Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tuesday October 3rd - Masons

Originally uploaded by coljen.
After our Saturday session, which was excellent, Richard has already chosen Canal Mania for next week's game. So tonight on the table was Leo Colovini's latest offering, Masons. Author of such games as Carolus Magnus, Clans and Cartagena, this latest game is about building walls to form cities with houses and palaces in the mix somewhere. But in reality the theme is pretty thin, building walls (wooden sticks) and then houses and palaces (small dobbers and big dobbers), an almost abstract placement game then, with some dice and cards. But having said that it played pretty well, and in just under the hour so we managed to get two games in.

The board is made up of triangular areas, which are divided up into 3 larger areas. Two edges of board are coastal and two are not. There is a deck of guild cards which depict the various method of scoring points, e.g. 2 points for every white tower not in a city or 1 point for tower in a just completed city and so on. There are also 3 dice, one of which is colour of the towers, white, black and grey, and 2 depict the colour of the houses. Each player starts the game with a hand of 6 guild cards. So on your turn you first place a wall on one side of one of the triangular areas, you then roll the dice. This will tell you which colour one of the towers must be on the end of the wall, the tower on the other end is a free choice. Sometimes though there will a time when there are no spaces for towers or only one. You then place a house on each side of the wall, the colours you rolled with the other 2 dice, if you roll a ? you have a free choice of colour. If after your turn there is a completed city this initiates a scoring. Each player can then play 1 or 2 guild cards from his hand and score as they indicate and draw 1 replacement from the draw deck, or you can discard 1 card and draw 2 replacements.
Be aware when you initiate a scoring, everybody scores, and they may score more points than you if they have the right cards. The game progresses until there are either no more towers, houses, palaces or walls left, then there is one more scoring and the player with most points is the winner. So, how did our games go, as Steve was the only one to have played before, Garry, Richard and I just plunged in. Some cities were quite quickly formed and scored, with some larger ones appearing later in the game. You have to have the right cards in the right situation, no good having city cards if there are no cities likely to be formed and no good having non-city cards if cities are being formed all over the place. The scores in the two games reflecting our grasp of this concept. :)

Final Score (game 1)
Steve 143, Richard 120, Colin 118, Garry 117

In the second game the scores were much lower, showing how different this game was from the first. A lot of isolated walls and towers to start with and Garry capitalised by playing the card which scored each wall not in a city. I had all the white towers not in a city which is why I kept playing walls separately. This game was so different from the first, yet just as enjoyable. All in all a good game, not rich in atmosphere, a bit dry but makes you think, plays quickly and looks pretty good.

Final Score (game 2)
Richard 89, Garry 83, Steve 75, Colin 68


Post a Comment

<< Home