Thursday, 4 September 2014

Reading practice

This Wednesday saw me pitching up to a pub on the outskirts of Reading with a bag of games searching for the accurately named Reading Boardgame Social. Almost immediately though the door I was met by a couple playing Monopoly over, or rather around, dinner. Pausing long enough for us to awkwardly stare at each other I promptly turned on my heel hoping that it wasn't them. Thankfully the next enclave presented a gang of chaps shifting cardboard around on a table. After introducing myself and instantly getting titled Chris 278 owing to a sticker one of my kids had slapped on me before leaving, I was invited to join a game of Libertalia.

Libertalia is pirate themed card management game played over 3 rounds (Days). Everybody receives the same 6 cards from a deck of 29 different types of piratey roles. After each day the cards you still have in your hand are carried over to join the next 6 drawn, all others are discarded. The days are split into night and day sections and the cards that you hold have a mixture of abilities that are activated at a certain time. The key to this game is that all cards have a number on them 1 - 29 and are played in sequence. The object is to collect as much booty and doubloons as possible. At the end of each day your money is converted into points and you start again.
Got anything a little less piratey?

I wasn't doing well. It pays to be a little bit swashbuckling to gain the big money and I was fannying around not making much progress. Unfortunately, after I had got a grip on the mechanics, I got whalloped with a double whammy. Matt, next to me, laid a card which meant he could move all of his curses onto me at -3 points each. On my deck I had a card that meant I lost a further 3 points per curse. I was sunk.

Paul - 67
Shane - 68
Matt - 66
Chris - 39

Next up was another new game to the group Heroes Wanted. This game which was awash with components, had an element of co-op about it but it was very much every hero for themselves. It's a game that doesn't take itself to seriously and there is a lot of humour generated by the genre embedded in the game. The optional Quirks card is a definite nod toward party games where each superhero exhibits a predisposition toward some element in the game. Mine was that every time someone used their superpower, I was to clap and congratulate them or else lose points. It didn't say that I had to do it enthusiastically though which suited me because I'd decided to be quite a sarcastic hero. It wasn't as bad as it sounds but toward the end people were getting a little jaded.
Mistress Caveman is not confused

The crux of the game is to try and stop a super villain from doing some nefarious deed whilst beating up all his henchmen and minions. (In this game it was Mistress Caveman who was naughtily littering, loitering and Jaywalking. The fiend!). My character (Selected from 2 decks of cards), Leather Thunder, had a useful superpower which allowed me to take extra points way from the villain and add it to my achievements. This meant that Robo Bullet (Matt), Mysterious Elephant (Shane), Naked Machine (Paul) and Heavy Metal Hawk (Gregg) couldn't match the 14 points I received plus add ons for my work at duffing up the super villain.

Chris - 40
Greg - 34
Paul - 30
Shane - 30
Matt -22

The initial amusement and excitement was somewhat quelled by the fairly long waits between turns and there was a feeling that maybe the game wasn't best suited for 5 players.

Last up was Incan Gold, which I had brought with me, but some of the others hadn't played before. As expected it was an instant hit with the chaps really getting into the tension and baiting of others trying to bluff whether they were staying in or not.

Shane - 48
Paul - 30
Chris - 30
Matt - 29

It was great to meet up with a new bunch and experience some different games and get out of the house for a change! I will be making return visits in the future....


  1. Apparently they normally have double that number of players each week, I just caught them at a bad time :)

  2. What did you make of Libertalia? I traded it away after one play...

  3. It seemed kind of arbitrary. I quite liked it having said that. It reminded me of Bibilios in that you never feel like you can greatly influence the outcome, but by subtle moves you can. Plus you need a bit of luck, which I didn't get.