Friday, March 21, 2008
Something New and Something Old
Mike Garrett stop over last night and brought along Duel in the Dark - a game about the English bombing Germany during WWII. That was as much as I knew about the game, but its newer, has good word of mouth, and is two-player. Mike got out the game, which is loaded with pretty nice looking bits and started to explain things. I started as the English, which meant that I'd be attacking and Mike would be fending me off. Basically, this is how things work - the board is setup with weather, clouds, fog, wind direction. Each of the weather things effects different parts of the game. Then the English player secretly determines which city they will bomb and using their movement cards, "programs" out their movement to the city and back. Then the German play throws out a bazillion tokens indicating flak, lights, fire crews, smoke screens etc. Then you start. The British have a single play that flies interference for the bomber and can blow up some of the German stuff. The German player has 4 plane squads that can harass the bombers. Damage and such is abstracted through points. When the British bomb a city, you get points, but you give the German points every time they harass the bombers, and so on. At any rate, I picked a random city and somewhat random path there and back. I used my single plane to blow up all of Mike's airfields in the south, which did score me some points later in the game. However, my return route took me back over a lot of flak, and in the end, the game was a tie. Not bad for a first play. We then switched side and Mike managed to bomb Berlin and get away while avoiding most of my setup. First lesson learned: this game is a SUPER glorified rock-paper-scissors game. You simply have to out guess your opponent. Maybe there is more to it than that, but that's what I saw. Anyway, it was fun though I don't know that I'd play it all the time. After Duel in the Dark, we pulled out an old favorite that I haven't played in a really long time - Carcassonne: The Castle. This is my favorite of the Carcs, because of a number of things. I really like the opportunistic scoring where you want to score certain amounts of points to get the bonus tiles. Mike and I went back and forth in this one and in the end, I won by a slim two points. I may leave this out and see if I can't get my wife to play a game or two.