Billabong Boardgamers

Billabong Boardgamers April 14th, 1998

Present: Donna, Julian, Doug, David, Janet, Alan, Neil

Previous session report

Doug Adams writes:

Present: Initially - Julian (Clarke), Alan, David, Donna, Doug, Janet

The first game was EXPEDITION, familiar to everyone except Alan. People were changing seats so they weren't downstream of Janet who has a reputation at this game.

The instructions were explained in a short time, but it was a few turns before I managed to pick up the nuances such as looping back an expedition onto a green square which not only let you start that expedition again, but gave you a free arrow as well!

There are some truly dramatic runs possible using red and green dots, but only if you're lucky enough to be the next person to have your turn. Janet went from Central America to the Southern Ocean in one run to attain a tokened destination.

Most players ran out of vouchers and could only place one arrow per turn.

Final scores:
Doug 13
Donna 12
Julain 11
Alan 11
David 8.

On an initial playing, the length was surprisingly short, about 1 hour, even with 6 players. The luck of the card deal plays a large part, as I was the only player to put a token in North America. It seemed that all the other North America cards were in the public deck. As the only player trying to get an expedition to that area, it was an uphill battle. Maybe next time I'll know enough about the game to take advantage of the "large run" possibilities if I'm in a position to do so.

Questions from EXPEDITION:

When the last arrow of a particular colour has been placed, is that expedition completely dead, or can a voucher be used to remove the last arrow and place it elsewhere?

In this game that last blue arrow had been placed after a looping back. If it could have been removed and replaced, both Doug and myself could have got rid of our last card. Otherwise we would have to spend a voucher to change cards, or end up taking the -1 penalty, which is what happened.

Can you spend a voucher to discard a card that is your "special research mission" (i.e.. it's represented by a counter still on the board)?

You would still take the -1 penalty for the token, but not the card still in your hand if you'd discarded it and achieved its replacement destination.

Neil (Murray) had arrived, so we played KOALITION.

Final scores:

Points + Bonuses = Total

Doug: 23 + 10 = 33
David: 22 + 5 = 27
Janet: 15 + 7 = 22
Alan: 12 + 5 = 17
Neil: 14 + 0 = 14
Donna: 7 + 4 = 11
Julian: 6 + 0 = 6

Not a particularly enjoyable game for nearly everyone I suspect, though I'm not sure about Doug.

Doug here: I love this game and would buy a copy if one could be found. I'm not sure why our game fell flat - it has all the signs of a great multiplayer game...quick playing, table talk, alliances and the fracturing of, etc. The only downside to this one is the slightly arcane scoring system, but I believe that's been fixed in a new edition of the game. A gem in my book.

With the way the elections went, it was all over by the 9th election (out of 12). The total amount of points left out there was not enough for anyone to catch Doug and David, even if only 1 player got them all! It was just down to the party bonuses to decide which of them would win. It was also obvious by then that Black Hats or Roses would be the biggest parties.

When the big countries came up, such as Germany and Great Britain in a 3 election batch, I had a hand containing no Black Hats or Roses, so got 0 points off those three elections. So the luck of the deal really affectes the game with 7 players.

Similarly the only 2x card I saw for the whole game was the 2xFists, which I got in 3 of the 4 deals. This got me some points early on but nothing the last 2 times I played it. Either through none of the parties it could ally with being on the table at the time, or getting egged.

Doug played a 2x as the last card of an election twice to really clean up. Probably because the other big winner was usually David, seated on Doug's left, who then had to paly first leaving Doug with the last play. Donna, the player to my left, never won an election, so I never had the option of playing last and avoiding egging.

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