Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Game Night

The Chinese President visited Microsoft on Tuesday so getting to building 50 was a bit of a chore. The driveway entrance I normally use (off of 40th street) was blocked off with cones so I had to drive around the block and use the other one. I was lucky. Some of our guys got caught in traffic when the cops blocked off 40th to let the Chinese motorcade through. Needless to say, we were a little late getting started.

Oren and I were the first to arrive (and I was at least twenty minutes late) so we played a game of Deflexion (which I won). This is a really cool abstract strategy game where players move mirrored pieces around the board in an effort to shoot their opponent's pieces with lasers. Let me repeat that: LASERS! REAL HONEST TO FRICKIN' GOODNESS LASERS! How cool is that? :)

When the Seattle crew arrived most of them settled in to a lovely little game of "Magic Bunnies". Never heard of that game? Not surprising since it's one of Christopher's inventions. I have no idea if the game is any good or not but it was impossible to keep from chuckling as I overheard them talking about bunnies and lollipops and rainbows.

Mike K. and I played Hey! That's My Fish! while we waited for more to arrive and Oren and Wade played a seemingly never-ending game of Deflexion which Oren eventually won by attrition.

Finally we had enough people to bring out the big guns. Jose, Christopher and I played a wonderful three player game of Caylus. (Wonderful because I won.) This game gets better each time I play it. Hopefully we'll get some more in stock soon. Rio Grande Games is saying early May now. How frustrating.

Several of the others played Nexus Ops. (At least I think that's what they played. I was kind of absorbed in my Caylus game.)

At some point Christopher, Oren, Jose and I played a few hands of Tichu. I think I've probably said enough about that game recently.

The new game of the night was Celtica. This is a new game by Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer. They're the duo who did Java, Mexica, and Tikal. If you're expecting this to be anything like those three games (all very deep, satisfying gamer's games) then you're going to be quite disappointed. This is an extremely light, extremely random family game. But if you come into this expecting a light random closer then you might be pleasantly surprised. I played it a couple of times tonight and I rather liked it. The artwork is absolutely stunning. The theme is entertaining (if a bit pasted on). The game is very, very random but there's a little more to it than you might think at first. As long as you go into it with the attitude that you're just going to have a good time and not get overly wrapped up into winning or losing, there's a pretty decent little game here. It's quick and easy and not bad as far as family games go. Just don't expect another Tikal.


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