Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ack GenCon Crazies

Only a week to go!  I'm scrambling to get things done at work.  And still keep track of all the game swaps I scheduled at the convention.  Lordy lordy!

I've got to play a bunch of stuff recently, but none of it new to me.  That's far from a bad situation.  Especially since many of the recent games have been solid.  I'll give a couple contrasts here:

High Society - I've always liked For Sale better.  And I've even liked Money better now that I've finally gotten to try it.  I like the idea of not knowing how long the game will last.  But High Society takes that aspect to an extreme.  It just ruins the ability to plan much.  It went on the trade pile after this last play.

El Grande - Well, it's still a classic.  I got to play my own copy a second time.  I think I've got an original release.  The King is a little small, but the friggin' cubes are massive.  The play is just as chaotic as I remember it.  With plenty of take-that and score changing.  And yet, it always seems to get across that "epic" feel.  I think I like it so much just because it's got that special "epic" feel in the minimum amount of time necessary to achieve it.  (About 2 hours.)  I'll be holding onto it and breaking it out a few more times for sure.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Revisiting: Carcassonne the Castle

I now have the dubious honor of buying the same game 3 times.  And everyone of those was a deliberate purchase for myself.  What's even crazier is that I have sold this game twice because I didn't want it anymore.  Not because it was a good deal.  I mean, I've probably lost a good $10-$15 per copy, so let's put it at a $40 game for me now.  What is it?

Carcassonne the Castle

Why do I keep getting rid of it?

1. I maybe kind of like vanilla-carc better.  I sure as heck got carc'd out for awhile.  I had the big-box+Castle+H&G.

2. My wife doesn't think it's as pretty when it's done.  And, I've got to agree with her in general.

3. I was buying new games and needed the shelf space.

So why do I keep getting it back?

1. I enjoy playing it.

2. I keep thinking about the damn thing.

So, here I am on my third copy.  Of course we had to play it.  And you know what?  I think I liked it better than ever.  It was nice and close.  I really like how the bonus tiles add some hard thought to scoring, and then once you get them they can guide your long term strategy.

I think the Keep is just the right level of complication.  I like how much of your score is hidden at the end.

Yea, I just like the damn thing.  So sue me.  Now if only "The City" was simpler.  The whole wall thing there just seems bonkers.  And there's no fun bonus tiles to run along and collect :(

Of course, if I want to be honest, I think I'm on my third copy of Quo Vadis too.  I suppose I have a love-hate relationship with Knizia.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Vacations Over

Had a great time cruising around the Eastern US.  Spent the last week dipping my feet in the Atlantic.

Also got to play a good chunk of games since we traveled with another gaming couple.

Some highlights:

Man I still love Brass and Ra.  Both of these got played and I enjoyed them immensely.  I won both handily, and sometimes I worry that this overly influences my enjoyment.  Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't.  But it was still a great time.

Chaos in the Old World- Played with 4 experienced players.  Turned into a real "Whack the Leader" fest.  I mean, I know that's what it's supposed to be, but damn.  It got tiring quickly.  That play really took the shine off for me.

Zendo and Uptown both got played.  Props to Kory Heath for some great designs.  I heard that Uptown is getting reprinted with Plastic bits.  I might just jump on that, it's just a great game.  I haven't gotten to use the new rules yet though.  Kory decided that they made a slightly better game.  The new rule is just in the scoring:

Your final score = #Groups + #Captured Pieces of the player you captured the most of

I really like the idea of how that spreads the hate around.  And it makes it possible to win with multiple groups instead of the winner always having 1-2 groups.

Anyway, back to work, plenty to catch up on!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Vacation Season

It's smack dab in the middle of Vacation season.

I hiked around the Smokey Mountains last week.  Still did a little game playing, but mostly just collapsed after a long day of walking.

In particular though, I did get another go around with Brass.  Ya know what?  I still like that game by golly.  I know they've recently released Age of Industry, but it just doesn't sound as appealing.  It seems to take just as long and focuses more on short term planning than long term planning.  Bleh to that.

At the end of next week I'm off to Kittyhawk North Carolina.  No oil spill for me.  I'm heading there with boardgaming buddies, so I'm sure tons of games will get played.  The tough choice will be what couple games to bring on the plane with me.  I'm thinking Brass will make the cut.