Game Session: 4th Sept 2010

Posted by James (admin) on September 8th, 2010

Occasionally, a friend of mine runs an all-day boardgames tournament at the games shop (Eclectic Games) in Reading (UK) where anyone can turn up and play.  The day consists of around 5 or 6 games each played with 3 or 4 players and the people in each group changes every game so you get to play with most people present.  Saturday was the fourth of these tournament days (called BADGER which stands for Berskhire All-Day Gaming Extravaganza in Reading) and I got to play games that were mostly new to me.

The games I played were:

  • Samurai – The only game I had played before.  A quick and easy game but with plenty of tactical play and decisions.  Seeing I wasn’t going to win many more markers I decided to cause the end of the game bfore other layers got more markers.  It turned out I had two majorities so a solid 1st place to start to the day.
  • Caylus – I had played Caylus: Magna Carta before (the smaller, card-based version of Caylus) but not the original big game.  This worker placement game is very tight and unforgiving so when I made a mess of my first turn I ended playing catch-up for the rest of the game and came last.  I think Caylus is a very good game and I’d be much better at it next time; I think the Magna Carta version is equally as good and may actually be sightly better in my eyes as it’s just as intense even without a few of the extra elements (which makes it more elegant).
  • Louis XIV – Another worker placement game but quite different to most.  It took some time before we really absorbed the rules as there are quite a few similar situations that get resolved slightly differently.  Interesting game though and this time I came second.
  • The Downfall of Pompeii – A fast and light game placing people into buildings in Pompeii and then trying to move them out when the lava starts flowing.  It’s light and there’s a bit of luck in the cards and tiles that get drawn but it was surprisingly good fun.  The 3D volcano was a nice touch.  I managed to win this one.
  • Il Principe – An unusual set of game mechanics combine really well in Il Principe and I really enjoyed it.  You receive cards and then auction others, then use the cards as well as money to build cities and buildings.  Part area control, part auction and part resource/card management.  Simple choices each step but no less tricky to make and lots of funny moments when people outbid each other.  Somehow I let the lead I had the whole game slip in the last round when I just couldn’t build anything and didn’t earn – if only the game had ended one round earlier as we’d expected it.  Second place for me this time.

At the end of the day, I came something like 4th or 5th overall.  Not bad but not as good as my two 2nd place finishes at previous events.  If you’re in the UK and nearby definitely come along to the next one.  Keep an eye on the Eclectic Games’ Facebook page for details.

I shall be posting reviews of each of these games over the next few days.


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