Beaming up Meeples

NoBoG was absolutely rammed this week with a combination of people playing games and those who were at the bar for other purposes, this meant that space was limited but at least everyone did get a game. This week involved Carcassonne in space and guiding creatures through evolution as well as watching an interesting filler game at the end of the night.

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Once all the games had been sorted out Lachlan, Jared and myself sat down for a game of Carcassonne, except this time it was set in the Star Wars universe. I first saw this game at the London MCM last October but it sold out before I could up a copy so I was looking forward to giving it a go and seeing how it would be different from the original.

Star Wars carcassonne has three different factions and each player gets one big meeple alongside their regular ones, this can be helpful in situations where you are being challenged for control of a road, asteroid field (city) or planet (cathedral). In the original game it was possible for two or more players to share roads or cities but not in this game, in this players can challenge for control by rolling dice and this is where the factions co0me in as they provide extra dice for the player with the matching symbol.

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Planets (cathedrals), can also be challenged for and whoever controls them can control a lot of points. What is good about this game is it forces you to be competitive and to attack other players because even if you loose you are guaranteed at least a few points. We had a lot of challenges going on in our game with control switching back and fourth between the three of us and it certainly made for quite an interesting game.

Initially I got off to a pretty good start but then I started loosing roads to Lachlan who in turn lost out to Jared on a massive asteroid field which awarded him a lot of points, shame it never got finished. At one point I managed to steel a planet from Lachlan with only one dice only for him to steel it back on the very next turn, scoring a lot of points in the process but in the end I was helped out by Jared who gave me enough points to secure the win.

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By the time we finished the bar had emptied a little bit and we moved away from our cramped gaming space and set up for a game of Evolution. This is a kind of deck building game that sees players create animals, giving them traits and trying to keep them alive long enough to eat and to score you some points.

The theme is very nice and I particularly liked the bag that you keep the food in as it looks pretty cool and it hides just how well you are doing. Being able to see what everyone else is or might be doing is pretty cool as well as you try to anticipate just what the other players are trying to do.

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Each round starts with players adding food to the general pool but players won’t know what food is available until the cards are revealed and there could be a situation where there is not enough food to go round. On several of the rounds we played there were minus cards played which resulted in some animals going hungry which meant they had to starve and if they couldn’t starve any more then they would be eliminated.

Players have the opportunity to increase the population of their creatures in order to eat more food as well as increasing their build which improves defensive capabilities. Another way to increase defence and make it easier to get food is to give your creatures up to three traits each which is where the placement of your creatures becomes important. The right traits in the right combinations can make the world of difference when it comes to survival.

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Lachlan did very well in this game as he managed to create a team of three creatures that were nearly impossible to attack with a combination of traits that also kept it well fed. This obviously comes from knowing the game and what traits work well in combination.

Jared also did really well for a time with creatures who were also difficult to attack although he too fell prey to Lachlan and his terrifying combination of creatures. As the last round came to a close we totalled up our points and Lachlan emerged victorious with an impressive score of 80 points. Meanwhile I was come out with 42 and Jared ended up with 37 which shows just how close this game can be.

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Evolution is a very good game with a pretty cool theme although the combinations can be pretty tricky to master and if your not careful you could easily fall behind. There came a point which I realised there was nothing I could do to catch up and every time I created another creature to try and catch up I lost it just as quickly. Don’t get me wrong it is a good game and I would definitely play it again, it just helps to know what you are doing first.

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Once we had finished playing Evolution I went to have a look around the bar to see what other people were playing and whether there were people free to play a game of CS Files Murder. But by that point it really was getting late and so I settled on watching the end of a game called Secret Hitler in which Lewis was trying his best not not look like a fascist. The picture above was taken before their final vote that saw Secret Hitler elected as chancellor.

Thank you for reading, if you have made it this far then why not check out my review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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