Games Played at Epsom Games Club 8.11.2018
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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ASL - other tactical wargames call it Sir.
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Even with a missing Chris or two we still mustered 15 (I think) and even had a couple of Chris's left over - T101 James, Paul, Nearly Diceless Nick, Hugh, Gordon, Sophie, Ingrid, Jon, Brother Chris, Nerijus, Another Chris**, Adam, Kara, Beardy Nick and Mary - and they played -



** New to the club.

I didn't see what the corner table played - one of Nerijus's Jon's Kick Starters I assume. Also Arkham Horror is a guess - I heard Adam canvasing for players and he can be very persuasive so I assume that is the way it went.
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1. Board Game: AuZtralia [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:1765]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Played by: Ingrid. Sophie, Hugh and Gordon.

Use action points to build railways into Australia's hinterland so that you can acquire resources (coal, iron, gold and phosphate) then build farms for VP - so far so Euro - but, waiting to mess with the players and their farms are the forces of the Lovecraft mythos who lurk in the outback and need to be sought out and defeated - if not the game wins.

A few other features -

- Combat is not deterministic, although there are no dice, you flip a card which detail what damages what and who and has a push-your-luck aspect to it. The same deck is used to determine monster movement.

- Board set-up is nicely randomised with resources and cthonhic threats so each game will be pretty different.

- Variety is further added by the personality cards that you can grab during the game which have a mixture of effects and the Mythos revelation cards which will greatly effect the level of difficulty presented by the mythos creatures.

- There is a little bit of admin when the mythos takes it's turn which does slow the game down a little.

- There is some downtime between turns if you take a big turn (in terms of action points) and then have to wait for the other players (and the mythos) to catch up.

Despite being ruthlessly cut off from the resources of the outback I enjoyed nearly everything about how this played, except the length - however, it was a first play, so knock something like a quarter to a third off our playing time and we (I) got part of the set-up wrong which also contributed to the length and pace of the game.

We managed to defeat the Old Ones, aided by my set-up botch, and much to my surprise the scores were -

Gordon 39 - farms and phosphates for the win, although I did kill two zombies and loyalist.
Sophie 38
Hugh 33
Ingrid 32

Rules glitches-

- With four players you are supposed to start on the 6 spot and not the 0. This meant we had about 4 extra turns each during the game and more importantly before the main monster threats appeared. So this resulted in a longer and easier game for the players - doh, sorry.

- Zombies, heal between combats, all other monsters retain damage between combats (as we played) but not zombies. This will have made things a bit easier for us, although not sure how often it would have affected things.
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2. Board Game: Gùgōng [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:1482]
Nick Case
England
Epsom
Surrey
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Played by JimF. Paul and ND-Nick (all first timers).

First out of the box to much 'oooos' and 'arrrrs' for the very spiffy Deluxe components. They really have gone all out to bling this up to 11 will solid counters and tiles, glass 'jade' pieces, gold and silver start player markers and a golden pagoda for th turn marker (made out of real gold-).

The main engine of the game is to offer gifts (not bribes) to officials which are better (higher value) than the last. Gifts take the form of cards with a value of 1-9 which must be bettered by the next card or offset but burning another card from hand or two servants. Each area of the board offers different benefits or actions which allow an engine to be developed or good old VPs. Just to sharpen the focus, you must ascend to the top of the palace in the middle of the board or regardless of how many points you score, you will not win.

For me Gugong delivered a fresh experience whereas so many new releases recently are just rehashes of old mechanics. Admittedly Gugong has stolen the Nog mechanic from Tales of the Northlands but I will let them off this time.

1st Jim c38?
2nd Nick c34?
3rd Paul c 32?

Solid game and a keeper imho.
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3. Board Game: Star Saga [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:4751]
Jon Waggett
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Jon, Brother Chris, Nerijus and Another Chris set out to infiltrate a research base guarded by an evil AI nexus. Initially doors were hacked and securoty guards and lab techs killed, before the Chris' broke through the lines to find the server room to acces the floor plan, only to find that the elevator shaft we needed to infiltrate the complex was near our original entry point. With Jon and Nerijus running interference on the guard, we managed to reach the elevator shaft to secure our route further into the complex and ending the mission.

We were using the AI opposition rather than actual human player opposing. I feel this was a mistake as trying to keep track of what the AI is supposed to do while playing a mercenary (good guy), not revealing the true extent of the map and building the rooms as they are revealing was a bit taxing. We may also have made a few mistakes with the AI.

I enjoyed the game, but I believe playing this against a human nexus is essential to future plays so that aspects of the map building could be a bit better organised as map behind closed doors is hidden from the players
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4. Board Game: Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1396]
Jon Waggett
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Nerijus, Chris and Jon embarked on a trading expedition in space. This is a race to trade goods between planets to obtain points and using cards to boost your capability or hinder others.

Fter much trading and stealing if others cargo, Jon won having reached the magic 70 oints.
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