Billabong Boardgamers
 

Billabong Boardgamers - August 17th, 1999

Present: Doug, Roger, Julian C., Debbie, Tina, Alan, Julian W., Janet

Previous session report

Roger Smith writes:

VIVA PAMPLONA

Debbie: 67
Roger: 62
Doug: 50
Julian C: 48
Tina: 45

A new game for Debbie and Tina who had the luxury of having the rules explained to them BEFORE the game (I still remember my first game of this at Billabong). A nifty Kramer design based on the annual running of the bulls in Spain. . Players roll dice to move three pawns around a track, attempting to stay equal to, or just ahead of the bull, thus gathering machismo points. You can use a majority of pawns in one space to push your opponents' pawn(s) backward or forwards one or two spaces - robbing them of machismo points in the process. The mechanics remind me very much of the Great Balloon Race. I really thought I had a chance in this one as I was getting pretty good rolls throughout. However, Debbie seemed to grasp the strategy fairly quickly and romped it in.

Roger's rating: 7

OVERTHRONE

Julian W
Julian C
Roger

Both Julian W and myself turned up with new copies of Overthrone. We had a partial reading of the rules (my droning was putting Julian C to sleep) then started a game. We managed to pretty well stuff up almost every rule so after a time (a number of times in fact) started again. Next time round we got most things right, but abandoned play about two thirds of the way through with a couple of questions outstanding.

Impressions: the game isn't all that complex, but it does seem to have a rather steep learning curve, particularly in trying to understand how you can EFFECTIVELY use each card type. Having read the rules again today, I think I finally understand the use of Courtier cards. Overthrone doesn't seem to play all that well with three players. Julian C's opinion is that it is flawed - too luck driven and the King is too powerful. This may have been because in both games I got nearly all the Rebellion cards. Julian W and myself tended to disagree. I think it is a game you will need to play a few times before mastering the subtleties. I'll hold off giving a rating until I play again with more players.

Three questions:

1. Can the player controlling the king play a Rebellion card? If so, does that player continue to hold the king or is the king freed?

2. If two Rebellion cards are played in a round, is scoring done twice?

3. Questionable Birthright and Excommunication cards. The rules state that "No player can play these interrupts twice in a round". Does this mean that a) the interrupt card can only be played once in a round, or b) that EACH PLAYER can only play the interrupt card once in the round (meaning the card could theoretically be played several times before being passed back to a player who has already played it).

DRAHTSEILAKT

Julian C: 23 (3+9+3+8)
Julian W: 27 (3+5+11+8)
Roger: 29 (4+2+1+22)
Doug: 42 (2+2+16+13)

A new game for Julian W and myself. I'd noticed a few people playing and enjoying this at Billabong over the last few weeks. See the recent reports for a description of the mechanics. A cute game, with very attractive cards. However. this is far too luck driven for me. If you get dealt a hand of all low or all high cards you are stuffed. This is what happened to Doug on the last two rounds and to me on the last round. There was simply nothing we could do about it. A clever idea, but too "unbalanced".

Roger's rating: 5.5

RES PUBLICA

Doug: 23
Julian C: 21
Janet: 20
Roger: 19
Julian W: 17

Julian W's suggestion and a game that Janet has had a good record of wins with in the past. By far the most interesting game of RP that I've played. People were playing wildly different strategies. For example, Doug was trading away ALL his civilisation cards until late in the game. Long after the people deck had run out, there was still a village card on offer On the last round almost anyone was in a position to win. I incorrectly predicted the winner twice before Doug laid out his last set of cards and claimed the prize. Janet, the first to take a city card, did not come in first.

Roger's rating: 8

Alan Stewart writes:

5IVE STRAIGHT

Alan, Julian Warner

An interesting game, though sometimes it just came down to who drew the 1 or 0 card first.

Alan 3 wins, Julian 1 win

EL GRANDE: KONIG & INTRIGANT

Tina, Debbie, Alan, Doug

This game had been arranged in advance, and each player had selected their 13 cards from the list of 39 possibles.

Alan grabbed Red, and Doug grabbed Blue - much to the chagrin of the other players as they usually used those two colours too!

A random draw for playing first card saw Doug start off. A lot of thinking was required and who became King and Villain had a lot to do with what actions had been played.

In the first round Alan scored 6 points in a region he was the only player present. There was no more scoring until the general scoring round in Round 3. In fact, the only scoring during the rest of the game was during the general scoring rounds!

Basically Alan established a lead early in the game and kept it. Final scores: Alan
Debbie -28
Tina -29
Doug -38

The game played fairly fast with four players who had all played before, but not this particular version.

Some interesting plays and occurrences.

  • Alan secretly chose Neukastilion to double the score during the next scoring round, but then Tina played the 66 card there, so Alan's men in the castillo couldn't land there to take the lead.
  • I achieved one aim of getting all my men onto the board.
  • Most of the interesting new cards were never actioned as their player became King or Villain.
  • The Villain's power to move 1 block resulted in quite a few sudden ties for first spot during the course of the game.

All players agreed they would like to play this version again.

For interest, the play decks chosen were:

Tina: Joker, 15, 20, 25, 66, 73, 80, 93, 95, 130, 140, 153, 180
Debbie: 20, 30, 35, 40, 53, 66, 75, 80, 90, 95, 125, 130, 140
Alan: Joker, 10, 13, 20, 40, 93, 95, 113, 120, 130, 140, 150, 180
Doug: 20, 25, 35, 40, 70, 73, 80, 83, 90, 93, 125, 130, 140

It is interesting that only 20, 130 and 140 were chosen by everyone.

MYSTERY RUMMY: RUE MORGUE

Debbie, Doug/Janet Tina, Alan

A first for everyone except Doug and Janet.

The first hand went on for a while, but Doug went out. The fact that his partner, Debbie, didn't have to count her hand as negative helped. Also there was a complete meld under the monkey.

(Janet replaced Doug after this hand)

On the second hand, I got down to 1 card on my second turn, but the card I discarded let Janet go out immediately! This was after I'd fed the monkey with a 7 point bonus card as I thought I had a good chance of going out.

On the third hand, it was all over before I got to play! Tina and myself scored -15 for that hand.

Final scores:
Janet/Doug - Debbie: 100
Tina - Alan: 10

Definitely simpler than the original, but I was still coming to grips with the passing to my partner, and consulting etc, and what was the best thing to pass. Then there's what's best to feed the monkey to consider.

IGEL AERGERN

Tina 3
Janet 2
Alan, Debbie 1

First time played for Tina and Debbie. Standard rules.

It looked good for green (Alan), then for yellow (Janet) but in the end blue (Tina) came through. Maybe playing her favourite colour worked!

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