This week, there were five of us and I’d brought along Mousquetaires du Roy (The King’s Musketeers), which is a semi-cooperative game of one player, Milady, against the rest, the Musketeers. I decided to be Milady, as I more or less knew the rules and suspected that her role was likely to be less interesting than the others. And it certainly is, as Milady’s decisions are fairly limited in terms of working out which adversaries, traps and location to choose on each turn and then watch while the Musketeers do their thing. That said, Milady is still involved in the dice-rolling combat but she has no decisions to make. I made up for the lack of decisions by ensuring that my dice-rolling was on top form, making it very hard for the musketeers. Milady never really seemed troubled and easily defeated the Musketeers in La Rochelle with them still only part way through the second quest.
The general feeling was that the game was very unbalanced in favour of Milady, although this doesn’t seem to be borne out by other comments on Boardgamegeek. I suspect more emphasis needed to be put on solving the quests rather than what was going on elsewhere. A lot of effort was probably wasted at the Louvre, when this could have been left until the Queen’s dishonour level got to at least half way along the track. It also has to be said that Porthos (Nige) turned out to be a very poor Musketeer and seemed to spend most of the game losing duels left, right and centre.
As a result of the one-sided nature of the game, the ratings suffered but I’d like to try again now that everyone has a better idea of how to approach it.
We then shifted from Paris to London for a game of Reiner Knizia’s Members Only, which I appear not to have played since 2002. This is a great 45 minute game of finely judged betting and card play, which this time turned into 90 minutes of jockeying for position as nobody seemed to be able to score any points in the Cup o’ Tea category, while all of the others were close to getting maxed out by most players. Eventually, Mark K managed to get a score in Tea and that proved to be decisive as he edged victory by a single point from Steve. Good game but went on a bit too long on this occasion (even without Guy!)