Saturday gaming fun

I went along to the Telford mini-con on Saturday and spent around 9 fun hours gaming and chatting. Many thanks to Paul and David for organising this.

I managed to catch up with Paul Oakes, whom I’ve not seen for about five years or so, and I think he managed to twist my arm into going along to Midcon this November. It’s been a while since I last attended that convention and it is about time I put in another appearance.

Anyway, when I arrived, everyone other than David was busy playing other things so I took the opportunity to introduce him to two short two-player games by Reiner Knizia. Los Banditos is in the excellent Schmidt Spiele easy play line and is essentially Schotten Totten played with dice. Embarrassingly, my dice-rolling was appalling and David ran out winning that game 10-0. Ouch! I then showed him Robot Master, which is a tiny card game utilising a Euphrat & Tigris scoring mechanism. We played two games of this with each of us winning one game.

By this time we were able to mix up the groups but I showed off my Tumblin-Dice skills to a few of the guys while we were waiting. Next up was Islas Canarias by Leo Colovini, a game of using cards to develop an island based on the island’s features. Gaining a majority in each colour of building gave a special ability and this was what let the game down a bit as the ability to protect from the pirate and re-direct the attack to an opponent seemed extremely strong. Added to that, once a player had acquired the ability, it proved impossible for anyone else to take it away. I may need to check we were playing it right but, as I was the one with that ability, I couldn’t complain as it enabled me to claim the win although Chloe was pretty close in second place.

After that Steve and I played a relatively quick game of Oregon, which Steve won rather easily – unsurprising as he has played it so much online.

For my final game of the day, I sat down with four Power Grid fans and Chloe to play the China map of the game. I’ve played Power Grid maybe three times before and, although I think it is a very good design, I can’t be bothered to do the maths to optimise my turns / bids, preferring to go with my instincts. Having bought the highest numbered power station on my first turn, I found myself last in picking cities and was forced to go into an area competing with Steve. When the second phase began, he did his best to block me in but I managed to find a route out that wasn’t too expensive and enable me to expand further. By this stage, Chloe was rolling in cash and everyone felt she was in an excellent position to win. However, it turned out that she had left herself just a little too much to do to catch up in network expansion. As it turned out, Steve and I both managed to link to and power 14 cities at the same time and it came down to remaining cash to break the tie. Satisfyingly, I had a single Electro more for a surprise win.

And that was it for me. I left a bit before the end but had enjoyed the day very much. If they repeat the event, I’ll definitely be keen to go again.