Wednesday, December 30, 2009

No fly's on me, well maybe a few.

Holiday gaming was a bit light but I did manage to gets the guys together for one nights gaming. First up was MOW! which has become my favorite card filler game. It's a basic game of putting numbered cards in sequence and not being caught out with no cards to play. One of the guys hadn't played it before and really enjoyed it. It can get bit vindictive as some cards allow you to change the direction of play, but its all good fun.

After this we played Endeavor another new favorite. For a 5 player game it played out different than I expected. Only 3 of the regions opened up and then only in rounds 5-6. There was not much shipping going on and more attacking than usual. I managed to score the win, but I have played it more than the others so I did have an advantage. Some of the others were stuck on low level buildings and slow population growth, next time they will have a better idea.

The only other gaming has been with the kids new Lego games. Between them they have 4 and the quality varies. The best one so far is Minatourus, its a maze navigation game that also has a Minator that can attack the players and movable wall pieces that you can use to block your opponents. There is scope to add to the maze and use additional rules, but for now its enough of a game for the kids.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm a Storyteller

Last week was full of gaming as the various groups met up before Christmas to play a few games and have a drink.
The first game played at P.O.B. last week was Dixit. Initially we were a bit sceptical about the game. We had been dealt a hand of cards and told we needed to tell a story. Auctions we can handle, bluffing not a problem but asking us to make up stories seemed a little odd.

Actually the game was very good, when its your turn you pick one of the cards in your hand. These are beautifully illustrated pictures of mainly surreal states. You then say a word or phrase that would tell a story about that card. It's then placed face down on the table. The rest of the players then need to pick a card which they think would also match the story and place them face down.
Cards are then shuffled and turned over, each player then places a token on the table matching the card position that they think belongs to the storyteller.
Points are then awarded to each card with tokens and the storyteller can gain more points if his card is chosen unless it chosen by all or no players. So the story you tell cannot be too vague or too simple.
The rounds flew by and there were several "What!" moments as non of the cards seemed to match the story.
After our initial scepticism I really enjoyed the game. Putting down cards that matched very close to the story was fun knowing that I could get more score from the other players. I lost out to Mudhonney my one point but would be very happy to play it again.
It's classed as a party game and I would play it over Wits and Wagers any day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stone Age

I had a package delivery on Friday while I was out and the only item to big to fit through the letterbox that I was expecting was my Santa gift.
I couldn't pick it up until yesterday and resisted opening it for all of.....5 seconds. I kidded myself into finding out as I had a few other games on Christmas lists. I wouldn't want two copies of the same game would I?

A copy of Stone Age greeted me as I ripped upon the box. Fantastic, I love this game and have had a game running on Yucata since I found out about it. Now I have my own proper copy and it should hit the table this week.

Thanks BGG Secret Santa.

Looks like P.O.B. has a new venue, we will be at the Wine Vaults tomorrow night if anyone is in the area and wants a game. Hopefully this venue will last longer than previous ones. Tomorrows games are going back to old school Euros. Puerto Rico is making an appearance along with some others, I am tempted to bring along Caylus as I haven't played it for a while.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Santa's on his way

Boardgamegeek run a secret Santa every year and this years one has just kicked off. This will be my third year and the previous two have been really good.

Once everyone has signed up Tom Vassel supplies each participant with there target, you can then spend some time looking at there profile and wish list. You can also use a Santa account to start sending anonymous emails to your target which is fun. My last targets have been in America and Australia, this year its a Canadian and they have a pretty good list of games on there wishlist.

I rarely get games for Christmas and this makes sure that I get at least one good one. I am not hoping for any one particular game this year, although Dungeon Lords and Dominion Seaside would be nice additions.

Looks like P.O.B. has found a new home. The Wine Vaults pub in Southsea, our first meet there is next week and it will be nice to have the room for everyone to meet up and play some of the new games.

Gaming wise here has been a bit slow, maybe because of Modern Warfare 2 being released but also work has been busy. Endeavor and Notre Dame have seen the light recently and they have been well received. Endeavor continues to impress me, last game I tried to go for a building strategy as I am usually stuck with lower buildings. The last game went well for me with the other players missing on attack options so I managed to take over enough cities to claim a large share of the trade routes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Civilization with dice

It's been a busy month with work and home but a few games have been played. I was lucky enough to get Endeavour and Roll Through the Ages last week as presents. Endeavor looks amazing and it should get its first play tomorrow night. RTtA has been played and I am pretty impressed.
i haven't yet played its grown up companion but there is a very good game lurcking in the small box.
First play was against Dobbie and we quickly started rolling the lovely wooden dice. I went for getting a few early developments while Dobbie wanted more cities and the great wall of China. the dice were rolled and after 30 mins I checked over the winning conditions. First to 5 developments, wait up I have 7 already. Ooops. Dobbie had finished his great wall so we decided to have two more rounds then score. We both then went for pure score with me finishing a hanging gardens while Dobbie went for everything else.
I won 33 to 27, Dobbie would have won but he had more disasters than me.

I am going to give it another play tomorrow but first impressions were very good. there is a free expansion available for it as well that adds a bit more meat to it, but I think I can live without that for a bit.

I have also finished painting the robots from my Robo Rally set. They look pretty good, so I will post some pics of them soon. Until then, I need to re-read the Endeavor rules as I don't want to miss the game end conditions on that one.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Brain hurts!

Last night I played Neuland and it was painful. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it but it was certainly a thinking game and one that we struggled to get our heads around.
After a few rounds we had grasped the mechanics of the game, but were no where near knowing how to win the game.

