Posts Tagged 'Caylus'

Weekend Gaming: Castles, Caylus, and Firefly

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMost everyone was busy Saturday night, so Gina and decided to play Castles of Mad King Ludwig.  Gina was scoring quite a from the purple rooms, but I has a nice thing going with the L shaped rooms.  I managed to build every one of them so I received the bonus for the empty pile along with my bonus card for the same thing.  Gina had bonus cards for nearly everything she built as well, and we split the royal favors; she won for most square footage of hallways, while I had the most basement rooms.  After totaling everything up, the score was tied until we realized that the supply of stairs was also empty and needed to be scored.  My extra stairs ended up being the difference.

Joe was interested in a game at that point, so came over for Caylus.  I didn’t really have a strong plan, but I was trying to build as many buildings as possible.  I was doing alright, but had to switch things up about halfway through.  Gina was focused on contributing to the castle, while Joe was jousting and taking advantage of the favors.  I had stockpiled some cloth, so I began jousting in an attempt to get to the point where I could built the residential buildings.  I was successful in that, but it was far too little, too late.  Joe was in a position to build prestige buildings, and although I was able to build the castle, it wasn’t enough.  I ended up in third, while Joe took the win.


Then on Sunday, Gina, Jax, and I played my new copy of Firefly: the Game.  It took a bit to get rolling.  Jax didn’t want to do anything evil, so he was looking for all the legal jobs he could get.  I started off with some simple deliveries before stopping at the Bazaar for goods and crew.  I had a strong crew with Jayne’s Hat, a fancy tie, and a fake ID.  I was ready to roll.  Gina was pretty much working delivery missions, and Jax had found one crime job to do.  He was having a tough time making trouble.  He didn’t have a ton of resources, but he was lucky.  He managed to roll two sixes in a row to complete the job, and shortly after had the funds needed to win the game.  He just needed to cross the galaxy – while short on fuel – before Gina or I could turn get to Ezra to do the same.  He had the advantage of turn order, and made the trip safely to claim victory.


Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: CO2


Joe, Louis and Kevin joined us, and while I was busy putting the finishing touches on bedtimes songs for the kids they had setup CO2.

The game started off with a fairly high CO2 level of 190.  Things didn’t get much easier from there.  There were quite a few forestry projects proposed, but no one was progressing them.  We made it through the third decade without much trouble, but we were only 40 PPM away from losing the game, and there was one fossil fuel plant coming out in turn four.  It happened to be a coal plant, adding the last 40 PPM and ending the game in a loss.



We followed that with Caylus.  Kevin and Louis built a bunch of buildings, while I was trying to make contributions to the castle.  I spent most of my time last or close to last in the turn order, making things difficult, but I was able to make some significant contributions.  Joe had also been contributing, but he had more going on along with that.  Kevin came close, but it ended up being Louis building a bunch of the castle wall that ended up winning.



That was it for Saturday, but Gina and I did get a game of CO2 in Sunday afternoon.  Things started off a bit more easily than Saturday.  We quickly advanced up the expertise tracks and Gina managed to take an early lead building the forestry plant before I could, and then satisfying a bunch of UN goals.  I managed to catch up by being the only one to build a recycling plant and took four of the small UN goals.

One thing we did a bit wrong, though, was we took the CEPs granted by the expertise track into our personal supply rather than putting them into the continents.  Partly because of this, I ended up with a ton of CEPs at the end, worth about 70 points.  I did control four of the continents as well for my Company goal, so I’m not sure the error would have made a huge difference.  It was close up to the end, but I did finish about 40 points ahead of Gina.


Until next time, happy gaming!


Weekend Gaming: Busy Labor Day

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day!

We spent all day Saturday painting our house with the help of our friends and family.  It was a lot of fun, and things got done very quickly.

Following all that Gina called it a night early, while Joe, Kevin, Phil and I played games.  We started out with Railways of the Western US.  The game started with three service bounties and two hotels available, but even with only four people I did not take any of them.  Hotel Denver wasn’t available by my turn, and the only Service Bounty was for Bismarck, which didn’t have an easy delivery.  I ended up taking Government Land Grants and using them to build my tracks.  I took control of the North Western area, but really wasn’t able to maximize the deliveries until too late in the game.

