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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weekend Gaming: 21st July 2012

A small group today with only 3 of us but that's ok as well since I can bring out the 4 players easily. I recently got a few new games and I manage to try some of them today. Good game session today. Lets see what we played...

Shear Panic
I always saw this on the shelves and in stock but never felt the need to pull the trigger. Recently I took a closer look and realise that the components are really awesome and the designers are the Fragor brothers! If the game play was crap, how could the components go wrong? So I gave it a try.
The components are really awesome and you can also see it as well in their other production Poseidon's Kingdom.
Gameplay wise its not too heavy but because everything is open knowledge, it is not recommended to have analysis paralysis prone people playing this game. Still, the game should get faster as the available actions you can perform later in the game will be limited.
So the gameplay is all about manipulating the placement of your colored sheep in the flock with respect to the field which you are all currently playing in. There are 4 different fields with different scoring mechanisms and through clever choice of actions that are identical to every player, players try to score the most points and win the game.
The last field is particularly drastic as the shearer will remove the row that is closest to it thus it can totally cripple your final scoring turns. A very good game. I can't wait to bring it to office and see how it goes.

Dominant Species: The Card Game
I played Dominant Species twice and I did enjoy it but I am not sure if I should have it because the gaming groups around me at that time weren't as varied as they are now. We even had a very rushed 1+ hour game of it while we were standing around the table and waiting to go into the meetup room at Toa Payoh CC. Now with the 3rd edition printing ... hmmm... I might be tempted.
The card game only arrived yesterday via supporting the P500 at the GMT games website and while I have read and watched some reviews that weren't so hot about it, I was eager to try it and see it for myself. I played Evolution previously and it wasn't too good for me I felt. There are other evolution/creature type card games like Creatures but they did not click for me or were too light.
Dominant Species the Card game is not too bad. It is only remotely related to its bigger brother because of the species and the various terms but it plays quite differently. The game plays over 10 rounds and varies from about 2-5 turns per player per round. Players need to decide how many cards they want to play each round to score some points or not because they only get to draw 2 cards per round. During your turn, you get to place a creature or play an action or pass. Playing a creature or action may sometimes suppress other player's creatures which will "injure" them and cause them to have lesser points or elements. At the end of the turn after all players have passed, you will count the dominance score as well as the number of elements you have that correspond to what is being played for that round and the majority player(s) will score points. There is also a survival track which you can progress whenever you dominate a round which will provide you quite a few cards at the last round and also give you 5 bonus points at the end of the game. If you are last though you will deduct 5 points. The player with the most points wins. I quite like this game as compared to the other creature/evolution card games I have played. I would like to see it being played with 6 as the interaction between players will tremendous and may cause this game to feel meh. Lets see....

Walnut Grove
This one had the best reviews of the day from my friends I think. I always felt very bad when I could not manage the resources properly and feed properly and I have to resort to loans. Still, it was a pretty tight game as I only won by 1 point with a -2 loan at the end. I bet with many more plays you can probably get the tactics down pat as there are only 8 year cards for the entire game which you can memorize. But where is the fun in that? :) I would love to get it in a few more plays and perhaps a solo game or two. So far its slightly above average for me.

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