After retiring from the Yugioh Tcg Competitive scene, I looked to the board game environment to fulfil my gaming needs. Only to find the board gaming community totally unprepared for my aggressive, win at all costs attitude. Even after being reported on Board Game Geek as a despicable player and continually forcing house rules to be implemented in my gaming sessions – I continue totally unrepentant of my ruthless gameplay. As they say in Yugioh – ‘Play to Win or go home early.’
Colosseum … Lights, Music and Action!!!
Having two special guests at JacetheAce games room, firstly Martin Lawrence having found the board gaming community a few weeks ago and a lifelong friend and author Stephen Godden. Jason Rush ‘The Board Game Guru’ decided to play a few medium weight games. I have played Colosseum a few times and it is a really good game, but it is game that causes friction between Jason and myself. You see each player is a Roman impresario producing great spectacles in his or her arena in the hopes of attracting the most spectators and more specifically the visiting senators and the Emperor himself.
Each turn you get to spend some gold, first on one improvement to your Colosseum. Enlarging it by adding an extra space which you also need to put on the bigger shows. You can buy a season ticket, which gives you +5 victory points for each show you put on and an emperors lodge, which gives you two dice to roll instead of one, to move the pawns around the board and finally you can buy a bigger show.
Trade your Colosseum Tiles!
Next you bid to buy a set of tiles which you need to get to match the ones on your show, netting the maximum points. Once everyone has bid and bought tiles you can offer to trade with other players for some of their tiles. There are standards for the player with the most gladiators, horses etc, which give you +4 points if you put on a show with them in it. Then you roll the dice to move the Emperor pawns around the board, trying to manipulate them into your arena to get extra points. The last sequence of the game is adding up all pawns in your arena, season tickets and the tiles allotted on the show to see who put on the best show.
The player with the most points wins a victory banner which adds a further 3 points on future shows and the points you acquired, you get as gold to spend for the next event session. The game has five sessions and whoever puts on the best spectacle with the most points in the final session wins the game.
Adding the Fireworks … To the Final Spectacle!!!
So a lovely harmless game you may be thinking and yes to Martin and Stephen it would seem to be. Here comes the viciousness that makes me like this game, how do you value the tiles for trading, one for one, two for one or do you push your luck and go for five for one. This is when Jason really loses it, when I force someone to swap five tiles for the one tile that makes them complete their count for their big show, while allowing me at the same time to rob Jason of the Gladiator and Horse Standards.
On this occasion what really made him blow his top is the tactics I used to win the game. You start the game with a starter and small show, when you put on a show you turn it over and it will add five points to the next show, or you can use it again. The two shows I had were gladiator and horse dominant and when I looked at the list of the big shows, I thought this is going to a hard slog to put one of those on. So I decided to only go for a medium show which of course gives you less points than the big shows on the final round.
Taking a Gamble…
So I won the first three rounds and everyone was extending their colosseums for the big shows and I just kept buying the season tickets and then in round four I bought a medium show and horded my money. It was a huge gamble, but on the last round when everyone was spending on the big shows, I had the money to force Jason to spend everything he had to buy the tiles he wanted, 31 gold which included his medallions (6 gold or 3 victory points or a double build). Then outbid Stephen and Martin for the rest of the tiles. It meant I was in a position to trade 1 tile for five, stealing the Gladiator and Horse banners off Jason, for a further 8 points on the final show and funny enough that is the amount I won by. Of course it was dastardly, but I won and if that is what it takes, so be it.
Jason went to get refreshments and calm down a bit, Stephen berated me for being a git and Martin asked if I was going to let Jason win the next game. To a great peel of laughter I replied, ‘No Way’. With the atmosphere broken, Jason returned to apologise for his outburst and we again laughed it off.
Divinare the Card Game… To be Mystic Meg Again!!!
Divinare is where players take the part of famous mediums who must attempt to divine the cards held by their opponents. In each round, only two-thirds of the cards — representing the four divination methods of chiromancy, crystallomancy, tasseomancy and astromancy — are dealt out.
This is simplified by breaking the terminology down to the four colours they are represented by. Each player starts with six cards, three of which you keep and three you pass on. So if you have three green and one of the other colours. You will want to pass on two of the green, with the partial knowledge there are a lot of that colour card in the game.
Of course when you receive the three cards passed on to you this may blow your opinion of what is out there. So what you are going to do next, is place a coloured card next to the same coloured board and put one of your divination rings on a number, which you think might be the total amount of cards of that colour in the game. If you are forced to play another card at the same board, you have to move your ring to another number, which could cost you big time later in the game.
Down to the last cards!
When you get down to four cards, you pass half your card on and receive two from another player and the same when you are down to two cards. If a player has been holding certain colour cards back, you could find yourself completely outmanoeuvred.
So when all the cards are placed, you count up the predictions. A spot on prediction will give you 3 points, either side 1 point and there are negative points for the worse predictions. This is a tricky little game, quick but very thematic. I was on form tonight winning by 3 points over Martin. Stephen came in last with a negative score of 11. None of us could have predicted that on the night, but it rounded off a really eventful night of gaming.
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Paul Matthews is a Sales Manager for Gamesquest Ltd, as well as a part-time Board game Demonstrator and Blogger. After several years playing Yu-gi-oh at Tournament level, his latest passion is all things board gaming. Besides playing board games, Paul is a part time author and enjoys reading and archery. Paul has a Degree in Humanities Psychology/Counselling and several Life-skill Degrees in Parenting, Horse Management and Ecommerce.