Kevin spent a bunch of bonds, but started off quickly with service bounties and major lines in the lower right portion of the board, but the debt was too much.  Phil was working around Denver early, but then took on the task of connecting San Francisco to Omaha.  Joe Had control of the West coast, and though he started slower, he was able to get the train upgrades needed to really ship a lot up and down the coast.

I managed to finish the game with only four debt, but I hadn’t been making many points so I still ended up in last place.  Kevin was close to Joe, but the his debt did him in.  Joe’s deliveries had carried him to the win.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe then broke out Ginkopolis for a quick break.  I managed to win with 60 points by focusing on the construction.  I had bonuses that propelled things and I was able to take control of two larger areas, much to Kevin’s chagrin.  He was urbanizing a bunch and had a solid grip on a huge red area until Phil split it.


We finished the evening with Dominant Species.  I was playing as the reptiles, Kevin had the birds, Joe the arachnids and Phil was the insects.  I was pushing for dominance through heavy adaptation, but about halfway through the game, Joe ended up with the same adaptations as I had, negating my dominance.  Phil managed to take control of the tundra early, and scored a bunch of points before the rest of us realized what was happening.  Kevin moved in to kick Phil out, but it was too little too late.  Phil had spread all over by that point and was scoring a bunch of point in dominance as well.

I did manage to score 45 points from dominance with nine tiles at the end, but it wasn’t enough to catch Phil.  Kevin and I tied, and Joe brought up the rear.


After a busy Saturday, Sunday was definitely a day of rest.  We did get together with Phil and Kevin, though and started the night with Caylus.  I wanted to focus heavily on building, but Phil ended up doing the same thing.  This resulted in a ton of building built early.  The Lawyer wasn’t built until after the gold space, so there wasn’t any civilian builds for most of the game.

Once I realized that the building strategy wasn’t going to work very well, I started just gathering as many resources as possible to assist in the building of the castle.  Kevin and Gina had supplied a little, but no one was heavily focused.  I was able to out supply Kevin on most turns and earned enough favor to help continue my supplies.  Kevin did manage to build a prestige building for 16 points, but I had supplied enough to hold the lead.

The game was accelerating quickly, since there were so many building past the Bailiff, the Provost was constantly out in front.  Without that speed, I don’t think I would have been able to sustain  the lead, and Kevin would likely have been able to catch up with buildings.  The game did end quickly, and I held the lead by a few points.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe finished the night with Terra Mystica.  I was playing the Witches, Phil the Darklings, Joe the Giants, Gina the Morbanks, and Kevin the Halflings.  Everyone started off crammed into the middle and a lot of us went for strongholds early for the first turn bonus.  I was also able to pop out a couple dwellings and a bridge, costing me a large chunk of my power.  After turn two, though, I wasn’t feeling good about the game, as Joe and Kevin had kind of blocked me in in the center, and Phil was getting in the way in the lower right.  I didn’t think I was going to get much going at that point.

I stayed the course, though.  I built a Sanctuary on round three to get my first town and took the favor lowering the requirement for towns from 7 to 6.  I was then able to easily build a town in the lower right on the following turn.  That really changed everything.  I had the income and had enough time left to build a third town in the upper right.  I was also able to fully develop my shipping to connect my empire and tied Joe for first.

At the end, I held one of the cult, and was in second in two others.  Kevin had similar position and we were neck and neck all game.  The points for my empire were the difference maker, and I ended up beating Kevin by three points.


Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Independence Day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWednesday before the 4th, we were joined by Joe and Kevin for Eminent Domain, Hansa Teutonica and Caylus.  Joe missed Eminent Domain, and it came down to Kevin and I tied for points.  He had the tie-breaker, though, with a few extra resources.

I didn’t fare much better in Hansa Teutonica.  I started off slowly, getting my library upgrades complete.  I wasn’t getting much movement, while Kevin and Joe had some nice shorter routes that they were using to rack up points.  I did manage to complete the major route between the two red cities, and upgraded my key.  It wasn’t enough, though.  Kevin had a large network and a bunch of bonus tokens.  He took his second game of the night.



