02-Apr-2002All month
 
6 Nimmt!

We werent sure who was going to turn up so decided to start with a quick game of 6 Nimmt. The cards are numbered 1 - 104 and score depending on how many bulls heads they have. Four cards are laid face up in the middle of the table, these start the 4 rows which will be played ascending from these start cards. Each player then plays a card face down which are all turned face up together. The cards are played in ascending order. There are 3 rules regarding placement. 1- If the card is lower then the end card in all 4 rows, that player takes all the cards in any row replacing the row with their card. 2- The card must be played adjacent to the highest card that is lower then this card. 3- If the placement of this card takes a row above 5 cards, the player takes the whole row replacing it with their card. The first player to score 65 bulls heads ends the game with the lowest score winning.

Kev and Susan hadnít seen this before, but thatís no big disadvantage in 6 Nimmt as Susan quickly showed. While Paul and Andy, both veterans of the game, averaged about 18 a hand over the 4 rounds (72 and 74), Susan averaged less then 8 to finish with 31, a score matched by Tel. Kev finished in third on 64.

6 Nimmt is not a game for the deep thinker. Your random draw of 10 cards can win or lose a game but then again so can your opponents actions. This said the game is good fun.

Final Scores
Susan 31, Tel 31, Kev 64, Paul 72, Andy 74

Ratings / 10
Paul 7, Tel 7, Kev 7, Susan 8, Andy 7
 
Scores: Andy 74, Paul 72, Kev 64, Tel 31, Susan 31
Ratings: Andy 7, Paul 7, Kev 7, Tel 7, Susan 8
Winner(s): Tel, Susan

Carcassonne

First outing for the new expansion (however Paul, Tel and Andy have played a few games on Brettspielwelt). The expansion adds 18 new tiles to the game, lap counters for the scoreboard, a large meeple for each player and the pieces to allow a 6th player. The new tiles add extra city pieces to try and finish those awkward cities. It also introduces pieces that increase the value of roads and cities but only if they are finished, rendering them worthless if left incomplete at the end of the game. The large meeple is worth two small meeple when played.

We also added the river tiles. Andy played his large meeple into the main field about half way through the game, and despite trying no-one else managed to get into the same field. Added to a couple of cloisters and a share in one of the big cities, he won the game at a canter.

Because the new tiles have slightly lighter backs than the originals we split the tiles into piles and introduced a die roll to determine which pile the next tile was coming from. This made the game very cumbersome, next time all the tiles will be drawn from a bag.

The new tiles do bring a little variety to the game but for me the big advantage is that there are more tiles available in a 5 player game giving players a few more turns and options. A few of the tiles, especially those with a Cathedral on, introduce more screw your neighbour options, always welcome when playing in a cut-throat manner.

Final Scores
Andy 97, Paul 63, Tel 61 Kev 34, Susan 28

Ratings / 10
Andy 9, Paul 7, Tel 8, Kev 8, Susan 8
 
Scores: Andy 97, Paul 63, Tel 61, Kev 34, Susan 28
Ratings: Andy 9, Paul 7, Tel 8, Kev 8, Susan 8
Winner(s): Andy

Lost Cities

Scores: Tel 140, Paul 73
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Lost Cities

Scores: Tel 173, Paul 125
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Pit

This game can be summarised in one word - Chaos. We played the advanced version, using the bull and bear cards. A set of 9 cards for each player are shuffled together along with a bull card and a bear card. These are then dealt out so that 2 players have 10 cards and the others have 9. After a couple of seconds to assess your hand the market begins with a ring of the bell. Chaos ensues as players frantically try to trade cards with other players. The aim is to try and collect a set of cards. Trades must be between 1 and 4 cards of an undisclosed set and must be made for a like number of cards with another player. Once someone has a set they end the market by another ring of the bell. Scoring then occurs, the player gathering the set scores the value of that set. Whoever is left holding the bear scores -20. The bull can be used as a wild card to make up a set, or if the player has 10 cards doubles the value of the set if it is held in addition to a 9 card set. However, it scores -20 in a non winning players hand. No player can close the market if they have the bear card.

