Board Game Club: Finstere Flure, Pirate’s Cove, Wo ist Jack the Ripper

The University club met for the first time this year on Sunday. The attendance was pretty good (I think there were 16 of us, we had three tables most of the time) and the session was very pleasant in general.

The first game I played was Finstere Flure, which made it’s debut now. We had four players, which I think is a pretty good amount. We used teleporters and crystals, but not the turning stones. I think they are too complicated and used too rarely. Teleporters made a difference this time, I think they are an excellent addition to the game. Ari, a newbie, won by getting three of his crew out. Erkka came second with two guys out, while me and Robert, only people who knew the game before got only one piece out.

After that, we needed a quick game for six players. Nodwick: The Card Game fit the bill well. It took a while before the people figured it out, but we got the game running pretty smoothly. Robert assembled his henchman first and won the game. The game is better with six than with three, but I’d rather play it in Finnish (now we had to play in English because of Robert), the deal-making would be swifter.

I really wanted to play Domaine (which I’d really love to call Löwenherz, because that’s much better name, but it would just cause too much confusion — it’s confusing already!) and got my mind (I usually do). I love the game! I’ve played original Löwenherz twice and I liked it, but Domaine is even better. It cuts the time by removing the most boring part of the original game. Some blame Domaine for being luck-heavy, but I don’t mind. It’s exciting, it’s pretty fast, what else you need? Well, victories — I didn’t win, but came second when I managed to grab the royal city in the end.

Then we tried Wo ist Jack the Ripper?, one of the Krimsus Krimskrams-Kiste games. The German cards didn’t bother us much and the game went pretty swiftly. But not perhaps swiftly enough… The game has a nice theme and the cards support it decently, but the mechanics aren’t really that unique or interesting. Play or draw two reseach cards, play or draw one action card, that’s it. Players try to meld the right research cards to fulfill requirements set by story cards (one of which is always available for all players). Whoever manages to meld the correct cards gets the story and then comes the next one. When all the 12 story cards have been claimed, the winner is the player with the most points (story cards are worth 1-3 points). Action cards give benefits and hinder other players, in a very typical “take that” way.<-- It's a fun little game, but nothing special. The German text is a bit of a problem, because the game might be a good choice for non-gamers who are interested in the theme. The German cards make it difficult to "sell" the game for non-gamers. Gamers will find more interesting games, but if you're into the theme and don't mind the slightly boring mechanics, the game isn't expensive (just over five euros at Adam). Attika boxLasse (who placed third in the Catan World Championships last year) wanted to play Attika, so that’s what we did. He even won the game, by connecting two shrines in the end of the game. He played well, I didn’t. When will I learn the secret of Attika? Never, it seems…

Crokinole was a must, of course. I don’t want to lug the board around for nothing, you know. We played three four-player matches during the evening. It’s slowly rising on the lists of most played games of our club.

Jarno and Ari had played a game of Tom Tube earlier (totally spontaneous move, quite surprising really) and I wanted to play, too. So I challenged Ilari after our Crokinole match. He won by one point, he had three more energy tokens than I so my two-move lead wasn’t enough. It was a great game, though. I made some good tubes there, but so did Ilari.

Evening ended with one of the Crokinole games, but before that, we had a five-player game of Pirate’s Cove. It was a blast! It’s a great game, everybody seems to like it. Lasse took this one home, he hauled twice a load of ten or so treasure chests to the treasure island. You can’t really stop a lead like that. I hoped I would beat Ari to the second place, especially as I had five points worth of cards in my hand, but it turned out he had too. So, he kept his lead over me and I remained third. Well, it was entertaining nevertheless.

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