We were once more going to be a man down for our Pandemic Legacy session on Wednesday, so we decided to turn it into an open gaming session to the members of The Fenland Gamers (which you can join for FREE either on the Facebook page or the clubs website).
Our evenings gaming started off with us playing 51st State Complete Master Set. Yes the theme isn't on Jonathan's top 1000 themes to play. But I thought he might like the mechanics.
After going over the rules from the excellent and humourous cheat sheet, we started playing. The game started off slow, maybe because we were all learning the game. No one was building much, or getting victory points. Jonathan was the first to score a point, and he held the lead right upto the end of the game to get (spoiler) the win. In fact I was the last to start scoring. However I did make a late dash to grab second place.
I think roughly the game took about one and half hours for us to play with four players. Which surprised me because from podcasts I'd heard talking about the game they were saying it played quicker than Imperial Settlers.
In this game there was very little razing other players buildings, I was the only one who did it, and that was a too late attempt to slow Jonathan's scoring engine. So were we not being aggressive enough?
It did seem to take a few rounds to get any sort of engine going. I made a lot of deals to bring in resources.
I do need to check the rules again, because none of us got shields. And we didn't spot any cards that gave us one either. So unless an expansion (included in the box) gave them, we were a bit confused how we got them. That also goes for the bulldozer token.
I do like Imperial Settlers (wish I could play it more often), so unsurprisingly I enjoyed playing 51st State. I liked the extra option when building of discarding a building already built of the same type, along with a brick. It allowed the more expensive to build building to be built more easily. A fact I remembered too late in the game. I like the different levels of raze cost of buildings based on position on the player board.
The components, art work, are fantastic. I feel it's very thematic. Love the humour in the rules.
After playing in a post apocalyptic world there is only one thing to do, play test a an aphid apocalypse based game for Jonathan! Jonathan and his design partner Rebecca are working on a co-operative pandemic influenced kids game set in the Ladybug Lunch (a previous kids card game of theirs) universe. But in this world instead of diseases you are trying to stop aphids taking over the flowers in your garden.
This was as a said a play test. A first in the UK. The game was over very very quickly. Jonathan was under the opinion that it was too hard for a kids game. My suggestion was to have a double sided board, a hard and easy side. It will be interesting to see if Jonathan and Rebecca run with that idea.
Our final game of the evening was Love Letter Batman, which I won, leaving Jonathan as the only one in the game that didn't score a point. Yes I had to point that out.
A great evening of gaming, I hope this got you interested in coming along to one of our gaming sessions.