04-Jun-2002All month

A quick half hour game of Carcassonne to end the night. No expansions of any kind.

Andy seems to adopted a new tactic at Carcassonne, he doesnt seem to bother the scorers until the last few tiles. Whether this is through choice or not I dont know but he played it for the 2nd time in three games of CC. This was a very strange game, probably because we are all used to playing with the expansions but we are used to seeing plenty of finished cities by the end of the game, in this game we only saw 4 and one of those was a 2 pointer created with the last tile of the game. Andy seemed to be trying to build the road to nowhere, while Boog was attempting to tie up all his men on 1 point scorers at the end of the game whether it be city of road tile. Paul (from cloisters) and Tel (from finished cities) were the two runaway leaders by the end of the game.

Still a cracking game that can play in less then half and hour with four players.

Final Scores
Tel 65, Paul 51, Andy 37, Boog 33

Ratings / 10
Tel 8, Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 7
Scores: Tel 65, Paul 51, Andy 37, Boog 33
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7, Andy 7, Boog 7
Winner(s): Tel

Puerto Rico

After seeing all the attention this was getting, we thought wed better give it a go. Unfortunately I hadnt had chance to read all the rules before we started. It took us about an hour to go through the rules which even for our group is excessive. In our hurry to finish the rules we missed one, so 15 mins into the first game we abandoned it as a dry run once we realised the missing rule. The rules arent actually that difficult. The aim of the game is to be in possession of the most VPs when one of the 3 end conditions occur. VPs are earnt in the form of buildings and are also gained when goods are exported. The game consists of rounds where each player selects a role to play. Selecting a role allows all players to use its ability but grants the selector an additional bonus. The roles allow the players the build plantations, build buildings, recruit colonists to man these, manufacture goods, sell goods locally for cash, export goods for VPs and collect some cash.

Since none of us had played the game before we all headed of with different strategies. Boog going after money with indigo and coffee production, Paul looking for a sugar monopoly, Tel going for the cheap building option of quarrys and Andy quickly filling his plantation. Boogs tactic of quickly building coffee production seemed to be paying dividends as he was always rolling in money, Pauls Sugar monopoly linked with no tobaco in the early game allowed him some early control over the selling of resources. Andy was also doing well at one time claiming that Pauls previous action had just won Andy the game. Tel wasnt doing so well as he couldnt seem to offload his goods with the ships and trading houses being full of the wrong sort of commodities. The end came quicker then anyone expected with the colonists running out. In the 2 turns before the end Boog had spent his huge wedge on 2 of the big bonus giving buildings and this swung the game his way bigtime. Paul and Andy were close for 2nd and 3rd with Tel trailing in last.

Unlike most games players have to beware that the best move for themselves is often an even better move for someone else. There are also a plethora of tactics that are likely to work in this game. All in all the hype was right, a tremendous game that seems on first impressions to have plenty of replay value and offers the opportunity to develop many tactics. The game itself played in about an hour. Cant wait to play it again.

Final Scores
Boog 40, Paul 29, Andy 26, Tel 21

Boog 8, Paul 9, Andy 8, Tel 8
Scores: Boog 40, Paul 29, Andy 26, Tel 21
Ratings: Boog 8, Paul 9, Andy 8, Tel 8
Winner(s): Boog

Wyatt Earp

The second game of the night was another Alea game. Wyatt Earp is a Rummy derivative. Players lay melds of cards of 7 outlaws from the Wild West. The highest value of melds for each Outlaw then takes the cash on that outlaw. Sheriff cards allow for the reward to be increased and to increse the value of players melds.

Tel and Boog got off to quick starts in the first hand both getting early big melds out, but then attracted Hideout cards making the melds worthless, while Boog managed to clear his Tel didnt. This allowed Andy in and by the end of the first round he had already collect 12,000 almost half way to the finish line. The second hand was more evenly split with all of us getting a share of the cash though Paul was struggling to play cards and by the end of the game hadnt managed to match Andys first round score. The third and final hand saw Andy try to go out with a big bang plaiying all his cards at once unfortunately this included 2 sheriff cards, with is outside the law. So he was forced to wait another turn to go out, unfortuanately for the rest of us nobody could do enough to stop him, and Andy claimed the victory. Boog finished 2nd 4 points behind with Tel a further 4 points back.

An entertaining game which suprisingly took an hour to play. Itís a shame that it only plays with 4 players as it wouldve hit the table much more had it played with more.

Final Scores
Andy 28k, Boog 24k, Tel 20k, Paul 11k.

Ratings / 10
Andy 8, Boog 8, Tel7, Paul 7
Scores: Andy 28, Boog 24, Tel 20, Paul 11
Ratings: Andy 8, Boog 8, Tel 7, Paul 7
Winner(s): Andy