There were nine of us this week and we split into three groups of three, with my group starting off with Grog Island. This is a Michael Rieneck design and is themed around retired pirates setting up pirate businesses on the five peninsulas of Grog Island to make their fortunes - although it's pirate points rather than gold that determines the winner. The game features a very novel bidding mechanism where you use combinations of five dice to represent how much cash you are bidding. The dice you use to bid determines what rewards you get if you win the bid but also determines what compensation (resources) other players get for dropping out of the auction. Once a player has set up a certain number of businesses on the island, the game ends and points are awarded for players' secret goals and the one with the most pirate points wins.
We all enjoyed this and the bidding was really interesting, as well as trying to manage your cash - which you obviously need to bid with. The game was pretty quick and although I ended the game by putting my final business on the island, the secret goals kept the result uncertain. However, although Steve got quite a few points from his goals, I managed to stay a couple of points ahead for the win.