Board Game Session Report for March 20, 2003: Sunda to Sahul, Light Speed, Archeology Game (prototype)


Danger Planet session. 5-player Sunda to Sahul, 4-player Light Speed, 7-player Archeology Game (prototype).

Sunda to Sahul

Players were Jeff, Cindy, Karl, Andrew, myself. New players to the game were: Jeff, Cindy, Andrew.

We spent 5 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Game Overview

This is a puzzle tile-laying game with a colonizing theme.

The tiles are actual puzzle pieces representing a combination of land and water. These tiles must be played so that the land and water line up to make islands.

Players divide all the tiles amongst themselves face-up.

The turn sequence is: take a tile, place a tile, place a totem token on a node. Each player gets to execute the turn sequence twice. Tiles may be replaced if they're not playable at no expense. A node is a point at which land tiles meet.

There's nothing more to the basic game. Each token on a node scores a point. Tokens score two points on each node in a complete island.

The first advanced rule concerns lakes. A person who completes the final node in a lake gets to put a token in the lake. A lake score five points per node. A lake in a complete island scores ten points per node.

The next advanced rule concerns tribes. With this rule, when a player completes a node, he can add a token to the created node, or to an existing tribe on the island. A token in a tribe is worth the number of tokens in the tribe to each token.

The next advanced rule concerns Cooperation, which built on the tribes rule. Players must ask for permission to join a tribe of the tribes controlling player. This really wasn't at all a useful rule, I find, and should really be combined with the next rule for which it's significant.

The next advanced rule concerns Challenges. After placing a token, a player may choose an island, and pick one of his tribes to challenge another tribe. Dice are rolled to resolve the challenge and the winner replaces the top-most of the loser's token with his own in the loser's tribe.

The next advanced rule concerns Resources. After placing a token, a resource may be added to an island. The number of the resource must be less than the number of tokens on the island, less the number on other resources on the island. Resources add two times the number on the resource to the score of the player with the most tokens on the island. Four times, if the island is complete.

Game ends when a player plays his final token, or the final tile has been played, or when no more tiles can be played.

The game can be played turn-based or in real-time.

Session Overview

We played two games of Sunda to Sahul.

The first game, we used the basic rules, and lakes. Karl, as usual blazed through the game, so the real contest was between the remaining players. :-)

First game lasted 5 minutes. Final scores were:

The second game, we added tribes. Now that people got the hang of the game after the first game, they did better this game. Karl was having a hard time getting nodes, so the game seemed to take a little longer. :-)

Again, these games proved to be exhilirating to me. Though players felt disappointed by how badly they did, it didn't take long, so it wasn't a waste of time.

Second game lasted 8 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to learn more about Sunda to Sahul at

Light Speed

Players were Jeff, Marina, Igor, myself. New players to the game were: Jeff, Marina, Igor, myself.

We spent 10 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Game Overview

This is a real-time card game with a space battle theme.

The object of the game is to get the most points. A player scores points by destroying opponents' space ships, and mining an asteroid.

The game starts with an asteroid with 12 mining tokens.

Each player has an individual deck of ten cards. Each card has a space ship with lasers firing, shields, hit points and a ranking number.

There are two phases to the game.

The first phase: In real-time, players lay down cards without overlapping. This keeps going until any one player runs out of cards.

The second phase: Players score. This is actually the longer phase. In ranking order, players figure out which ships hit targets with their lasers. There are three lasers types, doing one, two, or three points of damage. Lasers that hit the asteroid, mine it.

Players score the number of hits a ship can take when they score the most hits on a ship when the ship is destroyed. Destroying your own ship counts against you. A ship that mined, adds points to the score.

Session Overview

This game played quickly, except scoring dragged out the time because it was hard to find the right cards and trace line of sight of lasers.

Would've been nice to get a few more games in after getting a feel for it, but I promised Jeff to try his prototype, and the players were getting restless after setting it up.

Game lasted 15 minutes. Final scores were:

Click here to buy Light Speed at

Click here to learn more about Light Speed at

Archeology Game (prototype)

Players were Jeff, Tony, Chris, Rich, Matt, Jeff, myself. New players to the game were: Jeff, Tony, Chris, Rich, Matt, Jeff, myself. Chris had the first turn.

We spent 20 minutes going over the rules and setting up the game.

Game Overview

This is a bidding game with an archeology theme.

Without going into too much detail...

Players have a hand of bidding cards. One card is used to choose an archeologist with a role. The card has one, two or three gold, which represents the number of artifacts to dig up from a location.

Once each player does that, players place no more than one bid on each set of artifacts an archeologist finds. These goes around the table until all players placed six bids from their hand.

Each player may set aside a tie-breaking bid that will be used for all bids that end in a tie.

Based on the value of the bids, the highest bidding player scores the value of the bids. Then players get to collect an artifact based on their bid.

Once this phase ends, players exhibit their artifacts. By now, each player has two or three bidding cards. These can be used to create additional exhibits. Only one location per exhibit. Although players can get bonuses for: an exhibit size matching the bid, artifacts from four different sites at a location, three artifacts from the same site.

Session Overview

This game was very engaging. I think it's interesting that Jeff has a mind to make games that work for seven or eight people.

Tony worked toward getting all the exhibition bonuses, and was the only one to do so during the final turn.

That I tied for second surprised me. I threw points at Chris the final turn during the artifact bidding phase. But I was stedily winning one auction per turn in the hopes of eventually getting some bonus points.

It's interesting that bids correspond to the value of VP's the winner gets, so players could slow down a run-away leader by bidding on the things he's not interested in. Then again, that would win him the artifacts he needs for bonuses during exhibition. Such a delicious balance!

The game needed a bit of tweaking which we'll see the next time around. Such as, a bluff bid that actually benefits the winner, should change. We didn't have enough turns for the first turn marker to go around the table, so I'm hoping to see the addition of bidding for turn-order.

Game lasted 131 minutes. Final scores were:

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