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Billabong Boardgamers June 30th, 1998

Previous session report

Present: Doug, Janet, Alan, Julian Warner, Donna, Neil

Doug Adams writes:

A night at Doug and Janet's as Julian is holidaying somewhere in sunny Queensland.

Quandary

Alan called for a game of this, in fact he'd been calling for a game of it for several weeks. We finally got to bring it out with four players ready to try something quick. Julian and Janet made an early break in the first two rounds which Alan and I just couldn't seem to bridge. Scores were:

Julian: 79
Janet: 75
Alan: 64
Doug: 61

Doug's rating: 7

Res Publica

Donna had arrived half way through Quandary, so we dragged out a five player game that none of us had tried. This is the Queen Games version of Knizia's game, and it's very attractive to the eye with nice artwork (by Jo Hartwig, I think).

We had to give the rules a second reading just to be sure we'd interpreted the strict trading rules correctly. Once we started, however, we slipped into the game quite nicely. It appears to be Katzenjammer Blues meets Bohnanza, but of course it preceded both of them. The game has a nice acceleration, and the trading aspect seems to work well.

It's all geared around restriction of information, you listen to everything to try and locate the cards you want - filling up sets of five for settlement and cities, and scrambling for the final pairs before the game ends.

I thought the game worked really well (probably at it's best with five), and don't agree with Mike Siggins' review at all. Our game saw:

Julian: 24
Doug: 22
Donna: 19
Alan: 18
Janet: 17

Doug's rating: 7

Additional thoughts on Res Publica by Doug afterwards:

I haven't seen the earlier edition. I hadn't even heard of it until the Knizia game survey we held here a few months back. It ranked higher than games I liked on some lists, so the candle was lit. I picked this up mainly to complete my shrine to Reiner built totally from Knizia game boxes. The rules read pretty well, despite Mike's review - and the theme appealed.

I enjoyed the game, probably best with five but I suspect Bohnanza does the set collecting thang a bit better. Trading is a lot more restricted in this game - you need to listen to all the offers to pinpoint the cards you need, then come up with an offer you'll think will get the correct nibble on your bait. I need more plays to see if I continue to like it. Great artwork on the cards...

Mu & Mehr

We were expecting Neil at some point so we decided to begin an open-ended game of Mu, and finish when Neil arrived. It only lasted one hand with Janet choosing Alan as her partner for a 3 card suit trump. It failed as Julian, as vice, and Doug, shot them down. Neil had arrived so it was into our most played game....

Bohnanza

I keep thinking I'll get sick of this, but it hasn't happened yet - still wrinkles are starting to show. The game was quite close:

Julian/Janet: 13
Doug/Neil: 12
Donna: 11
Alan: 10

Expedition

Our final game of the evening - I don't think I'll be playing this with 6 again. Too much down time as the board is scanned for that ideal move. Either that or play with a 15 second timer. This game saw Donna, Neil and Janet make good starts, which got Alan complaining. He came back strongly in the mid game, but still complained that the board was being set up for Donna, Neil and Janet. The game was awful for me, with no expeditions really helping me out of turn, and I had to use my vouchers to get just one of my token sites. Scores were:

Neil: 14
Janet: 13
Alan: 11
Julian: 10
Donna: 9
Doug: -1

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