Match Report 16th June 2010

Following unprecedented demand (well Alex indicated that he was around, up for a game and would be away for the next couple of games evenings) we held an impromptu Tuesday event with Alex and myself being joined by Malcolm and Ian.

It looked at one point that Joe might joins us as well however the allure of Brazil vs North Korea I suspect kept this footy mad chap away.

With an array of games before them to choose from Alex liked the sound of Patrician (one of the games picked up at the recent UK Games Expo).

Patrician midway through the game
Patrician comes with a slightly abstract board showing the major renaissance cities of Italy each with building sites for two towers. The towers can be of varying heights, the smaller cities allowing towers of no more than 5 levels in total, between the two sites, whilst other cities allow towers of up to 9 levels. With the simple rules and the opportunity to score points either from being the player with the most layers in a tower  or collecting sets of three portraits (found on some of the cards that allow you to build your towers  (see the attached photos) there are a number of ways of gaining the points necessary to win the game. These alternatives gave the Patrician sufficient interest that we would all want to play it again yet left it quick to play (about half an hour) and quick to learn - a useful addition to the growing collection.

Patrician - Ian and Malcolm considering their options
Ian went for a sky scrapper approach to his tower building, whilst Malcolm went for a mixed strategy building both towers and collecting portraits (which he concealed very well till it came to the scoring). To be honest I am not sure what strategy Alex and I followed but it didn't work.

Race for the Galaxy
Refreshed with coffees and Leibnitz chocolate biscuits we set about another game selecting the more complex Race for The Galaxy. As Ian and Malcolm having never played this before it was very much a learning exercise for both of them and you would have thought a simple exercise for Alex and myself to show our mastery of this game – hmmm.

Race for The Galaxy with biscuits
Whilst the early rounds might be described as somewhat foggy for both Malcolm and Ian this fog soon passed as they got to grips with the game concepts and started developing their respective strategies. As the game neared its conclusion Alex and I got excited about the alternative strategy to that of world domination or conquest being followed by Malcolm and Ian and sought to profit from the opportunities presented by producing and consuming Novelty goods – a mistake in my case. A mistake all the more apparent when I overlooked the fact that Malcolm was about to bring the game to an end by placing his 12th and final card (the game ends when a player has 12 cards in front of them or the pile of victory chips is exhausted – something we are yet to see) and so spent my last turn producing goods that would never be consumed whilst Malcolm settled a world worth 7 victory points – oh dear. Perhaps I could claim to have been distracted by the proximity of the biscuit barrel, although they were actually nearer Alex?! When the points were totalled we found Ian and Alex in joint first place, Malcolm a very respectable second and I was once again (the supposedly experienced players) bringing up the rear. Well done to both of them; however I think Malcolm and now Ian are picking these games up way to quickly.

Race for the Galaxy - the distraction of biscuits
All in all a relaxing and fun evening with interesting games, a little wine, good company and the inevitable munchies.

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