Billabong Boardgamers November 25th, 1997
Present: Doug, David, Janet, Alan, Donna, JulianPrevious session report
Doug Adams writes:
A turnout of 6 tonight, which saw us reach for games that cater for that number. Pity, I was dying to try Euphrat & Tigris with 4, and the weight of the thing just ruined my fuel economy driving to David's and back in the car!
The one thing I've noticed is our group is very unsuitable for 4 player games, and this narrows our choices. I'd like to split up and try some 2, 3 and 4 player games sometimes. This would give our meetings some more diversity in game choices, rather than reaching for the large multi-players all the time. The problems with these games is that they usually require an hour and up, and you need to have the 6 players actually 'wanting' to play it.
It seems we have to reach that magical (and all to often unachievable) number of "7" to consider splitting into a 4 and 3 player game.
What do other Billabongers say ?
Groo: The Game
Donna was running late so we started a 5 player game. Janet took the first turn and managed to get the Orphanage down early, which meant that Groo Effect cards had no effect on her village. Hmm, this meant we needed an army to come in and take her down. It just couldn't be done and Janet got to 7 points very quickly.
So, we tried again! This game went on for about 20 minutes, with Alan taking the game - and again the Orphanage was built in the winning town. Alan also had one of those "swap dice" cards that are quite powerful and allow materials to be converted into something else.
David had some thoughts about this game - the games seems to be over very quickly - sometimes before the play has passed around the table 2 times. He suggested that maybe an idea would be to start with the victory target at say, 11 victory points. Then this target comes down once per turn until it reaches the 7 points after 4 rounds. The idea is it will give each player a chance to establish their villages (hopefully) before the game ends.
Donna had arrived and after much indecision we broke open Airlines. It's very brutal with 6 players, almost to the point where it doesn't work (at least not for David or me). I was playing 5th in turn and all the airlines I could found were underway by the time I got to play. This reduced me to a couple of turns of expanding and trying to collect stock. Then two Wertung cards appeared (scoring cards) very early which still left me on zero. Donna was the clear leader at this point.
I quickly started declaring stock as I didn't want to be caught out when the 3rd Wertung appeared. It did appear shortly afterwards which left about 4 rounds to play before the stock deck was exhausted. At the game end the scores (and intervening rounds) looked like:
David Doug Julian Donna Alan Janet 5 0 2 14 10 10 12 0 4 29 23 21 21 15 11 35 37 33 38 30 21 51 53 50
Alan's game, overhauling Donna in the second half mainly through DDL. I quite like this game, but was a bit jaded by last nights play - no idea why either.
Something I've noticed after the event was the order of placings matched the order of play in this game - apart from Donna who played first, and Alan who played second. However they did share first and second place with only 2 points separating them. Coincidence ? What are you suggesting, Mulder ?
David suggested in future, especially with so many players, to divide the deck into 3 and shuffle one Wertung card into each mini deck. This will give the Wertung cards a more ordered appearance and give players a chance to prepare for them. Personally I like the sound of this.
Phantom's Of The Ice
I quite liked this one - I'd heard about it but never played it. It's fast, easy and quite engaging. The basic theme is about managing an Ice Hockey team and trying to win enough games to make the playoffs.
From my perspective the game seemed to see-saw, I had a great team early and won my first four games. Then people started to realise what a great team I had and traded with me ruthlessly (ie. Ruth wasn't there...cough). I didn't win another game as Alan galloped off to the playoffs. I made a mistake, as I thought that another team had to win 9 also to meet Alan. I didn't realise that at the point Alan makes the play-offs, whoever is second best also qualifies. I was building up my team for a late assault when my game was suddenly over!
Janet and David had to play to see who met Alan, and David made it through. In the playoffs, Alan won the game 4 games to 2. The minor placings went to:
Janet (5 wins), Doug/Donna (4 wins apiece), Julian (1 win).
Interesting note - I saw in the rules this was a Tom Dalgliesh game, I assume this is Tom "Columbia Games" Dalgliesh. Also, we used coloured chits to keep track of who'd played who - this was David's suggestion and it worked quite well.