Id like to tell you what happened in the game, but all I can remember is being made deaf by Kevs constant shout of TWO!, and not wanting to trade with Andy after giving him the bear.

A very light, fun and VERY loud game which gets a rave review from all.

Final Scores
Susan 205, Paul 75, Tel 65, Kev -20, Andy -40

Ratings / 10
8s all round.
 
Scores: Susan 205, Paul 75, Tel 65, Kev -20, Andy -40
Ratings: Susan 8, Paul 8, Tel 8, Kev 8, Andy 8
Winner(s): Susan


05-Apr-2002All month
 
Lost Cities

Scores: Paul 83, Tel 49
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul

Lost Cities

Scores: Paul 142, Tel 68
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


09-Apr-2002All month
 
Don

Kev was running late so we played a quick game of Don while waiting for him.

Paul adopted his usual tactic of buying the first card. There seemed to be two tactics at play in this game. Andy and Tel seemed intent on buying cards, while Steve and Paul seemed intent on acquiring as much money as possible. So with about 3/4 of the game gone Andy and Tel were both struggling for cash but had most of the numbers covered between them while Paul and Steve had plenty of cash but were thin on the ground with cards. However things quickly changed, both Steve and Paul needed cards, so had to bid big to try and get the last few cards. These big bids found there way to Andy and Tel. Tel had enough to win the last set of cards with all the cash going to Andy. Tel won the game with a respectable 24, Andy finished in second ending the game with about 2/3 of the cash. Steve won the battle of the money hoarders ending with less cash but more points than Paul.

A great filler playing in about 20 minutes.

Final Scores
Tel 24, Andy 13, Steve 7, Paul 5

Ratings / 10
7 for everyone
 
Scores: Tel 24, Andy 13, Steve 8, Paul 5
Ratings: Tel 7, Andy 7, Steve 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Showmanager

This game shall be forever remembered as the game that Andy cheated at. In Showmanager each player takes on the role of a Producer trying to put on four shows. This is done by hiring actors to fill the roles required for each of the four shows, and in Andys case by cheating.

Everyone is aiming to put the same 4 musicals on, each of which has certain roles that need filling by actors. The actors are hired from an agency who always has 4 available, costing 0,1000,2000 and 3000. Once an actor is hired a new actor is unveiled in the 3000 slot pushing the rest down in price. Instead of hiring an actor a producer may decide to put on a show. This is done by using exactly the same number of actors as a show requires - did you hear that Andy? - exactly the same number. Each actor is adept at playing certain roles and scores if they are playing one of these roles. The show can then be rated by adding the value of the actors used. At the end of the game each show is ranked compared to the other players version of the same show and points scored accordingly.

During the explanation of the rules to everyone, the rule about a show requiring exactly the correct number of actors was missed. The first few rounds played relatively quickly as players took their required actors. Tel was the first to put on a musical (Queenie) using exactly the correct numer of actors. This was quickly followed by Kev and Paul producing King Lear again using the correct number of actors. Then the villian of the piece, Andy, put on his first show (Wolf). Now Wolf only needs 3 actors, but Andy decided that this was not enough so decided that in addition to the regular 3 (high scoring) actors he was going to miscast an additional 3 actors into roles that didnt even exist. Not content with cheating once, a couple of turns later he pulled a similar scam again. The game continued for another round before frantic reading of the rules discovered the incorrect ruling that Andy was merrily exploiting. We were nearing the end of the night after a late start so decided to continue with the game despite Andys clear advantage. The later shows scored lower than the first few as a rule. At the end of the game we all had to wait for Andy to draw enough actors to complete his last show because of his earlier blatant disregard for the rules. Unsuprisingly Andy won the game by a huge margin from Kev, Paul and Tel with Steve claiming the wooden spoon.

This game does have potential but the rules misinterpretation - oops sorry Andys cheating - did detract from the game for everyone. Yet again the Piddinghoe Gamers play a game completely wrong on its first play, I cant wait to play this one again. Oh did I mention that Andy Cheated.

