Hixie's Natural Log

2005-02-21 00:50 UTC The Gamekeeper

More games playing! First, Sunday of two weeks ago a bunch of us played games together:

Bootleggers: A game based around the US alcohol prohibition. Your job is to deliver alcohol to speakeasies. I quite liked this game. It seemed well-balanced, and allows trading, which offsets the level of randomness in the game.

Cthulu 500: A satanic racing game. A simple card game which is a lot of fun. Good mechanics, but not really unbalanced like many simple games.

Cityscape (which I brought): Great four-player game, with one drawback. It's another one of those games that Kam keeps &%#@! winning. The game is great, though, and, much to my pleasure, doesn't involve any randomness. (It's unfortunate that the more skill a game requires, the less likely I am to win it. But that's another story.) One very fun aspect of this game is that what helps one player can and often does end up directly hurting one of the other players.

Tantrix (which I also brought): The hexagonal tile laying game. Very simple mechanics. Very involved brain-twisting gameplay.

Killer Bunnies and the quest for the magic carrot (which again I also brought): I warned everyone before we started that this game was unbelievably complicated and ended with picking a winner randomly, but we played the game anyway. It's a somewhat fun game, but its complexity and the sheer unashamed randomness of the winning condition is its downfall. (We concluded the game might be better if you stick with only the original carrot cards, ignoring Teal'c and the other expansion carrots, and remove at least half the weapons.)

In addition, I bought one of the games we played the weekend before that weekend and introduced it to Kam and others here over the past couple of weeks:

Citadels: A strategy game. I have no idea how to describe it. It involves building districts, killing people, being bishops, and any number of other strange features. Lots of fun.

Then this Sunday we played Ricochet Robots, Cthulu 500, and a game I hadn't played before:

Twilight Imperium (third edition): an empire-building game. I've played several empire games over the last few months — two Risk variants, Attack!, 7 Ages... — this one seems the least unbalanced of them. It mixes the role concept from Citadels and Puerto Rico with the fleet concepts in Risk and Attack!, with the missions from newer Risk variants and the universe setup idea from Citadels' river expansion, and throws in its own ideas as well. It also throws in the unsatisfying end-game condition feel from Power Grid.

I quite liked it, but not enough to add it to my growing wishlist. Maybe if they publish a fourth edition which fixes the victory point issues.

Last Friday I invited a bunch of people (Daniel, Junyor, Marit, Peter, Wilhelm) back to our flat for board games. We played an eight player Citadels (which everyone had played before, so we didn't have to explain any rules! I was impressed), went to dinner (during which we lost a couple of weaklings), then played a five player Ricochet Robots (which Kam didn't win, for once) and a six player Cthulu 500.

I'm not bored of all these board games yet!