Sunday, June 15, 2008

Game Night! Yay

So this last Friday night was our monthly game night... I had SOOO much fun (as always). The first game I played was Merchants of Amsterdam, this was the first time I had played this game and it was quite fun. I was actually doing really well, but in the last few turns I spent too much money trying to prevent other players from getting cards and ended up spending too much money (the player with the most money at the end wins). I believe I could have not spent any money and probably either come in first or second, but alas because of my mistake I think I ended up dead last... oh well, live and learn. I think the people that played with me were Eric, Rick Boring, Drewski, and Eric's friend but I don't remember his name...

After that a few more people had shown up and we whipped out another new game for me. Tikal. Wow, what a great game! I definitely have put it on my "to eventually buy" list, it won't pass Princes of Florence (my current favorite game) but it was a lot of fun. The players were myself, Drewski, Eric, and Justin. I figured this game out a bit quicker, and towards the end of the game I positioned myself to have a shot at winning. When the final tile was played and we calculated up victory points, I ended up having a winning margin of 43 points! Definitely will have to try that one again (and it's always more fun when you win, right?)

When deciding the last game of the night we had it narrowed down to Caylus or Carcassone, I requested that we play the "shorter" of the two so the last game of the night was Carcassonne: The Big Box. This is Carcassonne with 4 additional expansions. Shalisa and I own Carcassone:The Castle and I have played Carcassone regular before, so I am familiar with the game play, but this was my first time playing with the additional expansion pack. The players for this game were Rick Schnabel, myself, Drewski, Justin, and Matt. I started off pretty slow, Matt, Drewski and Justin had the early lead. Around mid game I scored a massive castle that was worth something like 40 points that vaulted me in to a pretty big lead (and put a target on my back). Shortly after that I think the clock caught up with Justin (he was pretty tired) and he conceeded that he wasn't going to win. I had built up a sizeable lead and was on an easy stroll to victory when the dragon was unleashed upon the area most of my guys were. I think I lost 2 farmers, 2 knights and a builder... it was devastating. I still had the lead on the scorecard, but I didn't really have any way to score many points when the end of the game came. On the last 2 rounds I got a few farmers out, and Rick got KILLED by towers shooting down I think 2 or 3 farmers. In the end I beat Rick by a few points, but it was a much closer game than I think most of us thought it was going to be before that dragon killed me.

All in all it was a great night, in hindsight something other than Carcassonne for the last game might have been wise (as we started at 10:30pm and didn't get finished until almost 2:30am) but we all managed (mostly) to get through it. It reignited my desire to play games with my family and friends more, so I am going to lay out some cash for some new, high quality games for myself (instead of just depending on Rick and Eric for most of the games). I think I am going to purchase Agricola, Pandemic, and Goa to help supply some new games for game night. Rick was also kind enough to let me borrow Ticket to Ride: Europe which Shalisa and I are learning together so we can play games with one another besides just Carcassonne: The Castle and Lost Cities (HUGE thanks to Rick for being so willing to share his games, we really appreciate it).

Hopefully in the coming weeks Shalisa and I can have some friends over for some Settlers, TTR, and other game action, I think the game bug has bitten me again! I can't wait until next month to get my game on.

Also, as a last note, to those reading on an RSS reader, I added a new feature to my blog from BoardGameGeek that will display the last 5 games I have played. It's fun for me to track what games I have and haven't played, and you can maybe see a game go buy that interests you, if you do I am more than willing to share my games (assuming the game I played is one I own :p)


.justin said...

i'm showing nothing on the recently played games.

i also would like to note that Carcassonne with 5 players, at the END of game night, coming up on 2:30am, and with The Tower ABSOLUTELY KILLS GAME MOMENTUM.

i had a really hard time developing any strategy other than, cross my fingers and play the piece i draw.

tikal was also fun.
the strategy i picked to play out from the beginning wasn't a "winning one", but that's what you get when you play a unique strategy on the first time you ever play!

kristi and i played ticket to ride [US] twice today and once yesterday. i feel like it's slow since you only have three options on your turn: draw, build, pick more lines. it's ok. but maybe i need someone to clue me in on why it gets such phenomenal reviews. [i ear the europe and the US versions are a little bit different]

Ryan said...

Agree with Carcassonne and game momentum dying... that game just drug on and on and on... While I won, I felt like it was more out of attrition than superior tactics, that was a game I wasn't sure was ever going to end.

Tikal I think I just got lucky on, basically I saw Eric going for the treasures, figured he had played before and knew what he was doing, so I kinda copied him until I "figured it out" on my own.

Shalisa and I played 3 games of TTR:Europe tonight (just got done with the last game... 5 minutes ago). I do agree the game seems a bit slow, especially the first time we played it as Shalisa had a case of analysis paralysis and wanted to study everything. By the third game we were moving along pretty quickly so there was always action going on. But my theory on your experience with TTR (which I do feel it is kinda slow as well) has to do more with playing 2 player version vs 4 or 5 player. With 2 players there isn't enough competition for the same tracks (plus you can plan WAY ahead with the 5 face up cards vs 4 player where the face up cards could be totally different by the time they come around to you again).

Europe has tunnels and ferries, which I don't think RADICALLY alter the game or anything, tunnels can be tricky to win although with a bit of planning you can ace through them pretty quick. Ferries just seem like a reason to draw locomotives more and thats about it.

All in all, I can see where TTR would be a GREAT 4 or 5 player game, but with 2 people I think it suffers from too large of a game board. If the game board was half sized and you played 2 player, then I think you would see where the game shines (competition for same tracks). But with just 2 players, even if you lose that track you "had to have" there is always at least 1 alternate route. With 5 players, if 3 people have the same destination, SOMEONE is going to have to build a station.

In the 3 games Shalisa and I played, neither of us EVER built a station... and in the last game I managed to connect EVERY SINGLE TRAIN PIECE for longest train.

So yeah, I agree TTR isn't quite as good as Carcassonne the Castle for 2 player... but I wouldn't throw it out quite yet.

Rick and Virginia said...

I like TTR because my family will play. Even on a 4 or five player game it is a little slow. It also requires more luck of the draw than I like. But it is still fun.

Koralmae said...

I've been massively "out-geeked." Hee Hee.