I attended my first CABS meeting this evening at the New Market Mall (Sawmill/270) here in Columbus and I’m sorry that it took me so long to decide to go because it was a lot of fun. I arrived around 5pm and left at 11:30, got to meet two of the three members that have been poking me to attend via Private Messages on BGG (Jeff Chunko and Nathan Morse), and I got to play a lot of games. CABS has a huge game collection. Did I say huge becuase I meant HUGE! game collection that they let members check out like a library system. So for the price of an annual membership fee, you can check games out and take them home to play before you decide to buy your own copy.
So let’s see, what did I get to play. First up was a game called Angkor. I was playing this with three other people not 2 minutes after walking in the door.
Angkor supports 2-4 players where each player hides 5 tiles behind a screen attached to an individual board imprinted with a grid. Players take two actions per turn laying tiles from behind their screen onto their own board or playing forest tiles on their opponent’s board. The goal of the game is connect your temples and palaces orthogonally and to hold the forest at bay (as it creeps in from the board edge) by placing water tiles. You also have at your disposal little wooden figures representing a water fountain, a gray palace bonus, and a tiger. These figures help give you bonus points at the end of the game. Overall the game is very light but has a nasty ‘screw you’ aspect to it if you start getting attacked by other players when they trash you with forest tiles. I lost both games by tie-breakers so it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Next up was Breaking Away. Breaking Away is a luckless-based bicycle racing game. Each player has four cyclists that you move around the track. Each cyclist has an allotment of points that are initially spread across a set of columns. On each turn, you select a value from a column and the cyclist moves forward on the track that amount. After each turn, the position of the cyclists is scored and the number you selected is replaced by the number of points you received for that cyclist. Extra points are awards for drafting, breaking away from the pack, passing one of two designated sprint lines, etc. An older game requiring paper and pencil to keep track of the points but all in all a fun game.
After watching a group playing Caylus, I jumped in on a game of Liar’s Dice in which I was soundly defeated and was the first to be eliminated from the table. It was just in time too because Jeff had grabbed my copy of Himalaya and was giving me the high-sign that he wanted to play it. He’d played once before so after rounding up two other new players we had a go at it.
Jeff was the clear winner after garnering two areas of influence but I was a very close second. I dropped the ball on sending out political delegates and that cost me the game. Had I placed a few more delegates I would have won since I had more yaks in my herd.
After Himalaya I went back to watch Nathan finish up his game of Caylus and then he and I played a round of Polarity. I feel bad because I was totally annihilated and he’d never even played before. I, couldn’t for the life of me place anything without causing a fault and he was slapping white discs down like there was nothing to it. Must have been intermittent drafts in the room or something.