do allow us to do this). This may be house ruled to exclude this going forward - at least if the boss we are facing is the last boss of the game.

All in all I did really enjoy this game and look forward to playing the harder levels in the future.

Might be able to play 2 tiers on a Thursday as rules explanation is reasonably straightforward.
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8. Board Game: LYNGK [Average Rating:7.86 Overall Rank:1600] [Average Rating:7.86 Unranked]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Gordon and Chris (2 games)

How often can you fit two plays of a game in 40 minutes including rules explanation, but still with the need to tax the grey-cells.

2-player abstracts and in fact abstracts generally are unfairly overlooked. This one is the seventh in the series of six that is the Gipf family. They are all good and worth some time.

Five colours, two each of which each player will 'claim' as theirs during the game as they try and build stacks of 5 pieces which are then removed from the board. Still haven't worked out whether it is the right move to claim your colours early or wait and pounce in the mid game.

With the benefit of one game under my belt prior to these plays I managed to sneak both games.
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9. Board Game: Kingdomino [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:185] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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Played by: JimS, JimF and Roy*
Just time for a three player version of the game.

Sigh. JimF wins just, over me and Roy (another first time play for him).
 
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