Thursday, December 21, 2006

Game Night at the Condo

This week's game night sported 6 players for the first game, followed by pizza, followed by 5 players for the last 2 games. Whenever we have 6, we have trouble deciding if we should split into 2 groups of 3, or find something for everyone (party game, Power Grid, Railroad Tycoon, Shadows Over Camelot). In this case, our 6th didn't want to play anything too long...

Winner's Circle
I had this on my want list for a while, but the negative comments about the components and the fact that I had another Face2Face game with bad components made me drop it. In reality, I didn't find the colors confusing (the horses or the board), but I did find everything just a bit too small: the horses were cramped on the spaces, and the betting tokens were too tiny. But in the end, it didn't matter because the game fell flat for everyone: too random, too much chaos, too much downtime.

Afterwards, we discussed Extreme Winner's Circle. [This game group designed Extreme Can't Stop which uses simultaneous die rolling and some slightly modified rules for getting to the top, and plays very quickly.] In some fashion, EWC would allow all players to choose a horse simultaneously based on a single die roll. This could potentially mitigate all of the bad things about the game.

The first time for 3 of the 5 players. Despite my aggressive bidding for Harbor Master, I only managed to win it twice, and came in 3rd. The Pirates failed to board or plunder a single punt the entire game, which lasted a mere 6 rounds. Jade took off early. I overbid for the HM just to make sure Jade was not included for a round so I could catch up (I was trying to corner the market in Ginger). Alas, I couldn't get Ginger into the harbor. The final share prices were: 30, 10, 5, 5, 5!

My first time playing on the real board (I still haven't played my copy). It's strange to try to implement all the mechanics of a game when you are used to the computer doing it for you. On the real board, the laying out of the province cards and free items is a little awkward. There isn't really enough space for everything without covering some information.

I've never won a game of Amun-Re, and tonight was no exception. I got 2 bonus cards that I thought I could fulfill during the Old Kingdom, so I went all out to do so. I also managed to get a set of 3 pyramids built, giving me 12 VP after round 3, leaving me with only 9 gold going into the New Kingdom. All the other players had more than 20. This proved fatal. They were able to outbid me and buy lots of good stuff. I ended up with only one set of pyramids, 1 temple (at 4), 2nd place in money, and 1 bonus card (9 farmers), for 17 VP. My final score was 29 VP which tied for last. The winner had something like 45. I love this game.

Looks like we are on for an all-day session this coming Saturday. Woohoo!

Amun-Re image by garyjames


At 12:33 PM, Blogger Gerald McD said...

Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy Winner's Circle. Our version (Royal Turf) is a big favorite in our family. I've even made additional betting chits, to accommodate more simultaneous players.


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