It's a very clever game of resource and time manipulation. You have to use your workers to produce resources to then convert resources so that you can build bigger resource processing building. Each action takes time and the more actions you take the longer it will be until your next turn.
I screwed up my last go and left it wide open for Hannah to win, next time I really must pay more attention to the other players workers on the board.

After that brain draining game we finished off with a quick game of Ubongo. I started out strong but failed to beat the others so two game losses for me.

Other gaming in the week has been Pitchcar with my kids and there friends which was really good. They are getting pretty good at it, but tend to flick a bit hard at times causing there cars to shoot off the track. Plus a bit of Carc and Catan on the 360 against Gornad which has been good.

expansion is released next week and I am really looking forward to that one, I hope its going to add some great bits to the game.

On a side note, Monopoly has released an online version that uses google maps as the board. So far the servers are being absolutely hammered, but keep trying if you want to buy your road.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Another mini games night this week and the expansion to Kingsburg made an appearance. To Forge a Realm is really 5 mini expansions all of which are pretty good and add to the base game. We played with the soldier tokens expansion and it did add to the game. I was determined to keep the 4 point token to the end to help scoring so went for a military strategy and built as many +battle buildings as I could. I started out well with Gornad in the lead by a couple of points, but the others caught up. At the last round things were very close and even closer at the end when 3 of us tied for first place, what was worse was we had all spent our goods for extra soldiers in the last winter battle. So the game ended with a tie, but it was a good game.

Dominion was also played, this time with no Intrigue cards mainly because carrying two boxes around is a bit painful. I thin I need to invest in a carry box that I can use to transport a couple of decks around. My economic engine stalled and I always seemed to end up with 7 gold, never enough to buy a province.

the night ended with a game of Mow, its French for Moo! Its a clever card game where players build up herds of cows and try to not pickup the cow cards with flies on it. It's similar to 6 Nimt but maybe a little less stressful.

Another mini session is organised for next week, so plenty of gaming is happening at the moment which makes a change.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Please sir, can I have some more?

It has been a pretty good few days game wise, Pitchcar was played with the kids on Sunday and the 2 games we played were very close. Each was won by mistakes, or a bad flick on the last lap. Pitchcar is a fun game and its so easy to just setup and get going. I must have a look at the expansions some time, the ramp expansion looks like it could be fun.

Last night I visited Mudnoney's for a few games, we had arranged to give Dominion a go with some of the Intrigue cards. I have had Intrigue for over a month now and not played it. We used one of the suggested setups and it was a very strange game. A bit slow as there were few opportunities to make money. Or we missed them. Some of the new cards are just mean, the Torturer gives the other players a choice of either discarding 2 cards or taking a curse. Used with a throne room it was very nasty. I managed to win the game by just burning through the estate cards and finishing off the remodel pile. I enjoyed it, but did feel it went on a little longer than usual, but there were new cards to read.

Next up was Agricola, playing with the "I" deck. It was a good game and I lost out by 5 points in the end. I made a stupid mistake in the first round and couldn't feed my family so picked up my first ever begging card. things trundled along for a bit but Mudhoney played a summer house card for 8 points at the end securing a big points advantage. It was a good, close game and other than the begging problem I wasn't sure what else I could have done to win.

Lastly we played Cant Stop, something a bit lighter to end the evening. I am usually very bad at luck games and things started out badly. I just couldn't stop and lost everything for the two rounds. My typical fare, but I came back strong going for the 5-6-7-8 columns and just kept on rolling. I managed to score the win but it was a close one with the others each finishing on two columns as well.

No more gaming is planed for the next few days, so it will be back to Stone Age on Yucata. But we were discussing holding a Formula D tournament with the group, that could be fun.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Dice Tower Awards

The 2008 Dice Tower Awards were revealed last week. For those of you that don't know the Dice Tower is a podcast hosted by Tom Vassal and covers board and card games. It's a good listen with some good humour and lots of information on new and old games.

This year I was asked to be on the panel and I jumped at the offering. After the initial selections were made we all had to vote on the different categories. I managed to get plays in on most of the games in the categories which helped out.

Anyway, the categories and winners are
  • Best Game of the Year , Dominion
  • Small Publisher of the Year, Fragor Games for Snow Tails
  • Best New Designer, Donald Vaccarino for Dominion
  • Best Reprint, Formula D
  • Most Innovative, Space Alert
  • Best Expansion, Descent : Road to Legend
  • Best Artwork, Battlestar Gallactica
  • Best Family Game, Formula D
I am pretty happy with the games that won, they are all good games and ones that I enjoy playing. I think Dominion was going to win Best Game hands down, its one of my favorite games of the year and I haven't even used any of my Intrigue cards yet.

Formula D also did very well, its another good game that has benefited from the reprint. I wanted it to win Best Artwork as well but Battlestar is a worthy winner.

Gaming has been a little light at the moment, but a session has been planned for next week so hopefully some new games will hit the table. I am dying to give Dominion: Intrigue a play, so we shall see.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

El Grande

A mini meet was held last night as I wanted to give El Grande a go. I recently picked it up as its in the top ten games on the geek and looked pretty good. After reading the rules earlier in the week I thought it looked like a very basic game and one that I was surprised had such a high rating.

Anyway, four of us sat down and started the game off, after the second round we realised something was wrong. We were playing the power cards wrong so started again. This started off well for me and even better in round 2 when I was able to bid the highest and use an action card to score a whopping 27 points. This put me well in the lead. for the rest of the game it was a race for second place. I think I finished on around 135 points, a very good game. Simple but very well thought out.

