Fifty Third Session - Tunnelling Below

St. Ives Tabletop

3rd May 2023

There were 15 attendees this session trying more short games than usual, a classic medium-length game, and 2 longer games. A theme for the session was again tunnels (this time for trains), or digging and exploring below the ground.

Shorter games were Big Dig, now on its eighth play at club, and another filler game that is becoming quite popular, Patchwork Doodle, on its fourth session. For Sale was also back for its fifth session. This game had been quite popular in the early days of the club and had 2 plays this session with slightly changed players between as new people arrived and wanted to have a go too. It is a lightweight property-themed trading and speculation game. In the first part of the game you buy property in an auction style round with properties ranging from a damp cardboard box to a space station. Then there is a second phase to try and sell your properties and make the most profit. A final game, Braggart, was also back again - it has previously been played in sessions 3 and 26. This was a light-hearted way for 6 players to conclude the session. This is a story-telling game where players boast of their adventuring exploits, and then others can accuse them of lying and substitute story segments for more embarrassing versions.

Ticket to Ride: Europe

Our medium-length game was Ticket to Ride: Europe. It was only its second time out at club (although other variants have been played), possibly because it is such a classic people are keen to try other new games when they come to club. Anyway we had 5 players filling the routes across Europe. Unusually it was the south of the board that filled up first. However, by the end most of the tracks had been claimed and when the final counting was done there was just 1 point between first and second place, with the longest track bonus providing the extra points required to win over a nice set of complementary tickets in Eastern Europe.

Above and Below Above and Below

Above and Below has been played once before in session 36. This is a worker placement exploring and story-telling game. Players gradually expand their settlements both above and below ground with fairly tight resources available to hire workers, or add new buildings with benefits or victory points. They can send workers out into the tunnels of below, and this requires reading from a narrative book to explain what they discover. This ends with some choices on how to conclude the exploration, also based on dice rolling and the skill of the exploration group, to see whether they gain useful resources or even new workers, or return empty handed or even injured. With only a few rounds to develop your community, and limited workers and resources, there are some tough choices on what to do each round, which keeps the game flowing and the explorations have some quite varied encounters providing lots of replay.

Civilization: A New Dawn Civilization: A New Dawn

Civilization: A New Dawn was new to the club and 5 players tried an introductory game. It is quite a heavyweight game as players act as some of history’s famous rulers and create a new version of history for those empires over the course of the game featuring exploration, technology trees, and conquest. The game was a bit late starting and with 5 players to learn all the rules took a little while to get going, so it had to end early. Now that the initial learning curve has been achieved and players have a few rounds under their belts it should be a smoother start on the next time out.

The next session is on Wednesday 17th May. Join us if you can for another varied selection of game types and themes. Contact us to suggest games so we can bring those or matchmake in advance, via Discord, Twitter or email.