Author Topic: Meetup featuring jungleboy, Decar, danisthirty and Rich_The_Fish at d20 (London)  (Read 1088 times)

Offline jungleboy

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On Saturday we had a great four-person meetup at d20 Board Game Cafe in London. The meetup starred Decar (Tom), Rich_The_Fish (Rich), danisthirty (Danisactuallythirtyseven) and myself (Nick). None of us live in London so everyone had to trek a bit to get there. Decar and Rich had to drive pretty far in snowy conditions and at one point we weren't sure if Decar was going to make it. Their commitment to attending the event was much appreciated!

It was the first time any of us had been to d20. We chose it because it is in western London and was therefore easier to get to for the three non-jungleboy players who would have otherwise had to go through the centre of London to get to Draughts, where we've held previous meetups. I think we all thought d20 was a pretty good venue. Our table was only just big enough for Dice City which has a large table footprint, but otherwise we had enough space, enough games to choose from and enough food and drinks to keep us going for a mammoth eight-hour session.



Citadels (left to right): 'King' Tom, 'Why can't I still take my turn after being assassinated?' Rich, and warlordisthirty

So, onto the games!

We played eight games in all. We originally chose two each and Rich and Dan both got their two games to the table. Decar got one of his, and I made a last-minute change and chose a different game. We also played Carcassonne (of course!), so with seven games in the books with about 50 minutes to go in our session, we decided not to attempt either of the last two choices and go with 7 Wonders instead.

Flamme Rouge
Finishing order: Rich, Tom, Dan, Nick
I think we all thought the game had the potential to be pretty cool but we had some issues with a few aspects of gameplay and also some of the components which could have been more clearly defined.



Habitats
Finishing order: Nick, Tom, Rich, Dan
Fun tile-laying game where you're building a safari park and trying to 'score' your animals by surrounding them with the right types of landscapes. It's a bit fiddly flipping tiles upside down to change their state from incomplete to complete, but otherwise I thought it was a nice game. The tile draft is quite cool too.



Imhotep
Finishing order: Rich, Nick, Tom, Dan
This was probably my favourite game of the day. I've really enjoyed Imhotep the last few times I've played it. We played the A sides because no one else had played before, but we did add the private ship mini-expansion which was cool.



Citadels
Finishing order: Nick, Rich, Tom, Dan
I've wanted to play this for a while and I really enjoyed it. I think we had a good player count for it and a good group to play some 'take that' with the assassin and the thief.



Carcassonne
Finishing order: Nick, Dan, Rich, Tom
The 'main event' of the day was a four-player base game. There was a very controversial ending, which will live on in infamy for eternity, when Decar convinced Rich not to join his incomplete city with Dan's at the death. This gave me the win by one point ahead of Dan and ended up costing Rich a spot. But it was extremely close - I think there were only five points separating 1st from 4th so it really was anyone's game.



NMBR 9
Finishing order: Rich, Nick, Tom, Dan
A light filler of the multi-player solitaire type. Rich won fairly handily by virtue of having both his number 9 tiles on upper levels IIRC.



Dice City
Finishing order: Dan, Nick, Rich/Tom (t-3rd)
I liked this game but I think we felt that there were a few too many things going on in terms of options on your turn, and not enough interaction between the players. It's an engine-builder which I don't usually do well at but I thought I played OK.



7 Wonders
Finishing order: Tom, Nick/Rich/Dan (t-2nd)
Very close game with Tom scoring 44 and everyone else scoring 41. Tom engaged in a massive arms race (that no one else was paying attention to) in the third age to pick up both 5-point military tokens which helped give him the win. It was interesting to see that we all went for a different strategy but ended up with almost the same score.



After eight hours of solid gaming we went out for a curry and a debrief of everything we'd played. Thanks to all participants for coming and hopefully we can do it again one of these days!

Linkback: http://www.carcassonnecentral.com/community/index.php?topic=3870.0
« Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 02:28:01 PM by jungleboy »

Offline Decar

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Great post JB, so a merit from me.  I took a ton of photos...though my focus was a bit off, but will share thrm tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for making the effort in the terrible conditions to play some games.  Overall we had a great mix!

Offline Chooselife

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Congrats Dudes for keeping the CCentral community Live and not just Online.
Thanks Decar and Dan to put up with Jungleboy for a day in order to get my packages to him.   :(y) >:D

Next meetup should be in Portugal!
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother;

Offline jungleboy

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Thanks Decar and Dan to put up with Jungleboy for a day in order to get my packages to him.   :(y) >:D

Hey, hey, hey - I had to put up with them too!

Next meetup should be in Portugal!

 :(y)

Offline Decar

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WARNING - HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES!

So here's what I had to contend with on Friday evening.  My wife thought I was mad to attempt the journey on the Saturday morning and I think the only reason I made it to the main road was because another car had ventured down their a few minutes earlier.



We met at the D20 Board Game Café in Watford.  We had a decent table at the back, but the first thing I noticed was this lovely wall art courtesy of the Kickstarter backers of the cafe:


We settled into a game of Flame Rouge.  I got to go at the back because I can't ride a bike, let alone be the last person to have ridden a bike; which is the deciding factor for going first.



