Thursday Sept. 18, 2008 Dion Garner's house.
Dion gave me a call to see if I could make it to his place to play a couple games. I had a couple of games that I needed to get him (new copies of Settlers and Hey! That's My Fish), so I told him I'd swing by to get those at least. I ended up being freed for the rest of the night, so headed over to play a couple of games. I brought over Ice Flow, which I had purchased in an auction for $30 (its a UK import that usually runs about $50+) which I wanted to try out. When I arrived, I found Dion, Linda Sadusky, and Dion's neighbor Morgan Burt involved in some short game. When they finished up, we pulled out Ice Flow and went through the brief rules. The game itself is 2-4 player game that is almost a puzzle - use items to navigate from one side of the board to the other while avoiding the trouble (polar bears) and using the moving board pieces to help you and hinder others. All in all, a lighter game that looks pretty and is still bit of fun. Morgan jumped out to a quick lead and I was last to get my second of three guys across the board, but was able to pretty quickly get my last guy across for the win (despite Morgan and Linda's gang up on me attempt to stop me). Our game bogged down a little in the middle, but as expected it ended quickly. For what it is, I can see where AP could be an issue for some people.
After we finished up, Dion, Morgan and Linda felt like something a bit heavier, so they agreed upon Hamburgum. This is another "rondel" game ala Antike. In fact, though thematically different, this one felt a lot like Antike without the direct conflict. This one also felt easier to pick up. Basically, everyone is building churches, so you have to gather resources to get money to get building materials to build churches and to augment your personal ability to make more $$$. As with Antike, you need to be able to score points in lots of ways, and you have to really pick one particular one of those ways and score a ton of points. If you only pick one, you will lose by a lot. If you spread yourself out over all of them, you will lose. Having not played before (against the three of them who had), I was not not surprised to come in fourth (Linda, who ended the game right before my turn, snagged the 10 points that I would have on my turn. If she hadn't ended the game, we would have swapped places, but still would not have be close to the winner). After having played this, I think I'd rather play Antike. This was good, but just not as engaging to me as Antike. Morgan managed to quietly go about her thing for most of the game and snuck a win in over Dion. I really need to play Imperial.