Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Games night at the dub....

Another evening of games at UW (Mondays at 7, if you ever wanna join!) and a pretty decent crowd. The usuals got played like 7 Wonders and RFTG, as well as Vegas Showdown. I also managed to badger people into playing the two newbies that I brought: Alien Frontiers and The Secret of Monte Cristo.

My second game of Alien Frontiers was as good as the first and everyone enjoyed it.  It actually moves at a pretty decent clip once everyone knows what they're doing and it kinda has that perfect balance of offering lots of room for strategy and choices without it ever becoming overwhelming. That, and the final score was 7, 6, 6, 5, which is just awesome. 

Great game, loads of fun, and easily one of the best dice games out there.

The Secrets of Monte Cristo, on the other hand, was quite the overwhelming experience.  Not complicated at all but trying to figure out an optimal move....   Oh boy.  We all left kinda scratching our heads but agreeing we wanted to play it again.  I think the best player won, but I'm still not sure. 

It's all a very European experience - area majority, card drafting, and shifting stock values.  The turns themselves are very straightforward but the options are numerous and the strategy quite opaque.  But what makes this game so cool and worth picking up anyway is one of the cleverest turn order mechanisms to come out in a few years - the ball rack action thing.  The game cycles through the actions one ofter the other and the player whose ball is at the bottom of each action row gets to take that action (hand out cards, place treasures in the dungeon, place more meeples, etc.)  They then place that ball at the top of one of the other rows and then wait for their other balls to drop (ooh, awkward...)

It makes for a very interesting little meta-game but I don't think any of us played the timing of it very well.  In any case, quite fun despite the confusion and looking forward to playing this one again.


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