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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Weekend Boardgaming: 5th May 2012

Wanted to get my new games played so I managed to organise a session for my librarian friends. Played for about 6 hours before I had to leave for a wedding dinner but I managed to play 3 of my new games (left Inca Empire) and I had a lot of fun! Here's a breakdown:

Just before final scoring...
Latest hotness and I finally got my copy in just yesterday! Punched out, sleeved the cards and got it ready for today's gaming. The inserts, like what has been reported, is really awesome. Everything fits snugly which makes this insert one of the rare ones that is truly functional. However the box top is not practical as it does not fit down the entire box like almost every other boardgame box is made. The card quality is also quite flimsy thus having card sleeves is vital for longevity of the game. It is a light game and a great intro for gamers to euro-style games (with cubes cubes and no dice!). In this game, a lot of quests were completed when compared to my first Lords of Waterdeep game but the highest scoring is again won by the player with the character that scores you point for each building you have. That character now seems a bit imbalanced to me but I'll have to play a few more times to be sure. The game, basically, is worker placement and turning in of resources to complete quests and to score points. At the end of the game, you get points as well for resources not used, money that you have earned as well as your secret objectives. Settlers of Catan used to be the game to bring new gamers into the world of Designer games. I dare say that Lords of Waterdeep may just take over this role from now on.

Initial Impression: Good

Lots of nice components
Colonia was a game that looked interesting to me and so I got it to give it a go. This plays up to 6 and is primarily a worker placement game. The interesting portion of this however is the timing in when you can retrieve your workers to use them again which is usually the next round after the current round in which they are used. So through careful placement of workers, you obtain raw resources and then engage craftsman to create refined goods and then deliver them via the ships to earn currency. Then use these hard earned currency to purchases relics which translate into victory points that will ultimately win you the game. The game is played over 6 rounds (which is 6 weeks) and each week has 7 turns (days) to play. Even though the game can get rather long (about 2 hours), the game is a low scoring one. The ending is also quite anti climatic. For us it was because there was only 2 boats being sent off (thus only 2 boats to score points from) and so the final round, there is not a lot of things that the players can do and as a result there was not much point for the last round. Thematically it is good, components wise it is also quite good but the way this game ends makes it a meh for me.

Initial Impression: Average

All these lovely dice! :P
I have been wanting to try Lords of Vegas after hearing various podcasters rave over it and after reading so many reviews exclaiming how fun this game is. We rushed through our game (largely because of hunger and I had to leave) so not too sure if given more time the players would have made better decisions. Still we took about 1 hour 15 mins or so and finished the game. What you do in the game is draw a card which will determine which lot on the map you own. At the same time, payout will occur in terms of money and points. Then the active player will take his/her turn and perform actions as many times as he/she wants. The turn then goes to the next player and the game continues until the last turn card appears when drawn. During your turn, a couple of actions can be done which will allow you to grow your casino empire or attempt to take over someone else's casinos or, and this seems to be the most fun, gamble at another player's casino in an attempt to win money from him/her. We had a lot of fun I felt but ultimately I think the theme is a bit pasted on as the mechanism involving what we can do with the dice and dice rolling does not equate into what we are doing. However given that these are dice and I was using my own poker chips, it enhances the experience and the theme just seems to fit. All in all, it was a great end to a good day of gaming.

Initial Impression: Good

Now I am looking forward to getting my Inca Empire played as well as play Railways again. I am wondering if the group is ready for something heavier like Steam / Age of Steam / 1830 / Indonesia etc etc or will our brains melt :P

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