Honest Endeavor

endeavor

This week, Susan and I were joined by Gillian, Peleg, and Sheer. We started off with Endeavor, a chunky worker placement game. Neither Susan nor Gillian had played this before, and Sheer took on the responsibility of explaining the rules. If I had paid attention, it would have dawned on me that Sheer’s flawless explanation meant he knew the game well – really well. And so it proved.

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Anyway, off we went on our individual voyages of discovery (the game has an exploration theme), doing our best to put up some kind of competition for Sheer’s relentless point scoring. We failed. However, honorable mention should be given to the efforts by Susan and Gillian. For a first time play, they did pretty well. Peleg and I did not have any excuses, and were simply outplayed.

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In our defense, I think both of us could see that Sheer was well in the lead from early on. However, it would have been less fun if either of us had done some table talking, and encouraged attacks on Sheer. Four against one? That would have been unfair (albeit deserved) and besides, the first time you play a game like this, it’s all about learning the ropes. Next time I expect there will be more serious challenges. Meantime, Sheer won.

Susan retired leaving the four survivors to engage in a quick cut down version of Ticket to Ride: The Card Game. Peleg still had work to do, so it was a bit rushed. Sheer and Peleg did quite well, and I did quite poorly. But Gillian did very well, and was the deserved winner.

Thanks to all who came and made it such a good night of gaming.

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Taking it really easy [updated]

endeavor

Sheer and I kicked off this week’s session with a friendly game of Star Realms. (Friendly meaning I let him win…) It was a close match with both of us down to about 10 points of Authority (life) before he struck his dastardly killer blow. As I said, it was a friendly game…

Moving rapidly on…we started our main game when Laurie and Yehuda arrived. Previously, we had been playing a lot of Amerigo. In this week’s session we switched games, but kept with the discovery theme by playing Endeavor.

This is a worker placement game with the usual central challenge: too many things that you want to do, and too few workers (or actions) to get them done.

My black pieces had been attacked, but a few survivors held on.

My black pieces had been attacked, but a few survivors held on.

Unusually for me, I had paid attention to previous winning strategies used in the game by Yehuda and others. That stood me in good stead as I slowly, but steadily, built up my score.

Yehuda, surprisingly, seemed to lose his way mid game. He claimed it was because I had attacked him, but I only took one card from him. OK, maybe two… His strategy was to focus on buildings, and I thought it meant he had less flexibility. He thought otherwise, but I don’t expect him to repeat the strategy.

Yehuda's board, just before the final round. Good, but not good enough.

Yehuda’s board, just before the final round. Good, but not good enough.

I’m not sure what Laurie’s strategy was, except to stab me in the back to no good effect. Usually such loses throw me off track, but I avoided cheap shots at revenge and stuck to my plan. In the end, I think Lori scored well enough on cards, but elsewhere rather lost out.

My board lacked decent buildings.

My board lacked decent buildings.

Well, if I had been paying attention, Sheer had gone one better and taken notes. His strategy was to steal, I mean take, as many bonus chits as he could. He was very focused and easily squeezed the rest of us out. Pretty soon, his position was very strong, and he reinforced it. In the end, he won by ten points ahead of me. Yehuda and Laurie fought for the bottom two places with Laurie claiming the wooden spoon.

We finished the session with a couple of rounds of the simple and fun Take it Easy. [Updated] Sheer and I won one apiece. Yehuda and I won one apiece.

Another good night. Thanks to all who came.

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Endeavoring to do my best

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This week’s gaming session, which I hosted, saw newcomer Sheer join up with Peleg, Rochelle, Yehuda, and me.

We started with Endeavor. All of us, apart from poor Sheer, had played this before, but Yehuda did his usual rapid rules instruction, and we were off and running.

As before, the first few turns flew past, but things slowed up for the later turns as we all had built up a decent bank of actions and options. Yehuda tried out a new strategy (for him) and was keeping well out of the way of Peleg and Rochelle who were not slow in using military might to get their way. Sheer was trying to get to grips with the game, and doing a fine job. I was trying to make efficient moves and was reasonably happy with my progress.

At the end, Yehuda and I were competing for the win. I just sneaked it. Hooray! Everyone else was not that far behind.

After that, Yehuda and Peleg retired to get some beauty sleep, while Rochelle, Sheer, and I played Dominion.

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Again, Sheer needed a wee rules instruction. I managed to do this reasonably well. (Sometimes during the game, I thought I had done it too well.) In the end, I won because I stuck to my own advice of grabbing money in preference to combinations of action cards. Sheer had gone for it the other way round. And Rochelle had stalled a wee bit fighting off Sheer’s damn militia.

A great night. Thanks to all who came.

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Not so serious endeavor

endeavor

This week’s session, hosted by Laurie, featured a preliminary story telling by Peleg as he patiently awaited Rochelle, Yehuda and me. The fab five then went on a journey, playing Endeavor, a game that was new to us all except Yehuda. He did his usual good job about the rules explanation, and then we were off.

Endeavor is a worker placement game, the theme being exploration. It’s played in seven rounds, each consisting (essentially) of a building phase and an actions phase. You get actions from buildings, tiles that you discover or settle on the game board, and cards available in each of the various areas. These items are also sources of increases to your abilities – like having more “men” available, or being able to build bigger and better buildings, and so on. I was impressed at how well it all seemed to gel to give a smooth, but challenging game experience.

As is often the case, the trick is to balance your many, many choices from the limited actions you have available. This is definitely a lot easier if you have played it before, so there was no serious threat to Yehuda being the eventual winner. However, Peleg was not that far away. And considering he had been on the receiving end of Laurie and Yehuda’s more aggressive moves, that was a damn fine achievement.

Laurie, Rochelle, and I managed OK , but would certainly expect to do better next time.

A game I would definitely like to try again. It’s not too long, is not too complex, and it looks as if there are several potential winning strategies. Good stuff.

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