RogerBW's Blog

Reading Boardgames Social 24 November 2015 30 November 2015

To the Castle Tap for more games. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

The Castle Tap used to be the Horse and Jockey, and is just west of the centre of Reading on Castle Hill, at mapcode QKH.60. Now it specialises in two things, real ales and local cheese, and does them both very well indeed. I shall certainly have to come back here some time when I'm not driving, or indeed playing games.

My first game was Between Two Cities: it's a tile-laying game like a greatly-simplified version of Suburbia, but each player is working on filling in two cities, one with each of his immediate neighbours, and ends up scoring points equal to the value of the lower of the two. There's also drafting: you start with seven tiles, play two into your cities, and pass the others to your neighbour for the next turn. Yes, it's a big gimmicky, but it works. Like so many set collection games, most tiles are worth more each the more you have of them, some are worth more in sets of limited sizes, and so on. In the middle of the game there are double-sized tiles which have to be worked into place too.

It's enjoyable – not as immediately engaging as I found Suburbia, but not a bad game and one to try again. Definitely better with a large group; we played with the maximum seven, the recommended minimum is three, and I think that small game would be rather less fun. (Rather to my surprise I came second, and the top three were only single points apart.)

Then Champions of Midgard, a worker-placement game with shades of Lords of Waterdeep and some other influences. You recruit Viking warriors (dice) of different sorts and gather various resources, then go off to fight monsters. Because I misinterpreted a victory condition card, I ended up going after lots of small local monsters rather than voyaging overseas to fight the high-scoring ones (I can't help feeling those distant "monsters" should be labelled things like "Saxon village" and "defenceless monastery"), but by accruing lots of them I still took second place. The scores were much more spread out on this one but it was still good fun, and I'll give it another go if the occasion arises.

[Buy Between Two Cities at Amazon] [Buy Champions of Midgard at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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