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Wednesday Night Gamers 23rd Oct 2013Post by: Zarniwoop
23rd October 2013
Tonight we played a game of Phantom League with the Mostly Harmless expansion, although there is now a Phantom League/(Mostly Harmless) combo for those that do not own it already.
This has always been billed to me as Elite the boardgame so I have been intrigued for sometime to have a go at this to see if it lives up to this reputation. I finally got in on a game this week, though I was rather knackered after a solid week of walking as my Mum had been up for a visit. I said up front I was not sure I could last the whole game but wanted to sit in on a few rounds to get the idea, as it turns out I kept playing and I was glad I did. I enjoyed this a lot, it did have the feel of the computer game condensed into well designed board game mechanics. My only criticism is with the combat system, it did not feel particularly intuitive and seems far too long and leaves too much downtime for the other players. I am not sure what can be done to "fix" this, and by the sounds of it the game designers have been wrestling with this aspect for a while as well.
I would play this again but it's not one I would want to buy as I feel it plays too long for the enjoyment you get out of it. Maybe with more streamlined combat it might flow better, it certainly appears like it would play faster with people who have played before.
We ended the evening with a game of Room 25 with Myself, Philsy, Phil, Sally, Richard and Neil meaning we had a full compliment of 6 players. This is really a lovely fun game where you need to play it with the Traitor element to get the best out of it, in this game we had 2 Guards and 4 Prisoners with no-one knowing at the start who was who. The idea is for the prisoners to locate and move Room-25 out of the complex with them all in it, the guards have to stop this before the time runs out and/or kill two prisoners. There are various hidden dangers in the rooms and players have to figure out who to trust as they try and complete their hidden goals. As one of the guards I eventually killed Sally's character and revealed myself as one of the guards, this allowed me more choice in actions but sadly at this point I was so far away from the rest I could not catch them in time. The other guard, it turned out, was Neil who did a good job of scuppering the escape plans. In the end the guards won by the fact the prisoners ran out of time before they could all get onto room-25. All in all a really fun game that I will have to take down more often.
30th Oct 2013
This week we played Endeavor which is an old favourite and I was glad to get the chance to play this again.
The main board represents areas of the world, rather than just a map they have gone for a more stylised representation which works really well with the theme. Showing trade routes, and cities as well as shipping tracks.
The aim of the game is to build your empire improving in various aspects of Culture, Finance, Industry & Political. These build towards your Glory points at the end of the game with the winner being the one with the most Glory at the end.
Played over seven rounds, marked cleverly by the fact the players have to build a building each round. These buildings can provide improvements to the four aspects mentioned above, or actions you can use later in the round. Your level of culture determines how much population growth you have and these are used to activate buildings and explore the world.
Players start in Europe & The Mediterranean and through their actions spread out to other areas of the world. As players occupy and ship they collect Trade tokens, completing trade routes also wins a player trade tokens. These tokens increase your Culture, Finance, Politics and Industry tracks which then give you various benefits during the game and provide Glory Points for the final scoring. Also amongst the Trade Tokens are blue tokens which can be discarded to take additional actions.
Each region has a stack of cards which provide a variety of rewards, the top card of most of the Decks is a Governor card which is gained by having the most pieces on the shipping track for that region when it is completed. Once a shipping track is complete the regions is OPEN meaning players can occupy cities, or draw cards as long as they have enough pieces in the area to match the cost of the card. These cards again, like the trade tokens increase your Culture, Finance, Politics and Industry tracks.
In the starting area you have two stacks, one of which is a slavery deck, this rewards the players in the normal way buthas a down side. If the players ever have to discard a slavery card it is kept face down as it counts as negative glory for final scoring. Also the other desk has an abolition of slavery card which when taken means all players with slavery cards have to discard them. This can be quite a useful tactic as not only will those players have glory taken away but when they lose the cards they also have to lose the track rewards they received as well.
This is a really good game, not overly complex but does require careful observation of other players actions as they will have an impact on what you will do on your turn. As this is only played over seven rounds you find the action ramps up in the final rounds as players have amassed extra actions and population.
Philsy:56, Bamber:45, Paul:43, Carl:39 and Chris:35
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