1/17/2024 – Berkshire Gamers Session Report #24-03

14 at the UNO Park Community Center for Medieval games 

After a 3-week road trip to Florida it felt great to be back in the Berkshires for Sandy & me. We visited friends in VA & NC, relatives in FL and 4 giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta on our journey. Thanks Sean, for keeping things going smoothly in our absence.

Our January 24 session will feature EXPANSIONS, SEQUELS & PREQUELS
I confess that I suffer from ‘expansion-itis’ (the need to buy the expansions for most games that are favorites). The problem with this affliction is that almost every time one is about to add the expansion to a favorite game there is at least one person at the table who hasn’t played the base game….so we teach and play the base game yet again – ‘sigh’. So we’re going to give it a try next Wednesday using as many familiar/popular games as possible.
Expect to play from among:
Quacks of Quedlinburg – Tony will lead us through some combination of Alchemists and the Herb Witch
Ticket to Ride – a plethora of expansion maps with Drew leading the Marklin edition on Germany map
Fantastic Factories – Manufactions and Subterfuge expansions led by Sean – Reimi wants in
Wingspan – Amy leading an expansion
Alhambra – many expansions plus the new stand-alone Red Palace of Alhambra that K-ban recently backed on KS
Century Trilogy – 7 different combinations possible for the trilogy either alone or combined.
Cascadia – recent Landmarks expansion to SdJ winner, K-ban will bring
Tiny Towns – Nicole leading expansions – Chris W wants to join in 
Carcassonne Hunters & Gatherers – Chris W will lead
Paris City of Lights – Tim will lead the Eifel expansion
Azul – we can play the base game using the reverse side of the board or get Stained Glass or Summer Pavilion to the table. Anyone have the Chocolatier version?
Attendance for 1/24 so far:
IN (15): Steve & Sandy, Sean & Wendy, Tim, Armando, Tony & Rachel, Drew, Chris W, Kara, Nicole, Matt, Amy, Reimi
???: Danny, Emmet, Edward, Ethan, Mike, Libby, Rob S, Rob O, Annie, Jim, Zach
If listed as ??? kindly RSVP ASAP so we can plan for your arrival.
1/17/2024 @ UNO Park Community Center
IN: Steve & Sandy, Sean & Wendy, Emmet, Armando, Tony & Rachel, Tim, Matt, Reimi, Chris W, Anna, Rob O
Medieval Games:


(led by Tim) 1978 beautiful abstract where players alternate placing one of their buildings onto the board until neither player can place another building. Players capture territory by surrounding areas that are occupied by at most one opponent or neutral building. A captured piece is removed and captured territory becomes off-limits to the opponent. The player with the fewest ‘square units’ of buildings that can’t be placed wins.

Beer & Bread

(led by Sean) 2022 Scott Almes (Tiny Epic series) designed multi-use card game for two players. Its clever structure of alternating rounds puts a fascinating twist on player interaction, card drafting, and resource management. Over the course of six years – which alternate between fruitful and dry – players must harmonize their duties of harvesting and storing resources, producing beer and bread, selling them for coins and upgrading their facilities. After the sixth year, players only score the coins collected from the type of good – beer or bread – for which you earned less. The village with the higher score wins.

Land vs Sea

(led by Matt) 2021 tile game, often mentioned as a Carcassonne killer. It is part puzzle, part game. Play as either Land or Sea (or the Cartographer in a 3 player game). Each player plays with 2 double-sided hex tiles containing a mix of land and sea shapes. They take turns placing a tile each to make a map together. Land places tiles trying to complete land areas, and Sea places tiles trying to complete sea areas. Completed areas score a point per tile; land areas for Land, sea areas for Sea.  Some tiles score bonus points for whoever completes the area they are in. So players may decide to strategically complete rival’s areas to gain their bonus points. Other tiles allow players to play their second tile, or steal a player’s tile – but not their last one!


