Saturday, January 21, 2006

1/20 Session Report

I thought Jeff was going to post the session report but I think he is a bit weary of someone from Malaysia correcting his Bohnanza planting methods or something like the same. Anyway, a good time was had by all in attendance (Me, Rob, and our two gracious hosts- Amy and Jeff).

Before Rob showed up I was drawn into a three player game of Puerto Rico. Now when I played Caylus, I had no trouble discerning strategies or seeing what I did wrong and where, etc. -But I must painfully profess that this game left me feeling really stupid, like the level of dumbfoundedness akin to taking a diagnostic math test after a long, wild summer and staring at a simple equation that for all practical purposes you SHOULD know...but you don't and you sit there feeling inadequate. I need a few more plays to get a grip on it. Maybe playing late on a Friday didn't help much...Or at least that is the excuse Amy supplied me with. Like Caylus, I think the game could benefit from a little more player interaction. Jeff lost by a single point to Amy at 61 (ouch) and I came in at 44...a rather paltry score.

We then moved on to a nice filler game of Bohnanza after Rob was forced to watch us play out the end of PR, being one his favorites (sorry). Again, I was a bit slow on the uptake but managed to slowly massage my dendrites into a working order. Bohnanza was well covered by Rob so I think all I need to say is that it is indeed a fun trading game. I actually feel it's more similar to Apples to Apples in play than anything else in the genre (light with pretty chaotic scoring as most will trade almost anything that will end up vaguely benefiting them). Rob won with a score of 21 with myself a few behind, and Jeff and Amy taking up the rear.

Next, we all sat around shooting sly glances at Railroad Tycoon until Jeff piped up and requested it. The game is fantastic in my opinion. The components are spectacular (with the board being an exception) and the gameplay is just strategic enough without the rules clutter and analysis paralysis that is usually involved. Having more players would seem to up the ante. Also, unlike Conquest of the Empire, the cards are not entirely too numerous and random (something Jeff conjectured might have been the reason for my distaste of it). The scoring track is brilliant as it seems to prevent runaway leader and keep a nice tight end game even with a versatile group of tactics taken by players. All in all, a very solid 9 for me as is. Jeff controlled the Northeast and beat me and Amy (we tied for 2nd) out by 5 points. I was pretty impressed that Amy was able to do so well in the dead lands of the South coupled with a considerable amount of debt from shares via investors. Rob tried to limit Jeff's score and ended up limiting his own as well, but his sacrifice only helped Amy and I do better. So thanks I guess. :)

Again, thanks to Jeff and Amy for hosting. Oh, and I hope you guys get to play that Heroscape Master Set you were able to procure for seven bucks at Goodwill. -Mother of all deals that was. Enjoy.

-Simon "The Euro-Whipping Boy" W.


At 9:23 PM, January 21, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Man, I wish I could have been there. Three games I haven't played that I am eagerly hoping to play sometime soon. Now that I'm through getting C&C: Ancients in playable form, I'm going to dive into the rule of RR Tycoon. Maybe it'll hit the table again on Tuesday...

At 2:34 AM, January 22, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Nice flag!

I liked your analysis of RR tycoon. I want to try it though with more players to see if the game gets less "territorial". I guess I was expecting more mooching of points by forcing more use of your links by your opponents, to make those priceless deliveries. This rarely seemed to happen because,again, we played pretty territorially...each concentrated their "forces" to a fixed region of the map. Then again, some tycoon cards like Amy's encourage playing this way.

And I agree, Bohnanza falls in the same category as Apples to Apples for me too.

At 9:38 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Kendahl said...

Nice report. However, I would never classify Bohnanza in the same category as Apples to Apples. Perhaps it's the funny artwork that makes you think it's simply a light trading game. But there are a lot of different trading strategies that can be employed. I think it fits in the same category as I'm the Boss rather than some lame party game that requires no thought and can be won by sheer luck (in A2A, you could put all your cards face down and play a random card every turn and have an equal chance of winning...).

At 10:52 AM, January 23, 2006, Blogger Jeff said...

I didn't write up a report since Rob had written a fairly good description as a comment to some other post. I was also a bit reluctant to report since we very nearly screwed up the Puerto Rico endgame in a way which would have cost Amy her win. Happily, Rob was there to spot our mistake.

The parallels that can be drawn between RR Tycoon and Conquest of the Empire are numerous. I prefer the way RRT handles the cards. They come out more slowly, and they're all free, so you're only spending your action, not your action plus some cash (as is often the case with CotE). I prefer as little randomness in my (heavy) games as possible. Still, RRT is probably around an 8. We managed to crank out a four player game in about two hours, and it was a first play for three of us. It scratched the very powerful itch I'd been having for a train game. Now I need to play Age of Steam and see how it compares to RRT.


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