Thursday, December 29, 2005

December Gaming at the JSGC

We return to a full month of gaming after missing some sessions in November (while I was at BGG.con). As usual, the following list represents only games played at the club, and not my personal plays.

Alhambra - This game is not enjoyed, as I mentioned last time. We tried it again and still found no particularly interesting decisions, although it is slightly better with less players. You can't plan, because what you want is gone by the time it gets to you (a small expansion slightly fixes that problem). And while I can see in theory why you wouldn't want to buy something with exact change, it hasn't happened in practice. There is another expansion planned that looks like it could help.

Billabong - A highly abstract and chaotic game on first impression. It was interesting enough. Like Chinese Checkers on speed.

China Moon x 2 - I was pleasantly surprised to find this game enjoyable when I first played it, but it loses its luster (as well as all semblance of player control) if played with four people, and probably loses it even more if played with five.

Domaine - Our group found this a bit dry, although I liked it. I introduced it to some new players at the club who loved it.

Dvonn x 3 - Excellent game which I also originally thought was too chaotic. Fine fine game.

El Grande - A classic that hasn't seen much play since the last time when it took people six hours to finish. Yarch. This time took a balmy two and a half.

Evo - Also not enjoyed by the club. They felt the whole thing was silly (the same people who like Primodial Soup). Personally, I liked it except for all aspects of the game having to do with the dice. Introduced to some new players who loved it (more than Primordial Soup).

Havoc - A fine game, but just a tad long as a waiting game, and a tad short for a meaty game. In any case, likely to be played again soon.

La Strada x 2 - We felt that this was only half a game, like a single mechanic was taken out of another game and left unfinished. Plays quick, easy enough, left us unsatisfied.

Lo Ra (Ra) - This is a homebrew imitation of Ra rethemed to be about the Jewish temple. Ra is another fine game, and this plays about the same. "Lo" means "not", so the game translates at "Not Ra", and "Ra" means "bad", so the game can also translate as "Not bad".

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation - I have played this a few times and liked it, although it is basically a very very short card driven war game, and I don't really like war games.

The Menorah Game x 3 - Played on Hannukah, of course. Also enjoyed as a quick opening filler game.

Modern Art - I really liked this, and some of the members liked it, while others were not convinced. The only problem we all had was that it seemed like the double auction cards affect the game too much, and therefore those who don't get any feel left out.

Primordial Soup x 2 - The first play with three players felt a little dry, while the second one with four players was sweeter. Another good game, with a mild runaway leader problem. Looking forward to trying it with alternate gene options.

Puerto Rico - The game. Period.

San Juan x 2 - Always a good filler game.

Taj Mahal - Excellent game for a main course. Plays well equally with 3-5 players.

Tikal - I think it's great, others think it is somewhere between very good to ok. Since our group tends to have analysis paralysis, this makes sense.

Yinsh - Another excellent game. It is more initially accessible for new players than Dvonn, but I think I like Dvonn better.


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Jeff Coon said...

How many players played Alhambra? For the reasons you listed, I rarely play it with more than 4. The sweet spot seems to be 3 players. Also, paying with exact change is extremely useful. Our group rarely pays for something without paying exact change, unless it is of a particular color or wall combination that is needed badly. Paying without exact change when the other players are paying with puts you at a distinct disadvantage.

Yehuda said...

Yes, that's right. It was better with three players.

The wierdest thing is that my first game, before buying it, was with six players and I really liked it. However, I was playing with wonderful company, and we played with the expansion that lets you grab a tile out of turn.