28th October - Chicago Express & Wind River

First Tuesday after Essen so a lot to choose from. We started with Chicago Express which is the Queen Games reprint of Wabash Cannonball, it looks really nice with a proper board and pieces much better than the original. The game play is exactly the same, which is a good thing. Steve triggered the game end conditions and we were all caught a bit by surprise (except Steve obviously).

The board at the end of the game

It's a really good game, the money flows from the bank to the players and the railroad companies in a very interesting way. I think we'll need to play it several times to get the hang of it.

Richard 69, Steve 57, Jo 53, Garry 47

Then time for a game of Wind River. The idea is to move as many tipis (wigwams) across the finish line at one end of the board.

The rules are really easy to learn, and it looks very nice, there is a bit of analysis paralysis and kingmakering towards the end but not enough to spoil the fun. Very enjoyable.

Richard 4, Garry 3, Steve 2, Jo 2

26th October - Just back from Essen

Got back from Essen late last night.

October 18th - Saturday at Garry's

There were 5 of us for a full day of games. We started with a couple of games of 6 Nimmt to get warmed up, arrgh! maths first thing on a Saturday morning!

Richard 0, Neil 6, Steve 7, Garry 28, Aga 32
Aga 7, Neil 10, Garry 10, Richard 12, Steve 22

Then the first meaty game of the day, Age of Steam of the basic map with 2 first time players (Neil and Aga). Theis is a hard game to play well the first time out, but they didn't play too bad (lots of brain hurts tho')

Steve 80, Richard 74, Garry 51, Neil 28, Aga 25

After a bite to eat time for one more game, Pillars of the Earth with the 5/6 player expansion. I've only played this once before and really enjoyed it - must play it more.

Richard 52, Neil 49, Steve, 48, Aga 45, Garry 43

October 7th - Age of Steam

One of our favorites, Age of Steam. It was a first for me, the first time I'd played on the same map more than once. It was also the first time that Matt had played it, so he had a lot to learn (you could see his head throbbing at one point!).

Richard 106, Garry 91, Matt 77, Steve 41

Richards Report:
Interesting game last night...

As Garry implies I think Matt, as most people do this first time they play, found the game a bit of brain burner - though I am sure he we will do better next time - he had by half way through the game realised the importance of increasing his train size!!

Steve on the other hand had a bit of a nightmare of game - basically we had a turn when we both realised that control of urbanising the blue city was essential - as it could be used to block out our long distance routes - though I only realised halfway through the bidding process that I could place it to block Steve's routes - rather than just prevent it being used to block my own route!!

Basically we bid until we ran out of cash - unfortunately for Steve I had more money - and he had to be content with taking first build in order to redirect his 'Stubs' and therefore not have his route blocked by the urbanisation ...

... unfortunately Steve had forgotten that he didn't have any money left to build/redirect his track - which in turn meant that he lost control of the stubs - DOH!!

And just to rub salt in his wounds as I was building next I picked up control of his now un-owned stubs by connecting them together - I don't think I have seen anyone's position take such a drastic turn for the worse because of a single mistake in a game of Age of Steam before!!

Because I had being paying most attention to track building and urbanisation conflict that had been going on between Steve and myself I hadn't really been paying much attention to Garry (With whom I did not have much track/cube conflict with) - so I did come as little bit of a shock when he suddenly said 'And I'll deliver this cube for Six!' - What!- Hey! - How!! - were the thoughts that went through my mind as it hadn't even registered with me that he had expanded his train to a 6!!

With Garry shipping for 6 and myself for 5 he managed to close the gap in the income track over the final few turns - basically at the end of the game we were on the game space!!

Fortunately I had issued 2 fewer shares and had built more track (Mostly thanks to picking up Steve's uncontrolled stubs) - so I did come out the winner!!

What I can't believe is that I don't think that we haven't play Age if Steam for almost a year - it is just such a good game - and is just something that I can just never imagine refusing too play!!

30th September - Agricola

Three player Agricola this week. At the end of the game we made a note of the cards that each player was dealt, the idea is that we'll play again with the same cards but rotate the hands so that each player gets one go at each hand, I'll let you know how it works out.

Richard 40, Steve 38, Garry 32

23rd September - Age of Empires III

There were 6 of us tonight, we went over to Neil and Aga's and had a go at Age of Empires III. I must admit I'd never paid much attention to this game before as I didn't like the look of the game, it has loads of plastic figures, and, being American I thought it would involve lots of die rolling and luck. Well I was very wrong and it's much more 'Euro' in it's mechanisms. I did struggle with it though, as I couldn't work out how everything meshed together until I'd made a load of mistakes and came woefully last.

Steve 109, Aga 105, Richard 104, Neil 97, Matt 81, Garry 47

16th September - Cuba

I'm really behind with my reports so I'll be brief. Tonight Matt joined us, he's recently moved to the area and found us via the 'geek. Tonight we played Cuba, it was the first time that Matt had played so we had a quick run through of the rules and got cracking. Matt seemed to pick it pretty well and ended up winning, well done that Man!

Matt 73, Richard 72, Garry 66, Steve 64

Time for a quick game of Geshenkt before we called it a day.

Garry 40, Richard 43, Matt 49, Steve 69 (low scores win)