Argh! … after a year and a half of dutifully blogging my trips to Newcastle Gamers, I finally let one slip. My excuse: a crazy-busy couple of weeks, much of which was spent in the pursuit of a cool new job (spoiler: I got it! Yay me!). However, for sake of OCD-style completeness, here’s a whistle-stop tour of the stuff I played on the 13th April….
Played with John F, Jerome, Emma and Emily… this was the first time I’ve played Keyflower with 5 people, and it handles that number of people beautifully — I’m sure the 6 player version will work equally well. I was convinced Jerome was going to win… he went into the final round with far more meeples than anybody else, and was still taking turns long after the rest of us had resorted to repeat passing … but it was actually Emma who came in first. Fun game. I’m really enjoying Keyflower, and it was good to see that another table had a copy in play at the same time — I think my previous Keyflower evangelism at Newcastle Gamers must’ve borne fruit 😉
King of Tokyo
Keyflower was followed with a quick filler session of the afore-blogged King of Toko, while we waited for some other games to finish/synch up. I’m still a bit “meh” about King of Toko; still feels a bit like a kids game to me. I controlled Cyber Bunny (pictured above), and played a fairly risky game — unfortunately leading to an early elimination — which was no bad thing, as it gave me a chance to nip to the Sainsbury’s branch next door and grab some nibbles. I got back from the shop — discounted veggie samosa in hand — just in time to see Jerome win a final round battle against Owain.
John F. has made it his personal mission to play a game of Power Grid at every Newcastle Gamers meeting… this week’s variation was the Brazil map. It’s been a while since I last played Power Grid, and I’ve never played the Brazil map before, so I decided to give it a go. The game had a really odd finish; EVERY player powered exactly 17 cities in the closing round, leading to a 4-way tie break judged on accumulated wealth (with Graham — the only first-time player at the table — winning by a huge margin; that’ll teach us to take the newbie for granted!).
Played with the Basic + Cornucopia decks, vs John F, Owain and Andrew. I can’t remember much about this one, though I think it was a very attack-oriented kingdom card pool, with a lot of thieves and jesters being thrown around. I won, by quite a big margin… partly due to a high investment in Horse Trader cards. I quite like horse traders… as a “reaction” card, it’s a bit average/meh, but something that’s easily overlooked is the fact that it also carries a +3 money value (on the condition that you discard 2 other cards… which usually isn’t too burdensome in the mid-to-end game). This can be a really nice cash boost; I had quite a few hands where a horse trader carded bumped me up into province-buying levels of wealth. Hooray for horse traders!
The game-that-never-gets-photographed finally got photographed. Thought that’s possibly not the most flattering shot of me on the left (I wasn’t hiding… that’s my “thinking” pose!)
This was John F’s first experience of Hanabi… and we were maybe hampered at the start by some colour-confusion, *and* the fact that we didn’t make it clear to John that you don’t have to declare which heap were playing a card onto as you play it. Nevertheless, we got into a pretty good logical flow by the end of the game. Admittedly, not quite soon enough, or logical enough, as we only scored 18 out of 25… but that’s a pretty decent score, which the rules equate to: “Excellent! Charms the crowd” 🙂
Best bits: Keyflower. Still brilliant.
Worst bits: The Circus school was on their Easter Hols, so the usual fun and games of trying to get into a locked hall ensued… made worse this time the fact that even when a keyholder turned up, we couldn’t get the car park gate to open. I ended up having to abandon the shepmobile in a paid parking space over the road — booo!
Credits: Game snapshots stolen from Olly and Owain (thanks chaps!). Newcastle Gamers meets on the second and last Saturday of the month. Usual cost is £3 (or £1 for concessions), but your first visit is free … check our G+ group for more info.