Billabong Boardgamers - 16th May, 2000
Present: Alan, Janet, Doug, David, Karen, Craig
Doug Adams writes:
Great to see Karen back from Seattle for another visit to Australia. This time she came bearing games - Pacific Northwest Rails and Buried Treasure for me! Thanks Karen!
Doug, Karen, Craig, Janet, Alan, David
The six of us first tried out this prototype design from Sydney-sider Richard Vickery. Richard visited us earlier in the year, and despite hailing from Sydney, he was actually a great guy. Janet is still dreaming about those chocolate covered Scotch Finger Biscuits.
I won't go into details about this game as Richard should be the one to hear it. Suffice to say it's a game themed on surfing and it works very well. I could easily imagine playing this one out of nicely produced box from a major publisher. Great theme, interesting card play, novel scoring mechanism.
Doug, Janet, David
The three of us played a couple of hands of this newly arrived Sid Sackson card game. It is essentially a set collecting game where the scores for the four sets fluctuate from turn to turn. Majorities and second majorities are paid out at the end of a round. The sets are actually cards in four suits, set up a bit like a hand of Klondike patience. On your turn you may take one available card from the foundation. The card may have an action on it that will enable you to claim an extra card of that suit, or steal 1-4 cards from another player in that suit.
The game play is surprisingly good for such a simple game. A particularly vicious rule is ties for majorities score zero, and it's something you must watch out for. The steal 4 cards ensure no situation stays static for long. The game reminded me a lot of Dolce Vita in that such straightforward mechanics hid a game with a bit of meat in it!
Our first game scored:
We then played again with the advanced rules. These rules gave each player a hand of seven cards. On their turn a player can now draw from the foundations OR play a card from their hand. Cards can now be played to other player's sets, thus forcing those nasty ties to ensure they score zero! Rounds now end when each player has passed, not when the foundation is empty. The advanced rules really added to the game.
Doug's rating: 6
Doug, Janet, David
David requested a three player Ra to close the evening. He'd been involved in several five player games recently and wanted some control back! I'm not sure how much control he actually received in this game as the first two rounds ended very quickly due to squillions of Ra tiles being drawn. Doug went -7/+7 on the first two rounds to be still on 10 points entering round three!
Fortunately the Ra tiles settled down in round three and players could construct a half decent hand. Janet, holding poor sun tiles, bought up very early and that left Doug and David to fight and jink for the high sun tiles and end of game sun bonus. David went out first, committing his 12 sun to the board, and allowed Doug a free run at the remaining tiles. A couple of late Ra tiles saw Doug playing Russian Roulette with the tile bag, but for once he managed to fill the auction track with goodies, invoke Ra, and claim the 12 tile. It wasn't enough ....
Doug's rating: 9 - still Spiel des Doug 1999, after 25 games.
Other games played: Viva Pamplona, Earthquake, Go Wild