9th August 2023
A new record for attendees with 23 gamers playing 10 different games over the course of the evening. The majority of the games had a historical flavour ranging from farming, through egyptian architecture to roman games and trading.
We started with a few shorter games as usual. Nimalia was back from last session for some nature reserve building fun while another table worked on some nature themed set collecting with Subastral. This game is explained in the blog for the first session where it was played.
The final group tried a new game to the club Magic Maze. This is a frantic co-operative heist of goods from a magic mall. There are four adventurers (coloured pawns) moving around the mall, each must steal a specific item and then everyone has to get to the exit before the timer runs out. You build the mall as you go, so the first phase is exploration, when the matching colour adventurer gets to the edge of a tile a new one can be placed. Then you need some strategy to get the right adventurers to the right shops when they have been revealed. Once all the goods are looted the escape phase can start.
Each player can move any adventurer, but they are only able to move them in specific directions shared across all the players. For example player 1 may only move the adventurers East and up escalators, player 2 might get North only, however these direction cards can be swapped between players when the timer is reset for added confusion. The catch is players cannot communicate apart from at key moments of the game - or using a large pawn that you can tap in front of people to get attention. The game scales nicely for different numbers of players as the directions can be split up to 8 ways. Also it has a number of different levels of play with more tiles being added to make the shops harder to find and the exit further away or giving each colour pawn a skill like the dwarf being the only pawn that can take short-cuts through low passageways. It was an adrenaline pumping way to get the session started so after a couple of rounds it was time for a calmer longer game.
Next was Colosseum and the players were soon trying to entice senators and even the emperor himself to see their spectacular shows. Kathy J. took an early lead with a gladiator and horse based show “Cavalry of Spartacus”, but this comes with disadvantages - to balance things at the end of each show a tragic accident befalls one of the components and the losing player can take an item from the winner. Building on this advantage Tom M. then put on the best show in the next two rounds before Natasha M. came out with the first big arena show and set a high standard for the final round. In the end it was just one point in it (there was a recount) with Tom clinching the victory with “Caesar’s Triumphal March” just beating Natasha’s slightly enhanced final show “Isis’ Revealed Secrets”.
Another table got started with Agricola. This is a settling and farming development game with many ways to score victory points reviewed in the session 43 blog.
The third table took similar historical inspiration with Cleopatra, a market based resource collecting game where you are architects building a 3D palace for Cleopatra. The components for this game have been well thought out even using the game box to be the base of the temple area. The catch is that some resources are of lower quality and if you use too many of these shoddy materials you will be found out and thrown to the crocodiles.
The fourth table got stuck into some stained glass window building with Sagrada which is briefly reviewed in the session 28 blog.
The final table chose another historical classic Concordia, which was back for an eighth club outing, there is a review of this game and also Cleopatra from session 24.
The evening concluded with another go for a different table at Magic Maze, Braggart for some epic storytelling with tales of adventure or comedic misfortune and Zeus on the Loose. Zeus has been played four times now and there is a good review of this hectic numbers game in session 16.
The next session is 23rd August where another interesting range of games will be played, if you want to suggest any specific games the committee will try and bring them along and match up other keen gamers. You can contact us via discord, twitter or email for more information.