On Saturday, I ran some playtests of a prototype by KC Humphrey (designer of Havoc) called Tres Amigos. It’s a card game loosely themed on the movie, Three Amigos. I ran two 4-player sessions in the morning and a 3-player session in the evening. Everyone liked the mechanics of the game including a couple of suggested variants. Most of the feedback centered around improving visual cues to aid telling 3s and Amigos apart.
After the playtesting, I played a couple of new games. First was Traumfabrik, Knizia’s Hollywood themed auction game. I played with Tim, Jeff Carey, Luke and Dave. After losing a couple of bidding wars to Luke early in the game, I had a difficult time regaining any ground. Dave handily won the game with a 21 star/point version of Harvey. I enjoyed the game and would like to find a reasonably priced copy to have at home. Jill would like it and we have some friends that like classic movies and would enjoy this game.
Everyone but Jeff moved on to play Goa. First time playing this for me and Dave. Luke scorched us by improving his ability to draw expedition cards early in the game and efficiently used them to reduce the cost of other improvements. Tim was hamstrung early on without any plantations but was able to regain a lot of ground later in the game. However, it wasn’t enough to surpass the early lead that Luke had built.
While I was waiting for another game to finish up, I taught Ryan how to play Blue Moon. I need to find a couple of players around here because I don’t play it enough to do a good job explaining the mechanics. I usually need to refer to the rulebook for a couple of items. We got through the game OK. Ryan won in the end after he influenced a dragon to his side on our last battle. I still had several cards left but didn’t have any characters left to start another battle.
The game I was waiting to get into was a 3 player session of RA with Bob and Tim. Tim and Bob collected a lot of the points in the first 2 scoring rounds with pharoahs and rivers. I scored a few points off rivers and gold but built up a nice collection of monuments during the game. The monuments brought me within striking distance but it was not enough. I did have the largest total on bid chips and took 5 points from Tim, making Bob the winner. If Bob’d had the fewest points on his bid chips, Tim would’ve been the winner. Pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve seen the winner determination depend on the scoring from the sun/bid chips.
Bob and I split a couple of games of Quarto and then played Havoc with Dave, George and Greg. This was the first game for George and Greg. This was another play of this game where I was able to do well (in a 5-player game) collecting only sets (2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of a kind) rather than straights or flushes.
Wrapped things up with a play of Citadels with George, Dale, Dave and Greg. I like Citadels every now and again but you need the right crowd. We had a pretty good natured bunch so everyone was having a good time. I was picking last on roles most of the game and eventually got behind on building. It was late and I decided to play outside the meta-game by picking my role at random one turn. Everyone got a kick out of that. Turned out that I picked the thief who was then assassinated so I didn’t get a turn anyway — so much for stepping out of the meta-game! Needless to say, I didn’t reveal my role when the Thief was called and when I still didn’t reveal after the Warlord was called, everyone burst with laughter again when they realized my randomness got me stabbed in the back.
Saturday is the last full day of gaming. Sunday is mostly packing, everyone saying their farewells and parting ways until next February. Before I went to bed on Saturday, I packed up my games and loaded them in my car so that I could get going quickly the next morning. Brian rode with me and he had to drive home to Chicago after we returned to Indy so we planned to get going as early as possible.
It was another great retreat and we’re already looking forward to #8 in 2007. 🙂