Meetup

OTK Meetup 31/5/2013 – Set, Libertalia, Vasco da Gama, Rialto, Kingdom Builder, Gangster

Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ OTK Cheras 31/5/2013 – Set, Libertalia, Vasco da Gama, Rialto, Kingdom Builder, Gangster, Citadels, Fearsome Floor (and somewhere under the table IOS Battle of the Bulge)
By jack208

EXCERPT
Regular sessrep update re-established (hopefully). This was Paolo Mori’s night with his LIBERTALIA and VASCO DA GAMA getting play time. Stefan’s latest RIALTO and Mayfair’s fun GANGSTER were also in session. 

Gamers: Enson, Ivan, Sinbad, Boon Khim, Rhyen, Kareem, Heng, Waiyan, CK Au & others.

Games:  Set, Libertalia, Vasco da Gama, Rialto, Kingdom Builder, Gangster, Citadels, Fearsome Floor.

Location: OTK Cheras | Google Map | Lat-Long: N 03° 06.179′ E 101° 44.237′
Date/Time: 31 May 2013 (Fri) 8.30 PM – (Sat) 3:30 AM

LIBERTALIA

Games with pirate theme are always popular. I suppose everyone likes to have a bit of Jack Sparrow in them. We’ve been eyeing LIBERTALIA since it arrived in our store; artwork is beautiful and the game fits 6 (nowadays it’s hard pressed to find games to fit 6 ppl) so today we thought of taking it out for a testdrive together with Paolo’s other game VASCO DA GAMA.

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So six gamers up for a few rounds of looting and swashbuckling…

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Each player has their own character board and a similar set of crew (cards). Your objective is to play your best hand in gang-looting the merchant ships in each round. Richest pirate wins.

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There are 30 crew cards (below) in the deck and we only get to use like 21 in the game’s three rounds therefore the unused cards add some replayability. Everyone starts with 9; and gets a refill of 6 cards in the 2nd and 3rd round.

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It’s interesting that everyone has the same set of hand per round. There’s some second-guessing here as each player attempt to play one of his crew cards per turn (six turn in each round) to jostle for the best looting opportunity.

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The playboard which has six slots (empty now) for each player to select a crew for one looting turn. The booty tokens below (there are six days of looting and the board above showed two days of looting already done). Each booty has different VP value and also situational value eg a sabre booty allows you to kill an opponent’s crew.

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The FUN part is when each player reveals their selected crew card and then placed them in strength order on the player board…

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oops, there goes my grand plan!

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Each of the crew card sent to loot in that particular turn will return to your ship. They have one-time and/or recurring abilities which can be combo to your advantage. But then again, there’s stuff like the sabre booty token which can be used by your opponent to kill off one of your crew.

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Rhyen’s ship of crew….

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Stuff you looted – booty tokens and coins are kept in your ship board.

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The Libertalie scoreboard. I personally find it confusing… going in rounds. But hey, at least they included a scoreboard! J

I didn’t sit in this session so limited opinion on game play can be given but I would say this is the type of pirate game that sits in the light-medium gameplay level and good for a table of 6 playable in less than an hour. Don’t expect this to be Merchants & Marauders but do expect lots of table talk and laughs.

If you like pirate-theme games, you might want to check out Merchants & Marauders, Pirate’s Cove, Jamaica, Piratissimo, Loot, Plunder, Rum & Pirates, Santy Anno and other loosely theme ones like Cartagena (and Cartagena II), For the Win (well, it does have a pirate dude in the box cover) and El Capitan (not really a pirate-them game but one of the expansion has a black pirate ship).

VASCO DA GAMA

Has been awhile since we did VASCO DA GAMA. Truth is, with the number of games in our library, sometimes it takes a while before we rotate back to some older games.

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Vasco da Gama is about players bidding for projects (ie shipping assignment below)….

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… then assembling the right mix of crew for their projects (oh, don’t forget to enlist the captain!)…

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… before sending them out to various sea ports to earn you money and VP!

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There are also patrons you can call on to help you in your quest to discover the maritime route to India!

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Vasco da Gama is essentially a worker placement game with a slight twist using the turn order tokens and a variable risk cost factor if you wish to take an earlier turn order (taking your turns earlier ensure you have better choice of resources but can you afford it?).

