18th Nov - Steel Driver and Colloretto

Matt was back with us this week and I decided on Steel Driver. Richard and I had played once before in the Hotel in Essen. Yes it's another train game with shares etc. but it plays nice and quick, even with a rules explanation we finished earlier than we normally do.

Very Simply you bid for control of rail companies, once one share from each of the six companies has been auctioned then you start building railways. But the money that was spent on purchasing the controlling stake is the money that was used to build with, so if you if you managed to get a bargain and bought a company cheap you'll find that you'll have no money to buy track. Definately need to play this a few times to get the hang of it.

Richard 1410, Steve 1270, Garry 1210, Matt 1090

As Steel Driver ended a bit early we had a quick game of Coloretto. Great fun, I tended to push my luck a bit too far and came a magnificent last.

Richard 33, Steve 28, Matt 25, Garry 18

8th November - Pasteboard & Plastic

First up, to get the brain cells moving was Wind River. It's a nice easy game to learn with only a few rules but don't let that fool you, it can get very tricky towards the end at one point all of us had 4 0r 5 tepees near the end of the board but by the end of the game we only managed 1 or 2.

This is a great little game and is turning into on of my favorites from this years Essen.

Garry 2, Alistair 2, Gary 1, Tim 1

Next I joined Steve and Richard for another new Essen Game, Martin Wallace's After the Flood. It took us a while to get through the rules but when the game started playing it didn't seem as complicated as the rules made it out to be.

Once you know what you're doing the game moves fairly fast and the combat is simple and good fun. At the end of a round all the soldiers are taken off the board and the combat begins afresh with different armies, so if you suffer a catastrophic defeat at the start of the game it's not the end of the world. It took us nearly 4 hours to play this but a good hour was spent trying to sort out the rules and a lot of time was spent looking things up whilst we were playing, it would probably take a mush less time once you got the hang of it.

Richard 123, Steve 105, 92

After a very short break we decided to try the new Bezier games Age of Steam map Vermont. The map is mostly made up of mountains (eek!) We all thought we'd probably go bankrupt within a few turns but there are a few extra rules that allow for a cash injection in the game which takes the pain away.

We started in differnt parts of the board but soon started twisting our track around each other and fighting for blocks. I really stuggled to get my locomotive upgraded, something that is always my weak point, next time maybe.

Richard 97, Howard 89, Steve 78, Garry 68

4th Nov - TTR Nordic and 'The Catapult'

Richards choice tonight and a couple of new Essen purchases. The first was Ticket to Ride: Nordic countries. This is a new map for the great Ticket to Ride series of games that plays only 3 players, there are a few rule changes from the basic set but not much. We'd not played TTR for a while and had forgotten what a great game it is.

Richard 120, Steve 88, Garry 75

We finished with time for something else so decided to have a go at Carcassonne - The Catapult. This is yet another expansion for Carcassonne but adds a level of frivolity by allowing you to flick cardboard counters at the board.


At first I thought the whole idea was an expansion too far, however we all had a great laugh and the catapult makes a realy nice cartoon boing sound.

Garry 74, Steve 67, Richard 74