June 28, 2004

Session Report for June 17, 2004

by Susan Rozmiarek

Weíve been having a great turnout lately, giving us more choices and making it easier to get requested games to the table.



This game has hit the table twice now and I havenít been able to play either time. So, when Adam suggested it, I jumped at the chance. Adam had played the game once before and explained the rules to newbies Jeff, Rhonda and me.

This is one of those games that seems overwhelming the first time you play. Iím not going to try and summarize the gameplay. Instead, Iím just going to make a few comments.

Money is extremely tight and there are plenty of tough choices, the ramifications of which are not always obvious at first. It took me a couple of epochs to understand the flow of the game and I learned a few lessons the hard way. For one, itís tempting, when youíre the auctioneer, to just immediately take the tile you really want for free and not risk getting stuck with something else. With money so scarce, however, you really need to take the opportunity to milk this chance for all the money you can get. Deciding which tiles are valuable to others and putting them up for auction first is the wise thing to do. However, if you misjudge and nobody bids on the tile you choose to put up, you are forced to take it yourself and pass the auctioneer role to someone else.

Another tricky aspect is the importance of turn order in the building phase. Each epoch introduces new resources that are required to build later buildings, including ones in the current epoch. To get the victory points, many tiles must be built in the epoch in which they are auctioned. Getting caught in a situation where in order to build your tile, you need a resource from an unbuilt tile belonging to a player later in the turn order, is extremely frustrating. Careful planning to hopefully avoid this situation is needed when choosing which tiles to acquire.

The random order in which tiles are turned up for auction, the money managing and the connection bonuses on the board all add additional complications to the decision making.

I pretty much bumbled my way through the first few epochs. I then settled into a strategy of collecting a few bonus tiles and going for factories with the same symbol. Rhonda was able to get several nice connections. Jeff concentrated quite a bit on building technologies, while Adam seemed to pursue a more diverse strategy. The scores were pretty close with Adam and Rhonda tied despite two tiebreaking conditions.

Results: Rhonda/Adam 37, Jeff 33, Susan 32

Now that Iíve gotten a game under my belt, Iím looking forward to trying it again with a better feel of what Iím doing. The constant auctions did feel somewhat repetitious as others have noted, but there were so many tough decisions to make along the way that this was not a detraction for me. More plays will solidify my opinion of the game, but for now, Iím looking forward to the learning curve with this one.

Susan, Rhonda, Jeff and Adam build their business empires in Industria.
After Industria, our poor fried brains needed a light filler so we settled for Zircus Flohcati.

Zirkus Flohcati

I think this game has been republished with a Star Wars theme, which Iíve never seen and canít imagine. I love the cute, colorful art in this version depicting fleas doing various circus acts.

Itís basically a set collecting game in which you are turning over cards and choosing one to place in your hand. You can turn over as many as you like before you choose, but the catch is that if you turn over a color that has already been turned over, your turn ends and you donít get a card. The idea is to collect sets of three that you lay down in front of you during the game. Each set is worth 10 points. In addition, the highest valued card of each color left in your hand at the end of the game will be worth its face value. The other way to score points is to put on a Gala Show by laying down a set containing a card of every color. This is worth ten points and ends the game.

I was able to put down three, low numbered sets fairly early, but in the meantime Adam was collecting several sevens in different colors. Of course, instead of laying them down in a set for ten points, he was saving them until the end of the game when each would be worth their face value. Rhonda had rotten luck turning over cards, often duplicating colors and losing her turn. Just as I was getting close to being able to lay down another set, Adam ended the game by putting on a Gala Show. Sure enough, those sevens heíd been collecting were enough to give him a substantial win.

Results: Adam 72, Susan 59, Jeff S 57, Rhonda 41

The hour was late and several people had left, leaving five for one more quick game. We chose Metro and started laying our winding and looping railways. I hope the actual Paris planners were more efficient at building routes than we were!

Adam, Rhonda, Jeff and Susan collect fleas during Zirkus Flohcati.


I was able to fly quietly under the radar for most of the game while others were targeted as leaders and picked on accordingly. Still, I was never able to connect a route to a central station for double points, but I did have some nice looping ones toward the end of the game. The scores were pretty close.

Results: Ed 49, Susan 47, Mark 43, Helen 42, Adam 39

Helen, Mark, Adam, Susan and Ed close the night with Metro.
Other games played: 10 Days in the USA, Atta Ants, San Marco, Euphrat & Tigris, Crokinole

Mark, Rick, Mike and Ed try out Atta Ants.

Roxana makes a friendly? comment to her husband Jon.

Three tables tonight as Roxana, Mike and Ed break out an older game, San Marco.

More classic gaming tonight as Rick, Jon, Helen and Mark play Euphrat & Tigris.

For more pictures from this gaming session and others, see our Gaming Picture Gallery.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at June 28, 2004 12:35 AM


Whoo Hoo! Content...;)

Posted by: MIke C. on June 28, 2004 10:07 AM

We aim to please! :-)

Stay tuned for more, especially if it keeps raining and I'm stuck indoors.

Posted by: Susan on June 28, 2004 3:25 PM
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