25th Jan - Caylus

Haven't played Caylus for Years and had forgotten what a great game it is.

Richard 74, Steve 70, Garry 66, Matt 63

18th Jan - Troyes

Another game of Troyes, great stuff. We still managed to make a mistake with the rules, it's not a difficult game at all, honest.

Steve 45, Garry 33, Matt 30

Followed it up with a quick game of Mogul, which is a cross between No Thanks and a train & shares game (no really)

Garry 30, Matt 25, Steve 23

11th Jan - Troyes

Another game of Troyes. The rules are a little tricky to learn and it's easy to miss things, we got a couple of things wrong this time but next time we'll get it right.

Matt 46, Steve 41, Garry 34

4th Jan - Steam Sahara map

I couldn't make it this week due to a dose of the Man-Flu. Matt has sent me this great write up.

Game 1: Steam (Sahara Map)
-In which Steve's eye is turned by water and Matt builds too much track in the desert.

Despite the session being at my house, in was Richard's turn to host so he brought Steam round with one of the newer maps. The Sahara is on the reverse of the Amazon map we played a few weeks back and features lots of sand. Building on sand costs an extra dollar which is irritating, but the real show-stopping board rule was that completing a shipment costs you a water cube. Blue water cubes are found, singly, in oases or by taking the water supply role for the turn you can ignore the rule and ship as normal. I bid 2 to go first with my eye on the water, thinking it would be worthwhile and angling to get a good first build spot. As it transpired, and as Richard had worked out, the water is a tax on shipping, and not really a damaging one. Getting a train to 6 and taking the hit for the water is a long way preferable to launching into the desert to chase down blue cubes.

So whilst Steve and I ventured into the northern sands, Richard skirted around the southern edges like a cheapskate and made a long chain of cities well away from where Steve and myself could ship his blocks. By the time Steve and I got our games into gear stabilised the cash flow and got the tracks through the desert sorted out Richard had got to 10 cash, a 6 train and a load of cheap connections on the edge of the desert. We couldn't quite catch him despite trying to ship his blocks, but there were just too many shipping options for all of use in a 3 player game on that map (which can take up to 6 players).

The verdict was that it was better than a Amazonian map as the outcome was less predictable and there were more building options to think about. the water is a nice mechanic as it can generate a +2/-2 swing in the last turns that could be relevant if everyone was paying attention from the start. One of those boards where you need to get a 6 train as early as possible or else you are stuffed though.

Richard: 73 Matt: 63 Steve: 50

Game 2: San Juan (with expansion)
-Wherein Richard is perplexed by the new cards and Steve steadfastly refuses to take the Councillor to his advantage.

Garry's not here- quick break out San Juan! Steve starts with a Charity Shop which gets him a card after building as long as he has the least buildings. Richard frowns darkly and vows to lead a rural existence in order to thwart him. I get an export office and Richard builds a Tobacco Store. Rather than let Richard get all the production to himself, I build a Smithy on the following round then build three Tobacco Stores in a row. The idea was to find a Guildhall and win at a fast pace. It nearly worked but whilst I was noodling around Richard and Steve both built Prefectures, we all built Customs Offices and Richard slipped a library into play to make his Councillor phases truly epic. Whilst usually very good, the Library gets a little worse, I think, with the new cards in the game as it quite expensive compared with some of the effects generated on the new cards. Steve's Councillor phase was looking pretty good too, but he never took it, deciding instead to smelt silver and sell it until he could buy a Cathedral. This despicable turn of events coupled with Richard's Residence and my Guildhall netted Steve too many points for me to overhaul with cheap cards. Had the game gone on longer Richard would have completed more set of cards whilst all I could do was put the odd card under a Chapel and wait to draw Silver smelters, which I couldn't draw to save my life. A close game, really good fun.

Steve: 33 Matt: 32 Richard: 27

29th Dec - Troyes

Just Steve and I this week so I thought we'd give Troyes a go. Took a while to get through the rules but once we got going it all made sense.

Steve 38, Garry 37