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Subject: Linwood at All Aboard Games Night, 15 May 2009 rss

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Eric Dodd
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Martinborough
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There's been a few new New Zealand boardgames coming out or announced recently. A new one we managed to play last night at our monthly games night was Shem Phillips' Linwood.

Andrew Rae (citylife) has written a good review that covers the rules of the game and his impressions very well. The box is a very neat size, light and easily transportable. The tiles though thin are clear and well drawn. The pawns are neat sized, and would make a good substitute for Pandemic if you find the normal pawns too big. The rules are clearly laid out and quickly answered any play questions we had.

We played with the full 6 players, 3 of us experienced gamers and the other 3 players of the more casual sort. The initial part of the game so all 6 pawns go off in different directions. As the last player to go I went off too much in my own direction, while the 4 element tiles were discovered at the other end of the map. Once the others began to pick up some of the elements, the advantages of the powers they confer began to become obvious. Initially it was the forest bandit that was moved about by two of the players, adding another element in considering moves. The wind power added a second die of movement and helped the lucky owners zip about the board more quickly.

As one player collected his fourth element and turned for home Linwood became quite tactical as the rest of the players considered how to protect the home tile with the forest bandit, bearing in mind that the leader had all possible powers and so could travel by tunnel or over water. Graham had been one power back at this point, and managed to come through to win. I was dead stone last with no powers collected at all. You definitely need to move close to the element tiles as they are uncovered,

This first game took about an hour. I would agree with Andrew that 6 players would ordinarily be too many, but the game keeps the players interest pretty well and individual turns are not long. Linwood would be a good game to fill a long afternoon for a large family. It is a far more interesting game for the family than Ludo / Parchesi, and the tile laying, two-dimensional movement and power collection mechanics introduced here could lead on to any number of more tactical games.

For a New Zealand-designed and published game this is a great first effort from Garphill Games.





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Shem Phillips
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If I ever make a Linwood movie...you can write the screen play. That sounded like an epic first game. Haha. Glad you liked it, and thanks for the review.

Shem.
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