24th Nov - Agricola + Farmers of the Moor

Another go with Agricola and the Farmers of the Moor expansion, this time with the Minor Improvement cards. I still think I prefer it without any cards.

Richard 38, Matt 37, Garry 31

Then a quick game of Geschenkt to finish the evening.

Richard 130, matt 163, Garry 204

17th Nov - Steam Barons

Steam Barons is the share system add on/expansion for Steam. It does change things quite a lot and makes it a completely different game, you have to keep stopping yourself from thinking like you do during normal Steam/AoS.

I have a few concerns after 1 play, the company turn order is determined randomly each turn which has a major affect on the game, we're wondering if there is some way of changing this so it's more predictable. It's also very difficult to determine if a company's shares will go up in value (but this could be down to the fact that this was our first game). But what really annoyed me was that you couldn't tell the white and natural coloured trains apart, I had to put black dots on the white funnels to make it playable.

A good game but it'll need more plays to see how well it works.

Richard 106, Steve 101, Garry 75

10th Nov - Agricola + Farmers of the Moor

Another outing for Agricola and the Farmers of the Moor Expansion. A much tighter game this time and I seemed to have got my act together a bit. I'd also printed a scan of all the Major Improvement cards so that we didn't have to peer down/across the table at upside down cards, this made things much easier. We played without the Minor Improvements and really enjoyed it.

Steve 39, Richard 39, Garry 36

3rd Nov - Agricola + Farmers of the Moor

Another new Essen game, this time the Agricola expansion Farmers of the Moor. We played the family version as there was enough new stuff going on without having to deal with the new minor improvements and occupations. The expansion really improves the family game and we all thought that it made it a much better game as a result. We'll have to see if the full version with the cards just makes it too mind boggling.

I used my normal strategy of being really rubbish which seems to have worked really well.

Steve 41, Matt (10 horses!) 38, Richard (only 2 family members!) 37, Garry 26

28th Oct - Last Train to Wensleydale

The first Tuesday after Essen and there's piles of new games everywhere. We started with Last Train to Wensleydale the new Martin Wallace game. It took a while to sort out the rules and at first it seemed a bit fiddly but once you start playing it all clicks into place. We did manage to miss out one important rule and of course as none of us had played it before we had no idea what we were doing, so huge mistakes were made (by me mostly).

Now that we've got it all sorted I'll look forward to another game.

Steve 34, Richard 30, Garry 18

Back from Essen

I got back from Essen last night with a suitcase bulging with new games. There were so many new 'must haves' this year that I still have a large list of games I want. Hopefully most of the others will have been bought by my friends, so between us I think we'll have most of the big games covered.

In the photo:
Power Grid Factory Manager
Power Grid - Spain/Brazil in expansion box
Agricola Expansion
Vasco da Gama
Boomtown (€2.95! a bargain)
Carson City
100 wooden trains (to pimp my Age of Steam)
Chicago Express expansion
Power $truggle
Seeräuber (another bargain at €5)
Last Train to Wensleydale
Ted Alspach's AoS/Steam maps
Agricola resource meeples
Keltis the card game

I also preordered Steam Barons which should be delivered soon

That should keep me going for a while.

13th Oct - Hamburgum

Not played Hamburgum for a while, we should play it more as it's a really great game, I think it's the best of the 'rondel' games.

Richard 75, Steve 74, Matt 60, Garry 56

Oct 6th - Agricola

Just 3 of us tonight so we played the last in our rotating hands of Agricola. This is where we play with set hands and swap them around between each game (if you see what I mean). Despite having the 'good hand' I still did rubbish and only just managed not to loose by one point.

Richard 44, Garry 37, Steve 36

Sep 29 - Arkadia and Witch's Brew

Arkadia has been around for a few years but I'd not had a chance to play it. It was a good game and lasted just long enough for what it was.

Matt 74, Garry 68, Steve 58, Richard 52

As we had some time left we played Witch's Brew. Steve seemed to always have different cards to us, which meant he either knew exactly what he was doing or didn't have a clue. The scores speak for themselves.

Steve 32, Garry 32, Richard 23, Matt 21
Steve won on a tiebreak

Sep 22 - Tinners' Trail

I wasn't there this week but Richard passed on the scores etc.

Very close game of Tinners' Trail, Steve got the early score - but then ran out of blocks to mine in the final rounds - whilst I was getting mine out with out having to pay anything (I actually thought he had won up to the point we added the scores up!)

Richard 120, Steve 119, Matt 96

Then Hey That's My Fish (Deluxe Version!!) - well actually just the same as the normal one with better penguins. Matt & I some got tangled with each other - leaving the rest of the hexes for Steve!

Steve 43, Matt 26, Richard 23

Sep 15 - Ice Flow and Vikings

Managed to get 2 games in this week. The first was Ice Flow which I enjoyed more than the first playing of it. Still feel a bit meh towards it though.

Richard 3, Steve 2, Matt 1, Garry 1

Then a game of Vikings I was a long way ahead on the scoring track for the beginning of the game but I couldn't get anywhere near enough fishermen so I knew that I was doomed.

Matt 83, Richard 44, Steve 44, Garry 43

8th September - Chicago Express

Decided to play Chicago Express again whilst it's still fresh in our heads. I really like this game, even though I didn't do to well this time.

Steve 99, Matt 84, Garry 64, Richard 60

We finished Chicago Express pretty quick so we had a few rounds of Flaschenteufel which Matt described as 'Horrible, Horrible, Horrible', I don't think he liked it.

