Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There are only 2 games I can think of that I've owned two distinct copies of.  And I've actually sold or traded away my second copy of both games too.  Those would be:

Quo Vadis and Carcassonne the Castle

And funny enough, I think I want to re-acquire them for the third time.

Quo Vadis is easy to explain.  It's just hard to get played.  I switched to the small box version, but the tokens were just too small to play with.  So I'm moving back to the big box.

Carc:Castle is just weird.  I liked it okay at first.  Traded it.  Then I went through pangs of missing it.  Then I was convinced regular carc was better.  So it left again.  Now for some reason I'm itching to try the damn thing again.   Gah.

Call me a fool.  But I think these two will end up back in the closet.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Clean Slate

Well, my big auction is over.  And it feels pretty good to fit all my games back into my game cabinet.  There's even room for 1-2 more if I want to squeeze them.

I've since turned my eye back to those games I already own.  In particular, I was toying around with Friendless' cool game stats page:


I like to try and get my "Friendless Metric" nice and high most of the time.  Right now it has plummeted to a really low "2".  The metric is: look at your owned games.  How many have you played 10+ times?  Call that N.  Now pick the N games you've played least.  How much have you played the most played game of those N bottom games?

Or in other words: I've played 22 of my games 10+ times.  There are 22 games I've played 2 times or less.  So my Friendless Metric is "2".

So, the quickest way to boost that metric is to play more of my seldom played games.  It generally makes me play and re-evaluate how much I really like those games.

On the flip side, pushing games to 10 plays also lets me judge the longevity of a game.  Sadly, there are a couple games that made it to 11-12 plays, but then puttered out:

Roll Through The Ages is still a great game.  It just feels like we played out the strategic possibilities of the base game.  I enjoyed my couple plays of the Late Bronze Age.  I really just need to make some more print outs of that.

Through the Desert is again still a great game.  It too just feels like I have too much understanding of the relative value of the scoring possibilities.  There's not as much to explore.  I still enjoy it, just not as much as before.

I'm not getting rid of either of the above games, but it will take them a long time to get to 20 plays I fear.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Equilibrium Playtest

Got in a quick game of Equilibirum.  Tested the following changes:

A. The "ALL" cards cost 1, score 6VP and require 8+ of a specific color.

Result?  Very nice.  I really liked them now.  I played a couple.  One of them payed off.  It seemed nice and balanced.  (Not the game bending 9VP from before)

B. Make the "Draw +4" cost as much as you want.

Result?  I liked this.  I used it the only time I actually played it.  I'm worried about the complexity of it though.

C. Allow duplicate permanents.

Result?  Never came up.  I still think it's just fine.  The way the permanents are, you get diminishing returns for each permanent after the first so I don't see any issue in letting people stack them if they really want to.

Quick Session Report:

I tried going a traditional 2-color route with red and yellow.  I played a couple "ALL" cards to test them.  Mainly I just went for efficiently spamming of cheap score cards.  I also played a couple "guess" cards and succeeded on both of them (Not on the head unfortunately)

My wife went all in on Blue.  And I trashed the heck out of her Blue from the beginning.  She played a couple big "13VP for 11+ of a single color".  She stopped way early (27 cards) just to gamble that she'd make it.  (She also had the "1st Pair" cards for a cool 12vp)

Scoring?  Well I did very solid getting just over 40.  My wife?  Only got 10 blue... but 11 RED because she stopped so early.  Doh.  So she scored all her big cards and beat me out by 3 VP.

All-in-all quite a fun game and a nice playtest.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Back on Track

I've done it.  I've put a large number of nice games up for auction over HERE.

Why?  I need the space and I'm in the hole on gaming budget.

What ones were I really sad to see go?

Union Pacific - I really like the idea of crossing Trains with Acquire.  But it just had too much fiddly crap.  The Union Pacific stock was pretty much broken.  And the track cards were stupid and un-needed.  And all that left was just a card game.  And that's a big board with lots of bits to just be a card game.

HomeSteaders - It's not that I didn't like it, I just didn't see myself playing it a bunch in the future and it was worth money right *now*.  My biggest issue?  If you don't comprehend the Magic:The Gathering "Stack", then it's unlikely you'll really understand the market transactions in Homesteaders.  No, the transactions don't actually work like the "Stack".  It just means you need to have a brain that can function like a assembly processor.  Some people do, and other's don't.  Also, I got real tired of pushing bits back and forth.  It was much better than Princes of Machu Picchu, but it did have a similar feel after awhile.

Galaxy Trucker - I enjoyed it.  It just has *so* many damn pieces and parts.  And hey, I've got Factory Fun to fill the same itch.

Anyway, I've already ordered Heavy Rain and Metal Gear Solid 4 to do some interactive movie playing in the theater in the basement.  That and pay off the Crokinole board before it gets here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Running out of Space in the Game Cabinet

Yup.  It's that time of year.  Tax return time!  Why is that important?  Because it means general auction prices on the 'geek aught to be at a high.

And unfortunately, it's probably time for me to auction some games off.  I've run out of cabinet space and I'm a little low on budget.  (I put my video game and board game budget together this year.  And now there's a silly ~$50 video game I want.)

But it's hard to let go of games dang it.  Especially ones I wanted bad enough to buy in the first place.  What am I really split on?

Endeavor - It seemed so awesome when I read the rules.  And the first players were pretty good.  I just haven't felt the need to play it.  And that's not really making a game worthy of a spot on my shelf.

Daytona 500 - Difficult to find.  Only played once.  It just is an awkward game in many ways.  I really don't like the whole "give a person a car" rule if they don't win any.  And I just like Ra/Metropolys so much better.

Nexus Ops - Completely impossible to ever replace.  But I just never play the damn thing.  And I don't really want to.  It just seems too shallow, with odd card play rules.

Return of the Heroes - Again, impossible to ever replace.  But then again, I never play the thing.  I think I've decided that adventure games just make much better video games than board games.

And besides, I need to make some room for more kids games :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Back to the Lunch Crowd

I played in a very suspenseful Tichu tournament last Friday night.  Our final game started with the opponents going 1-2-Tichu in the first hand.  We turned around and went 1-2-Grand-Tichu in the second hand.  It just got crazier from there.

Then I went back to lunch today.  I work with a lot of *very* smart people.  Most of them are fairly competitive.  Oddly enough though, there are a couple that love to play cards at lunch and just phone in their choices.  I guess from their point of view, it's just a relaxing time in between crunching numbers all day.  It still makes for an odd game that causes 10s to float in tichu when there are still kings and queens in the opponent's hand.

I guess I can't really complain though.  Everyone there is a fun bunch to play with and I have a great time.  Lunches could be a lot worse.

As for Equilibrium, I did think of one change I think I shall try.  I think the current "ALL Score" cards are a little too powerful.  I think I'll try a couple hands with them as "1 cost" and "6VP for 8+" as the reward.  So it's still the same difficulty of achieving, but the cost/reward has been reduced.  The current "9VP for 8+" was just too game distorting to me.