Final Scores
Cheat 58, Kev 42, Paul 38, Tel 34, Steve 26

Ratings / 10
Andy 7, Kev 8, Paul 8, Tel 7, Steve 7
 
Scores: Andy 58, Kev 42, Paul 38, Tel 34, Steve 26
Ratings: Andy 7, Kev 8, Paul 8, Tel 7, Steve 7
Winner(s): Andy


16-Apr-2002All month
 
Carcassonne

First outing for Carcassonne with 6 players, as the new expansion provides a 6th set of meeple in gray. Once again we started with the river expansion.

Boog after his dramatic late big score in Vabanque was obviously hoping for a similar result here with his first 4 meeple in play all being Farmers with more joining later. Of course this meant he missed out on other scoring opportunities. In fact he hadnt scored at all as the last tile was played. Oggie set out on the most ambitious city planning project of all time. It quickly attracted a Cathedral, and hence would score nothing if not finished. Andy was soon drawn to the potential big score and found a way in as did Boog. Tel was the next to be afraid of being left out closely followed by Kev. Only Steve resisted the urge to get into the city. At one point it was only 2 end tiles from completion, but a couple of tiles from Steve ensured it would never finish. The other Cathedral scored in a joint venture for Steve and Tel. Kev was amassing points by building a number of smaller cities. His last tile finished him a road with an Inn on it scoring 10 plus he put a man on a city edge. And that 1 point city won him the game. Tel and Steve tied for 2nd a point behind. Boogs farmer only strategy failed as he scored only 29 (24 from farmers) however this was enough to beat Andys 27.

Personally I prefer Carcassonne as a two player game and was a little skeptical at the downtime that would be involved in a 6 player version. We do alleviate this to an extent by allowing everyone to draw their next tile as soon as theyve played the previous one. This speeds the game up as it allows for some planning during the downtime. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the game seemed to be being played there was only a couple occasions where the game got bogged down during a round.

Final Scores
Kev 71, Steve 70, Tel 70, Oggie 34, Boog 29, Andy 27

Rating / 10
Kev 8, Steve 8, Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7, Andy 8
 
Scores: Kev 71, Tel 70, Steve 70, Oggie 34, Boog 29, Andy 27
Ratings: Kev 8, Tel 8, Steve 8, Oggie 8, Boog 7, Andy 8
Winner(s): Kev

Guillotine

Scores: Steve 16, Andy 10, Tel 9, Boog 6
Ratings: Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Boog 7
Winner(s): Steve

Guillotine

While we were waiting for everyone to turn up we played 2 quick games of Guillotine. The card game where the aim of the game is to execute the most influencial nobles. As games go they donít get much simpler. Each players turn consists of playing an action card (optional), execute the front noble card, draw an action card. There are 12 nobles in the line on each of the 3 days, each noble has a value. Whoever has the biggest total of points from the nobles at the end of the third day wins.

For the first game there was only 3 of us. The first day got prolonged a couple of times with cards being added to the end of the line. Things were fairly close at the end of the first day. Tel took the front noble on day two, Andy then played the Scarlet Pimpernel to end the day after drawing his card. On day 3 he immediately moved Robespier to the front to end the day and game. Boog didnt get to take a noble in either of the last two days.

Andy won by 5 point from Boog with Tel 2 point further back.

Steve joined for the second game. The first day played out as normal but again the 2nd and 3rd days were cut short. This time Steve had acquired enough nobles to win the game, with Andy 2nd, Tel 3rd and Boog last.

Ideal start game as each game was finished in about 10 minutes.

Final Scores (Game 1)
Andy 19, Boog 14, Tel 12

Ratings / 10
Andy 7, Boog 8, Tel 8

Final Scores (Game 2)
Steve 16, Andy 10, Tel 9, Boog 6

Ratings / 10
Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Boog 7
 
Scores: Andy 19, Boog 14, Tel 12
Ratings: Andy 7, Boog 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Andy

Lost Cities

Scores: Tel 121, Paul 104
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Lost Cities

Scores: Tel 110, Paul 54
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Nicht die Bohn

We ended the night with a couple of hands of Nicht die Bohn. The Card game where the aim is to maximise your scores across four colours, trying to avoid the -ve and zero cards.

