Villas and Trains

With such a bounty of games (photo below) all in one place it can only mean one thing. Yes another Fenland Gamers meetup.
After renewing friendships and making new ones, we got down to some gaming.
Our first game of the evening was the “classic” Alhambra. I was glad Gavin had bought this. The game has been in my collection for a long time, but sadly has been sitting in my pile of shame. I have played the game using the app a couple of times, but I find the interface of the app a hindrance, and a barrier to playing it regularly.
So having this chance to play the game was really welcomed.
I like Alhambra, it's a simply game! Collect the different coloured and valued money until you have enough of a particular colour to buy hopefully the tile you want to add to your Alhambra. Naturally there are one or two more rules than that, for example about how you place your tile in your Alhambra. But that gives you the basic gist of the game.
During the game there are three point scoring opportunities. The first two occur at random points, while the third happens at the end when the tiles run out. At these point scoring breaks points are score based on who has the most of a particular colour of building. The two early scoring opportunities can give a false sense of security, that person seemingly not scoring or building can suddenly in the last third of the game close that gap and jump ahead.
This is what exactly happened with card hoarder Jonathan. Boy did he have a lot of cards in his hand. But that final third he built and built, getting a large share of the points in the final scoring. Taking him from hardly any points to challenging for first place.
I liked playing Alhambra a lot. With six players you aren't going to be building massive alhambras, the competition for cards and tiles is fierce, and by the time it comes round to you there is a very good chance of the cards or tile you wanted having been taken. However I thought it played well with this number of players.
Oh and for the record Simon won, I came last! Good job I enjoy the journey! However even though I lost, I still felt in the running right upto the end. And that is the mark of a good game.

After a little chat, and an opportunity for Debbie to make hot beverages for those that wanted one. Well she did volunteer by saying she wanted a cuppa. I just took advantage of it when she voiced that fact.

Our final game of the evening was a return to the table for Colt Express. What more can be said about this game than I have previously said? Colt Express is a visually impressive game sitting there on the table in its 3D glory.

The first round of the game saw me getting shot twice thanks to the special power of Jonathan's character, which meant he couldn't be shot if others were in the same carriage as him. My hand of cards for the next two rounds were watered down by those bullet cards I had been given. Forcing me to at one point skip a turn to draw three new cards so I could have an action to move as my final turn that round.

There was a mini race to the engine to get the briefcase, which I won, beating Jonathan to it. Then a similar mini race happened to get the gems in the next carriage, that also saw Jonathan coming up empty handed.

The final round card we used was from the expansion (not intentionally, but does add a bit more variety), which meant that all those in the same carriage and level got to split the spoils of a briefcase I had looted. This cost me 750 points in the final tally up of our spoils!

Gavin was the run away winner, and although having had to share the points of a briefcase I got a healthy 1500 points, and didn't end up losing.

This sounds so corny and cliched, and gets said after every session. But it's true, this was another great gaming session with great company. The embers of new friendships started, others grew brighter.


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