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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekend Boardgaming: 29th April 2012

I have been waiting for this as I just got a new batch of goodies from various arrangements and was rearing to play them. It proved to be a night starting with heavy euros and ending in much lighter fare games. Very good gaming to be had right at the beginning and winding down at the end.


After 4 hours we are finally DONE!
We decided to go ahead and tackle the behemoth in the room and that is Vinhos. I manage to get my copy the night before got it ready for our gaming night. Explaining the game is quite tough as there are SO MANY parts to take care of and explain. I think I (being this my first time), took about 30-45 mins to explain the game before we finally begun. There are certain parts where we were unclear and a lot of referring to rules had to be done. Luckily the rules are rather well written so the game did not falter and we trudged along. Basically you are own vineyards and produce wine and make it do a variety of actions to earn points in the end. You can also perform actions which will allow you to improve the value of the wine you produce which in turn may translate into big point payouts. As this is our first game, we made many mistakes. But everyone agreed that its quite a good game and would like to try it again another time. Just not so soon in the future ;p

Initial Impression: Good

Quick make babies! Quick marry them off!
After that heavy monster that is Vinhos, we decided to try Helvetia. Our gaming buddy very kindly spent a lot of effort to translate the rules into English himself which made it easier for us to understand. After a refresh of the rules, we jumped in, eager to try something which we think is lighter than Vinhos. In a nutshell, you are trying to develop your village and be the first to reach 20 points (which will signal the end of the game). The center portion is where the score track is. It also contains the goods that had been produced and traded by your village as well as a school and the 5 roles you can select. This portion reminds me of Vanuatu in how the majority will gain the role card which provides a free action as well as 1 VP. The complicated part is the chaining of goods to produce a better good. Furthermore, because your villagers can be in other villages (due to marriage), you will need to take note of their status (either awake, which means you can use or asleep which means they are disabled for now) because perhaps that player may have already awoken him/her and ready for you to utilize. This portion is a bit difficult to track as there are so many pieces and colors to track. I enjoy the game quite a bit (granted that I won with a came from behind win) and would like to see if it will be as fun after a few more plays.

Initial Impression: Good

Be very very careful!
so after 2 thinky games, we decided to play something lighter to refresh ourselves. We played Hamsterrolle which is an agility game involving a big round circle. Objective is to try to clear the pieces in front of you (all players have the same set and no two pieces are the same) by placing the your piece (during your turn) so that your piece is the furthest along the row. If any pieces drop while you are placing your piece, then your turn is over and you have to keep all dropped pieces. The winner is the player who has cleared his/her set of pieces first. Not bad, had a lot of fun but I am not really for agility games like this.

Initial Impression: Average

Beware of the pirate!

Next we tried a lighter game that is Batavia. You score points by having majority in each of the goods available as well as trading in the hexagonal tiles that are different from each other in a set. The player with the most points will win. Its quite a straight forward game that is surprisingly quite light and fast to play given the components and how much production value this game has. Knowing when to secure majority and thus being able to then move your player token to that hexagonal tile belonging to the majority country is vital to the game. Ok for me.

Initial Impression: Average

Junta: Viva el Presidente!
My little landed property
Junta is a game which requires a lot of negotiation and banter to make it fun. You play a powerful member of this nation which seems to be changing presidents quite easily and you can force that to happen with your own private militia which are represented by dice. During a turn, the reigning president (which incidentally will have 1 VP) will choose to pass cards to the other players in order to punish them or to bribe them. After that players will reveal the number on the dice they have selected to declare what action they are taking that turn. During this reveal and resolution phase, the president may face a coup and relinquish his/her title. Otherwise, players may also attack each other using their militia and defend themselves using their own militia as well. It requires a lot of bantering and negotiation from the group otherwise it will not really make a lot of sense thematically and may drag on for far too long, especially if the players are very good at guarding each other.

Initial Impression: Average

All in all, a great long gaming session and I am glad I finally manage to get my copy of Vinhos and play it. Helvetia was also a good play for me..
Great night, great games!

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