Sunday, September 03, 2006

Recent Interest

These games are ones that I have taken an interest in lately. They aren't necessarily on my want list; they just caught my eye for one reason or another. If the rules are available, I have read them. I'll appreciate any comments from my readers, good or bad. When I am on the fence about a game, a well-formed comment can push me one way or the other.

Skybridge: I'm a sucker for beautiful wooden games. We already own Quarto, but haven't played it in forever. From the rules, this one sounds like a winner. Not immensely deep, but some interesting decisions. Like its distant cousin Medina, it has some elements of the game of "chicken". Seems to work nicely with 2, 3, and 4 players.

Succession: Intrigue in the Royal Court: I used to play quite a bit of Kremlin back in the 90's. This game seems to have the potential for the same kind of tongue-in-cheek humor that made Kremlin so fun. In fact, from its blurb on BGG, it may have even more going on. I cannot find the rules anywhere. If you know where I can find them, please tell me.

Viktory II: Moderately pretty multi-player wargame. It's got plastic pieces--which I generally do not like--but the overall look of the game is quite pleasant. The rules are very simple, but with 6 unit types (infantry, cavalry, artillery, frigate, towns, and city) and 5 terrain types (mountain, forest, plains, grassland, and water), there's lots of room for tactics. The publisher's site has video examples of movement, combat, and an entire game. The randomized (and hidden) board makes for a good amount of replayability. There's a 2-4 player set, and a larger one that allows for 5 and 6 players.

King Me!: Another game somewhat along the lines of Succession, but much lighter. Each player is trying to maximize his score by getting as many of his 6 secret characters as far up the royal hierarchy as possible. If a player moves a character to the throne, all players vote. "No" votes are limited, and must be used wisely. But players may bluff by sending a character to the throne that they do not want to get you to waste your "No" votes. Ultimately, a character will become king, which ends the round and invokes a scoring phase. The game lasts for three such rounds. Sounds like a fun light filler.

Tal der Konige: Another beautiful wooden game. It's largely unavailable. The rules didn't blow me away, but there were some very unique mechanisms here. This is one that I would appreciate the most feedback on. In order to obtain this game, I would surely have to trade or buy from a gamer directly. Ugh.

Himalaya: This game has been on and off my radar for a long time. Now that it's available again, I am unsure. The programmed moves sound fun. The fact that both the "lines and spaces" have meaning (Taj Mahal-esque) is interesting.

Dune: The D&D player in me wants this long-out-of-print game. The image is of a home-made copy that looks far better than the original. In Dune, up to 6 players, who each have significantly different powers, vie for control of territory on the spice planet and for powerful alliances. Each player controls a number of characters, some of which can be traitors. The game sounds fascinating with the right group. I'm guessing people that like Struggle of Empires might also like Dune.

Medieval Merchant: Another pretty game. It just sounds a little too mathematical and dry. I don't even find Go to be dry. My GeekBuddy list is rather flat on this game. Still, I like to look at it.

Skybridge image by MattSim
Viktory II image by VIKTORY
Tal der Konige image by hinj

Medieval Merchant image by alkis21
Dune image by Davestar2


At 12:23 AM, Blogger Mikko Saari said...

King Me! is fun little game. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but unfortunately nobody else seemed ton enjoy it as much, and it got very little play time. I think I've sold it since. It's fun, but if players have too similar card sets (ie. there's a character or two on most players' cards), the rounds can end way too soon. Doesn't matter much, as the game is very short.

Himalaya is at least decent, but that's pretty much all I can say after my one game. I'm still waiting to get the Finnish edition...

Dune is fascinating and quite loyal to the books. It's also long, overly complicated in the wrong way, takes some experience from all six (and you need six, or at least five) players to be really good. I like it, sort of, but it was way too hard to actually play, so I sold mine.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Matthew Marquand said...

Tal der Konige was on my radar some time ago largely due to it's beautiful production quality. It's high rating didn't hurt either.

I own Himalaya and play it fairly often. I enjoy the 'meta-game' aspect of trying to outprogram your opponents by using the sleeping yak move forcing them to take a cheaper good when trading in a village. I highly recommend the expansion (if you can find it). I went through the effort of pasting up the cards that replace the D20 to introduce some predictability to where goods will be deployed on subsequent turns.

At 6:37 AM, Blogger zorg said...

I could be wrong, but I think Medieval Merchant and Himalaya are basically the same game with different themes.

At 6:40 AM, Blogger zorg said...

I was wrong. Himalaya is Merchants of the Empire and not Medieval Merchant. :)

At 10:46 PM, Blogger Steve Janecek said...

I liked medieval merchant, but there are some things that need to be understood to make it a good game.

1 - people need to separate themselves when choosing starting spaces, much like funk and ticket to ride, the person that is by themselves will generally win.

2 - diplomatic action during th game is an important facet - its a game that requires table talk


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