Sunday, July 02, 2006

June Gaming at the JSGC

The following games were played at the Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club in June. This list doesn't include my own personal plays outside the group:

Amun-Re - The game that nobody doesn't like, and some like quite a lot. When no one can agree on what to play, this one comes out. Second tier Reiner Knizia game; very good, and even good for intelligent newbies.

Beyond Balderdash - We tried to play this party game one night, but circumstances prevented us from finishing it. We will likely try again.

Bridge x 2 - We have a few beginner bridge players who like to play this game if there are exactly four bridge players around when the evening begins to close.

Caylus - This sprawling heavy game is full of lots of good gameplay, but likely to not hit the table too many more times: very long, very fiddly, not enough return for most people. I still like it, but I recognize its limitations.

Cosmic Encounter x 2 - A group favorite that only gets to the table when my brother brings comes to the group. We play Mayfair's Cosmic and More Cosmic, with no moons or lucre.

Dvonn - A very good but cerebral two-player quick abstract with a lot of strategy and tactics. Yinsh tends to get pulled out slightly more often, however.

Fluxx x 2 - The silly players in our group like this quick and chaotic card game. I loathe it.

Goldland - An ok medium-length board game whose main mechanic is counting out steps to the resources you need to acquire and getting them before others do. Nothing brilliant.

Havoc x 6 - A good light card game for 2 to 6 players. A little long for its weight, but can be truncated.

Hearts x 2 - Regular hearts is fairly luck driven, especially for five players. Team hearts is less so, and quite good.

Lift Off x 2 - A real-time game of flipping through your deck to drop cards as fast as possible. I don't have much experience with these type of games, so I can't compare; this one is ok.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation x 3 - A surprisingly good quick two-player game. Mechanics are like Stratego, but each piece has a special ability and you play war with cards as well.

Magic: the Gathering x 3 - Still a classic, I love to play this when I have an opponent at the group. We always Rochester draft from a random selection of cards.

Modern Art - A dry pure auction game. Easy to learn, and fun to play, but gets repetitive and predictable, and bad luck if you have no double auction cards. Very much enjoyed by some of our players.

New England - I didn't play this, but I heard some good reactions.

Power Grid - An excellent longish game for 2 to 6 players, with mechanics that are repetitive but don't feel like it, for some reason. Liked by most of our group.

Santiago - A truly great game for 3 or 4 players, whose rules are very elegant and have just the right amount of interaction, strategy, and tactics. Others in the group also enjoy it.

Scotland Yard - A game that has past its time, in my opinion. Revisited by some of our group members the day that I was away.

Shadows Over Camelot - Loved by our group as a new idea in gaming, collaborative play against the board with a possible traitor. I find the game play dull, but the traitor aspect enjoyable.

Torres - A very good medium game for 2 to 4 players. We play with personal sets of cards, where you draw 3 and pick 1, replacing the 2 back on the top or bottom of the pile. Cerebral and mathematical. Some of the group find it dry.

Ys - A good bidding/area-control game of handling too many scoring tracks. Like Alladin's Dragons, but with less theme, if that were possible.



gnome said...

Impressive... even featuring Bridge! How come no Chess?

Yehuda Berlinger said...

We try to play multi-player games when possible; two-players are generally while waiting for another game. So the two-players have to be quicker than Chess, like Dvonn.

None of our members particularly want to play Chess, in any case.


gnome said...

Oh come on.... you can't like Bridge and not chess...

Or can you?