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Sunday, April 8, 2012

What Eric played on 8 April 2012

Now boardgaming has always been a group activity but there are boardgames out there that can be played solo or with only 2. Today I decided to have a 2 player session with a friend. This is the first time I have done so and it does require a good chemistry between the players to be able to play through several games and spending the time together.

So what did we play?

This is currently rated #1 in and so I decided to get a copy after trying it once (without completing yet) at another friend's house. You can purchase the Deluxe version which gives you better components (box, board and tokens are sturdy) and better graphics.
Gameplay reminds me of chess, as most 2 player games will be I guess, with the USSR and USA players playing 1 card each as the "headline" and then taking turns to play cards to either utilize the events depicted on the cards or the operation points on the card. Little by little, players will change control of the countries on the map all the while keeping an eye on the DEFCON status as well as occasionally dabbling in the space race. The game ends in 10 turns (and the player with the most victory points win)
or when a player reaches 20 victory points or if a player triggers DEFCON status 1.The card themselves are the main content of the game as they drive the decisions that you make. However the cards themselves are rather plain and not terribly exciting. Wish they had more exciting artwork.
I, playing USA, won by turn 6 with 20 victory points but I was lucky because if the Europe scoring card was played then I would have instantly lost because I had been almost kicked out of Europe. Overall I find that the game is certainly very interesting in a good way. However, as you can see from my picture above, it seems that Central and South america locations are quite underutilized. I will definitely want to try it again as USSR and see what happens. Look for a review after a few more plays.

Initial Impression: Good

City Tycoon is a 2-5 player game where players will be building different types of buildings and then supplying resources to activate these buildings. It relies heavily on symbols (as you can see from the picture) and reminds me of a combined Alhambra or Carcassonn
e in its tile-laying mechanism.
Gameplay involves an initial drafting mechanism where you get to choose the building tiles followed by a building phase which is the main action phase of this game. This is followed by supplying phase where you get to activate the buildings and finally cleanup. This ends the round and at the end of 4 rounds, the player with the most points win.
Initially most players will be quite overwhelmed with the icons as they are not exactly intuitive like other games nor is the way to score points obvious thus this game will require more plays to better appreciate it. With 5 players, all the buildings will be used. With 2 however, not all tiles are used (only 6 from each "age") and this can severely hamper what we could do and score points. Those tiles that provide additional effects if you connect the right buildings to them are very useful and helped me to win the game. I hope to have a few more plays before a proper review and see if this is a keeper.

Initial Impression: Average

Last game of the session is a new kickstarter game. Its a 2 player game involving using cards to manipulate the cubes on a board to try and secure them into your corner. The player who manages to secure his color cube at the end of the track (denoted by the white star) OR 3 of the white cubes will win the game.
Gameplay wise is very simple. Its all about the cards and how and when you play the cards which will either shift the cubes or to stop your opponent from shifting the cubes. That is pretty much it. Very straight forward and simple.
However there seems to be some issues as we quickly found out in our first game where in the very first turn I lost! After scouring boardgamegeek and finding no real issue with it, we decided to play a few more games. As we got more experienced with the cards and what they can do, the game began to take a little bit longer. Still, the randomness of your card draw and the imbalanced track for the outer countries (Poland and France), there seems to be some issues with the game that I am not sure if it surfaced during play testing. Apparently there is an expansion already out but I have not read much about it to see if the issues are fixed. Overall I feel that this can be given a miss and not a must play or must buy for me.

Initial and final impression: Bad

So that was my Sunday. We are planning to perhaps arrange a few more sessions of Twilight Struggle and I hope to finally get my Star Trek:Fleet Captains broken into! Its been sitting on the shelf for way too long without a play yet :)

Comments? Suggestions? Feedbacks? I welcome them!

Thanks for reading!

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