13th May - Puerto Rico

This week and old classic, Puerto Rico. Now I'm not about to describe this game to you because if you're reading this blog the chances are that you know all about Puerto rico, it's been number one on the boardgamegeek website for as long as I can remember.

It's been at least a year since I played this game and I was a bit rusty, there were a few things that I wanted to do that I left too close to the end, and of course the end came about too quickly. Watching Steve and Richard I kinda figured that Richard was out in front and Steve and I were fairly close to taking 2nd place. Well I was wrong, somehow Steve had carefully managed to stash away more VPs than we'd thought, and of course I ended up in last place again. Puerto Rico is an excellent game and is number 1 deservedly so, I really need to play it more often.

Steve 56, Richard 45, Garry 42

We had some time left over so had a few hands of Flaschentufel. This is a really neat trick taking game where you try to avoid the lowest card in the pack. If you end up with it in you hand you score minus points (eekk!).

Steve and Richard had both played it a week previously and I was a bit rusty (well this is my excuse). After 2 hands I had managed to avoid the 1 card so became and instant target for the last round.

Steve 56, Richard 54, Garry 40

29th April - Hamburgum

Of all the purchases from Essen 2007 Hamburgum is the one that I'm most pleased with so far (but I've still got a few unplayed games left, notably Cuba). The basic idea is to to build the 6 Cathedrals in 17th Century Hamburg (or London if you turn the board over). As you build you gain victory points and the winner when the last Cathedral is built is the player with the most victory points. You just can't steam in and start building things, first you need to produce goods, which you sell for money, which you use to buy building materials, which you use to build the cathedrals step by step, which gain you varing amounts of VPs and there are more that one way to gain VPs which keeps things interesting.

Another thing that I like is that a players' turn consists of only 1 action which shouldn't take too long, so the game can move at a reasonably brisk pace. There also seems plenty of time to interact with the other players, so rather than just concentrating on making the most of your position, you can spend a few turns blocking what other people want to do without mucking up your master plan.

Steve and I decided to try this and see how it worked as a 2 player game and we were very pleased with the outcome. It was pretty neck and neck for most of the game but towards the end I made a decision that there would probably be a bit of a struggle in the shipyard to flush the opponents ships down the Thames so I go myself stocked up with plenty of wood but it never came to be and Steve beat me buy a large margin.

All in all an excellent game, and it works well for 2 players.

Steve 130ish, Garry 110ish