Fifty Second Session - Trading, Tunnels, and Treasures

St. Ives Tabletop

19th April 2023

There were 13 attendees this session who enjoyed 3 long games, 2 with a historical far eastern trading theme, and 1 just racing for treasure.

Starter games were Ecosystem, always popular and easy to teach, and Big Dig where the aim is to be the fastest to connect parts of your subterranean map with tunnels selected from Tetris-like pieces.

East India Companies

The new game to club this week was East India Companies. This is quite a complex trading mechanic game where the 4 players were controlling a large shipping company in the Far East. The aim is to time or manipulate the markets to buy and sell tea, spices, coffee, and silk for the most profit. You also have to manage your finances by selling shares of your own company to raise funds, or buy shares from the others and speculate on their success. There is a lot of strategy involved, including the choice of ships (fast or bigger holds), manipulating the markets with cards and dice, or in the worker placement style choice of actions. These can bring important bonuses or advantages based on the turn order, for example letting you sell up before the market is saturated and the price of goods drops. The game plays over 5 eras with 5 phases each, and the first and last eras have special rules. For those who like complex economic games this one is sure to be out for a replay.

The other 2 long games were both back from session 47: The Voyages of Marco Polo and Clank.

The Voyages Of Marco Polo

Marco Polo had 4 players travelling from Venice to Beijing collecting resources and fulfilling contracts in this worker placement and dice based game.


This time the Clank table used the extra cards from Clank! Adventuring Party and tried the expansion map from Clank! Expeditions: Temple of the Ape Lords. This adds a jungle themed map to explore and an angry gorilla, instead of the dragon, for the adventurers to steal treasure from and try to escape. After the usual scramble to get deeper into the map and reach the better treasures, everyone was able to return to the surface within a couple of turns of each other and this time no one had to be dragged to safety! In the end, Kathy J.’s quick grab for 2 medium value treasures and escape could not compete with the others braver explorations of the depths, as they had sufficient movement and healing to be able to survive the final rages of the gorilla and also escape with higher value loot.


As the final game was finishing, a quick game of Point Salad occupied the remainder of the other tables for some vegetable themed card collecting fun.

The next session is on Wednesday 3rd May/ If you can join us between the Bank Holidays then there will be the usual mix of game themes and styles to choose from, or you can let us know in advance and request a favourite game. Contact us via Discord, Twitter or email for more information.