Camels, Cars and Construction

A new high for the club as it continues to grow, still only a few months old and we have reached 10 attendees, it was lovely to see everyone. We started off with Camel Up whilst waiting for the last few to arrive, some of whom were early enough to get into the game and take it up to its maximum of 8.

  Camel Up's board.   Note the acrobatic camel stack...

Camel Up's board.   Note the acrobatic camel stack...

This game has some nice mechanisms which mesh together well and it is well deserving of this years Spiel des Jahres award. The randomness of movement can be frustrating at times but that is all part of the game and as a quick reactive game it is a winner and makes a nice filler.

  And now, in close-up, an amazing feat of Dromedarian balance!

And now, in close-up, an amazing feat of Dromedarian balance!

The players split and I saw Ticket to Ride appear on another table, not being a game I enjoy that much I sat down at the table where Nauticus  had been placed. Nauticus is an interesting resource management game designed by Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer. In your turn you choose an action which every player gets to do, and as the active player you get a small bonus. These actions are paid for with workers and cash and allows you to purchase hulls, masts, sails and goods, points are awarded for completed ships and goods transported.

  Nauticus' board, showing the "action wheel" in the centre, from which actions are chosen.  The graphics are appropriately...well,  nautical , I suppose.

Nauticus' board, showing the "action wheel" in the centre, from which actions are chosen.  The graphics are appropriately...well, nautical, I suppose.

There is more to the game than I can write here; our game tripped along quite nicely with different tactics being employed and we were all quite close at the end. I devoted 2/5 of the game to collecting and scoring crowns which gave me a handsome 42 points but did mean that I was not doing much else and my turns were a little dull.

  In Nauticus, it's all about the boats...and here's some bits of boats: hulls, masts, sails.  You can see a completed one-mast ship in the top-left corner.

In Nauticus, it's all about the boats...and here's some bits of boats: hulls, masts, sails.  You can see a completed one-mast ship in the top-left corner.

In the meantime the other table had replaced TTR with a new game from GMT – Thunder Alley which is based on Stock car racing. I know nothing about this game despite some research and we thank another correspondent for this run down of the game played which I understand was the Nascar version. (to follow)

  Thunder Alley's race-track, and lots of flapping hands...

Thunder Alley's race-track, and lots of flapping hands...

As I knew nothing about this game I did a bit of research and found the quick  rules which gave me a loose idea of what it is about but not how it feels in play, I also discovered that GMT are already working on a reimplementation of the game due for release in 2015 called Grand Prix which I found a bit odd but perhaps it is more of an expansion than a re-theme.  Time will tell.

  The green driver is just about to go round the bend.

The green driver is just about to go round the bend.