My luck turned for the next game, Mow is a card game about flies and cowes. Its all about playing numbered cards in order and not being unable to place a card. Its a fun game that is very easy to pickup and play. I came last after three appalling rounds where I picked up between 30 and 40 flies.

With an hour to go I pulled out a few games to choose and Blokus was picked. Four player Blokus is a very good game and one I enjoy playing. Lost the first game and won the second with only a single 3 point piece left that I was unable to play.

A diverse mix of games, area control abstract and flies. El Grande stood out and I was really impressed with it. Price point is maybe a bit high but it did come with 5 expansions so there is plenty of game play in the box.

Noticed that the Kingsburg expansion has just been released so that on a wish list, also the new Middle Earth Quest game has appeared out of nowhere. That needs a bit of a look to see what its all about. But above all the expansion for Pandemic is slated for this month and that's a must buy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A game of musical chairs

We had a POB meet last night although there were only eight of us we still managed to get in a good number of hours play.

First up was Space Alert a game that I have been interested in for a while. It's a co-op game where the players work as a team to stop there space craft from being destroyed by alien ships. The novel factor of the game is that you play along to a mission CD. This is telling you what phase of the game you are in and when enemies attack. While this android voice was talking we were frantically trying to plan out our moves. These included firing lasers, powering up shields and wiggling the mouse to stop the computer going into screen saver mode. When the mission CD ends you all end up with a series of programmed moves that you then play out.
Space alert is one of the most frantic and stressful games I have played in a while. It was like watching an episode of Laurel and Hardy as we bumbled our way around the ship shooting at baddies that hadn't appeared then moving off while someone else moving into position to find that laser had run out of power. Teamwork wasn't our thing and we lost.
I really enjoyed the game and look forward to giving it another play sometime.

The other table had finished cutthroat caverns so we rejoined and Game of Thrones was pulled out. I have only played this game once and was sorely beaten by Steerpike. I suppose life in the castle had turned him into a Lannister and his red troops had won the game by turn 3 of my first game.
Tonight was different, 5 players and we were all ready. Unfortunately Squid boy managed to sink my navy in the first turn and subsequently took over house Lannisters ancestral home the following turn. Meanwhile Ollie and Rob were expanding in the south and Mike's Starks were pouring down from the north. I was sandwiched between two fronts and had to spend more time defending than expanding.
The game drew on and it was obvious that it was either going to be Ollie or Mike to take the win. In the end they both finished with the same number of strongholds but Ollie had the higher supply so won the game.
The game had run for nearly 3 hours and it was gone midnight so we packed up.

A good nights gaming, the other table had played a couple of games of Race for the Galaxy during our epic battle of Westeros. I am not sure when a Game of Thrones will be played again, it takes a while to play but I am hoping it won't be as long as last time.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Modern Art

I have recently been playing Stone Age on Yucata. I think I first heard about it on the Meeples and Minatures podcast and I kind of brushed it off. I was probably busy with Pandemic at the time.

It's on Beta at Yucata and I have really been enjoying it, I have about 5 games of it on the go at the moment. One of the best things about the implementation is that you can see the board and cards as they really are. I think the board is one of the best looking boards I have seen.

I am a sucker for things that look nice and I am sure if I had seen this earlier a copy would be on my shelf already. I have had a look back over the games and wondered how many I have bought just because they looked good. Suprisingly not a huge amount. Does this mean that I have missed out on some gems or just don't appreciate good board game art.

Dominion is a great game, but I find the art a bit bland but functional. Some companies seem to spend more tiem on the artwork than others. I suppose it's down to cost. After developing a game can they justify pasting on some uber artwork hoping that it will be enough to entice the geek crown into buying it?

So, my top 5 best looking game boards at the moment are probably
  1. Stone Age, its new.
  2. Formula D, I love the cartoon look of the reprint.
  3. Hannible, rome vs Carthage. Sucker for map boards and this is gorgeous.
  4. Thebes, works well with the theme and its another map board.
  5. Age of Empires III, yet another map.
Any others I should be looking at?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back to Gaming

After a two week break enjoying the sights and sun of Spain I am ready for some gaming.

This week a couple of the guys came over as we had planned a game of Shogun. It was a great game, playing with 5 players is always my favorite number as it increases the conflicts.
A couple of the guys hadn't played it before but after the first year had been scored things were making sense. I was in the lead mainly down to being left alone to build in two regions while Panzerfaust started his warmongering ways.
Year two heated up with a few of us loosing provinces that were ready to supply us with gold for the season or further supplies. I came in second to Moley after he managed to take over enough provinces with buildings to score a good number of points. Well played, you managed to keep quite and just amass armies ready for a massive summer offensive.
I was a little disappointed in that we all managed to keep our peasants under control and feed during the winter months. It always adds a bit of tension when players start loosing badly defended provinces due to lack of rice.
Everyone enjoyed it and all agreed we should setup another game sometime.

Next up was the bean farming game Bonhanza. This has been on my shelf for a while now as I was never that sure about it. I had read the rules before going on holiday and watched a couple of web videos on how to play.
I explained the rules, ran through a couple of dummy hands and it seemed to make sense. The cards were dealt and after a couple of hesitant rounds it clicked. Stink beans were soon being traded for Chili beans and the game started to flow nicely. Unfortunately it was getting late so we decided to just play through one run of the deck. Romeo won and surprisingly everyone was very keen to play it again another night. I had just worked out some strategies and realised that you really had to trade away cards from your hand so you could plant and harvest your own. Then the game ended. Next time things will be different.

