Billabong Boardgamers

Billabong Boardgamers December 30th, 1997

Present: Janet, Doug, Alan, David, Julian

Previous session report

Doug Adams writes:

Our last session for the year was a pleasant evening held at Doug and Janet's place. David was full of praise about his Great Battles of Alexander computer game, which I was aghast at as my clunky old thing can't run these wonders, so I continue to slave over my battle of Bagradas Plains map and counters down in the back room.

But this has nothing to do with "boardgames", which Mike Siggins seems to have christened "German games" in the latest Sumo...this term supposedly describing the length of what Sumo covers. Why can't it just be "games" ? I'm happy to question any answers... :)


Yes, we played it again, at David's request who'd played it for the first time a few days ago. This game saw no third bean fields bought, and some very tight play between David, Alan, Janet and Doug. Julian got some bad breaks and had to harvest a lot of fields for little or no return.

Scores were:
David and Janet tied (oh no!) on 17
Doug 15
Alan 14
Julian 8

El Grande with Konig & Intrigant expansion

Julian wanted a second game of this, having played (and won handsomely) his first game a few weeks back. Alan called for the K&I expansion had been sitting unplayed (sorry Frank!) since I received it in July.

We found this expansion made the game start slowly as players decide which 5 cards to leave out and which cards to lead from their initially large hands. Once play had progressed a few rounds the play quickened up.

The first scoring round saw about 5 points cover first to last, however on the second scoring round Alan, David and Janet pulled away. Janet had a very handy lead approaching the final scoring round, but a very nicely played last 2 turns by Alan saw him take the game by a point.

Results were:
Janet -1
David -3
Doug -27
Julian -30

Did we like the expansion ? Opinions were mixed, but I certainly liked it. I like the way they've created a different approach to the base mechanic, giving the game some variety. Some reports from Sumo indicate this game can grow a bit stale, so full marks for addressing this and supporting the game with 2 expansions here.

Sternen Himmel

The final game of the night was a Christmas present to Janet from Doug. This is an intriguing game, plays quickly and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The idea is to place your pieces on star spaces on one of the 5 face up boards showing at any one time. When a board is full (i.e.. no star spaces left) it is scored with the highest and second highest earning the points listed, and *every* other player who had pieces on the board earning 1 point per piece - paid by the winner! Very nice mechanic that tempers the "win at all costs" mentality as second place was usually much better than first place.

Somehow I seemed to get second place on nearly every board, results were:

Doug 45
Alan 27
David 26
Julian 22
Janet 20

David told me he picked up his copies of Sternen Himmel from Paul Evans while at the Mindsport Olympics in the UK. Thanks, Paul! I think this game will get a few plays!

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