Games played at Epsom Games Club 08.03.2018
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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So let's see if I can remember everyone - T101 James, Paul, Elizabethan Chris, Gordon, 2nd Half James, The Other Gareth, Mike, Ingrid, Nerijus, Jon, Biblical James, Adam and....and....and...Hugh no, fell at the final hurdle, one name missing. And I certainly can't remember all of the games played - help please.



PS - On the grounds that I neither own nor won the two games I played I am leaving it for others to post them.
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1. Board Game: Cosmogenesis [Average Rating:7.71 Overall Rank:2918]
Paul Bruce
United Kingdom
Croydon
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A first play for Gordon, James, Chris and Paul.

In Cosmogenesis players are creating their own solar system by adding planets, gas giants and moons and developing life. The game is played over six turns in which each player takes four actions by taking an element to add to the system or a scoring tile. There are four areas from which you can take something and you can only take from each area once. This adds an interesting decision element to the game although on a couple of occasions there was little difference to what you took.

Scoring comes from a few different things but mainly from the two types of scoring tiles. One involves matching criteria and the other offers end game points for such things as number of gas giants with rings or planets/moons with life.

It is an interesting idea and plays fine as a game. A bit too reliant on the scoring tiles to drive your actions for me personally but I would have no qualms about playing again. Should be 90 minutes if all played before.

I was bit spaced out so wasn't sure who had won until reading Gordon's intro. It was close for first and second and a tie for third/last.

1. James
2. Gordon
3. Chris and Paul
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2. Board Game: The Expanse Board Game [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:1831]
'Biblical' James
United Kingdom
Ashtead
Surrey
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Played by Adam, B.James and New Hugh

Based on the populate Sci-Fi Netflix series and paying a strong homage to twilight Struggle this area control game is a very compact, interesting game game.

Mechanics wise it’s very like Twilight Struggle. Each turn you choose a card from the track and can then play it for the event, or store it for later by spending a VP. If you use the card for action points then a faction that can play the event may also play the event. It’s an area control game with influence and ships helping you do that.

There are 6 score cards. When a score card is played the active player gets to choose an area of the solar system to score bonus points. You can then play a saved event card.

Scoring is more valuable as the game goes on and unlocks faction upgrades. When the 6th score card hits the table then the game ends.


So anyway the game. Hugh consolidated his influence on Earth playing as the dull tally UN who want everyone to be friends and do what they say in peace. Pah! Then you had the heroic Martians consolidating Martian power And blowing stuff up while the O.A.P controlled much of the outer belt moving about quickly like scrappers and incite rebellion on planets.

Hugh started slowly and made Earth unworthy of the other factions attentions early game but restricted his ability to gain lots of points in other regions. I started moving my sleet into the asteroid belt and setting up home on some space stations while making a fitful for Ray into the outer system to try and control Adams dominance in that region.

Hugh’s slow start meant that he was a few point behind for much of the game but there cane a point where Adam and I were knocking lumps off each other and a couple of scoring cards in a row when Hugh had consolidated while watching us kill each other’s ships meant that he was ahead and in line for more and more points. It was a lead we could never catch up despite our best efforts and Hugh won comfortably.

Obviously as it was his first game at the club we let him win. Obviously.


Hugh 115(ish)
B James 98(ish)
Adam 96(ish)
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3. Board Game: The Order of Vampire Hunters [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:4063]
Jon Waggett
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Ingrid, Nerijus and Jon nobly set out to clear a dark and dingy den of vampires. Starting off in daytime, we found the elder Vampire early and were able to harpoon it for the retired Pete to drag out into the sunlight for one moment of glory. Nerijus accidently woke up a few vampires and then managed to kill them. Jon got trapped by several pieces of debris as he was repeatedly ambushed by vampires dropping from the ceiling. Ingrid methodically cleared rooms. By nighttime, Jon was trapped in a tunnel and Nerijus was down to 1 health. Nerijus and Ingrid managed to cull Vampires while Jon was quickly surrounded by the remainder By the last last turn, Jon was turning into a vampire with all the remaining vampire surrounding him, fortunately he was compelled to kill vampires. Despite valiant attempts by Nerijus and Ingrid to kill the remaining Vampires, 1 vampire managed to survive. The hunters were unsuccessful in their hunt.

