Friday Nov. 30, 2007 - Game Shoppe
I headed down to Bellevue to meet up with Mike Garrett for a bit of gaming. Didn't know if anyone else was going to be able to make it, so I brought along a number of different games. I was the first to arrive and after a quick look around, I went ahead and grabbed the new Power Grid deck as well as Race For the Galaxy. Now, there is a chance I could get these for Christmas, but I'm taking no chances ;). At any rate, Mike Garrett gets there and we sit down with another Mike and Scott to play some games. We started the night with Edel, Stein, and Reich - one of the Alea small box games that I've been interested in trying for a while now. Mike described it as a Hoity-Toity-Rock-Paper-Scissors-with-an-auction-bidding-mechanic, which is pretty much exactly what it is. There are four colors of gems (red, yellow, green, blue) that score you points at the end of each round if you have the majority (or tie for, in which case you get half). Reds are worth more than yellow, which is more than green, which is more than blue. When you win the majority, you also give back 1/2 of that color (or simply 2 if you tied). There are 3 rounds. Each turn of a round, you get a card face up in front of you and one group card. The individual cards have number of gems, as well as a $$ value. The group card is either a certificate, or a special action of various usefulness to anyone. Then each person selects an action which will be revealed simultaneously later. You can either go for the gems, the money, or the action/cert. If you alone pick that choice, you get it. If three or more pick that action, nobody gets that action. If two people picked it, they bid their stash of gems back and forth until one player takes the offer from the other player. The "winner" then gets the action. After 7 turns, there is scoring and you go to the next round. I liked this much better than Hoity Toity, because the bidding/auction mechanic makes it more gamey or something. I liked it enough to win by a good amount at any rate. We next switched gears as the other Mike got out The Downfall of Pompeji. I really enjoy this one and its quick. The only part I hate is the setup of the cards. As per my usual - the omen cards all ended up in a clump on top of the AD card :(. Whatever. Anyway, we had loaded up the board and started running. Jason Sato had taught me the key to winning this game - get at least one guy out EVERY round. Unfortunately for me, Mike also got a load of guys out. We checked the volcano, and tied! So a tie game it was. Next I pulled out Q-Jett and Heath sat down with us for a quick race. I think Mike Garrett both likes and hates this game, as he always seems to get screwed. This was no exception as he fell short of finishing the race one space! It was pretty tight, but the other Mike managed to cross just ahead of me. Mike and Scott then wanted to play Condottiere. I hadn't tried this one before and was interested. It felt a lot like Ivanhoe to me. They aren't really the same, but they really scratch the same itch for me - I'll stick to the one I have. BTW, Scott won this one with a quick connect 3-areas victory that we couldn't stop. Finally, looking for something short to end the night, I pulled out Exxtra to try. I hadn't had a chance to play this yet, so I was quite glad they were willing to play. As expected, it was fast - fast enough that we played twice. Scott pulled out to a commanding lead the first game and won easily. Luck went badly against me in the second game. I placed a 76 on the top score twice and twice had it knocked off. I also rolled a 75 and it too got knocked off. Mike Garrett managed to roll his way to a much closer win to end the night. After playing, I think I like this better than Can't Stop. Its faster, with less downtime and is just as fun.