Thursday, 7 May 2015

That sinking feeling

Atlantis! City under the sea! Or, as once supposed, above the sea, and imminently to sink. It's at this point that hardy gamers - myself (Sam), Ian and Andy - step into the breach, if for no other reason than to give Andrew something to read on that long flight to Japan.

Atlantis the game assumes the moments of the city's descent, where the population swiftly descend themselves - from neighbourly lawn-mower borrowing civilians (or whatever) to a manic screw-everyone-else fuckos engaged in a frenzied dash for safety.

Soggy, linear Atlantis

Set-up and play is not hugely dissimilar to That's Life, as players move their pawns from one end of a track (Atlantis) to the other (the mainland). But whereas in the former the track closes up when people take tiles, in this game the sinking city leaves water behind - which can only be negotiated by discarding your hard-earned points, or discarding your much-needed cards, or discarding your hastily-constructed but one-use-only bridge. And using your bridge means everyone coming up behind you can cross it for free as well.

The game strikes a nice balance between dashing headlong or lingering and picking up more points - the later you leave it to get to the mainland the more water you have to cross. Also, rather than dice-rolling you are playing cards to move, and there is a strategy to this as well, as your cards allow you to move to the next tile of a certain colour... I played the first couple of rounds not sure if was any kind of improvement on That's Life, but grew more enamoured as the game went on. Maybe that was because I was doing well, though...

Sam 25
Ian 24
Andy (explainer's curse) 12

Ian and were keen to try Bruges again after its debut on Tuesday, and Andy was amenable. It's a classic Feld points salad, where you can build canals, gain majorities, activate characters, boost your prestige... the stuff of Martin's nightmares basically. Unlike say Amerigo, however, you can explain it in ten minutes and play it in around an hour.

After digging enough canals to rival Birmingham on my previous play, I went for a more three-pronged approach of canals, cards, and getting cheesed off that I didn't have the workers to activate my cards. Andy got a good engine going early on and always seemed to have a couple of extra moves to play. Ian built a lot of character cards that scored him points - this time getting a King to go with his Queen and picking up big points at the final scoring.

Need Flanders

We were all bamboozled by the sheer amount of brown cards in the deck, which seemed to be never-ending. Despite my utilising all this brown to continually hit Ian and Andy with disasters - a latent, potentially screwage-led seam of destruction in the game - I floundered, continually finding myself without the right colour cards. The others had similar problems but managed them better, and my lack of majorities came back to bite me on the ass:

Andy 62
Ian 53
Sam 46

We all - I think - liked it. I certainly did, anyway.

With a couple of decent lightish games under our belts, we called it a night and Andy (in a T-shirt!) strolled out into the chilly night with a surprisingly mobile Ian, considering his recent encounter with a set of stairs. Until Tuesday, then...

Oh, and bon voyage to Andrew!

1 comment:

  1. Good timing as it turns out. What a depressing morning.