Friday, 2 December 2016

Carry On Up the Middle Ages

Thursday, and Chris and Andrew descended upon the house with Ian to follow later.

There was little debate over what to play - Chris had brought his new purchase Oh My Goods! the development card game with a Frankie Howard-esque name. I'm not sure what prompted it's renaming from Royal Goods; there's nothing remotely farcical about it.

 builder/starting building

Players start with a hand of cards which represent buildings. During each round you're trying to build these buildings, and reminiscent of Citadels, play continues until someone has built their 8th building. A bunch of cards are turned face-up from the deck (the morning market) and then you choose which of your previously-built buildings you're going to activate: getting you money, to build more buildings in future. Then more cards come out (the afternoon market) and everyone goes ahead and builds/gnashes their teeth because they can't build.

communal market

The critical element is the market: if it doesn't supply the goods you need, you can add them from your hand instead - but sacrificing cards to do so. Or if you don't have the cards in your hand you need, you don't build. So there's an element of gambling in hoping the markets will supply what you need. You can also offset this risk by building 'sloppily': less risk, less reward. And - naturally - buildings can be chained together to generate extra geld.

starting player marker

Chris got himself an assistant and accrued a bunch of money along with his buildings to claim the win:

Chris 20
Sam 18
Andrew 16

During the last couple of rounds Ian arrived and watched us while he munched on some toast. Then we agreed to go racing around the Caribbean in Jamaica. With four the start was chaotic - Ian sailed forward and fought Chris - losing - before sailing back and fighting me - winning. After which Chris and Andrew raced off ahead whilst Ian and I languished for a while.

In the mid-game I caught the others up and claimed second place in the race - but of course in Jamaica it's not just who wins the race (Chris, in this instance) but who has the most cash at the end: which was Andrew (finishing position: 3rd) followed by Ian (last!). Chris had sailed over the victory line miles ahead of them, but he had no doubloons in his boat:

Andrew 21
Ian 17
Sam 14
Chris 11

Andrew and Ian went off to pick the next game, and returned with an old favourite: Raj. But what a game this turned out to be. We agreed three rounds with the round bonuses as 3, 6 and 9, and Andrew began well, winning the first round if I recall. Chris and I scored badly, but hoped to catch up. However in the final round the ten tile came out first, and three of us tried to claim it with our 15 card: Andrew picked it up with his 1. He then played all his low cards, but somehow - as we panicked and tried to shed even lower cards - managed to pick up a tile every single time, with only one of them a red minus tile.

Andrew's haul

It was a whitewash:

Andrew 69
Ian 32
Sam 19
Chris 18

There was just time to finish with Push It, which I managed to win despite a mid-game slump, when the ultimate round saw me leap from 9 points to 11:

Sam 11
Chris 10
Andrew 7
Ian 5

I retired to bed, still reeling from Raj.


  1. I liked Jamaica. It had that Black Fleet vibe which is another game I quite liked. I thought that it was neat that the race wasn't the be all and end all of the game. (As I found out!). I think there is a lot more in it than at first glance.

    Oh my goods! Is probably a game that will get a few plays at the board game club rather than at home or with the GNN crowd. Once the sequence is understood I can see it whips by fairly swiftly. Its a little fiddly and mechanical.

  2. Oh My Goods! has it's good points, like the feeling on gambling on how long the afternoon market will last. Not sure if there's much more to it than that, though.

    Jamaica was fun. I have to remember, though, that if someone else is one of my preferred colours, I shouldn't use my other preffered colour. I got confused mid game moving Chris's black ship instead of my own purple ship.

    Oh, and Ian should definitely have got a bonus for being the one who most looked like his pirate character.

    That final round in Raj was amazing. After my lucky ten, I used up my lowest six cards picking up only a -4, and then was handily placed to pick up/avoid any tile I wanted. I've never felt in control of a game of Raj before. It felt good.

  3. I wasn't massively excited by Oh My Goods - I agree with you guys about the mechanical nature of it really.

    I do like Jamaica though it's fairly chaotic and feels almost luck-driven. I think I prefer it to Black Fleet because the latter seemed slightly long for what it was, and just the fun of Jamaica being a race rather than a trading game. Let's face it, trading games are rife!