Date: 21st March 2003
Game played: Fresh Fish ( Plenary Games ) BGG Id: 1017

Five of us this week, so we started off with the latest reprint of Friedmann Friese’s long sought after game, Fresh Fish. When it came out, this was rated very highly by those that played it, but it was a limited edition and I never got to see, let alone, play it. So I was very keen to see how it played. The idea of the game is to set up retail outlets in close proximity to the distribution warehouse in each of four different industries: oil, nuclear waste, fishing and, of course, games!?? The board depicts a number of plots available for building on and the distribution warehouses are placed on four of these plots. On a player’s turn, they can either reserve a plot or build something. You would like to build your retail outlets close to the warehouses but if a shop tile comes up to build, an auction takes place for the right to build it. And even if you win the auction and place it on a reserved plot near to a warehouse, that doesn’t necessarily mean success. This is because the path from warehouse to outlet nedds to be along roads which do not appear until forced later in the game by the placement of other things. Besides the outlets, there are other buildings and parks that could come up for building and these also have to be played on previously reserved lots. Once all the plots have been built upon, each player works out the distances between their outlets and respective warehouses, subtracts their remaining cash, and the person with the lowest total wins.

This sounds pretty simple but our game turned out to be anything but. The problem is, being able to visualise when roads need to be placed is extremely difficult. I managed better than most but it was still pretty brain-burning and Nige couldn’t manage it at all. He has difficulty with spatial awareness at the best of times, but this game takes it to new levels. John and Mark G were also very quiet and I think left it to Mark K and me to work out how and where the roads appeared. As a result, Nige did not enjoy it one bit and the others also had pretty negative reactions. I quite enjoyed it, but wouldn’t rave about it, although I did at least have some idea of how the board was developing. Mark K made one mistake with one of his retail outlets, thinking he could force a road where it wasn’t legal, and this cost him several points. I got forced wide with one of my retail outlets but the remainder were well placed and I managed the shortest route. We didn’t, in fairness, adjust for cash retained but as we all played it that cash didn’t matter at game-end, I don’t think this mattered too much. I would say it will be interesting to see how it plays with the cash adjustment but I doubt it will get back to the table anytime soon. Shame.

Mark K
Mark G

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