primordialgroup

Boardgaming in Glasgow

Traders Of Genoa

How to lose friends and infuence no-one

Ten things to think about doing to your opponents when you're shafted  (or how Christina ran me through in Traders of Genoa)

There are some movie moments that always stick in the mind, the shadow on the shower curtain in Psycho, the razor and the ear in Reservoir Dogs, the 'shampoo' on the earlobe in Something about Mary, but as Sinead O'Connor once almost said nothing compares to [the betrayal of a fellow merchant]; the careful folding up and wiping your ass with traders' honour. 

Traders of Genoa is after all a polite game; it's meant to be shared, to be played nobly, to be loved and treated with respect and reverence, like an old grandfather.  I clung to those principles from the start, unaware that under the polite facade of friendly banter lay a dark secret.  I probably should have listened when I first sensed that low thrum of dark intention; instead I ignored the signs, discarded my doubts and put my faith in human nature.

The merchant's art is not easily learned (or so a sage once told me)  but I played my hand openly.  I fell behind gradually after Nick and Andy developed a close 'partnership' early on in the game; there was lots of "I'll give you one if you give me one later." 
David, Christina and I struggled against this two-sided Andy-Nick triangle until we began to (unofficially) work together.  Furious trading promising and bluffing ensued as I tried to deposit more and more cash into my top pocket.  However with a market skewed early on by Nick and then by Andy, where single cubes where valued at 15, it was difficult to make a profit from a small order fulfilment where you  had to maybe pay 20 to get a schuck action earning a net of 5 on the  order's 40 payout.  In hindsight large orders were much more  profitable at a cost averaging 45 for the goods and maybe 25 for the  action to fulfil their 100 payout.  If I'd been any way good, I'd  have switched to large orders given the market conditions.  Instead I  fulfilled two large orders and 6 small orders gaining me the 'clear  leader' title even though I was actually in about third position - not a very good thing and something I try to do to other people.  So I was sucking my own lemon as we moved towards the final rounds and not enjoying the bitterness even slightly.  As we moved into the final round, negotiation had degenerated and Christina stepped in to secure my defeat with a deft and wholly ungentleman-like three-way  deal where I made a net loss of at least 75 on a large order.  In one  fell swoop I moved from a potential second place finish to fourth.

Now some (probably those who were there) would say this was  completely my own fault. However in my defence Christina made the  deal so totally complicated and then distracted me by waving her cubes.  In the end I gave her all my stuff and settled for being crapped upon from a great height when I should have been having a good go at winning.  Thanks C, I will not forget that this was all your fault.

Drugs, Cults & Arranged Marriages at Chez Pitman

So that's the last time I convince the group to change plans, we were all set for a 5 way Traders of Genoa but pulled the plug thinking that as many as 13 could turn up and it might be a little anti-social to have 5 of the group commandeering most of the space and all the time with one game. Having made this decision we looked forward to a massive round robin night of smaller games, alas within 24 hours of making this plan, we had 5 calls off, 2 in the last hours before kick off. No criticism intended here, just an indication that even the geekiest people cannot make fool proof plans. That said, the night was a great laugh. David, Nick, Michael and I kicked off on Fifth Avenue, whilst Axel, Ivan, Julia and Gregor got stuck into Tower Building and Control in Ivans' "Favourite Game" Torres. Don't have much to say about Torres as I have yet to play it, I can,however, with some certainty claim that both Axel and Gregor were "dirty hallions"

In Fifth Avenue due to a combination of beginners luck and some downright stupidity on the part of the rest of us, Nick claimed a virgin victory. His plan to put all of his eggs in one basket paid off handsomely, Michael was seriously disadvantaged by a "Building Stop"  in his favoured location.

David and I, both owners of the game, simply had - what is technically referred to as a Cow. It is worth pointing out that for the remainder of the year, where possible I will substitute the word "Cow" for the words "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Krystal Skull"

Whilst waiting for the Construction crew to finish, we managed ton squeeze in a couple of rounds of Reiner Knizia's Bucket Brigade. 

Genuinely a cracking little filler, very funny, very frustrating and for sale in Static for a mere ?3 - get down there now folks!

Round 2 consisted of Nick, Gregor, Michael & Axel playing Funny Friends, a new game to the Pitman Collection (Hmm ... I wonder who bought him that?) From what I can establish, Nobody won but Axel did lose his virginity to some slapper before saving himself for the night of his wedding to Gregor, Michael reluctantly toured Amsterdam with Nick, this may or may not have resulted in Nick gaining Enlightenment, Axel's wedding must have been disastrous as he ended up in some form of Cult...... well at least I think he said Cult!

The rest of us played Kreta, a fabulously abstract area control game, it took me several rounds to remember the strategy which helped me win my first game.... when I say remember, what I mean to say is, it took Julia three rounds to say "Remember when we played this the last time, he kept scoring all the districts early" Alas putting that plan into action mid game only salvaged second place. David and Ivan tied on 41 points to my 40, Julia was somewhere down the line, clearly her Bishop had become far too interested in the wine harvest.

The night ended with Intrigue, I think we messed up set up because it didn't seem half as vindictive or aggressive as I recall it being, that said David did point out that as we have been hardened by the cut throat world of Junta, Intrigue might simply appear somewhat pleasant. ..... it's a fair point, after you have been assassinated by your right hand man, in the last move of Junta, had all your cash stolen and found yourself coming last from first, not being given a job seems like a small problem to deal with.

Anyway, that about wraps it up, just time to state yet again that ..... Indiana Jones was an absolute Cow, Nick needs to put his loyalties aside and admit that Lucas has murdered another franchise.

They said Daddy wouldn't do hit us a fourth time, well Daddy paddled our arses good and proper. It sucks as bad as Episode II.

Oh My God They Killed Ivan!!

I must say that last night was a classic, great game of Brass, sounds like Acquire was a joy (sorry Gregor but the mob say it was) Fabulous and quick High Society followed by Citadels.
I think everyone was in agreement last night that Citadels is truly a 7 person experience and in no way does a full house detract from the charms of the 2 player game [Editors note: for the benefit of Michael this is sarcasm] . Furthermore assassinating the thief is clearly the way forward especially if Ivan is stupid enough to choose the role twice in succession.