(led by Tim) 2017 German game of the year (SdJ) winner. The game uses tiles with two sections, similar to Dominoes. Each turn, players will select a new domino to connect to their existing kingdom, making sure at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play. The order of who picks first depends on which tile was previously chosen, with better tiles forcing players to pick later in the next round. The game ends when each player has completed a 5×5 grid (or failed to do so), and points are counted based on number of connecting tiles and valuable crown symbols.


(led by Chris) 2009 SdJ winner where each player starts with an identical, very small deck of cards. In the center of the table is a selection of other cards the players can “buy” as they can afford them. Through their selection of cards to buy, and how they play their hands as they draw them, the players construct their deck on the fly, striving for the most efficient path to victory points by game end. We played using K-ban’s tricked out disc set as a bag builder instead of using cards.

Web of Power/China

(led by K-ban) 2000 Michael Schacht (Zooloretto, Lucky Numbers, Coloretto, Drive) drafting and area control game that served as the inspiration for many games that followed. Players struggle for influence over regions of medieval Europe by placing two different types of control markers – Monasteries and Advisors. Monasteries are the basic placement, with the goal of securing a majority in a region or chain of monasteries or even decent points from second place. The placement of the Advisors is more restricted as the total number of Advisors in a region is limited by the majority player’s number of monasteries. The game is played in two rounds and is very fast paced and especially good with 3 players.

Orleans (with Invasion expansion)

(led by Anna) 2015 co-op version of the 2014 bag builder, Orleans. Players recruit followers and put them to work to make use of their abilities. Farmers and Boatmen supply you with money and goods; Knights expand your scope of action and secure your mercantile expeditions; Craftsmen build trading stations and tools to facilitate work; Scholars make progress in science; Traders open up new locations for you to use your followers; and it cannot hurt to get active in monasteries since with Monks on your side you are much less likely to fall prey to fate. You will always want to take more actions than possible, and there are many paths to victory. 

Richard the Lionheart

(led by Matt) 2017 drafting and area movement game played as two teams. Players ally themselves either with Robin Hood or John Lackland where they travel across England, trying to earn prestige points and influence the Crusades from afar. At the end of the game, Richard will return to what’s left of his kingdom…if he returns at all. At this time, the team that has earned the most prestige wins.


(led by Sean) 2010 area control and movement game that takes place in the Dark Ages during the black plague. The players try to hold off the disease.

To do this they get help from farmers, magicians, knights, nobles, … But nothing helps as long as the rats keep coming.

Other Games Played

Junk Drawer

2x (led by K-ban) 2023 polyomino game where players place items in quadrants of a junk drawer, with each quadrant scoring differently. 20 minute family game.

Sea Salt & Paper

(led by Wendy) 2022 closed drafting set collection card game with a push your luck element where players can end a round to catch their opponents off guard.

Project L

(led by K-ban) 2020 beautifully produced 3D polyomino puzzle building game. Starting with just two basic pieces, players use three actions every turn to develop a powerful engine. With more pieces of various types, players can efficiently complete even the most difficult puzzles. The puzzles completed award points and/or new pieces to further fuel your engine. 

Skulls of Sedlec

(led by Armando) 2020 Button Shy wallet game. Players are novice monks, competing to create the best arrangement of skulls.

Dig up graves from the graveyard to reveal cards, take cards into your hand to collect skulls, and arrange the cards from your hand into a stack. Whoever better honors the deceased’s last wishes will score more points.

Vegetable Stock

(led by K-ban) 2019 Taiwanese game of drafting veggies to manipulate a commodities market with an interesting CRASH mechanic.


14 at the UNO Park Community Center for Medieval games  After a 3-week road trip to Florida it felt great to be back in the Berkshires for Sandy & me. We visited friends in VA & NC, relatives in FL and 4 giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta on our journey. Thanks Sean, for keeping things going…

14 at the UNO Park Community Center for Medieval games  After a 3-week road trip to Florida it felt great to be back in the Berkshires for Sandy & me. We visited friends in VA & NC, relatives in FL and 4 giant Pandas at Zoo Atlanta on our journey. Thanks Sean, for keeping things going…

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