We finished with Caylus.  Kevin and I had moved up the lowest favor track, allowing us both access to the houses even with the lawyer in play.  It was still slow going for me, though as Joe was building tons of the other buildings.  I was going last for most of the game, but I had access to the Inn so I was able to use 5 of my workers nearly every turn.  The game progressed rather quickly as we were building in the castle often.  I had positioned myself to make a huge build in the castle, but I mistimed my action and ended up in the third position.  I wasn’t able to build any and while I doubt it would have been enough, it was still a disappointment.  Joe ended up taking the last game of the night after using the point favors as much as possible.



We played again on Saturday.  This time Phil joined us along with Joe and Kevin.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe kicked things off with Village.  I had a plan to run as many workers as possible into the Council House.  I managed to get three workers in and upgraded, but got a bit distracted along the way.  I had two in the church getting me points throughout the game, and a couple working to get the scrolls needed for the Council House.  I decided part way through, that rather than just upgrade, I would get some coin from grain and then turn it into points using the last spot in the Council.  I managed to do that twice, but would have liked more.

It ended up being a very close game, but Kevin had a bunch of points from the market and came out ahead in the end.

Ad Astra was up next.  I started the game in a weak position just getting energy, and rather than focusing on ships like I should have, I built a factory early.  This ended up hurting as I had trouble building anything.  Kevin had built extra ships early and used that to his advantage getting early points for ships and star systems, and continued this trend throughout the game.  Gina and Phil made strong plays using terraformers, but ended up just short.  Kevins ships were too much to overcome.



Again we finished up with Caylus.  This time I had planned to work the castle building heavily.  That turned out to be a bad idea, as the resource spots were quickly snatched up.  In fact no one was able to get much done in the castle as the Provost was moving around quite a bit.  Joe built the Lawyer tile with the intent to use it, but I had position to get there first, so I invested heavily.  I built three houses throughout the game, and upgraded two to the taverns.  I was never in a position to win, though.  I had tried to build the cathedral, but miscounted the number of gold needed and came up one short.

Kevin and Phil had been building resource buildings like crazy and were the only ones doing much in the castle.  So they were able to build a substantial lead.  The final score came down to Kevin managing to build on of the blue buildings, putting his score just out of reach of Phil.  Kevin won his third game of the evening.


Until next time, happy gaming!



Weekend Gaming: The Wonders of Trains and Castles

Ryan, Kevin, Louis, Joe and Dana joined us for games on Saturday and we decided to start off with 7 Wonders with everyone.  I was doing alright up until the second age, when I passed on an Iron resource.  Joe didn’t pick it up, and I didn’t see another iron for the rest of the game, really hampering my plays.  Everyone was pretty even after Age 2, but then Dana grabbed a ton of science cards in the third age, helped with her wonder’s ability to play cards form the discard pile.  She pulled ahead significantly and finished the game with the win.

For the second game, Ryan sat out and we broke out Railways of the Western US.  My baron was to connect and urbanize two cities in the Northwest, and I was able to do that fairly early, along with picking up the Passenger Lines bonus for shipping different colors.  After that, though, things went downhill.

Louis was getting a ton of use out of his Hotel: Denver, and at the same time he started working on the Golden Spike bonus of going from San Francisco to Omaha.  My stuff was pretty disjointed, but I had opportunities to finish the major line from Portland to Ogden and San Francisco to Promontory.  In each case, though, I was trying to do it with as little debt as possible.  Joe and Louis were willing to spend the debt, and I ended up being a turn too late in both cases.

On the last turn, I was finally able to connect Tacoma to LA for a major line, which bumped me up to fourth, but Kevin and Louis were still way out in front.  Louis actually ended up winning by five points after completing the Golden Spike.  The first time someone managed to do that without going crazily into debt.

The night ended with Kevin, Louis, Joe and I playing Caylus.  I was originally planning to gather goods and support the building of the castle.  Louis very quickly built the three wooden production buildings and was gathering goods faster than I could.  I was able to grab cloth a couple times and was the only person building civilian housing.  I was able to use the extra cash and the inn to get a bunch of extra actions while the others were struggling to make due.

I was third in turn order with three good production buildings, so I was getting last choice of those buildings.  For some reason Stone was rarely being picked.  I ended up stocking up on a bunch of stone, built the Stone Builder location and then the Build Monument tile.  Joe had meanwhile built the Money-to-Gold tile, so I was able to use that to gather gold in anticipation of building the Cathedral for 25 points.

