Wednesday, October 04, 2006

September Gaming at the JSGC

As usual this list includes only games played at the Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club, and not any other games I may have played outside of the group. Find all these games on Board Game Geek.

Arimaa - a modern abstract game, said to be designed specifically so that it would be hard for computers to play using brute force searching. New strategies are still being discovered. I wasn't thrilled with my only game of it. I could be convinced if given a strategy guide ten years from now.

Bridge x 3 - Has become a club favorite. I've played for thirty years now, but many of our players are just learning the joy.

Capitol x 2 - Probably defines an average Eurogame, which is fine. Seems ok.

Cosmic Encounter x 2 - A classic, play only Eon or Mayfair versions.

Dvonn - A great modern abstract, very cerebral and fairly quick.

El Grande - An excellent Euro. Would be great to have some expansion cards for use in the regular game. Would also be fun to play with some sort of alliance system.

Go x 2 - Defines the word classic for two-player abstract games. I'm now up to 11x11 play, and will be for a while before I move up to 13x13.

Havoc: the Hundred Years War - A modern card game, seems to hit the right spot for any number of players 2-6.

Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation x 2 - A very quick and cute two-player game, with theme, too.

Louis XIV - A very good Eurogame, marred somewhat with clunky scoring, a bit too much luck, and a poorly designed endgame. Needed to bake a little more, but still a good game.

Magic: the Gathering - A classic CCG; of course, I haven't played any other CCGs. I've been playing this for ten years now and I still love it, but only when played with drafting.

The Menorah Game x 2 - A great little auction set-collection game for 2-4 players, IMHO.

Princes of Florence x 2 - A great Eurogame. One of the quietest. You expect it to not be much, but it always surprises you.

Puerto Rico - The classic modern Eurogame.

Queries and Theories - An older game that uses induction, same as Zendo. This one teaches natural language, too.

Quo Vadis - A good modern Eurogame, plays most tensely with five players, but still fun with four.

Reef Encounter - I didn't get to play this, but heard some good things about it.

Rheinländer - Like Capitol, appears to define average in a Eurogame. Which is fine.

San Juan - I kind of tired of it, but it is still a good short Euro-cardgame. Desperately needs expansion cards.

Santiago x 2 - An excellent Eurogame, IMHO. Neat and clean design. May be too light for some.

Settlers of Catan x 2 - Still the definitive gateway game for new players.

Taj Mahal - An excellent Eurogame.

Tigris and Euphrates - An even more excellent Eurogame, with some conflict, too, and a bit of luck.

Yinsh - Almost as good as Dvonn, probably enjoyed more by most people.

Some good games played this month. And Games Day is coming up next week, Oct 9.



Simon J said...

MtG is second to none when in comes to drafting from a random selection of cards.

It's interesting that you describe Santiago as too light. I was thinking it wouldn't be a good fit for my group because I'd read that the ending became too computational, which some players just wouldn't enjoy whilst one guy would delay the game by trying to calculate everything. Which doesn't seem light to me.

Yehuda Berlinger said...

Hmm, yes. Santiago can get a little computational by the end of the game, although nowhere near Power Grid.

The game is medium weight, the way that Taj Mahal is medium weight, with very few choices and a light feel to the mechanics, even though it is actually a medium weight game.

Bear in mind that calculating exact numbers at the end of the game is optional. Some people, like me, simply glance and estimate without making exact caluclations. If you have a player that needs to calculate, just keep a public running tally visible.


Anonymous said...

There's a nice guide to Arimaa strategy at Wikibooks: