5th March 2019
It was gaming Tuesday at 'The Sovereigns' in Woking.
It was also a night of playing several small games instead of one long one.
We kicked off with 'Cloud 9', a sweet (both literally and figuratively) little push your luck board game.
The premise of the game is that all the players are passengers/pilots in hot air balloon. The higher you go, the more points you score.
How is it played.
The first thing to do is set up the board: The game board is long and thin, it depicts a column of clouds, dice and scores are depicted in every cloud cloud and the scoring track runs along the outside. Unusually it appears to made be of vinyl and smells suspiciously like being in old car!
The game also has a nice looking little model to represent the wicker basket. The basket has 6 spaces to hold up to 6 meeples (Cloud 9 supports up to 6 players).
When all the meeples required at placed into the basket, the basket is placed on to the lowest cloud on the board.
The game's custom 'Cloud 9' dice are 6-sided dice. However 4 sides on each die shows 1 of the 4 different colours. The remaining 2 sides are blank.
There are 4 Cloud 9 dice, these are placed into the playing area
One player is assigned to be 'The Pilot' at the start of the game.
Cards are then dealt out to all players. The remaining cards form a draw pile. There are 2 types of card:
The rules are basically quite simple:
How are the dice matched by the pilot's cards.
Talking of points, when a player earns 50+ points it triggers the end game. This means that the current trip continues until it ends (or crashes) and all final points from the trip are added: The player with the most points, wins!
And that's it for rules. There are some rules for what happens if only the pilot is in the balloon when it rises, but it's not really necessary to talk about them here, you get the gist of the game.
As a game it's simple to learn, it's a good introduction game for people who haven't played that many board games.
But it has some depth too. You need to think about how many cards the pilot has before making a choice to stay or jump. you can even try to remember what they did in a previous turn. EG, if they could not match a dice roll that included red and their current dice roll includes red, have they managed to pick up a red card from the draw deck?
Also; you need to remember if any wild cards have been played and by whom (there's 4 wild cards in the deck).
Another thing to remember is that when you're the pilot, you cannot jump out (unless you're alone in the basket). This means that you have to roll the dice even if your hand is empty! Well each die has 1/3 chance of coming up blank...
Finally, Cloud 9 has a curious element of co-operative play. It's actually hard to get to the higher clouds alone and you must work with other players to do it. Quite often after a couple of players have jumped, the remaining players will suddenly starting playing those wild cards to try and push it further - excluding the early jumpers from extra points.
Cloud 9 is a nice push-your-luck game that is a good starter or finisher game that plays with up to 6 players.
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I play, I paint.