Billabong Boardgamers
 

Billabong Boardgamers - July 4th, 1999

Present: Roger, Doug

Previous session report

Doug Adams writes:

A huge turnout (ahem) today, and a great chance to play some two player games. Pity we didn't pack any! :)

MYSTERY RUMMY: JACK THE RIPPER

Roger and I decided to play a quick hand or two of this great card game, while waiting for the masses to turn up! Roger went out each hand, bar one, but still outscored Doug every hand. As the title suggests, it was murder.

Scores:
Roger: 37/60/90/130
Doug: 15/31/59/81

Later in the day we closed with another game of this, myself insisting on revenge. This time, the tables were turned, with me managed to go twice from no melds on the table, and once with the fifth victim/Ripper Escapes.

Scores:
Doug: 41/69/107
Roger: 10/39/43

My honour was satisfied. Doug's rating: 8

BIG CITY

With no other Billabonger's in sight, we started scanning the collection for games that could be played with two. Big City is a very good game for two people. Once you are familiar with the location of the park and factory cards, game play becomes quite tactical.

A different opening this time with Doug being dealt several cards that ended up being close together on the initial board. Doug built city hall on turn 2 in the hope of cashing in on his initial deal. As insurance, Doug began the streetcar line to factor in a multiplier. Roger slapped a park down to cripple Doug a little, but Doug was eyeing off a cosy location for a potential shopping mall. Trouble was, the special building requirement was a problem.

Roger played the three park and immediately withdrew it to make another play. That was enough for Doug, with the seed of doubt sown and his shopping mall location looking ideal for a park, Doug put a double business down instead for 14 instead of 30.

Roger then had a purple patch, with two shopping malls going down in quick succession, leaving Doug 60 points in arrears. Doug made this up a bit by using the streetcar to double some points, while getting a church down on the '20' block. Roger placed the 60 block down, which Doug immediately decided was ripe for his square factory card (he didn't have any '60' cards, crippling Roger somewhat.

However, 60 points down is concession time in this game. Luckily it's so quick that the pain is fleeting and there is still fun to be had playing it out. Scores at the end:

Roger: 182
Doug: 141

Doug's rating: 8 with two players

RICOCHET ROBOT

A recent purchase, and one I didn't really want to purchase at all but couldn't resist when I saw it "in the cardboard". One game with Janet later and I'm sold on it - wonderful, engrossing game. Still, I wasn't sure if Roger "Take It Easy isn't a game, it's a puzzle" Smith would like this.

I think he did - the game took us around 45 minutes of intense staring at the board. Staring? This is basically a puzzle game, where you much ricochet robots around a maze like room to a target. There are 17 targets, and they are all played through. When a new target is revealed, all the players (2 to infinity) stare at the board, trying to find a solution to get the like coloured robot to the like coloured target. When a player has solved it in their mind's eye, they call the number of moves aloud, effectively making a bid. A timer is started that gives the other players around a minute more to find a solution, perhaps undercutting the bids of the other players.

Once the timer has expired, players demonstrate their solutions from lowest bid to highest. If a solution is correct, that player takes the target chip, the robot start markers are adjusted, and it's on to the next target. Most chips won after all 17 targets are resolved wins.

This is one brain-aching game, but once you've played it once or twice, the solutions definitely become easier, because you recognise certain conditions that have to occur to get a robot to it's target. After a single game, you come away with a sensation that you don't need to play it again for a few months, but while you are playing it the time flies.

This being new to Roger, Doug got off to a flying start and the scores were about 5-1 when the light bulb appeared above Roger's head. From that point on it was an intense game, with Roger closing the game up to 8 each, with one target to play. This target was already tossed in twice as being too difficult, and a bid of 21 by Doug kicked off the timer. Doug amended the bid to 20 while the timer was still going, which Roger conceded as he couldn't find a solution. It came off and Doug won 9-8.

Doug's rating: Clever puzzle game, unlike anything I own and I'm keeping it for exactly that reason. I'd love to try this with 10 people huddled around a table!

SHOW MANAGER

A two player game, which works quite well with each player having to show two shows of each kind, with two dummy shows. Roger spent freely and was borrowing just past the half way point of the game. Doug played his usual slow and steady game, trying to hoard cash that would be vital at the end game when clearances are important.

Scores:
Doug: 105
Roger: 65

Doug's rating: 7, it's been ages since I've played this, still a good game.

That's it for a very laid back afternoon of gaming! Next time I'll pack the Kosmos two player games, as well as Blue vs Grey!

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