Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Gaming


As usual, lots of games played at Casa de Chris. But I'll focus on two. We played a quick game of Dune ... in fact, it ended on turn 2. This was definitely a case of feeling things out. Ben and I formed an alliance then, as worm followed worm, we invited Jon in. That's when we discovered that the counter alliance of Steve, Scott and Chris could (as they say in the vernacular) "Bring the pain." Spice flowed freely, since whatever they bid for cards got paid to Chris, who could refund it. And with Scott controlling FedEx (aka the Guild), shipping was free too! It got ugly.

Anyway, we could have unwound it, but we'll chalk it up to learning.

Anyway, I had a new copy of Phoenicia. I've written a full review at the Geek. Suffice it to say that Pheonicia falls into the "Scepter of Zavandor" family, which got played quite a bit (to death?) around here last Winter. I won the first game (not surprising, as these games have a learning curve) but Scott and I bid each other up and let Jon get a nice combination at list price. By the mid-game he had more income, more VPs, could hold more cards, and more workers. To compensate, we had less of everything.

However, one of Phoenicia's strengths is that the game plays quickly. I think we did two games in under two hours ... with the rules. (We could get three player Scepter in an hour, but it took a few games. We'll probably trim this down a bit, too). Tonight I played three 2-player games online, bringing my record for the day to 1-4, with three of the losses being laughers. I'll figure this out eventually.

Other games played include Notre Dame, Caylus Magna Carta, and Descent.

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7 Comments:

At 10:46 PM, August 18, 2007, Blogger Chris said...

I'm glad I finally got Descent on the table. It's been something I've been wanting to play and hadn't actually seen it yet.

Steve and I got waxed by some furball monsters that healed themselves by hitting us, bats that made us see stars, and hellhounds with really bad breath. I think we figured out that two characters means not a lot of downtime but also means too few people to soak up the damage the denizens deal out. I'm definitely willing to try it again but I think we should split a third character between us or take two characters each or something similar next time.

After Descent, we pulled out Perikles. I made the mistake of jumping out to the lead too early and putting on my big red bullseye t-shirt. While Ben and Steve deftly kept my political ambitions in check (with a well placed dagger or three), they quietly raced each other to the finish, with Steve edging Ben with a clutch 10 roll to take the swing battle that won the game. I liked the game design more than I thought I would and would definitely play it again, although I'd probably enjoy it more with a few additional players.

I'm not sure what to think about Dune. I think the rule requiring an additional stronghold control for each additional alliance member is a must. I know that a lot of people feel that there's a good game in there, and I'm sure our next game will be more reflective of that.

Notre Dame--I wish I was better at it but I've always enjoyed it each time I've played, especially because it flows pretty quickly. I need more practice, though.

Thanks for coming over, guys. Always fun.

 
At 5:37 AM, August 19, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Thank you very much for hosting, Chris! Chris and I almost kicked off a very interesting looking scenario of BattleLore, but by then it was 8 PM, and I didn't have enough Lore to dispel my wife's summoning card.

The WBC tournament rules fix for Dune fix the alliances problem (i.e., each player added to your alliance increases the VP needed by one), plus the Shield Wall becomes a VP location after turn 6 (so there are then six locations), which apparently prevents stalemates from occuring. Even if the Shield Wall gets nuked by Family Atomics, it still serves as a VP location. I'm still skimming the rest of the tournament rules for other nuggets, but those are the main two that jump right out.

 
At 5:38 AM, August 19, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Ugh! Its too early. Please excuse typos.

 
At 8:37 AM, August 19, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Steve actually won Perikles, perhaps the meanest and nastiest game I own, by three points. This was a white knuckle intense session of an awesome game.

 
At 6:37 AM, August 20, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

Apparently (according to FFG's lead playtester Mike Zembrowsky on BGG yesterday) FFG announced at Gen Con that they've secured the rights to reprint both Dune and Cosmic Encounter.

I think I'll start typing up a few E-Bay auctions now...

 
At 1:52 PM, August 20, 2007, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

The Fortress: Ameritrash folks are saying that FFG has the rights to the Dune game, but not the Dune license...? Which would result in a rethemed game with the same mechanics. Which would make no sense.

So don't put up that auction right away. Or better yet, let me hang onto that game for you...for safekeeping....

 
At 4:54 PM, August 20, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

That sounds just totally weird. Moving fingers away from E-Bay now...

I did some reading today on Consimworld regarding hardcore Dune strategy. Apparently once you understand all the nuances and timing there are a lot of nasty tricks you can pull, like promising to Voice for an ally, then not doing so once the fight starts; telling an ally to pick a particular leader because its definitely not a traitor, but secretly knowing the leader actually is a traitor. It seems this kind of thing has led to some very ugly shouting matches at WBC in the past, which I personally can't imagine, but I guess when your whole life is the game...

 

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