Billabong Boardgamers - 3rd March 1998
I bought up one of my recent purchases, HiG's Yucata, to try with four players while waiting for Donna to arrive. The rules were easily explained and off we went. Not much to say apart from the teacher got taught a lesson.
Doug's rating: 7 (fun filler)
Donna was here by this stage so we gave Julian's copy of Medici it's first run through.
This game saw us in the rather rare position of everybody knowing the rules, which really seemed to increase the enjoyment level. I am notoriously bad at this game, but yet again attempted my tactic of concentrating on 2 commodities - this time metal and cloth. I didn't have that much success, failing to reach the bonus levels on both of these scoring tracks. However this time I did pick up a 'largest total' bonus of 30 once and that got me up close to the winners. There was some confusion over what happens if scores tie, but the rules indicated that a tie for 1st and 2nd saw those points added and halved. Third place, who may be in the second occupied spot, gets nothing. Is this correct ? Feedback welcome. (We were using an English translation that came with the game - not from the Games Cabinet).
Doug's rating: 8 (one of my favorites)
One of Alan Moon's really good games was next on the agenda. Again we'd all played this before so it was straight into it. We invented a quick house rule that put the Wertung cards no closer than 10 from the top of the deck to give us a couple of turns to accumulate and maybe play stock. I got some HIT down just before the first Wertung appeared very early, maybe the 11th card! Donna, Janet and myself made good starts.
The second Wertung wasn't too far away either, but I'd managed to take over FIS after Alan had done all the groundwork. My strategy (or what passes as such) for this game was to really try to diversify and go for lots of second places. I stayed in touch right through to the third Wertung where I was only 3 points behind Donna and Janet.
The race to the finish line saw Julian and Alan come back strongly with control of powerful airlines (ITA and FIS respectively). But it was Donna who's control and constant expansion of GAP squeaked home over Janet's HIT. Donna had stock in only 3 airlines for the majority of the game, while I had stock in 7 (scoring in 6 of these in the final scoring, all for second place). Breakdown follows (scores at end of each Wertung included):
Donna 7, 20, 36, 57
Pretty tight game, good fun.
Doug's rating: 8 (a class act)
One of my new games to finish off the evening. The others don't know this, but I was a little apprehensive about introducing this game as it's fairly luck based (with ways to minimize it's impact, to be sure) die rolling game. But it seemed to go over quite well and provided 30 minutes of great entertainment. Donna seemed to be doing well with her purple hedgehogs for most of the game, while Alan, Janet and Doug spent most of the early game under stacks of 4 hedgehogs high. The game is cleverly stacked (though the field spaces) to ensure a close finish, and in the end it was Alan who was one die roll away from being sent over the line, in the '5' lane (which meant if he rolled a 6 he couldn't have sidestepped as he would have ended up in the black field). Unfortunately for him, and lucky for me, I got my third hedgehog up to the final space on the '4' lane which covered 50% of the die rolls. I got lucky on my next turn with a 3 to get team Hedgehog-Red over the line for a win. Alan, Julian and Janet had two hedgehogs finished, while Donna, who'd spend the entire game giggling like Witchie-Poo in Puff'n'Stuff (how many heads did that one go over ?), had one purple hedgehog finished.
Doug's rating: 7 (light and fun)