Games Played at the November 2010 WABA Thornlie Meet
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Read the games played, record and reminisce about what you played, be jealous you weren't there

The metalist of games played can be found here (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/23419/perth-eurogamesf...)
WABA's guild can be found here (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/guild/308)
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1. Board Game: Condottiere [Average Rating:6.76 Overall Rank:817]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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I learnt this for the first time and played two games of this with Warren, Adam, Judson, Chris and Richard (apologies if I've got anyone's name wrong or spelled incorrectly).

For those who don't know the game, it's an easy game to learn, fairly light game in which players attempt to conquer provinces in Renaissance Italy by winning battles fought by a hand of cards. The first to 5 total provinces or 3 connected wins.

The tactics come in knowing how and when to fight battles (and when not to fight) and managing your hand (of normal strength 1-10 cards and the other special cards which change the value of your and the other players' total strength) and bluffing-what cards do I have to play, when do I play them and am I better to wair for a better region to fight over?

There was also a fair dose of interaction in our games; it wasn't a mere 'I play this card, my total is now 7, your turn' but more of 'C'mon, you're not going to let him have that territory for 2 are you? You've got that 6 in your hand, we saw you take it back last turn. Play it...otherwise we'll all be stuffed!"

I managed a surprise (at least for me!) win in the first game, managing to let other people exhaust many cards in a lengthy opening battle and using what little I had to quickly get 3 in a row. The second game went much longer, with nearly all the board being captured. I think Judson managed to get 5 regions for the win (and I not managing any).

This is a game that I am happy to have learnt; easy enough to teach even for me (I am a horrible game teacher) and fun enough to warrant future plays.
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2. Board Game: Ligretto [Average Rating:6.20 Overall Rank:2425]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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The professional reason I wanted to learn this game before WABA's Decembacon* is because as a committee member, I will be helping with teaching this game and running the tournament of this game we are running.

The personal reason is so that I could get some practice beforehand

This is a fast-paced game of getting rid of cards by playing them numerically in order. Everything is going at the same time. Words cannot properly describe how chaotic and frantic the game gets as everyone stands up, hands fly from card to card, cards are slapped down at the same time and you try to keep track of your cards and the ever changing piles in the middle.

It's like a an interactive multi-player heavily cafinated solitaire, so come to this game with reactions quick and fingers dextrous.

The same crew from Condottiere (Warren, Adam, Judson, Chris, Richard and I) played the first game and were joined by Dan and Richard Cheng for the second. I can't remember who won the first game (I was nowhere close) and Dan took out the second (I did significantly better). This will be fun at Decembacon.

*What? You don't know what WABA's Decembacon is? See here (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/584533/decembaconwabacon...) for details about this soon approaching fantastic event!
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3. Board Game: Forbidden Island [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:609]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Andrew taught Dan, Richard and I this newly released game which saw four of us on a sinking island trying to get four treasures and escape before the island sank. This cooperative game has had many comparisons to Pandemic [Pandemic players will pick it up especially quickly] and with good reason; teamwork is important as the island begins to sink and you have to plan who is going to shore up which tiles [Pandemic's which cities to cure], which tiles to end on to give cards to other players and how best to use your character's special ability. Oh and the island sinks faster as the game goes on, so no dilly-dallying!

This was quick to learn and play, and we managed with teamwork to get the four treasures and leave by helicopter before the island sank. Andrew remarked that we had it easy at the beginning with no flood cards [Pandemic's epidemic cards] coming up for a long time. I would certainly play this again.

This game is much less fiddly than Pandemic and in some ways, a little more forgiving. Pandemic's epidemic cards allow a city to be infected again and again causing multiple outbreakes, whereas Forbidden Island's tile sinking means once that card is drawn, nothing more bad happens (but you have lost the tile, meaning limited routes and locations, which can eventually lose the players the game).

This game will be a prize at WABA's Decembacon*.

*What? You don't know what WABA's Decembacon is? See here ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/584533/decembaconwabacon...) for details about this soon approaching fantastic event!
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4. Board Game: Heroscape Marvel: The Conflict Begins [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:1173] [Average Rating:6.98 Unranked]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Aidden was setting up this visually fantastic game and I decided to join him. Calling it played on a 'board' is an insult to this game. It is really playing on a landscape. The scenario set up was an attacking force attempting to storm a castle with defenders (one of the expansions to the main game), with each of us having different points to draft our fighters (calling it an army or forces is not appropriate for reason that will soon be clear) from Aidden's available collection.

I was like a kid on a sugar rush when I saw that amongst the characters available to choose were Marvel characters. As a huge Marvel fan (mainly X-Men), my heart easily won over my head (which would have been a process too long anyway if I were to read over every character's (I think Aidden had over 40?) stats, carefully evaluate their movement, range, attack, defence and special characteristics and weigh them against the cost of drafting them). Did I mention that each character was represented by a cool figure? Or that I could have drafted a dragon which stood tall over every other character? Anyway, with no X-Men characters *sigh*, the next best thing was to go for a baddies group.

