Billabong Boardgamers March 15th, 1998
Present: Doug, Janet, Donna, Alan, NeilPrevious session report
Doug Adams writes:
Part of the Billabong crowd came over this afternoon for some games. Janet had organised to meet a friend at her local Gymnasium, so was only here for the first hour or two.
Janet and I first off played the 'cactus' 2 player variant - I haven't seen an English translation of this, but good friend Frank Kulkmann gave me an on the fly translation of the variant found in the Amigo rules. Simply put, 5 out of play kangaroos are set up as 'cactus' (which funnily enough is not a plant you see a lot of in the Australian desert) and can be used to jump, but they don't move.
I got off to a good start with 2 kangaroos over the line before Janet got her first. She then got some great turns in, while my initial set up came back to haunt me. Team Janet got home 5 'roos to 3.
Rating remains a 7.
Halunken & Spelunken
The new Alex Randolph game that was released at Essen is quite interesting. You play captains of ships in 18th century England who are roaming around the waterside taverns, press-ganging sailors into joining your crew. 42 sailor cards are split evenly between 14 taverns, which are arranged in a circle. The sailors come in four suits, and each sailor has a point value between 1 to 15, or something like that. Your captains move from tavern to tavern, clockwise, based on the play of one of eight movement cards. Cards are selected and revealed simultaneously and identical cards mean no movement. If you pass another player you may pinch a sailor off them. Card play gets quite tactical as everything is revealed, previous cards played, sailors gained, etc. The game ends when all eight cards are played, ie. the game lasts eight rounds. The score is the point value of your sailors, but the suit that contains the most cards is doubled.
Our first game, the basic game, saw Janet win 126 to 92.
We then added the "Black Jack" rules. BJ is a roving agent that will work for a player, or himself if no one wants him. He is auctioned at the start of the turn, players auctioning a sailor card for him, with the highest bidder claiming his uses for the turn. After all normal movement, a BJ movement card is flipped and he may move up to 14 spaces. Anyone he passes has a sailor pinched and added to the hand of BJ's employer - very nice.
Our second game saw Janet win again, 98 to 45.
Rating: 7 (probably a much better game with 4).
Donna was here by this stage. We started up a three handed Fluxx while waiting for Alan and Neil. Alan turned up while the first hand was in progress and dealt himself in. I took the game with some combination I don't remember! Another hand was played which I also took thanks to a Scramble Keepers giving me the winning goal once they were re-dealt!
Doug's rating: 6 (harmless fun)
Still no sign of Neil to make four up for Ursuppe (the object of the afternoon), and Janet had to go. We set up Code 777 with the dummy hand as explained in the rules. I took this game by getting my 3 points with no dud guesses. By the time we'd finished, Neil had arrived.
Doug's rating: 8 (really like it)
A crash course in the ways of the gene pool for Alan, Donna and Neil and off we went.
Well, this game dispelled any doubts I had about a potential catch the leader problem. The lead changed five times through the game - Doug, Neil, Alan, Neil, Alan. Donna was out of it from the early stages but was coming back strongly and may have passed me had the game gone one more turn. In the early stages she maybe could have purchased amoeba where she didn't but that's life on the learning curve, and she didn't disgrace herself at all, using her tentacles to great effect.
Doug's rating: Up from 7 to 8.
One more game to close out the afternoon. Donna picked up her first 2 codes before Neil, Alan or I had guessed one. An incorrect answer to a question saw incorrect guesses from Donna, Alan and myself but we couldn't trace back to exactly where the confusion arose. Donna eventually took the game, with Alan on 1 point and Neil and I still unable to crack our first codes (but that didn't stop us guessing!).