Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Another Week - Another Game Night

I was at game night last night. Where were you?

My son Kray joined us again. And once again he played very well.

I started out the night with one of my very favorite games: Tigris & Euphrates. I think I'm finally beginning to get a feel for the strategy in this game. That doesn't mean I'm very good at it but at least I don't feel like I'm embarrassing myself any more. And in fact, I won tonight's game.

This game is considered by many to be Reiner Knizia's masterpiece. It's a true gamer's game (which now isn't so unusual for Her Knizia but at the time was very unusual) filled with lots of agonizing decisions and very deep strategy and tactics.

Also on the table tonight: die Sieben Siegel (the Seven Seals) which is a very well respected trick taking game. Personally, I'm not overly fond of this game because in order to do well you have to predict not only how many tricks you will take but exactly which suits you'll take them with. That's a little more precision than I'm comfortable with. But it's a very popular game and I can see why many people really enjoy it. It's definitely a good game, just not my favorite.

Personally, I prefer Sticheln (which we also played tonight) which is also a trick taking game but with a twist. Take as many tricks as you can but don't take any cards in your "pain" suit or you're going to lose a ton of points. This can be a brutal game and it's great fun to stick somebody with a lot of cards in their pain suit. Simple, quick and nasty. Nice combination.

Another Knizia masterpiece also hit the table: Modern Art. This is the king of auction games: containing no less than four different types of auctions. The game is about auctioning off paintings and manipulating their values in the hopes of selling them at a profit at the end of each of four buying seasons. It's a pure auction game and it truly is (if you'll pardon the pun) a work of art.

We also played several games of Bluff (or Liar's Dice) which is a pretty standard filler game with our group. This time it was notable only for the fact that Kray was able to play the game for the first time.

Games that I wasn't personally involved in include Evo. This is a great game with a rather silly evolution theme. Players control herds of dinosaurs and try to mutate their dinos and grow their herds. Control the most dinos and score the most points to win. There's also a very nice auction mechanic where players bid to secure mutations that will make their dinos more able to survive and reproduce.

Also on the table was Domaine, Klaus Teuber's sensational area control game. Players strive to carve up the countryside into kingdoms under their control. This is a remake of Teuber's earlier game: Lowenherz. It's very similar but a few of the mechanics have been changed slightly. It's a slightly more streamlined game and given that it's a heck of a lot easier to find than the original I'd recommend this one over the earlier edition (albeit only slightly).


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