Wednesday saw Jonathan, Debbie and myself meet up to learn how to play the new Tasty Minstrel Games game Guilds of London. A game the yanks don't have at the moment.
Jonathan and I bought our early copies at the UK Games Expo (yes I still have to write about that), where the designer Tony Boydell had a limited supply of early copies to sell.
I'd read the rule book once about a week before hand. Tom Vassel had also just put his review up of the game, and spoken about it on his podcast. It looks like Tom and myself agree on the rule book, that it could do with a little work. For instance it starts talking about Masters however you have no idea what a Master is, until much later when they are discussed.
For those that can't be bothered to read any further Jonathan and I both love the game. If you have already watched Tom's review. I think I agree with the points he made about the game.
There is a lot of iconography, which because of the pace of the game didn't really get in the way, the two reference/cheat sheets helped. Although TMG could have been more generous and provided four of these. I know I have complained about the iconography in Cthuhlu Realms getting in the way. With the pace of the game having to decode the iconography on the cards did get in the way of the game.
For a “euro” style game this is a pretty cut throat game, especially when it comes to negotiating the majority of a guild that needs resolving. But it's fun. Also it's possible to get combos going with the cards, and also when resolving guilds. Debbie was really pulling this off during the game, and did this this better than Jonathan and myself.
For the majority of our game I had the lead points wise upto the last two rounds. Unfortunately I didn't build up enough of a cushion to hold off late surges of point scoring from the completed guild cards during final scoring. I went from first to desperately holding onto second by a single point.
Back to the manual when we had to do the expand/growth phase and add more guilds to the board, the first additions were easy and just like the example in the manual. Come to the second time we had to do it, it was less clear where we laid the first tile for that growth.
I did like the variable second place rewards, these will be different for each guild everytime you play. Adds that bit of variety each game, and sometimes you want second place more than first for that reward.
There is so much to love about this game. I'm looking forward to playing it again.