Friday Nov. 27, 2009 - My house. I hadn't intended to play games this Friday night, as my wife was going out and I was watching the kids. However, I got a call that Matthew Frederick and Amelia Boli were in Mesa, so they stopped by for a little gaming. We started out the night with Khronos, which Amelia had played a few years ago, but was new to Matthew and I. I've had this one for a while now, but hadn't got it to the table yet. Though the rules make sense for the most part, the concept is somewhat fourth dimensional and can take a little bit to wrap your head around. It is quite an interesting game with a unique theme - essentially, you control a pair of time travelers that can move between three eras (might, faith, and reason). There are three types of buildings which can be built and depending on where, when and what size they are when built, can effect a "ripple" through time - thus changing the face of other boards. In once sense, this is an area control game played on three boards. Of course, the time effects keep it from being that simple. I found it to be pretty interesting, though a little bad luck (and poor planning) kept me from doing better at the end of the game. I do like that the way you can change the buildings by doing something in the age of might or faith and it allows for some tricky planning. Though I understand the game, I might have a harder time teaching it. I'd like to give this another go though. I was actually thinking that an online implementation of this would be super, as it would make things easier to see - it was sometimes harder to "see" what your changes might do. Also, three seemed a good number for this game. It is supposed to play five players, but I could see the downtime being an issue as there is almost nothing to do when it is not your turn (though it is still interesting see the boards all evolve. Amelia won with 29pts, Matthew and I were close to each other with him having 22 and I had 21.
After Khronos, we decided on another "new" game in Magna Grecia. This was another game I've had sitting on my shelves for quite a while. This game is about building a network of roads, cities, and markets. Each round a tile indicates what actions a player may take, and the order that they will take them in. In this way, the players should fairly, though randomly, have the same number of firsts and lasts in the turn order and everyone is allowed the same amount of actions. You build up a network and try to make yours the "most important" by connecting to other places. You can piggyback on other players' places, but typically this costs you more than it does for them so you won't make as much. It was an interesting game, but it probably plays better with four players than three. In our game, Matthew and I were in early competition with each other and it somewhat left Amelia alone until later in the game - at which point she was able to take a lot of points from Matthew. I finished a distant third at 26 points to Matthew's 37 and Amelia's 42.
Despite my rather poor showing, this was a fun evening and I got to play a couple new games. I'd definitely like to play Khronos again. Though probably not part of the "regular" rotation, it's unique mechanics call for at least an occasional chance to hit the table.