Billabong Boardgamers - September 14th, 1999
Present: Roger, Craig, Craig Mac., Doug, Janet, Debbie, Tina, Julian, Bernie, David, Alan, Donna
Doug Adams writes:
Roger, Doug, Craig Mac., Debbie, Julian
Roger, Doug, Craig Mac., Debbie and Julian lined up for this excellent game from Richard Breese. Judging from the rarity we were perhaps playing the only copy in the Southern Hemisphere ;) Craig, Debbie and Julian were all new to this game, but being sharp, excellent players they immediately latched onto the fluid mechanics and played excellent games.
Craig, Debbie and Doug tried to get into the Midwife's hut on turn 1, with Doug arresting Debbie but losing out to Craig's higher chit. Roger, Debbie then Doug eventually managed to get their 1 offspring into play. Roger played a silent, cagey game, earning the tome chit in quickfire fashion, and silently amassed the other three to threaten a win. The game could have been over by turn 5, however Doug was watching the chits quickly disappear behind Roger's screen. A glance at Doug's screen showed 2 chits, so it was time to do a little Robbery courtesy of the Outlaw.
A 9 into the Outlaw had to go face up because of a spell cast by Julian. Roger saw what was afoot and saw Doug trying to amass his native blue chits down at the wharf to pay for the Outlaw. A little thwarting by Roger at the wharf didn't stop Doug robbing Roger of a precious chit and the game went on.
The endgame came down to four players having a chance to win on the last turn (perhaps five - not sure where Debbie was at this point). Julian, Craig, Roger and Doug all piled into the throne room with Doug committing the most chits. However his precious 9 chit was still at the Outlaws, courtesy of an "Immobile" spell from Debbie. A candle in the night for Doug was his relocate spell that would allow him to swap his 9 into the throne room and claim the game courtesy of turn order!
Not to be! Julian was at the priest and decided every player had to pay 1 green chit. Of course that was the only green chit Doug had, meaning he couldn't pick up the last counter (the one where you need all five colour cubes) and claim the game. The struggle in the throne room (with Roger start player) saw Roger and Doug thwarted, so play order went to Craig, giving him the game. Julian, fifth in line that turn, could have also won.
Fine game - still feels a bit wobbly with regards to the turn order. Attempts at a win usually start happening around turn 6, so you do not want to be the start or second player on the first turn of the game. By the time the win is attempted, you'll be playing 4th or 5th, which is exactly what happened to Julian. Solution? Tank up the throne room? Perhaps if you had the chits.... not sure, this is only my third game. Still great fun to play, very elegant design.
Doug's rating: 8, and excellent game played in good, albeit competitive, spirits - always makes for good gaming.
Janet Ford writes:
Bernie, Tina, Craig, Janet.
Bernie and Tina got off to a 6 city start. This was a very positive game with only two logs played, both on the final turn of the game. The only "nobbling" was players unwittingly positioning chits in awkward places. Nobody tried to reach the "dead end" city.
Alan Stewart writes:
1. Alan: 43, David: 52. Alan overextended - negative on one expedition.
Alan, David, Janet, Tina
We went for the full 5 goals each, but the game wasn't too long as I managed to get rid of a goal every hand except once. Even managing the feat as dealer.
Goals achieved: Alan 5, Tina 4, Janet 2, David 1
QUESTS OF THE ROUND TABLE
Alan, Janet, David, Tina
Quite a while since David and I had played this one. It was a first time play for Tina, and Janet had played it last weekend.
As the game went on I appreciated nice design elements, and the great themed ideas for the game.
In the end:
The final quest was a 4 stage one, with 4 bonus shields thanks to story cards. I went on it just to pick up a few adventure cards.
I started with 4 foe cards in my hand (I'd been hoping Janet wouldn't be
able to stage the quest).
I complete the quest and win! Phew!
I had thought I was out of the game initially having suffered a plague (lose 2 shields) and had 2 of my allies stolen by Mordreds (played by Janet and David). But Janet outbid me to pass a test and complete a quest, and left her hand very short of cards. While I still had some allies in play I was able to win the tournaments and upgrade my knight fairly quickly. When all the allies vanished I was ahead, and the players didn't draw them before the game was over.
Janet: 23-12 = 11
I wasn't really trying for the minimalist approach, it's just the way the tricks went as I had to follow suit most of the time.