Daimyos, Dresses and Doctrines

The club welcomed a new member to its fold who I hope had a good time. The first game of the evening was Age of War, a dice rolling game where you are trying to get tiles.

On your turn you roll 7 dice and try to match battle lines (symbols) on one of the cards, you then re-roll to try to overcome the next level victory and the tiles goes to a player when they conquer every line.

 The victory point tiles, note the clan symbols in the bottom right hand corner, you can get bonus points for clan sets

The victory point tiles, note the clan symbols in the bottom right hand corner, you can get bonus points for clan sets

The group then split into 2 tables with table 1 playing a new game Rococo a game about dress making for balls in the 18th century, the main mechanics of the game consist of collecting worker cards (deck building) which are then played to gain special actions. (Apologies but sadly my knowledge of this game ends here, I will edit this bit when I have learnt more from one of the players).

Beresford Quimby writes:  I was on the Rococo table, so can give a bit more background.   As Mr. Gamer points out above, each turn you get to select from a small deck of "employee" cards (which can be added to at a cost throughout the game), and the employees can do various things such as gathering dressmaking resources, recruiting other employees, taking money to the king to pay for decorations for the ballrooms (including the all-important terrace firework display)...and, of course, making dresses.   There's a lots of interesting choices, and a variety of strategies can be adopted to collect victory points: making and hiring out your dresses to the nobles is a key activity, but where and when you place them within the ballrooms of the palace is important, and the choice of decorations you fund can make a big difference when combined with clever placement of dresses.   I'm keen to give this one another go, as I think there's lots of fun to be had navigating different paths than the one I pursued on this occasion.

 The Rococo board

The Rococo board

In the meantime the second table settled down to an old favourite Carcassonne, which is highly popular and an excellent gateway game however with three experts at the table there promised to be a fair amount of cut and thrust. For those not familiar with the game you pick a tile from a bag, place it to the tableau adjacent to any previously played tile after which you may place one of your meeples on that tile. A tile may have a number of features, Field, Road, Monastery and or Town, when you place your meeple you must choose one of those features.

 From left to right, Blue muscles in on reds field, red muscles in on blues road whilst blue has been diverted from joining the red/yellow field (bottom right).

From left to right, Blue muscles in on reds field, red muscles in on blues road whilst blue has been diverted from joining the red/yellow field (bottom right).

Scoring occurs when a feature is completed. I soon found myself outmanoeuvred  by my two competitors and had to muscle my way in onto my opponents towns roads and fields in order to stay in touch. Despite our different tactics it was interesting that in the final scoring the lead that one of us had built up was whittled away and we all ended up with respectable scores although we did have a clear winner.

 Score board for Carcassonne, yellow on 81 points a clear winner.

Score board for Carcassonne, yellow on 81 points a clear winner.

Our table moved on to Ra a game that at its conclusion tends to leave people with mixed feelings about it. The game has been recently rereleased as Priests of Ra where there have been a number of changes to the rules and tiles used in the game, personal choice will dictate which version you prefer.

 Mid game, the Nile begins to grow as does the Monument collection

Mid game, the Nile begins to grow as does the Monument collection

The game is about collecting sets of tiles, however nothing is simple in this Reiner Knizia game where you either add a tile to the current group available or you auction those already there. Bidding is done with Sun tiles that you have open in front of you so everything is quite calculating, however in the draw bag is a large number of Ra tiles which act as a randomiser on when a turn ends, so there is also a gambling/push your luck element in the game which can badly affect those cold calculations.

 Game end, the Nile scores because it has flooded whilst Monument sets score for multiples as well as different types

Game end, the Nile scores because it has flooded whilst Monument sets score for multiples as well as different types

The game was played in a light-hearted fashion with the Nile and flood tiles conveniently helping the victor to his win.

 The Biblios deck

The Biblios deck

The last game was Biblios, a simple card game explained in these pages before, on this occasion found 2 of the players going head to head on a couple of the victory dice allowing the third player a runaway victory on the uncontested dice.

Meanwhile the other table finished off with the start game of the evening Age of War which coincidentally is a reimplemented Reiner Knizia game.