You Guessed It: Game Night
Another great turnout to another great game night.
When I arrived, some people were already in the middle of a game of Thurn and Taxis and some others were sacrificing one another to the zombies in Mall of Horror so I decided to start reading the rules to Rum & Pirates which we played as soon as the Thurn and Taxis game broke up. Rum & Pirates is a very nice game where players move their pirates around a board collecting tokens that are worth "honor points" at the end of the game. (Apparently there is honor among thieves after all. Who knew?) The board is made up of a 3x3 grid of tiles that are randomly laid out at the beginning of the game, meaning that each game will be slightly different. That sounds cool (and it is) but to be honest, it really doesn't add all that much variation to each game since each tile contains more or less the same things (a network of paths between various goal spaces). Still they are each slightly different so it does change things just a bit. There's some luck involved (mostly in the form of random die rolls) but I didn't find the luck to be overwhelming, particularly for a family game, which this clearly is. All in all, I found it to be a very enjoyable game which I am anxious to play again.
Next up for me was another brand new game: Masons by Leo Colovini. Colovini has earned a reputation for dry, brain-burner games. His games tend to be hit and miss for some. For instance, I really liked his games Carolus Magnus, Magna Grecia and Cartagena but I wasn't so keen on Bridges of Shangrila or Submarine. I think with Masons he's got another winner. The game has a similar feel to the old pencil and paper child's game Boxes. On each turn players plunk down walls and whenever they enclose an area (complete a city) it is scored. The difference is that when you complete a city, all players get an opportunity to score so the object is to arrange things so as to maximize your potential to score while minimizing that of your opponents. We rushed through the rules in our hurry to begin playing and we missed one of the very important ending conditions which resulted in our game dragging out much longer than it should have. Had we played the game correctly it would have been a very good experience but forgetting that rule broke the game. I look forward to playing it again now that we've figured out how it works. Played with the correct rules this is an excellent game.
While all of this was happening, there was a large World of Warcraft game going on. If you like long games with hundreds of little bits, a fantasy setting, and piles of cool plastic miniatures, this is the game for you. It's not my thing. Too long and too many little pieces of cardboard to keep track of. But those that like it in our group really like it. It seems to get played every other week.
Finally, we rounded out the night with a few Loupin' Louie games. If you can find a copy of this game (currently only available in Germany or used on eBay) then you should get it. It's the perfect closer. Super silly and tons of fun.