Rainy Day Rome
We had a solid three-hour gaming session this afternoon. Rainy days always seem perfect for board gaming.
First, Jon and I played Lord of the Rings: Confrontation (expanded edition) while we waited for Al to show up. In hindsight this was probably unfair to Jon, as I was much more familiar with the various powers and interactions of the new characters added to the game. Still, it was a quick and interesting game with the Free People's doing a monster ring dunk at the end. I think we both made great use of the recon abilities of Smeagol and Wormtongue, but I was able to come out on top of a few crucial exchanges. This is one of my favorite filler games.
Next after Al arrived we decided to try out the new Histories of Catan: Struggle for Rome game. The game took us about two hours to play, and I felt the competition was quite close the whole game. Although there are many Catan-like elements within the game, the game itself felt like something completely new. We each controlled tribes running through Western Europe plundering cities and eventually carving out kingdoms. I was able to squeak out a narrow victory at the end, only one point ahead of Jon, with Al close behind. I'd give this game a solid 8 on the BGG scale. Luck was perhaps a bit too significant a factor, but there was a fair number of opportunities throughout the game to screw the leader, so I feel this balanced things out nicely. I'm looking forward to playing this again, next time hopefully with the full complement of four players.