Billabong Boardgamers

Billabong Boardgamers April 20th, 1998

Present: Julian, Donna, Doug, David, Janet, Alan

Previous session report

Doug Adams writes:

The core group tonight and we all sat around and played 6 player games. It was a great night. David bought me up a copy of Carabande and it's Action-Set expansion set. It's sitting half assembled next to me now and definitely has that "play me" look.

Mu & Mehr

Oh dear. In the early days to the list I remember Joe Huber heaping praise on this Doris & Frank game of trick taking. David's had itin stock for ages and it's always been hovering on my "buy list" but never quite made it into the collection. Reibach & Co. jumped ahead of it after our Convention Sessions a couple of weeks ago, but tonight I actually got to play the famed Mu.

The result ? I like it, very much. A very clever game that departs from the normal trick taking game in that:

  • trumps are bid for each turn but there are *two* trumps suits
  • ...but trumps can also be a card face value as well
  • the winner of the bid gets to nominate a partner to help them close the 'contract'.

The first hand was mass confusion, mainly on my part with all the others trying to all explain it to me at the same time .. "red one is the top card, then red, then ones, etc". Donna took the first contract in partnership with me. David got the second contract in with Donna for 50 bonus points. David took me as partner again in the third hand and got shot down in flames (I didn't win a trick for him). The fourth hand saw Julian go in with Janet and again the contract was defeated. The failure of David and Julian's contract saw bonus points go to Donna, which combined with her initial win, saw her over the line by a mile.

Donna: 207
Alan: 99
Doug: 75
David: 71
Janet: 56
Julian: 32

This was probably a low standard game first time out, but I get the feeling it could become a group favourite. I loved it.

Doug's rating: 9

Scotland Yard

This has received a request or two since Janet and I joined the group, but surprisingly it was the first appearance at Billabong. This game is about the only European game that has always been easy to get off the shelf here, but amazingly it was new to everyone but Janet and myself. Even for Janet and I it's a relatively recent purchase, certainly within the past 12 months.

I took on Mr X and explained the rules. We had to gag David and Julian as they pored over the map and pointed out such things as "I lived there "and "there should be a road here". Once we got going, the five detectives were deep in table talk about how to 'nail me'.

My recent games of Scotland Yard have seen pretty easy victories go to the detectives and tonight was no different. I was pretty hopeful after turn 3 that I may win this one, as they let me through the 'lines' when I revealed my position on the board. But these guys and girls are good players, and I was really worried by Donna's silence. The others were openly discussing where I'd gone, but Donna spent most of the game staring intently at the map. She only spoke to make a suggestion, and it always resulted in some discomfiture for me!

The turn 8 appearance of Mr X started to see some 'dragnet' tactics employed so I went for open space. By turn 14 I was doomed as I had to get past Donna and Janet. The other 3 were on the other side of Hyde Park in case I was there. I wasn't, but it didn't matter. Donna cut off my sure thing escape, so I had no option to reveal myself on turn 14 and play my last double turn going for the wide open spaces.

It was a 50/50 chance that nearly paid off. The move was directly adjacent Janet's detective and was so stupid I was hoping that they'd disregard it. They nearly did...Julian was recommending that Janet not move to my space, but Donna and Alan convinced her to do it. End of game on turn 14, with Janet making the arrest. I give Donna best on ground for making life tough for me!

Doug's rating: 7 (time to start some balancing I think)

Der Ausreisser

We finished the night with 3 hands of this simple, but fun, cycling game.

Hand one saw Alan take the lead half way through the deck and maintain it to the end...

Alan +1, Julian -2, Donna -1, Doug -9, Janet -8, David -3

Hand two saw David lead right through the race, helped no end by every Steigung (Hill Climb, can't pass him) card played on him.

Alan -2, Julian -9, Donna -9, Doug -13, Janet -10, David -2

Hand three saw the lead shared between David, Janet and myself. I managed to take the race and recoup a precious point!

Winners: David and Alan tied on -2 each, then came Doug (!) -12,Donna -22, Janet -23 and Julian (who tired badly and had a flat tyre in the last hand) -30.

Doug's rating: 6

That closed a good night. Now I'm off to flick Carabande pieces through the night!

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