Billabong Boardgamers - 14th July 1998
A bumper night tonight with Darren returning, as well as Luding Administrators Stefanie Kethers and Jorg visiting while holidaying in Australia.
Stefanie emailed me a few weeks ago saying she was coming to Australia and could she bring me any games I wanted in her backpack. You needn't guess what my reply was. At the same time she was working out a trade with David of Elfenland for Keywood. We invited her to a Billabong night and she agreed to attend on the 14th.
Sure enough, she called me and we worked out some transport arrangements to get both Stefanie and Jorg out to Melbourne suburbia. Aside from a 20 minute wait at a chilly railway station (my fault!), we managed to arrive at Julian's first. What followed was a great night of gaming and game talk - Jorg and Stefanie are delightful people and it's a real shame they are travelling up to Sydney next week.
Janet, Jorg, Julian, Doug and Stefanie had a quick game of this while waiting for the rest of the crowd to show up. This was the third week in a row for me, and I couldn't quite get the trades going and suffered accordingly. Stefanie was playing well, while Julian got some nice sets late in the game. Scores were:
The others had arrived at this stage, so we split into two groups. Hopefully a report will be coming from the Lounge Room where Viva Pamplona and Ransom were played.
Alan Stewart writes:
Arriving latish, we were banished to the Kitchen.
First up was FOR SALE.
The first game was relatively straight forward.
David: 58 + 3 = 61
The second game featured one of the most agonising card turn ups I've seenin this game.
I think it was the second lot of buildings available, and they were 2, 10and 20!
No one wanted to be the first one to drop out, and I think it was up to 9chips in each before someone folded. Seating arrangement became important,as there were a few times when David opted out first after securing that20, Donna picked up the second bulding cheap, and I had to pay full price.
David: 53 + 4 = 57
Darren arrived, so we played a 4 player game.
When buying the cheques, I knew I still had the 19 building unspent and Darren still had the 20 building to play, and there were two rounds to go.
I knew the 20 cheque still hadn't appeared, and when it wasn't in the second last lot available I played my 19, and secured a 14 cheque (from memory).
Unfortunately I hadn't tracked the 19 cheque, and the 19 and 20 both came out amongst the last four available. Darren got the 20, Donna got the 19,and just won! Sigh.
David: 47 + 0 = 47
Janet says: Darren got some good turns down early, and earned a lot of macho points by pushing lots of other players away from his square. This helped him on his way to victory...
We started off with viva Pamplona!, perhaps the quickest game to teach & to learn. Darren broke all the usual guidelines for a good start and romped away to a 15 point lead within 5 turns! He basically stayed back, where the rest of us were choosing or being forced to advance. Then the bull charged giving him 2 lots of 7 points in 2 goes. However, later indiscretions caused him to lose much of his lead, thank goodness. The rest of us were pushing &shoving as much as we could, as long as we were safe in a gang. It was the negatives at the end that really decided the game between the rest of us. Janet got everyone in, though scored quite low for them (1s & 2s) but the rest of us were in -8 to -15!
Janet says: I didn't like this one - I really struggled to builds something and didn't feel comfortable with the negotiation aspect. Jorg and Stefanie were very impressed, and are going to pick one up off David before they depart from Melbourne.
Next we played Ransom. Not my favourite game, but I really like the way it works. I'm usually crap at it though. It is interesting that there are bits in the tips on play which should really be in the rules. Normally, we don't bother with the tips, but there are some bits in there that clarify stuff. Anyway, Stefanie got a 2 block building out early, giving her a lot of ready cash, which seemed to be an insuperable advantage, but the contracts almost all came out at the start of the game, making it a bit difficult to build & then use the proceeds later. There were several huge deals going on at the end, with Janet building the4square WTC solo, but I suspect making a loss over what she paid everyone/the bank for each card. It would be interesting to have an observer to note down who spent what on what, because you could then get an objective idea. It is very easy to visualise something as being more valuable that it really should be. Final tally, was:
Alan writes: (some figures may be inaccurate, I'm doing it from memory).
Randomly picking for the start, my colour (RED) came up. So I took out a $16loan. Donna started off by buying-flying-building, then Doug took out $26in loans, and David bought-flew-bought to end the first turn.
During the first phase David took out $36 in loans (?) and Donna $30.(We later discovered that these loans, ands Doug's earlier one, had been illegal as they were all taken in one turn, instead of one loan chit per turn, but we let it stand).
At the end of phase one: Factories - Donna Sydney, Monaco; Alan Monaco Cities covered - Doug 6, Alan 4, Donna 5, David 4
At the end of Phase 1 Doug was the only one whose balance (cash -outstanding loan repayments) was positive.
One other rule clarification we had to work out was if you could just fly, and not build. The ruling was no. You had to either spend money by building something, or take out a loan each turn.
The game continued and once again Doug finished the round by building his6th hotel. The number of factories built remained the same.
This time Doug and Alan both had positive balances (cash - loans owing).
Through the final round Doug went on a factory building spree, while Alan ended the game by building his 18th new hotel.
I forgot you could lump charter flights together to reach a destination during one turn. A choice of whether to rebuild a hotel and make Monaco the longest chain (where I had a factory) versus building in Hong Hong for my9th city and end the game, was probably not thought through enough. As going the Hong Kong option gave Doug a large payout for his 2 factories in New York which was tied for Monaco as longest chain.
Still, an excellent game.
Though the 2 players who took out loans immediately came first and second. I'm not sure how the "not missed turns" affected the game.
Scores (Cash + Majorities + Factories + City spread - Loans):
Doug: 12 + 74 + 44 + 33 - 0 = 163
I look forward to another game sometime.
At 10:30 we still had 30 minutes so we went for a chaotic 9-player 6 Nimmt! A ton of fun with no down time, it was a blast with lots of points being thrown about (90 of the 104 cards in play each hand). Progressive scores were:
That ended the games. On the trade scene, I bought copies of Adam Spielt bought Exxtra and Freibeuter. Also Stefanie appeared to have hunted high and low for a copy of Koalition for me, and found one many miles from where they live while visiting for a wedding. Eternal gratitude is theirs from me for all this, as well as transporting them out here in knapsacks!