The Day I OD'ed On Cardboard
I think Ben summed up Descent quite nicely so I will only touch upon it. Basically it is exactly like Doom with some minor differences. The biggest of these being you can now fully customize your character if you so choose. The dungeon is also preset-up, which I can understand for the wild time requirements (a full 2 hours over Doom's average play time of 3 hours) but it does lose a lot of flavor in exploration and adventuring because of it. As for our game, we pretty much ran around beating the organs out of hairy creatures and skeletons (a hard task when organ-less) for most of the game. In fact we were so full of ourselves that when we lost two of our party members to a giant flaming ogre (the fiery kind), we pretty much took it as a fluke and hurried on to end the game. With a fat stack of conquest tokens and egos overflowing with cleaving special abilities and a bug that, apparently, was Death's insectoid incarnation, we confidently strolled into the last room...Only to get beat the ever-loving crap down. Hard.
After a short visit to Wing Stop for some much needed sugar and calories, we returned for a nice filler game of Citadels. Myself along with Sir Ben of Broadway-Sunset, Count Jon of Northwest Military, Duke Bryant of...erm- some far off land, and Earle Chad of Fredericksburg (Hey, that's where we found him) all gathered to build spectacular cities in a contest to prove who was pretty much "the coolest" of them all. I must say I mopped up with a 31-point city that was a full 10 or so over the next highest. As much as I would like to claim superior intellect and cunning strategy, it really came down to the fact that I didn't get interfered with at all and was passed the Assassin way too many times (I told you guys, for shame).
Bryant then put us to task with the much hyped Caylus after Ben had to give in and go home. I must admit as a caveat that I don’t necessarily have a huge predilection toward Euro games, so take the rest of what I have to say with a grain of salt. While I certainly respect the design, which has numerous interlocking mechanisms and variables to be considered, I didn't find the game to be a terrible amount of fun. The only player interaction to speak of came merely from limiting other's choices. While moving little wooden cubes around in a certain way may be exciting for some, I was a bit bored by the dryness. It was almost like we were all just playing a solitaire game competitively. Again, I respect the design immensely since it was clearly well thought out, but I can't say it's the next best thing since toast was invented.
At this point, Bryant and Chad called it quits. Jon and I, in a fury of game-fueled insanity (all charged up on boards and bits like Scarface), decided to stay around and give another game a go. Tigris & Euphrates was decided upon once the poor, overworked Rob arrived to try and get in at least some gaming while he could during the week (I feel for you man). I must say I enjoyed it a lot more than I would have expected. There was tons of player interaction and interesting moves to consider. The whole time we played Caylus, I was wishing for some kind of peasant battle resolution and T&E came and delivered on some much-needed confrontation. Jon cleaned up on me and Rob, almost entirely because of the most incredible feats of luck I've ever seen. You might think "luck in T&E?" -But I swear to you in each conflict he became involved in; he had the magical number of support tiles every friggin' time. Oh well... I was a bit shocked by the game's simplicity though. I was always intimidated by games like these because of the category of "weight" I had seen them thrown into. I’m starting to feel weight is much more of a misnomer than I had originally concluded.
Anyway, it was real. It was fun. -And it was real fun. I went home and sat on the couch attempting not to think at all once I got home. I think I succeeded, but I have to say the day was worth it. So all I really have left to say is...when's the next mega game day? :)