Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Night of Games

Another Tuesday, another Game Night. My oldest son accompanied me this Tuesday night and we were joined by a little fewer than our normal compliment of gamers. Summer being in full swing, it's clear that many of our regulars are out enjoying themselves in various other places. Still, there were more than enough of us to get some good gaming in.

The first big game of the night for me was Notre Dame. After several playings I still think this is a very good, well-balanced game with deep strategies. I like it. However, there is one thing that really bugs me about it and that is that your options are so strongly governed by the player sitting to your right. If he has the same strategy as you, or if he just feels like it, he can very easily prevent you from getting the cards you need to execute your strategy, which is exactly what happened to me. I'll be writing a review soon. No really, I swear.

Meanwhile, others played a game of Atlantic Star. This is a very nice card game where players try to collect sets of cards which represent ocean liner routes. I've played it numerous times but I'm starting to tire of it a little and so I didn't really mind not being part of this one.

After our Notre Dame game broke up I got involved in a three-player game of Shear Panic! I recently reviewed this game so scroll down a bit if you're curious. The short of it is that it's a great game with even better bits. It's not perfect (it's quite chaotic) but I love it. I won this one but I could very easily have lost both of my sheep in the last field if I hadn't lucked into rolling a Ewe Turn just before shearing time which really saved my mutton.

Next up for some of our group (not me) was Pillars of the Earth. I've written about this game several times recently. I like it. Just enough luck to make it family friendly coupled with just enough strategy to make it suitable for the more serious gamers in your group. It's a delicious blend that goes down nice and easy. Tasty.

Four of our more die hard card players struck up a game of Pinochle. This classic trick taker with it's slightly strange deck formed of duplicated standard cards ranked A 10 K Q J (and sometimes 9) is a staple in the American Midwest (Michigan, Wisconsin, etc.) but you don't see it played much around this neck of the woods. Most of us (myself included) have never played. I'd like to learn but this wasn't the night for it. I was needed elsewhere.

The last game of the evening for me was . My son, who's still just learning to play trick taking games well was in on this one and he did pretty well for a novice. This can be a pretty tough game if you're just learning the subtleties of card play but it's worth the effort and he did just fine.

At some point during the evening a Tichu game was played but I wasn't part of it.


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