Match Report 14th March 2011

The players during a game of Dominion
As expected we had a much smaller turn out with Ian heading down to the West Country, Crispin holidaying in Miami (if he can break himself away from the paper and his comfy chair he may even get a game with Tom Vasel and the other members of the Miami Boardgames Meetup Group) and shortly heading to the Bahamas for a long weekend and family wedding before returning to Miami to recover for a further 10 days – a tough life!

On this occasion we were joined by Malcolm and Daniella plus Ben back from a weekend sailing down to the Scilly Isles as part of his preparation for crewing on a race around the UK, starting in a few weeks. Apologies were also received from Pauline and Matt.

Dominion (Age 10+, 2-4 players, 30 min playing time)
Given the disturbing failure of our favourite game of the moment during our last meeting we were keen to overcome this trauma and so launched straight into another game of Dominion; on this occasion using the card configuration ‘Interaction’. This is in reality a euphemism for
anarchy, as my (and to be fair everybody else’s) forces were quickly assailed by:
  • Thieves. They force all players to turn over the top two cards of their deck and if either are treasure - Copper, Silver or Gold - they are forced to discard one of them and the player who played the thief can pick up the discard.
Dominion cards - The Moat surrounded by attackers
  • Spies. They force all players to turn over the top card of their deck and if it would prove useful to the player then the spy forces it to be discarded whilst if it was unhelpful they leave it as the top card in your deck, to be taken into your hand next time.
  • Militia. Each player works with a hand of 5 cards, the militia force all players to discard two of their cards, thus reducing their playing hand to 3 cards.
  • Bureaucrats. Forces you to take a victory point card – Estate, Duchy or Province – from your hand and put it on top of your deck. So reducing the power in your next hand as the victory point cards are only of any value at the end of the game when it comes to counting up the scores.
The defence against these aggressive cards relies to a very large degree on you having the Moat card in your hand at the point that one of these attack cards is played.

The players counting their victory points at the end of a game of Dominion
I found myself sitting between Malcolm and Daniella ordinarily two of the nicest people you could wish to meet – not on this occasion. I was assailed by all of the above mentioned for the whole game and just when I thought I was safe Ben used his thief and stole my recently acquired Gold (worth three when it comes to buying other cards and therefore one of the most valuable cards in the game!). To be honest I might have made use of the services of some of these attack cards myself but I was just shocked that two stalwarts of our local community should plumb such depths.

Sadly crime in this case does pay and Daniella triumphed over the rest of us, by some considerable margin – well done. A really enjoyable game with much humour as we each sought to justify our attacker’s efforts.

Zooloretto (Age 6+, 2-5 players, 45 min playing time)
Part of the board during a game of Zooloretto
With a break Gwen joined us and after some discussion we elected to play the board game Zooloretto, a Spiel Des Jahres winner on the theme of running a zoo. This is a family game and great with children but has sufficient depth to make it interesting at an adult level. On the face of it you would think that running a zoo would be a simple enough affair and one without conflict. This is largely the case but there was quite a lot of manipulation over the trucks delivering the animals to seek to disadvantage the other players and we think Ben was a little confused by the game as he made a number of references to factories and worked hard to keep one of his enclosures devoid of animals! Presumably so flowers could grow, of no value to the game but sweet. For my part I declared early my preference to work closely with the Chinese and so build an enclosure for Panda’s. As perhaps should be expected with these supposedly nice people, they worked hard so I had mangy camels, stripped horses, some elephants and roo’s – not a panda in sight!

Once again Daniella won with a zoo packed full of delightful animals including monochrome bears! Well done again.

Kleine Fische (or Duck Duck Bruce) (Age 7+, 2-4 players, 15 to 20 mins) 
Some of the cards during a game of Kleine Fische
With munchies kindly baked by Daniella – peanut cookies – sorry no photo’s which were again very nice we finished the evening with Kleine Fische a popular push your luck game with our group that we haven’t played for some time – I think I won this one but given its level of simplicity I think Daniella had lost interest after her triumphs earlier in the evening.

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