This weekend several friends came down for the weekend, the original plan was poker then DnD, instead we played lots of board games, and then eventually got around to the DnD today.
Saturday night there were three 3-player games of Border Reivers and a 4-player Caylus and an Über game of Carcassonne (featuring two sets of tiles). I played two of the Border Reivers games and the game of Caylus, so I'll give a session report on those. Maybe Mal will post on the others...
First up was my second game of Caylus, and again I enjoyed it. I played with Dave, Wilka and The Wife, of which only The Wife had played before. Now that I knew how to play, the rules were simpler to explain than reading them, so we got moving fairly quickly.
I only built one building all the way through this game, which was probably my undoing, I did best on building the castle though, and very well on favours too. I tried to build on the turns when I could definitely build first or build the most. Often this worked, however, I was rarely first in the order of play, and as I result I often lost out on the two or three resource production buildings.
Again, we built none of the blue prestige buildings, we didn't even build any of the green residental buildings. However, there was a lot more of using the provost to shaft people - in fact Dave got down to that in the very first turn :-) The game ended when I filled the Towers section of the castle. Due to the continual use of the provost for shafting, the provost often ended behind the bailiff, so the bailiff moved forward pretty slowly.
Dave won the game, helped by a healthy stash of gold resource cubes, I finished joint second with The Wife about 4 or 5 places behind.
We then played a couple of games of Border Reivers without The Wife. In the first one Dave left himself wide open, while Wilka holed up defensively. Spotting an opening, I went for Dave, quickly beating him in his castle, then sacking his city, followed by converting his last town. With Dave annihilated, I controlled the mine and two thirds of the board. I quickly started stockpiling cash (I'd not spent much on re-inforcements) and Wilka realising I would beat him to the cash total started moving towards me. However, Wilka had fortified fairly fair back, and the map was pretty slow due to the location of the forests, and got the cash before Wilka could reach me.
The second game was very different. Dave was determined to get his revenge, and everyone played conservatively, saving cash. Wilka went for the mine with lots of armies, while Dave and I built fortifications to defend our borders Wilka started raking in cash from the mine. We built second cities, and Wilka reached the amount needed to win the game - he just need to hang on to it until the beginning of his next turn...
Then Dave played Insurrection successfully stealing some money - enough to stop Wilka winning the game and get him to the winning mark. Due to his thorough fortification of his borders neither Wilka nor I could reach him in time. So Dave took the crown.
Both games were fairly quick 30 - 45 minutes I think (though I was fairly drunk by then and not paying attention to the time). The other game of Border Reivers (played by Linz, Mal and Gav) lasted much longer - there were pacts (formal and otherwise apparently) and many excited noises from Gav :-)