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Thinking Out Loud

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My First Post to My Very Own Blog -- Huzzah!

I was finally convinced to establish my own blog after reading the blogs of some of my fellow online geeks. Aside from the usual stream of consciousness content, I'll post a lot of my game experiences and results from evenings spent gaming with my friends.


Last night (Monday, June 20) we ended up having four players -- Jorge (hibikir) , Eva (DeiTass) , Phil and myself (ynnen) . Eva and Jorge were kind enough to host, and we got five games in. The highlight of the night for me was probably finally winning Hansa, although seeing Louis XIV was pretty interesting. I told Jorge and Eva I'm probably booked until Fri/Sat, but wouldn't mind trying to get a larger group for a bigger game like die Macher or El Grande sometime over the weekend.

Game 1: Ingenious (4th play)
Phil: 13
Jorge: 12
Eva: 11
Jay: 10

My Rating: 8.5 -- Very clever, very simple abstract game with wonderful components, easily grasped rules, and compelling decisions. I really enjoyed this, and can't wait to play again.


Game 2: Traum Fabrik (1st time playing)
Phil: 48
Jorge: 57
Eva: 96
Jay: 71

My Rating: 7.5 -- Interesting bidding game with zero sum money in play, and bid payment going to the other players. Felt a bit cramped with very few elements available to fulfill movies, so luck of the draw (especially for the party spaces) could really impact your ability to be competitive and complete a few films. A bit of "surging" in the games where a large bid may keep out out of a few rounds as your resources are now in the hands of the other players, so you really, really need to time your moves well. Still, an interesting bidding system which I enjoy far more than Ra.


Game 3: Hansa (5th play)
Phil: 34
Jorge: 36
Eva: 34
Jay: 40 (first time not in last place)

My Rating: 7.5 -- I have enjoyed my 5 playings, and have finally won a game. I struggled a bit with my options and being able to plan far enough in advance to set up good moves, and balance that with not setting the next player up for a great move. With practice and the right group, this could indeed be a wonderful light-to-moderate strategy game.


Game 4: Metro (7th play, mostly 2/3 player though -- first 4 player game)
Phil: 52
Jorge: 64
Eva: 38
Jay: 66

My Rating: 7 -- Wow, I really enjoyed my first few plays -- very cut throat, very convoluted. Interesting to find the balance between aborting an opponent's lines for minimal gains versus protecting your own lines with an eye toward lengthy development. Not quite as "friendly" as I was expecting.


Game 5: Louis XIV (first play)
Phil had to leave before playing this.
Jorge: 44
Eva: 43
Jay: 43

Insanely close game, and 1 bad decision on my part during the 2nd of 4 turns cost me 2 VPs, and 2 bad decisions by Eva (one during turn 1, one during turn 2) cost her 2-3 VPs, as well. Almost too close? The bonus for having the most "shields" of a single color ended up changing the outcome of the game. A different random draw of shields could easily have given the victory to any of us, it was that close.

My Rating: 7 -- Interesting game with some elements reminiscent of El Grande and Shadow of the Emperor. Need a good understanding of all elements from the get go, since each bad decision may cost you a point or two, and with most Ruediger Dorn games, it appears scoring will be very tight. Felt that the luck of the shield draws/bonus was a bit overpowered given how close the rest of the scoring has been.


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