Monday 8 July 2024

Boardgames Day

We had a big boardgames day at our friends' house on Saturday. 

Started late morning with a game of Hollywood 1947. We had six players for this, so got to use the Rising Star for the first time. The two Communists did a great job of keeping everyone paranoid and guessing who they actually were, and thanks to a couple of lucky early film draws managed a comprehensive 4-1 victory.

We then had lunch and switched to Carcassonne (with Inns & Cathedrals and King & Scout expansions). This was a five-player game. Claudia, Eric and I took a Commanding lead about two-thirds of the way through thanks to cooperatively building and completing a huge city with a cathedral. Eric and I look set to be the winners though, since we both got loads of farming points at he end. However Claudia managed to get both King and Robber Baron, and the extra points from that allowed her to pip me by one point for a win. The top three scores were around 180 and within 4 points of each other.

So on to the main event - a six player game of the 1992 edition of History of the World. We love this game but it takes a long time to play and needs full commitment from anyone who does take part. Here's the board sometime in the 4th Epoch; I think that the Vikings have just had their turn (some of the red counters). I was black; you can see my Arabs dominating the Middle-east, North Africa and Spain (or at least they had dominated Spain until the Vikings turned up). In fact the Arabs were the first empire I'd got that weren't either in China or India. Playing in those areas early on had given me steady points but not the kind of long-term presence across the board that you need to do well. I got another Spain and Russia afterwards, so finished up with a respectable mid-table score.

Maya (Green) finished last, having drawn three horse-nomad empires in a row in the middle of the game. But she did get to do a a spectacular Mongol sweep across the board, including a total domination of China.

Catherine (Red) finished first thanks to a steady presence around the world throughout the game, and a carefully played France on the last turn which allowed her to consolidate and dominate several regions at once. Marco ran her close but was let down by the failure of his Epoch II Persians in establishing anywhere as near as big as an empires as they should have done, and then by his being given the USA on the last turn, limiting where he could play on the board for those critical final turn points.

Star of the game was Epoch II's Etruscan Kingdom which somehow clung on in Northern Italy until the end of the game. Italy never became much of a battleground for some reason.

We all really enjoyed the game, but it took us the advertised five hours to play. I'd love to play again sometime this decade!

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