Neither Boog nor Tel had managed a win so far on the night but both scored big in the first round. Boog scoring the higher. Kev hadnt quite worked out the tactics for the game so was bemused at one point to discover he had the choice of 5 -ve cards after starting the round with an 8. Into the second round and Oggie amassed a big score but was 5 points short of catching Tel who claimed the victory. Despite only scoring 4 in the second round Boog hung on for third from Kev then Steve. Andy had the honour of the wooden spoon.

An entertaining way to end the evening, as the game does not require too much thought - although Kev tried.

Final Scores
Tel 103, Oggie 98, Boog 76, Kev 64, Steve 55, Andy 38

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 8, Kev 7, Steve 8, Andy 6
 
Scores: Tel 103, Oggie 98, Boog 76, Kev 64, Steve 55, Andy 38
Ratings: Tel 8, Oggie 8, Boog 8, Kev 7, Steve 8, Andy 6
Winner(s): Tel

Vabanque

6 players for the first time in a long time. We decided on Vabanque as it plays with 6 and only takes about 40 mins to play. There are 12 casino tables which become more lucrative as the game goes on. Each player has 3 cards, a bluff card that does nothing, a doubling card that increase the value of the table and a cheat card taht will steal another players winnings. Each of the four rounds play the same way. Firstly players distribute the chips for this round between the 12 tables, then they distribute their cards face down between the tables, finally they move their playing piece and the tables are scored. Each player at a table wins the value at that table. If there are any doubling cards then the table value is multiplied by 1+number of cards . However if there is a cheat at the table then the cheat gets the money for each of its opponents at the table.

After the first round everyone had managed to win either 20 or 40 except Boog who didnt win anything. In the second round Andy got a huge win for both his player and cheat card amassing 320 points, Tel got 90, Steve 30 with Boog, Oggie and Kev failing to score. Into the third round and some of the tables were getting very inviting and attracting many cards. For the third round running Boog failed to win anything this time joined by Tel. Going into the final round Boog was 425 points behind the leader Andy, but he is starting to gain a reputation for a dramatic last round big score, and he didnt fail tonight. Despite winning 260 on the last round Andy slipped from 1st to 3rd, Boog managed an impressive 750 but had to settle for second as Oggie claimed victory taking 600 from the last round. Kev and Steve failed to trouble the banker in the last round.

Somebody remarked half way through the game that the game appeared to just involve putting chips and cards randomnly on the board, and seeing what happens. Whilst this is one approach, there is certainly scope for plenty of bluffing and the opportunity to attempt to lure someone to your cheats. A clever game that is very entertaining.

Final Scores
Oggie 840, Boog 750, Andy 685, Tel 630, Kev 200, Steve 150.

Ratings / 10
Oggie 7, Boog 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Kev 8, Steve 7
 
Scores: Oggie 840, Boog 750, Andy 685, Tel 630, Kev 200, Steve 150
Ratings: Oggie 7, Boog 8, Andy 8, Tel 8, Kev 8, Steve 7
Winner(s): Oggie


19-Apr-2002All month
 
Lost Cities

Scores: Tel 111, Paul 70
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 8
Winner(s): Tel

Lost Cities

Scores: Paul 129, Tel 47
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 7
Winner(s): Paul


22-Apr-2002All month
 
Lost Cities

Scores: Tel 105, Paul 46
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Lost Cities

Scores: Paul 126, Tel 62
Ratings: Paul 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Paul


23-Apr-2002All month
 
Citadels

No other game has polarised our group more than this one. Three of us love the game, we each have a copy of the game, whereas the other four members of the group absolutely hate it. Im one of the three that loves the game but will attempt to reflect the opinions of the others.

We tried the game last night for the first time with the new English edition. This introduces 10 new characters to the game. Eight are potential replacements for the existing characters with the other two allowing for a 9th character to be introduced. The new characters have similar abilities to the cards they replace but different enough to affect gameplay. The rules suggest changing no more than 2 characters. We replaced the Assasin with the Witch, the Warlord with the Diplomat and introduced the Queen.

