Monday, 20 December 2010

boardgaming in photos

28 Nov 2010. Kahuna, a game in the Kosmos 2-player series. It's a short game, and can even be a filler if played quickly. Such games are good because near the end of a game session, we often have a "just one more game" itch, especially when there is still a little time left before we absolutely need to go. Sometimes we end even up playing two short games.

In Kahuna players draw and play cards to establish bridges between islands. You control an island (place hand marker) when your bridges occupy more than half of the available spaces on the island. You can remove your opponent's bridges by establishing control and also by card play. Each player can only draw one card per turn and can play any number of cards. So you build up your hand gradually and need to find the right time to make your offensive moves.

In this particular game, I was black and Allen white. He lost the momentum of establishing control early on, and never managed to recover.

There's a www.boardgamegeek.com user Joe Gola who wrote the funniest session report on Amun-Re. He uses a photo of this Gola island as his avatar. Try to search for that session report at BGG if you have not read it before.

28 Nov 2010. Power Grid, Central Europe map. Power Grid is one of my favourite games that I don't play enough of. So I have stopped buying expansions after the first two, since the base game already has 2 maps, and each expansion 2 more. This was a two-player game with Michelle, and we played the yellow, green and red regions. Michelle started in the centre, and I started in the north. She blocked me off quite badly, forcing me to spend a lot of money to connect to new cities.

My power plants at game end, only coal and oil power plants. There is a lot of coal on this map so it is relatively cheap and safe (not likely to be short of coal) to rely on coal plants.

4 Dec 2010. At the Gates of Loyang. Michelle and I started playing this again recently. I recently taught my 5-year-old daughter Shee Yun a simplified version of the game, and she likes it a lot, often requesting to play it. We play without Helper cards. The card phase is just laying out 6 cards and then taking turns to pick two, without needing to pay any money. Regular customers need not be served every round. The cart has unlimited capacity. There is no twin-pack action. Scoring is simplified - it costs $10 per step on the prosperity track. Surprisingly the game does work, for a five year old. I give Shee Yun the advantage of always being first to pick a card. I also give her hints and reminders. She enjoys it a lot. I get a little bored with this variant after a while, so sometimes I need to beg her not to make me play it again, especially when I'm tired. I suggest Halli Galli instead and usually she's happy enough with that.

4 Dec 2010. The Princes of Florence. It has been quite a while since I played this, a game I like a lot, and also one of my earliest purchases when I got into the hobby. I played the 2-player variant with Michelle. Not as satisfying as the full 5-player game, but I guess better than none. Both Michelle and I was a bit rusty and we both miscalculated and were unable to complete one of our works.

4 Dec 2010. Another game that we had not played for a long time - Tikal.

The treasures that I collected. I didn't manage to get as many as Michelle.

I used both my tents (natural coloured), but Michelle only used one of hers (red).

One of the looted treasure sites.

Both my tents were next to volcanoes. I guess my explorers were daredevils.

11 Dec 2010. A 3-player game of Hansa Teutonica. This was my first time playing with three. Allen was new to the game. Han has played before. With three players the game seems to be less tense. As is probably common, we started with trying to increase our actions. I was first to establish an office at that action-improving city in the south, but Han quickly established another office, taking over control. He earned quite many single VPs because of that. I went with a tech strategy (which I don't think is viable by itself), maxing out on three of the techs. I didn't spend much effort on building a network. Because of my book tech, I had more round tokens (merchants) available, which I used to claim two of the Coellen spots (7VP and 8VP respectively). The combination of maxed techs and Coellen merchants won me the game, but only barely. I had 42VPs, Han 41VPs, Allen 37VPs. I have played 4 games of Hansa Teutonica, and I feel there is still a lot to explore. So far in the 4 games noone has completed the east-west connection.

My book, bag and envelop techs were all maxed out.

11 Dec 2010. Innovation. Allen seems to quite like this too, and suggested to play again. I had a big lead in this particular game, because of my strength in castles in the early game. One of the cards I had robbed all top cards with castles from Allen and Han and put them into my score pile. But in Innovation, even a 4-0-0 lead doesn't guarantee victory. Allen had a come-from-behind victory, reaching 5 achievements before I could claim another. I was only one action away from getting my 5th achievement. I had a card with 3 clocks which I could play so that I would have 3 of all the 6 icons, and would claim that special achievement. Innovation is quite fun. Although it can be random, I feel there is still a lot you can do, and many interesting uses of the card powers.

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