Billabong Boardgamers

Glen Waverley Gamers August 5th, 1997

Present: Julian, Janet, Darren, Doug

Previous session report

Doug writes:

A small group tonight with David in England and Allan doing something with his Science Fiction club. Julian had received a couple of games from a contact in England and was keen to try them out.

Cafe International

A totally new game to us, I'd never even heard of it before. Julian had played it once in England and liked it. The game is about trying to seat customers by nationality and sex at an international cafe. Customers can be one of about 12 nationalities, and one of .. uh .. 2 sexes. The cafe has 2 tables of 4 chairs for each nationality, and there are 8 of each nationality represented (4 men, 4 women). To sit these customers at their correct table you must have an even number of men and women at the table or be 1 out. The tables all link to 1 or more other tables through a common chair and therefore can link to tables of other nationalities. You hold a hand of 5 customers, randomly drawn, and must place them according to the rules and to score points. By pairing customers off, filling tables, etc you score more and more points. The game ends on various triggers, our game ending on the restaurant filling up. I had a nice early lead, but Julian got a great placement that linked in 3 tables and took 18 points for that one placement. This proved to be more than the difference at the game end. I liked this one, and would like to try it again.

Escape From Atlantis

This was fun. Again I've never heard of it, never seen it, never played it. Apparently it first appeared under the name "Survive" and again Julian had tried it a couple of times in England. The game is about an island that is slowly breaking up and sinking. You have various men and women on this island who are trying to leave it by either swimming, ship or dolphin and getting to a save port at the edge of the board. The island is made up of rather impressive plastic hexagonal pieces, in 4 rings. You place your 12 men on the island in various hexes, poised to flee. During your turn you can spend 3 points to move your Atlantians onto boats, into the water, through water, or move ships containing your men (and possibly those of the other players). After spending your points you may remove a piece of the island starting from the outside and moving in. Any Atlantians of other players (or your own if you're silly) are tossed into the water. The base of the hex is looked at and a monster, dolphin, ship or whirlpool appears.

From here on it's chaos as the island slowly decays and your poor people are floundering in the water towards ports. The lucky ones can get on a ship and thus move faster. The various monsters can get you (sharks get swimmers, octopi get ships and sea monsters get anything), but dolphins protect you if you can manage to swim with them. Whirlpools destroy anything in the adjacent 6 hexes and the game ends when the centre piece of the island is swallowed.

Good, simple fun. Not a lot of strategy, basically try and hit your opponents while trying to get your people to safety. The game looks magnificent and it's a pity you can't get it here in Australia (it's only a 1996 release). I'd certainly pick it up as a fun, silly game.

Doug and Janet tied this with 3 survivors each.

Auf Heller Und Pfennig

The 'filler' at the end of the night saw cautious play by everyone except Darren early on who played his '4' and one '3' market and went to an early lead. This cautious play continued until the last round when I suspect I played my '4' a turn too early and ended up with the Evil Eye and a red '5' and '2' on my row which killed my game. Darren held on to win with 218, followed by Julian with 196, Janet with 190 and Doug 178. There ought to be a law against Reiner Knizia games at 11pm at night :)

There we go, just passing midnight here, I'll see if this makes sense in the morning.


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