Sunday, 3 July 2016

Gold, Blood, Art

Saturday night! Seeing as I (Sam) keep missing Tuesdays, and Sally keeps going out, I was grateful to have Andrew and Chris descend upon the house at 7pm. Whilst the boys caused havoc upstairs (my boys, not Andrew and Chris) we set up Fool's Gold on the kitchen table.

What more is there to say about Fool's Gold? It's the worlds-colliding combo of worker placement and push-your-luck, where the luck-pushing gets progressively more optimistic as the game continues. There's something delightfully funny about miners thinking sod it, I'll pan for gold in the snow, and turning up four bags of silt in a storm.

winter is coming

Chris and Andrew were both new to it, but it's not a hard game to learn. In fact the most confusing thing about it was Chris' money disappearing and Andrew accusing him of being thick, before it transpired that Andrew had been taking Chris' money, thinking it was from the bank. And at this point, we were all pretty sober. Oh, how we lolled etc.

Andrew 45
Sam  44
Chris 36

At this point Andrew and I indulged Chris in a game of Blood Bowl: Team Manager. Neither of us was really yearning to try it; it's a very Ameri-trashy, chit-heavy cross of fantasy and American Football. For a couple of Feld-positive Europeans, that's not exactly a siren, more a rock.

But we are nothing if not recalcitrantly begrudging, so we gave it a shot. It's about a series of football matches played out in a fantasy realm, rather violently. In each round players are contesting the matches via card play: cards have a value and the combined value of all your cards in a game decide who wins/loses. But individual cards can do stuff as well; like grab the ball (if you have the ball, you've more chance of winning the game) tackle (resulting in making opponent cards less effective) sprint (change up a card in your hand for a hopefully-better one) and, er, skull: which get your card a skull token. These are revealed when all cards have been played - they may help, but they may get the player sent off.


The skulls make the game very swingy - which is fun, but also slightly undermines the idea of strategic play. I can imagine the longer the game is (we played three rounds) the feeling of arbitrariness growing from a sense of chaotic fun to mild annoyance. But overall the game was fine - Andrew said it was "not anywhere near as terrible as I thought it'd be" which, from his mouth, is praise indeed.

Andrew 22
Sam 22
Chris 18

What next? I brought out several options and Chris' phone chose Pueblo. This was the first play for me that wasn't a two-player, and I decided early on to get all my buildings of my own colour down as soon as possible. This meant I took a lot of early hits whilst Chris - and Andrew in particular - shimmied about, avoiding the eye of the chieftain and taking minimal point penalties. But when our building was completed and he took his final inspection, I was all but hidden, and I moved into a respectable first place. I didn't note the scores, but Andrew was second, and Chris third.

stroppy chieftain looms

We finished off with a couple of short games; Dice Heist is the game of the moment in the Morrison household - Stanley loves it and it goes down well at GNN too. Andrew and Chris fought it out over paintings, whilst I hovered around the edges, trying to pick up cheap heists in St Petersburg. But there was too much hovering, not enough heisting:

Andrew 28
Chris 27
Sam 17

Finally we bashed out Push It, which has not been seen for a few weeks now! At this stage, I was rather merry, and merriness and dexterity don't always go hand in hand. I flicked pathetically as the others jostled for position. Andrew surged off into the lead with Chris hanging on to his coat-tails. But as the pressure mounted around the ten-point mark, anxiety took hold and as the others bashed into each other, I came back into it. With the scores poised at 10-9-9 in Andrew's favour, anyone could win it!

Andrew 11
Chris 9
Sam  9

Lots of fun, thanks gentlemen. Enjoy Tuesday!


  1. Sorry for stealing your money, Chris, but it was just lying there in a pile. I thought you didn't need it any more.

    Blood Bowl was okay. Chris kept saying it was better with two, but I think I'd prefer the multi-player feeling of everyone against everyone else.

    Pueblo was nice, although I got confused by the rules using the phrase "all three sides of a square" (or whatever it was). Didn't make any sense. I tried to get my coloured blocks down early, too, but panicked in the face of a looming chieftain and kept playing safe. Next time, I'll be stricter with myself.

  2. I forgot to mention Andrew and I also played The Bottle Top Challenge, £5 from The Works, which was a wooden-disc version of Librium. I'm not a massive fan of Librium, but it's considerably more engaging than the The Bottle Top Challenge, £5 from The Works.

  3. Thanks for indulging me with Blood Bowl. I knew it stood a high chance of not being a popular choice but you never know until you try. Those Skulls are supposed to represent cheat tokens. Some teams are dirtier than others and therefore have to put more down, like my team. It does maybe add a little too much randomness to it but strangely when we played it at Bracknell we made our peace with that aspect and went with it!

    I thought Fools Gold was a nice solid game and hits that 45 minute to 1 hour sweet spot!

  4. Yeah, absolutely Chris. I don't mind that will it-won't it element of the skulls in a short game.

    Fool's Gold is great. I'm surprised it's not got any real love on the geek to be honest.

  5. The best thing about Bottle Top is using it make lovely wooden tokens and chips for other games. I have used them for betting in Kobayakawa, challenge chips in Was Sticht (with custom stickers!). I was going to use them for something else which I've now forgotten - might have to buy a Works copy for future pimping projects.

  6. Mmm they make a decent sized planet too, for my Lords of Vegas-in-space prototype