Southampton On Board - 6 January 2014 - Assassins, Sushi and Evil Victories

Well it's that time again! We've had the break over Xmas and New Year and now it's time to get back into some board game club action. This week I've got Southampton and Portsmouth all in one go and I'm even checking out another Portsmouth group that specialises in wargaming, but hints at playing board games too so I expect to be a bit exhausted by the end of the week!
Not a lot of members but it's so soon in the New Year, but we had the ability to get 2 main games going and so we opted to stick to shorter games for the evening. While another group checked out The Mines of Zav......Zaven.....wait a minute (goes to check BGG). . . . . . Zavandor, I brought out an old favourite classic of mine, Citadels.

"The Mines of . . . . . thingy"
5 players is probably the sweet spot for Citadels in my opinion and it didn't take long for the only new player to the game to grasp the rules, one of the great things about the game. We brought the Queen into play and kicked the Warlord to the kerb to replace with the Diplomat. Personally I prefer the game this way - the Queen is a good way to gain money without always being assassinated and the Diplomat can cause some interesting swings in the game without dragging it on like the Warlord's destruction ability does.
The Assassin was having a field day, killing left, right and centre, without focusing on one player. I seemed to have been cursed with the bad luck though that game in which I seemed to be only able to choose to kill/steal from the one card that everyone decided to bypass for the round. . . . typical! Ah well, I grabbed a close second place, but was narrowly beaten by the first player to 8 districts.
The Mines were taking their sweet time (so much for a short game to align with Citadels) so we brought out the fillers to pad the night out. First up, Sushi Go - not my favourite of fillers as I prefer a bit more meat to my drafting games, but it's harmless enough and I'll happily play it. You want a decent drafting game, go play 7 Wonders or on a slightly different tangent, Seasons where you're drafting dice instead. Both are great games and I'll get round to reviewing these at some point.
One tip for playing Sushi Go though, never sit next to the owner of the game. I guarantee you'll never get given any cards you need as he'll know that he's supposed to nick them all! Always sit next to the beginners!

 "Sushi Go - I'm not doing very well!"
After that, STILL the Mines were carrying on - how long does an auction game take? It looked alright though from this angle so I'll give it a try sometime. But what can we play that only takes 5-10 minutes max? Easy! NO THANKS! You can teach it in 30 seconds and play it in 5 minutes. . . . well assuming you don't get players with Analysis Paralysis thinking too hard on their turn - yes seriously someone got AP in No Thanks! Takes allsorts!
But finally the Mines concluded and with a couple less players it was decided by popular vote (which usually means everyone else bar me) that we should get a couple of games of Resistance: Avalon in. I have mixed feelings over this game mainly because of reaching a level of burnout from it being played FAR too often in the first days I joined Southampton On Board. It also seems like unorganised chaos with too many players (8+) and being "Good" is usually quite dull. Luckily for me though we had 7 players which is a good number and I was "Evil" in both games! HOORAY! Finally I get to be evil and have choices to make!

This has to be one of the first times I've truly enjoyed every bit of an Avalon game. Finally with a few less players and being Evil I have some choices and bluffing to make rather than just unorganised chaos trying to figure out who the bad guys are. The first game was an easy win for the Evil side, but in the second game it got more tricky. The Lady of the Lake had conveniently being given to a Good player, which was then passed to Merlin and then passed to another Good guy. Talk about making life difficult for the Evil gang. Despite myself pointing out some quality flaws in their logic, unfortunately people are led easily and trying to argue against Merlin is a losing battle.

We then received a blessing however. Our resident new player to the club still had doubts as to the validity of their claims and I knew this was the only chance we had to get our final failed mission so I milked this opportunity and secreted in all the doubt and misguided advice I could - think of that hunchback advisor from The Two Towers, I was a bit like him. So much more fun than being a Goodie (yawn).

We managed to convince him to ignore all of the Good guys on the last mission and as such ALL the Evil guys were on the same last mission . . . . I think we needed a big neon sign with FAILED written on it to describe the outcome of that mission. Though one of us stuck in a Success by accident so it shows you just can't get the staff sometimes!

"Avalon - players not available for comment"

All in all, a fun night, but I really want to try some more new games out I've not played yet. But in the light of our great win, because I'm incredibly immature at times. . . . . .


 Games Played

The Mines of Zavandor
Sushi Go
No Thanks!
Resistance: Avalon