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Subject: Jambo moves up on our "Must Play" list rss

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Steve H
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Addison
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Growing bored with playing Mystery Rummy/Starship Catan/Lost Cities, I bought Jambo based entirely on reviews found here, which indicated that my wife would enjoy both concept and mechanics. She was drawn to the box and card art and the concise yet thorough rules also helped. Within minutes we were ready to try our hand on a walk through session. At some point, we somehow began playing utility cards on the discard deck instead of placing them (up to three) in our play area. Otherwise we were comfortable enough to play for keeps. We reshuffled and played began. Over the course of two nights, we played a total of 6 games in all.

Let me state that while the game moves quickly and it is reported that numerous strategies are offered each and every game, without question the person who first plays the Supplies utility card EARLY wins. On five occasions this card came into play very early on, four times by Andrea, once by me. With the Supplies Card in play, you can draw through the deck until you reach a ware card. This usually indicated that you would get a comfortable lead and sustain it. Twice Andrea went over 60 in this scenario before I had reached 30. In both of those times I tried to take advantage if playing a smaller stand card without luck, as she kept drawing wares due to Supplies. In one other session similar, I was fortunate enough to draw two psychic cards which allowed me to compete, but still lost a close game.

The one time no one drew a Supplies card early was the other occasion in which I won. It was a neck to neck race as we steadily match points tit for tat and at one time it was 54 Andrea, 53 Steve. She then drew the Supplies card, but I countered with Weapons, which is a great Utility mid way through late in the game. Sessions didn’t really help her, as she had her wares filled 5 out of 6 slots, and didn’t have the opportunity to sell due to odd combinations of wares. When the game got to 59 Andrea, 58 Steve, I had the opportunity to earn small amopunts of gold, but I was afraid to go out since I knew she could easily obtain two points to again beat me. Over the next two draws, I took advantage of my Scales Utility and drew a triple furs and was poised to win. She went out with 61, and my combination of plays allowed me to buy a ware (giving me three trinkets), replace trinkets with furs, sell the furs for 10 gold, and collect 2 gold. It was only my second victory, this one was most rewarding!

People have commented that some cards seem to be too powerful and influence game balance. I would agree to date that the Supplies card if played early can hold sway over the outcome. Weapons played later have an impact as well. But we want to play more before we think of making a house rule of sorts. All in all Jambo is a fun resource management that doesn't rely too heavily on luck since there are a bevvy of people, animals and utility cards to make strategy decisions throughout the game.
 
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MK
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Coshocton
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Ummm... how did a session report for Jambo end up under Pop-Up Pirate?

Must be a new trick of that other guy's Sith child.....
 
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I would love to see an actual popup pirate session report.
 
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Sterling Babcock
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Longmont
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Winkles is here to help!
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Supplies is good, but my favorite is the one that lets you exchange 1 or 2 cards for ones off the deck. Get some good drawing cards, and with exchanges you can get some nice cards. The one I think is powerful, though is the one that lets you buy at -2 and sell at +2. You get it so that you have 2 matched sets, and your turn is Wiser/Buy/Sell/Buy/Sell and cash it into the bank.
 
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