RogerBW's Blog

Silverstone Games 09 May 2022

A trip to Silverstone for a small games day with a couple of friends and fellow-podcasters.

We began with The Climbers, a game I've seen before but never played: the rules are deceptively simple (you move a block other than the one the last player moved, you move your climber up one level onto your own or a neutral colour, you have three one-off benefits) because there's plenty of emergent complexity here. This has jumped straight onto my purchase list, as soon as I have room for it.

A minor embarrassment: I'd never played my own copy of War of the Nine Realms even though I have the most logged plays on BGG (58 out of 91 total) because of all the demos I've done for Wotan Games at UK Games Expo and elsewhere. So we had a three-sided battle, which came out very close. I continue to assert that the Blood Cauldron rule is genius: you score a point for each wound you inflict on an enemy, and 18 points wins the game. This instantly solves the turtling problem: in many more-than-two-player tactical games A can hide while B and C fight and wear each other down then sweep in to victory, but here B and C will be racking up blood points and the survivor of their fight won't need to beat A to win.

Must play this more. Need to write my own rulebook though.

Another seen before but not played: Niagara, great for table presence (and it does it cheaply, by resting the board on the game box and lid, so the only extra cost is the hinged section at the end). Simple and vicious. I probably won't buy it, but I enjoyed it a great deal.

Glen More, at which I thought I was doing very badly (scoring is based on the difference between a player's ratings in various things and the lowest rating among all players, and one of the others was rushing ahead in the early game) but I turned out to have won. This always biases me in a game's favour. It's not my usual style of game nor one I'd ever buy, but I had fun even so.

Colt Express, not at its best with three - and it's been a while since I played it, so I was sluggish on the rules, so I didn't even bring in the robobandits. (Also I was too busy to take photos.) Need to get this one back into my head and play it with a larger group now that larger groups are a thing again.

Spirit Island which all right I'm a few years late to this but I'm very much enjoying it. Another that's on the "look out for a bargain" list. (Also "please buy the games I'm selling so that I have room to store it".)

Finally Downforce, which I rather burned out on on BoardGameArena, but I enjoyed much more in person – also perhaps because I've accepted that it really isn't a racing game, and this time the race was a lot closer than I've often seen before. I start to get interested again.

[Buy Niagara at Amazon] [Buy Glen More at Amazon] [Buy Colt Express at Amazon] [Buy Spirit Island at Amazon] [Buy Downforce at Amazon] and help support the blog.

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