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If you wish to read a more detail sessrep on this game and find out what we think of the game, check out CK and Hiew’s sessrep done when we did this game a couple of years back. 🙂

Click here to read CK’s sessrep of Vasco da Gama back in 2010
Hiew played in another OTK session so here’s another perspective of the VdG session from Hiew’s blog.
RIALTO, CITADELS, FEARSOME FLOOR, KINGDOM BUILDER

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While my group did Vasco da Gama, Kareem’s group proceeded to testdrive RIALTO, Stefan Feld’s latest. Most of us are Stefan Feld fans so this is one much anticipated game. Kareem described it as Strasbourg bidding with area control. Perhaps we should have a Stefan Feld theme night next. 😛

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Enson’s group was around to do CITADELS and FEARSOME FLOOR.

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Kareem’s group continued with KINGDOM BUILDER (after Rialto ended) while my group moved on to GANGSTER (see below) after our game of Vasco da Gama concluded.

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Yet to get Kingdom Builder’s expansion NOMAD to the table. Next time?

GANGSTER

Gangsterism is, beside Piratism another popular theme for gamers. Since tonight’s games are mostly of the light to light-medium category, Mayfair’s GANGSTER fits that bill perfectly!

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You are one of the five families vying for control of Chicago. I opted to be The Gentleman (ahem).

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Sinbad, Boon Khim and waiyan (not in pic) made up the other three mafia families.

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In this game the Families compete to gain control of Chicago by vying to have majority control in each of the 10 districts in play (there’s an 11th district Gold Coast (below) but more of this later).

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This is a light area control game. Be the majority player in a district (ie have more of your gangster cubes in that district) and you score the VPs assigned to that area. In the example below, if things stand Yellow is the majority (and only) player so he’ll gain 6 pts at the scoring rounds (there are three such rounds).

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You basically move your limo around and drop your gangsters into the district your limo stops at. You can also pick up your gangster(s) from the district and re-distribute them elsewhere.

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Movement is done using Move Cards (similar to Die Handler or Niagara). You have three move cards (1, 2, 3) and they allowed you to move your limo one, two or three districts. Once used, it’s flipped over until you have used all three.

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When a player flips over his 3rd movement card, one scoring card is turned over and the named district in that card gets a 2X (double-up) scoring token, meaning the area control VP in that district is now doubled.

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But if a policeman card is turned over, no 2X token is placed. These 2X tokens also act as game timer; when eight of them are used one scoring round ends. There are 3 scoring rounds to play in this game.

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Problem is.. A 2X token placed on a high scoring district attract the competitions as well! Everyone now wants a piece of that action (above).

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This looks like a popular restaurant in Chicago. All mob bosses dine here! J

It’s not all just move / load / unload your cubes to jostle for area control. Otherwise the game will be too boring. Instead of moving your own henchmen, you can stuff one of the competition’s henchman into your boot!!

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Above: Yellow and Green mobs being kidnapped into The Gentleman’s blue limo. Okie, now what?

Remember the Gold Coast district? Yeah.. So?

The Goal Coast district has no scoring but it serves two important functions – firstly this is where you get upgrades to your limo. What’s “upgrade”? It’s stuff that improves your ability (more of that later). Secondly Gold Coast is where you get to dump your competition’s henchmen into Lake Michigan. Good riddance… forever!

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Above: Green has their first henchman dropped into Lake Michigan to feed the fishes.

That was the start… soon Lake Michigan appears to be everyone’s fave stopping place (below) and was certified as a mass grave by the major of Chicago! LOL

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Upgrades are stuff you can add to customize your family eg expanded boot space (below) if added to your limo allows you to keep two henchmen in your car boot instead of just one. Yay! More dumps to Lake Michigan.

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Some upgrades are defensive eg. a Bodyguard upgrade (below) helps to protect your henchmen from being kidnapped by the other Families (obviously heading for an early retirement in Lake Michigan).

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Overall, the four of us had fun in Gangster. This is not a serious gamer’s game for sure but when you are in the mood for lots of table talk and quick light fun, try Gangster!

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Playing Gangster reminds me of another mob-theme game but based on Risk and some economic model – Blood Feud in New York. I quite like the game but it’s economic model might need some streamlining so that’s the fiddly part. Let’s see if I can get that to the OTK table soon.

THEME MEETUP

It’s good to have some form of theme for our OTK meetup ie Paolo Mori theme night. Think we’ll try more of such themes in future meetups. I know someone’s planning to do an ARTIPIA theme night at OTK. 😛

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We ended the gaming session at 3:30 am phew! Till next week, happy gaming to all.

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