Game Night at the Condo
Saturday night is not the usual time for Condo gaming, but since we missed playing this Wednesday, I anticipated an "unexpected" session. And, lo and behold, it happened. Not knowing who and how many would show, I brought 6 new-ish games with me, and was prepared to teach any of them.
Oasis: We had 4 players and were still waiting for 2 more. I was keen to try out this game, which no one had played before. Since I was the only one to even skim the rules before, I was the 'splainer. I like the mechanism of creating the offer of 1, 2, or 3 cards (similar to Medici), and the fact that each offer has a different value for each player. It has tile laying and blocking like Through the Desert or maybe Hacienda. The one down-side is that all scoring happens at the end (like Santiago), and although you can figure out who is winning at any given time, no one really wanted to make the effort. The game ended very close: 110-107-103-98. Good game, but not great.
Antike: Once we had 6 players, Antike was an easy choice. Two had played their first game at LobsterTrap the week before, but were underwhelmed with the 4-player game. Even with 4 first-timers the turns were quick. Once we each had about 5 cities, everyone was eyeing their neighbors carefully. There were lots of different strategies in effect: build up and defend, go all out for know-how, build units and spread fast, build lots of temples, and some combinations. I was amazed that at one point the scores were something like 6-5-5-4-3-3. While we were all watching the 6 player's options, one of the 5 players caught up and got their 7th VP. I think the final scores were 7-6-6-5-4-4. I really enjoyed how you get several turns to start you civilization relatively untouched, then as you start to fill up the space, the tension builds up. Very good game.
Subbuteo: Mike finally got his table built and setup. Lance and I were chomping at the bit to play, so we let the other 4 play Ra while we got our game on. We are still both learning, and playing by the basic rules (ie not the 80-page rules). We played two 15-minute halves. It didn't take long to really get into the tactics of offense and defense. It is a dexterity game for sure, but the varied pacing allows for some interest tactics, even bluffing. Sometimes, both players are moving quickly, reacting to each other or simply preparing a possible block. Other times, the game slows and players make adjustments. After 30 minutes of playing, I felt like I had been doing aerobics. I scored a goal in the first half, and Lance scored a goal in the last minute of the game. Addictive as hell.
Tichu: I've played many, many games of Tichu on BSW, but never face-to-face. It's amazing how little you know about a game when you let the computer do everything. We made a valiant effort, but allowed too many team win and lost too many tichus: 1050-705. Much better in person.
I brought along Taj Mahal, but did not get to play it yet. I also got to meet another BGG'er, Mark Christopher of the excellent animated Bonaparte at Marengo avatar. My inner geek was put to shame when Mark pulled out his cellphone/pda/tri-corder thingy, grabbed his stylus, checked the time, and entered games played. I'm not worthy!
Antike image by garyjames