Tonight was a short, but fun, game night. As usual, I was hoping to get some unplayed games onto the table before placing my next big order. They are coming in faster than I can get them played. I would play a new game every day if I had my way, but my most common game group (my girlfriend Mary Ann) is not so willing to try new stuff anywhere near as often. So I satisfied myself with 2 medium games...
Magna Grecia: This one is starting to shine now. We are seeing where the efficiencies and the victory points lie. I started only one city on the edge the entire game, branching out from there very quickly. In many cases, I ran long lengths of road without building cities as I went. Mary Ann started in two places and seemed way behind for much of the game. At the point where I was sure it was going to end with me having 4 oracles to her 3, she managed to make a nice city and steal one. After that, they were pretty well solidified. I was sweating it for the rest of the game to just make my markets worth as much as possible. In the end, my clump of cities gave me a large market value. Me 36, Mary Ann 31.
Domaine: This one is starting to show some signs of wear. We enjoy the 2p version fine. It's just starting to feel like Tug of War. I expand into you. You expand back into me. I add a knight. You add a knight. I steal a knight. Etc. Of course there's the spatial element (cutting off domaines, collecting VP's for cities, forests, and mine monopolies), and that's fun. But there's nothing more. The game doesn't feel under-developed. I think it's about as far as you can go with this idea. Adding the auction mechanic to card selection (a la Lowenherz) would feel out of place in my opinion. It would split the game into heavy and light parts, which would feel awkward.
[Domaine image by Chris Beelby]