Date: July 10, 2003
Games: King's Breakfast, Fresh Fish, Clans (x2)
Attendees: Doug, Ed, Jeff F., Jeff S., Jonobie, Kevin, Mark, Rhonda, Rick, Susan
Reporter: Susan Rozmiarek
Tonight's session was noteworthy because Trendy was not played a single time! As a matter of fact, not a single Knizia games was played. Very unusual.
King's Breakfast: Ed, Kevin, Mark, Susan
The first time we played this light card game we played incorrectly, placing our cards openly on the table. The game was okay this way, but dragged down a bit due to analysis. After reading a Spielfrieks post, Ed caught the error and this time we play correctly with our hands concealed. This was more fun and made for a quicker game. The game is so light it floats and I wouldn't plan an evening of gaming around it, but it makes a nice short filler. It seems a little like "Coloretto light" with the concealed versus open hands and the stacks of cards to choose from dealt randomly instead of being placed by players.
Results: Ed 82, Susan 82, Mark 78, Kevin 72
Finally, finally! After having this game for months, I got a chance to play. Although it has hit the table several times, I've never seemed to been able to get in on a game. At last, I had my chance.
Mark had played the game before, while Rick and I were new to the game. I missed the rule about being able to place a marker anywhere on the board the first turn but I don't think it made much of a difference having no clue what I was doing anyway. Mark, the knowledgeable one, placed his first marker in the plot immediately diagonal to the harbor. After realizing the wisdom of this play I'm wondering-is there any reason not to grab this one first if you get the chance? You are guaranteed to be adjacent to a street next to the harbor. Sure enough, Mark was able to eventually put a fish market there.
I was surprised to find that I had no difficulty whatsoever with the expropriation rules. We missed where to place streets a few times, but we always spotted our mistakes before they had any effect on the game. I guess my attempting to follow all the conversations about it on the discussion groups paid off. What was really challenging was trying to see ahead to make smart plot reservations. I can see that it will take many more playings to get a good feel for this. The entire game was pretty nasty. It was great! Rick hosed me numerous times, forcing the street right through my plots. Near the end, it got even nastier. Mark and I were in a standoff, each of us in a position to hose the first one of us to make a move to connect our game shops to the factory. Fortunately, he was forced to before me and I was able to force the street to make the shorter connection for me. The scores ended up being much closer than I thought they would be.
Results: Mark 16, Susan 19, Rick 22
I have always had a hunch that I would love this game based on the description, a puzzle-like tile-laying game. I was not disappointed and am happy to now have my own copy, thanks to Plenary Games.
I had played this once before a few months ago and thought it was interesting enough to pick up a copy. I remembered being quite perplexed the first time I played, but after these two subsequent playings, I think I was trying to make the game deeper than it really is.
In our first game of the evening, everyone seemed to choose the strategy of trying to found as many villages as possible to pick up the chips that were worth a victory point at the end of the game. As a result, the game played very quickly and sure enough, the person who had collected the most chips won. I really didn't feel like I had a handle on what to do; I was just shuffling huts around, trying not to set anyone up to found a village or get a big score and my dismal placing showed it.
Results: Jeff F. in first place, followed by Jonobie, Doug, Susan, and the "dummy" black player
In the second game, we slowed the pace a bit and people seemed to be less concerned with founding villages as fast as they could. This time I really concentrated on trying to set myself up for bigger scores without giving away my color. I still did fairly poorly, but at least I improved by one position.
Results : Jonobie in first, followed by Doug, Susan, Jeff F., and the "dummy" green
I think this is a fairly light game masquerading as a heavier one. There feels like there should be a lot of strategy and planning ahead, but in reality it seems to be fairly chaotic. I think this is partly due to the identities being secret. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, as it makes for a fairly short, light game. As such, I like Clans although it will never be a favorite.
Other games played were Alhambra, Cloud 9, and Olympia 2000.
For more pictures from this gaming sessions and others, see our Gaming Picture Gallery.
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Copyright © 2003, Ed Rozmiarek