Sunday, 26 April 2015

American Express

Recently, non-Tuesday events have been limited to myself, Sam and Ian but tonight a sudden rush of people accepting Sam’s invite pushed the number of attendees up to a giddy six: Sam, me, Ian and Andy, Steve and Chris who’d come visiting from the Bracknell branch. We all arrived with tales of picking our way through Bristol Rovers fans, and cyclist Steve even told us about how he yelled at a careless pedestrian, knowing there was a policeman nearby and he was in no danger of getting beaten up.

Any discussion of the first game to play was circumvented when Andy casually put Colt Express on the table when he came in. Since it played six and it was only forty minutes long according to the box, we decided to give it a go.

Our previous reluctance to play it in Bristol was due to it being compared to Robo Rally, but on actually playing it, I found it to be a shorter and funnier game. Due to the limited space, there’s always something happening to you. Each of the six characters had their own special power. Cheyenne can steal money from people when she punches them, Django can shoot people into the next carriage and Belle is so pretty that she is never chosen to be shot or punched if someone else is available. Ian was Belle, and he found his newfound physical attractiveness very useful as he/she stayed in the most crowded part of the train and picked up gems. Sam/Cheyenne got shot a lot in his/her dash along the roof for the Marshall’s $1,000 suitcase. Chris/Tuco got picked on.

Ian $2,750
Andrew $1,900
Andy $1,700
Sam $1,500
Steve $1,300
Chris $250

After that amusing episode, we split into two groups: Sam, Ian and Chris chose Rialto and Andy, Steve and I chose The Castles of Mad King Ludwig.

Not sure how Rialto went, but I shot into an early lead on CoMKL thanks to plenty of bonuses for a particular room that then scored again on completion!

Talking of completing a room, a rereading of the rules about putting doors next to walls reassured us that this was a legal move, but it meant that the room couldn’t be counted as “completed” – a subtle distinction. As it happened, it didn’t change the placings as I managed to win by a single point with my castle built in the style of Number 5 from the film Short Circuit.

Andrew 113
Andy 112
Steve 70

In the time it took us to finish that game, Rialto had ended:

Sam 69
Chris 61
Ian 57

And they had enough time for a game of Raj. This game always throws up amazing strokes of luck as ties cancel each other out, but none perhaps as remarkable as Chris picking up a 9 tile with only a 1 card as Ian and Sam both played their 15s.

Ian 53
Chris 51
Sam 34

After this, Steve and Andy went home, and I stayed on for a game of No Thanks. I watched in amazement as Chris went for a coin-focused approach, picking up cards with lots of coins even if there was little chance of chaining them together. At the end of the game he had 37 out of the 44 coins available in the game.

Didn’t help, though.

Andrew 22
Ian 36
Sam 45
Chris 68

And with that, it was back out into the Spring drizzle and off home to bed. A fun-packed evening, and we didn't even get to play Buckaroo!


  1. That was a good night. I am proud to say too I was aware of the completed room rule in Castles of Mad King Ludwig - we have discussed it before though maybe you weren't there Andrew - we've been playing a house rule that allows for easier completion. Was the intended rule better, do you think? Make for a tighter game?

    I agree with Andrew that Colt Express is a marked improvement on Robo Rally. I wouldn't rush out and buy it but I'd be happy to play again.

    I still think Martin might like - or at least tolerate - Rialto. It's a most un-Feld-esque Feld game! Nothing like the point salad of Bora Bora, for instance. And with bidding as its central mechanic. Come on in Martin, the water is tepid!

  2. We didn't try the proper completed room rule last night, but I'd be keen to give it a whirl. I think when we first started playing Castles that we were worried that we were breaking the placement rules, rather than just the completed rooms rule. And of course the completed rooms rule affects the end game Favours cards, too.

  3. And thanks all for playing Colt Express. I love the game and will happily play it whenever the chance arises.

  4. That's funny, I played Colt Express last night too - one of about 35 games over the course of the weekend. It was fun, but RoboRally is way better!

  5. Robo Rally isn't better than anything! Except maybe a splinter under a fingernail...

    How's the house Martin?