Friday, July 14, 2006

Quick Game Night

Due to a variety of factors, we had a very small showing tonight. Maybe the stars are out of alignment. Either way, Cat tagged along! I brought a number of games based on knowing that Bryon would be there- He had specifically asked for Dragon Delta and agreed to play some unplayed games from my shelf.

As such, the first game that came out was Riot (BGG, BUY ME!). Now, the 'Geek dates this to 2002, but I could have sworn that I had played this in the mid-to-late nineties. Ultimately, there isn't very much here. It's a basic "take that" game with a well-done theme of university rioting. The photographs on the cards are vaguely reminiscent of Lunch Money, but not as creepy. The components leave a bit to be desired- the included die is about the size of a pencil eraser, the cards are too thin and oddly square, the rules are mediocre. On the other hand, it comes with lots of neat black tiddlywinks for rioters and the whole thing is in a neat metal tin. The theme certainly would fit a light backstabby card game, but the whole thing fell flat- a game about starting a riot should not be so... bloodless and flat. I won, but I think Cat let me so the game would end. I don't really blame her.

Next, for known and guaranteed fun, Dragon Delta (BGG, BUY ME!) hit the table. A nice three-way battle here, with the last round being very very close- I won, but Cat was one move away and Bryon was maybe three or four. Here's an elevator pitch: "It's like RoboRally Lite- you are racing across the board, everyone moves at the same time, you can readily screw over the other players, and your paths will intersect." The 'Geek has some good shots of the game: Live action play, plus what looks to be either a prototype or a homemade version.

A few other players had watched our fording of the delta, and so Jeff and Gary joined us in a game of Bonahnza (BGG, BUY ME!). Interesting history notes here: Cat and I had played this quite a bit, Jeff had played it before, but neither Bryon nor Gary had played it before. During the course of the game, it was strange how Jeff appeared to have played the game very differently than Cat and I. It turns out that he only had the German version, and all of the bean names were therefore in German. So at the start of the game, he referred to cards by their numbers. (Very odd and a bit off-putting, but it made sense in retrospect.) I nipped that in the bud before the new players picked up the IMHO bad habit. It also appeared that he was used to a much more cutthroat game, which boggles the mind. With a nod to Yehuda, the scores were: Me 17, Bryon 16, Gary 15, and Cat and Jeff tied for last with 14. Go third bean fields!

About this time, everyone decided to pumpkin out- even the storekeepers found it hard to believe that I was cutting out a full two hours before closing. Shock horror, eh? With one last game for the night, Cat and I demonstrated
Tamsk (BGG, BUY ME!) for those who hadn't seen it. She expertly trapped one of my hourglasses early, then we mutually trapped pieces, and she finally trapped my last piece and won with four fewer rings than I. I really like this quick (literally- a piece isn't likely to stay put for more than two or three minutes, lest the time run out and the piece can't move) strategy game, but the time factor really seems to rub some folks the long way- what is the opposite of Analysis Paralysis?

I also picked up a new Cheapass game, Enemy Chocolatier (BGG, BUY ME!) and a recent Looney printing of Zendo cards (BGG, BUY ME!) for ten bucks total. The boxed edition of Zendo itself is out of print, but with the cards and some Icehouse pieces, this devilishly fun guessing/puzzle/logic game is instantly reproducible. Probably even doable with LEGO. Hmmm...

No comments: