Games played at Epsom Games Club 20.08.11
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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10 11 people attended Games Day #8.

They were Andrew, me, Josh, Russell, Elaine (new to the group and is also married to Russell), Andrew, JimF2, Paul, Gordon, Jeff and Mark.
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1. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:493]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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The early arrivers played a round of this ever popular filler which was new to Andrew, but you would not think so!

Russell got rather confused with Airlines Europe and diversified ninto many colours, most of them scoring well, and Elaine managed zero minus points, the only problem with the strategy was that she also scored very few positive points!

Andrew 45
Jim 38
Russell 24
Elaine 21
 
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2. Board Game: Airlines Europe [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:308]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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A game new to Elaine, Russell had played once before and Jim was the "old hand" with three games under his belt.

A run through the rules and some explanation of strategy by Jim resulted in Elaine turning in a stunning performancea and was only denied the win by Jim managing to edge the Air Abacus shares.

Scores (and ratings)

Jim 100 (7)
Elaine 95 (7.5)
Russell 88 (7.5)
 
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3. Board Game: A Few Acres of Snow [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:251]
Gordon Watson
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey - United Kingdom
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Jim (Ashiefan) v Gordon

Jim 63 (8.5)
Gordon 59 (8)

This was something of an epic - after 30 mins set-up and rules readthrough (neither of us had played before) we started about 11:30 and were still going just gone 16:30. So 5 hours for a game that states 60-90 minutes on the box. shakegulpblush It should be said that we actually got a number of rules wrong, some of which undoubtedly contributed to the protracted playing time - see below.

Despite that, and losing, I still thought this was a great game - another masterclass from Martin Wallace in wedding game mechanics to theme, whilst still creating a fun game to play. If subsequent plays, using the correct rules, brings the play time down to around/under the 2 hour mark this will probably be a 9.
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4. Board Game: Imperial 2030 [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:176]
Andrew Bond
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey
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For our first meaty game of the day... world domination of an economic nature. This was new to Josh and me, but the others (especially Jeff) kindly gave Josh impartial advice and tips during the game - but not to me .

Before long, two clear alliances formed, between Europe (initially controlled by me) and Russia (Paul) and between India and China (soon both Josh). Mark appeared to be betting on a rapidly sinking America and Jeff built up a strong and expansionist Brazil.

In my first game of this, it was difficult not to think 'Risk'/attack and so Europe strove to re-establish its historical colonies all over the world (hey, the game is called Imperial). But I was carefull early on to call the tanks 'aide trucks' and the battleships 'peace convoys'. No-one seemed to believe this, though (especially since Europe had teamed with tank-mad Russia), so I dropped the pretence half way through the game.

We thought we had almost finished the game when Brazil got valued at 24 on the 25 point track - but it still took an hour to get the Latin Americans over the finishing line. By then, Mark had reinvested in everything but America and won at a canter.

An enjoyable game with lots of fun interaction and baiting between players. Josh gave as good as he got.

Scores:

1st Mark 148 (rating 8/10)
2nd Andrew 107* (rating 7.5)
3rd Jeff 95 (7.5)
4th Josh 88* (6.5)
5th Paul 82 (8)
*first time play
 
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5. Board Game: Egizia [Average Rating:7.45 Overall Rank:289]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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With Elaine being bored or lured away by the charms of retail therapy and the other two groups of players still a long way from finishing, Russell suggested a 2 player game of Egizia. I need no second invite to play this game.

Given that Russell thiought the game was going to finish at the end of round 4, it was even more amazing that he managed the win at the end of round 5.

Russell 138 (7.5)
Jim 130 (7.5)

 
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6. Board Game: Vikings [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:322]
Jim Sutherland
United Kingdom
(just) West of London
Middlesex
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With Egizia finishing quickly, there was time for another two player game while the other tables were still playing their long playing time games.

Russell had not played Vikings before and was keen to try it.

I explained the rules and dome of the strategies, especially aroung the need for the blue (fishermen) and grey (boatmen) Vikings. I must have done too god a job because Russell took and early lead and I was playing catch-up the entire game.

