EGG Head
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I do not really go into fine details of the rules (as these can be found elsewhere) but mostly try to leave my impressions of the game. I also make no claims that any game rules I talk about are correct…

Day 1: Arrived and jumped into a game as fast as possible. I played Guatemala Café with Frank, Ava and Jennifer. The game is about building coffee plantations, getting workers, and placing roads to get to ships n the harbor. The first board has a grid with workers, ships, plantation houses and roads. You move a marker along the outside of the board and the player after you chooses 3 items off the grid. The second board is for placement of the workers etc for scoring. You pay to put the workers etc on the board dependent on proximity to the harbor, closer is more expensive. Each player starts with some money and a randomly drawn set of different colored coffee bags which match the plantations. You score by choosing coffee bags and scoring those matching plantations – 1 per worker with a multiplier if you can connect your plantation to a ship in the harbor. This scoring can be blocked by another player playing a coffee bag of the same color. This is annoying and the end game is rather unsatisfying as you may not get to score any of the plantations you have built. I’m not currently planning on picking this game up.

I played Taluva, the nice tile laying game with cool bits, a nice light game.

I tried Huang Di which is being released soon per the designer, Brian. I played a two player game with him. This is about building the Great Wall and is a card driven game with each player having matching sets of cards with different actions such as acquiring workers, building the wall etc. You also can build bonus cards to earn more money. The game is won with points earned from building the wall. I enjoyed this game and will consider picking it up when released. Some interesting choices in trying to build vs. gain more resources.

I finished off the night with a prototype.

Day 2: I woke up early and started off with a wake up game of 2 player Caylus with Ken.
It was only his second game but we had fun and he ended up buying Caylus.

Next up was Imperial. This was my second try for this game. It is a war/stock game. The game is challenging but I just didn’t really enjoy it.

I finally got to try Notre Dame, the new Alea release with an 11 on the side. It has gotten a lot of good buzz and I also enjoyed it. There is a small amount of card drafting involved which lets you place cubes on the board which gives you abilities to earn VP. It has a solitarish feel as most of what you do is in you area of the board and there is limited interaction.

Nomads of Arabia was the next game we played. This game has just been released. I played the prototype a few years ago and enjoyed it. There is a stock market element to the game as you try and acquire animals to sell for money. The most money wins. There is a healthy amount of dice rolling involved which affects what animals are made available and where. The little mechanism I like in this game involves the board or map that you move on to get from terrains to acquire animals and then to the cities to sell them. The map consists of 5 strips/rows of terrain or cities which your pawns are placed on. You can move up and down the strips on your turn. The neat part is the bottom strip will eventually be removed an a new strip will be placed at the top of the map. I will probably pick this up.

Lastly we played Colosseum, which is another gorgeous game by Days of Wonder. Game plays consists of bidding and trading for resources which are used in select groups to put on “works” or events to earn VP. I would play this again but I’m not sure there will be enough change in play each game for me to enjoy, it does have cool bits though.

Day 3: Started the game off playing a prototype. Eric of www.Boardgamenews.com was kind enough to teach Animalia to me. This is a cute little filler that is unfortunately only available in Switzerland. It’s a card game with a Medici-like set collecting feel. You try and collect sets of animals for points by turning a card over and either keeping it or passing. Other players may then keep or pass. If it comes back to you, you turn over a second card and repeat. This is done up to 3 cards. When each player has 5 cards collected the round is scored. Some cards have special abilities which can be played if collected to make a pair. Nothing heavy here in this game but a nice filler.

Next I taught Hermagor in a 5 player game. This is heavier game that involves an interesting bidding mechanism for the market. Acquired goods are then “sold” on the map where you can earn points for enclosing areas and placement of tokens on the map. Final scoring uses a stock market mechanism. I find this game quite interesting to play because of the choices you have to make for the market.

