Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Game Day at the Condo

The holiday gave us the opportunity to get together during the day for a longer gaming session. As usual, my preference is to get unplayed games to the table. We've had a new gamer join us for the past few session. He shows huge potential, so we've been trying to expose him to as many different styles of games as possible.

This was one of my early gaming experiences on BSW, but, until today, I had never played my physical copy. Medina is much more subtle and devious than the rules would suggest. The opportunities for stealing bonus tiles, blocking expansion, using up palace colors, and generally screwing opponents are everywhere. Of course, you do not appreciate this until it happens to you. Despite my prior experience, I only managed to eke out a win: 43, 41, 39.

In the Shadow of the Emperor
I managed to convince the group, now 4, to try this. It's not an easy game to teach; it's got so many interlocking mechanisms, and you skip the first 3 phases on the first turn. I started as Emperor, won 2 electors, and kept the throne in the first round. In the second round, I lost all electors and the throne; I was hoping to play for position and get all my aristocrats on the board. The 2nd-round Emperor kept this position for 3 rounds, as well as Mainz. This turned out to be more profitable than I guessed, ignoring this player for another I thought had more VP's. The 4th player was Emperor for the last round, but it was not enough to come back: 23, 17, 17, 15.

Power Grid
The last type of game we wanted to show "the new guy" was something with economy/finances with a building theme. It was either this or Railroad Tycoon. We opted for the easier to setup and play. The power plant market was very strange this game. The 36 plant became available very early. The player who grabbed it lagged way behind the rest of us for many turns. No further ending position plants (eg 5-6-6 or 4-6-7) were available for a long time. During the final turn, we were all able to build 17 cities (I had over 250 elektros), but only 1 player was able to power them all.

Medina image by cIo_OIs


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