Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More Power !


Jeff and I started up with Voltage, a fast two player card game. It's ... ok. But that started us on a "Power/Industrial" theme that kept going. After running our power plants, Sean showed up and we ran some Factories for Fun. I still like this one, as its reasonable quick, but fills that 'puzzle game' niche well. Dennis and Rick showed up, so we briefly paused for Cineplexity (ok, two pauses) then expanded our operation from one single plant to a whole string of them. This was my first time for the print-and-play Power Grid Atolla Modulis expansion, but our group likes Power Grid. Anyway, the game play is identical, just with the (modular) map. Overall, I think it went reasonably well. However, there are way too many cities that have no connection cost -- not only do several of the tiles have clumps, but the rules (as written) only put connection costs between cities that connect through a linking tile (one without cities). I think breaking the costs into "small" and "large" (whatever those may be) and putting the small tiles between cities (which would normally have no cost) and the large on the linking tiles will fit. Perhaps making the small costs the 1-10, and the large 10+ or so would be about right.

Overall, I'm glad I got this (I traded a game for a nice set), but I'd still be happy to play some of the other expansion boards too. Still, this is better than another game on the basic US/Germany map. (And soon the 2nd power plant deck will be out!).

After that we completely left industry behind to build up our huts in Taluva. This beautiful game, vaguely reminiscent of Java (with it's 3D building), seemed interesting, but really should only be played 2-player. Otherwise you get into the "No, you stop him!" issue. On the other hand, I think Attika (also designed by Marcel-Andre Casasola Merkle) is OK with 3 or 4, great with two. I'll need to play this a few more times to see, but this does look promising.


By this point everyone else had bailed, so I taught Starship Catan to Sean. This is a cute little game, really part of the "Settlers" genre by courtesy only. You have resources (and the race for 10VPs) but the heart of the game is the flightplan. There are four sectors, each with 10 cards. During your turn you pick one, shuffle it, and your opponent flips out the cards one at a time. Most of them let you buy or sell, but some are blank, some are 'destinations' (to finish adventures), and even a few pirates. It took me a bit to review how to play, but we got started and ended up with a tight race. Sean got to 9 VP and made his purchases to earn him a tenth on his next flight. I made my flight and claimed my 10th VP, but then a recount showed that we were tied for "Diplomatic Friendship Points." This gives a longest road style VP, but unlike Settlers if there's a tie the VP is taken away. So my "10th" VP was actually my 9th. But my flight let me flip through 7 cards (out of 10) on the stack and the final card earned my actual 10th VP, letting me squeak out the win.

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10 Comments:

At 1:05 PM, October 23, 2007, Blogger seanp said...

What was the name of the zombie poker game, Dennis? That one was fun to play, although the ending was anti-climatic as these "keep people from going out" games usually are. The actions and theme of it were a lot of fun, though...

I really enjoyed Starship Catan - it's definitely one I'd play again.

There's a lot of potential in the Modulus boards... It's definitely worth pulling them out again to try a variation.

 
At 1:12 PM, October 23, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

Oh, I forgot about Dead Money. It wasn't bad, but not great. Amusing, although I'd like to see it shorten up a bit. It could really drag with more players.

Always a good night when I get in a few new games (Taluva, Dead Money, Voltage, and the PG expansion).

 
At 2:16 PM, October 23, 2007, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

Dead Money goes faster once you are more familiar with the cards. I like the poker hand bidding, and I like the fact that the "screw you" parts are a little more structured than a game like, say, Lunch Money. But it's just a filler in the end.

Cineplexity was much more fun with the variant (one card in front of each player to allow pre-thinking), even though I did far worse. Didn't care for Atolla Modulus -- seemed to end just as it was getting interesting. Taluva was attractive, but as Brian said, most likely best with two.

Talisman arrives tomorrow!

 
At 2:25 PM, October 23, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

I don't think the "Just getting started" problem was with Atolla ... Power Grid has that issue with 6 (and sometimes 5). Although there's no reason you couldn't use a slightly larger map (say, an extra 3-4 cities) and play to 17 with five, with the expansion.

Cineplexity is bizarre. It's somewhat like Outburst (or Hossa) where you know tons of things, but have to think about them in a unique way. It's easy to name "Science Fiction movies" or "Keanu Reeves movies" but "Movies with an important candelabra"?

 
At 2:34 PM, October 23, 2007, Blogger Dennis Ugolini said...

"Phantom of the Opera"? No wait, that's a chandelier.

How about "The Princess Bride"? Doesn't Inigo use one as a shield at some point?

 
At 3:18 PM, October 23, 2007, Blogger Ben said...

I'm bringing back the new Power Grid deck.

 
At 4:55 PM, October 23, 2007, Blogger seanp said...

One thing with the zero-cost-connections was that it was pretty hard to block people from expanding - there were lots of low or no cost options, and block them here just means they jump through three no-cost pipes to another low cost option...

 
At 10:17 PM, October 23, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

(Cineplexity) Cinderella... come on people... But yes, The Princess Bride would be good to, I think.

(Starship) We build this city....
Good game. I played it once, and it's a VERY different Catan. I enjoyed the event cards with the 'choose your own adventure' element. And like you pointed out Brian, the colonizing from one side of the map to the other is very unique. The only problem I had with it was that I played it with 6. It makes the game longer than it should be IMO.

(I've lost my supreme admin powers....sniff... I deleted the message above)

 
At 7:36 AM, October 24, 2007, Blogger Amy said...

Who owns Taluva? I've been wanting to play that for awhile...

 
At 8:45 AM, October 24, 2007, Blogger Brian said...

[Dennis] -- I think Phantom of the Opera counts. I thought I recall a candelabra in the sewer scene (I am referring, of course, to the execrable Andrew Lloyd Weber movie version).

[Rob] -- You are thinking of Starfarers of Catan (which I saw played when it first came out, in German only, and took forever. I've never had any desire to play it after that). Starship Catan is the 2 player card game.

And Cinderella was a good answer.

[Amy] -- Rick had it.

 

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