Wednesday 30th September, 2009
Venue: London Apprentice, Isleworth
The Germany map was selected by Iain, and its own special rules were explained. This was Jon’s first playing, and Iain made a reasonable job of guiding him through what the game was all about.
AOS isn’t a hugely complicated game in terms of mechanics, but it’s pretty hard for the newcomer to get to grips with in the first few turns, as current decisions are largely based on future actions (i.e. you issue shares on the basis of what track you might build and what goods you might ship later on in the round). Having said that, the other players were generally quite generous with their advice to the newbie in the first couple of turns. This advice swiftly stopped after Jon managed to transport a good that Iain was rather relying on, and also nearly shut Ian out of Berlin, in subsequent turns.
Philip set up camp in the south, and had rather a nice little circular route going on unopposed for much of the game. Jon headed for the North-West and managed to connect to a border city in the North-East for a nice long route. Ian and Iain created a maze of routes around Berlin, and Barrie played the opposite tactic to his first game, and mixed it up with everyone else.
Iain made some expensive connections early in the game, and ran disconcertingly close to bankruptcy (after warning Jon against the dangers of doing precisely that). Ian had a nice little network going, but just failed to transport enough goods to bolster his income.
Barrie built the most track but also issued the most shares. Jon benefited from being able to transport a few goods largely unopposed, but didn’t see the end coming and wasted his penultimate couple of turns. Iain successfully kept the bailiffs at bay (just), but Philip’s combination of highest income and lowest share issue was more than enough to give him the victory.
This was a long game (the last round was rushed through at break-neck speed as ‘time’ had already been called at the bar) and seems to be one that favours those of a very mathematical predisposition (so what’s your excuse, Ian [the accountant]?!)
Philip 28(income) -8(shares) 15(track) = 75 (total)
Jon 25 -9 12 = 60
Barrie 23 -11 16 = 52
Ian 20 -8 14 = 50
Iain 18 -12 15 = 33