Billabong Boardgamers - 3rd October, 2000
Present: Doug, Janet, Craig, Debbie, Andrew Steve, Alan, Asher, Roger
Doug Adams writes:
GALAXY: THE DARK AGES
After various mix-ups with GMT, we seemed to be flooded with copies of Galaxy this week. Having learnt the game on the weekend, I taught the others.
Galaxy is very, very similar to Titan: The Arena, with just a couple of extra rules. The theme is now eight worlds fighting for survival, each turn one world will surrender, etc. The cards you play are ships, and the ships have abilities. Low value ships have an action that typically affects the governor of that world (i.e.. the backer) or bases (i.e.. bets) in that column. High value ships can attack, under strict conditions, other ships in the current row and remove them if successful. Bases (bets) can now change value based on card play and attacks.
We had a mix of gamers, some who'd played Titan the Arena before, and some who hadn't. Teaching the newbies Galaxy was a bit like jumping in the deep end of the pool for your first swimming lesson, but they coped well.
Janet, Doug, Andrew, Alan, Roger
This game was dominated by "Darth Roger", who spent 30 minutes after the game pleading innocence! :) Apparently Roger was dealt a hand of zero cards, and brutally crushed worlds influenced by Doug, Janet and Alan (the preceding players to Roger) over three turns. Andrew, sitting on Roger's left, cashed in and closed the round several times with himself in a dominant position. The scores are a good indication of the devastation!
Janet, Steve, Craig, Debbie, Doug
First off, never play this when El Caballero is being played on the adjacent table. All the talk about Governors and Ships can get very confusing!
Steve was the new player to the system, while Craig and Debbie were new to Galaxy. This seemed a much more intense game than the first, with several ship combats started to prolong the round. The combat rules are a nice addition, if that makes sense, as the round can be prolonged, weak cards can be removed, etc.
This was a close game, with Craig and Debbie doing well early. After the second round, Debbie's worlds began wilting away as the game progressed. As Debbie became less of a threat, the game seemed to be between Craig and Doug. Debbie's final world went on the last round, and it came down to surviving secret bases to determine the winner.
Scores, as taken by Debbie:
Andrew Harding writes:
Asher, Roger, Andrew, Alan
After a few inconclusive rounds of What shall we play next? we settled on El Caballero, which although marketed as a follow on from El Grande is a tile placing game with an 'exploration of the new world' theme. We played the expanded game with Grandes and Governors, but ended after only two scoring rounds due to time constraints. We had one really large land mass, which Roger and I tussled for first place in (both placing our Grandes there); Alan and then Asher overtook me in the second largest land mass while I was concentrating on holding the first. Asher had boats everywhere; Roger and Asher made extensive use of Governors. I had an anxious moment near the end when Roger overtook my position in the main island even though I was counting three facings of my Grande, but with the last tile placement of the game I forced the removal of one of his Caballero tiles to regain the lead.
I've now played the basic game and the expanded game once each. Although my Grande pretty much won the game for me, I think that I prefer the basic game because the permanence of Governors and the Grande makes a lot of tile placement decisions easier. I'll be looking to play this game again.
Craig Macbride writes:
At the end of the first round, I had only filled four spaces in my ship, got no bonus for cargo amount, and was way behind. Janet was way ahead, with Steve, who'd never played before, second. However, in the second round, I managed to consolidate on the two types of goods I was ahead in and avoid dreck. Positions after round 2 were a bit closer. Early on, I was given the chance to buy goods cheaply which made me a clear leader on those two types of goods and gave me the 10 bonus on one and the 20 bonus in the other. I thought that either Janet or Steve might have been able to get what they needed cheaply or that Deb or Doug might get to catch up. However, a number of gloriously crappy sets of cards went into the drink unwanted and the good ones were bid on quite aggressively.
I bid low early, so as to have some cash and flexibility left towards the end. It was looking dangerous about half way through, as Doug and Janet both had a number of items and Steve was close to them. Everyone except Steve accepted a negative card at some stage (Doug the 1/2, Janet the -5 and myself the "lose next item"), which might be part of why Steve used up the most money.