Somehow, Spider-Man found himself on the same team as Dr Doom, Red Skull and Venom. They were up against the defending force of Zettian Guards, Deathwalker 8000, Deathwalker 9000, Syvarris and Izumi Samurai [no, I can't remember what all of them were, I wrote them down!].

This was a simple game to learn-place secret turn orders, move in order, attack/defend, repeat. The basic rules were easy to learn and look up, and things were generally self-evident. This dice-fest of a game is as far away from traditional Euro-games like Power Grid and Agricola as a franchise-bought pizza is away from a three-star Michelin star restaurant; you won't get deep intellectual stimulation in Heroscape but by gosh you'll cheer and boo the many dice rolls, make fighting noises as your character uses their skills and groan or cheer as characters die.

Dr Doom and Red Skull died before the castle door was breached [I still don't get it, it's Dr Doom! The guy grew up and lives in a castle. A mere castle door doesn't stop Doom. Besides, it was probably a Doom-bot that died instead. And as for Red Skull, the Cosmic Cube will eventually save him*]. But they gave their life so that Spider-Man and Venom could move through, Venom eventually climbing the two levels and removing the banner, winning the day for the attackers! [Although how Spider-Man got on this team I'm still trying to work out-a remnant of Brand New Day?*]

I can understand why Heroscape is popular with the right audience-attractive pices, easy to learn basic rules and lots of dice are a big part. The sheer variability of the scenarios and fighters available make replayability very high.

*Marvel nerd references for anyone who understood this...
 
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5. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game – Pegasus Expansion [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Ernest Chua
Australia
Western Australia
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Five characters set out to find Earth:
Chris: Dr. Gaius Baltar [starting President]
Judson: Helena Cain [starting Admiral]
Nathan: Kara "Starbuck" Thrace
Aidden: Lee "Apollo" Adama
Me: William (Bill) Adama
We played with Pegasus, no cylon leaders available and without New Caprica.

This was Aidden's first game and it didn't take him long to start and continue throwing Cylon accusations left, right and centre!

Appropriately, our first crisis was 33. A second basestar appeared, more raiders appeared and in the next few turns, the raiders destroyed civilian ships. Even though Pegasus fired and killed one basestar, Admiral Cain eventually a few turns later (over my protests) used her once-per-game blind jump to get the fleet out of trouble before we had even jumped once normally. I was partially vindicated when it got us distance 0 and then 1. So much for Cain doing the right thing for the fleet...

As the game progressed, a skill check on a crisis card revealed a cylon-it had to be either Starbuck or Apollo. Without saying anything, I was leaning towards Apollo as it was Aidden's first time. Nathan was generally guiding Aidden and did gently say that he had to be more subtle as a Cylon. [Although now I think about it, couldn't Judson have put in a blue card and been a suspect? There must have been a reason I didn't suspect him...]

I had no problem briging both of them but one would be fine too [if we were right, the damage would cease; if not, would the cylon really be so foolish to sabotage without a fallguy?]. As Adama Snr. however, I was too emotionally attached to both to brig anyone myself. Starbuck eventually ended up in the brig-I think someone just decided to go for it.

Dr. Baltar was thinking about using his once-per-game to check all loyalty cards but there was lingering doubt whether it would be worth it pre-sleeper phase. The fleet was fortunate as the cylons were few and far between generally after the initial jump (the pilots had little to do). But there was enough problems abord the fleet, morale the greatest concern.

By this stage, President Baltar had appointed Apollo his chief of staff before loosing the presidency to Cain. Cain now had supreme control and more than a little part of me a) worried that if Cain was the cylon, we were stuffed, and b) even if Cain wasn't the cylon, the concentration of power was inefficient.

Dr. Baltar eventually used his once-per-game ability to look at all of Apollo's loyalty cards and eventually cryptically said "We'll be fine". After a rule clarification about what he could and couldn't say, he said Apollo was human. I can't remember whether this was used pre or post sleeper.

Pre-sleeper, however, the first cylon revealed themselves-Starbuck! The sleeper phase then kicked in and more loyalty cards were dealt. The now revealed Starbuck give her new loyalty card to Dr Baltar who now had 4 loyalty cards. The cylons eventually caught up to the fleet such that I ordered an early jump. Fortunately, no civilian ships were lost. However, there were enough problems aboard the fleet that civilian ships were lost for other reasons and morale and fuel were now becoming a real issue.

