Jobby writes about his latest visit to the weekly Bury St Edmunds Board Games Group meetup…
A Small Gathering
Thursday night saw Sarah and I head to our new favourite gathering for another evening of board gaming. On this night there were only seven of us in total. We arrived in time to witness Jim completely hustle Dan, Alex and the two Simons in a game of Skull. “I have no idea what I’m doing!” he repeatedly claimed but once he decided to win it was game over for the others!
Building a Wonder
We furnished ourselves with low calorie cola drinks and joined the fray. Since there were seven of us the group reasoned it would be rude not to play 7 Wonders. This is a bit of a staple in our household so we were happy to play. There was a little drama as there were two cards missing from the first age, so we made sure everyone started the round with six cards and went from there.
Just for a change I decided to ignore the green cards and try and win on military. Sarah, who was sat on my left, seemed to start with the same idea but veered off during the second age to diversify a bit. Dan, to my right, seemed to do a whole mixture of things. By the end of the third age I’d got a minimal amount of science going but picked up a couple of juicy guilds for big points. I thought I had done pretty well. I had, but not as well as Simon who took the victory having collected almost an entire deck of blue cards!
Welcome To… Jobbyville!
Alex suggest we could all play Welcome To… as it can easily handle seven players due to the simultaneous nature of play. We were all happy to give it a go. This ‘roll and write’ game has been getting a lot of buzz recently. Only, it’s not really ‘roll and write’ as there is no rolling of dice, but there is flipping of cards which is quite random.
Basically there are three pairs of cards. One of each pair shows a number and the card next to it shows an action. Each player has to write one of the numbers on one of their houses, ensuring that all numbers on their sheet are in ascending order from left to right. The player can also use the power that was paired up with the number they chose.
It’s an interesting little game, although it didn’t blow my socks off. I did enjoy it and there seems to be enough going on with the actions to mean that players can concentrate on one thing or another. I went heavy on using ‘temp workers’ who adjust the number for you. Sarah concentrated on swimming pools and parks because of her affinity with water and nature. The game clipped along at a good pace and Dan was declared the winner (with yours truly in second place with a large margin between us).
Rails and Shares, But Smaller
At this point we decided to split into two tables for separate games. Jim was interested in trying either Isle of Skye or Mini Rails. Since it was a bit late we went for Mini Rails. Sarah, Dan and Alex joined us leaving the two Simons to settle into a game of A Column of Fire.
I had played this the first time we came to Rougham but I was very happy to get this game out again. A quick rules explanation left some around the table wondering where the game in this was. The rules are very simple but it is all about the player interaction.
The predictable first round went by with each player buying a share and then laying some track. Heads were still being scratched. As the game continued, though, things got more and more interesting. Players were beginning to try and block out others and stop players from getting their high scoring shares taxed (thus denying them the points from them). Realisations were made that blue was an awful colour to get into this game as it was surrounded by red dotted spaces on the board so would struggle to become worth anything. People ‘got it’.
Despite my best efforts to buy a couple of shares in two colours and then push them hard I was denied victory with the final action of the game. I had bought a yellow share to prevent yellow being taxed. Alex took the last yellow disc so I thought he was just trying to deny players with yellow points. Instead, he built some yellow rails and placed it on a double red dot space knocking down the value of the share I just bought! This act caused me to finish in second place with Dan (again) taking victory!
A Quick Climb
Just before we called it a night, Jim wanted to see what The Climbers is about. Alex had to go but that left four of us. We set it up and explained the (again, simple) rules and set about moving satisfyingly heavy wooden blocks around.
Jim, I’m beginning to realise, likes to experiment with games and see what can be done. I really like this attitude, and it was very amusing when he couldn’t move up higher so he put his blocking disc right between me and Sarah, “just to see what would happen”.
I thought I was doing really well when suddenly Dan and Sarah’s efforts converged into the centre of the structure and I was blocked out! There was little I could do each turn and not enough big blocks left around for me to start another tower. Eventually everyone passed with Dan and Sarah’s climbers on the same level separated by some big blocks. Dan had made it to that level first so he was declared the winner!
It was now late so we had to call it a night. Once again, though, we had a great time and really enjoyed some quality gaming.