Games on there way are El Grande and Mow, probably two extremes. One set in ancient Spain where players vie for control over Spain's provinces, the other a french game about cows and flies.

Game group meet soon and a Game of Thrones is planned, just need to read the rules again and maybe get some strategy tips from Steerpike ;-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gaming a plenty

There has been a plethora of gaming going on recently and some fantastic games have hit various tables.

My copy of Steam arrived and a 4 player game was arranged, playing only the basic rules as we were all relatively new to games involving shipping cubes between cities. It played really well, a cut down, sleek intercity 125 version of Age of Steam. I lost due to not having enough cubes to move around without scoring heavily for my opponents.

Cutthroat Caverns has also been played and I was pleasantly surprised with it. Backstabbing is always fun and set it in a fantasy dungeons and dragons setting is going to appeal to any old school RPGer. Again I lost this but enjoyed it enough to put it on my wish list.

My losing streak continued into last weeks POB meet, where I was soundly beaten at Bang, hustled by Leanne at Small World, dun over at Intrigue (Not the Dominion expansion) and killed off at Shadow Hunters. A great nights gaming even if I didn't win a thing.

Last night everything changed, Moley dropped in for a couple of hours gaming and my luck changed. War of Edath was played twice, its a good game that is growing on me. Now we have the base rules down I can only see it getting better. One game a piece, although I foolishly suggested we just pick our armies. I went for variety, Moley went for heavy cavalry. Enough said.
My copy of Intrigue is on its way, but the base game of Dominion still cries out to be played. A random selection of kingdom cards made for a very interesting game. Only one the laboratory and spy cards were giving out extra actions so a hard game was fought. Luckily my adventurers always managed to help find me some gold and the game was mine.
Rounding off the night was a game of Battleline, where I managed to score a pretty easy victory even if I forgot that there were cards numbered to 10 in the game. I blame those Scottish types.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mini Game Session

Last night was an impromptu game session. Moley and Mudhoney came over and we decided to have a Euro only game session.

First up was Ticket to Ride Switzerland, second time I have played it and the first with 3 players. It was a much more cut throat with 3 players as we were all trying to get to similar places. Moley won in the end by scoring a huge amount of points with his destination cards. I came in last after being blocked off on some of my cards.
It played well with 3 players, much more planning needs to be done to control the choke points on the map.

Next up was Princes of Florence, this game doesn't get played much and I don't know why. I really like it and have made an effort to play it a bit more often. After a quick recap of the rules for Moley we started. Things were pretty even at the start, I made a few mistakes at the start. Bidding for builders and not using them. I also usually go for a couple of jesters but only managed to get one.
Final scoring was close and I thought I had it, but Mudhoney had bought a couple of Prestige cards and the helped him win by 2 points. A well played game and one I am desperate to play again.

That was it for the night as it was getting on and we all seemed to be in need of a rest.

Project for the weekend is Dune Express which is a free print and play game that is getting some good reviews. I should be able to get a decent sized board made and the dice ready for next week. It will give me something to do.

Steam is on its way to me and probably bouncing in the back of a royal mail van as I type. This one looks very good, an updated version of Age of Steam and will be my first proper train game. Apparently its not supposed to have been released until June 25th, but IGUK have a few copies that you can buy now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New releases..... Meah

There seems to have been a bit of a drought in new releases so far this year. Marring a few reprints there has been nothing that I have really been looking forward to.

I am hoping that the year 2009 won't be known as a bit of a dud and I am sure that there will be lots of good stuff released around convention time, but so far its been a bit lacking.

Age of Steam 4th edition looks ok and I need to have a good train game in my collection, but with Steam being released in the next couple of weeks I am holding off.

Space Alert looks good, but the price has put me right off. Although I may be tempted after a game. It sounds like a good co-op game and the CD sounds like fun. Although it could be a bit gimmicky.

Small world was one I was going to buy, but after a couple of games I will hold off. Its a good game, but maybe I was expecting something with a bit to it. Not to say I wouldn't say no to a copy, its just there are other games that I would prefer to play.

There are a couple of expansions that I will definitely part my hard earned cash for. Pandemic's expansion is a must, what I have read about it looks really good, and playing with a traitor or 5 players will certainly add to the game.

More Dominion cards can't be bad, but I am worried about the cost. Do we really need another set of victory and money cards? I can understand why they are doing it, they want it to be playable without the base set, but does that make it an expansion?

Lastly the expansion for Kingsburg will finally be released this year. Kingsburg is a great game and one I overlook. Having a number of small expansions in one box is a good idea as you can bring them in slowly to expand and change the game.

So, I am back to playing some older games. Princes of Florence and Brass have been played recently and they are both good solid games. I am hankering after Powergrid and Agricola again and this weeks POB should see them hit the table on Friday.

There are rumors that a copy of Dune may find its way to POB on Friday, now that should be fun.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

From out of Africa

Last night was another Wednesday gaming night. This time my mate Moley was over with a present. A handcrafted Mancala set from Sierra Leone. Its really nice and after running through the rules we played best of three.
First game I lost big time, I missed out some of the moves and handed it to him on a plate. Next game I won and the last I lost. I was too busy looking at what I was doing and not what both sides could do. A typical failing of mine.

Mancala is a nice simple abstract game and looking it up on the web I see that there are other games that you can play with the set.

