Billabong Boardgamers

Billabong Boardgamers - 16th May 1998

Well, I was not doing anything, and hadn't had much company lately, and Doug was free for the morning whilst Janet was playing tennis. So we played Siedler Karte, Esels Rennen, Araban-Ikibiti & Caesar & Cleopatra.

Siedler KartenSpiele Tournier

I had played the original of this about 3 or 4 times, but was keen to play my $5bargain (US$3.50).

We briefly set up our decks, with me working for the die-roll advantage of Tournaments& conversion of gold. This appeared to be the right move, I got down the pirate fleet& building, both of which added gold on Good Year rolls, very early, & a cheap knight in my first move. I also got the gold fleet to convert at 2 for one. This paid off, enabling me to get another settlement quickly. Soon after I got the 1 for 1 gold conversion building, which meant another settlement, followed by several cities, & by the end was able to build a building & a town improvement each go, giving me the game, despite Doug having taken the Windmill off me early.

We guessed we had pretty much had the same ideas & built very similar decks, but I managed to get the right cards early, which enabled me to get going earlier & hence I won.

Doug writes: I was going for an almost identical strategy, trying to get lots of usually useless gold coming in via the Gold Tile and lots of the Successful Year rolls, and converting them at 1:1 with the Mint of Greater Harbour. Julian was working along similar lines and got his Mint down in the mid-game whereas I couldn't find mine. In hindsight I should have searched my development piles earlier, but I always find the cost to do this (2 resources) very high. However, in this instance, it was the right thing to do and I didn't do it. Julian stretched away converting gold at 1:1 for an easy win. Still, a great game and a solid 9 out of 10 in my book.

Julian: 5 cities, Knight token, & 1 building = 12
Doug: 2 cities, 2 settlements, 1 building & Mill token = 8


Janet had returned at this point, & being a little reluctant to go out & wash her car, we played Esels-Rennen. Well, what a silly game this is! I didn't have a hope. I don't know wether it was because I wanted different donkeys from them or that I was just crap at it. Anyway, you can hardly give a blow by blow analysis of such a game, so here's the results. Races 1 and 2 were 3 donkey races, race 3 was a 4 donkey race:

Julian 1 + 3 + 4 = 8
Doug 6 + 6 + 2 = 14
Janet 3 + 1 + 8 = 12


Janet was off to wash her car so Doug & I played Arabana-Ikibiti.

This is a great little game. I guess I caught on pretty quickly, and managed to get cards which allowed ripple effect turns. Several times, I got a majority, removed Doug's bridges and replaced them, giving me a new majority on a new island, and going on for 2 or3 islands. It is very difficult to counter this, and basically, you need 2 cards to remove what only needs 1 card to replace, so I flooded islands with bridges. Rather than just taking the majority, I got all the bridges, making catch up impossible. The three scoring rounds went 6-2=4, + 9-0=13, + 10-0=23. I think that either the game is flawed in that it is impossible to catch the leader, or Doug was very unlucky in his card draws. I personally believe that the former may be true, but on one play I can't judge. Any comments?

Doug writes: Comments ? Plenty....once I'd lost the initial 'battle' I was sunk. There is no way to catch up in this game against a competent opponent, so the rest of the game becomes pointless. There are some potential fixes on the Bambus website for this game, which I haven't yet tried. They do look interesting and are certainly worth trying. This game has plenty of potential.

Caesar & Cleopatra

We finished the day with Caesar & Cleopatra, which I have wanted to play as the cards are so beautifully painted. I like the game, but again it's not exactly a blow by blow type game to report. Suffice to say that we both got our hidden objectives, but I managed to get all 3 of a minor party which gave me the crucial extra points. final scores Julian 17 Doug 15

That was all, but a great half-day, and I have now played another 4 games I have not played before