The Past Few Weeks In Gaming – 05jul12

Well, it’s been several weeks since I posted a This Week In Games. There have been some interesting things happening.
Hypermind Game Night – I made it out to Hypermind for Game Night on June 12 and 19 and played some good games.
June 12 – The first game was Thurn & Taxis. I really like this game and did pretty well. Thurn and Taxis has a nice mix of set collection and area control that I enjoy. It’s not a difficult game to grasp but has enough strategy or fore planning to satisfy. The second game was No Thanks!. Always a winner, this game proved to be a real blast. I did ok at first but took a gamble that didn’t play out.  I took the 35 with a ton of chips.  Chris Norwood (GamerChris) was to my left, following me.  He was evil and took the 34 cause I was trying to push it around.   He also took the 32 in a vain hope of getting the 33.  As the game wound down I knew I had no chance of winning.  I was stuck with the 35 and several more cards.  Then the 34 popped up on the last round.  Chris’s eyes lit up with HOPE.  Unfortunately for him, I remembered that he stuck me with the 35 and I decided to return the favor.  I took the 34 with a great “HA!” and laughed as the hope bled away.  He couldn’t believe I did that.  Disbelief.  Shock. Dare I say tears?  It was a classic moment.


Of course I lost by a huge amount.

Next up was Giza.  This was a new one Chris brought with him.  Giza was pretty fun.  It has a neat turn order/special actions mechanism that is neat.  It took me a while to get into the game so I was lagging behind.  But I figured out a weak strategy and aligned with Alton to stay competitive.  In the end Kenny beat us pretty well.  Only real issue we had was that it ran REALLY long.  Something like 140 minutes.  The game was fun and deserves some more plays.

We played a prototype called Kings of Israel.  It’s a cooperative game that feels a lot like Pandemic but with just enough differences to be interesting.  We won pretty handily.  It was fun and didn’t last that long.

July 19

Infiltration was first for the night.  It’s a semi-cooperative game with a cyberpunk theme.  We ‘won’ in that we all got out of the building before being caught.  But it felt kind of hollow.  The game was ok but I don’t think I need to play it again.

Next was Last Will.  I’d heard a lot about Last Will from a couple of podcasts.   In it you have to spend all your money to win.  A bit counter intuitive.  I didn’t really think it was one I would care for but I decided to give it a try.  I was pleasantly surprised by Last Will.  There are some interesting mechanics like depreciation of your properties and comboing cards.  I didn’t do so well.  There is some confusing iconography but I’d like to play it again.

Santiago de Cuba was the next game on the list.  I really liked this one.  Each turn you move around the city, either one free move or you can pay to move more.  You then have the option of taking the action at the spot where you landed.  You collect goods along the way with the hope of shipping them at some point.  It was pretty cutthroat and the scores were pretty close.  I hope I can play it again soon.

That’s it for Hypermind up to now.

Other gaming.

Fourth of July – O, her friends J and H, went to the local fireworks display on Fourth of July night. We sat on grass and played some games while we waited.   We played 10 Days In The USA (I came in third) and Sleeping Queens.

I played some games with the kids over the last few weeks too.  Z and I played Memoir ’44 and I actually won.  We’ve played Catacombs a couple of times.  O and her friend and I played Settlers of Catan last night.

Gameathonapocaloozafestacon 5: Dawn of The Prototypes

Darrell Louder’s Compounded, DHMG’s newest acquisition

I had the next game day at my house.  It was a blast with a bunch of friends and lots of games.   We started at about 1pm and the last guest went home around 12a.m..  Some of the games played were Vegas, Infiltration, Suburbia, Santiago de Cuba, Hive, Catacombs, and a few more.  I called it Dawn of The Prototypes because several were brought for playtesting.  Daniel Solis had Belle of the Ball, his newest card game that will be hitting Kickstarter soon I hope.  I didn’t get to play it but I have played a previous version and it was fun.  Eric Martin brought Suburbia and those that played it seemed to enjoy it.  Chris Norwood had Acute Care and there were a couple of quick plays of it.  And Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games had their latest Compounded.  I did get to play this one and really enjoyed it.  It’s a set building/collection game with a chemistry theme.  And the theme really shines through.  It has a really cool social aspect that can involve trading, deal making, and back stabbing.  When I get another play in I’ll do a review.

Launch Pad is a fun, quick family game.

I played Lauch Pad with Z.  It was fun and quick and hit that family game niche just right.  We then played Castle Panic, which I traded for with Graham.  I also played a really good game of Ticket To Ride Europe with Daniel, Megan, and Kenny.  I thought I was doing pretty well but was schooled by Daniel.  The last game I played was The Speicherstadt.  Chris and I had been trying to play this one for a long time.  It was worth the wait.  Stefan Feld does not fail.  It was tight, thinky, and nerve-wracking at times.  We all stayed pretty close but Chris pulled it out in the last two rounds.

I introduced a trading aspect to this game day and it was successful.  I know several others went home with new games and I picked up a couple.  As I mentioned I got Castle Panic.  I also picked up Endeavor and a chess/stratego mix that looked interesting.

All in all it was another successful Gameathonapocaloozafestacon.  I’m hoping the Chrises will post on it soon as they took a lot of pictures.

Z had a friend over yesterday and we introduced him to Catacombs.  We didn’t get to finish the game but he enjoyed it enough to get me to promise to have a Junior Game Day soon so he could play a full game.  Catacombs is definitely Z’s favorite game right now.  It’s such a good game for kids and adults to play together.  As with a lot of dexterity games adulthood can actually be a detriment and kids can easily hold their own.

That’s it for now.

Come back soon for an interview with Crash Games’ Patrick Nickell and Michael Coe.

Go Forth And Game,

Tom G

photos from GamerChris, DHM Games, and Stratus Games