As we still had several hours of gaming I wanted to get a couple of need games to the table. The first was the Switzerland expansion for Ticket to Ride. This turned out to be a bit more cut throat than a typical game, but I managed to win by about 18 points. All thanks to a lucky ticket draw at the end of the game. The map worked really well and the new destination ticket types were really good. However the board quality was a bit poor. On one side half of the number were chopped. Plus there was a 5 train link on the board and no mention of how to score it!

Next up was a new card game. War for Edadh which has been self published by some uk designers. It took a bit of time to get our heads around it, slowly working through the basic rules but it has potential. I think we only just scratched the surface of the game and I want to give it another go. It will be in the bag to POB next week.
The artwork of the cards is really nice, I like the style even if some people have commented on how "busy" the cards are with information. I will probably do a review of this for the IGUK site later in the month.

Time was upon us but after another cup of tea we played a game of Lord of the Rings the Confrontation. A game that I like but never get to play enough. I lost with Moley managing to get the hairy footed Frodo to Mordor after Sam managed to snafu the witch king from me. A good game and one that I will make a point of playing again soon.

A good nights gaming with some new and old games hitting the table. Not sure whats planned for next week, will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lend us a pony.

Gaming has been virtually non existent the last week, bank holidays tend to have that effect with me. I have to many jobs to do around the house and other things going on to think about gaming.

Luckily Brass is going to see the light of day again tonight if all goes well. I am quite looking forward to it after narrowly loosing last week. I have a better grasp of the game now and what I should be doing and looking out for. Also taking a loan out early in the game seems like a good thing you don't loose as many points and the cash increase is well worth it.

Taking loans in games always seems wrong to me, I hate being in debt but in some games it seems you have to do it. Age of Steam is a good example as is Container. I don't think you could win in those games without taking a loan.

Its one of my kids birthdays this week, unfortunately he didn't ask for Twilight Imperium for his birthday present, but he is getting older and closer to being able to play some more interesting games. I think Carcasonne or Bonhanza are up next for the mini gamer. I am sure Stink Beans will apeall.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I finally managed to play Brass this week. It's been on my shelf for about a year after a trade with Steerpike. I like Martin Wallace games even if I find the rules a bit tricky at times. Brass has not really been played because I found the rules a bit hard going.
Mudhoney and Hannah came over on Wednesday after deciding to give it a go. They had played it before last year, so after a quick refresh of the rules and a cup of tea we setup the game.

The basics of Brass is an economics game where you are trying to expand your empire throughout Lancashire with a view to produce coal and iron, and sell cotton from your mills. It reminded me a little of Powergrid mixed in with Caylus. The game takes place over two ages, the first is the canal period where you build canals to move your goods around and the later is the railway period.
The Canal period ended with me and Mudhoney having exactly the same score with Hannah trailing a little. At the end of the railway period Mudhoney had gained a lead of around 18 points over me. I had gambled on selling some cotton in the last turn and blew it loosing me 12 points. Not enough to win but it would have closed the gap up considerably.

Brass was really good, I am eager to play it again now that I know how to play it. I am not sure how well it will play with two players, I need to check. If it's ok then it may see an outing next week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Catan, sheep anyone?

Gaming over Easter was pretty non existent, other than a quick game of Hey! that's my fish with the kids all other gaming was online.

I decided to rack up the difficulty level of Catan on the 360. I have won every game played on easy AI so upped the AI to moderate. I expected it to be tough, but I am sure those AI players are in cahoots. I played it three times over the weekend and in each managed to get a good clear lead to around 6-7 points then was shut out of all trading and received the robber more times than anyone.
What really galled me was when the other AI players caught up with my score they still wouldn't trade with me but happily swapped wood for sheep between themselves.

If this is what Medium is like, Hard must be a killer!

Catan is very well produced on the 360, it looks and plays really well and I can't fault it other than my experiences with the AI. If anyone wants a game, just let me know.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Combat Commander was played again this week, Hedgerows and hand grenades was the scenario and my Americans were beaten. The scenario was a nightmare for movement and line of sight. The hedgerows funneled my troops into one area and my hand management got them stuck. I had 3 ambush cards for most of the game, desperate to use them on a close assault but a lack of move cards held me back.
My artillery attacks initially did very well, but I never had the troops available in the right place to capitalize on it. In the end Mudhoney managed to win on sudden death with the majority of the VP's.
It was a good game if a little frustrating for me. It has however taught me more about hand management.

Other gaming has been only online. Yspahan has been released on the Yucata web site and I really like this game. It's a mid weight euro game that seems to tick the boxes for me. I have also got Catan for the Xbox 360 and enjoyed playing it this week. I think I have played 4 or 5 games against the easy AI and won easily. I think it's time to up the skill level a bit.

Jungle speed and the Swiss ticket to ride expansion arrived recently. I am desperate to give the Swiss map a play. The rules look really good and I am sure its going to make for some tense games. Hopefully this will hit the table soon.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Brutes attack

Anyone who wants to give my brute a fight, click here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Weeks Gaming

A varied week of gaming started of on Sunday night in Guildford. Games hitting the table were Blokus, Ubongo and Formula D.

Blokus went down well and it became quite an aggressive game with lots of blocking going on. Frank managed to win 2 of the 3 games but most were very close. I was trying to start off with different pieces trying to gain the edge on getting the most number of corners into the center. It worked well, but not well enough.
Ubongo is a good quick game and I managed to grab the win. Frank didn't really like it but the other 2 did so I expect it to be played again. Some of the puzzles seemed to be harder than the others but I am sure its not the case.

