Board game club: Fettnapf, Havoc, Klondike, Indonesia

We had a rather pleasant board game club meeting yesterday. First up was Fettnapf — I wanted to try the correct rules. You see, I was taught it wrong in Essen and as I never even looked at the rules, I never got it right, until a friend of mine did a Finnish translation. Oops.

In my version, the island cards were never shown to anybody. They should be: everytime someone gets one, it’s shown to everyone. That makes the game considerably less lucky. Now I was able to see that all numbers from 14 to 20 were mined from get go (because I forgot the rule that with five, you use only one island card — not a problem, because having two made the game harder and thus faster which is good).

So, I do like the correct rules better, though I wouldn’t mind playing with my variant either. A little surprise is fun, too.

I had brought Havoc: The Hundred Years War, since it was well-received the last time we played. Well, Erkka requested it so we played it, with five players this time. I had a better strategy this time, collecting same numbers, not straights.

Unfortunately my plan was foiled. Olli beat my five-of-a-kind at Agincourt with his six card straight flush. Thanks to that and a rather cardless endgame (in the final battle my best hand was a high card 14), I ended up on fifth place.

I had my copy of Klondike with me and it sure wasn’t hard to get people panning for gold. It turned out to be a good game, too, one I would certainly recommend to gamers as well as for people with kids. I mean, there’s not that much to do, but as a late-night game for conventions or other lighter gaming, it’s a must. It also looks very good and is sure to attract an audience.

What comes to technique, Robert was the master of the riddle. He had a perfect technique, spinning the pebbles out of the riddle. It was beautiful to watch. Olli, in the other hand, had the best skills in betting and when the game ended as my loss (I had seven nuggets left and lost them all as payments for bets), Olli had amassed 30 nuggets, including five land claims. Nice work.

My final game was a quick match of Indonesia that took just three hours. That’s pretty good for four newbies and one experienced player. It might’ve been a turn longer (and actually should’ve been considering the companies acquired on the last turn), but we cut it short because I had to go. I’d say it was a learning experience for everybody.

The lesson we learned was the importance of shipping lines. Guess who won, when in the end, Robert controlled every ship on the board? On the final doubled round, he made more on shipping than everybody else during the whole game. The final scores were something like 1780-1000-650-570-380, which was different from the previous game where the scores were more balanced. I was second this time, which is an improvement.

I had my bright moments. One was merging my rice company (five goods, no room to grow) with neighbouring spice company (three goods, more room) as a siap faji company in a situation where nobody else was able to buy it, so I got it at the minimum price. Having a bigger rice company in a siap faji merger seems like a good thing in any case and this was particularly sweet. The best thing I could do with that rice company, really.

I also kept in charge, being high in turn order all the time. That was something I learned from my first game. Initiative is important. Having the turn order bid tech helped. I had only two slots; third would’ve been useful, there were times when I would’ve wanted a company, but couldn’t get one. Researching expansion was good, that got me lots of money in the end. Having one step of mergers was useful too, otherwise that siap faji merger wouldn’t have happened.

I really like Indonesia, it’s a good game and as seen, can be played pretty fast — relatively fast, at least. I just wish I could get it played more often, it’s definitely one of those games where experience makes everything smooth and nice.

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One response to “Board game club: Fettnapf, Havoc, Klondike, Indonesia”

  1. I’ve discovered, it is probably obvious once it is pointed out, that the more players the more valuable shipping companies are.
    In a 5 player game you want to bid mucho, mucho dinero for shipping companies. They will pay off.