Dragons and Mayors from the East, Pirates and Ancients from the West, Monsters from Everywhere!

We welcomed another new person to the club last night and the ice-breaker chosen was Tsuro, this simple path laying game can be quite evil in its latter stages.

 Red and Black vying for the same space.

Red and Black vying for the same space.

The rules are simple on your turn you place a tile in front of your playing piece and then move it along the path to its end. If your piece goes off the board then you are out.

 The board at games end showing the various routes and loops

The board at games end showing the various routes and loops

If a tile is placed in front of your piece by another player, then your piece also gets moved to the paths end. Last piece on the board wins. 

As this game takes only 15 minutes the next quick game of the evening was Midnight Party. In this game you move your pieces around a corridor until Hugo the ghost makes an appearance, as soon as he arrives on a corridor space players can move their pieces into rooms.

 Hugo the ghost smiles at his first three victims. Although white has lost both of his pieces he still rolls the die hoping for more Hugo's.

Hugo the ghost smiles at his first three victims. Although white has lost both of his pieces he still rolls the die hoping for more Hugo's.

Movement is governed by players taking a turn rolling a die, if the die shows pips you can move one of your people into the safety of a room, however when a piece goes into a room they slam the door behind them and no one else can hide there, if however a Hugo shows on the die he moves 3 spaces catching anyone he passes over or onto.

 Hugo the really friendly ghost.

Hugo the really friendly ghost.

Captured pieces attract negative points and the winner is the person with the least negative score. It is a fun game but it is astonishing the number of times that you will move Hugo onto your own piece.

We split into 2 groups, the first playing Grog Island a 2014 game from Michael Rieneck who brought us the numerous Cuba games. Sadly I was not at this table and have not played this game so cannot tell you what it was like.

Beresford Quimby writes: Let me help out, then :-).   Grog Island is about retired pirates settling down and buying businesses (like peg-leg shops, or pirate hat stores) with the ill-gotten gold from their life of plunder.  At its heart, it's an auction game, where players use their gold to bid for the right to acquire the various businesses.  However, there's a little twist: at the start of each round, the active player rolls five dice (you can see them in the picture below), and for that round the players can only bid values that can be made up from the dice rolled.  So, 5, 4, 4, 2, 1 might be rolled, and the first player bidding might bid 6, using one of the 4 dice and the 2...the next player might increase the bid to 7 by adding the 1 dice, the next player might use the two 4's to bid 8, and so on. 

 Grog Island Board

Grog Island Board

Passing on a bid gets you commodities based on which dice are currently being used to bid - in the picture above, for example, a passing player would take the four commodities that are not grey, since all but the grey die are in the current bid.  These commodities can be used to acquire  more gold or other benefits.  There's more to the game than that, of course, and it was great fun for me, but like all auction games, it's hard to gauge the relative worth of things on one's first play - next time, I'll know what's what!  Now, we return you to Kent Gamer, for the rest of his report...

Kent Gamer continues: My table decided to play Stone Age, one of the top resource management games ranking number 3 in boardgamegeeks “Family Boardgame” listing. I always enjoy this game, very briefly it is worker placement to collect one of 5 resources, 4 of which are used to purchase victory point tiles and power cards.

The last resource is food which is used to feed your workers. Resource gathering relies on die rolling and during the course of a game bad and good luck often even out – but not always.

 My one and only visit to the wood pile. After this the other two locked me out from wood.

My one and only visit to the wood pile. After this the other two locked me out from wood.

I went for a proven strategy of starving my workers whilst maximising resource gathering, however a mix of unlucky timing on cards and a concerted effort whether deliberate or not I know not, to keep me from gathering wood made it awkward for me and I was beaten by a more solid strategy.

The other table had moved on to Castle Panic, a cooperative game with a nice flavour to it.

 The Castle in the middle with the enemy zones shown surrounding it.

The Castle in the middle with the enemy zones shown surrounding it.

In short hordes of horrible creatures race in from 6 different directions to tear down the walls of the castle, then attack the keep and sack it. Players on a turn play cards to destroy oncoming foes, rebuild walls and generally try to survive, after which more foes appear. This game is craving to be pimped with model meanies and real castle walls.

The last game on our table was Machi Koro, I have played this 2 player a few times so it was nice to try with 3 players.

 Early stages I was banking on the other players rolling 1's or 3's

Early stages I was banking on the other players rolling 1's or 3's

The game as last time ebbed and flowed, I started the game very slowly and built up a limited portfolio of cards whilst one of my opponents went for diversity. It looked like the latter tactic was going to win, but in the end a couple of good rolls of the dice and I managed to pip my opponents to the post.