Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday Session Report

Monday is back! Even without BSG being present, we had ten people last night, including new member Fred. My games played:

Rebel vs. Imperium
Played three games of the Race expansion without using takeover powers. Took two seconds and a third (typical for me; always a bridesmaid in this game). I found that the new powers were tempting me to over-Explore when I should have been Producing, especially with the Uplift 6-development out. Goals are much more interesting with choice of homeworld.

The Resistance
Werewolf-ish game where just over half of the players are Rebel Alliance trying to blow up Imperial bases, and the rest are Imperial Spies trying to sabotage the Rebel Scum. The first player must select "planners", and the selection must pass a vote. Each planner then secretly throws in an Alliance or Empire card. All Alliance cards, Imperial base blows up. Any Empire card, Alliance base blows up. First team to blow up three bases wins. Two other twists: the Imperial players know who each other are, and the Rebels must add one extra planner after each success, so by the end they must know who everyone is. The analysis was pretty simplistic with six players, with only a couple of clever moves, but it might be more entertaining with more (there's a seven-player forum game on BGG that might come to blows soon).

Are You The Traitor?
This game, however, is totally unsalvageable. Apparently someone thought Werewolf had far too much information for a proper party game. Each player has a role, some information, and a target; point to your target and your team wins, fail and you lose. But since no one with information knows who is on their team, and no one who needs information has a reasonable way of getting it, the game devolves into a staring contest. It doesn't help that every round, someone called me out as evil, and I always was.

I love trick-taking games and "climbing" card games, and I so want to love this one, but too often I feel like a spectator as the hand plays itself out. My passes are usually obvious (if lots of pairs, give away singletons; if few pairs, break them up and hope for long run; low odd left). When I go out early, and replay the hand in my head afterwards, I often see that I could've played it a dozen different ways and still gone out first. I frequently don't get a card in edgewise until one or two people are out. I don't think I missed any Tichus, since I only went out first twice, and both required generous single-card leads from others. I so want to make a clever play in this game, but I'm nearly 40 hands in and have never found one.

So Race wins the evening, I guess, though it's been so long since I attended on Mondays that I even enjoyed Are You a Traitor, and would've played almost anything. Almost.

Brian has a thread on his blog about games you're looking forward to for the next year. For a long time, my list was blank, but Fantasy Flight and Games Workshop have decided to torture me:

BSG: Pegasus
Blood Bowl (for XBox in September)
Chaos in the Old World
Warhammer: Invasion (Living Card Game, starting from the ground up, unlike Game of Thrones and Call of Cthulhu, which had CCG predecessors; I'll only buy in if I think someone else might be interested)

And the biggie, if the rumors are true: Space Hulk. (And did you hear the other rumor? Prepainted figures?)


At 11:41 AM, July 21, 2009, Blogger Tiffany said...

Monday also included a game of Hermagor. Which I enjoyed. There is the dynamics of the market, and paying to potentially claim an item, and hose your opponents in the process. Then there is the journeying and selling aspect. So it is kind of two games in one. I enjoyed it. Can see why it would not be liked by all. Hope that maybe it can make the table every few months. We shall see.

I liked Tichu. The more I play the more I like. I realize according to my logged games at BGG i have only played 3 times. I need to fix this. I like playing card games in general. And would not mind playing more Tichu or Bridge is people are patients in the teaching of the bidding. Or more poker.

At 12:55 PM, July 21, 2009, Blogger Michael said...

We also played automobile. I'll have to try it again sometime. Rob? My schedule is pretty flexible.

I enjoyed the werewolfish game we played.

At 3:08 PM, July 21, 2009, Blogger Robert said...

Hermagor was good as I remembered, but I'm ok not owning it anymore. I need to get rid of a few more games that i just don't NEED to own....which reminds me: I AM going to BGG. I just confirmed it with my boss.

TIchu? I've played like 5 times, and even own a copy. I like it a lot. I just would like to play with newbs some time. I find the barrier of entry seems steep... the people I've played with (Brian, like Marty from Clear Lake) usually are ten steps ahead of me in the 'thought process'. What seems obvious to them, is a new discovery for me. Then again, my trick-taking/escalating past game experience is nil.

Automobile is just a punishing game, like AoS. I like that a lot. I was blinded by the feeling that I HAD to max out my lvl3 factory for the last turn, even when Michael did what he did...and ended up hosing myself. I probably would have saved about $600 if I hadn't gone ALL the way recklessly. Unlike other economic games that I enjoy like Indonesia, this one just CLICKS for me. Don't mind bringing it in future gaming sessions. BTW, the cheaper reprint should be out around October...

At 5:15 PM, July 21, 2009, Blogger Brian said...

Ah, cheaper reprint.

I liked Automobile, although I'm a bit worried about replayability. I think it will outlast Brass, but Brass has lots to despise.

At 6:02 PM, July 21, 2009, Blogger Fred said...

I enjoyed Hermagor. I think they would've done better hiring a professional to design the rulebook, which was confusing and difficult to read, but the gameplay was fun and the initial auction was a very elegant mechanic. The bookkeeping elements of the 2nd phase of play are kind of a pain, although it does move quickly.

Automobile, I felt like I had little control over my performance in the game. It's a very very tactical game, with few !! moves possible; you have to grind out small edges. This led to me overthinking turns and missing opportunities due to not understanding all my options fully. It's rarely possible to lock opponents out of valuable actions; you have to react to their play rather than preemptively neutralizing it, which leads to a lot of agonizing and rethinking of plans.

That said, I'd try it again.

At 6:19 PM, July 21, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wallace games always remind me of a robot with the covering stripped off so you can see the machine cranking away underneath. His games always feel like they are deep mechanics laid bare with not a lot of gloss on top hiding them. Much like Rob's "punishing" assessment, they strike me as "unforgiving." They reward good play and don't allow bad play to catch up. I do like his style of game (particularly Age of Steam) from time to time. But I like at least some theme as well, and theme is not his primary focus.

Still, I'm definitely in for a game at some point.

At 6:43 PM, July 21, 2009, Blogger Ben said...

Hey... Perikles is dripping with the theme... though perhaps this one is sort of like a robot with his just his pants stripped off, whatever that means.

Wallace games that do have good theme: Runebound, Waterloo, Struggle of Empires, Conquest of the Empire 2... though its possible developers added a lot of this in the case of Runebound and Conquest.

Highest on my want list at the moment is Middle Earth Quest, though the new C&C: Ancients stuff is right up there as well. Did I mention Marvel vs. Capcom 2 arrives next week?


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