Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Last Night's Games

Last night was Tuesday night and that means games. This week we had an excellent turnout with several newcomers attending and most of the old-timers there as well. It's always nice to see more people there for the first time and it's even nicer to see new faces return.

A lot of games were played so I'm sure that I'm going to miss some but here are the ones I remember.

I played Celtica as an opener. I was all set to play a three player game and then two more showed up just as we were getting started. Adam had misinterpreted a rule last week (understandable given the way it was written) and so this time the group got to play with the correct rules. Playing with the correct rules makes the game slightly more strategic than the way we played it last week but it's still an extremely luck-heavy, light game. That's forgivable because the length is so short but it's going to be a turn-off for some, particularly those expecting a typical Kramer & Keisling game. I'll post a review soon and you'll see what I mean. I had a nasty bout of luck at the end and came in dead last with no amulet pieces at all. Ben won easily with two completed amulets and one more nearly completed one.

By then we were pretty much at full strength for the evening. I had the good fortune to teach Caylus to Jason, Peter and Birch. It was kind of an odd game, with few production buildings being built early and no way to build residences or prestige buildings until very late in the game. I had a moment where I was afraid I'd allowed myself to fall too far behind while I was setting myself up to build the cathedral. For a while I was convinced that I'd allowed Jason to get too far ahead and given him the game. But in the end, I was able to build the cathedral (having advanced all the way down the construction favor track) and leave myself set up for a good solid finish in the next couple of turns, putting myself up by 10 or so. Scores were pretty tight though with Peter and Jason finishing with only a point difference. It was an unusually long game, what with three players new to the game thinking things through for the first time, and with my having to explain the rules at the beginning, but I think everyone enjoyed it. My opinion of the game just keeps getting better.

Meanwhile, Christopher and three others played another of his prototype games. This card game will actually eventually make it to people outside of our group since it's been commissioned for a local game conference. I can't remember the title of the game.

Nexus Ops was also played this evening. I remember Adam telling me that Oren won by just barely reaching the victory point goal one turn before Adam was poised to shatter it by a huge margin. Too bad Adam.

Also played: Die Sieben Siegal (affectionately known as Die Steven Segal), a very nice trick taking game which I personally have never been terribly fond of. It's a good game and I can totally see while people like it; it just doesn't work for me. You have to correctly predict not only how many tricks you will take but how many suits you'll take them with and the penalties for getting it wrong are pretty harsh. I'm just not good enough at playing with that kind of precision and the stress overwhelms the fun for me. But that's just me. Plenty of people love this game and it's easy to see why.

Adam, Michael, Oren and I finished up with a couple of late games of Tichu and for once Oren's luck went in his favor. He and I won two out of two full games despite the fact that I was more than a little sleepy. Awesome game. I never get tired of it.

I'm sure there were other games played as well but I couldn't tell you what they were. Come join us next week and make it even harder for me to keep track of everything we play!


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