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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Weekend Gaming: 1st July 2012

Finally, my exam is completed and I feel much free-er now :) Countdown to seeing the wifey and gencon has started! YAY!!!
Lets see what I played today....

Empires of the Void
One of the newest game I have and I think this was a kickstarter. It has been touted as Nexus Ops in space and that is a pretty good description of it. Its like Twilight Imperium light and I have heard it is an Eclipse killer but having never played Eclipse, I cannot comment too much on that.
This is a 2-4 player game where players are different races (with different characteristics) and try to score as much points as they can within 11 rounds. At the start of each round, there will be a pre-round phase where players can research 1 tech and buy as many ships as they can afford. The tech tree, while there are quite a lot of pieces, is not too complicated to navigate and look through so it feels just nice. Buying ships is all about being able to afford (and of course having the tech for it) and then placing the cardboard ships onto the board. I have heard that people enhanced the game using Twilight Imperium 3 pieces and perhaps in my next game at my place I will try that. But overall the pieces are of a good production quality so no complaints there. After this, an event is shown. Then players take turns taking 3 actions from a variety of options to choose from. At the 5th, 9th and 12th round, there is a scoring round and you will get points for the planets that you occupy as well as having the most influence in the Galactic council. The player with the most points wins the game at the end. 
Overall this was a pretty good game and for our first play we did not get too many rules wrong. There is definitely a lot of interaction if you want to win and battles are fast to resolve. There are a few issues though. The Galactic council seems slapped on. There is nothing much to do here except to score points. If there were some politics here (similar to Twilight Imperium) then perhaps there is a reason to chase this scoring. One of the ships require you to pay 1 credit to fight which, thematically does not make much sense. We joked that the ship was being outsourced thus you had to pay the vendor to fire the ship's weapons for you :P 
Still its not a bad game and I would like to try it again to have a better feel of it.


Grimoire was a game that a buddy of mine gave me as a present of which I am very grateful. This is my second play and I think it went along a little too long for its content. Gameplay is rather simple in that during each round, players get to choose a spell from a spellbook (all players have identical books) and then depending on player order, get to cast the spell (if it has not been blocked) and then choose a quest card from the board. The rule book is rather sparse and there are some confusing rules which are not clearly defined in the rule book.Artwork wise and component wise is ok and gameplay is light. There is nothing horrible to complain about the game except it can get a little draggy but otherwise as a filler it is an ok game.


Maharaja is the surprise of the night for me. I had gotten this game from Germany and had to read the rules online to understand how to play. The rules had no diagrams thus I had a little difficulty understanding the game initially and did not have a very good initial impression. But after tonight's exciting game, this is an instant hit with me and my group.
Gameplay wise, right at the setup the game has started. You choose a role and place the houses in available spots along trails on the maps. Then the game will start in earnest. there will be a Maharaja that will travel to various cities on the map depending on which of the Governors are at the bottom of a track. This is important because at the end of the round after all players have had their turns, scoring will be on the city where the Maharaja is at. Scoring is also important because that will provide players with gold with which they can then buy palaces (the crystal tokens) which will then determine if they win or not. The game will end when a player has built all 7 of their palaces OR when any Governor has reached spot 10 on the track (the game will end in 10 turns at most).
During a round, players will get to choose 2 actions from a list of available options. Then, depending on the player character chosen, players will play in sequence and perform the 2 actions. Some of the actions are building of palaces or villages or even changing their roles. While the actions seems very straight forward, the implications and strategies you can formulate are rather deep and intense.
For our group, we started to think really in depth after the 2nd round or so and we had a lot of fun. We cannot wait to try this again and I think with 5 it will be even more cut throat and crowded. Now I know why this game is rated quite highly in BGG.

So I am weaning off Pocket Planes. After reaching level 21 and with my first Class 3 plane, it has gotten a little stale for me. Which is a good thing because it is sooooooooo ADDICTING! and I have been spending an immense amount of time managing my planes. 
Le Havre has been a very good buy for me. In between playing the solo games (still can't get past 260! :( ) and playing online, I have had a lot of fun! Playing online though can be a little slow because it is on an ad hoc basis so its not a committed 30-60 mins of play but has been sporadic at best. Still its good that I have several games online concurrently.
Summoner Wars. This has been something else I am EAGERLY awaiting. It has been submitted to Apple already last weekend and I think maybe tomorrow I will be able to get it and play. Since I don't have the boardgame copy, the digital version will have to do for now.

A little booboo
I read recently a review on 1955 which I played previously and reported that it is sucky and all. Today after checking with my buddy again, I realised that we have played it wrongly! No wonder we felt it was rather broken. I hope to at least try it again in USA (or maybe get another copy again) and give it another go! Since its a good 2 player game as reviewed, perhaps when I am with my wifey we can get to play it. I intend to play Morels, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small and any number of 2 player games I can get with wifey when I am there. Its kinda sad that I cannot share all my boardgame experiences and fun with my wifey but when I am in NYC, I intend to give it a go. HEE HEE HEE.....

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