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.