The major complaint of the original version was that the player to the right of the king, gets little choice on his turn and could be stuck there for a few turns if the king got assasinated. This has been addressed with a change to the new version in that the crown still moves even if the king is assasinated.

Another complaint of the dissenters is the downtime involved in the game. This was an issue in last nights game with players taking longer than usual to select their character, but to be fair we did have somone whod never played the game before, the rest of us havent played the game in almost a year and we were playing with new characters. I agree that with 6 of us there is going to be some downtime while players choose there characters but as with all games this should decrease the more the game is played and becomes familiar.

A final complaint of the game is that it is possible to have no action on a turn if you are assainated/bewitched. Since the crown was moving around a lot more last night due to the new rules, most players had a choice of a few characters most of the time, so nobody got picked on all the time, though Boog did seem to have more bad luck than the rest of us.

As to the game, Steve and Andy set an early pace which they maintained right to the finish, Since most of the players were obviously not enjoying the game we all marked it down.

From a personal perspective I think the new characters do add to the game and have improved an already great game. Unfortunately within our group I can only see this being played again in the near future as a three player game.


Final Scores
Steve 29, Andy 26, Oggie 24, Tel 22, Kev 19, Boog 12

Ratings / 10
Steve 6, Andy 4, Oggie 5, Tel 7, Kev 2, Boog 2
 
Scores: Steve 29, Andy 26, Oggie 24, Tel 22, Kev 19, Boog 12
Ratings: Steve 6, Andy 4, Oggie 5, Tel 7, Kev 2, Boog 2
Winner(s): Steve

Once Upon a Time

Introduction of a new game to group with Once Upon a Time. Everyone is dealt a number of cards, 5 in a 6 player game, which contain items, places, characters, aspects and events that often appear in fairytales. Each player also receives an ending card which contains the last words of a fairytale. The aim of the game is for the group to tell a fairytale with each player trying to incorporate their cards into the story whilst also pushing the story towards an ending that meets their end phrase.

Now the most important thing about this game is that winning is fairly unimportant. If players were trying all out to win the game would probably be over in a couple of minutes and be a very dry experience for all. Instead everyone should try and enter into the spirit of the game and an entertaining game should ensue.

Oggie is obviously a master storyteller for at one point in the game he managed to progress the story for about 5 minutes unfortunately not managing to play a card at all in that time. Just for interest our first story was an action packed affair with kidnapping, rescues, fights and illicit affairs, whereas the second story seemed to involve somone blind permanently running either through a forest or down a road (without getting hurt).

Certainly not a game to be taken too seriously but if played in the right spirit can provide some entertaining moments and could provide light relief after a heavy game.

Just for completeness Kev and Steve completed our two stories.

Ratings / 10
Kev 7, Steve 6, Boog 4, Andy 8, Oggie 4, Tel 7
 
Scores: Tel , Oggie , Andy , Steve , Kev , Boog
Ratings: Tel 7, Oggie 4, Andy 8, Steve 6, Kev 7, Boog 4
Winner(s): Steve, Kev

Pit

We started the night with a few hands of the noisiest game of the lot - Pit. The trading game that involves everyone simultaneously trying to swap cards with other players trying to collect all 9 cards of one commodity.

Ill need to re-read the rules to determine if there is a penalty for falsely closing the market without having the required cards, not that it would have made much difference as I think we all tried it at some point. The game is supposed to be the first to 500, but after about 8 rounds we decided to call a halt on proceedings as the highest score was only 180. Im not sure if there are any tactics to this game other then being able to shout louder than everyone else and being prepared to trade whenever possible, but it is certainly a great deal of fun.

