Alas, my last day of gaming (my flight on Sunday was at 10am)! After a solo run and Starbucks (again), I was off to the gaming area. Chris and I gamed until early afternoon when we joined Tim and Randy as well as a whole group from California for a road trip over to Baby Back Shak for Memphis-style BBQ. Thanks for driving guys!
I arrived to setup for Mission: Red Planet but saw Valerie Putman and asked if she’d be interested in teaching Oregon. She was. Chris and I played this with Michelle Zentis. It plays quickly but we felt there wasn’t enough control in the game. Michelle thought it would be good to add a fifth card to your hand. Chris had the right idea though of using the extra turn ability as much as possible and accelerating the end game. Provisional Rating: 6
Another game I checked out the night before and played the next day. After reading the rules, I wasn’t sure I’d like this but we tried it out and was pleasantly surprised. Chris and I played this with Kris Wolf. It reminded me of a blending (albeit simple) of El Grande and Citadels. We played this fast and finished less than an hour. There is room for messing with other players but we didn’t get into that on this play. The primary complaint was the quality of the components. Honestly, it looks like it’s something that could’ve been published by Avalon Hill after they were absorbed by Hasbro. Everyone enjoyed it though and it will probably go on my buy list. Provisional Rating: 8
This had some buzz from Essen and we were finally able to grab a copy and played with Tim Isakson and his wife, Carrie Ives, and Russ Moll. This is very much in the vein of Puerto Rico — starting with very little and building up an economic engine that cranks out lots of points later in the game. The artwork and components were great and the theme felt like it fit the game. Not sure if I’ll buy this one but certainly a worthy successor to PR. Provisional Rating: 7
If there was a game everyone was trying to play, this was it. After returning from dinner, I was able to locate a copy that wasn’t being used (and it happened to be owned by someone that had joined us on our road trip to Baby Back Shak, even better! — Stephanie K). After informing Chris that I’d secured a copy, I ran into Jeff Deboer who knew the rules and was interested in playing. We were joined by Will and Melissa DeMorris. Jeff taught and we proceeded to play this for next 2.5 hours. Great game…feels like you’re playing a Sim game in board game format. I understand that it scales from solo play on up which will help it sell. Many feel this is the next big thing in the board gaming world. It is very good but I think it will settle out in the 15 – 25 range on BGG. Z-Man is taking preorders and it really needs an english version to do well. We were using a great paste-up version but this cries for an english version because there is sooooo much text on the cards. We also all agreed that animal shaped meeples (animeeples) would be very cool and informed Zev of this need as soon as we were done playing. Provisional Rating: 8
After Agricola, Jeff and Chris taught me how to play this. I bought a copy on Tanga or GameOfTheDay earlier in the year but hadn’t played it yet. Very dry and abrstract. I liked it but not sure it will be played much in my group. Provisional Rating: 7
After a couple of beers with Carrie Ives and Jasen Robillard, Jeff and I taught Chris how to play this. After explaining the game and getting down to playing, Jeff and I got into a competitive see-saw race for the lead. Not sure that Chris had a lot of fun with this play but it was certainly instructive! 🙂 Chris’ comment as we finished was, “that’s a lot of game in a small box.” I agree. Although Dorn is known for Goa, Louis XIV is an incredible game. I hadn’t played in over a year and even discovered a rule that my group had been misplaying. Current Rating: 8
Mission: Red Planet and Agricola were the favorites on Saturday. I will likely pick up a copy of Mission and am considering a pre-order for Agricola. How far in advance of the release will Zev charge? 8 months? (wait, did I really say that?) 😉