Game Night: Friday 6-2-00 & Saturday 6-3-2000 (kind of)
Well, our "camping" trip to Macinaw Island and Macinac (both spelled right, but who knows why?) was a rousing success. We did have a token campfire game night of Democrazy and Cloud Nine. We discovered this. Cloud Nine is a good party game. Few rules, minor strategy or thinking, and some chances to take. Democrazy is not really as good of a party game as I first thought. The mechanics are excellent, but the novelty has worn off for me already.
Game Night: Saturday 6-10-2000
Another solid game night last Saturday. Ed & John showed up at about 9 and we started a game of "Stevenson's Rocket". This game once again
redrudged up the timeless and cliché topic of railroad building. The game seemed easy enough to pick up, but it wasn't until the end of the game that we truly understood the scoring. So, we really can not review this title yet. (although the merger of train lines was coined as "crashing" them by us as we played).
Towards the end of the game, Pete and Michelle came by. Pete was carrying the "Apples to Apples expansion" (now available at the MALL, I saw it at 12 oaks). This game never ceases to be a laugh riot. The only thing funnier that evening was watching John drink red wine out of a brandy snifter. At one point I was so far behind it was a running joke, but towards the end I made a comebacks to finish respectably. I don't remember who won though, but the laughs were many. (House rule: You must "do the apple" after winning a round)
After shooting down another game of Apples to Apples, Cosmic Encounters, Quo Vadis (Hail Caesar!), we finally decided to play "Ra". Michelle had not played before, but we now knew the game inside in out (including the scoring) and were able to explain it (and the scoring) in very easy to comprehend terms. And what a game it was. This was the BEST game of Ra ever, with the final scoring 77 to 74 to 72 separating first from third (Michelle placed second!). She game the game a big thumbs up, and I have a increased love of this game. It just works. I no longer consider it a "Medici" knock off. Instead of maximizing profits using monetary resources like in Medici, you are instead jockeying for both current and future positions, while trying to manipulate you opponents scoring positions and future bidding ability. No wonder this game continues to receive accolades from the game community. That is NOT to say it is BETTER than Medici, just worth many repeated playings like Medici is.
I must admit, I still pine for a game of Cosmic. The universal consensus out there is that it was the playing with 2 powers that killed off much of the games playability and turned it into a "marathon (or moronothon). I would love to play a simple 6 player, single power game. Post Script on Cosmic. It is being RE-ISSUED AGAIN by Hasbro (who bought Avalon Hill, who had bought Mayfair, who purchased the rights from the original "Eon" who had rented them to West End games and Games Workshop for a while there). (There is also an on-line java version of cosmic that is worth looking at. There are still FAQs for the game being maintained.)
The "formula" worked very well by the way. New Game, fun party game (usually card based), old favorite game. I think this is the way to go.
Game Night: Saturday 6-17-2000
Well, not much to report this week as we were more social than anything else. But Pete, Tom and myself did get in one fine game of Manhattan. Manhattan was one of the first "new" games I bought, and it falls into the "token placement" type games. These are games like "Camel Game" and such where your turn consists mostly of placing something strategically on the board in order to maximize points (and minimize opponents points). The variations are in scoring and how placement is allowed. In Manhattan, there are 6 scoring suburbs in the great city of Manhattan. At any one time you can only play on certain squares in each 'burb. The placement is a cool 3D type, where at the end of the game, you actually have cool, multicolored
skyscrapers. Pete, of course, is the all-time reigning F-ING KING of these placement games. Even after being way in last after 1/3 of the game, he SPANKED Tom and I by the end. Plus, he brought and made espresso drinks. So, This week was Pete's week. But, both Tom and I expressed severe interest in playing Settlers next week, so watch you back Pete.
Extra Email, but I thought I would add it to this week.
It's getting to be that time again.... As the 2000 year winners are posted, it is time to buy the next batch of games. Here is the list of POSSIBILITIES I am looking at, any feedback is desired!!! As always, only highly rated games are even considered.
Night die Bohne, translation: NOT THE BEAN GAME. I may this card game for the title alone. A game where you try to make bad trades.
Mississippi Queen. I liked this game so much, I want to have it available at all times.
The Prince of Florence. Sort of like Medici, only instead of 5 commodities, you are bidding on buildings and other land fillers trying to make your grounds the most appealing to the cultural elite which award points. Highest rated game of the new stock and possible y2k champion, but also $38. ouch.
Condottiere. This is supposed to be the "party game" equivalent of Risk. Basically, a cool conquer game with only 30 minute play time!!!
Rage (the card game); Ed owns the only copy of the $8 game. This is a given.
Any others I should look at? Ed said he is looking at Formula De, so I am skipping that one.
Game Night: Saturday 6-25-2000
Game Night 6/25/00
Staring: Neal & Laura Manson, Tim & Beth (and Spenser) Wade, Ray & Jen Eifler
Special Guest Star (direct from 'Frisco): Will White
Tonight's Episode, "The Return of 'Drinking Laura'"
I have new confidence in the ability to entertain new members in the game night experience. The night consisted of "Cloud 9", "Take 6", and "Liar's Dice".
We started with Cloud 9 because I wanted a game that had a risk element, but was very easy to learn. Will picked up this game as easily as Laura picked up her drink. The women joined late, but since no one had passed the first corner we did not consider it a large handicap. It did, however, mean that Laura did not get a good tutorial before starting. We all ended up stacked up towards the finish line, but I beat out Neal for the victory. Not to pick on Laura, but the balloon did hit the ground a lot with her in it. Sort of like a aerial death wish.
Next, we broke out Take 6. This game is just so easy to pick up and play, we never even missed a beat. In this game, it is more fun to remember who last than who won. Neal lost... a lot. I think Tim took the victory. Another highlight was yet another person getting "Hooch up the nose" because of laughter. This weeks victim was Tim, who was forced to snort the caustic concoction. There is just something about that drink...
For the last game, Tim revealed a gift. 50 six sided dice. What a nice gift. Even though they wanted to play the demented '10 dice' liars dice again, I stuck my head in the sand and demanded a more normal round. The battle raged on and on with numerous total crash and burns with people losing 3, sometimes 4 dice. In the end, Laura almost ceremoniously put her head on the chopping block for Beth, who achieved victory.
Even though it was only 11:30pm, we decided to break up for the evening. Next week is Pete and Michelle's. The following week, Tim and I have decided to have a "gourmet cookout" complete with exotic yummies. (You must be this tall to eat the yummies.) I would expect about a 5 o'clock start time for yummy cooking.