July 3rd - Caylus
So on our rota it's the week for the BGG top ten and we are down to Caylus. This William Attia designed game was published in 2005 by Ystari Games and won a whole slew of awards in 2005/6. We had played it a few times before and found it a good game if a little long for what it offered. Maybe Caylus Magna Carta will address this problem, Garry has a copy which we haven't played yet, according to BGG the playing has been more than halved. Anyway, with Richard caught up with work in Birmingham again (he really will have to get his priorities right!!!!) it was up to Garry, Steve and myself to do the honours. When Steve and myself arrived at Garry's he had already set up the game and we were ready to go, we just had a brief run through the rules to refresh our memories.
Steve placing a dobber
In this game good planning is essential, otherwise you can decide to build a brown building say, and if you need cubes to build it find that when you get to build it the tile that gets you the cubes you need is after it. Doh! I have done this before but managed to avoid it this time, although Steve did get caught a couple of times. There are many different strategies you can pursue to try and win and this gives the game a complex and many layered feel to it. Going first in each round does give you the edge if you really need a dobber on that tile, and putting a dobber on the tile that lets you pay only 1 denier even if others have passed can be beneficial, Steve went on that first and I thought that would give him a significant advantage so pushed him off and put my own there, the only thing, as I discovered is that it gives you one less dobber to put on other tiles, so maybe that wasn't such a good move.
Other view of the board
Deciding what buildings to build also is quite important, if you can build ones that you know are quite important and other players will use them you can get a steady trickle of VPs from them. If you think building the important ones gives the other players an advantage because they are in play, well somebody will probably build them anyway and you might as well get the VPs from their use. In this game we didn't get to build one blue building before the game ended. In actual fact the end of the game seemed to rush at us and I know I didn't have enought time to do everything I wanted. I think Garry was quite pleased that it did as he had gained quite a substantial lead and in the end Steve and myself weren't able to overhaul him. The scores were very close in the end and the game took just over 2 hours.
Board position at game end
Garry 91, Steve 87, Colin 83