As the Formula 1 started on Sunday it was fitting to play Formula D. Due to time constraints and a diversion on the way home we only played a single lap. I started in pole position but ended last. Typical ! We played the advanced rules for the first time and they made a huge difference. You couldn't afford to be too gung ho with your car.
I do like Formula D and the new expansion is tempting but the dice just hate me.

In the week I played Heck'n'Peck with the kids. I thought that they would get the game but it was a bit of a struggle. My youngest beat me by 3 worms so he must have been doing something right.

Delivered this week was Ticket to Ride Switzerland as I was after a TTR map that played well for 2 players and Jungle Speed as it looks like a great laugh. I am sure the POB guys will have a blast with it.

Monday, March 23, 2009

3,3,3,3,1,1,1,2,2,2,1,1,1 !!!!

Last Friday was the March meet of P.O.B. and we had a good turnout with some new faces. Plenty of games were played over the 5 hours of gaming. 5 hours! yep, bet it went by in a blurr.

First up I played Pit, maybe the loudest game I have ever played. It was fun, especially when one player thought he had to collect one of every card type. The rest of us couldn't figure out what was going on until he asked if it was really possible to collect one of each kind. Good fun.

Next up we split off into some smaller groups and I played Cleopatra and the Society of Architect's which was a card management type game. It had some lovely pieces that you used to build up an Egyptian area that looked amazing at the end of the game. I managed to win the game by about 10 talans which was good. Can't really say I expected to win but I just went hell for leather on the build using corrupted resources. Then offered huge amounts to the gods to off set the corruption.
Next up was Chicago Express which is a great train game. Not as deep as Age of Steam which was running on another table but has more than enough strategy to keep it fresh. I struggled a bit at the start although I have played it before. Its all about bidding enough money for the railroad shares without paying over the odds. I did OK, but not enough to win.

The other games, Age of Steam and Age of Empires 3 were finishing up now so we decided to play a couple of games of werewolf to round off the evening. Unfortunately Mudhoney had forgotten his cards, luckily I had a copy of coloretto with me. So stripy chameleons were werewolves and green ones were villagers. It all worked out well, especially for the werewolves who managed to win both games.

Next meet has been scheduled for the 24th April if anyone fancies coming along.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Go home to Mama

Monday saw Combat Commander Mediterranean land on the table courtesy of Mudhoney. We have been trying to get some regular plays in of Combat Commander as we both enjoy the game.
We played the scenarios Saint Agthna which involved an American patrol coming across some Italian defenders. The Italians had the advantage of numbers, plus they could hide some of there troops and deploy them when the time marker hit 2. the Americans had better weapons with a hvy machine gun and light motor as well as a couple of medium machine guns.

I played as the Americans and deployed my units in two areas on my side of the map. My plan was to move one group armed with the hvy mg into a building while the rest were to move up the edge of the map and flank the Italians.

Things started out well, I quickly took hold of the buildings at the bottom of the map taking out the Italians that were using it. Meanwhile my other squad was getting pinned down by a medium mg in the woods. Over the next few turns my hvy mg was making mincemeat of any Italians I could see from the relative safety of there building. My other flank had now lost its leader and was not looking so good.

The Italian reserves appeared and Mudhoney decided to spread then about a bit. Unfortunately they were in range of my hvy mg and they didn't last that long. The number of Italian casualties was mounting and things were not looking good for them. Several had routed home to mama which I couldn't really blame them for. Things were getting worse on my other flank. I had lost my leader but gained a hero only to loose him again. Without a leader movement and firing was hard work. Especially as the Italians were dug into foxholes in the woods on top of a hill. My mortar rounds were ineffective as were any shots I sent that way. I sent another group that way to help relieve them and to add more firepower but it wasn't looking pretty.
Next thing we know a fire had started near the Italians and was spreading both towards them and a small unit I had sent that way. Fortune came my way with a jam and subsequent break of the Italians mg which allowed me to move up a veteran unit. They survived some pot shots and then advanced into combat with some ambush cards. I won the fight and the game as the Italians had now hit there surrender limit.

I was trailing on VP's all the way through the game as I couldn't get to the objective areas. I was pinned down in a couple of places and was loath to move my heavy gunners out of there cover. I was pushing for a surrender win and it eventually came.

It was a good match and if Mudhoney had placed his reserves in a different place things would have changed for the worse.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Using the Chapel

I have been playing Dominion quite a bit recently. Mainly using the BSW site as its nice and quick. The system does all the shuffling and works out all the actions and gold which makes life quite a bit easier.

My play of Dominion has evolved over the last couple of weeks. I used to grab as many village cards as I could. Those +2 actions are always useful but to many in your deck and all you end up with is lots of unusable actions. Smithy's are always useful as they can help get you more action cards but sometimes I felt like I was just fishing around for something to play.

Recently I have started playing around with the Chapel card. Initially I couldn't get my head around why you would want to discard cards but after being beaten online it started to make sense. Once a card has served its purpose its just going to clog your hand. When there are no more curse cards left your witch is an over priced moat. Also when you have started to buy or mine the higher money cards it can be useful to trash the lower "1" value cards.
It's all about making your deck as sleek and efficient as possible and is something that all good players strive to.