I had some issues with this game, mainly that it was mechanically ok, but the designs of the cards and the layout of the artwork made it really difficult to sort out.  It took a good 15 minutes to set up and on a couple of occasions we struggled to identify the sprinter and the rollers.  It felt like a game that had been play tested with prototype cards, with a very simple design and not play tested at all with the final components.  The mechanics were ok, but essentially no tactical play could be carried out. It was next to impossible to know what another player would draw, so highly unlikely to be able to slip stream them,  I guess the movement around hills are where this is predictable, but most of the time I was stuck at the back unable to get past the cyclers infront.

Either way it was a fun game, and a good start to the day.

Next up was my choice, Habitats.  Dan and I played this at Essen 2016.  I still really enjoy it, though sometimes it's hard to mitigate an unlucky draft.  I feel like another few rounds would help, a lot of us had a lot of incomplete zones at the end.  Overall the mechanics are all sound but they don't quite coalesce together neatly....but I don't care because the animal figures are so nice :)



We had a nice lunch about now, even though my burger was suitable for vegetarians..it would have been better with bacon :D

Next up was Imhotep.  I was pleasantly surprised by this one, I felt there'd be a lot of working out how to force players to take particular moves, instead I seemed to have little to no control over what was going on.  It's quite elegant, but Rich managed to score a billion points building the pyramid, while I didn't seem to get a majority anywhere, but did ok in the crypt/tomb thing.


As chief Pharaoh Rich The Fish ordered the most many milkshake I've ever seen:


Next up was Citadels, first time I played this.  I liked how well this game works; there's a lot to keep track of even though there's not a huge amount to it.  It's not overly complex.  It does rely on players being able to keep each other in check though, which I failed at miserably.  I should have known to beat up Jungleboy instead of Rich the Fish.




Next up was Carcassonne, I rarely get to play 4-player and it's nice to see such a busy board.  I was late to the scoretrack, but it was a close game as you'll see.



NMBR9 next; meh, it doesn't do it for me...plus I suck at adding up:


Next up was Dice City, I love the dice rolling mechanics, and enjoy the adaptive nature of the game, but I found it impossible to keep track of the other players, and not sure of the best way to create a point scoring engine.  The army stuff was weak in my opinion, and the point differential was significant, i scored 33 points, while Dan managed to get 20 points for a single end-game inducing trade-ship.  Still, the mechanics are enjoyable, I just wish the game was a bit tighter and that created more interaction between players.  I wonder if an expansion helps this.



We finished our day with 7Wonders, which I really enjoy; it's a rewarding game, and it was nice to see how closely we all scored, even though only a few points separated us!


Here's the final score:


The Café was really nice, it was great they could accommodate us for so long.  Their coffee was pretty good too.  The staff were quite chatty when we left too, so hopefully we'll have a chance to go back again soon. I also got an idea of what to do with my old game boxes:


Here we are after it all:


Then it was time for a curry and a deliberation over the highlights of our day :(y)


Thanks again everyone!

Offline danisthirty

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I'm still too bitter and enraged about having lost at pretty much everything, even Carcassonne! The latter being due to Tom persuading Rich that earning himself 1 point was better than earning himself 4 points if it also gave points to me. Still, who's laughing now? That's right, nobody, because everyone else has forgotten about it... :'( :'( :'( >:( >:( >:(

I didn't take any photos so don't feel like I have much to add other than to say that I had a great time and to point out that D20 is well worth a visit if you're ever in the Watford area. Thanks for the games guys!
Heroically snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 2018

Offline Decar

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I'm still too bitter and enraged about having lost at pretty much everything, even Carcassonne! The latter being due to Tom persuading Rich that earning himself 1 point was better than earning himself 4 points if it also gave points to me. Still, who's laughing now? That's right, nobody, because everyone else has forgotten about it... :'( :'( :'( >:( >:( >:(

You did win the bourbon biscuit though and that's what really counts.

Offline jungleboy

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Next up was Carcassonne, I rarely get to play 4-player and it's nice to see such a busy board.  I was late to the scoretrack, but it was a close game as you'll see.


I think I deserve merit for straightening up the tiles.

Offline InTheDark

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Next up was Carcassonne, I rarely get to play 4-player and it's nice to see such a busy board.  I was late to the scoretrack, but it was a close game as you'll see.


I think I deserve merit for straightening up the tiles.
Merit Given :)
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Offline Decar

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That's ridiculous, you were only tidying up your earlier mess.

I'm sorry InTheDark, but you have to give everyone else a merit now to make up for it.

Offline danisthirty

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That's ridiculous, you were only tidying up your earlier mess.

Not as ridiculous as your fury about there not being enough cards to get you round the track in Flame Rouge! Even though there were. At one point I thought you were going to flip the table!

Offline Decar

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That was pretty ridiculous, but really it was only my skill, ingenuity and sheer athleticism that allowed me to agily scoot into second position...nothing about the mechanics of the game.

Offline danisthirty

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I started in third, led for most of the race (taking all the exhaustion cards which didn't seem to matter very much), then finished in third. Other than that it was a roller coaster of a ride getting there!

Offline jungleboy

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I burned a couple of larger movement cards on two of the uphills because I didn't have any mid-value cards to choose from that turn, so it was either waste a large movement card or play a small movement card and be stuck on the hill for another turn. This cost me on the home straight when I didn't have enough larger movement cards left.

Offline CKorfmann

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That looks like a day of great fun.  I'm a little jealous.   :blue-meeple:
Flee the fleas.


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