We had another very good turnout last night. There were a few new faces and one very old timer graced us with his presence. Hopefully that trend will continue.
There were a lot of games played including Celtica, Sticheln, Nexus Ops and Liar's Dice.
I managed to get talked into playing another three-player game of Caylus (had to twist my arm there) with Tejas and Jose. This time I tried a different strategy, spending my favor on victory points and only contributing the minimum to the castle. I also finagled things so that I could build the cathedral before anyone else. It was a very strange game though. The notary was built very early which triggered an early rush between Tejas and I to build residences. I quickly realized that if we cornered the market on residences, that would mean I only had to worry about Tejas building prestige buildings since Jose wouldn't have any residences to convert. Jose did manage to get a residence on the board but Tejas and I built all the rest. And I do mean ALL the rest. It's the first time I've seen them all built. We also managed to build all but one of the stone and wood buildings, something I've never seen done before. Tejas built the lion's share of them while I concentrated on getting favor, turning purple cubes into victory points, and making sure I would be first to build the cathedral. Even the ending was strange: Tejas and I tied with relatively high scores. In fact, it was a perfect tie because neither he nor I had any resources left over after exchanging them for victory points after the final round. Easily the oddest Caylus game I've played yet. Fun fun.
Scott, Jose, Adam, Mike M. and I played a game of Atlantic Star. This is a great little game from 2001 by Queen games (a remake and retheming of the 1997 game: Showmanager). Players collect sets of cards in an attempt to build the most lucrative complete shipping lines. On each turn you either add a card to your hand (which may cost money depending on which card you choose) or play cards to score one of four colored sets. Each time you score a color, your marker is added to a ladder for that color. The higher your position on the ladder, the better your score at the end of the game. You can reduce the score of one of your already completed colors (potentially changing its position on the ladder) in order to raise more cash and thereby increase your chances of getting a better score for whatever color you're currently working on. There are a lot of cool mechanics in this game and I quite enjoy it. It is a bit luck heavy but there's enough strategy to keep me interested. It's also not a very confrontational game since there are really few ways that one player can directly affect another player's score, which I kind of like. Scott led us all to believe that he was doing poorly and then he managed to edge me out for the win at the end.
Finally, Mike, Curt, Adam and I rounded out the night with two games of Tichu. Adam and I were partners and our first game was truly dismal. I believe we finished the game with somewhere around 300 points. Ouch. The second game was quite a bit better. We won the second one and we would have won by a very large margin had Curt not decided to risk a blind Large Tichu call and then been very fortunate to have he and Mike go out one-two for the double win. Yet another odd gaming session.
I need to quit letting myself get talked into Tichu games after 10:00. We didn't wrap things up until well after midnight.
By the way, I haven't forgotten that I promised to post a Celtica review. I've started it but then life kind of interfered. I should be ready to post it sometime this week.