So the village card is not always the first card I grab, sometimes its the Chapel. Or maybe something that will increase my buying power. Anyone for a woodcutter?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

P.O.B @ the Festing

Last Friday saw P.O.B use a new venue. The Festing Pub in Portsmouth, it's probably the best place we have used so far. A bar and pizza service certainly makes the evening more pleasant and a large room with plenty of space to play is ideal.

We started off splitting into two groups with Winners Circle being played on one table while I ran a game of Dominion. We played the starting set of cards as the others have only played it once or twice. It was a very close game with myself and Moley finishing with the same score, unfortunately Moley won as he had less turns than myself. Dominion continues to impress me, and I manage to get a couple of games in a week on BSW when nobody is about.

As Winners Circle was still in play I setup Pitchcar over a couple of tables and the flicking began. I came third with Mudhoney taking the win and Romeo coming second. Moley trailed in at the end after some poor flicking. It's a great game and the expansions are on my wish list. That jump looks like it will make the game even more enjoyable.

When Winners Circle finished some heavier games were pulled out. One group went off to play Battlestar Galactica while Container was opened on another table. I love Battlestar, its a good co-op game especially when you are a cylon but I wanted to give Container a go.
After Mudhoney ran through the rules I was a bit lost but figured I would pick it up as we went along. Container is a very good economic game, one that I am not very good at. I came in last, but would be happy to play it again especially now as I know what I should be doing.

A couple of other players had now turned up so For Sale started on another table while Pitchcar had another race. We were filling in time until the toasters finished off the Battlestar.

By now the group had grown to around 13 and time was running out. With this many Werewolf had to be played and after a quick explanation we started up. We used a couple of new characters in the mix. The lone wolf and masons were used, but to be honest I thought they didn't really add that much to it. I died on the first night! typical I wasn't suspicious at all. Damn werewolves.

A good evening of 5 hours gaming. All agreed that the Festing would be the new home for P.O.B so roll on March's meet. If you want to join in look for us on line.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The last weeks gaming has been very different. First up Mudhoney came over to give the new Stalingrad expansion for Combat Commander a go. We are both keen Combat Commander players but there are so many games in our collections that it doesn't see the light that often.

Stalingrad gives you more scenarios, rules to cover urban combat and some more counters. All in not a bad little bundle, its just a tad over priced. We played the Sea Devils scenario which saw my rag tag band of Russians attempting to defend the important grain silo from the invading German Wehrmacht. I had less units but spread them over the center of the map and both flanks and awaited the impending assault. The game played really well, my troops were generally decimated but luck was with me. A couple of well placed mine cards and slung satchel charges took care of a few Germans and time event cards slowly brought the end closer. After a few hard fought incursions I had lost a few objective areas and the victory point marker was on 0. We were in sudden death and things were not looking to good for my comrades. Luckily another time event was pulled. I got 1 VP for defending and Mudhoney pulled a card. Sudden death was triggered and it was all over. I had scraped a win by 1 point. All in a great game and a lovely scenario, edge of your seat gaming.

Zooloretto has also been played twice in the last week. The first time with my 5yr old son who seemed to get it and lost by 3 points. Last night he wanted to play it again as did my youngest (3) and my wife was brought in to help out. She isn't a big gamer but after a couple of rounds had picked up the game. Things were going well with us all managing to fill our enclosures when the tiles started to turn bad. Well for me they were. I was being hosed by my kids.
Game ended with Noah winning by 2 points. Everyone enjoyed it so I am expecting it to be played more often.

I have managed to post two reviews on the IGUK blog, dominion my favorite new game and Army of Zero a new English designed and produced game. Give them a read when you have a few minutes.

Pitchcar arrives tomorrow, just in time for the gathering of POB on Friday. Festing pub in Southsea from 6:30PM if anyone is free.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I'm a villager!

Friday was an impromptu gathering at Mudhoney for some game time. It was a pretty good turnout with 9 of us eager to play some new games.
We split into a couple of groups with 5 playing Snow Tails. It's a game where players are each racing a team of huskies over a snow and ice covered course. I never played it but it looked like good fun.

I took the others off to teach them how to play Ubongo. Its a puzzle game that I have mentioned earlier and it went down really well. IT played fast enough for us to get two games in with me winning the first and Hannah winning the second. Four players was a lot more hectic than my previous 2 player goes. Scrabbling for gems after solving the puzzle was a lot more tricky.

As the others were still mushing there huskies we needed something else to play. Pandemic was to hand so the four of us attempted to save the world, but failed. The outbreaks just game to fast at the end of the game with black and blue cubes multiplying across Europe at an astonishing rate. We managed to get 3 cures but not the last one. A good game but you can't always win them.

By now everyone had finished playing and as there was a decent enough number of players Werewolf was suggested. I quite like Werewolf, in fact it was shown to me the first time I met up with the POB crowd. My comment of "I'm not a Villager" always bring a laugh. I wasn't a villager but the seer. My ineptitude at the game had my strung up by the villagers then but times have changed.
We played 4 games of Werewolf and the furry killers managed to win 3 of them. I was the seer in the last game and immediately told the rest of the players who I was and who a villager was in the first day. I knew I was setting myself up to die but I really wanted the villagers to win for a change. I didn't die that night as the werewolves wanted to sow some seeds of doubt into the mix but on the second night I was pushing daisies. Too late for our silver phobic friends they were outed that day.

All in, a good night gaming with a variety of games being played.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ubongo, Ubongo they play it in the jungle!

Lastest purchase was a used copy of Ubongo. It's been on my games radar for a while and after a recent episode of the spiel I ramped up my effort to grab a copy.
I have not bought a used game before, I like that new game smell and unpunching cardboard bits but as Ubongo has been out of print for a while I had no choice.

