Thursday, 28 February 2013

KoffeeKlub Evening 3rd March

Freshly plucked, The Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York is on show this week at KoffeeKlub. Wars is a 4-player game covering the bitter English civil war between the Royal Houses of Lancaster and York.

The KoffeeKlub meet at The Black Knight Gaming Centre every Sunday between 7pm and 11pm.

"A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse." 
- Richard III (Shakespeare)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

1989: Dawn Of Freedom, the wall between us...

On another 2-player Sunday I got to try out 1989: Dawn Of Freedom vs. MrBingers. 1989 is a follow-up of sorts to Twilight Struggle and uses a very similar system, this time focusing on Eastern Europe and the events surrounding the fall of the Berlin wall.

After a roll of the dice I got to pick sides and chose the Communists. They were the way to go for early Twilight Struggle games, so I figured it couldn't hurt much to start again with them. My brief was simply to try and maintain the status-quo across the eastern block countries and prevent the gradual power shift towards democracy.

We have both played a fair bit of Twilight Struggle, so the rules were straight-forward enough, with only a few queries around the new power struggle mini-game, which is an excellent addition in my opinion. The biggest barrier here would be experience. We needed time to get a feel for the new event cards and the new map. Who would crack first...?

Apparently I would, as an early democracy card bogged me down for three turns and before I knew it Poland was scored and power had swung over to the democrats. GAME ON! 

This was my first surprise about game-play, not just the points loss, but the removal of the Poland scoring card from the game. That took us back a little and MrBingers especially was left with a lot of seemingly useless influence in Poland as our focus shifted to the next scoring countries likely to feature.

Berlin under Communist control
Early year cards are predominantly red and I took full advantage to shore up Hungary and Czechoslovakia racking up A healthy VP lead. A mistake in the south lost me Bulgaria, but a second scoring in Hungary was enough to push me over the finishing line in turn 6.

I felt comfortable with 1989, it's like Twilight Struggle in many ways and consequentially very accessible. The cards are tough though. I don't know the history well enough and many of the cards cover obscure events which seem to fade into the background when compared to a Cuban missile / Iranian hostage crisis.

So, first play down and I'm not feeling it. Yet there's enough in there to have another go or two. I wanna love you 1989, but your older sister is so pretty.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

New Games For KoffeeKlub - Andean Abyss & Wars Of The Roses

I've added two new games to the KoffeeKlub to-play pile courtesy of a friend selling on some of his collection. The first is Andean Abyss, by GMT Games.

Andean Abyss
Andean Abyss is a card-driven board game depicting insurgent and counter-insurgent conflicts in Columbia during the 1990s and 2000s. It is played out through four factions, the Government, the Cartels, the Marxists (FARC) and the paramilitary forces (AUC). Reviews online are mixed, but I'm eager to give this one a try soon.

The other game is from Z-Man Games, Wars of the Roses: Lancaster vs. York. Wars of the Roses tries to incorporate the military, political, economical and religious conflicts that exists in this period of English history. I played it once back at Baycon in 2010 and enjoyed the intrigue the game managed to create. 

Both games can host up to four-players and are not an immediately obvious fit to our KoffeeKlub sessions since we normally have five-players. Still, I'm sure we can work something out and get them both to that table.

Wars of the Roses

KoffeeKlub Evening 24th February

Featuring this week at KoffeeKlub will be 1989: Dawn Of Freedom and Twilight Struggle, both strong two player games as we breakaway from the lighter games played over the past few weeks.  

KoffeeKlub meet at The Black Knight Gaming Centre every Sunday between 7pm and 11pm.

"Tear down this wall!" - Ronald Reagan (1987)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

GamesReports: 3/10/17-Feb-13 Power Grid, Twilight Struggle and Modern Art

Modern Art

With work and weddings (not mine!), I've had little enough time to sleep, never mind post-up on what's been happening at the KoffeeKlub. That being said, our gaming hasn't suffered as we try out some of the spice of life. Variety.

3rd of February Session - Power Grid
Normally we have five players for KoffeeKlub evenings and five is a bit of a sweet spot for Power Grid, one of the finest Eurogames ever created.

Playing on the classic German map, we introduced both ChrisG and DaveB to the game for the first time. I think the jury's out a little for some of the KoffeeKlub players on Euro-style games as a whole, but everyone seemed to have a good time with Power Grid and so I'll keep throwing a few into the mix every now and then.

Power Grid

10th of February Session - Twilight Struggle
I've bleated on and on about just how good Twilight Struggle is to some of the KoffeeKlub players and our 2-player games evening gave us the perfect opportunity to roll it out, even if I was taking on more of a back-seat teaching roll and not actually playing myself.

ChrisG (US) and AndyA (USSR) fought out a bitter cold war, but in the end the Soviets came out on top by a few victory points. It looks like Twilight Struggle could feature again in our next KoffeeKlub meeting, alongside 1989: Dawn Of Freedom. GaryB defeated DaveB in some Dreadball at the other end of the table.

Twilight Struggle

17th of February Session - Modern Art & Pandemic
My copy of Modern Art is the 1996 Mayfair edition (pictured) and it looks entirely unappealing, but behind the naff components is a great little auction game which again plays well with 5-players.

Modern Art

The game itself is simple enough to pick-up, but it takes a little mental maths to get the best deals in buying or selling paintings. Some players were extremely generous (DaveB I'm looking at you.) in selling some of their fixed-price paintings, whilst others (AndyA) blew crazy money on paintings worth around half the price that they paid!?

Still, lots of great speech-play and fun to be had. A classic!

I'm restricting Pandemic to a one-liner, simply because we failed at it again... Bluff remains our favourite filler, with a nod towards Bucket King too.

As always the stars are those who make it to KoffeeKlub each week. Characters one and all!


Saturday, 9 February 2013

KoffeeKlub Evening 10th February

It's a weekend for two player boardgames @KoffeeKlub with A Few Acres Of Snow, Twilight Struggle, Dreadball and my newly acquired 1989: Dawn Of Freedom on offer.

Why not join us if you fancy trying any of the games below.

KoffeeKlub meet at The Black Knight Gaming Centre every Sunday between 7pm and 11pm.

Friday, 8 February 2013

AAR - A Few Acres Of Snow (via Yucata)

After Action Report for an online game of A Few Acres Of Snow via Yucata. In a random draw MrBingers took on the French forces vs. my British. Game on!

My British started out by taking Halifax as a bit of a distraction, before expanding in the centre, settling Albany, Deerfield and Fort Halifax. The French have managed their deck of cards more tightly and gathered some money, but have not yet elected to bring Indians into play. 

It's a cagey affair and I'm very aware of the French siege options if the decks become too unbalanced in their favour allowing them to run lean and mean. To prevent this I continue to expand, but in a controlled way, using the governor to trim my deck and keep it in check.
Early British expansion
I guess in the end my fears over a French siege or indian build-up were unfounded. Pushing through Fort Stanwix and Oswego to Fort Niagara, I began to realise that the French wouldn't have enough in their deck to trouble me before I upgraded my final few settlements and ended the game.
British expansion spells defeat for the French
A bloody nose for the Frenchies this time around as the British expansion cuts them off at the great lakes. Next time MrB, next time!