18-Jun-2002All month
 
Kingdoms

Andy and Steve turned up early so the evening started with a quick 20 minute three player game of Kingdoms. This is a tile laying game that is played over 3 identical rounds. Each player starts with a number of castles worth between 1 and 4 and a random secret tile. On his turn a player can either draw and play a tile, play his secret tile or place one of his castles. The board is a grid and at the end of the round each row and column is scored. All bar 3 of the tiles have a value of between -6 and 6 and at the end of the round these numbers are summed for each row to determine its basic value. The 3 special tiles either doubles the value of corresponding rows, splits the rows into 2 or ignores all positive values in corresponding rows. The value of the row is multiplied by the total value of a players castles for that row. At the end of each round only the 1 value castles are returned to the players the rest are discarded. Whoever has the highest total after 3 rounds wins.

Steve only placed a couple of small castles in the first round giving him a score of 9, over 40 points behind both Andy and Tel. Into the 2nd round and both Andy and Steve scored about 40 point but Tel played his big 4 point castle to score about 60 and open up a lead. Into the last round and Steve was able to play all his big castles and score over 80 points, however Tel managed to keep out of trouble and get a reasonable score, Andy however was forced to play last and had to play a castle into a row that scored lost him 20 points giving a total of 20 for the round.

The game played very quickly despite it making its first appearance. Its one of those games where the rules are very easy to learn, but determining winning tactics is going to take longer. Ill definitely look forward to playing it again.

Final Scores
Tel 178, Steve 130, Andy 121

Ratings / 10
Tel 7, Steve 6, Andy 7
 
Scores: Tel 178, Steve 130, Andy 121
Ratings: Tel 7, Steve 6, Andy 7
Winner(s): Tel

Lost Cities

Scores: Tel 114, Paul 108
Ratings: Tel 8, Paul 7
Winner(s): Tel

Lost Cities

Scores: Paul 95, Tel -62
Ratings: Paul 7, Tel 6
Winner(s): Paul

Showmanager

Last game of the night was Showmanager. And before I start this report Id just like to say that Andy did not cheat.

Each player starts with a budget of 18k. With this money he needs to hire actors to be able to produce 4 plays. There are always 4 actors available for hire at a cost of 0, 1k, 2k and 3k. Alternatively the player may pay 2k to replace all 4 actors. Each actor is adept at playing either 1,2 or 3 of the available 18 roles, and will add towards the quality of the show. If an actor is miscast in a role, he contributes nothing towards the quality of the show. Performances made without a miscast actor recieve a bonus. Once everyone has produced the four shows the game is over and points are awarded according to the quality of the respective shows. Whoever gains the most points wins.

5 of the 6 players put the same show (Wolf) on first, only Kev was different prefering to produce the more difficult Ballet. As the players were collecting for the second show, Steve decided that he didnt like any of the actors available and seemed intent on searching the whole of Equity for the stars of his show. This of course was costing him 2k a time, but money was no object to a producer as determined as Steve. To the extent that at one point he had spent his initial allocation of 18k plus an additional 10k taken against his first production and was still missing cast members for his next production. Hence he was forced to take whatever actor came along to fill the last two roles. The final production was glittered with stars, unfortunately it was let down by a terribly miscast performance in one of the roles which prevented it from being the toast of the town. Impending bankruptcy also forced Steve to borrow heavily from the show further marring its reputation.

With 3 productions in place for everyone it appeared to be a two horse race as Andy and Tel shared the top 2 spots in the 3 productions theyd put on. However Kev had put an impressive Ballet on in the richest city. Four of the producers were desperately fighting over actors that could dance to put on a Ballet while Kev was happily having a free choice of the remaining actors for Wolf. While both Andy and Tel managed to fill the ballet without miscasting anyone, their productions were filled with the dregs of the acting community. However Kevs production of Wolf opened to rave reviews and he was soon crowned top producer.

The only gripe with tonights game of Showmanager was that it took 2 hours to play, far too long for the game it is. When we played with 5 earlier in the year the game played much quicker. Now whether the game took so long because there were 6 of us or whether it was because of the number of burn em calls to clear the actors roster Im not sure, but I doubt it will hit the table again as a six player game. Howver the game is good fun and will certainly be played again with fewer players.

Final Scores
Kev 55, Tel 45, Andy 34, Oggie 33, Steve 32, Paul 22

Ratings / 10
Kev 8, Tel 6, Andy 8, Oggie 6, Steve 6, Paul 7
 
Scores: Kev 55, Tel 45, Andy 34, Oggie 33, Steve 32, Paul 22
Ratings: Kev 8, Tel 6, Andy 8, Oggie 6, Steve 6, Paul 7
Winner(s): Kev

Vabanque

We played a couple of 6 player games tonioght, Vabanque took the table first. The game of bluff, gambling and cheating. The aim of the game is to have obtained the most money after visiting 4 casino tables, by legitimate gambling or cheating. The four rounds consist of placing money of some of the 12 tables, then playing your 3 cards, moving to a table and then reaping the rewards ( or not as the case may be). Money is left on the tables after each round so the tables get more lucrative as the game goes on. The 3 cards are played face down by the tables and either do nothing, increase the value of the table or attempt to cheat the players there. When it comes to moving a piece can move upto 4 tables clockwise.

We have found that earnings in the first 2 rounds of the game are pretty inconsequential when it comes to the final tally, however the first 2 rounds do serve to identify the lucrative tables, and allow players to jostle for position. Its in the last 2 rounds that the money starts to get serious and a bit more thought is needed before placing the cards. Andy had built up a lead in the first 2 rounds and was still only just behind Steve after the third round. However the last round wasnt kind and he finished the game back in fourth with just over half of the winners total. Oggie had managed to acquire just 15k from the first 3 rounds but put that to right by winning 330k in the last round, however Steve claimed a comprehensive victory. Tels strategy of not moving from the first table failed miserably.

This is a game that seems to have slipped under the radar of most people. While its not a game full of deep and intricate tactics it does provide a very entertaining way of spending 30-40 minutes with up to 6 players. The poker chips provided do add to the atmosphere. Well recomended.

Final Scores
Steve 1050k, Kev 980k, Paul 895k, Andy 550k, Oggie 345k, Tel 140k

Ratings
Steve 8, Kev 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7, Tel 7
 
Scores: Steve 1050, Kev 950, Paul 895, Andy 550, Oggie 345, Tel 140
Ratings: Steve 8, Kev 8, Paul 8, Andy 8, Oggie 7, Tel 7
Winner(s): Steve