During the seventies as a kid Saturday mornings were always Swap Shop with Noel Edmunds and Posh Paws or Tiswas with the attractive Sally James in her thigh length boots and tight tops, a male ensemble of co-hosts and Spit the Dog. Cartoons were interrupted by interviews, skits, outside broadcasts. Although not a red blooded male minded being interrupted by Sally James.
Fast forward a few decades, I still have a Saturday morning tv routine. Sadly no Sally James involved. It does involve coffee (with the aid of my aeropress I make the best in Wisbech – FACT), a bowl of seriously cinnamon cereal, and the previous nights to that was broadcast in the US of A, or new content on channels I follow on YouTube, while cuddled up in blankets on the sofa.
What's the point of this trip down memory lane? Well I was happily enjoying this weekend ritual, having a relaxed morning. Mum had been shopping, bought me a couple of burgers to cook for my lunch (yeah I know the cheek, you would have thought she would have cooked them for me too). Lunchtime came, I cooked my own lunch (the fore mentioned burgers, which I seasoned both sides of with salt, pepper, and crushed chillies, before placing on a griddle to cook). Lunch was then consumed while watching Precinct Ninety-Nine on Netflix.
I was in a happy place. Quarter to one I decided to get dressed, ready to leave for the afternoons gaming at two. Hey if I wasn't gaming that afternoon, I wouldn't have been dressed.
Then just gone one…
“Are you joining us today?”
– it was a text from Jonathan. I thought he was confirming I was going.
“Or have you forgotten your phone?”
– ok that was a bit weird, but I had previously forgotten my phone, so maybe not that weird. Then the penny started to click I better confirm the time we were meeting up to play.
“Yes 2pm isn't it?”
“Oh rats give me 15”
Luckily as I had already pointed out I had not long got dressed. Quickly I deposited the wolf pack with Nan, jumped in the car, weighed up whether I had enough petrol to get me there without having to fill up in the way, or if it could wait until the return journey.
Fifteen minutes later I was there ready for playing our first game…
My late arrival had meant I had missed the pre-game warm up show by the biggest name in magic history…
In a previous post I discussed how thematic the whole look and feel of Trickerion was. It still holds true, this game just oozes the turn of the twentieth century theatre and magic shows of the time. Watch the mini series Houdini on Netflix or The Prestige with Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman if you aren't sure what I'm talking about.
Trickerion is a worker placement game, where you are building magic tricks using your magician, engineers and assistants, and then performing those tricks to earn fame points. The person with the most fame points wins.
This was a first time playing so Jonathan and I were bound to be asking lots of questions about rules and what various things did.
There are three different levels of tricks your magician can do, however the more difficult ones can't be done until you have the required number of fame points. I can see why this is so, but based on our play through of the game, I don't see how you get to the more difficult tricks. We didn't start hitting the required number of points until the final scoring!
Which brings me to my next point. We got to the last turn very quickly, and barely had time to get an engine going, perform many tricks, earn fame to be able to do more complicated tricks. There was a feeling at the end that maybe we had missed something out.
I love that each magician is different, specialising in a particular style of magic. That when you choose an engineer you get the choice between a male and female version, that also the female version has different abilities to the male. And this is true to the other help you can recruit also.
Trickerion was very enjoyable and thematic. I'd definitely play this again. But I'd love to know how you are meant to get to the better tricks. The score board goes up to a hundred, and we struggled to reach thirty.
Somehow in our game, going into the final turn I had a narrow lead, with Jonathan bringing in last place. Going into the final scoring I still had the lead, but somehow totalling up the extra scoring opportunities Jonathan sailed past Mat and then snatched the lead to win the game.
It was now time to manage a vineyard in …
It helps when you play a game you don't forget about scoring and the win condition, and get lost in other game mechanisms.
In the first round I was able to get a recurring credit each turn without completing a contract that I was able to push up to three, still without actually having had to produce anything. I never really struggled with money, and it took a little while for Mat and Jonathan to catch me up on the recurring money front.
Because of my financial advantage, I had the majority of the structures built in my vineyard early on.
But as I said it wasn't until Jonathan was within striking distance of triggering the end condition that I remembered I need to be collecting points. But by then it was too late, despite a desperate attempt to catch up and claw my way to victory, my struggle was in vein.
Jonathan's run of victories continued with winning our game of Viticulture.
Our final game of the afternoon was…
The English version of this game I think has become my latest Grail game. However apparently there is an update on the way (but who knows when this will surface?)
Because there were three of us playing a dice was used to simulate a fourth player. The dice would be rolled, and moved that many places on the rondel, the tile at its landing place removed from the game. Plus the one value is covered with a coin for each of the resources in the warehouse. So instantly the resources in the warehouse were more expensive, but simulates this ghost fourth player buying them. I liked this as a way to add a fourth player to the three player game.
Once again I won the game with a big margin, breaking Jonathan's winning streak for this gaming session.
We now have a date set for the start of our Pandemic Legacy campaign. Our team of heroes has been assembled, a date set, the world just needs to pray that we are successful in saving it!
Despite being late, I had a great afternoon gaming with Mat and Jonathan. We played some great games, had fun, made plans. A fantastic afternoon.