Spaceships, Dungeons and Railroads

I was a little late at The Style & Winch this week mainly due to the Star Wars creations affixed to the outside of the pub, I could not help but delay for a few minutes to snap some piccy’s.

The first game was already on the table as I walked through the door at the club, Welcome to the Dungeon, this is a “push your luck” game that invites all the players to enter a dungeon and combat its inhabitants.

 Hero and all his bits

Hero and all his bits

Only one hero will actually enter and the players jockey for the privilege to enter as that hero and win great rewards or stitch up one of the other players to enter and suffer at the tooth, claw and sword of its denizens.

 The easy monsters of the Dungeon

The easy monsters of the Dungeon

The game starts with the chosen hero and his accoutrements laid out for all to see, these items will aid the hero in some way on his journey. On a turn a player has a choice of either to pass or draw the top monster card and look at it but hidden to the other players, they then have the choice of placing the monster in the dungeon or to nullify it by removing it along with any one of the hero’s items on display.

 Some of the Stronger Monsters hiding in the Dungeon

Some of the Stronger Monsters hiding in the Dungeon

In this way the hero either becomes weaker or the dungeon becomes more difficult, either way there comes a point where all but one of the players pass. At this point the hero/player plays through the deck of monsters in the dungeon using what items are left to defeat them. If the hero lives to the end they get a success card, if they perish they turn their crib card over. 2 defeats and the player is out, 2 successes and he wins the game.

Table 1 then played Flash Point: Fire Rescue an excellent co-operative game where players extinguish a fire in a burning building, the system works superbly mirroring how a fire spreads in reality.

 Some of the characters from Flash Point Fire Rescue

Some of the characters from Flash Point Fire Rescue

 Fireman grabbing a lift in an ambulance as the fire rages inside the building

Fireman grabbing a lift in an ambulance as the fire rages inside the building

In the base game players should win all the time, this game was played at the next level, however early control of the fire by the players made it a cinch, so much so that one of the players even had time to pop in and out of the building a couple of times to change characters a couple of times.

Table 2 played Russian Railroads of which I gave an overview a few weeks ago. This time it was a 4 player version and I found that everyone else was adopting one of the main strategies and for me it looked like the Moscow-Vladivostok was my best option. The player concentrating on Industry took an early lead over the first 2 rounds, a lead that promised to be quite strong. Another player was aiming for the bonus +20 token on the Moscow-Kiev rail, these two strategies meant that the train options were quickly snapped up leaving me to do rail building, however I was battling the third player for these and oft-times I was the second to choose.

 My personal board layout at the end of Russian Railroads

My personal board layout at the end of Russian Railroads

The mid-game was dominated by the Industry builder and the Moscow-Kiev player, however having obtained their initial objectives trains were once again available but rails were becoming more awkward to obtain and my chances of completing the Moscow-Vladivostok line were dwindling fast. The final stages of the game saw some fine jockeying for position where I lost control of the Engineers (something I see as a game winner) but gained ground on the Industry track. All-in-all it was a close game, with points being fought for to the very end, most enjoyable. 

In the meantime table 1 had moved on to Race for the Galaxy, this is the card game of the dice game played last week (Roll for the Galaxy), it is a civilization building game where each turn players select one of seven roles, everyone gets to do that role and the chooser gets a small bonus (not dissimilar to Puerto Rico).

 A players layout towards the end of Race for the Galaxy

A players layout towards the end of Race for the Galaxy

I last played this about 7 years ago but it did not work for me, I found there was a lot to read on the cards and knowledge of what was in the deck and how the cards best interacted meant as a newbie to the game I had no chance. However I am in a minority as it is ranked 20 on BGG Strategy game list.

A few had to leave so for the last hour four of us sat and played a few lighter games. First was Mascarade, we found that last week we had got a couple of rules wrong. With the alterations I enjoyed the game a lot more, there was the same amount of chaos as last time and my memory still let me down but the deduction process worked a lot better.

 The thief character from Mascarade who steals a coin from his two neighbours

The thief character from Mascarade who steals a coin from his two neighbours

We played a couple of games of this then finished off with a few rounds of Welcome to the Dungeon.

The quiz picture was of one of the cards out of Animal Olympics an excellent little card game of logic and luck. This week I have chosen a game from the slightly heavier side of my collection, typical playing time about 45 minutes per player.

 The game being played above is a solo scenario

The game being played above is a solo scenario