Eventually, we passed a crisis check that allowed Dr Baltar to check a loyalty card of someone. Dr Baltar chose one of my cards. After giving it back to me, he promptly accused me of being the other cylon. I furiously denied it, accusing him of being the cylon. Cain and Apollo were unsure as we pleaded our cases. Cain or Apollo eventually decided to brig Dr Baltar. I don't know what Cylon Starbuck and Apollo thought, Cain was with me as we put our cards in. Once the vote came in, Dr Baltar was brigged. Cain then used a Quorum card to execute Dr Baltar!

Dr Baltar turned over...


*Deep breath*


...a cylon loyalty card!

High fives ensured all round the rest of the humans as Cain, Apollo and Bill celebrated the purging of the cylons from the fleet. But there were still problems and we weren't safe yet. A jump brought us to 8 distance, but fuel and morale were at 1 and 2 (or the other way round). We had to survive just enough to jump again.

The Gods of Kobol smiled on us as we were able to navigate our way past more crisis, including what the cylons decided for us until Apollo jumped us for a human win!

Obviously, I would play BSG again. And again. And again. And again...

 
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6. Board Game: Trans Europa [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:1247]
Warren Adams
Australia
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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Taught this one to Judson and Chris.
 
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7. Board Game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game [Average Rating:7.75 Overall Rank:64]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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A teaching game with 3 newbies:
Andrew - Starbuck
Dan - Boomer
Selby - Tigh
and 2 experienced hands:
Nathan - Bill Adama
Me - Laura Roslin

After a brief explanation, the game got chaotic as the entire cylon fleet bared down on poor Galactica which had 7 civilian ships on the board, 2 basestars, all but 2 cylon raiders on the board, 1 heavy raider. Finally we were able to jump away. Everything was going okay until the sleeper phase when the Admiral revealed himself and began to attack the Galactica. Boomer convinced us to get her out of jail rather than a 'quiet' Starbuck and revealed herself promptly after leaving.

It all came down to a jump where the fleet needed 1 distance and hoping to pull a more fuel card. Unfortunately, only 2 and 3 distance cards were drawn and the Galactica and fleet ran out of fuel ... stranded.

One of the more chaotic games of BSG I've played! Well done to the Cylons
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8. Board Game: Duel of the Giants: Eastern Front [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:6034]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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First time game which saw the Russians - Selby and Adam - verse the mighty Panzer army of Nathan and myself. Despite playing with a lot of wrong rules, it was agreed that this was indeed a good boardgame type of wargame.

The Russians won by getting their tanks through the German defences ensuring the Reich would fall!
 
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9. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.65 Overall Rank:74] [Average Rating:7.65 Unranked]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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A weird set where every expansion was included.
From memory we had: Scrying Pool - Alchemy, Swindler + Nobles + Minion- Intrigue, King's Court + Counting House - Prosperity, Navigator - Seaside, Festival + Militia + Gardens - Normal/Vanilla.

With no Defence cards present it was an "intriguing" set with the Swindlers and Minions playing havoc on everyones' decks. Juddson took the early lead by getting a gold and using a Kings Throne effectively with the +2dollar cards. I lost out with my 5s getting swindled into Duchys but in the end this was very helpful.

The game ended with Juddson winning by 1 point to myself, then Jason and finally Chris who got the worst luck with 5 of his coppers turning to curses from the Swindler.
 
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10. Board Game: Powerboats Expansion 1 [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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After much talk, I finally managed to get this into a game with Jason, David, myself and Adam being the main players with a couple of people subbing in and out during the 3 races.

Jason and I agreed that the additional jumps, currents, maelstroms and low water did greatly amplify the game and made it an even more exciting game than it already was

In the end Jason won after using non-consensus lines and the jumps to some effect.
 
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11. Board Game: Alien Frontiers [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:169]
The Cheng Meister
Australia
Maylands
Western Australia
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Andrew, Gracie and my first game, all grateful to have Jason teaching us. As we played we realised later on better strategies to use next time but the end game was very close. Jason managed to get his final colony down, taking the win by 1 point from Gracie and 3 points from Andrew and I.

A fun game that I'll need to play again
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12. Board Game: Tobago [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:401]
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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Andrew taught this to me, I think it was a four player game that included Dan and Gracie.

I was happy to get opportunity to play this beautifully produced family style game that involves deduction and adventure.
 
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13. Board Game: Constantinopolis [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1358]
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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This big and shiny medium weight euro was one of Andrew Rout's recent acquisitions, so he hauled it out for what was his third play, and the first time for the rest of us. Andrew describes it as combining elements of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Age of Discovery.

For those of us new at it, it took a bit to wrap our head around the mechanics, but by a couple of rounds in we were starting to get the feel of things, especially how contracts worked.

We had to abort the game somewhat prematurely after a few rounds, just shy of finishing the final round or two, since I had to leave due to another commitment, but we did add up the scores to see how we did. Certainly it's a very beautiful looking game, and it was enjoyable to get a taste of it. Thanks Andrew!
 
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