Thursday, April 05, 2007

Game Night

We had a relatively low turnout this week. It's spring break for all the local schools. Perhaps that had something to do with it. My two oldest sons begged me to let them come to game night this week and I relented. It's a good thing I did too because the extra players were appreciated.

First up for me was a few quick games of Elk Fest. This is a pretty nifty little two player dexterity game from Kosmos. In this game you flick little wooden disks around the table so your little wooden Moose can use them as stepping stones to get from one side of the "river" to the other. Like most games of this sort, I could see it creating problems with the overly competitive since there are times when you could fudge the position of a stone to your advantage, but so long as you treat it as the light-hearted little game it is meant to be, it can be a heck of a lot of fun. And it's so quick that you can play it several times at a sitting. We did.

Next, my sons and Greg joined me for a game of Conquest of the Fallen Lands. I've talked about this game before. It's a clever game about conquering territory and using conquered territories as a power base to conquer more territories. You're only ever allowed to conquer unclaimed territory, never territory belonging to another player, so it's not really a war game. It's more of an abstract game where you try and out position the other players so you can be in a position to grab more valuable territory before your opponents are able. I like it quite a bit and look forward to playing it again.

Meanwhile, Kai and the Seattle crowd started up a game of Die Macher. Die Macher is a classic euro-game and I like it but it's a little too long for my tastes. Still, I'd be happy to try it again some time. Since it's such a long game, I pretty much figured that I wouldn't be playing with any of them for the rest of the night and I was right.

No matter. That left the other four of us free to play Pompeii. I've played this several times now and I enjoy it quite a bit. It's a little luck heavy but there are more than enough interesting decisions to be made and a decent strategy does much to improve your chances at success. It's also short enough that I don't mind the luck factor at all. I didn't win this time but I came in a close second.

The last game for me was, once again, Tichu. Greg and I each paired up with one of my sons and taught them how to play. They'd both heard most of the rules before but this was the first time they'd actually been taught them all and played a real game. I have to say that they did pretty well for youngsters just learning what is a relatively complicated game. It was a close game and while they both made a few rookie mistakes, we all had a great time and their play steadily improved throughout the game. I'm sure that in no time I'll have a couple of great Tichu partners on my hands.

Well, that's all for this time. Come join us next week so we can get a few more games going!


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