On Friday, we played several new (to us) games and all were good! As has become tradition, Chris and I have thumbed our collective noses at the Hot Games Room over the last few years and our want to play lists look a lot like the hot games of yesteryear. We have (mostly) cured ourselves of that terrible Cult of the New disease!
Village was a hot game from 2011 and is another variation on the worker placement style of game introduced by Caylus nearly 10 years ago. It uses a variation of the ‘time as money’ mechanic found in Thebes and the theme had me thinking about Pillars of the Earth. It was fun and quick to play. I own Pillars and won’t be purchasing this but if you were looking for a relatively short (~60-90 minutes) worker placement game with a lot going on, this would be a good choice.
Nations: The Dice Game
Nations: The Dice Game is a quick-playing, civilization building dice game based on last year’s release of Nations. It is in the same vein as Roll Through the Ages but better in some ways. Over the course of the game, you’ll see and acquire tiles from four ages to build your civilization and with each player adding different tiles (with differing abilities and rewards), each civilization will quickly diverge. Since not all tiles are used from each age, the replayability and variability is improved over RTtA. I know longer own a copy of RTtA but Jill and I enjoyed playing it when I did. I think Nations: TDG is much better and may need to pick up a copy!
Spike is a network building and pick-up & deliver style rail game that falls somewhere between Ticket to Ride and Railways of the World (aka Railroad Tycoon). It requires some thought and planning to build your network efficiently (a la RotW) while retaining a simple turn structure and short playing time (a la TtR). It’s a solid entry in the train genre and if I didn’t already own the other two games, I would consider purchasing.
Love Letter is a clever card game played with a deck of 16 cards. Chris and Julie have played this a lot while being my first time. The objective is to be the last person left to win the hand. Win 4 hands to win the game. I liked it and will definitely pick up a copy of this!
Wyatt Earp is a variation on the Mystery Rummy card games by Mike Fitzgerald. In this version, you meld sets of outlaw cards (Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, etc.) to increase the reward on that outlaw and if, at the end of a hand, have a majority of the points for a given outlaw, collect some or all of the reward. None of us had played recently and it felt a little fiddly since we were a bit rusty on the rules and not playing very quickly. Still, I like this variation on the Mystery Rummy series particularly if you have 3 players.
Clash of Cultures
Clash of Cultures is a civilization building game Jeff DeBoer taught Chris and I how to play at last year’s convention. This year we played with the Civilizations expansion giving each player a leader and differing technologies to increase how quickly the civilizations diverge. I’d forgotten how good I thought this game was after last year’s play. It is truly a well designed, medium length (2-3 hours) civilization building game and the expansion adds a nice touch of flavor to the game.