Final Scores
Tel 180, Steve 60, Boog 35, Oggie 25, Andy 20, Kev -40

Ratings / 10
Tel 9, Steve 8, Boog 9, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Kev 8
 
Scores: Tel 180, Steve 60, Boog 35, Oggie 25, Andy 20, Kev -40
Ratings: Tel 9, Steve 8, Boog 9, Oggie 8, Andy 8, Kev 8
Winner(s): Tel


26-Apr-2002All month
 
Lost Cities

Scores: Tel 93, Paul 73
Ratings: Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel


30-Apr-2002All month
 
Through the Desert

Its been too long since the pastel camels saw the table. The board represents a desert and is made up of Hexagons. Four of these hexagons are filled with palm trees and then a lot more are covered with tokens worth 1,2 and 3 points. Each player takes a camel in each of the pastel colours, and places the rider of his colour onto it. Players take it in turns to play these riders onto the board. Play then starts in earnest, on his turn a player may play any two camels onto the board, such that each camel is adjacent to a camel of the same colour which in turn is part of a caravan of like coloured camels including one with that players rider. The same coloured caravans of 2 players may never be connected. As a caravan touches a tree that player gains 5 points and the player collects tokens from the board as they cover them. Once all the camels of any colour are played the game is over. Players then score for any enclosed areas formed and for the longest caravan of each colour.

Initial placement got rather aggressive as 3 of the four pink camels were all clumped together in one corner of the board, allowing Oggie to steam through with another coloured camel and pick up all the 3 pointers in that area. Elsewhere Andy was concentrating on his blue while managing to work his pink camel out of the corner, Steve was picking up plenty of tokens and connecting to plenty of trees. Tel enclosed a small area in one corner and set of after the opposite corner. Into the end game and Tel had a slight advantage in one of the colours from Steve but was forced to place just this colour each turn to maintain this lead. Andy was pushing his two main colours and Oggie claiming a couple of areas. In the fnal analysis Oggie had scored enough points to claim victory, Steve claimed a surprise second despite only sharing a single longest caravan. Andys 2 longest chains was enough to take third with Tel taking his first wooden spoon of the evening.

The big draw of this game is that each game plays in about 30 mins. Granted it also takes a few minutes to setup/put away with the many pieces. It does play well with any number of players and always scores well when played by the group.

Final Scores
Oggie 64, Steve 59, Andy 58, Tel 56

Ratings / 10
8s for everyone.
 
Scores: Oggie 64, Steve 59, Andy 58, Tel 56
Ratings: Oggie 8, Steve 8, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Oggie

Vinci

After conquering the desert in our first game we decided to try and conquer Europe in the second. In Vinci players try and introduce new civilizations into Europe. Since each civilization is detemined by two tiles they each have different abilities. The knack of the game is to be able to determine when to put a civilization into decline and start a new one.

This was the first playing of this with 6. It was also the first time Ive ever seen anyone (Paul) put his first empire into decline before it had actually got onto the board. The second edition rules state that each time a pair of tiles is passed over it gets 2 VP, the first civ was pased over 3 time making it worth 6 VP to Paul. It didnt do him any harm as he and Tel opened up an early lead, Tel scoring big due to a specialised Weapon civ that allowed him to claim an early large territory. As is traditional in Vinci the early leaders get trashed, and Boog obliged by almost wiping Tel of the board. Andy was apparently supposed to do the same to Paul but decided that Oggie looked a better target. After some very nice combos of tiles at the start of the game the rest of the game produced some real junk. Hence people were trying to hold onto dying civs for longer in the hope of seeing better tiles turn up. No one achieved this better than Andy who somehow managed to go through the whole game with only 2 Civs. Granted after 2 hours of play we called a halt to proceedings before anyone had reached the 100 point barrier. Despite being frugal with his civs Andy managed to claim a comfortable victory with Boog being his closest challenger 10 points adrift. Paul claimed 3rd from Oggie and Steve with Tel again taking last place.

The game was rated slightly lower then usual for this excellent game, this was due to excessive downtime. Most turn based games that play with 6 players are going to suffer from downtime and this was no exception. Although some planning could be made during other players turns, things often changed dramatically during the course of one round. This was still an enjoyable game but the consensus within the group seems to be that the ideal number of players is definitely less than 6.

Final Scores
Andy 90, Boog 80, Paul 76, Oggie 75, Steve 72, Tel 69

Ratings / 10
Andy 9, Boog 8, Paul 8, Oggie 6, Steve 7, Tel 7
 
Scores: Andy 90, Boog 80, Paul 76, Oggie 75, Steve 72, Tel 69
Ratings: Andy 9, Boog 8, Paul 8, Oggie 6, Steve 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Andy