Sunday, July 23, 2006

Weekend Gaming

Our new acquisition Winner's Circle is a big hit with my daughter Tal, so she was up for a few games of this. We only managed to get in one together, and then she dragged the game to her friend's house to play.

Summation: This game is a good intro game, with a nice mix of control and luck. The mechanics are a little repetitive, however.

We played with Tal's friend in the evening, but didn't have time to finish, so we picked it up again the next day. I won after the last race with a third place victory for a horse that only I was betting on. I quickly learned that most of your movement choices should involve moving other people's horse, rather than your own.

Tal and I also played Oh Hell. She led until round seven, while I was getting crappy hand after crappy hand. Finally I got a good hand and took her down two tricks, winning in the end.

Later in the afternoon Rachel, Nadine, and I played two games of Puerto Rico. Fewer changes to the buildings than usual: Assembly Line instead of Small Market (a must), you can move a colonist onto Hospice immediately after buying it, Discretionary Hold instead of Large Warehouse, and Library instead of University. We played with Harbor, unlike usual.

Nadine was due to start with corn, and she ended up winning. I was fairly convinced that Library would be too strong in a three player game, so I bought it at first opportunity - round five, I think. I used it furiously, taking colonists when I couldn't take doubloons. Rachel had six corns, but her shipping was kept to a minimum. Nadine managed to lock a coffee boat and also collect income. Both Rachel and Nadine had Discretionary Hold, which is sub-optimal for both of them.

In the second game, I abandoned the Library idea and instead opted for Hospice, my own coffee monopoly, and after some painful consideration, Large Market. Rachel was again shipping furiously, but this time I picked up a Harbor, and then three large buildings, while she didn't get any. She shipped 44 VPs, but I shipped 22, and my building VP count was much higher. Nadine came in second. It was valiantly fought.

Coffee monopoly won twice in a row. A strong strategy.


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