I'd given IBG regular Andy a lift over and knew I'd meet a few chaps I'd played with in Isleworth. As it was, of the nine of us there for the evening, there was only chap I didn't know, and he was most pleasant. I just wish my amnesia hadn't taken his name away from me within seconds of being introduced to him, forgive me. So nine of us. Keyflower to be played, three copies, that's three threes, bizarre but there you go! I'd met Gary many, many times but apparently we'd never played a game together so it was good to put that right. And the three was made up by 'Victor' as I'll name him (foreshadowing that'll be).
The game has several key mechanics (!); auction, worker placement, modular board, network building, set collection, pick-up and deliver. That they all work together so well is a clever piece of design. There's also a lot of player interaction, and I've read that Breese feels this is very important. The theme is also consistent, good use of the seasons for the four rounds. I haven't even mentioned the artwork as yet. Breese's sister Julia has been his main artist for years, for the whole 'Key' game series, and the colours are always bright, restrained, clear. I love it.
All that was forgotten however with a six-player For Sale. Another great game. Bid on thirty property cards numbered one to thirty, and then sell them for between $0 and $15,000. The bidding got ridiculous early on so I was forced to take a couple of low value properties but if you play these right later you can often get a good return on them. In the end I had $7,000 left of the initial $14,000 so that would be a help, as the others had used their capital completely with only one exception. At the sales things went well, my low value properties picked up brilliant returns and I managed to collect plenty of second highest value cheques too. Final scoring saw me reach forty-nine. Scott to my left - who normally wins every game he plays - had forty-six, and he turned out to be in second place, hurrah!! A good evening all told. I will be going back.
|Glass Road, superb design|
Philip, Andy and I then played Santa Cruz. It's by the designer of the excellent Verrater and Attika games but I have to say we all felt it was a bit of a non-event. Philip, who'd played before, decided that once you understand it, it's boring. He'd hoped for more from his second game. Andy, who won, was also unimpressed. Still, it's rare not to have a good experience so when you do at least you know the rest of time it's been great. Context see, it's everything.