Drums, Gold and Pirate Ships

This Wednesday the first game on the table was Boing!, a nice warm-up game for all ages. It is essentially a biscuit tin with different coloured plastic balls which sit on the rim. On a turn a player must strike the drum in order to knock their opponents balls into the hole in the centre, but you are only permitted to strike once so an accidental tap or a poor tap means your turn is over.

 Boing showing hammer and player balls in the rim

Boing showing hammer and player balls in the rim

If you strike too hard and balls fly off the tin you pay a penalty and lose a ball to the tin, lose all your balls and you are out, the game continues until only one players balls are left on the rim at which point they win. Playing in 10 minutes it is a fun dexterity game, we played 2 games of this.

Table 1 had started their first game of the evening with a warm-up game of Incan Gold a simple mechanism with a nice push-your-luck element where players are exploring a Temple hoping to deprive it of all its treasures. A deck of cards consists of some disaster cards (3 of each type) and a number of gem cards. On a turn a card is revealed, if it is a gem card the gems are split equally between the players and any remainder are placed on the card, after each revelation the players decide whether they want to leave the Temple or carry on deeper into its depths.

 Two treasure cards flanking a disaster card and a special treasure card

Two treasure cards flanking a disaster card and a special treasure card

A round ends in one of two ways, the last player has left the temple or a second duplicate disaster card is revealed in which case everyone still in the Temple returns their gems, anyone who previously left the Temple keeps their Gems and puts them in storage. The winner is the player who collected the most gems over 5 rounds.

Table 2 then started the main game of the evening, Harbour  by TMG a very new release which I received last week. The game is about managing 4 different resources in order to collect building cards, the building cards all have victory points and it is the player with the most victory points at the games end that wins.

 The centre board showing the current prices for goods

The centre board showing the current prices for goods

On a turn you must move your sole worker to a building card of your choice, either owned by you, another player or the central purchase pool after which you undertake the action of that card. Purchasing a building is by way of using a building with a purchase action and then zeroing your chosen goods whose value is depicted on a central board.

 2 building cards in Harbour flanking a bonus victory point card

2 building cards in Harbour flanking a bonus victory point card

After the purchase the goods used are immediately devalued. Buildings bought bring a small bonus to the purchaser which can be one of 4 types including storage for goods used and a discount on further purchases.

 A players position early in the game after purchase of his first building. The large card is the players character with special ability

A players position early in the game after purchase of his first building. The large card is the players character with special ability

Forward planning is not essential until you have built up a stock of goods, in fact as the price of goods can change drastically between turns forward planning can leave you bitterly disappointed. The game was a bit slow mainly due to the fact that half the time because of price changes you have to evaluate your turn from scratch at the start of your turn, familiarity with the cards in the deck would speed this process up.

The next game on Table 1 was Black Fleet. I do like Sebastian Bleasedales games but I have yet to play this one.

 Some of the cards in Black Fleet

Some of the cards in Black Fleet

 Ship with Cargo

Ship with Cargo

No doubt I will get an opportunity at some point to play it especially as one of the clubs members has an insatiable love of Pirate games which means it will hit the tables again.

The last game on Table 1 was Smash Up, Each player gets 2 decks of 20 cards, each deck is a different faction, they shuffle the deck which becomes their personal deck which will contain both minion and action cards.

 A Selection of cards in Smash-Up

A Selection of cards in Smash-Up

On a turn a player can play 1 minion and 1 action card, the minions are played against score cards in the centre of the table, each score card (or base) has a defence strength that when reached is scored, the players then all get points dependent on how strong their minions are at that base.

 A Base and Minions in Smash-Up

A Base and Minions in Smash-Up

The interplay of action cards and the minions own special abilities ensures that each battle is not as simple as first appears.

After Harbour Table 2 moved on to Incan Gold, its addictive “push your luck” mechanism was proved by our table playing it twice. That wrapped up an entertaining evening of game play.