I tried Portobello Market in a 3 player game. This is a quick little area control game. You choose either 2, 3, or 4 actions on your turn. You may play markets or customers. Markets are placed in a row which has varying points in each position. Customers are placed at the end of the rows after being drawn randomly from a bag. The type of customer at the end of the row acts as a multiplier for the value of all your markets n the row. I was underwhelmed by this game. Choices are limited on your turn and overall not very interesting.

Part 2 http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1427096#1427096
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Mik Svellov
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lorna wrote:
Day 1: Arrived and jumped into a game as fast as possible. I played Guatemala Café with Frank, Ava and Jennifer.

Shame it couldn't have taken a fifth player - that could've been me!

Nice articles, Lorna. It is almost as being there yourself.
Best wishes to everyone!
 
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EGG Head
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Hi Mik,
We are missing you this year!
Lorna
 
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Greg Schloesser
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Jefferson City
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lorna wrote:

Day 1: Arrived and jumped into a game as fast as possible. I played Guatemala Café with Frank, Ava and Jennifer. You score by choosing coffee bags and scoring those matching plantations – 1 per worker with a multiplier if you can connect your plantation to a ship in the harbor. This scoring can be blocked by another player playing a coffee bag of the same color. This is annoying and the end game is rather unsatisfying as you may not get to score any of the plantations you have built. I’m not currently planning on picking this game up.


We were taught this game by Jay Tummelson, with Scott Tepper there to give input. They never explained this "blocking a scoring" mechanism. Are you sure it is in the rules?

I actually enjoyed Guatemala Cafe more than I expected. You are right, though ... I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much with that "blocking" mechanism included.

Regarding Taluva, I'm not sure I would call it "light". The game requires some careful thought, analyzing and planning. It is a "thinking" game on the order of Java, but admittedly not as heavy as that brain burner.

I played Coliseum twice and appeared to enjoy it more than most folks at the Gathering. I really enjoyed the planning and preparation you need to make in order to build towards that last gala show. Unlike you, however, I was disappointed in the bits. I have been spoiled by the impressive 3D bits in their other games. Other than the six pawns, everything else here is flat carboard.

Like you, I found Portabello Market to be rather dull and uninspiring. A big pass.
 
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Re: Lorna’s just another GoF 2007 report part 1
gschloesser wrote:
We were taught this game by Jay Tummelson, with Scott Tepper there to give input. They never explained this "blocking a scoring" mechanism. Are you sure it is in the rules?

I actually enjoyed Guatemala Cafe more than I expected. You are right, though ... I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much with that "blocking" mechanism included.


Apparently there is some difference in the rules from one side of the big water to the other so depending on which side your teacher came from you may note some differences. After we played we spoke to Jay about our concerns with the blocking mechanism.
 
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Mik Svellov
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gschloesser wrote:
We were taught this game by Jay Tummelson, with Scott Tepper there to give input. They never explained this "blocking a scoring" mechanism. Are you sure it is in the rules?


The original rules can be found at the publisher's website:
http://www.eggertspiele.de/down/guate/gc_rules_eng.pdf
translated by our very own Bruce Whitehill.

The Blockade rules is decribed at the very last page of the rules:

Quote:
Blockade
1) Each time before the victory points are counted, the players, starting with the player left of the one who initiated the scoring, are asked in clockwise fashion whether they want to block (prevent) the scoring. A blockade might make sense if someone thinks the current player might score too high. If a player wants to prevent the scoring, he replaces the coffee sack on that space with a sack of the same color from his stock. The current player still gets his money but the entire scoring for this turn is canceled. However, the current player may build plantations instead without moving the Buyer again.

2) The coffee sack from a scoring that has been blocked is still put on the final unoccupied space of the victory point track.

3) Nobody is allowed to block his own scoring!


Oh - and if you find it confusing that there are two different sets of rules - you know who to blame! laugh
 
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In our discussion with Jay it sounded like it was a last minute rules addition that he had been unaware of in the prototype.
 
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