Kings, Sailors, Farmers and Ghosts

Tonight the warm-up game was Midnight Party , in this game players have a number of characters (2 in a 6 player game) which they move clockwise round a corridor by the roll of a die, however two of the faces show the outline of Hugo The ghost in which case they forgo moving their characters and instead move Hugo three spaces.

Hugo the ghost chasing purple whilst green and red are safe in rooms

Hugo the ghost chasing purple whilst green and red are safe in rooms

He starts off in the cellar but climbs the stairs onto the corridor whereupon he also moves clockwise chasing the characters any he captures attract minus points the only escape is to dive into a room however each room can hold only one character, so others are condemned to continue around the corridor until they are captured or find an empty room.

We split into 2 tables, table 1 played Ciúb a new dice game from Amigo, I have yet to play it so if I have got any of this wrong please let me know. The idea of the game is to gain victory points, these are on cards which you obtain during the game and of which a number are on display in two rows.

A player board with dice saved this turn, to the left points cards already achieved

A player board with dice saved this turn, to the left points cards already achieved

 Your first action is to place or move your token onto a card that has no other token on it (thus staking your claim), then you roll all your dice. The dice have various symbols as well as numbers on the faces, the symbols may allow you to have a re-roll, turn a die or swap a die, there is also a skull symbol which kills that die for the turn. After this if you can match your dice to any of the cards on display in the lower tier and it does not have an opponents token on it, you may take that card as victory points. Failure to take a card gains you a die for the next round, taking a card means you discard down to five dice.

My table chose Kingsburg , a nice worker placement game. The board depicts 18 different advisors (actions) which players can choose to enact, most give resources but others give other bonuses such as victory points or combat strength. All players simultaneously roll 3 dice then in ascending order of pip value decide to play one or more of their dice together to select an advisor which must match the pip total of the dice placed.

Two of the first buildings in a row, each giving 1 battle strength in future battles

Two of the first buildings in a row, each giving 1 battle strength in future battles

Placement continues until all players have placed all their dice at which point the advisors are then activated in numerical order, after everyone has activated their advisers players can then use their resources to build a building, these buildings can help in combat or resource gathering and gain you victory points.

The Queen, in my opinion the most powerful space on the board giving 3 victory points, 2 resources and a preview of what attack is on its way

The Queen, in my opinion the most powerful space on the board giving 3 victory points, 2 resources and a preview of what attack is on its way

The only drawback of Kingsburg I would say is the luck associated with die rolling, sometimes continual lucky or unlucky die rolling unbalances the game a bit, I was fortunate enough to roll three 17’s in our game whilst another player did have more than their fair share of the low numbers.

The next game on our table was Oregon a nice tile laying game, on your turn you play 2 cards from your hand, cards relate to lines and columns on the board and you get to play one of your farmers on any of the 12 squares shown by the areas in which the 2 cards cross, if you get a set of 3 or more farmers together you get 5 points.

Oregon at games end - yes I was yellow tailing badly.

Oregon at games end - yes I was yellow tailing badly.

There are also building cards and if you play a land card with a building card you may build the building shown on the card in any column or row indicated by the land card. Buildings when placed next to farmers give victory points and sometimes a bonus and similarly any farmer placed next to an existing building also picks up points. The game plays well multi-player and ours was an enjoyable game – even though I came last by quite a margin.

The other table had moved on to Port Royal a recent card game from Pegasus games, on a players turn they turn over cards 1 at a time from a deck, stopping when they want to, a card can be one of 3 types a ship card giving money, a character card or a bonus points cards, these latter get put to one side and are victory point cards that all players have access to, the others are laid in 2 rows.

2 Character cards a bonus point card and the reverse showing money

2 Character cards a bonus point card and the reverse showing money

A player after stopping may then take any ship card which gives cash or a character card which costs cash , after which the next player may take from what is left (paying a coin for the privilege) and so on round the table after which it is the next players turn to flip cards one at a time.

Part of a players layout, the Trader gives an extra cash on Black boats, the admiral gives 2 cash if 5 or more cards are in the display and the Jester gives 1 cash if there are no cards in the display when it comes to your turn. There are also 4 victory points on show.

Part of a players layout, the Trader gives an extra cash on Black boats, the admiral gives 2 cash if 5 or more cards are in the display and the Jester gives 1 cash if there are no cards in the display when it comes to your turn. There are also 4 victory points on show.

The idea is to collect 12 victory points which are on character cards and bonus point cards, the character cards also give special in-game abilities. It is a fairly quick game and probably one for the beginning or end of a gaming evening.

Last game for us was Geschenkt (aka No Thanks! ), a lovely little card game where some cards are removed from a deck numbered 1-39, then on a round a card is turned over, in turn players decide whether they want to leave the card in which case they put a point chip on it, or take it in which case they also take all the chips on it. A card remains face up collecting chips until someone decides to take it at which point the next card is turned over.

The winning hand in Geschenkt only the lower cards count negatively

The winning hand in Geschenkt only the lower cards count negatively

The deck is played out at which point scoring takes place, the player with the lowest score wins and your score is made up from the lowest card of all your runs (including singletons) minus the chips you end the game with. It is neat, quick and mixes deductive reasoning with risk taking, an excellent game.