I got a little more sleep but not much after Day 2. And my butt’s been draggin’ at work this week in the afternoons because of it.
On Day 3, I learned a few and taught a few. First up was Havoc. This was a 5 player game with Jeff McGowen, Josh, Jeff Lovelace and Sean. Havoc is a card game themed on the Hundred Years War. Players collect cards and will use them in a battle whenever a player cries, “Havoc!” instead of drawing cards. The battle hands are evaluated based on hand rankings from Poker. Havoc is seeing regular play with my group and hit the table several times during GTF. I played twice in 5 player games each time. In larger games (5-6 players), I’m finding that collecting sets (i.e. three, four and five of a kind) and picking only 1 or possibly 2 early battles to participate in is a recipe to do well in the end game. The use of straights and flushes are better used in smaller games (3-4 players) when you’ve had the opportunity to draw more cards.
Afterwards, I learned how to play Hacienda. A tile-laying game in the vein of Through the Desert themed in South American ranches. Points are scored with terrain tile chains (3 or more adjacent terrain tiles), for each connected market, for haciendas and for tiles adjacent to water. Played this with Luke, Leroy, Tim and Chris. First time for everyone but it clicked with Luke right away. He outdistanced all of us in points by a good measure. I thought it was a good game and would play again.
My first game of RA for the weekend was with Jeff McGowen, Bob and Sean. RA is one of my favorites at the moment. I really ought to update my Hot 10 on the ‘geek and replace something I’m not as excited about right now. This was a learning game for Jeff and Sean. Bob and I have played several times before. This was one of Jeff’s favorite games all weekend. A little unusual since Jeff likes ‘take that’ games and it’s not often to see him this excited about a pure euro-style game. Very cool.
Lightened up and played a couple of games of Wits and Wagers with Troy, Jeff Lovelace, Jeff McGowen, Bob, Sean and Tim. I was looking for this game a couple of weeks ago when Jill and I were having her sister and husband and our friends, Bob and Julie, over for games. Didn’t find it so we played other games. I was glad to see this appear at GTF because I wanted to check it out. I liked it a lot. Good trivia game where you don’t have to know the answer to be in the game.
In the evening, most of the group participated in two, large Duel of Ages games run by Tim. Tim has been running demos of DoA and brought extra copies to give away to a few lucky participants. Each table had 8-10 players and ran 2 to 3 hours. Some liked it, some didn’t. It was very chaotic and distracting with so many players playing at once and all of us for the first time. I could see that it had potential and that I would most likely enjoy this game with 4 players (2 per team) in a quieter setting.
Played San Juan after DoA with Jeff Lovelace, Tim and Dave. Everyone was an experienced player so nothing exceptional to report. I squeaked out a win with a Guild Hall and a lot of production buildings.
The last game of the evening was another new one, Australia. Tim taught Dave, Bob, Sean and me how to play. Light, interesting game of deploying your Rangers around Australia to collect points for development and conservation projects in different sections of the continent. Dave made efficient use of his Rangers late in the game for the win. I would like to play again but I’m not sure it would have legs in the long term.
Favorite game of the day was RA but could’ve been Duel of Ages with a smaller group. Favorite new game up to this point was Louis XIV.