Boardgamecafe.net Meetup Report @ OTK Cheras 3/1/2014 – Welcome 2014!
BGC welcomed 2014 with more Essen 2013 games brought to the OTK tables as we see gamers trying to save SOS TITANIC and TZOLKIN got a run-thru with their TRIBES & PROPHECIES expansion. Old classic PUERTO RICO was on the table again while the late night session (R2) ended with Wallace’s AUTOMOBILE.
Games: Lewis & Clark, SOS Titanic, Tzolkin Tribes & Prophecies, Council of Verona, Puerto Rico, Automobile. Mundus Novus, Machi Koro
LOOKING FORWARD TO AN EXCITING 2014!
Time passes. Essen 2013 and BGC Retreat flew by and yet there were still so many Essen 2013 releases to unwrap and play. As we enter 2014 and on our first Friday OTK evening of this new year, we got reacquainted with some new Essen 2013 games and a couple of old faves.
Ludonaute has two highlight games last Essen – one was the beautiful LEWIS & CLARK (also played tonite) and the other was Bruno Cathala’s SOS TITANIC.
SOS Titanic piqued our interest since it’s a coop game that’s playable solo, and it carries a theme that’s refreshing – the sinking of the Titanic. And the game came with a nicely illustrated comb-binded booklet featuring the Titanic and each page flip animates the slowly but surely sinking fate of this famous vessel.
SOS Titanic is a retheme Patience (solitaire) card game. Here you get to try to save all the 60 passengers (cards) before the Titanic sinks (ie the booklet depicting the sinking ship in 11 pages).
The Passengers are grouped into 1st (purple) and 2nd Class (yellow) and you can’t mix them (jeez, even in such dire times they still can’t get it over their heads not to mingle when jumping into the life boat?).
At start of the game – ie when the Titanic has just hit the iceberg – four stacks of passengers are arranged along each deck (there are altogether 6 decks) with only the last passenger card opened face-up.
When trying to organize the passengers (in the ship) below deck, they are to be arranged in descending number order (each passenger card has a number value ranging from 1-17). However when settling them onto the Life Boat (they are four life boats), you need to place them in ascending number order.
Each player gets a Crew Member character card. This card describes a special ability of this crew member which may help – or hinder – the rescue effort. You also get two Action cards (left) to start with.
Game Turn actions are simple. You either do 1) Play an action card, or 2) Draw passenger cards to set up rescue effort. In-between you can always re-arrange the passengers below decks subject to the following rules:
– 1st and 2nd class passengers don’t mix
– Passengers below decks are always arranged in descending number order
– You can open a new line of passengers in another open deck (eg the yellow 2nd class passengers being moved to the last deck (the safest and last to sink) but to do so, you need to start the new open deck with the highest passenger number card ie #17 for 2nd Class (and #13 for 1st Class)
Action cards can be played – one per turn – which usually helps you in your quest to bring the passengers to safety. If you can’t play – or don’t want to play – an action card, you’ll need to draw passenger cards from the draw deck and try to add them to the existing line of passengers below deck.
The number of passenger cards you can draw depends on your Crew Member card. In the above Jack Philips crew member card, you can draw from 1-6 passenger cards. The dilemma is that you need to be able to find at least ONE passenger card that can be added to the existing line of passengers below deck. If you fail to do so, you’ll need to turn the ship booklet which would result in the decks getting flooded.
You can obviously choose to draw more passenger cards (eg 6 in the above example) to increase your chance of finding a match. However when the draw deck is depleted, you’ll also have to turn the ship booklet!
Above: Namewee Ian deciding if he should just throw that snobbish passenger overboard instead of trying to save her….
From above, the page number in the top left indicated how many more pages to flip before the great ship sinks (that’s how many time you have left to solve this game). Surviving passengers were being arranged below deck, while above were the life boats which were where you wanted to send the surviving passengers.
You are essentially playing against “time” as with each turn of the page, the decks get flooded and create a panic causing the surviving passengers in that deck to run over to the adjourning deck (this will result in the two lines of passenger cards being reshuffled and creating a new line with only the top passenger card opened).
You’ll want to ensure if you have started arranging the passengers in the proper descending order, ready to move them to a Life Boat – you do so quickly before the deck gets flooded and the passenger orders are messed up in the ensuing panic.
Above: I think the gamers here trying to decide if some passengers should go to “heaven” (fingers pointing up)
A COOP OR SOLO?
We did this – twice I think tonight – as a coop game with 4-5 gamers. However I think this game is BEST as a solo game where you attempt to solve the game by yourself. You get more Crew Member – and action – cards in a coop game but I don’t think there’s much value in having any discussion between player’s turn since everyone should arrive at more or less the same conclusion on the next steps.
