Wednesday, December 15, 2004

No Billygames this week

Falkenstein Walk
Originally uploaded by coljen.
Due to a combination of circumstances, no Billygames this week. So here is a pretty picture of me on holiday in Austria. You can walk from the village of St. Wolfgang over a rock called the Falkenstein to another village called St. Gilgen. This is highest point looking down the Wolfgansee. Shame we couldn’t play this week as either Karibik or Flandern 1302 was on the cards. Sigh. Nevermind there is always next week. Christmas commitments permitting. See you back here then.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Tuesday 7th December - Age of Steam - Korea

Originally uploaded by coljen.
Most of our group really enjoy Age of Steam, in fact I think a lot of gamers enjoy it as well, so I am in the minority. I can’t seem to connect with this game, I have tried playing various boards and I never seem to muster up much enthusiasm. Anyway, this week we endeavour to trek across the mountains of Korea, and boy, are there a lot of mountains. The Korean map was published by Warfrog at Essen I think, its a double sided board with Scandinavia on the other side. I’ll assume most people are familiar with the rules for AoS so the relevant bits are, all cities are non-coloured and blocks can only be moved to a city that has a block of that colour on it, and mountain hexes cost 3.

I’m sure other members of the group can comment on the strategy for this game better than I so hopefully there will be some input from people that actually know what they are doing. With the introduction of the grey city rule, it opened up a whole new strategy for stuffing peoples routes and consequently I found the tendency for analysis paralysis was the greater. Maybe it was because I don’t warm to the game that I found the downtime considerable. So block distribution was critical with the production job and urbanisation taking on greater significance. The game took nearly 165 minutes which I think is a tad too long. So who took the honours?

Final Scores
Steve 72, Neil 67, Richard 62, Colin 36, Garry 26

Rating (0-10)
Colin 5

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Keythedral - End Game

Originally uploaded by coljen.
Although the game took almost 150 mins it never dragged. There was always something to think about and downtime was a minimum. The bidding mechanism for deciding the start player for next round is quite interesting producing some odd decisions. Here we see Richard explaining how listening to the rules doesn’t actually detract from his ability to play the game with a degree of skill.

Final Scores (*denoting start player)
Richard 157, Steve 43, Garry 42, Colin 40, *Neil 32

Rating (0-10)
Colin 7.5

Tuesday 30th November - Keythedral

Originally uploaded by coljen.
Keythedral, designed by Richard Breese has turned into a sought after game with copies selling at Essen 2003 for over 100 euro. Now they have reprinted it and it has become more accessible. If you would like to read a review of the reprint by Greg Schloesser look here:

Basically each player has five cottage tiles, that can upgraded to villages, and 10 worker tiles. The board consisting of hexes that produce different resources is laid out by the players at the start placing their cottages as they go. Then each player picks a number from 1 to 5 and the workers come out of the corresponding cottages and harvest resources. These resources can used for various things. Upgrading cottages, buying law cards or buying buildings that get VPs etc. And that very briefly is it. As with Settlers the placement of cottages at the start is pretty vital, even more so here as it is more difficult to recover from a bad position, as Neil found out to his cost. Each player has 3 fences that can be placed during the game to restrict a players workes egress from their cottages, this can be particularly nasty. You can pay resources or get a law card to get rid of them though.
This was a first play for Garry, Neil, Richard (I think) and myself. Steve had played a couple of times before so he ran through the rules, Richard didn’t have any wooden blocks to play with so I think he actually listened this time. Including the rules explanation the playing time was about 150mins. I think everyone except Neil, who got particularly badly stuffed in the setup, enjoyed the game.