Billabong Boardgamers - 5th May 1998
Janet wasn't feeling too well tonight, so we were down one on our usual number.
Hols der Geier
The 'classic' game of simultaneous card play and resolution was fairly new to all of us. This was my first time with 5 players and it's a riot, and quite subtle as well. Scores were, totalling hand by hand:
Donna: 7, 25, 50 Alan: 17, 25, 25 Julian: 12, 17, 22 David: 3, 17, 17 Doug: 1, -4, 6
Doug's rating: 8
I bought along this game of Janet's, a SdJ winner and a game I've enjoyed before but haven't played since my discovery of "Euros" in 1995. I think this is the same game as Liar's Dice, but I'm not sure. I do know it's a Richard Borg game, and yes Richard, we enjoyed it.
It was new to everyone but myself and David, but the rules are very easy and were quickly absorbed (except the rule about who opens the next round of bidding, which I couldn't find. We eventually passed it around the table).
The first 2 games saw some brutal bidding by Donna, who'd make dramatic raises like "5 two's" from "2 two's". This unsettled us a bit, and Alan managed to self destruct in the first two games very easily. In fact in game two, he went out by challenging a bid of "12 threes" and losing his 5 dice in the process!
Game two also saw a terrific final battle between Julian, who was holding his original 5 dice, and Donna, who was down to 2 dice. We'd all been knocked out, so Donna had to take Julian down single handed. She almost did it, getting Julian down to 2 dice, before she lost her last 2 dice.
Needless to say, we all enjoyed this one a lot. Results were:
David (2 dice remaining)
Doug's rating: 8
We then broke out Kramer's 6 Takes game, which I'd only played for the first time last week at a playtest session for David's 6 Billion game. I didn't realise we were actually playing it incorrectly (we were playing cards from the hand in turn, rather than simultaneously) but it was still pretty good.
I had two hideous hands to start off with (playing to 66 points) and was 49after they'd been completed. Donna, after being caught with a bundle of ox heads on hand 1, did very well in the remaining 3 hands to win by a mile. Cumulative totals along the way:
Donna: 20, 20, 21, 26
Doug's rating: 6
World Cup Tournament Football
A bit of an unusual one was next up, this is an Australian Design Group game, who are probably best known for their huge wargame World In Flames, which they haven't got right yet after 6 editions. This game however, is a gem, and one I've owned for about 5 years. David bought his copy along, as it's a favourite game of his as well (it's in writing, search under "Coutts" on the Games Cabinet), being a soccer fan and this being World Cup year, and all that.
In this game you select 16 countries (we played the Olympic draw, not the World Cup draw which requires 24 countries) from the pool of 80 odd you can include. These 16 countries are the finalists and are put into 4 groups of4 to play a round robin tournament to find out the top 8 to advance to the quarter finals.
Each player secretly controls a number of these teams, in our game we had3 each, with the last being wild. By play of cards, you have to influence the group of four your countries are in and ensure they make it into the last eight and beyond. The path to the final is mapped out on the board, so you can also influence the finals matches along the way, providing you've read the results correctly.
In our game I drew England, Columbia and Australia. England and Columbia are strong teams, Australia is weak, so I counted that out from the start. My favourite way of playing this is to draw attention away from your teams and play onto other teams - I quickly stomped on Germany as my first play, and David stomped my England! I had to do a quick salvage job to get England into the final eight teams, with Australia and Columbia missing out. Once I new they were gone, I 'played kingmaker' and put Paraguay into the finals thinking it was such a weak team it wouldn't last very far. Silly me.
Teams that didn't make the finals: Germany, Columbia, Sweden, Cameroon, Australia (boo), Scotland, Denmark, Spain.
The finals panned out as follows:
England (Doug) 6 d. China (Alan) 0
Playoff for 3rd place:
Final Belgium (Julian) 6 d. Paraguay (Donna) 1
The points were:
A clever, underrated game. I give it an 8.
Final game this evening was Acquire, my first time with more than two players. I think I had a bit of a dream game, as I got the lead in Continental early and managed to earn the bonus for majority holder three times. Donna, who played immediately before me, folded Continental twice, giving me the next play to start it again (with a free share of course!). That, combined with an edge in Worldwide, which ended the game with 41+ lots, gave me the game. Blow by blow:
Continental merged into Worldwide: Doug, Donna
I think that was it, there may have been one or two more merges.
Doug's rating: 8 (it's a night for 8's).