Cake Eating, Dice Rolling and Power Supplying

This week was the 1st anniversary of the Medway Area Boardgamers so congratulations to us and BQ our founder. Here are some stats that I posted on the face book page :-

 The anniversary cake - guess the 10 games.

The anniversary cake - guess the 10 games.

In total we have played 236 games involving 141 different titles from 108 different authors. Reiner Knizia leads the authors table having his games played 17 times through 11 different titles. In relation to boardgamegeek ratings the mean average rating of games played is 6.88, the highest rated was “Terra Mystica” at 8.26 whilst the lowest was “Schnarch Schnarch” at 4.33. Biblios, Sushi Go! And Midnight Party were the 3 most popular games. It is worth noting that only 5.6% of the titles had a Pirate theme. We opened with the cutting of the cake, 10 games are represented all of which have been played at the club (list at end of report), our founder also provided a scrummy selection of cup cakes.

With 10 people we split into three tables. Table 1 opened with Dominion, this deck building game is very popular and has a large number of expansions. The idea of the game is to collect more victory points than the other players, you start off with 10 cards and draw 5, most of the cards are cash cards and these are used to purchase cards from the table which are either more cash, action cards or victory point cards. The skill in the game lies in two places, firstly correctly deducing which action cards work well together and secondly timing when to go for the victory point cards as although they are the key to winning they have no other effect other than to clog up your hand.

Table 3 went with Ciúb  which has proved quite popular at the club although I have yet to play it.

My table started with Roll for the Galaxy a recent release from Rio Grande Games. Based on the card game Race for the Galaxy it plays quite differently and to my mind is a neater and smoother game (although a nightmare to explain). The basic concept is simple, roll some dice and dependent on their faces assign them to different jobs, do those jobs and get rewards which will hopefully be victory points and/or more dice.

 Game end scoring for RED - 20 trade points, 9 points for Worlds and 12 for Developments and 4 bonus points for the 6+ Development.

Game end scoring for RED - 20 trade points, 9 points for Worlds and 12 for Developments and 4 bonus points for the 6+ Development.

Now for the complications of which there are a few but they meld together nicely to make a very interesting game. The first is that the dice once used go into your spent pile (citizenry) you can only get them back into your cup with cash and that is not easy to come by, the last thing you want is to get caught in a cash trap whereby you only roll 1 die a turn. The second complication is that for the worker (die) placement you may only choose one primary job, any dice placed in the other 4 action fields only take effect if someone else chooses that job as THEIR primary action, so there is a level of second guessing what your opponents may choose as their primary role, fortunately any unused dice go back in your cup for the next turn.

 4 Rockets are chosen as the primary action here. The die rolling and job choices all take place behind screens and are revealed simultaneously. 3 options are secondary and will only occur if another player chooses them as a primary choice.

4 Rockets are chosen as the primary action here. The die rolling and job choices all take place behind screens and are revealed simultaneously. 3 options are secondary and will only occur if another player chooses them as a primary choice.

What you are trying to do with your jobs is build worlds (tiles) and developments (reverse of the tiles) for victory points and additional benefits, you are also trying to trade goods for cash or victory points. The fun comes from setting up a worlds and developments which will work in your favour better than the other players constructions whilst also keeping a good turnover of dice going. This game is well worth playing and I am glad to have added it to my collection.

After our first games there was a little swap round between some of the tables.

 As this was a 3 player game only 3 areas are used, the black houses delinate the edge of the playing area.

As this was a 3 player game only 3 areas are used, the black houses delinate the edge of the playing area.

Table 1 moved onto Power Grid which proved to be a colourful and interesting game.

Table 3 had moved on to Sewer Pirats, this is quite a nice game which I am now keen to get, especially when you hear across the room “I can’t score my teddy bears without a Parrot”.

Our second game was Samurai  by Reiner Knizia, down to 3 players this was quite a tense affair as we jockeyed for position around the various cities and towns.

 The island of Honshu and a Buddah and a Rice Field to claim.

The island of Honshu and a Buddah and a Rice Field to claim.

The idea is to collect various totems by holding a majority around the cities holding them, however the end scoring relies on having an even balance of totems whilst having a clear majority in one of them, because of this the real winner is always in doubt until the very end.

Table 2 finished with a quick game of Spellcaster  (4 player) described a few weeks ago.

Our table finished with Drunter und Druber , a fairly light hearted game of destroying toilets whilst protecting your buildings, however only you know which buildings are yours. I managed to lose this game spectacularly by having no points at the end, zero, not a thing.

 The road is all lined up to destroy the 4 point Clocktower and the toilet will only delay the inevitable.

The road is all lined up to destroy the 4 point Clocktower and the toilet will only delay the inevitable.

The games on the cake were :-

Castle Panic, Tsuro, Takenoko, Cacao, Korrigans, Splendor, Sushi Go!, Heck Meck, Midnight Party, Black Fleet and a generic die.

Last weeks picture puzzle was Chaos Marauders from Games Workshop. This week I have gone with something a little easier.

 This time a game box with all the important bits chopped off

This time a game box with all the important bits chopped off