Al, Rob and I got to the store at the crack of dawn to start Here I Stand. Counting setup and tear down, we played for about five and half hours. Rob controlled the French and Turks, Al commanded England and the Protestants, and I was both Holy, Roman and the Emperor. With three players (instead of six) you get plenty of control, but it's somewhat overwhelming. I suspect the full compliment of players shaves 15 minutes or more off of each turn. (I think we did the turns in a bit more than an hour each, with the first turn taking longer).
Despite Talmudic study, I got rules wrong. We didn't figure out how to use the debater / reformer bonuses until after three 0'clock. These are the troops of the reformation, and each individual has a unique character. That makes the Protestant/Papal decisions much more interesting, and removes my criticism that those powers simply push chits around. And there were others. Germany starts under the Hapsburgs, and we completely forgot the Diet of Worms. (Oops. Schoolchildren across America only know the Reformation because of the gross meal everyone ate. OK, that's a lie. They don't know about it at all.)
After three turns both the Papacy and the Hapsburgs stood ahead of the pack, but Rob raised the black flag and scoured the Barbary Coast, picking up VPs and cards, which let him make a desperation Assault on Algiers. The Janissaries prevailed, and Rob squeezed out the win by a single VP.
The game holds my interest [I discussed it on my blog] and I'd like to play again (with more people) before I go back to work. The tournament scenario can probably be done in 3-4 hours, once everyone knows it. And if we can't get up another game, perhaps PBEM.
After that, small easy games were the order of the day. And games with sitting. Short games require short summaries.
- Tumblin dice -- The luck of shuffleboard with the skill of dice!
- To Court the King -- I'm glad to finally see this released.
- Mag Blast -- Pleasantly surprised. Good quick fun. Glorp!
- King's Gate -- Samurai-esque Knizia game with too much chrome. But fine.
- Arena Maximus -- De gustibus non est disputandum.