Havoc with the Tribune

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Yehuda is really good at explaining rules of games, even complex games. At the session he hosted this week, John, Laurie, Sheer, and I sat through his explanation of Tribune. At the end, I thought to myself: I don’t have a bloody clue what this is about or what I am supposed to do. Looking round the table, I was not the only one. But we are hardy gamers, and off we went.

After the first round, I understood the game better and knew what I should be doing. After the second round, I understood the game even better. My understanding improved from turn to turn. Unfortunately, my game play did not and I was way, way back of the field. Bear this in mind when you read the later confession.

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John picked it up well and was in contention. Sheer picked it up well – OK, better than me – and pretended he was in contention. Yehuda, of course, knew the game backwards. So, it was a surprise to me, if not everyone else, that Laurie creamed him. There was a point in the game where Laurie thought she had screwed up and thrown away the victory. But she hadn’t. So, well done Laurie.

Tricky game.

Confession: I have played Tribune before. I was crap at it the last time, as well, and obviously put it out of mind forever.  Almost forever. I remembered about it about half way through the pain game.

Interesting game, but not for me.

Next up we played Havoc. This is a card game with a dash of the 100 Years War sprinkled over it for theme. It’s a cross between Poker and Ivanhoe. Players compete to have the best hands to win batches of victory points on offer (as ‘battles’).

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John got off to a flying start, and then struggled to get some decent cards. It’s a tough job to get back in contention, and he didn’t quite manage it. I was the next leader before Sheer pulled ahead of me. Laurie was doing OK, but was not really in contention. She struggled with the concept of Poker hands (and there are 6 cards in a hand, here) which strongly suggests she should never go anywhere near a Casino.

Yehuda, our experienced Havoc player, had duly saved his cards for the later big point battles. So he won them and had the highest number of points – the exact same number as Sheer. According to the game rules, Yehuda won the tiebreak for winning the last battle. (Boo! Hiss!) But Laurie, Sheer, John and I had a discussion after the game, and we decided a better tiebreaker was that the younger player should win. So, well done Sheer!

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Great fun, despite the Tribune disaster. Thanks to Yehuda for hosting and everyone else for contributing to another fine night of gaming.

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