Time to catch up.....
Dave arrived and we knew that Dave W would be arriving soon, so we looked
for a quick game to explore. Rich brought out Xe Queo. This is an abstract
game wherein each player decides on a "secret color" from one of 7 on the
game board. The goal is to move that the block of that color into the goal
(gold ring) with the first player to do that the winner of that round. But
if the other player can guess your color, they win instead. So the game
becomes a bit of bluff and counter-bluff as players are trying to get into a
winning position. Several rounds are played with the overall winner to be
the first to win 4 rounds.
In the first round, Rich had been moving Green and Red forward while Dave
seemed to be favouring Lt. Blue. When Dave moved Lt. Blue into position to
win on the next move, Rich declared that to be Dave's color, only to have
Dave reveal it as Green! So Rich loses the first round as he had been
moving his own color (Red) as well as Dave's (green) leaving Dave free to
move and bluff almost at will.
In the second round, Dave moves Yellow, but Rich is wary of calling out the
obvious again, so moves Lt. Blue. Dave then wins with Yellow as that was
indeed his color this time. (Rich made the mistake of setting up the target
ring a bit too close to the existing colors allowing Dave to make only a few
moves to get the win.)
By this time, Dave W had arrived, so abandoned Xe Queo and switched to our
game of the evening, a game that Dave W had been eager to get to the table
but always seemed to miss when we did play...Merchants of Venus.
Dave W (as the Nik) headed to Colony World to discover the Dell. Dave (as
the Eeps) headed to the Interstellar Biosphere to find the Nik). Rich (and
the Whynoms) heads into the Cloud to discover the Eeps - resulting in 2 out
of the 3 players finding their home areas early in the game. Also, the
beginnings of a nice trade route as the Niks sell to the Dell sell to the
Dave was able to capitalize on small trade routes, always picking up (or
selling) cargo in the small trade circles that develop as the board is
revealed. Rich seemed to focus too much on the special fares and extra
demands, flying empty at times which means that his income generation rate
is behind that of others. It was made worse towards the end of the game
when Rich purchased a space station, but then realized he was out of cash
and couldn't load any goods. A fundamental mistake which put Rich out of
the game as several turns were spent slowly moving to a place to gain
income. Dave W was more efficient than Rich, but didn't reach the
efficiency that Dave was showing.
In the end, Dave reached the 2000 first (2054 to be precise) ending the
game. Dave W had 1188. Rich 726.
Only Dave arrived, so we decided to try out Worthington Games latest release
- Cowboys. For our first game, we started with a smaller scenario (Top Gun)
where the Top Gun fighter and a barkeep are fighting two up and coming
gunfighters who want to take over the top spot.
On the first turn, the TG jumped over the bar for cover while the barkeep
shots his shotgun twice at one of the up and coming fighters getting 2 hits
(out of 4 shots). But now the other side gets a chance and both fire at the
TG. The first scores 2 hits and the second scores an additional hit with a
critical hit killing the TG. But wait, he has a health card to recover 2
hits and isn't as dead as original suspected.
The next turn sees the barkeep jump between one of the up and coming
fighters to block any shots at the TG. The TG fires and gets 2 hits, but
again the health card prevents the death of one of the fighters. A few more
turns of shooting and then it ends when #3 spins and shots to kill the top
gun and win the game.
A bit disappointed at the lack of tactical options (the game was primarily
all just roll dice and shoot at the other player - and could have ended
after just 2 turns were it not for a health card in hand), we decided to
explore one of the larger scenarios hoping for a bit more game play.
So we set up Jailbreak. A gang of 4 cowboys is riding into town to free
their leader. Standing between the cowboys and their goal is just the
sheriff and the deputy (and perhaps a few townsfolk.)
The first turn sees the gang ride in on horseback. The sheriff gets his
rifle and prepares to confront the gang. The deputy is in the barber shop,
but gets ready also. Coming to their aid (via a card) is also a couple of
townsfolk. The gang continues to ride in, but dismounts from their horses
and step away to leave the horses as obstacles to anyshots. Without clear
shots, the sheriff and deputy hold their fire (should they have started
shooting the horses?)
Two of the gang then storms the jail house windows to break into the jail
while the other two gang members set themselves up as shields in front of
the deputy and townsfolk to block any possible shot. The two gang members
in the jail unload on the sheriff hitting him 3 times! He then panics (card
play, can't take any action) leaving the gang to easily kill the sheriff.
The deputy had sprinted into the street to try to help, but is also gunned
down. Now it is up to the townfolk to stop Big John (leader of the gang)
But again, the gang forms human shields around Big John or rushing forward
to block any possible shot, and Big John easily rides out of town.
So while we did get some movement options, the game still became one of just
rolling die and hoping for more hits before your opponent could roll hits.
A very light game that might be fun in a silly way, but not one I can see
playing again with the rules as written.
Lawrence, Ben, and Dave arrived to make 4 for games. Our first game of the
night was LIFEBOATS, a game of negotiation wherein players hope to rescue
more of their sailors than anyone else. Lawrence seemed to be the early
target as his sailor's were the one tossed overboard. Not only that, his
lifeboat (the yellow one) was also the first to capsize for too many leaks.
Unfortunately for Dave, it was manned by his men at the time, so Dave lost a
Rich managed to get 4 of his sailors to the islands early and appeared to
have the game in hand. But Ben had been quietly sharing the ride in many
boats and not making too many waves. And has the game wound down, Ben
managed to get 4 of his men to the islands also. Rich did have a 5th sailor
in the last boat, but it was too far from the islands gaining leaks and
sinking before it could reach land.
Rich: 7+5+6+4 = 22
Dave: 8+6+5 = 19
Ben : 8+4+7+5 = 24
Lawr: 8+6+4 = 18
So the winner's in this game did have the most men ashore with Ben getting
men to the more valuable islands giving him the win.
Continuing our theme of survival at sea, we next played Escape from
Atlantis. In a moderately vicious game - out of 12 initial Atlanteans to
start on the sinking island, only 4 or 3 of each player made it to shore
(much like in our game above). Ben again was one who quietly maneuvered his
4 men ashore. Rich and Lawrence were at 3 each. Dave had three ashore and
one swimmer who was desperately trying to make it to shore with a dolphin.
The other three players tried to move away the dolphin and move in a shark
or sea serpent to eliminate Dave's last swimmer. But despite 2 tries each,
the right monster moves did not come up and Dave managed to get the 4th
swimmer ashore for a share of the win with Ben.