Date: 5th November 2004
Game played: Boomtown ( Face to Face Games ) BGG Id: 10997

Next up was a new game from Bruno Faidutti and Bruno Cathala. There's gold in them there hills. Players are prospectors trying to set up mining concessions in order to find gold and make the most money. Face To Face Games have done a really nice job with the production: beautifully illustrated cards, nice wooden character pieces and a good supply of plastic chips representing the gold/money the players earn.

On each turn a number of cards equal to the number of players are revealed and players bid for the option of choosing the first card. Cards may be either mines (to be placed in front of the player in order to look for gold) or event cards (the instructions on which are carried out immediately or later in the game). The highest bidder passes the amount bid to the player on their right who takes half and passes the remainder to the right again. That player takes half and passes any amount remaining to the right and so on. The highest bidder then takes and deals with one of the cards, followed by his left-hand neighbour round the table until everyone has taken a card. Finally, the dice are rolled and any mines a player has showing that number, receives gold equal to the value shown on the card. Once a player has two mines of a colour, he becomes mayor and players subsequently building mines in that colour pay the mayor a fee. If someone acquires more mines in a colour than the current mayor, they become the new mayor. A new round then takes place with the game ending once the card deck has been exhausted. Players then score points for gold in hand, the production value of each mine and 5 points for each mayor they hold.

In our game, we were feeling our way a bit in the early stages. I took an early lead but then was pegged back as others targetted my mines with some nasty events. Mark G and I had some fairly expensive auctions while Nige chose to keep well out of the way. This proved to be a good move as he ran out an easy winner. We all enjoyed this one and I think we would like to get this to the table again pretty soon. There is a nice balance between doing well in the auctions yourself and benefitting from your left-hand neighbour winning an auction and passing you a stack of cash. Good stuff.

Mark G

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