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Sunday, 19 January 2014


After a break of a few weeks our Wednesday game this week was Carcassonne: South Seas. Chosen to get us back into the routine gently, and to allow preparations for the next project (In Her Majesty's Name) to be completed. 
In common with the original, this game involves laying tiles to complete, in this case, Islands, Bridges and Fishing Grounds. There are also Markets, which are equivalent to Cloisters, which require to be completed by having all nine adjacent tiles completed 

Instead of points, completion of an Island gives you a number of bananas; a Bridge gives you Shells and a fishing ground Fish. These commodities are then used to stock one of four available ships, which require various combinations of commodites. If you are able to stock a ship at the end of your turn, it earns you a number of points and leaves, to be replaced by anothe ship. Completion of Markets are different. On completion of a Market, you claim the ship with the highest points value of the four available.

The game continues until all the tiles are laid or all the ships have been stocked. The highest points total wins. There is one other twist: when a sea area tile with a fishing boat is laid, it scores incomplete sea areas. Once fishermen have been removed, a fishing boat token covers the highest denomination fish symbol on a tile from the completed area. Thus it is possible to fish the same area again, but with a reduced return due to overfishing.
One other rule, which was first seen in Carcassonne Discovery game, is that you may remove a meeple to your pool instead of playing on. This allows a bit of flexibility: you can abandon lost causes and move to another sector.

We managed two games in the evening. Both ended with Del winning. The photos are from the first game.
The two games were very tight. It was never very clear who was ahead, as there is no points track and acquired ships are held faced down till the final scoring. Flexible thinking was the order of the day as one tried to decide whether to spend one's stockpile on a few lower value ships or wait for the bigger value ship.
Great game. Simple rules but deep strategically. We will be playing this again.

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