It was a Monday and it was hot. So what better to do than to get together with friends and play some games.
There were five of us and we were playing a not-yet-published game by Oliver Harrison called Bellhop. We were excited to take part playing a brand new game. Or maybe that was just me getting all excited.
The game is called Bellhop and it is about managing a small team of bellhops for a hotel.
Each player takes the role of a manager of a team of bellhops. As we were 5 players, we each had 5 bellhops. If there are fewer players, they will have more bellhops available to them. I was red. I usually am.
After the rules explanations and some clarifications, we got to playing. It was very neat playing an unpublished game because we would constantly interrupt and give suggestions and others bits of information. Oliver mentioned that the game was mostly finalized and that he was just working out the kinks in the "Secret Objective" cards.
This was a quick game with some familiar mechanics put together nicely. I was actually enthralled by the board and all those cool colours and graphics. I especially liked the elevator shafts and the pulleys.
Another thing was that the elevators were moveable bits on the board. This was confusing at first but we got used to it after the first couple of rounds.
The players were yellow (on my right), red (me), black, green and blue.
Yellow started it off by playing a strong set of cards for 6 action points and moving the 1st elevator to the 1st floor and loading two kinds of guests and bringing the elevator back down.
Start Elevator = 1 point
Stop Elevator = 1 point
Load Guest = 1 point / guest type = 2 points
Start Elevator = 1 point
Stop Elevator = 1 point
Yellow did not have any bellhops waiting for the elevator so the concierge had to be called in. This meant that yellow would score $2 less per guest that was unloaded. This ensured that yellow scored $4 total ($1 + $1 + $2) and that no one else would score anything.
Because the concierge was used, he moved up in his "concierge mailbox" equal to the number of guests he had to help. There were 6 guests unloaded so his new value was 6. That was yellow's two turns.
Now I was looking at my cards and I thought the 6 action points available to the concierge was pretty good. So I made use of him and loaded the second elevator with 3 types of guests. I should note that when you load a "type of guest" you are loading all the guests of one particular colour into the elevator.
Loading guests = 1 point / guest type = 3
Start elevator = 1 point
Move a floor = 1 point
Stop elevator = 2 points = unable to do this action so the concierge moved up to the "1" spot.
That was my first action. For my second action, I placed a bellhop on the 1st carpet spot at the second elevator.
Now black is a big meanie and saw that I was going to be getting a lot of tips so he decided to move the elevator back to the second floor, stop and load more guests and put them in transit.
This made sure that a whole bunch of guests got angry and left the elevator. This wasn't looking good for me because those that were left behind were just going to tip that much less. Black then placed his bellhop for the 2nd elevator behind my bellhop. /*mutters angrily*/
Green was the game designer so he just played it smoothly. Blue went for the 4th elevator. It was the costliest elevator but it was able to load up the pink guests who tip very well indeed. Blue then placed her bellhop for the 4th elevator. As the 4th elevator was pretty expensive to move, it took her a couple of turns to ensure it made it all the way down.
Yellow's strategy for the rest of the game was to not use bellhops as much as possible and just use the concierge. This would have been good for me but there were some turns that I didn't use the concierge.
A couple of turns into the game, black realized that being a meanie would ensure that he wouldn't be able to help guests so he decided to be cooperative. It worked for him.
So when the final card was drawn, the end game was triggered. Green drew it so blue was next in line. It was difficult if you didn't have any high valued cards because you couldn't really unload guests. So she just placed her bellhop on the 1st elevator because that was the one that was easiest to move.
Yellow played two cards totalling seven and moved the second elevator to the lobby. The concierge was used again but not by much. Only a guest or two were helped netting yellow $3. I couldn't really do anything so I placed both my remaining bellhops on the 2nd carpet spot of the 1st elevator. This I hoped would allow me to pick first if the 1st elevator came down. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.
Black had the same idea as yellow and moved the 2nd elevator. I am not sure what green did.
So in the end, the bellhops placed by red and blue went away and only black and yellow scored on the final round.
Final score tallies were pretty good. After all the bonuses were added up (including the secret objective cards), yellow was in the lead with around 50 points followed closely by black. Red (me) was around the 42-ish mark. Green behind red and blue behind green.
Some thoughts: It seems that by making use of the concierge, you give a bit more power to the player on your left. Maybe if I play it a few more times it will seem like this will have a significant issue on game play but for now it is ok.
It was a fun game. I am looking forward to my next play. After the game, we were deciding what use the secret objective cards were as they were somehow difficult to pull off. Only green (game designer) was able to fulfill his secret objective. Thanks for reading.
- Last edited Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:48 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:31 pm
Great session report.. I especially like the part where you were muttering angrily at black. I find that happens a lot.
I was green, by the way.. Green! You are quite right about the secret agenda cards. What I'm going to do in every playtest from now on is write down the # of players, how many guests they ended up with etc. That way I'll be able to do a better job of discerning the correct numbers for the secret agendas. It really is tricky, figuring out that balance. I also think that the SA cards should be an 'advanced variant', not necessarily part of the game - there's plenty to keep track of as it is.
I had a great game with you guys - and would have tied for first, if not for the secret agenda card. I think of it as a tie, as several of those cards were simply unachievable therefore mine should not have counted.
Thanks again - I look forward to our next play.
I was green, by the way.. Green!
Oops!! Thanks for pointing this out. I get hazy with colours!