Barrels, Gems and Nomads

This week at the club we started with a quick filler of Polterfasswhich made its first appearance a couple of weeks ago, an intriguing game where the skill is to outguess your opponents and roll good "dice". Each player as a barkeeper in turn rolls barrels under a cup with numeric values on their ends whilst the others guess collectively what that value will be.

 The Brown barrels here may alter the score from a minimum of 7 to a maximum of 11

The Brown barrels here may alter the score from a minimum of 7 to a maximum of 11

I have difficulties in this type of game as I can never assess my opponents correctly probably a reason why I never play poker, from the start this was a 2 horse race and the 75 points finishing mark was crossed whilst 3 of us were still having difficulty getting a positive score.

There had been a request to play Terra Mystica so three of us sat down to play this highly rated game currently sitting at number 4 on boardgamegeek one space behind one of last weeks games Agricola.

 The Witches Player board

The Witches Player board

The game is about getting victory points and these come from 3 main sources; having the largest territory at the games end, 4 cult tracks where points are awarded for your position on each, and lastly in-game scoring. Players in turn take an action until all players pass, the actions include terraforming and building a house, upgrading a building thus gaining additional rewards, sending a monk to increase your influence on cults and taking a power action using magic.

 Player board of expanded empires

Player board of expanded empires

Other actions can also improve your position. Expansion is the way to victory but careful timing of having the right resources available  to gain in-game bonuses is also important. Sadly as it was a learning game (including myself trying to refresh rules as we went along) led to the game ending after 5 turns, however all players enjoyed themselves and are now prepared for a full game in the future.

 Green has created a city

Green has created a city

In the meantime the other 4 started their evenings playing with Splendor a recent release that seems quite popular, a simple trading game which promises to be a good gateway game into the hobby and plays equally well as a filler for more experienced players.

Splendor tends to be played in silence due to all the mental planning that goes on, this game was no exception except for one moment of laughter, as in a lot of games a moment often occurs where everyone thinks it is somebody else’s turn, the difference here was that nobody actually knew whose turn it was at all.

 Cards from Splendor

Cards from Splendor

This was followed by Havana a game from Eggertspiele which uses the same iconography as in some of their other games.

In Havana you buy tiles which provide victory points from either end of two rows in play. To do this you play two cards from your hand which have various abilities; each player has the same cards which are played out before you can pick them up again, the cards also create a 2 digit number which dictates player order. Sadly

 Victory point tiles with turns supply of cubes and money at the top

Victory point tiles with turns supply of cubes and money at the top

 Closer look at some buildings with an increased supply available

Closer look at some buildings with an increased supply available

Last was Loot which was introduced last week.

 A very strong Pirate fleet in Loot

A very strong Pirate fleet in Loot

Overall a good solid evenings gaming