Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catching Up (part II)

So what if this post has a different title? The night was July 24th and I headed over to the Gamer's Inn for a bit of gaming. I started the night with a game of Excape with Matt Cullinan and Noah Antwiller. Good starter for the night while we waited for others to show up. I started out well, but rolled into crap and Noah outlasted us for the win. Next I pulled out the Flaschenteufel (Bottle Imp) for the three of us. This is supposed to be an excellent three player trick taking game. It may be, but it was a bit confusing the first go round. We all kind of played in a daze. I'm not sure I can even explain it, but basically there is a bottle that you don't want to end up with. Get it and you score negative. The bottle comes to you if you play a low card - lower than the current bottle "price". The trick is to ditch your low cards under someone elses, but to do so means giving someone else points. I need to try it again I think. Luckily we had some arrivals and we called it after one hand - my brain was tired. Next up, we played a very long game of Power Grid. Not only did we play the China map, we played it with 6-players. Noah, Matt and I were joined by Amelia Boli, Matthew Frederick and (new to me) Jeff Stafford. Despite being brain dead, I played a good game until the very last round, when I attempted to raise the bidding on Amelia and got stuck buying a plant that cost me the ability to get the 14th city I needed to be in it at the end. Jeff snuck in a tie-breaker win by $1.
Next up - a little play testing of Cow Tipping by Matthew Frederick. This one should be published this year or next, but there is still a little development work going on, so we tried out some variants to see how they played out. I won't go into them and since this was the first I ever played of the game, I can't say how it compares to the game's previous rule set. It was light and fun and we played it straight up and in partnerships.
The last game of the night was one that I had just picked up from the Game Depot that afternoon on impulse - Tales of the Arabian Nights. I only knew that it was a storytelling game and was astonished by the pure weight of the box. When you open the box, you find a nice set of game bits and the source of the weight - the story book. The game is literally a choose your own adventure "game" (man I loved those as a kid). Set in the Arabian Nights fictional accounts, you journey around the world on adventures gaining "points" towards your secret goals. As you move around the board, you have adventures that are influenced by a bit of randomness and your choice on how you play the story out. My story had me starting out on the wrong foot and I was being PURSUED by Brigands for quite a while. I also went insane, was super envious of everyone, injured, blessed and so forth. For all my stories, I was getting nowhere in the game. IIRC, Noah was able to win sometime in the early morning. So what do I think? I think the game does a great job of telling stories and immersing you in the setting. As a GAME, its pretty simple and luck filled. As an experience, it is well done and fun. Not one I'd pull out all the time, but one I enjoyed and plan to play a bit more.

1 comment:

Matthew Frederick said...

I just want to say that I played Flaschenteufel twice when it first came out, both times with experienced players who understood the game well, yet at no point did I ever understand how to play it even slightly well.