The “Isleworth Gamers”:http://isleworthboardgamers.blogspot.com/ are consistently getting at least four games running simultaneously and there’s always a good atmosphere.
Exxtra is a 1998 push-your-luck dice game by Reiner Knizia. This is often compared to “Can’t Stop”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/41, which is generally higher rated, but I think I prefer Exxtra, because I found Can’t Stop too easy to calculate. Exxtra is a nice simple filler and I would play it again.
Lexio is basically a climbing card game, in the same family of games as “Gang of Four”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/3085 or “Sh!thead”:http://www.pagat.com/climbing/asshole.html, but played with Mah Jong tiles instead of cards. Playing with tiles was pleasant and it’s an easygoing sort of game. I can imagine grannies playing this instead of canasta. Having said that, I prefer tougher games, so I will avoid it.
Speaking of tougher games, our next game was Chicago Express. This has been around for a couple of years, but I have only managed to fit in three games in of it. I think it’s a classic. If Mikko had not “played it so much”:http://www.mikkosgameblog.com/2008/03/thursday-session-wabash-cannonball-tarot/, I might have ignored it.
Jon asked me to describe Chicago Express at the end of the evening, which stumped me as he has not played 18XX or Acquire. The best I can come up with is:
bq. Intense 45-minute train game where companies run the trains, not players. Players win by investing in the companies most efficiently.
Can anyone else do better? The description at the Geek is poor.
The final scores were:
# Paul – 111
# Iain – 85
# Jim – 72
Bruno Faidutti’s review “points out”:http://www.faidutti.com/index.php?Module=ludotheque&id=589 that Chicago Express is crying out for expansion maps. Has anyone seen any?