Ubongo is a puzzle game and a type of game that I have not played before. Basically users race to use Tetris shaped pieces to cover a pattern on a board. Sounds easy but when you are under pressure it can get a bit tricky.
After you have finished your puzzle you have to yell Ubongo! then move your player piece on a board and grab a couple of coloured jewels. Player with the most of a single colour wins.

The rules are all pretty simple and there is a fair bit of re playability in the game. It's also nice and quick. I managed to get 3 games in over lunch today against Dobbie. Both enjoyed the game as we are pretty competitive.

I have heard that there is a reprint by Z-Man games later this year which is good news as its a great game and something different from the more mainstream types of games.

Otherwise gaming has been pretty good. Dominion has hit the table again and this game just gets better. There are still cards that I haven't played before and combo's to be put together. I keep promising a review on IGUK but the game is getting played too much.

I also managed to get a face to face game of Tigris in. This game has had me puzzled for ages. It's one of those games that I really wanted to play but after a couple of online attempts I just didn't get it. Face to Face changed this (Thanks Hannah & Ed) and I now understand the rules enough to actually play the game. Winning is a different manner but a few more games and this may change.

POB is having a mini meet this week so more games to be played, unless we get snowed in.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gaming in Year 2009

So a new year is upon us and I am sure there is a whole raft of games out there waiting to hit the shelves and make a dent in my pocket. So what am I looking forward to in this year?

Well, I think this year is going to be all about expansions. I know that there is going to be an expansion for Pandemic some time this year so that is definitely going to be of interest to me.
A expansion for Command & colours Ancients that add scenarios about the Rome civil war also gets a nod.
Formula D is going to get some new tracks which should be fun and probably needed by at least March. There is only so many times you can go around Monaco.
Dominion is my latest purchase and I will be putting up a review on the IGUK site later and this is literally been made for expansions. I can see a couple coming this year, especially as the base game is doing so well.

As for full games, Days of Wonder is teasing us with images of factions for something. Amazons, Skeletons, Orcs. All sounds interesting but not sure what it all means.
We shall just have to wait and see, but knowing Days of Wonder I am sure its going to be good.

Gaming recently has been very good, I managed to play Battlestar Galactica this week and it was a huge amount of fun. I played the Chief character and while repairing vipers managed to win/loose the game by sending the rest of the fleet towards the attacking cylons. Much to the surprise of the human players. Yep, I was a cylon and it was great fun seeing the look on there faces.
Dominion continues to take center stage, mainly due to its quick play time, easy to teach rules and mainly because its on BSW.

So, keep an eye out on the Days of Wonder site, somethings brewing and watch your back for anyone with red eyes. They have either been playing Dominion till the early hours or are a frakkin toaster.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Indigo growing F1 drivers

Wednesday night saw Dobbie and Moley over for a few hours gaming. I had planned to teach them Puerto Rico, my new favorite game. I had missed Puerto when it was realease and it just sort of fell by the wayside.

After explaining the rules the game started and the others picked up the rules and the way the game plays quite quickly. The colonist supply started to drain very quickly due to lots of building large process buildings. Dobbie setup a good trade route with repeated use of the captain role. Moley managed a fair bit of trading but was slow to apply manpower to his wharf and harbour.
I went for a mixed building and shipping plan. Just enough shipping to get a few points but built a couple of the larger VP buildings.
end score was me on 42, Dobbie 40 and Moley on 30. A good game.

Next up was Pandemic, another new game for Dobbie. The initial spread of virus's was harsh. Black was very concentrated along with red. Outbreaks were rife for the first quarter of the game but we managed to cure blue and eradicate it. By then Moley the medic had calmed down Black and we were making good work against Red. Cures for Red and black came next. Yellow had been ignored up until now and was started to spread. All hands to the deck and a bit of card trading and a cure was in site. We finally won the game with 6 outbreaks, a good session with a few tense bits and it felt like we had worked hard to win the game.

Finally Formula D hit the table, basic rules on the Monaco track. Two cars each and lots of dice rolling to be done. Moley initially stormed into the lead while the middle pack kept together. Dobbie and Moley both had a trailing car but half way through the game Dobbies had caught up with the middle pack. By now we realised that pushing your car through a corner for WP damage was not the end of the world so the last third of the track saw some crazy dice rolling and damage. Unfortunately it was all a bit too much for Moleys trailing car and he crashed on the second to last corner. It was all down to first place and a just high enough dice roll from me clinched the win.

All in a good evening of gaming, plus a copy of Dominion to open. But more on that later.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Gaming

Didn't get a huge amount of gaming in over the Christmas period. Mainly because we did a fair bit of visiting and the Xbox 360 was used maybe a bit too much.

Anyway, new additions to the gaming libary are

  • Puerto Rico, my BGG Secret Santa present. I was a bit suprised to recieve it but after playing it I absolutely love it and want to give it another go asap.
  • Dungeon Twister Expansion #1, I love Dungeon Twister but find it hard to get opponents to play against. I am hoping that new character may spark a bit of enthusiasm into the game again.
  • Munchkin, I used to play D&D allot and this game looks like it could be fun.
  • Formula D, The new Asmodee version. Components look fantastic and I have given it a quick game against the wife. Really enjoyed it and look forward to giving it a go against more players.
Hopeing to get more gaming in over the next week, and I will try to blog a bit more on whats going on.
Also expect more game reviews on the IGUK blog.