Glen Waverley Gamers October 7th, 1997
Present: Julian, David & AlanPrevious session report
With the lowest turn-out for several weeks now, David had brought a newie- Qvo Vadis.
Another Reiner Knitzia game, & therefore almost a dead cert in this group. None of us had played it before, & so were a little random in our early moves. I traded a large number of laurels just to gain what I thought would be control of the left path up the board. Though it succeeded, I think the price was a little high, but without having change, I couldn't get the deal at a different price. I concentrated my pieces on that path, while David concentrated on the right hand side. Alan was rather split between us, & the centre & never was really in with a shout. Having ensured my piece reached the senate, I was able to concentrate my efforts on accumulating laurels. David meanwhile was establishing a lucrative position on the opposite side of the board, where he had the power base to move wherever & whenever he wanted to. In the middle to late part of the game, Caesar became far more mobile as we started to realise his usefulness in both enabling us to move on from where we were trapped, & also in preventing others who cold move anyway from collecting laurels. The final result was probably as representative of the way the game went as you could reasonably expect with David & myself on 32 (so I won being first into the senate), & Alan on 12. We all agreed that it was a definite play again & often, but once in a row was enough, so Doug, it should be there on Tuesday.
DETROIT/CLEVELAND GRAND PRIX.
[We have a house rule - Three races, one on each side & then the final race is selected by whoever has the least money. We also left out the switch cards - I'm not sure they add very much to the game, but it doesn't worry me either way.]
We all bought 2 cars, & interestingly all three races showed the same three pairs of colours, though in different hands each time. [Alan, who notices these things, has managed to point out a pattern in supposedly random things in this game several times - Orange won every race a few weeks back, & now this.] The blocking taking place at the beginning of the first race made me a little dubious that my cars would actually finish, with 6s being constrained to 1 or 0 with alarming frequency. I was bottled up at the back for most of all three games, & my score at the end reflecting that. As Doug mentioned the other week, we have also established a seating change before the race begins, whereby players are seated in the sequence of their first car on the grid. this is intended to give the second on the grid a better start. However, David playing by the rule rather than taking his car from second on the grid, took his other car from the back row & pushed through to a good position approaching the first constriction. I must admit to being a bit hazy on the details of the races (Doug is much better than me at this), having been desperately trying to get my cars at least to keep in touch with the rest. So the results were:
Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Alan David Julian (thanks to David - to stop Alan) David Alan Alan Julian Julian David Alan Alan Julian Julian David David David Julian Alan
Scores Alan $750,000 Julian $630,000 David $570,000
David would have come second but for his attempt to stop Alan's first place - Thanks mate.
This was only the second time out for this game, & only the first time for David, so no great strategies were adopted. I think that this will improve more than some games with repeated playing, as techniques are shown to be effective / ineffective. I certainly made frequent mistakes in initial placement, where I chose to end my move (often going too far, rather than stopping before I had to). I got out to a good lead, & at he half way point round the board was looking strong. However, like in Hase & Igel, it is not necessarily good to be out in front early. I was used frequently to advance the other players & found myself with pieces with nowhere to go & nothing else to help. David & Alan both had Kangaroos which hadn't started when I had one more than half way round. However, David made some pretty spectacular 3/4 circuit jumps putting him in an unassailable position & he placed his Kangaroos in a very synergistic manner. Teamwork was very evident in his moves at the end (there wasn't anyone else up with him to be used anyway!). One tailender from Alan prevented him from being as close to David as he seemed with his other 4. I still had 4 out when David finished, & 3 when Alan finished so I was definitely a loser here....& it's my game. Great game though, clever, simple & appealing mechanic, but the production was very disappointing when I first opened the box. We have adopted a technique of putting Kangaroos face down until they are live (i.e. are in progress between their first & second crossing of the tributary, to save confusion with those about to be lapped).
ESCAPE FROM ATLANTIS.
With about half an hour left, we embarked on a game of Atlantis. As soon as I finish my film, I will scan the picture of the game & we will post it on David's/GWG's site. After a lot of being eaten/sunk etc the final result was David & Julian 5 survivors & Alan on 4.
Sorry the report was not as entertaining as Doug's usually are, but I'm sure we'll be back to normal next week.