Billabong Boardgamers - 9th June 1998
I picked up this game yesterday and gave it to Janet as a gift. She really enjoyed her only game of it and often asked me to add it to the collection. I find it an interesting Knizia game, where information is revealed gradually and always holds a surprise or two.
Our game tonight lasted 3 rounds, as I managed to sneak my score for the green bets (Big Ben's) into the 5 and above area and end the game on the third round.
I'd been acknowledged the leader after the first two rounds with scores of 6 and 5 on two tracks (any track with 4 or less counts for nothing at the end of the game), and green was the only track that didn't have a marker above 4 (preventing the game to finish).
On what was to be the last hand, Alan put a strong bid in for "7 or more" green. David and Julian protested that if it came off then I would win. Alan claimed that he was trying to lose a marker on a mad bet in order to regain his lost betting markers. I wasn't so sure... and I was holding the two "NO" cards for green, allowing me some power over that suit. I covered the "6 or more" green with my double bet marker (which only gave me 4 if it came off - not enough to force the end).
The others started loading up green with the Big Ben cards, but didn't cover the "5 or more" bet, worth one (I later realised they were out of bets). I gleefully claimed that spot and we had to discard a card, before playing our final two cards each. I did some hard thinking, I had the two "NO" cards still, and there were 5 green cards out. I banked on two more appearing and discarded one "NO". I guessed right, as the final tally was 6 greens and I took the 5 green points and the win, while denying the "7 or more" green bet.
If I sound pleased with myself, well, I am :) Scores were:
Doug's rating: 8
This 'classic' (those flames are getting warm already) has only seen one play since I'd joined Billabong - and Julian had never played it. This game would have to be the "hardest to explain, easiest to play" winner, as time and time again it gets blank stares as the rules are explained, yet one turn in and everybody is an expert...
Our game saw the usual opening and closing of the gaps as we struggled for the dining room table. Alan was protesting loudly that he was having bad luck yet was always in the lead!! Janet got lots of unopposed advances, and had great luck with her detective. She only exhibited three times, never losing a card, and took the game comfortably in the end. Positions were:
Janet: 8 from the last space, Julian: 3 spaces back, David: 5 spaces, Alan/Doug: 7 spaces,
Doug's rating: 7
A rule query came up that I'd like resolved, if anyone can help please ?I own the Avalon Hill version of this game, and the rules there for thieves say that higher thieves 'thieve' first at exhibits, and lower thieves go into gaol first (and thus are released earlier than higher thieves). By "higher" and "lower" I'm talking about the number on them.
David disagreed, and his rules indicated (not too clearly, a bit murky) that higher thieves rob and go into gaol before lower thieves. Which is correct ?What does the German version say ? Any help is most appreciated.
This was the second time I'd played this interesting game of apple farming, with the clever 'apple field' that varies the prices of the four types of apple. This game was a bit of a blur to me as I was feeling a bit ill, but I do remember losing some battles early quite easily before coming back in the mid game. Janet had a dream run around the board, with little contention in apple selling, while everyone else was battling their heads off :)
I had an opportunity to secure second place and end the game (Janet was way way way ahead), so I deliberately lost a battle with her to end the game (Janet completed a lap) and gave me second position.
Janet: 1 lap Doug: 19 spaces behind David/Julian: 23 spaces behind Alan: 32 spaces behind
Rating: hmmmm, 6 or 7, but it's probably better than that...
Janet and I left at this point, I think Der Ausreisser was coming out of the shelf. Apologies this was brief, maybe the others can fill in some gaps.