A Little Friendly Competition

Jobby and Sarah get together with their friends from across the road for some friendly board gaming. Well, mostly friendly…

(Almost a) One Day Tournament

We sometimes like to play little one day tournaments with our friends Rob and Kelly who live across the road from us. The rules are simple, each person chooses a game we play. We play each game with the winner getting 3 points, second place 2, etc. Whoever has scored the most after each game has been played chooses a victor’s game that everyone must play with them.

It’s good fun. We set aside a whole day so we can play slightly longer games. In fact, we normally under-estimate how long the plays take and it spills into another day. Here then, is a report on the first three games!

Shares in Africa

We started with Mombasa because I’d only ever played this with two and I wanted to see if it shines at four. Oh yes, it does shine at four!

Straightaway it was obvious that there would be a lot more of players getting in each other’s way. Sarah got stuck into expanding the Mombasa company and Kelly went heavy into St Louis. I dithered between three of the companies and Rob joined in the indecisiveness.

By the end of the game I wasn’t involved with any company that was worth anything. My own pet company, Cairo, was worth a pittence due to late-game expansion from the girls and I was the only fool invested in it. Hmph! I also made a half-arsed attempt at the book track but didn’t even make it past the first milestone.

Sarah dominated the diamond track bringing in some massive points and the win. First game to Sarah.

See that little bit of Cairo (orange)? Even that didn’t last long!

Stacking Up Resources

Rob plopped Cooper Island on the table. This was a game he’d been wanting to play with us for a while. The rules explanation took a while because it’s one of those game with a lot going on. The basic meat of the game is simple enough but there are a lot of extra ways to score. We were warned that points are scarce and anything above 20 is a big score. Challenge accepted!

Actually, I found I got the swing of this pretty quickly. I did a good job of ignoring a lot of the bonus scoring methods and concentrated on erecting buildings. Once I’d got two done that was a worker unlocked which opened up the game for me.

After a bit of head-scratching Sarah started getting statues built for a nice trickle of points each round. Rob went for the bonus track in the middle for a big amount of points quickly. Kelly… not sure what she was up to.

Cooper’s rather oddly symetrically shaped island. My black boat is heading for Sarah’s red area.

A bit cheekily, I realised that Sarah had extended her perninsula in my direction. I sent my boat in that direction to pick up all those lovely bonuses as I sailed around her land.

When we totted up, I had managed a solid victory well ahead of the others. And yes, I scored more than 20 points!

City of the Future

After some food and a break we managed one last game. Sarah’s choice was Ginkgopolis. A beautifully elegant game of area control that really wants four players. A quick rules explanation and we were off.

Our game focussed around a very large yellow area in the middle of the board, with smaller red and blue areas either side. There weren’t any small districts by the end of the game, just three big ones.

Early on, Sarah remembered that tussling with Rob in these kinds of games is always a mistake. The pair of them got stuck into a battle for dominance over the centre of the board. While Kelly started claiming more and more areas I made a couple of sneaky moves to join smaller districts together and consolidate my markers.

Early in the game. The huge, central yellow district is already taking shape.

I felt a bit bad because I picked up some of the cards that score bonus points. At the end of the game I had completely dominated the scoreboard and actually felt a bit embarrassed reading out the scores. Still, I won.

End of Play

With the end of Ginkgopolis we all agreed that it was too late to start another game. We shall just have to wait to see what Kelly’s choice will be. In the meantime, here’s the current standings…

Battle of the Neighbours 12/06/21

Cooper Island3012

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