This week saw our numbers at around 9, with new comers Shaun and Matt. With reasonably even numbers we broke up into two tables.
The 1st table played Jon's recent Christmas gift; Five Tribes. This is a game of reverse area control with economic elements, as victory points are also money. To begin each round players bid on turn order, trying to weight up how much money spend verses the possible returns. During the main phase of the game each player then takes all the meelpes from a single board tile and replaces all but one of them to back into the board in a Mancala manner. The colour of the meeple removed and the title it was removed from, each then activate a game effect; as an example green meelpes help with the games set collection element. Finally if a player has totally cleared the last title they landed on, they claim it for the end game scoring. The game was decided on the final turn with myself (Peter M) uncharacteristically spending 12 points to be the first player; this allowed an activation of a large group of money generating blue meeples twice, with use of a supporting Djinn card. The final game scores showed it very close win, with Andy's set collection strategy behind by only 3 points.
The 2nd table played the board gaming staple Ticket to Ride on the US map. Neil was able to achieve the most route completion wining the game on 144 points. With Shaun departing and Peter H arriving, the table moved on to a game of Colt Express. This is a game about stealing the most amount loot on a train heist in the old west. The showdown takes place on a nicely modelled cardboard train for that added player immersion. For the hiest players undertake the roll an outlaw with an unique player power and take it in turns to place an action card into a deck. With the action card deck built, it is drawn from one at a time and each action is resolved. So the game requires a lot of 2nd guessing of your opponents, to ensure your programmed in moves trigger as intended; so you don't wind up punching thin air. In the end Neil proved the most unscrupulous winning the game with a hawl of $3,000.
Aaron joined 2 of the group who had just finished the game of Five Tribes, for a game of Vault Wars. The theme of this game centres around being the best entrepreneur (swindler) of buying and selling items from pools of junk left behind by heroes that have never returned. At a mechanical level, the game is about set collection i.e. finding the most dragon eggs almost the other junk being brought and soil. The game is a lot more complex than it initially seems, as there is large amount of buffing between players to see if they can perhaps hide that one rare item in a pile of other junk. Finally the players are given a secret roll, which is worth bonus points at the end of the game. I was given "The Hoarder" meaning junk was worth a lot more to me than other players. My quest for the most junk seem to backfire however, as I was able to collect a pile of it and sell to the other players for a high mark up. Leaving me disappointed at the lack of junk items and the other player less than infused at the purchase of hand of junk cards. Aaron won the audition wars with an impressive score of 87, doubling that of mine and Matts added together.
With 3 people battling over magical knick knacks, the others setup for a game of Waggle Dance; thankfully for us, this was just a euro game centred around being the most successful colony of bees. Neil caused the most dance waggle, winning the game.
Finally those still remaining finished the night with a game of Port Royal.
Peter M: 139
Ticket to Ride:
Aaron: 90 (2nd from tie break)
David: $2,500 (2nd from tie break)
Peter H: $1,500
Peter M: 17
Players: David, Jon, Peter H and Neil
Players: Peter M, Matt and Aaron
The gamer of the week goes to Neil for the most wins in games featuring trains or bees: Ticket to Ride, Colt Express and Waggle Dance.