Russell 86 (7)
Jim 81 (8)
 
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7. Board Game: Blink [Average Rating:5.94 Overall Rank:3753]
Jim Sutherland
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Middlesex
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As the other tables wound up their games, there was just time to play Speed which was new to Russell.

I never got a look in and Russell won easily. The tables were turned when he played Josh in the next game though. Fun game that plays in a few minutes.
 
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8. Board Game: Hansa Teutonica [Average Rating:7.63 Overall Rank:114]
Andrew Bond
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Banstead
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Second time out within a week for Mark and me, first time for Russell.

This played very differently to (and not as well as) Thursday night's 5-player game. There was less blocking/interaction and so anyone with an early lead in actions (Russell with 4-5) seemed to be screaming ahead of those stuck on just 2 (me).

However, Russell made the fatal flaw of developing his abilities for 4 VPs a go instead of taking bonuses (plates) on a triangular scoring track (Mark's main source of VPs). Hence Mark won to everyone's surprise.

I came last because I: 1) didn't get enough actions; 2) didn't develop a chain of counting houses; 3) didn't get enough bomus tiles; 4) didn't get the Coleen bonuses; 5) failed to hold all the counting houses I had built.

[Memo to self: don't try that strategy again.]

Scores:

1st Mark 70 (rating 7.5/10)
2nd Russell 52* (rating 7)
3rd Andrew 37 (rating 7)
*first time play
 
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9. Board Game: Isla Dorada [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:1269]
Jim Sutherland
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(just) West of London
Middlesex
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Jeff introduced the rest of this "family" game, one of his essen purchases.

As always, Jeff did a great job patiently explaining the rules which were simple to grasp once we started to play.

Game played in about 45 minutes and the end scores (and ratings) were:

Paul 45 (7)
Jim 42 (6)
Jeff 40 (7)
Josh 32 (7)

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10. Board Game: King of Tokyo [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:233]
Jim Sutherland
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(just) West of London
Middlesex
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For a while now I had been telling Josh that he would like this game and with some of the attendees leaving shortly, this would be about the right length of game for the time remaining. Jeff did another great job explaining the rules.

I was first out after a suicidal bid to stay in Tokyo waiting to inflict pain on all the others. One day, I am sure that this tactic will win the game for me. Or perhaps not!

The rest of the players were slowly boosting their points although their health scores were starting to get low.

Josh made marvellous use of his specail card that scored 9 VPs if he rolled one of every die value and that took him to past 20 VPs first for the win.

Josh 20 (8)
Jeff 12 (8)
Paul 10 (8)
JimF2 6 (7)
Gordon 4 (7.5)
Jim 0 (6)

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11. Board Game: Rallyman [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:744]
Jim Sutherland
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(just) West of London
Middlesex
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There was just enough time for three of us to play a three-board rally. Godon doing a great job of explaining the rules.

Josh had an unlucky start, spinning out on his first go and with Jim pressing hard behind Gordon, Gordon took a spin off too. The spins were enough for me to stay just ahead and with Josh taking risks with his die rolling, he had enough bonus chips to reduce his time to snatch a second place.

Jim 6:46 (6)
Josh 7:24 (8)
Gordon 7:38 (7.5)
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12. Board Game: Inca Empire [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:1121]
Andrew Bond
United Kingdom
Banstead
Surrey
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We finished off the day with a 4-player Inca Empire, my second time with this game (and first 4-player). After Jeff kindly reminded/taught everyone the rules (mainly from memory), we got to laying our roads and cities.

It is important in this game to get a large source of workers for the later stages of the game without being first in the score track. First in the score track means last in the player order (plus you have to give last place a worker or two each turn).

Last time I played this, Jeff won by coming back from a position so far behind the other two players. I feared he might do that again when we entered the final stages, but the lead Russell and I had setup ahead of the last turn proved too strong. This was helped by a pilgrimage card that gave us 12 points a piece on that last turn, since Pissaro was late in arriving.

If only I hadn't laid that card on Russell and me (Mark and me would have been more sensible), perhaps I would have won!?

Scores:

1st Russell 161 (rating 8.5/10)
2nd Andrew 155 (rating 8)
3rd Mark 136* (7.5)
4th Jeff 133 (7)
*first time
 
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