Wed Dec 28
I arrived a little before 11, and Jeff and Brian were playing LotR:C. For it's length, I enjoy this game. If it were longer, I'd expect more, but it's short, so I'm happy. We played a round of No Thanks, which is a nice filler. Rick showed up and we played something starting with a "Y" that had a really neat dice mechanic. The game combined the pleasure of rolling buckets-o-dice with some actual decisions.
While we finishing the Y-dice game, Jon arrived for his CC:E confrontation with Brian.
Rick, Jeff and I played Reef Encounter and then Goa, both of which are serious brain-burners, but also serious fun IMO. Rick had played RE several times, and so he explain the rules with just a few addenda from me, then the three of us grew and nutured our coral until our parrot fish could gorge themselves. It's neat to see the reefs grow and change, and then suddenly a predator arrives and leaves a huge hole. The ebb and flow of the game is neat.
We turned to Goa, a game (nominally) about Portugese (I think) traders who are developing spice colonies in the Indian Ocean. You found colonies and plantations and develop skills in several tracks. We had a few mistakes, but the general flow of the game was correct. It's a neat game, and it felt close.
Rick, Jeff, and Jon had to leave, so Brian and I broke out BattleLore. It being our first game, we stuck to the historical scenario of Agincourt. We played twice, switching sides. This scenario seems to be pretty unbalanced, with one side having a lot of green (pun intended) archers with short bows while the other side gets elite cavalry. I had thought this was the battle that made the long bow famous, but there's nary a long bow in sight, and the cavalary make a mess of the untrained masses. I enjoyed playing the game, and my pleasure colored my memory. Brian had to remind me the game was lop-sided in each case.
The game was a lot of fun, but I reserve the right to change my mind after more plays. I don't mind if the scenarios aren't exactly balanced, but they should be sorta kinda balanced. "Play both sides" is OK since the game is short and fun, but it still speaks of sloppy scenario design. With so many excellent games vying for my limited play-time, I prefer to see better play-testing and design.
Labels: session report