"Uhhh....so what are we playing now?" ....a 9/4 report
As usual, many great games were played, others not so great, and some time was wasted deciding what the next game would be (more than usual though.....what does this mean? Discuss...Talk amongst yourselves...I am ferklempt!).
El Grande: First time played, not disappointed. Runaway Chad won, but by a very small margin on the last round. Would play again (and bump up in my wishlist).
Wits and Wagers: Quickly falling in the "games I'd leave home because I'm getting burnt out". Don't get me wrong; it's a great trivia/party game. But 1. well, you all know how I feel about trivia, and 2. I can play trivia with anyone if I was really into them whereas Euros/wargames I can't. These are what I look forward to playing every Monday with the awesome SABG folks. Now, being the non-game basher (like others in the group....wink wink) and team player, if people want to keep playing this, yes, I'll pull up a chair. It is a good game after all, even with the chaotic betting. The other trivia game, Smarty Party, was refreshing even when I lost.
Caribbean: I'll admit it. This is my first lukewarm purchase. Bought it out of a whim, without even looking at reviews,etc. Not doing that ever again. This is a game that reads more interestingly than it actually performs. When I bought it, I thought "cool, a light Pirate game". And it is.... a light blind bidding game (no, I don't think ALL games accross the board with this mechanic suck) where you bet for control of 6 different pirate ships stealing treasures from different ports. The manual talks about all these cool combo moves you could pull off: steal treasure from other boats, swap treasures, etc etc. They sound very cool when you read about it, but somehow it just doesn't really happen in the game as "cooly". Definitvely feels more like a very light kid's game to me. If my "future kids" turn five before I am able to trade this on BGG, I'll keep it.
Roads and Boats (aka beefed-up Catan civ game mix): (Players: Michael, Me, Jeff, Amy, Brian). Great game. A few points:
1. It reminds me of everything I like about computer civ games: a real sense that your civ is developing/progressing, the tech tree works great offering multiple different branches to go down through, you can feel the comfort of having a well-greased production machine when you have more supplies than need for them, etc etc. Surprisingly, it's really not that complicated.
2. My only gripe at first was something I know Brian, Michael and I felt during the game: they who control mines the quickest, kick buttang the hardest. Interestingly enough, Jeff and Amy were the closest to mines from all of us, but they actually ended at opposite ends of the scoring spectrum!...Jeff last, Amy first. So maybe this doesn't guarantee victory. Plus there are ways around this which I tried to go after a little late in the game. In this game nobody controls the goods unless they are physically on a transport. I was able to build a raft that could have taken gold from their mines every 2rds. But by the time I realized this, they were almost depleted.
3. Another "mistake" we made I feel,we shouldn't have focused so much on bulding the monument: it is the option that gives you the least amount of points, and costs the most amount of resources....ergo, poor ROI. Focusing on the higher scoring stuff like gold/minting/stock market is the way to go (but would have also made the game last longer than 2 1/2 hrs because building the monument speeds up the game). I mean, think about it: I put a WHOLE lot more bricks into the monument than Jeff did, and I only ended 9 points ahead of him (4th place). Would like to play again at some point.
4. Next time too, we should use the walls to block off our neighbors. Surely, my neighbors (Amy) would have had to spend precious resources blocking my gold-stealing raft had I built it earlier in the game. We played too carebearishly.
5. Oh, and another gripe.... why the poor art quality???! there was no need for that other than to say "yes, we are arrogant...we know the game is great in its own right....we don't need good quality art".
6. Oh and BTW, the turn other deal with the "praying figures" that can reset turn order at key moments in the game adds another interest twist to the game I thought. It's another thing you have to factor into your carefully planned evil plans.
Mykerinos: Very interesting. Feels like 2 area control games in one, each with peculiar rules. Multiple options for scoring/multiple paths to victory is always an key element in my top-rated games. I'd like to play again for a few reasons: I liked the depth in such a short game, we (read Chad) messed up one rule that changes the whole "area control" part of the game, and I wasn't aware until the end that having full sets of characters scores bonus points. Now that I know how to play, I'd like to see how easy it is to "screw" with other players's plans to limit their scores, while setting myself up for victory.
Arkham: Not played, but Chad, count me in. Been itching for a theme-heavy game for a while. We can always do a 3 player game.