6th May 2014

This week, we started out with our “Feature Game”, Splendor.  This is a fairly simple game of gem (chip) collecting and card development.  On a player’s turn, they have a choice of four options:  They can collect three different gems (or chips); they can collect two identical chips (but only if there are four or more left); they can pay chips to buy a card, or they can reserve a card and get a gold chip for their troubles.  Gold chips are “wild” and can be used to replace any other colour when buying cards.  Each card also represents a gem and, once bought, can be used in any purchase thereafter.  At the start of the game a set of “noble” tiles are revealed and these are awarded to players with sets of three types of gem cards and give points at the end of the game.  In addition, some cards also give points at the end of the game and the game ends at the end of the round when one player has fifteen points.  The game was very tight with Green edging it by one point.

Splendor

Our second game was Tzolk’in:  The Mayan Calendar a game we last played back in December last year.  This is a worker-placement game with a difference:  players place their workers on the wheels of a Mayan Calendar that actually turn at the end of each round.  On their turn, players can either place workers on the wheels, or they can remove them from the wheels, but they can never do both.  Players can place as many as they can if they choose, but the more they place, the more it costs.  When workers are removed from the wheels, players perform the associated actions, however, generally, the longer the worker has remained on the wheel, the larger the rewards.

Tzolk'in:  The Mayan Calendar

Each player gets to pick from a small number of starting advantages and Green chose to start with an extra worker.  In contrast, Blue started out with a moderate supply of corn and spent her first few turns getting extra workers and a building to help her feed them.  Green was making excellent progress and also had a building to help feed his workers, and then we realised that he hadn’t made sure he had three corn at the start of each round.  The penalty (as for most things in this game) was angering the Gods, so he regressed down all three temples and we carried on, but unfortunately his rhythm was broken.

Tzolk'in:  The Mayan Calendar

Green really struggled to feed all his workers and have enough corn to do anything.  Blue stopped concentrating on what she was doing and Green stole the monument she had been working towards (which rewarded good positions on the technology tracks).  In her confusion, Blue went a little overboard harvesting corn and ended up buying her way out while Green held back by his lack of corn.  As there was no competition for placing skulls, Blue picked up a hat-full of points there, and with the bonuses provided by her positions higher up the temples, she inflicted brutal revenge for the single point defeat in the previous game.

Tzolk'in:  The Mayan Calendar

Learning Outcome:  Do not anger the Gods:  they will have their revenge.

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