Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sess Rep


So we played quite a few games last night. Any night were I get to play 3 or more is always a good gaming night.

I got there at 7pm....just in time for a 4 player San Juan (Michael, Jeff and a new gamer, Richard). As I've said before, nothing like playing a game were no rules need to be explained.

Then we moved on to 3 games I had never tried (...sweet). First we tried Tikal. Very interesting. Cool mechanics. We had the same 4 players take on this one. It is very intuitive, fun, with many strategic options, and with just the right amount of luck. Of course, the fact that I wooped everyone does skew my view of this game. Hehe.... But seriously, it had some really cool mechanics that went well with the whole "exploration" theme. It could have probably been 15 minutes shorter (or maybe I was feeling pressure from some bystanders that wanted to play a big group game)

Then we tried For Sale with Jon and Simon added to the mix. This ended up being another auction game that has won my heart over (first one was Ra). Kendahl, mr auction gamer, you need this one (if you don't already have it). It just ooooozes psychology. Great fun.

And last but not least, at 10pm, when my brain was somewhat fried, we tried Ricochet Robots... what a game! is all I can say. This is the first time ever I've literally felt my blood pressure rise while playing a game. It was a real rush.... really really taxing on my neurons. I still stand my statement: this is a Euro-party game... Gaming-geek-euro-party game. The time pressure, the tension to be the first to blurt out an answer or try to outwit your opponents; this is what to me makes it feel like a party game (and that's not a bad thing! au contraire). Granted, it lacks that "universal" appeal that is standard in your run-o-the mill party games. It may be a little too hardcore for the lay gamer.

Another one for my wishlist.

7 Comments:

At 8:14 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

I’ll add to that report the after party at my house with Jon and Michael:

We played on into the night (2:45 AM to be exact) since we all apparently lack any commitments or scheduling. First up was LotR with FF expansion. I think jumping from two players on makes the game exponentially easier. Though it might have been a whole lotta’ luck, we thoroughly trashed Sauron, mocking him as we went. I enjoyed finally pummeling the game for once, but the diminished tension is something I would prefer to be a rarity.

Onward, we went into tile laying mode with O Zoo Le Mio and Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers (two games I have rated a 10 over at the now ailing BGG). Michael made some early game bidding mistakes that put him out of the running as Jon and I stayed fairly competitive and close till the end in OZLM. Carcassonne was more the opposite as Michael reclaimed his tenacity and gave the two of us a pretty good thrashing (not a blow out, but a definitive win).

Then...We played Ricochet Robots, again...I guess this game has really hit it off with the group. Who would've guessed? We played with the "advanced rules" which actually allowed the robots to ricochet as in the namesake. I crushed Jon and Michael like the n00bs they are with 8 tokens to their measly 5 and 4, respectively. Suck it!

Anyway, I was glad to get in a gaming overload after the DL session and I thank Jon and Michael for partaking.

Also, While Tikal, Caylus, and San Juan played out at the DL earlier in the night, Jon and I took to a game of Bonaparte at Marengo. All I can say is wow, what a thinker's game. It was easily the most elegant wargame I've ever seen with some VERY deep gameplay remeniscent of Chess or the like. We both had a hard time managing the larger picture while trying to handle the nuanced tactical play. If you leave a flank open, over or under reinforce a blockade, spread your troops to thin, or clump them up to tight, you're bound to be taken advantage of. My Austrians came out on top and demoralized the French for the win. BaM is easily one of my top two wargames now and in the running for the first of a possible ten rating for a wargame I have yet to give. It really was phenomenal for those interested in the genre.

 
At 8:22 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

I'm interested.

And Caylus?! Who played?!

(Michael) Et tu Brutus?

 
At 8:47 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Kendahl said...

This session report had me really feeling left out, for some reason. I am missing out on too many good games.

I love For Sale. Unfortunately, I have bought it three times and have traded it off three times. I will pick it up in my next game order (although it's a game that could be easily "made" using poker chips and a standard deck of cards).

I own O Zoo le Mio and am anxious to try it out. I'd like someone to explain it to me, since the rules translation seemed to be a bit sketchy.

If there is ever a late Friday night gaming session, give me a call. One of the biggest things keeping me from the game sessions is that when I come home from work, my pregnant wife is exhausted and needs me to take over in watching the kids. Once the kids are in bed however, I bet I could sneak away for some late-night meeple pushing.

 
At 9:39 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

Ted, here's the session report. I got your message yest. I think you'll be another one who'll be enjoying Ricochet when u try it.

 
At 10:37 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger Simon said...

Crud, I forgot we all played Rumis too. It is pretty neat with some stellar bits. Envision Blokus in the third dimension on a lazy suzan and you're halfway there. I recall Michael winning.

 
At 3:42 AM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Michael said...

Jeff and I played a 2 player game of caylus at 6pm while Jon and Simon played BaM. Rob, pretty much any time you want to play I'm game. I've pretty much become a Caylus addict to go with my other current gaming addictions. Is it bad when I dream about bits?

Ricochet Robots is awesome! It jumps to the top of my list of games to pick up now. It might be the only game on the list at the moment but I really loved it. Perfect game for my friends: simple rules and party atmosphere (geek party).

Tikal I can take or leave. I definitely made some big early game misplays that cost me over the long haul sacrificing way to much tempo to get the "ultimate" permanent temples.

For Sale is fun. I can see why some people don't like the blind bidding mechanic because it can be very hard, especially in a short game, to get a feel for how aggressive people will be. I think it leads to some interesting game theoretic choices, but unfortunately my brain doesn't have a random number generator so I'm pretty surely never going to be able to play optimally.

I think I was unlucky in our game of Lord of the Rings. I completely agree with Simon. There was next to no tension, we were in control pretty much 100% of the time. I found it to be boring, but that may be particular to the way the game played out that time.

O Zoo Le Mio was interesting. It has the blind bidding mechanic coupled with a mechanic that really rewards the people who win more auctions: your income each year is equal to the total number of auctions you have won over the course of the game. So the tiles you win in the first epoch are going to pay off I think four times each. The net result is you really want to win tiles early on, but you also don't want to be completely out of whack with the groupthink and overpay as that negates any advantage. I couldn't balance these 2 things (I kept underbidding) and ended up with horrible income for a while and a very poor scoring position as well.

I'm not a huge Carcassone fan of any genre. I never really feel like I have a good idea about any grand plan. I only have 3 plays under my belt so perhaps that changes.

 
At 7:35 AM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Rob said...

That's the good thing about Carc....you don't really need a grand plan. Just focus on your farmers, and trying to cut off others having big "farmer fields".

Micheal, I thought Simon said somebody played Caylus...

 

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