Beasty Bar, Blue Moon City and Skyway Robbery

This quiz picture is another blast from the past.

Last weeks picture was of Niki Lauda's Formel 1, there are several versions of Formel 1 – this is my favourite.

Only a quick summary this week due to my other commitments. There were three tables this week, on Table 1 they started with Skyway Robbery a game from Philip duBarry who designed Spirits of the Paddy Field a favourite of mine, sadly though I know nothing of this game (photos to follow later).

Table 2 played Scoville which I described last week and which I have played a couple of times since. It is at its best with more than 2 players but an excellent game design is let down badly by component design specifically the board with the punch out holes for the chilli’s which has been commented on in several differing groups.

 All the chilli's

All the chilli's

 The play area in Scoville with chilli's being planted

The play area in Scoville with chilli's being planted

B > I enjoyed Scoville, even if I was very slow at working out which peppers were generated when you crossed other peppers, and how i could move my playing piece when harvesting to get the best result. It requires some fore thought. I did exactly what I was told not to, and went for the smaller order fills, to no avail. The winner had a good blend of filled orders, planting bonuses and money. Would definitely like to play again to try some different strategies and just become more familiar with the game as a whole.

S > I meant to write on last week's how much I'd enjoyed Scoville and Cockroach Poker. I was very glad to get to play both again this week. Scoville is more tactical than it first appears and was over very quickly with three.

Table 3 played Suburbia another that has been dealt with before, in simple terms it is a tile purchasing game and each you purchase goes into your own display which may trigger bonuses from adjacent tiles. Knowledge of the tiles and the effects is useful so new players are always at a slight disadvantage but other than that it is an engaging game.

 The purchase row

The purchase row

 The score chart at the end, yellow (J) won. Every time your marker crosses a red line you suffer a penalty.

The score chart at the end, yellow (J) won. Every time your marker crosses a red line you suffer a penalty.

Table 3 the played Beasty Bar which for me was the game of the night, it was a lot of fun. In a lot of these small card games I feel control is lacking and choices too limited however in Beasty Bar this is not the case. Each player has 12 cards and each players deck is identical, everyone draws a hand of 4 cards and then in turn plays a card to the back of a line, the cards depict an animal which has a ranking and a special power, when you play a card you enact its power and then any power of a card in the line which has a repeating effect. You are trying to get your animals to the front of the line as the line scores once the line is five cards long and the leading cards go into a score pile whilst the tail card is removed from play. Play continues until all cards are played. It is fun and the cards cause all sorts of weird stuff to happen, this has immediately gone on my “to purchase” list.

 3 of the cards from my deck, the seal swaps the front of the queue for the back

3 of the cards from my deck, the seal swaps the front of the queue for the back

J > I was the worst player with Beasty Bar. Lovely art and excellent gotcha mechanics. Just when I thought that I'd have people in the bar my beasts get kicked off the queue (or worse, the door moves). I'm not sure whether this has anything to do with me winning Suburbia beforehand.

Table 2 next played Blue Moon City an interesting game from Reiner Knizia of which I have played once but all I can remember is that I enjoyed it.

B > My favourite of the night was blue moon city. A simple mechanic and easy to learn card powers combined to make the game very accessible and fun to play.

 Part of the Blue Moon City play area

Part of the Blue Moon City play area

Table 2 then moved on to Clans a light area control game in you rarely have as much control as you may wish, each player has a secret colour which they are trying to promote for victory points however once your colour is discovered it is easy to get nobbled, it is also very difficult to set yourself up for a later turn as the board changes so rapidly and therefore planning ahead (for me) other than in general terms does not work and I see the art of the game as making plays which induce the next player to make a move that promotes your colour along with anything else they do. I see this game as a quick filler as opposed to a thinky game. This was played by Table 2 as a 3 player game then a 2 player game.

 Part of the Clans board, players are a hut colour looking to get dominance in groups of huts as they are brought together

Part of the Clans board, players are a hut colour looking to get dominance in groups of huts as they are brought together

B > As for clans, I can honestly say I'm not a fan. It requires too much awareness of where things are and what certain moves will trigger, for me. I'd be happy never to play it again! I certainly really struggled with it.

Table 3 played a 3 player game of Stoplights which is a line forming game with cards, you have to be on your toes all the time to avoid traps.

Table 1 in the meantime had played A Fistful of Penguins a nice dice rolling game with some lovely pieces.

 One of the Penguins

One of the Penguins

The last game on the table was Cockroach Poker played 6 player and it was a fight, I am happy to have survived, just.

S > Cockroach Poker is just a brilliant way to end the evening. Love the art and the fact everyone is involved for so much of the game, I've ordered a copy of my own for playing outside the club.