Thursday, September 08, 2011

Raanana Session Report in which I win Glory to Rome using Forum but feel guilty

Participants: Jon, Abraham, Peleg, Ellis

Some others were hoping to make it, but in the end they couldn't.

Seven: Card Game

Abraham 3, Jon 2, Peleg 2

Another game I was sent to review, the review will go up on Purple Pawn in time. I warn publishers before they send me games that I'm a harsh reviewer, and I try to turn down games that I know I won't like. This one came through anyway.

It's a souped up version of Go Fish. Instead of all items in a set being the same, there are seven different items in seven different sets and you have to ask for the item by name, but only if you have an item in that set already. There are also about 20 special ability cards. A few are bad (reveal immediately), but most are good, and you can only play good one per turn.

I'm not a fan of Go Fish, and neither were Abraham or Peleg. However, they both appeared to enjoy themselves while playing the game. Abraham even took my copy home. Peleg didn't think he would play it again.

Glory to Rome

Jon+, Abraham, Ellis, Peleg

First play for all the other players. Maybe I should have, after all, not played with the building powers, as is suggested for the first play. I am pretty happy with this game - so much so that I ordered the new edition with nicer graphics - but I think that the Forum ruins the game. I don't mind broken combinations, because there are usually several, and at least everyone feels like they are still completing for the original goal. But, when you do well and play well, and then a card says that the game is over and the win handed to the player who drew and played the card, it's a letdown.

There are ways to combat a Forum, unless it is played and completed on the same turn and near the end of the game. And if these ways come into play, the building isn't necessarily broken. It is simply broken sometimes, and that's too many times for me.

Oddly enough, despite my concern that I would turn them off the game, I was the one to play a Forum. The other players had plenty of time to work against me, and did so to some extent. In fact, they could actually have ended the game by taking the remaining foundations, but, for some reason, they didn't. I ended with a Forum victory when there were two foundations remaining.

Which brings me to another note: I play with one change to the rules: each player can only be building, at any one time, three buildings. This restriction only actually hampered someone once during our game. I created the change because I thought the game play devolved when every player started six buildings all at once, and ended before pretty much before anything was built. However, I note that, by restricting the number buildings you can build at a time, I am decreasing the ability of the other players to stop the Forum. So I may have to rethink it.

Another possible change I am thinking of is having the game end as soon as one player completes one building of each color.

The rest of the game saw pretty balanced play, with no powerhouse combos brought into play. Ellis wasn't too keen on the game. I'm not sure how the others felt.
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