Richard 114, Steve 83, Garry 59, Matt 9

1st Sep - Agricola

I wasn't here this week but they played Agricola (maybe you've heard of it?). Apparently it was a very close game.

Richard 37, Steve 36, Matt 34

25th August - La Citta

One of Richards old games (2000) this week, La Citta. It's a city building, feed the people game but is fairly abstract.

Matt 31, Richard 30, Steve 27, Garry 23

18th August - Chicago Express

I've had a copy of Chicago Express/Wabash Cannonball for over a year and this is only the 3rd time I've played it. A really great game that we should play more.

Jo 133, Garry 114, Steve 101, Matt 90, Richard 45

11th August - Agricola

Another game of Agricola. True to form I did even worse than ever, I put this down to turning 50 over the weekend and seem have gone into premature senility. I think I need to play a few solo games to get the hang of it.

Steve 53, Richard 50, Garry 26

Afterwards we had a quick game of Hol's der Geier which I managed to win so I don't feel to bad.

Garry46, Steve 44, Richard 30

4th August - Tigris and Euphrates

I wasn't here this week but Matt, Steve and Richard played Tigris and Euphrates

28th July - Cuba + El Presidente expansion

A real brain burner. I think it's better with the expansion but need to play it more to be sure, but it does make for a long game.

Garry 109. Richard 105, Steve 105, Lance 97, Matt 96.

21st July - 3 small games

Matt 27, Steve 18, Garry 17, Richard 10

Matt 12, Steve 11, Richard 9, Garry 4

I've now edited the scores, thanks Richard.

Matt 156, Richard 133, Garry 106, Steve 97

14th July - Agicola and San Juan

4 Player Agricola, I realy like this game but seem score lower and lower each time I play.

Matt 44, Steve 36, Richard 36, Garry 28

Then time for a quick game of San Juan, I got all the rules right this time.

Richard 45, Garry 32, Steve 30, Matt 30

Garry does something worthwhile shock!

Four friends and I are going to be cycling from London to Cambridge, that's 60 miles, on the 26th of July, to raise money for bowel and breast cancer research.
One of my best friends, Paul, who is cycling with us, was diagnosed with bowel Cancer last year. The fact that he is able cycle with us is a testament to the quality of modern treatment. I'm just happy that I'm cycling with him and not in his memory. Our aim is to raise £5,000 between us.

Seeing as the ride comes just a few weeks before my 50th birthday and I've spent the last 10 years mostly sitting on my arse this is quite a big thing for me. I also doubt that I'll be doing this sort of thing on a regular basis, if fact the last time I asked for sponsors for anything was Run the World in 1986 so it's safe to consider this a one off. I've given my bike a service, dug out my lycra cycling shorts (calm down) and have spent the last month or so getting myself fit (well, fitter).

If you would like to sponsor me please click the link which will fill you in with a little more info and take you to our Just Giving page so you can make a donation online.

11th July - Pasteboard and Plastic

I couldn't stay all day but managed a game of Steam. 4 players, 1 newbie, German map. Great fun, we played the basic game which we all seem to prefer.

Garry 56, Matt 50, Jo 47, Mark 32

7th July - Airlines

A bit of a blast from the past this week, Airlines from 1990, hmm... I'm not sure it stands the test of time. After that a couple of quick games of John Silver, a really nice card game.

Airlines: Richard 74, Matt 72, Garry 58, Steve 50

John Silver: Garry 48, Richard 38, Matt 28, Steve 25

30th June - Amun-Re

More ancient monuments this week with Amun-Re. Afterwards we had some time for a quck game of San Juan, I got half the rules wrong, but still managed to win as I had the Chapel, which is far too powerfull.

Amun Re: Steve 32, Matt 30, Richard 29, Garry 23
San Juan: Garry 33, Matt 28, Steve 24, Richard 24

23rd June - Maya

This week we played Maya. It's a card driven, block collecting, temple building game. It was pretty good. And I won wh hooo! (this doesn't happen very often).

Garry 50, Steve 45, Matt 37, Richard 32

After that 4 rounds of Geschenkt with secret money, always great fun.

Richard 162, Steve 247, Garry 258, Matt 301
(lowest wins)

16th June - Steam

Steam again, this time the German map. We all really like Steam, we played it with the Standard rules to see how it compared to the Basic game, we prefered the basic game by 3 votes to 1. With that said both games are very good, just different.

Richard 62, Matt 48, Steve 45, Garry 42

10th June - Automobile

Richard got a copy of Automobile at the UK Game Expro. Like a lot of Martin Wallace's games it takes a while to get the hang of the rules but after that it's fairly straight forward. As it was our first game it was very difficult to work out what to do, that coupled with the rules gave my brain a bit of a work out.

We all agreed that we would have done things differently once we realised how the mechanisims worked together (especially Lance who seem to be collecting black cubes like he was General Motors). So we'll need to play it again before I pass judgement.

Richard 4120, Steve 3910, Garry 3590, Lance 2820

3rd June - Back again and Steam

I've started blogging again. I stopped as I was finding it difficult to find new things to say, what do you write about the 20th game of Agricola? So from now on it'll be brief with just the game we played and the scores etc , there may be a a few other words depending on how much time I have.

Last night we played Steam the new Martin Wallace remix of Age of Steam and very good it was too. Richard won but it was a very close game

Richard 42, Matt 41, Garry 39, Steve 36