Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Games from 2005 I have played

You can never really know when other people will like what you post or not. I thought my post about games in 2005 that I haven't played was pretty funny (c'mon, "tip the cow" was funny), but nobody acknowledged it. Oh well. Can't win them all.

I can't give you a top ten games in 2005, seeing as I only played eleven games from 2005 total, and two hardly count: The Menorah Game, which is mine and is not yet published, and The Rooster Coop, a small and cheaply produced game by my friend Gilad, which I don't think has been distributed, yet.

That leaves the following nine games:

ChiZo RISING: I played this only two-player with open hands. Not a good idea. With closed hands and multiple players it might be better.

Havoc: The Hundred Years War: An excellent set collecting attrition game. A great middle-weight Euro. Good with two through six players.

Louis XIV: An excellent area control Alea game. It is heavy-weight Euro, even though it comes in a small box. It's not perfect - several aspects about the scoring mechanisms are clunky, and there is the usual luck about picking cards - but it's very good. Good with two, three, or four players.

Palazzo: Played once with four players. A decent light to middle-weight game.

Pompeji - Die Letzten 37 Minuten: Played once with four players. Not truly awful, but pretty close. While the designer included lots of pretty pieces and nice thematic elements simulating chaos and disaster, these elements make every act a total crapshoot. Without phenomenal luck, everything you do gets undone. It is easy to wreck anyone else's plans. And once you have actually succeeded in doing anything, you literally have no pieces to play with for the rest of the game.

Power Grid - Italy/France: I've only played Power Grid once, and only on this map with six players. PG is an excellent game. This map, with its huge conglomeration around Paris, seemed a bit unbalanced, but this may have been more to do with the experience of the players rather than the board itself.

Shadows Over Camelot: Played once, three player. A cooperative game which is not truly cooperative because one player may be a traitor. Without the traitor, the game would probably not be that interesting. You are mostly picking cards and playing sets. Beautiful pieces and some theme and special cards and rules make it more fun, but the traitor makes it interesting.

Ticket to Ride: Europe: Played once with five players. I haven't played Ticket to Ride. This game has simple rules and was a reasonably fun game, but it would probably have been better if we had played it more viciously. A good game.

Travel Blokus. Played once. If you liked Blokus, and you wanted the equivalent two-player game without playing four colors, this is just as good.


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