Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Exam Day Cometh

I have a very large professional exam coming up next Friday.  I've been spending a lot of my time studying so I haven't had much time to post on here.

I hope to rectify that sometime in the next couple days.  Enjoy Spring everyone!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Innovation Impressions

I just got a preview copy of Innovation in the mail a couple days ago.  I've since played a couple games and here are my thoughts:

Overall, this is a very solid game, somewhere above "good" for me at the moment.


The card play is very smooth actually.  Draw→Play→Activate.  The card effects ("Dogmas") are just varied enough to really make you feel unique compared to your opponent.

There is a definite progression through time.  It uses 10 distinct decks ranging from pre-historic to "information age" and there is a huge power gain over the course of the game.

There is also tons of ingenious things thrown into that deck progression too.  Cards have distribution of symbols, and the symbols are concentrated in certain eras.  So some cards that depend on draws those symbols have their power rise and fall gracefully over the course of the game.

There are a couple downsides to me though:

The current rules are a little too abbreviated for my taste.  In particular there are no examples of play.  We messed up a couple pretty important rules in our first game.

The game is largely tactical.  In particular, there are many card effects that force you to play new random cards over what you already have.  Not much choice involved there.  I suppose once you know the decks better you might be able to plan a little bit with what symbols you collect on your cards.

The late game does bog down some.  You are limited to only 5 top cards at once, but those effects get bigger and bigger as you go.  Also, as you are allowed to eventually splay out your cards, counting up who has how many of what symbols gets very time consuming.

There are a few cards that seem a little more powerful than the others.  No more so than Terraforming Guild in Race for the Galaxy though, so I wouldn't call it an issue.

I'll have some more finished thoughts after a few more plays.  Let's just say I think it's leaps and bounds better than Glory to Rome :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Missing the "Try before you Buy" option

So I've actually been pretty good on the gaming budget recently.  I'm well ahead with some virtual money burning holes in my pockets.

The problem is that I just haven't been out to the local gaming groups to try some of the recent releases.  It makes it very hard to stick to the whole "Try before you buy..." rule when you  haven't been anywhere to try games recently.

In particular, I've really been interested in:

Macao - I do like Stefan's other designs.  And after reading the rules (horribly translated) it does still sound interesting.  It just seems to be a little high on the Bit Count with lots of setup and tear down.  And how strategic is it really?  I mean, it sounds like the players will be doing different things, but much of that is just due to what cards they end up with.  And it's not like Agricola where you get all the cards up front and can make a plan from the get-go.

Vasco da Gama - Yea, I don't like worker placement much at all.  But if you add push-your-luck to it, I just might participate.  The whole idea of the navigation scoring seems pretty solid too.  But it still doesn't sound *that* much like my kind of game.

So yea, the sucky bit is I don't think either of these games will be huge hits for me, but I want to try them dang it :P