This picture quiz is from my personal library archives and has not been to the club.
The last picture quiz was of Garbage Day! a balancing card game about collecting rubbish in your room, when it gets too full you have to clear it out to the Garbage Can, the neat idea behind this game is that you have to balance the card so that you can see the tabletop through 2 holes marked in the card, any that fall become penalties and 5 penalties and you are out.
The Table 1 set itself up for a game of Captain Sonar a submarine v submarine hunt game playable in either real-time or turn based, this account is based solely on what I observed of a 4 player real time game at the end of the evening. The players split into 2 groups, each group has a set of boards and each set depicts that sides own submarine, its various abilities, a map over which the captain plots his submarines course, another map which the plotter plots their opponents course and some acetate overlays. When each captain moves their submarine they state clearly (and correctly) the direction in which they have just travelled, in the meantime the plotter on the opposing side plots that course on their acetate trying to ascertain where the opponent is. As each team works out where the other teams submarine is through deduction and using the onboard components, they fire torpedoes to hit the other, the winning team is the one that survives. With more players different roles are dished out so that each player has specific responsibilities within their sub. It looked fun to play and apparently plays 2 player turn-based.
My first game was Kraftwagen played 2 player, I would love to play this in its full mode with 4 players as some of the dynamics in the game will become more interesting needing some heavy thinking to make the correct choices. The game is about the early days of vehicle manufacture in Germany, each player has a workshop with 3 spaces, each space can take a car body (chassis) or an engine, the player board also has a canteen for the workers and a garage containing their racing car. The aim of the game is to collect points which are obtained from racing their racing car, selling cars and being the first to achieve certain in-game milestones.
On a turn a player moves their piece clockwise around an action track taking a token, doing the actions on that token (in any order) then placing it at the head of the track, however it is always the player whose token is in last place that becomes the active player, so if I am in last place and there are 2 action tokens between me and the next players piece I get to take both of those actions (as I will still be in last place after taking each of those rearmost actions) then I get another go where I will jump ahead, then after that turn, the new rearmost opponent gets their turn. The game is a balance of taking the actions you want in order to achieve certain goals against giving too many actions away to your opponent. The actions you can take are movement on the race track (based on the engine size in your race car), get an engine, get a chassis, move a buyer (a car purchaser) to the market and take a research card. The research cards come in 3 different types, and are the only way to improve your engine size and modernize your chassis.
After any action you take if you have a chassis and an engine in your workshops you can put a car up for sale hopefully matching the criteria of a buyer better than any opponents cars on the market however as well as setting a price for it you have to send at least 1 worker to provide a servicing team. With only spaces for 6 cars to sell (4 in a 2 player game) and only 4 buyers (3 in a 2 player game) it is important to get good cars up for sale matching the buyers as best as possible, however if you wait too long before selling the market may close although you may have the best car for it. The game is full of pre-planning, decision making and timing, the theme fits the game well and I have enjoyed the challenge raised in the two games I have played. If you like a good brain work-out in a game then I strongly advise that you give this one a go.
Table 2 started with Zendo a deduction game played with Icehouse pieces and released as a stand-alone game in 2003. One player thinks of a rule, they demonstrate this rule with the icehouse pieces the other players try to work out what the rule is from how the Icehouse pieces are placed by the first player by creating an arrangement themselves, if it does not fit the rule the first player creates another set-up demonstrating their rule. Play continues until the rule is correctly guessed.
Table 3 played Smash Up a card driven game where players try to overcome “bases” in the centre of the play area with their cards and having the strongest force when the base is overpowered. Bases bring points. Cards belong to factions and each card has its own ability based upon the faction, these powers can cause opponents cards to move, allow you to manipulate your cards or creates special power-ups in your strength as well as many other abilities. The game has a certain ebb and flow to it and is at the lighter end of gaming but for me has no special draw, it does have quite a following and there are a number of faction expansions for the game.
Table 3 went on to Dungeon Roll, this is a nice little game whereby players venture into a dungeon three times with their character, on each venture they try to explore down to as low a level as possible collecting treasure and gaining points for the depth they attain. It is a dice rolling game and each player has a character which will have an ability to assist the them, however luck of the dice will dictate how well you do although calculated decision making can help mitigate unfortunate rolling.
Elysium was my last game of the evening it is essentially a card collecting game where players score points for sets they have collected also if you are the first to collect a particular run (e.g. 1,2,3 purple) you get a bonus. Each round a number of cards are laid out and on a turn a player gets to take one, however first they must match the requirements of the card which is depicted by one or more coloured circles that must be matched with a players coloured pillars (each player has four Red, Green, Blue, yellow). These pillars act as action tokens and after taking a card they must spend one of their pillars thus each round every player gets 4 actions and as they are spent the options become more limited in matching requirements. Each round one action must be spent on taking a turn order tile which also dictates a cash income and how many cards you may use in set creation in the round (sets are laid below the player’s board whilst collected cards not yet in sets are laid above – there are no cards held in hand). Each card costs cash equal to its number to move from above the board into a set below.
Overall I liked these mechanisms they are clear and you can do a fair amount of planning to get the best from what cards are on display however another layer has been placed on the game and that is giving every card a “power” with its own special effects on the game, for instance it may help you place another card into a set or it may take victory points from other player e.t.c. , thematically they fit and if you like power card games you will thoroughly enjoy Elysium.
Sadly my tastes do not run that way, I generally do not enjoy power-card games and added to this is that the explanation on the cards was in a small font this meant that each round (and sometimes each turn) I had to pick up every card to be able to read them to decide which card I was to take. This added to the down-time between turns as I and others read cards, I can see how others would enjoy this game but for me it was slow and over-messy but I can also see that without the powers on the cards it could appear a very dry game.
Table 3 then played Deep Sea Adventure a simplish game from Oink of pushing your luck, they followed this with another Oink game A Fake Artist Goes to New York a wonderful little deduction game where an item is chosen to be drawn (ie with pens) – however one of those taking part will not know what that item is, a piece of paper is then passed round with each player adding something to the drawing. After it has done the rounds players then try to deduce who was not adding correctly to the picture.