Billabong Boardgamers

Billabong Boardgamers April 28th, 1998

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

Previous session report

Julian Clarke writes:

Katzenjammer Blues

We started off with a game of Katzenjammer Blues. To say I didn't do well at this would be to understate the case. It wasn't that I didn't understand what to do, that was perfectly clear, but I couldn't do what I wanted to. I think I made several fairly basic mistakes. Anyway, in the first game, we played several jokers, so Janet ended up with 3 leaving us clear to play 2 each if we wanted to. Because of this, I played 2 in the second game & ended up with -5 for that. So much for trying to learn from previous games.

Game 1

Alan 6 (1 joker)
David 6 (2 jokers)
Donna 5
Julian 1
Doug 1
Janet 0 (5 - 5 : 3 jokers)

David writes:- At this point we discovered the tie-breaker rule.

Game 2

Janet 5 (1 joker)
Alan 5 (1 joker)
Doug 4 (1 joker)
Donna 3 (1 joker)
David 2 (1 joker)
Julian 0 (5 - 5 : 2 jokers)

This seemed to go down well as a fill in, lasting about 10 minutes, but whether it will have lasting appeal remains to be seen, not, in my opinion a classic in the making.

Mu & Mehr

Apparently it was only last week that we played this last, but I had pretty much forgotten the rules. It went on a long time & frustration became rather the prevailing emotion as people didn't behave as their partners hoped/expected. Much as I enjoy the game, I can't help feeling that the negative emotions it can generate between players who are co-operating are far worse than for those who are openly in opposition. It's nevertheless a clever game, & would think that an open minded bridge player would still thrash us others, with one eye tied behind their back. A bit like that 3-D chess on Star Trek. (Could someone remind me whether I am supposed to like this game, as it is abstract, & I have lost track of the current popular opinion.

Anyway, that said, the game got off to a terrible start, with me going down 30 points. I then crawled back by 10s & 15s to get to about 65. During this time, Alan & Janet had got within striking distance of the 200. David & I both spent maybe 3 hands (in my case, at least, consecutively) without getting a single trick/triangle & often without a single trump too. However, the last hand Janet set up a 5 card bid & chose me as partner. Donna had chosen 9s & Janet chose 8s. Janet set out to draw trumps & succeeded, thereby effectively reducing the game to no trumps after 4 tricks. I managed to amass 33 triangles as partner, which combined to bring me from 30 points behind into 3rd place, giving the game to Janet (rather than Alan who would have taken it if Janet hadn't made the contract).

David writes:- I actually started very strongly, winning the opening 5-card bid. Donna, too, had a good early showing. In the middle game I blew it, choosing to partner Donna without having sufficient information to go on - I lost 30 points, Donna's points were unchanged, and the other 4 all gained (15?) points. Later, Alan & I partnered a 4-card bid, achieving it by just 2 points. Still, it was Janet & Julian's closing partnership that was the most effective, and sealed victory for Janet.

Final Scores

Janet 261
Alan 201
Julian 166
David 153
Doug 126
Donna 122

This game would bear a lot more thought & scrutiny, & more to the point analysing. This became obvious when during the post-mortem, when we were querying each others play & kept getting struck by new interpretations of bids & possibilities which are engendered by the 2 types of trumps.

David writes:- Interestingly, both Doug & Alan bought each bought a copy of Mu & Mehr from me just 2 days later. I like it!

Die Siedler Kartenspiel

It being 11pm, everyone left, except Donna, who is also not currently employed, so it was out with Die Siedler Kartenspiel.

I got off to a good start with the 3rd & 4th settlement, Donna got her 3rd next & my 5th, before she got her 4th. A recipe for a certain win by me? Not a chance. Donna managed to upgrade & use the Town buildings to great effect whilst I struggled to get 3 ore & 2 wheat at the same time.

Final Result

Donna 12 (3 Towns 1 Settlement Knight Windmill & 3 buildings)
Julian 9 (3 Towns 2 Settlements & 1 building)

That's all for now. I have photographed some of my more obscure games (Waverley, Zankapfel, Escape From Atlantis, The Great Balloon Race), & will write reviews of them to accompany the photos on the web site. Well we must keep the unemployed occupied.

See You later

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