RogerBW's Blog

Mini-TringCon 5 September 2015 06 September 2015

Mini-TringCons are all-day house gaming events run by the organiser of TringCon, in Deepest Buckinghamshire.

I started the day with Isle of Skye, a new Carcassone-like game with an intriguing bidding mechanic. Each round, everyone draws three tiles, then secretly marks one for discarding and two with money.

The screens are removed, the tiles marked for discarding are discarded, and then each player gets a chance to buy one of someone else's tiles – at the price shown by the amount of money next to the tile. If a tile of yours is bought, you get back the money you marked it with and the same again from the buying player. If not, you pay the money you marked it with to the bank.

So you may end up with as many as three tiles, or none at all. Then you have to add them to your island, bearing in mind scoring criteria, which vary from game to game and (in a predictable way) from round to round.

I'm usually terrible at Carcassone, so I was surprised to pull out a reasonably close second place here.

On to Suburbia, and with two new players I didn't use the new Five Star expansion. Unfortunately I forgot the cost of playing an investment marker, but I don't think it distorted the game too badly.

It all got fairly messy, with most of us going into negative income at some point. I managed to avoid this, but yellow came from last place to win by maximising his income, getting the Casino to keep it high as his score increased, and simply buying good tiles towards the end.

As the sun sank, we brought out old favourite Splendor, at which I did quite appallingly badly. Some of this was switching strategies during the game, some was trying to monopolise a resource for which there wasn't really much demand. Mabe some bad luck too.

We finished the day with a couple of games of Port Royal, the sort of game that would normally hit my abstraction gap (too thematic to be an abstract game, too abstract to be a simulation) but managed to work anyway. Ships provide money, with which you hire crew, who give benefits, basically. I won the second round by remembering to use the "buy stuff cheaply" power.

A pleasant day and I'll go again when I have a first Saturday free.

[Buy Isle of Skye at Amazon] [Buy Suburbia at Amazon] [Buy Splendor at Amazon] [Buy Port Royal at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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