Sixty First session - London Underground

St. Ives Tabletop

23rd August 2023

Another big session with 18 gamers including 2 more newcomers, word of the club does seem to be spreading, so it was another four table night filling the room with many different types of games.

We got the first table going with Tiny Towns, this is a nice simple game to explain and accommodates six players so makes a good start to the night. There is an nice explanation of the game in the blog for session 33 when it was first played, but very briefly players are building a town. There are seven different structures, randomised each game, that can be built from different combinations of cubes in five colours. Players take turns choosing which colour block every player must add to their town board, a 4x4 grid, and if you match one of the building patterns you clear those blocks and replace with a building in one of the spaces that had been used. This clears the board to build more. Different structures have different victory point conditions and you need to plan ahead to maximise your town layout and cope with the block choices coming from the other players. Everyone quickly got into the mechanic and with the selection of buildings available this game there were a lot of taverns and cottages being constructed and in the end the best fed and inebriated town won.

Braggart was the other starter game, Diego was keen to try this simple story telling game after seeing the end of a game last session and soon funny and perhaps not entirely true adventuring tales were filling the room.


Hegemony has been an eagerly awaited new game that had finally been shipped so this complex political strategy game had been pre-booked on Discord in advance and the players asked to view a tutorial on the gameplay. Unfortunately despite the preplanning it took a while to get setup and started and so the table called an end after two of the five rounds but had now learned much more about the game to be able to make better progress in the next session. Officially named “Hegemony: Lead your class to victory” the game is an asymmetric politico-economic card-driven board game that puts you in the role of either: The Working Class, the Middle Class, the Capitalist Class or the State itself. More on this when it is next out and manages a complete game.

Lost Ruins of Arnak

Lost Ruins of Arnak is always a popular game now on its sixth outing at the club and we introduced another new player and a second time player to this worker placement, resource management and deck building based game. In the end new player Reynaldo managed to assemble a good deck with lots of opportunities for extra card draws so he did very well on the research and item based point scoring. Just beating Neil O. by two points who had also done well on research but also exploration and Guardian taming. The two game teachers brought up the rear having had a bit of bad luck with fear cards blocking their deck, not the right cards coming out of the deck in the final round and a poor synergy between resources obtained from newly explored locations and what was required to tame their guardians, or that’s our excuse :). Anyway win or lose it was a happy table uncovering the mysteries of this island in a well designed game.

Scotland Yard Scotland Yard

The third table chose a classic game Scotland Yard, (released in 1983) which nicely accommodated six players. Players split between being detectives or Mr X. The aim is to move around London on the underground, buses or taxis and try and locate and capture Mr X, or for Mr X to evade for 24 rounds. The game has a very simple mechanism based on the hidden movement of Mr X. where each turn players know which mode of transport Mr X has used and his actual location is occasionally revealed. Detectives need to end on Mr X’s location or corner him to win but make careful use of their travel tickets so they don’t run out of them and let him escape. There was time for 3 games, so 3 different players tried being Mr X.

Smallworld Underground Smallworld Underground

The final table chose Small World Underground as their long game, this has some similarities to Risk with armies of fantastic creatures swarming across the map taking territories to score victory points. The difference (to Risk) being the fun fantasy theme and the much reduced reliance on dice to conquer territories. The game even makes a mechanism out of stretching your forces out too thinly and being vulnerable to a counteroffensive by having a Decline option, where you can abandon your current race and start again with a new one scoring points for both the territories still held by your old race and being conquered by your new one. The Underworld standalone version of the game retains most of the mechanics and spirit of the original game but adds in relics and places of power that can provide additional benefits and change the focus of where players may be expanding rather than just being combative against the other players. It was a close run game and in the end James T. just pipped it using his Thieving Gnomes and a Froggy Ring of thieving versus an early lead by Diego with his Mystic Shadow Mimes.

Point Salad

Finally while waiting for Hegemony and Arnak to finish the other tables tried some more short games Point Salad for some card based vegetable combination scoring fun and Seven Dragons for some tableau building colour adjacency where each player has a hidden colour goal and multicoloured dragon cards to lay down and try and create a series of seven without the opponents realising what you are up to and trying to swap goals and steal the victory or undo your chain of colour.

Seven Dragons

The next session is 6th September where there will be a table full of different games available with people willing to teach them or you can bring your own along. Alternatively you can contact us in advance and suggest some games which we will endeavour to source and matchmake some gamers to play with on the night. As with Hegemony in this session if you want to try a particularly complex or long game it is best we know in advance so we can get started early. You can contact us via discord, twitter or email for more information.