Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tuesday 27th September - Puerto Rico

As I said before I didn’t make last night but Garry has given a few details. Only 3 Billygamers in attendence, Richard (back from his round the world jaunt), Steve and Garry. First up was Puerto Rico, always a favourite with our group. Whenever we are not sure what to play out comes PR, anyway I haven’t got any details about the game save the result.

Garry 40 (+1 doubloon), Richard 40, Steve 37

As you can see it must have been a very close game.

To finish they played a game of Un Reifenbreite, a cycling game with lots of dice rolling. Again a close game, haven’t got the exact result but only a spread of 5/6 points separated the players. All I know is that Garry won his second game of the evening. Go Garry!!

Hopefully I will be back in attendence next week and it should be Garry’s choice of game. Not AoS please Garry!!

Happy Gaming!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Another Essen Update

Bad news for me on the Essen front. I am unable to go now because of some health problems I’m having, I won’t go into details but needless to say I am very disappointed. The upside is that the friend that I was going with, Richard, has said he will pick up some games if I give him a list. So from not going, then out of the blue I am going then back to not going. That sucks, still I shall definitely make a big effort to get their next year.
I have also missed a few weekly Billygames sessions because of the aforementioned problems, and I will miss tomorrow’s too I think, but I will be back next week. So keep watching this space the reports will be back to normal service soon. If anybody has a list for Essen please leave a comment and we can see what are the most looked forward to games. At the moment on my definite list is Railroad Tycoon, Shear Panic (got to love those sheep) and Memoir ’44. I don’t want to pick to many for two reasons. I don’t want to burden Richard with too much of my stuff, he’s good enough to be getting anything, and space in my games cupboard is definitely getting to be a premium.
I have been looking at Memoir ’44 because another friend, Jo, has recommended it as a goodun’. I am not a wargamer and I like games that are 2 hours tops, but M44 plays in 30-45minutes and the production values are top notch. As the company is Days of Wonder this is not a suprise. I am sure all the Billygames guys that are going will be bringing back a good selection of the new stuff for us to get our teeth into. So until next time.......happy gaming!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Tuesday 13th September - Capitol

Originally uploaded by coljen.
This week's game was Capitol by Alan Moon and Aaron Weissblum. Released by Schmidt Spiele in 2001. The theme is building houses in Rome, and the board depicts the City of Rome and the available spaces to build. The game is played in 4 phases, construction, improvement, scoring and end.
Most of the action takes place in this phase, player perform actions with their hand of roof, permit and floor cards. Buildings are constructed off of the board. The floor cards let you take 2 floor blocks from the supply, the roof card lets you place one of your roofs on a completed building and the permit card allows you to place a building on an area on the board corresponding to the colour on the card. When all players have passed playing cards you proceed to improvement.
In this phase there are 3 auctions, 2 for fountains and 1 for either an amphitheature (rounds 1-2) or a temple (rounds 3-4). Fountains can be placed on an area on the board and increase the scoring by 1pt. The amphitheatre allows the first and second players in each area to draw extra cards in the end phase. The temple scores the area in which it is placed double points. You use the numbers on your cards to bid with the winner placing his on the discards.
Each area is then scored, the player with most floors gets 2pt + 1pt for each fountain. The second gets just points for the fountains, if any.
End Phase
Each player, starting with the start player then draws 6 cards each to replenish their hand.

Garry hadn't played before but Steve and I had. You have to use your roofs carefully keeping an eye on which shape, round or pitched, the areas are using. It's an easy game to pick up and it plays very smoothly. Deciding which cards to draw can be interesting as you don't want to leave high numbers for the next player if you can help it. It plays in just over an hour and I find it a solid design with some interesting choices to make. In the end the scores where quite spread out as you can see.

Final Scores
Steve 57, Garry 47, Colin 40

Friday, September 09, 2005

Essen 2005 Update

Getting closer to Essen now, so much so that I have started to browse the Gamefest Essen Preview of games. The financial director has assured me that I will have a few euros to spend on games, although where on earth are you going to put them she says. Anyway there are a few games that have piqued my interest and needless to say Martin Wallace features in a couple of them. I never have been a fan of Age of Steam, although I am in a minority in our group, but the new Railroad Tycoon does look as though I would enjoy it a lot more. The board itself is a work of art, if you have a table big enough to put it on! So that is on my list at the top. A few others include, Shear Panic by Fragor Games. I have just pre-ordered my copy, the game sounds interesting but you just got have it for those sheep!!
Martin Wallace is again on my list with Tempus, a conquest type Civilisation game that plays in under 2 hours. Ostia is a game of trading set in a around the roman harbour of Ostia. I am a sucker for historical games, especially roman, greek or eyptian so that sounds interesting.
Splotter Games are not a name I am familiar with but I have just read a review of their new game Indonesia in Counter and that sounds as though it's worth a look too.
And last but I'm sure not least is Byzantium, another Martin Wallace game published by Warfrog. A wargame in 2 hours, cool! And by Wallace just gotta see this one. Hope some of you will make to Essen, it's a gamers paradise, just make sure you take enough cash and luggage space to get everything home.
As I said before I did go to Essen 2003 with Richard in his TVR. We did it in a day. Fun but tiring. If you would like to read the report of that trip with pics go here.

Happy Gaming!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tuesday September 6th - Euphrates & Tigris

E & T 1
Originally uploaded by coljen.
So here we are back again after last week's absence. This week we played at Steve's place and it was just myself, Garry and Steve, and the game on the table was Renier Knizia's Euphrates & Tigris. One of the most prolific game designers, this game is considered by many as his finest game to date. Released in 1997 this game is rich in strategic decisions, has Renier's quirky scoring (your score is the colour you have least cubes in) and you always want to do more than the 2 actions you are allowed.
Garry hadn't played at all, despite owning a copy, I had played once and I suspect Steve has played multiple times, as the final scores suggests. Garry and I started off reasonably well, but by mid game Steve had successful disrupted our ambitions of empire and started to dominate the board. I managed to build the first monument but only enjoyed the benefits for a couple of turns before Steve had kicked my leader out. Garry did make one cracking move that knocked Steve back for a bit, but it was only a hiccup in his progress. Four monuments were built and I think Steve was gaining blocks from all of them at one point. So Steve was a clear winner, I need to play more to appreciate the depth of this game I think.

Final Scores
Steve 15, Colin 9, Garry 6