Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What Day Is It?

If you'll take a casual glance at a calendar you'll realize that today is Wednesday and anyone with half a brain knows that Wednesday is the day after Tuesday. Furthermore, even a complete moron knows that Tuesday night is game night!

There were a lot of games played last night so let's just jump right in and list a few.

First up, we played a couple of quick rounds of No Thanks while we waited for people to arrive. I love this game and I like it more each time I play it. I had the great pleasure of introducing the game to my family over the weekend (at a family reunion) and it was a hit. Any time I can completely explain the rules of a game in under 30 seconds, I can be pretty sure I'll be able to get someone in my family to play it.

Next, I moved on to a game of Thurn and Taxis. I need to get a review of that game out now that I've played it several times. It's a very good game and definitely worthy of the Speil des Jahres (which it just won) since it so clearly aligns with what the committee looks for. Mike K. edged me out for the win this time, with Christopher and Jose coming in third and fourth.

With Tejas' help, Christopher managed to acquire the recent German edition of Loopin' Louie and we finally managed to scrounge up a screwdriver so we could get the battery compartment open and play a few games. I played several rounds tonight and I'll tell you that as soon as I can order some from my distributor I will. This game is just pure silly fun. It's quick and mindless and it's just the thing to unwind between brain burners (not that we played any of those tonight).

Next up was the new Days of Wonder game: Cleopatra and the Society of Architects. Each Days of Wonder game seems to be more lavishly produced than the one before and this is no exception. The entire box is transformed into a lovely 3D Egyptian palace, complete with sphinxes, pillars, obelisks, and a throne room. The bits are incredible. The game itself is quite good but perhaps not truly great. I'll need to play it again before I weigh in with a true review but there were a couple of issues that I had with it. Lovely bits notwithstanding, this is really basically a card game. Players collect sets of cards and use them to construct parts of the palace for points. There is a very interesting card draw mechanic involved and the order that the parts are built and their spatial relationship with other things that have already been built affects their value, but it's still basically a card game. And like most card games, the luck of the draw can be a huge factor here. Draw the wrong cards and you can really be screwed. But the thing I had the biggest problem with, interestingly enough, was a production issue. All of the bits are lovely and the summary cards that each player receives are wonderful but I had a bit of a problem with the iconography. Each card has a tiny hieroglyphic in a small cartouche which identifies what resource it represents. The problem is that in spite of that, at a glance, they all tended to look the same to me, which made it rather difficult to tell exactly what I had in my hand. That, coupled with a lack of familiarity with what things cost in the quarry, caused the game to slow down a bit while people took stock of what was in their hands and decided what they could afford to build. I'm sure with repeated play that problem would disappear but it could have been greatly lessened with stronger iconography. Still, I enjoyed the game very much. I'll try to get a few more plays in and then post a proper review.

Adam had never played Carcassonne before so four of us played a game. We played the classic game (with River expansion) plus the Traders & Builders expansion and the Inns & Cathedrals expansion. Personally, I like Carcassonne the City the best and I'm going to try to find a time to introduce Adam to that version soon. Nevertheless, we had a pretty good game. This game was characterized by a couple of heavy fights over cities (something I usually try to avoid) and some bad luck on farms. Mike K. won pretty easily.

Next up, Stefan Dorra's wonderful game: For Sale. This is a wonderful light bidding game where players bid on properties in the first round and then sell the properties in the last round. The game plays very quickly and it's a lot of fun. It's definitely lighter fare and the order in which cards are revealed, coupled with your seating position in the bidding, can have a wild effect on how you score but the game plays so quickly that you'll want to play it several times in a sitting; which we did.

A few more Loopin' Louie games and it was time to go home. Thanks all for a very successful game night! Hope to see you all again next week!


Post a Comment

<< Home