Billabong Boardgamers - 2nd June 1998
Doug Adams writes:
Not a bad turn out tonight with seven on the floor, Janet was unable to attend through illness, but Pedro sprung a surprise visit on us (he lives in the 'outback' :) and bought along his boss!
Durch die Wueste
David had just received his latest shipment for Board Not Bored Games, and bought along the infamous "demo copy" for us to try out. This is one game that took me a little by surprise, because I've seen various catalogue shots of it and I was expecting it to be much bigger. Of course it doesn't need to be, and if it was you'd get whiplash scanning the board.
So, fighting off the mounting passion from those erotic camels (who said that again ? They need help :) and the huge threat to our manhood from the pastel colours, we (Doug, Julian, Alan, David) set the game up.
Every time I learn a new Knizia game, I seem to get half the rules wrong, and this one was no exception. David went through them quite clearly, and as each rule was read out we'd announce "Medici", "Qvo Vadis", "Quandary", as we recognized where that particular rule had appeared before. I'm becoming convinced that Knizia has some master computer program that just spits out a new design for him each time he presses a button.
To the game....due to a set-up mistake and a misunderstanding of the rules David managed to have oodles of space on one side of the desert to expand into. I was concentrating on taking the longest caravan in one, ideally two colours, so I didn't worry about my other 3 colours. For some reason I thought you'd get a bonus if you surrounded an oasis, but the others kept insisting I didn't. Just because it isn't in the rules didn't stop me at all, but I did end up sealing it off against the edge of the board for a magnificent 4 point bonus at the end game.
Meanwhile, David was doing something similar down the other end of the desert, but his bonus was of the order of 15 spaces simply because we couldn't challenge him. The game ended when the pink camels (ah, my manhood!) ran out and the scores were thus:
Doug's rating: 8
Pedro, John and Donna were here by this stage and Donna was very intrigued by Durch die Wueste, so that was played again, while David and I retired to the kitchen to play Finale.
We finished Finale (see below) before Durch, so I saw the endgame - very different to our game, in that there appeared to be much more space available near the game end. Every player was doing their own thing but not seemingly approaching the other players. John managed to cut off a nice corner of the board, ala David, and took the game. I saw in the rules later that each player only controls 4 camel shades, not 5, for a5 player game, thus explaining the space on the board. Scores were:
Reiner does it again, looking forwards to my copy....
David and I went into the kitchen to play this great little 2 player card game from Kosmos. I took the SV Stollen team, while David took FCAcker. We both went for 3-4-3 set-ups, leaving weaker players on the reserve bench.
David jumped right off into attack and scored the first goal 15 minutes into the game. Play from then on tightened up, with David losing 2players, one to injury, and one being fouled off (red carded). This meant he was a man down, and I had to take advantage of it.
Trouble was, it's quite difficult! From the time David scored the first goal, I thought I had the stronger team (each time a player is used, his card is rotated to a different, often weaker, strength). However, it wasn't until the 60th minute that I scored the equalizer.
David immediately responded with a goal in the 75th minute and I was once again fighting uphill to take this game. The last turn was a classic, with David the attacker, but failing to set up the shot on goal. This lead to a counter attack opportunity which I managed to convert into a goal shot, but David kept it out and prevented the game going into extra time. A good effort as he was down to 9 men at this stage, while I still had 11 on the field.
FC Acker (David) 2 - SV Stollen (Doug) 1.
Doug's rating: 8
Bohnanza/Die Siedler Kartenspiel
At this point we again split, with Donna and Alan off to the kitchen to play Die Siedler Kartenspiel, while Pedro broke out his newly purchased Bohnanza. Halfway though our game of Bohnanza, Donna and Alan reappeared with Alan conceding at 3-7 down.
The game of Bohnanza was a bit bewildering to poor John, who just shook his head at our offers of "Poo for Spew!", but he didn't do too badly inthe end. Pedro looked to be the early leader, which hurt him in later trades. Scores ran out:
Pedro and John were off at this stage, so the remaining five played Metropolis. After the mandatory confusion over what building was what again, it turned into an enjoyable game. As the game progressed, I couldn't work out who was leading out of Julian, Donna or myself - the only thing I was certain of was Alan was coming last.
I got an early factory on the river down with David and Julian, and was threatening sole ownership of a second factory in the same block, or next one down. Not to be as David grabbed the last factory. In retaliation, Donna, Alan and I combined to take the mall off him (he was about to take complete ownership of it, if he nabbed the last block he needed) which would have given him the game.
At the end of the game the scores panned out as:
Alan: 43 (I sure can call them!)
This was close! About this game, how do others who've played this make deals ? Do you jot down the deal on a bit of paper or is there some other way of doing it that's a bit more elegant ? This game has always possessed a rather shaky translation, hasn't it ? I'd be interested to now how others record their deals.
Doug's rating: 8