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I hosted game night this week on Wednesday. We had an excellent turn out this time — 9 players. Dave, Lynn, Bob and Dan played Louis XIV. Bob had played twice and Dave once before. This game is prone to slow playing and this was the case on Wednesday. It took them 4 hours to finish the game. Everyone liked it but thought it would be much more enjoyable if you could finish in about 90 minutes. Bob walked away with the win.

The rest of us (me, Kieron, Leroy, Nelson and Patty) played Mississippi Queen, Oltre Mare and multiple plays of Fairy Tale in the same amount of time. It was the first play of Mississippi Queen for all of us. We played the advanced game. It was a light game with enough decisions to make it interesting. I can see why this game won the Spiel des Jahres in 1997. Jill, Logan and I also played it today (Sunday) and had a great time with it. Logan grasped the game easily although he burned through his coal quickly and had to be very careful during the last half of the race. On Wednesday, Leroy came from behind to win. Jill applied a similar strategy today by picking up her passengers early, seeing how the river developed and planning her moves with more available information. She was also the winner today with Logan and I finishing right behind her on the same turn.

The group also enjoyed Fairy Tale. I taught the game to Kieron and Leroy previously but, again, the drafting mechanism reminiscent of Magic: The Gathering tournaments seems to be some of the appeal to this game.

Not sure what everyone’s reaction was to Oltre Mare. In general, it seemed well received. Jill and I have played this several times recently but this was the first time playing with more than 2 players. The dynamics (especially the trading) of the game changed tremendously with 5 players and felt considerably different to me.