Seventy fourth session - If you go down to the woods today...

St. Ives Tabletop

20th March 2024

Just 13 gamers at this pre-Easter session and five different games played, with two of the long games featuring building settlements in a forest.

There were two shorter games to get the session started.


Tsuro was back from session 59, this is a very simple tile placing game, each turn add a tile to extend the path your token is on and try and stay in the game longest. The trick is to try and avoid others on the 8 by 8 tile grid, as if you end up next to someone they could add paths that force you off the board. Unfortunately even if you do, you may end up with a tile that you must play that causes you to lose anyway, so trying to keep the most useful tiles is part of the strategy! As it is quick to teach and play the table had a couple of plays. With James T. showing the group how to play by winning the first game, but a lucky set of tiles and moves gave Jeremy J. a win on the second game (who was eliminated after 2 moves in the first game!)

Long Shot: The Dice Game is a push your luck horse racing and betting game with a roll and write mechanic. Buy horses, place bets, influence the race and utilize special abilities all determined by dice rolls.

This was the first time Long Shot has featured at the club. Interestingly, all horses apart from number 7 ended up with a fairly decent start with the three players taking advantage of the various bonuses to boost the chances of the horses they owned or had big bets on. Ultimately, it was a close finish between several horses and the final score, which is determined by how much money you have at the end of the game, was quite tight between the three players.

Everdell: Newleaf

It wasn’t hard to fill the four seats for Everdell, this game had been very popular at club back in 2022, played six sessions in a row from sessions 23 to 28. This time it was back with one of the expansions Everdell: Newleaf. This expansion adds a station and train to the game bringing in cargo and visitors and plenty of new cards and some new meeples (bees, bats, snails and cats).

Kathy J. soon had three new players sending out workers to acquire resources and laying down cards depicting constructions or critters into their growing forest town over four seasons. Of course the end goal is victory points and these can be earned by the basic value of each card, any end of game bonuses on cards or also now from train visitors, collecting various event tokens related to being the first to put certain types of cards in the town tableau and send a worker out to claim the bonus, or occasional victory point tokens earned during the game.

The train provided some more ways to earn resources which are often quite constrained in the base game and we used the new season ticket which allowed relocation of a worker twice during the game, so all four of the woodland developments reached their maximum 15 card size (unless you had some cards with exceptions and could be bigger) and all the events and special events were claimed.

Everdell: Newleaf

In the end Steph was the run away winner as she managed to build the Evertree, new Everwall and Palace with resident Queen, Neil O. with his Castle and King just pipped Kathy J. to second place and Olly brought up the rear with the tableau with the best total base cards played but he didn’t manage to grab the events as fast as the other three players. We will see if this outing inspires another run of future Everdell sessions.


Container had been advertised in advance and is always popular with our more hardcore economic strategy gamers. Now on its fifth club play, first coming to the the table in session 23 this rather dull sounding game manages to bring the theories of supply-demand, closed-economies, and velocity of money to life; that and a healthy dose of driving auctions to hinder your opponents.

This game was four players and it started with a familiar ticking down of the money available in the game, there were some early auctions that didn’t kickstart the “wealth machine” (the foreign market that buys the containers). It takes a while to find your way in this game, which is simple to teach but hard to see how decisions impact the game later on - first time players had several “oh” moments as we played. Many loans were taken, some players running very close to zero money (which is dangerous in this game) surviving on loans that drain money from the game. We played the “full game” with 20 containers per colour and managed to finish in a reasonable time. Jyo K. took the win with an island full of containers, but the win came down to two or three containers which is a satisfying end.


The final table tried Ginkgopolis returning from session 72 which is our second woodland building themed game as the players are all expanding an ecocity around a Gingko tree. The rules are reasonably simple, but there are different interactions depending on which of the 3 actions you take, so takes a few rounds before things click. In this game, the teacher Jeremy J. did a great job as he lost, whilst James T. and Jason got into some district owning competition and came first and second respectively. Everyone agreed that the game had some interesting mechanics between cards and tiles and would play again.

The next session is the 3rd of April. Join us after Easter for more games to suit all tastes. As always let us know in advance via Discord if there are any games you want to play and we can try and bring those along and fill up the table with other interested players.