About this time last year, when I returned from Essen, I felt jaded and pessimistic about gaming. I had played way too many mediocre games at Essen and my weekly games nights had pretty much dried up. A year on things are really looking up. I have played plenty of inspiring games, my regular games nights are back on the road and I am even getting meatier games played with several other friends.
My four year old boy loves this. If he can get it down from the shelf he likes just assembling the village. It is very simple and is pure luck, but it teaches basic game-playing skills and the components are gorgeous. Far more fun than snakes and ladders.
This is very sweet. You take it in turns to hang up washing on a miniature washing line. It is barely a game, but the kids love it.
I played this once with my regular gamers and once with my boy and it was a major hit both times. I will have to get the expansions and maybe even pimp it out.
Peter and Chris came around and we had a very enjoyable afternoon with 1829 Mainline, followed by a less enjoyable evening watching the Rugby World Cup Final. This gets poor reviews from serious 18xx fans, but this Age-of-Steam-loving newbie enjoyed himself. I played 1825 by email a while ago and found it very static. This was far more fluid. 1829 ML does have problems, but they seem fixable. Chris Farrell sums it up nicely.
I am not sure about this. For one thing the board is hideous and the other components are gaudy. Many compare it to Puerto Rico, but there is plenty of luck. I did not enjoy Puerto Rico at all the first time I played it, so I will have to give this another chance. Its BoardGameGeek rating is now a massive 8.05 and its standard deviation is an average 1.35, but the blog pundits are on the fence. Anthony Simons was disappointed, Chris Farrell hates it
and Frank Branham likes the game, and never wants to play it again.
A respectable welterweight. You have to give some respect to a game that says sixty minutes on the box and comfortably finishes in that time on the first play.
I prefer this to the board game. It took longer than expected to finish at two hours. This is top of my list to play again.
I played this again and I decided to trade it away. It is very quirky and complicated compared to the underlying depth of play. It is a shame as the cards are great.
Easy to learn, elegant and vicious. What more do you want?
This is so close to being great, it hurts, but it has one fatal flaw. Three player games, especially ones with lots of interaction, have to conquer the Petty Diplomacy problem and this one does not.
Simpler than and superior to Tichu. I would like to play Ole again, my other favourite climbing game to see how it compares.
One of my favourite lightweights. It is the most intuitive auction game I have tried.
My favourite large-scale trading game – definitely better than Parthenon for instance. Apart from the mergers, this is actually relatively easy to learn and play. The map is difficult to use, but nowhere near as bad as the hype suggests.
The opposite of a cooperative game. Incredibly intense if played in the right spirit. More of a psychological experiment than a game. I felt dirty afterwards, but it is very interesting.
The intricate pictures on the board and cards reflect the game play perfectly. Very dry, but very compact. A two player game with me as a newbie took thirty minutes.
I would rather play Ticket to Ride Marklin every time.
If you like Twilight Struggle, you will like this. Charles Vasey taught me and methodically pulled me to pieces. By the end he was toying with me, but somehow got too confident and allowed George Washington to stray into Long Island, which is a dead end. I attacked him, and as he had nowhere to run, George Washington was captured – a real upset. This sort of unpredictability is something I love about war games. They are so complex and deep that you are never entirely out of it as one missed step can lead to disaster. I would love to buy WtP, but it is out of print and copies go for crazy money. I can see how it spawned the Card Driven War Games genre. There are rumours of a reprint, but there has been no word for a while. Apparently the reprint would not use battle cards, which is controversial. I would be happy to see them go. There is little skill involved in the card play and it slows the game down. Something like Descent’s dice mechanic would be much more interesting.