Weekend boardgaming

Josh, Rich and I gathered at Josh’s place for a little boardgaming last Saturday. I really should have been at ConVic with Randy, but I hadn’t properly scheduled my life. (Quite normal when it comes to conventions… it’s been years since I’ve been organised enough to attend one!)

So, what games did we play?

San Juan – Josh and I began with a game of this. It’s one of my favourite games at present, and I’m logging a lot of games on BSW. It’s the cardgame version of Puerto Rico: each round you choose a role (Builder, Trader, Prospector, Producer, Councillor) and execute that action. The cards represent buildings, and each allows you to modify the actions. Different combinations of cards give interesting effects, and it plays quickly. Works well with 2-4. We had another game later in the evening, including Rich. I won both games easily, but they’ll get better.

Inn FightingOne of Rob Heinsoo’s little cardgames for Wizards; Josh likes it, which is why we played it. It’s a bit of light entertainment, nothing too heavy (and something of a change from the games I prefer to play). Rich had arrived by now, but his luck hadn’t. Josh was eventually the winner, thanks to an action card that allowed him to steal Rich’s go and knock me out!

Prophecy is a Talisman-style adventure game with somewhat less randomness. In particular, you get to choose where you move. Unfortunately, it’s a longish game (this one took about 2-1/2 hours) and, what’s worse, it’s very hard to catch up. Josh got away to a good start and never looked back. Rich’s luck still hadn’t found him, and he was pasted. Josh won this game handily as the Mercenary. I enjoyed the game, but was left thinking that Talisman may have been even more fun.

Pillars of the Earth is one of the “worker-placement” games that I play at present (along with Agricola and Caylus). It’s the lightest of the three, but is still good value – I’ve been playing it a lot on BSW recently. You’re hiring craftsmen, sending workers to gather resources, and generally trying to build a cathedral more efficently than your opponents. There’s some randomness in the game, so you need to adapt for that. We’d played a game of this together before, but Rich and Josh still haven’t quite got the hang of it. They’ll get better. In this game, I won handily.

Bohnanza is another light game: you’re Bean traders! The artwork is really whimsical and it’s a really fun game, although I’m never quite sure who is winning – I think I’d prefer to know so that there’s more tension in the game. It’s worth having a look at this cardgame if you haven’t seen it; we’ve had fun with 3-5 players, and I’m sure it’ll be there again. The main catch with this game is that if you end up with a Bean that isn’t in a field, you have to plant it, at the cost of losing a crop that may be worth more! Good haggling and planning required! I won this game narrowly over Rich.

Princes of Florence is a really, really good Eurogame. So good, I’ve only played it twice in the year I’ve owned it! Honestly, that’s more because I’ve got so many other games rather than a reflection of the quality of the game, because it really is brilliant. You’re trying to hire worksmen to create great works of art and inventions, but to keep them happy you need to get the right building, landscape, freedom, and having jesters always helps as well. However, to get all of these things you need to compete in auctions against the other players, keep enough money in reserve and manage your actions carefully – for you can only do at most three things a turn! (One auction, two other actions). Rich won this game by playing really well.

Last Night on Earth is just fun. Zombies have overrun a town, and we had to save the townsfolk! Rich’s Zombies gave Josh and I quite a scare, but Father Joseph proved to be an absolute beast with a Chainsaw (we managed to get him rolling five dice at one point!) Then things went wrong and we had to run for it… luckily, Jenny was in the Hospital and was able to bandage us all up, and we managed to protect the townsfolk until dawn.

So, that’s a brief summary of what I did last Saturday – about 12 hours of gaming. The links lead to the fuller reports on BGG if you’re interested.


  1. eleran

    You are so right about Last Night on Earth. I am not a huge fan of the zombie premise (games or movies) but this one was a lot of fun when I played it at GenCon last year.


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