As a solo game, it does provide some challenge in trying to max out the final scores and attempt to rescue all 60 passengers before the ship sinks. We should have this game in-stock end March so if you are looking to get a solo card game, do check this out. 🙂
LEWIS & CLARK
The 2nd Ludonaute game on OTK tables tonight was the beautiful LEWIS & CLARK. I’ve some sess-photos from our earlier Nov session with which to write a proper sessrep and review so I won’t dive into a full sessrep here. But I saw some interesting strategies in play and thought of writing down my thoughts on them.
Above: Dith (left) getting the rest into the game
Dith got himself into a situation where his (yellow) expedition boat was pushed back to the last checkpoint (probably due to too many penalty time cost).
Dith then set up his stall to max out resource collection…. since he did not have to worry about the penalty of paying time cost as his expedition boat (yellow) was already at the last checkpoint.
Dith comfortable “trailing” behind the others as he worked to set up his deck of character cards and resources to enable him to make one huge movement to leapfrog everyone!
Elsewhere, Boon Khim (above) was going for the resource path by getting a host of resource boats that did not incur him time penalty when he camped.
Albert has a balanced scout / resource plan.
While Sinbad was going down the scouts path… he has accumulated a few character cards that leveraged a high scout count. He was making most of the Indian Gathering calls on the PowWow area…
While Dith (yellow) was furiously gathering resources, trading them up for better resources and setting his expedition up for the final – and single – push into Fort Clatsop, his opponents (in particular Boon Khim – Brown) were making quick headways into their expedition.
But Dith has gathered a group of very useful – and strong – characters eg Comcomly, a Chinook chief whom allowed you to pay one equipment, one food, one fur and one wood and immediately advance your boat 7 spaces on river….
… and he’s flushed with resources!! So it was a very doable gambit. Boon Khim (leader-brown) was feeling the pressure indeed.
In the end, Dith failed to string together the “correct” set of resources to make the final push (think he missed by one or two resources, aargh!)… he only got as far as the mountains before he ceded the race to Boon Khim (who would inevitably reach Fort Clatsop on his next turn).
It was an interesting strategy… staying back, maxxing your resources, ignoring time penalties and setting up your character cards combo and resources for a single push to leapfrog everyone into Fort Clatsop. Was this a Bridge Too Far scenario or is this doable with better planning & hindsight? Am sure keen to find out in future Lewis & Clark sessions. 🙂
THE 2014 EDITION FROM ASMODEE
Boardgamecafe.net brought back some Ludonaute edition of this game direct from Essen and they were all quickly snapped up by pre-orders. At the moment this game is Out of Stock at the publisher level but Ludonaute is reprinting a new 2014 edition (box will be square – see above) and Asmodee should be distributing this in March/April this year. We hope to restock this then.
Ah.. PUERTO RICO hitting the tables again for two weeks in succession! It’s good time for coffee & tobacco farming.
Elsewhere, Ong DC – after failing just so close (he was one card short!) last week to get the one-dragon for a grand-slam victory in MUNDUS NOVUS – brought the Taipan gang back again for another attempt to do the grand slam!
TZOLKIN TRIBES & PROPHECIES EXPANSION
Another attempt to live out the Mayan prophecies. TRIBES & PROPHECIES expansion in play for TZOLKIN. And as we’ve commented before, TZOLKIN is not complete without the TRIBES & PROPHECIES expansion (and no, it’s not becoz we want to sell you another expansion, hehe).
Kareem bringing out one of his fave Essen 2013 hits MACHI KORO which never fails to elicit laughter from whoever’s playing at the table…. this time long-time frens of ours and gaming couple Teddy & Lee Ching joined Kareem & waiyan to Machi the Koro. 🙂
From Japon aka Always Sold-out
COUNCIL OF VERONA
The Machi Koro group moved on next to COUNCIL OF VERONA with Sinbad joining them.
This game seems exciting since I noticed everyone was standing up every now and then…. so chi-kek?
Did I get the right card? This character card (below) looks more at-home with THE WALKING DEAD than the Council of Verona. 😛
A few wanted to learn AUTOMOBILE. Ong wanted to get the game. So I obliged and taught them one of Wallace’s best, and also a fave of mine.
In Kaz’s word, this is one game where you either GO BIG or you GO HOME.
Erm… Ong DC stood up – getting ready to Go Big? Or Go Home? 😛
A SHOUT FROM WHAT’S YOUR GAME
It always give us a fillip when a designer / publisher notices our sessreps. This time What’s Your Game, publisher of MADEIRA thought our write-up from the first play of MADEIRA in Malaysia last December was one of the best.
Have you read it? If not, hop over here http://blog.boardgamecafe.net/2014/02/16/bgc-meetup-report-otk-cheras-27122013-first-play-of-madeira/
For more pictures of this meetup session, pls see our Facebook photo album (below).
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