Side note: Technically I could have won the game by turning one of the other hunters as the turned hunters have a different objective, but I thought trying to complete the hunt objective would be more entertaining.

Overall I do like this game, but the setup can be a bit of a pain as the decks are built at random at the beginning of each hunt.
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4. Board Game: Otys [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:1677]
Nerijus Stimbirys
United Kingdom
Epsom
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Played by Jon, Paul, Ingrid and Nerijus

Mid-22nd century, after 300 years of unconsciousness, the water rising engulfs the last emerged lands. Fighting for their lives, the survivor’s settlements must remain above the sea level. You live in the Otys colony and you must retrieve the past civilizations debris in the depths to build the future of humanity.

The game started with first contracts flying off the table very quickly. I was the first one to score the first point, others followed. Ingrid was in the lead for the first half of the game, but soon run out of the steam and was overtaken by Jon. I managed to complete two contracts at once and came back on top for a couple of turns. Paul was steadily collecting points, but a game was going towards the end. The game ended by Ingrid trying to pull her hair out as she desperately needed one more prestige point to win.

The second time I played this one, with first time playing as four player game. It definitely was a different experience than a two-player variant, and a lot more screwing up others was involved. The biggest issue for me was a nonexisting interaction with others and downtime. You are mainly focusing on your board, waiting for your turn and hoping that no one else snatches the contract you are working on or messes up the order of sponsors. You still have to monitor other players boards to make sure you plan is still achievable, but you are bound to watching only, as you can't intervene.

Saying that there is a fair amount of strategy involved, such as planning few moves in advance, upgrading right divers or sometimes using correct sponsor (if someone else did not shuffle them!). Upgrades is the key to a lot of scenarios. Don't forget - it's a race! I probably would wish for better quality components, as double layered game board keeps sliding around and divers are getting stuck.

It came out as quite a contrary overview, but I honestly believe its a very decent euro style game, and I enjoyed last night session very much. Would be happy to play it again.

Final scores:
Jon 18
Ingrid 17
Nerijus 14
Paul 10
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5. Board Game: Isle of Skye: Journeyman [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Chris Littler
United Kingdom
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Played by: James, Gordon and Chris

Isle of Skye is a great end of night game. Simple tight rules, interesting decisions and some strategy but nothing brain bending.

The journeyman adds ... a lot. It turns Isle of Skye from a light/medium end of night game to more of a medium/heavy main event ... maybe?

Each player receives their own player board with three tracks. Each track gives benefits as you move up it, VP/round, money/round etc. as well as some randomly placed tokens for bonuses. You move up the tracks by having your journeyman visit tiles with certain requirements after the placing tiles in your kingdom phase. You also move up a specific track when someone buys a tile from you.

In short, I priced my tiles high, everyone bought Gordon's tiles and James complained he was in the lead.

Scores:

James 114
Gordon 95
Chris 87


I'm not sure that the expansion is worth playing at the end of an evening. It might be a good one to add if you're playing it more of a "main event" type game.
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6. Board Game: Nations: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:727]
'Biblical' James
United Kingdom
Ashtead
Surrey
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Played by Adam, B.James and Not-so-new Hugh

As Hugh wasn't as new as he was a couple of hours before we didn't "let" him win this one...

Played over 4 ages, Nations is a bit like Roll for the galaxy and Nations the board game combined. You start with a bunch of generic white dice and you can but upgrades for your tableau that give you more/different dice. In familiar Nations tropes you have leaders, wonders, buildings and lands you can buy in each age and they get more powerful as you go along.

Each round is chuck dice, buy stuff, reroll dice, buy more stuff, build wonders, increase your knowledge, stave off famine and wage war. War is the section where turn order is determined (and this is really important as a tie breaker - see below).

A fun way to fill 20 minutes at the end of the evening and much tighter (but more prone to swingy dice as a result) than Roll. Good fun though. Would play again.


Adam 28(ish) with tiebreaker
Hugh 28(ish)
James 24(ish)
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