Feb. 1, 2008
Headed back down to the Game Shoppe this week to meet up with Mike Garrett for some gaming. We were hoping to grab some other players, but planned on it just being the two of us. When I got there, Mike had pulled out Filthy Rich, an older Richard Garfield game that I had never heard of. We pulled in a kid that shows up at the shop a lot - Tom Nelson and Mike explained the game. This game is really cool in that the game board is a binder. You play a business that makes billboards. You build the billboards by placing the cards for the boards into slots in pages (card sleeve pages) in the binder. There are four pages, and so you can cover up (or get covered), depending on which page is active. There is quite a bit of randomness in dice rolling to get paid, and in the event card deck, but the game plays quickly and has a unique mechanic. I wouldn't want to play this a load, but its interesting enough I probably would play it again when it comes out (plus I won).
After that, I had Mike keep out the money and I pulled out my homemade copy of Wabash Cannonball (which is only slightly less cheesy than the original). I'm working on a nice copy, but I wanted to get this to the table now, so I printed out a quick and crappy copy of the original map. I explained the game to Tom and Mike and we got started. Tom took PA (red) and New York (green) in the initial auctions, I got B&O (blue) and Mike had C&O (yellow). I made a pretty decent effort at nabbing the second blue stock to go up for auction, then poured all the money into pushing blue well up in value - only at the end of the game did I let a stock go to another player and the first three landing in my lap pushed me out to an easy win. This one isn't terribly hard to learn, but takes a playing to see how quickly it plays and to get what sort of value to give a company during auctions. I still need to play this with 4-5 players, but I still feel that this a decent game - its fast and has interesting choices. After I finish my "deluxe" version, I'm going to want to play this even more.
Tom had to take off, so Mike pulled out Quoridor for us to play while we waited for his other friend Mike to show up. I had seen him playing this before, so knew how to play. I wasn't that interested in playing, as I had seen how this would not be a terribly interesting abstract, but I also knew it was quick, so I gave it a go. I had boxed Mike in pretty decently, then screwed up and let him hose me. It was soon after pointed out that I could have kept it from happening to me - which normally would make we want to play again, but this game just never struck a chord with me.
When Mike Linder arrived, Mike Garrett suggested Age of Steam. Linder, despite never having played was interested in trying it out. I got out France for us, as this works well enough with three players. The setup for us was interesting in that there were only a couple black cubes on the board, as well as on the goods chart - black would not be seen much in this game. It also meant that Paris was going to get loads of colored goods. Mike G grabbed a two hop route into Paris right away, so I sucked it up and started a route that would not let me move goods the first turn. Instead I got my engine to 3 in preparation for the second turn. After that, it started to look like it'd be Mike G's game (I had had to dig into the share pool while he did not), but I kept on making 4s and 5s while Mike ran out of those and in the mid-end game kept getting stuck running 3s and 4s. When we tallied up the scores, I finished 2 pts ahead of Mike G for the win - coincidently, two points I took from Mike when I urbanized a town out from under one of his routes.