Billabong Boardgamers December 29th, 1998
Present: David, Julian, Dey, Roger, Moray, Liz, Chris, Alan, Donna, Janet, Doug
Doug Adams writes:
The Billabong Boardgamers invaded a members home for what perhaps is the final time, as we are moving to clubrooms next week for a one month trial. Thanks to David for hosting and coping with the stress of 11 noisy gamers.
For the next month we are meeting EACH Tuesday (no more Monday sessions for the foreseeable future) at 7pm at:
Amaroo Neighbourhood Centre
If this venue works, I'll change the appropriate details on the Billabong WebPages.
On to last night....
Die Siedler Alexander
This is a new, large and very lavish scenario box containing historical scenarios for Die Siedler von Catan. Included in this box are a scenario for ancient Egypt ("Cheops") and Alexander the Great. I couldn't resist trying the second one, putting aside my usual love-hate relationship with Siedler! In the game were also David, Donna and Alan.
Well, Sielder once again showed it's awful side to David and myself, forced to watch Alan and Donna pull in resources by the bucket load for an hour. Boring - it couldn't end fast enough for both of us! However, the scenario is quite clever and should be picked up by Siedler fans. What is happening is Alexander is romping through Asia and Africa, one space per turn. The players bid for Alexander's favours, supplying his army, building roads, fighting in battles, etc. The players who help the most receive victory point cards, which change hands like the longest roads/largest armies in the basic game.
The most important favor Alexander can grant a player is founding a city. The man himself founded something like 30 cities in 10 years, and in the game the players bid to place a settlement on the map. Once that first settlement is placed, normal Siedler begins to appear as builds and expansion take over.
Donna and Alan got the first three settlements down up in Greece and at the Hellespont. David and I couldn't/decided not to bid on these sites so we were essentially starting behind and that's how the game went. Donna and Alan had a good spread of numbers covered thus were pulling in handfuls of resources each turn, while David and I struggled. Eventually Donna pulled out a win but Alan could have taken the game if he'd pulled a brick from my hand via the robber (a 50% chance that didn't hit).
Afterwards we discovered we had a couple of vital rules incorrect, which would have had a huge impact on the game:
Still, this is a fantastic package for Siedler fans, run and grab it!
Highlight of the night for me was a four handed Wrott'n Swindler, a game so similar to Kuhandel it's freaky. This was a very funny game with lots of laughter, frantic bids, interrupted by Dey running into the kitchen to count her cash. It's essentially an auction/set collecting game. The game is divided in to two phases - in the first phase a deck consisting of 12 sets of four items are auctioned off to the players, with the auctioneers in turn earning the cash, or deciding to buy the item just auctioned themselves!.
After the entire deck is auctioned, players then take turns to try and complete a set of four cards by going up against another player in that set. Hidden cash is passed between players, with both players keeping the others cash, but the highest bidder taking the cards. The game ends when all sets are complete and the player's score is the number of sets multiplied by the total value of their sets. Highest wins.
Roger, Dey, Julian and myself played in this game and as we all leapt into the spirit of the auctions, it was one great game full of funny moments highlighted by Dey's dashes to the kitchen. If you can get your hands on this small gem, don't hesitate as the production values on the cards and packaging are stunning. Cloth covered small box, heavy duty plastic cards, and a wooden auctioneers hammer!
Roger writes: I second Doug's comments on Wrott and Swindler. Great *fun* game with echoes of Modern Art and High Society. My only criticism is that it's possibly a bit long.
Julian, Dey, Roger and I played out a few hands of Reiner Knizia's Attacke to close the evening. This is a cute, rapid fire game of bidding and bluffing that we have found to be a popular closer at the end of the evening when thinking is just too difficult! The wins were shared around.
Janet writes: This was a tightly fought game with all doing well in the first round. I don't remember the second round (sorry Dey!), Moray didn't have the cards needed for his third turn however still did well to the end. Chris just missed out on his 19th city. Liz was the only player to get to that "in and out" city. Janet was logged three times on the final turn, once accidentally by herself, however a dream last round hand saw her get out of trouble.
Roger Smith writes
It was that time between Xmas and New Year. The time where no regular get togethers are scheduled because people are away or otherwise unavailable. Right? Wrong - instead we saw a record turnout of 11 people at David Coutts' residence.
Janet has already reported on Elfenland. Reports on Drunter and Druber, Mu and Attacke still to come.
As more and more people turned up we looked for a game that could take a lot of players. 6 Nimmt was the obvious choice, so a nine player game ensued. Totally chaotic and I'm not sure the people at the far end of the table had a clue what cards were in the middle anyway... Unfortunately I can't offer this excuse as I was directly opposite.
Roger's rating: 5
We split into three groups and I raided David's collection for some 3-4 players. Medici is a game I will happily play when others want to, but would normally never suggest myself. However, gripped by "silly season" madness, I found myself suggesting it... I must have had a premonition, as I managed to win for the first time. This was a special achievement for me as this is one game I never expected to win (Mu is another). I didn't have much of a strategy: I just went for the "10" cards when I could and tried to specialise in only two commodities.
Roger's rating: 7.5
Alan Stewart writes
Playing - Donna, David, Janet, Alan
The first 3 bids were all successful, and everyone had been involved in a winning bid.
The scores at this stage -
Then Donna made a losing bid, followed by Alan with a losing bid.
Finally Janet made a successful bid which carried both Janet and Alan over the line.
The early bids were probably underbid if anything. The losing bids lost by 7 and 1 triangles, so were fairly close.
I managed to get the bidding right in the last hand, as Janet chose me for her partner.
Still a good game. I want to play it some more, and introduce it to another group of gamers I am part of.