After a quick bite at Starbucks, I headed off for another busy day of games. Friday was spent at the hotel with lunch at Denny’s again and dinner in the bar at the restaurant (well ok…appetizers and beer at about 11pm!).
The number of games was reduced a bit due to the marathon session of Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage Chris and I played in the evening…
We started the day with the game I checked out the night before. Yehuda and Rodney Loyd (the Heroscape map) joined Chris and I in a game of Thebes. I taught but bungled a couple of rules: the length of the game (supposed to be 2 years with 4 players) and what to do with debris drawn at a dig (goes back in the bag to make it less likely to draw artifacts for later players). This is a very thematic and enjoyable game of archeology. Players research ancient sites while traveling around the major cities of Europe and when ready, travel over to one of the sites and draw tiles from the bag associated with the location. Players can use the artifacts retrieved to put on exhibitions later in the game. Points are accumulated from the artifacts retrieved, exhibitions accomplished and for some of the unused resources. I thoroughly enjoyed this game for the theme and the speed at which it is played. Very likely a purchase for me. Provisional Rating: 8
Chris and I decided to try this when we couldn’t find some of the other games we wanted to play in the game library. Neither of us had previously played. We both like the quick, tile laying game. It reminded me a little of Through the Desert. This and the previous game are titles Jill would enjoy. Provisional Rating: 7
Bridgetown Races (Prototype)
Chris brought a prototype that Carey Grayson (24/7) has been working on. It’s about using different modes of transportation (bike, car, walking, bus, etc) to cross the bridges in Portland. The player who uses the most different types is the winner. Played this with Yehuda, Aaron and Zach Nabil. Light and enjoyable, I think this will be published once it has been polished up a bit. Provisional Rating: 6 (likely a 7 with a little more development)
Chris and I had been checking the library for this title from the start of the con. We finally were able to check it out. We’d both read the rules previously but hadn’t played. We started in the afternoon with a review of the rules and got down to playing this monster of a game. The first couple of turns took a long time to complete as we worked through the first battles and had to get used to the procedures for battling, retreats, etc. In the end, it required a little over 6 hours for us to finish this game but WOW what an experience! Aaron Fuegi dropped by as we were finishing up the game and watched most of the last turn. Turns out he was the WBC champ for this title multiple years running a few years back. He gave us a few pointers on how to use some of the generals but was impressed with our grasp of the system for our first play. I attribute this to having played Twilight Struggle and being familiar with the card driven system. My prediction…the path to complex, card driven war games (e.g., Hannibal, For The People, etc) will become – 1960: The Making of the President –> Twilight Struggle –> Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage (or something of similar complexity like Wilderness War). Provisional Rating: 9
After beer and appetizers in the hotel bar, Jeff Deboer enticed Chris and I into a game of Colosseum with Carl Hurst. Carl and Jeff had played before and taught. I had tried to play this at GenCon but the Days of Wonder booth was always busy when I stopped by (maybe the sign of a good game?). I had the impression this was a light, family game but there is quite a lot going on in this game that makes it more than a casual game. Top notch components from DoW as would be expected. I enjoyed this and would be willing to play anytime but don’t think I’ll own a copy. Chris didn’t enjoy nearly as much but we were also very tired by then. Provisional Rating: 7
Hannibal was, by far, my favorite play of the day. Thebes was also high on my list and will likely be a purchase soon.