The problem, though, was that Kevin was consistently alone in contributing to the Castle and then using the bottom favor track to build the high point stone buildings.  By the time I was able to build my Cathedral, Kevin was already 30 points ahead of me.  I had the goods to build another monument, but there wasn’t going to be another turn. I ended up tied with Joe, five points behind Kevin, with Louis only a couple points behind us.

A good night of gaming, with some very close games.  Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: St. Patrick’s Day

Friday night, Gina and I played a game of Caylus.  I had decided that my strategy was going to be to use the top row of favors to get extra points when contributing to the castle.  I was able to max out that row and the money row below it, plus I had a worker sitting in the Inn all game, so I was able to maximize my actions each turn.  I had build the Church building fairly early, so whenever I had extra money, I was converting that to points.  Gina was able to catch up pretty quickly, though, when she built the Cathedral for 25 points.  I finished the game with 18 points from six contributions on the last turn, so I ended up pulling off the win.

On Saturday, a few of our friends were out of town or participating in the local St. Patty’s Day festivities, so it was just Joe, Ryan, Gina and I for games.  We started things off with a game of Tigris and Euphrates, which I hadn’t played in ages.  I was able to get a red/black monument built in the lower right of the board early with Joe’s help, and that fed me black cubes all game.  I was also able to get red cubes through plenty of internal conflicts.  Blue and Green cubes were causing me trouble, though.  There were a bunch of monuments in the middle of the board that Joe and Ryan were mostly fighting over, but I was able to fight my way in on the last turn to pick up a few more blue cubes.  This ended up almost being enough, as I had 8 blue, 9 green, 11 red and 16 black at the end.  Joe had 8 green, 9 blue, 16 red and 20-some black.  So between Joe and I, it went to our 3rd worst color on ties before Joe managed to edge me out.

Joe had also brought over Blue Moon City (another Reiner Knizia game), so we learned that next.  It was a fairly simple game, using a hand of cards to take control of various city sections.  Control of the sections gives crystals for completing sections and those crystals are used to build a monument.  The game is over once someone build 4 parts of the monument.  There are also dragons that give dragon scales if they are present in a section when a player contributes to that section.  The scales provide more crystals.

On my first turn, I was able to get all three dragons in my section and made two contributions.  This set me up pretty well for crystals early on.  I made two contributions to the monument, and then wander the board a bit more before completing another section that provided a bunch of cards and crystals.  The others were closing the gap at this point, with Joe only needing one more contribution to win, but I was able to get back to the monument and make two contributions on the same turn to get the four and pull out the win.  It’s a pretty simple game, but there’s enough there and it’s short enough for a nice filler.

For the last game, I suggested playing Through the Desert to keep with the Reiner Knizia theme, but Caylus was requested and I couldn’t pass that up.  I started the game with a plan to contribute a bunch to the castle, but resources were getting pretty scarce because no one was building stone buildings.  I was the only one who could build stone buildings for a while, since I had used the bottom favor track.  I was using that to get some civilian buildings out, and I eventually was able to get the Statue and the Inn build for points, but it was too little.  Ryan had been able to make contributions pretty regularly and was maxing out the top favor track.  He had also built some of the better buildings, so everyone was giving him points.  I came close to catching him on the last turn, but he contributed enough to the castle to hold the lead.

One of the more interesting things in this game (besides the lack of buildings) was that on the last turn, Ryan and Gina tried to push the Provost out enough to force the game to end.  Well I had forgotten to contribute to the castle on the previous turn, so I needed another turn if I wanted any chance, so I paid to bring him back, and with Joe’s help we were able to extend the game another turn.  It was the most action the Provost had seen all game.

Until next time, happy gaming!


Weekend Gaming: Star Wars: The Old Republic

Not much going for board games this weekend.  A game of Caylus between my wife and I was it for us.  It was a fun one, though.  I was hitting the cash pretty hard with about 5 residential buildings.  I was the transitioning those into monuments using the Architect and some royal favors.  As I was setting up to build the 25 point Cathedral, I missed the fact that Gina had managed to get enough materials to build it just before I could.  That shot her into the lead, and while I was able to get close, I wasn’t able to overtake her and ended up losing by about 5 points.

