Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bob Day

I finally got to go to Bob Day again. It only happens once a month. In February, it coincided with ASL. In March, it coincided with D&D. Well, at least I skipped playing games in order to play games.

The quote of the day: One particularly quiet moment was punctuated by, "You can't kill your babies!" from over at the Agricola table.

Hanging Gardens

Thanks to Rick Thornquist--a surprise guest--for teaching Hanging Gardens. I had previously translated the German rules for BGG, and it played out exactly as I imagined. The cards work very well, even when placed several layers deep. I was all caught up making lots of space to plant, as well as nice shapes to grow, but the game seemed to end too quickly to take advantage of it. I think this means that you must play with much less long-term planning, going for the tiles as quickly as possible. Not a bad game, but it's not going on my want list.

Stone Age

Thanks to Tery Noseworthy for teaching Stone Age. Again, I had previously translated the German rules for BGG. In this case, however, I made a subtle but very important error which confused a lot of players. Sorry about that! The file has since been deleted, as the official rules are now available. It's a light resource/economic game that, again, is a little light for my tastes, though I'd play it again.

Im Reich der Wüstensöhne

Thanks to Bob Scherer-Hoock for teaching Im Reich der Wüstensöhne, which I believe means "In the Land of the Desert Sun". It's a derivative of Entdecker. Players travel the desert building oases and claiming water, camels, rumors, and goods. The rumors affect the prices of the goods, giving the game some of the flavor of a stock game. Again, just ok.

Game X - Dominion

Everyone's favorite game [not] to talk about. Thanks to Eric Martin for teaching this. After the first couple of turns, it wasn't grabbing me at all. By the end it really grew on me; I wanted to play again. In fact, I would have purchased a few copies right then and there if it had been for sale. Valerie Putman has recently released some information. It’s simpler than Race for the Galaxy, and as addictive as Pandemic. It’s sure to be a hit with anyone who enjoys CCG-like games. This was my favorite game of the day.


I had previously played a handful of Kingsburg games using this excellent Java application. It was just about as quick face-to-face. I like everything about the game, except the fact that, when a player blocks you, most of the time it's only because he wants that space for himself. In other words, the player interaction (ie screwage) is serendipitous or unintentional, depending on your point of view.

Game Y

Thanks to Emanuele Ornella (Oltremare, Il Principe) for teaching Game Y, another prototype. Like his previous titles, this game has some unexpectedly inter-connected mechanisms, forcing you to think in multiple dimensions while making choices. It might be a little heavier than it seems. I'm not sure yet.

Felix: The Cat in the Sack

Thanks to Evan Tannheimer for teaching Felix: The Cat in the Sack. It feels a little like an auction version of Nobody But Us Chickens. A reasonable light filler.

Huang Di

Thanks to Bryan Johnson for teaching Huang Di, yet another prototype, although this one is being published shortly. It's a resource/economy game with players trying to build up sections of the Great Wall. Building patterns of your own walls, represented by cards in your hand, earn you bonuses. Having majorities in wall row sections, entire rows, and building the top wall piece at each section end earn you victory points. There are only 4 action cards, 3 of which you can play each round. But each has multiple action types. Optimizing your own economy, while dealing with the ever-changing public resources and wall configuration, is quite a challenge.

Edit: I forgot that I also played Kingsburg. Added above.