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Saturday, October 20, 2012

What I last played....

This covers the week up to today (saturday, 20th Oct).


My friend had a copy of this which I saw got played when I arrived late. I was taken by the simple game play and unique components, the cloth pieces which resemble carpets. This is a Spiel De Jahres nominee and currently quite hard to find. I manage to get that friend's copy and have played it several times since. Price wise its pretty high but for the game play that it delivers which is unique in my collection, I think its worth it. The game is fast to teach and play. During your turn, you first choose a direction for the big meeple to go, then roll a dice (ranges from 1-4) and move him that many spaces. If he stops on an opponent's carpet, you have to pay 1 dollar for every piece of exposed and connected carpet pieces to that carpet. Afterwards, place a piece of your carpet (which covers 2 spaces) adjacent to the spot where the meeple is on. The game ends when all players have placed all their carpets onto the board and the winner is the player who has the most money plus exposed carpet spots combined. I think its fun with the right group of people because of the hooting and hollering when you are hoping your opponent lands on your spot. Reminds me a little of the portion when playing monopoly and you have already your hotels all erected and awaiting victims to land to pay you. Great little game and I recommend it.

Die Säulen von Venedig

A much older game that was won by a friend during a recent boardgame auction. Its not a bad game as it take a unique twist on the role selection as you pass the role you selected to the player on your left after the round has completed. Definitely a unique game and one I did not get a hand on and lost horribly at the end. There is no english version though and if you intend to get it, you will need to have a card sheet next to you or print out  and replace the cards. Not bad, definitely worth a play to see how it is.

A relatively new game I believe and with components and gameplay that reminds me of Paris Connection. Gameplay, during your turn you can choose a share to auction (if there are any remaining) or lay tracks for a train company where you at least own a share. Simple? Sounds so. But not so in practise. Firstly, components wise, its a mixed bag. The shares or of a very thin paper stock and flimsy. There is also not ENOUGH variations of coins provided. You will almost certainly need poker chips as you will either be running out of coins OR spending a LOT of your time changing money to the bigger denominations and this is not very fun. After every laying of a track, there will be payout. FOR EVERY COMPANY.  It would have been ok if it was a simple affair. However the shares payout mechanism is rather convoluted and requires a lot of calculations! I appreciate how they want to differentiate the train companies with their special characteristics but having a player aid or with symbols on the board will definitely make the game much more easier. The end game mechanism is also quite odd as it will take a bit of time before the game can end and thus subjective as well. All in all, perhaps we may have had some rules wrong or the game requires a few more plays to shine. But for me at least it failed.

OMG a party game. Luckily this was the last game of the night but even then for a party like game (come on, you are required to throw dice with at least 1 bounce on the surface before it hits the target area) it did take a bit longer than expected. Party game. I prefer my party games to be really of a lighter fare and more fun. This wasn't really that much fun for me plus its co-op! Though I am glad to have played it once. Never again! never again....

So in Niagara, you will have to, using clever maneuvering, manage your 2 canoes to bring back either 4 of the SAME gems, 5 different gems or 7 gems of any combination. This is easier said then done as your canoe can fall off the falls and require you to use 1 gem to bring it back OR have your gem stolen as you make your way back upstream to deposit the gem. Not a very easy game and can take longer than expected to finish the game. Good components though.

Ah.... this game.... lotsa love-hate on the geek about this. I do like it but with my previous plays, it does seem as if something is not connecting it all for me. This time when I played it (though with 3 new players), it clicked all for me. I knew what I was doing and what i was aiming for and I won handily with 177 points. I had so much money during the game and was able to keep scoring on most events. Long game though, took over 3 hours to play. But it does have that epic game feel and all the players agreed it was a good game. Now if I can get someone to make them buildings into 3D for me :P

This game is quickly becoming my top 10 game of 2012. Easy to each, many ways to score without being overwhelmed by the options. You can plan ahead and take your turn pretty fast unless there are major developments on the board. You need to know when to time it such that you can make the last scoring strike to end the game and bring in the win for you. I was actually 10+ points behind when during my last turn, I manage to score 14 points, end the game at a turn which was disadvantageous for the other players (they had to visit the king as 1 of their actions). In addition, I had majority in 2 of the 5 categories of workers and was tied in 1 which sealed the victory for me. Great great game. I will want to play Village some more to see if they are both equal in my top 10. Very highly recommended!


I played Cuba twice and I managed to grab my own copy for pretty cheap at GENCON2012. This time though it did not feel as fun for me as it did the first 2 times I played it. I was expecting a lot of buildings to be built but I only managed to have 2. Halfway through the game, my engine was pretty much set or decided for me and the rest of the rounds I was just running through my paces. Something seemed to be lacking and I am wondering if the expansions will enhance the game experience for me. Odd.

PLATO 3000
PLATO 3000 the last game of the night. Its a light filler card game with awesome and witty art and colors. Bright and colorful and easy to play. Its essentially like gin rummy. First player who, over several rounds, reaches 100 points will win the game. I think this might work better with 2 or 3 and I will need to try it with that to have a final conclusion. Playing with 4 makes for a very fast game (unless you have 2 sets) and thus the experience seems a bit wanting. My friends have said this game is very fun and I hope to be able to make my judgement after a few more plays.

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