Other than that, I’ve been spending a bunch of time playing Star Wars: the Old Republic.  I pre-ordered on Thursday and got invited to the early access on Friday.  I’m playing a Jedi Consular and he’s level 13 now.

In non-gaming news, my wife and I did some holiday baking today.  She made a bunch of chocolate-peppermint cookies that were then dipped in white chocolate.  I made my all time favorite ginger-bacon cookies.  They are delicious.  Most of these are heading to my office for a potluck.

Have a great holiday season, and happy gaming.

Weekend Gaming: The Muppets!

On Saturday morning, we took the kids to The Muppet movie, which was being shown as part of my company’s Kids Christmas Party.  The kids got to sit on Santa’s lap and then we watch the movie.  Everyone absolutely loved it.  It was a wonderful movie.

That night, Louis joined us for a game of Caylus.  It started out a little rough for Louis as he lost a couple points for not supplying any goods to build the castle, but then he got rolling.  I built a bunch of civilian buildings and earning a bunch of money, but Louis was building buildings every turn.  It game down to the very end, and Louis was able to accelerate the end of the game before I could build the 25 point Cathedral.  I had to settle for a lower monument and then supplied 5 loads to the castle for 15 points.  I ended up just four points short of Louis.

Louis took after that, and Gina and I played games of Thurn and Taxis, and Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers.  Thurn and Taxis was a close game where I ended up getting an easy route for the center of the map, while Gina got one in each section.  It came down to a last round route where I managed to hit six locations for an upgrade to my cart to win by two.

In Carcassonne, I managed to snatch a big hunting area away from Gina using the monument tile.  If it weren’t for that one area, it was a very close game.

It was a slower weekend, but everyone had fun, and we got to take the kids to a great movie.  Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Thanksgiving Day Weekend

I picked up Caylus and Arcana on the way home from the football game last weekend.  My wife and I have played both of them a couple times over the course of the week, and then we played Caylus with Joe, Kevin and Ryan on Saturday.

Arcana is an interesting twist on the deck-building genre.  The decks consist of Agents, Relics and Locations that are used to influence various “districts” of the city. Influencing the districts will grant more cards for the decks.  There’s a lot more interaction than games like Dominion, but there are some flaws.  We’ve only played the basic game so far, and there is a lot of extra options that can be added, but it just feels a bit too random to me.  There aren’t a whole lot of ways to customize the deck.  Even if the deck is focused on one thing, the random nature of the districts means that there are times when there won’t be any districts that can be won by a player.  I’m not going to give up on the game before trying all of the additional rules, but my first impression hasn’t been very positive.

Caylus, though, is a different story.  It’s one of the highest rated games on Board Game Geek, and I’m really surprised that it has taken us this long to add it to the group.  As I mentioned, I’ve played it with twice with two players and once with a group of five.  The biggest difference is that the score is much higher when there’s only two players.  The Provost also gets a lot more use when there are five players.  The game is a pretty typical worker placement game.  The players use their workers to gathers resources and build buildings that can be used to score points and gather more resources.  The big focus is to build the castle, and the players need to send workers there with resources to help, and if you don’t help, you lose points.

In our game on Saturday, things got off to a slow start, because the provost was causing difficulty in getting actions completed.  I made a few mistakes early, placing workers too far down the road, or in one case placing my worker in the castle before I ensured that I had the necessary resources.  That caused me to lose a couple points that were important at the end.  Eventually things got rolling pretty well, though.  Kevin and Gina were able to get a decent lead by building and working in the castle.  I was able to make a decent push at the end with a prestige building and a bunch of contributions to the castle, but it was Joe that came away with the win.  He gathered up enough goods to build the cathedral building that is worth 25 points.  I managed to block him one turn, but it actually cost me some resources that I needed in the end.  His building shot him well into the lead on the last turn, and no one was able to catch up.

In non-board game related news, we were very happy to see the Raiders win against the Bears.  My son received a Chicago Bears pillow pet from my sister’s boyfriend in a gift exchange, and he has now decided that the Bears are his second favorite team.  We did get a picture today, though, of him and the Bear after today’s game.

Until next time, happy gaming!


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