Billabong Boardgamers
 

Glen Waverley Gamers October 14th, 1997

Present: Julian, Pedro, Doug, David

Previous session report

Doug Adams writes:

Small turnout tonight with Janet feeling ill and Allan unable to attend. Good to see Pedro, who lives 2 hours out of Melbourne, return to the fray.

Modern Art

Well, I've played it at last and yes, it's a good game. There's a lot more going on in a game of this than I suspected there may be. David and Julian seem to know all the aspects of good play, while Pedro and myself were getting the hang of it by the game end. It really helped early by having David point out, when a piece(s) was revealed, what the potential for that piece of art was and this helped set a reasonable price.

The game itself was a bit of a blur, but from memory Pedro didn't buy anything in round one while David and Julian dominated the purchases. In round 2 Pedro pulled out his cheque book and seemed to purchase everything in sight, while Julian and David were more circumspect in their purchases. Round 3 saw the price of Yoko's works soar and there was some competitive bidding for these pieces, with Julian losing some ground by speculating on some Lite Metals that got overtaken rapidly. In round 4 there weren't any Yoko's left to close the round but Julian made a great play by picking up Pedro's solitary Yoko then closing the auction immediately as his turn was next - he picked up around $70,000 out of that play and we never saw it coming but of course we should have.

The final tallies were:
Doug $427000
Julian $394000
Pedro $365000
David $361000

I was a surprise winner, I suspect, certainly to me. I only ever purchased one or two pieces per round, always fairly sure I'd get a profit - and I did very well auctioning my pieces. The surprise (for me) is that you can win by *not* participating in everything. Thoughts - very good, want to play it again.

Manhattan

We then set up a game of Manhattan and introduced the monster variant for the first time. The monster was an octopus from Escape From Atlantis that was called 'the frog' for most of the game. We decided on the 'baby monster' variant from the Mayfair rules.

Well, the monster didn't go over too well. David and Julian have played a lot of Manhattan over the past few years since it's release and they seemed to find the monster roaming the board a bit of an offence against the elegance of the game. David lost several pieces early to the frog, and I took a hammering in the mid game.

The results were:
David 34
Julian 32
Pedro 26
Doug 23

Notice how these scores are a lot lower than normal. I didn't mind having the monster variant, while Pedro quite enjoyed it (but bear in mind he hadn't played this game before). Personally I don't care if I play the variant again or not, and I suspect it wont appear again in our group. It needs another tweak, like increasing your hand size, because the cards became a lot more restrictive.

That saw us through to 10:30, from then on we discussed our new name as Julian is leaving Glen Waverley and moving closer to Melbourne. We finally settled on Billabong Gamers as any connotation of a style of gaming in the name didn't seem to suit our group that well - and none of the geographic ideas we came up with sounded that great either !! So Billabong it is, as of next week. Hopefully the website will be online soon!

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