Sunday, February 07, 2010

Game Night

I had some friends over to my place to play a few games on Friday night. Nathan Winchester, Matt Longiliere, and Robert Bolan were the first to arrive, and so I pulled out Buried Treasure for us to play while we waited for the rest of the players to arrive. Buried Treasure is a little Sid Sackson card game. Where each round the person with the most (and second most) cards in each of the four colors scores points. The amount of points are randomly determined each round, making some colors vastly more valuable than others. One twist - if you tie for the lead, neither you nor your other tie-er can vie for points, thus making the next person in line the winner of the points. In the basics game, you simply take turns taking cards from the various piles and then add up the points. In the advanced version, each person has a small set of cards they can play rather than drawing. We played two games - one basic and one advanced and I managed to sneak out wins in both!
By the time we finished, Liz Longiliere, Matthew Frederick and Amelia Boli had arrived. Matt L joined the newcombers to teach/play Dungeon Lords. Nathan Robert and I pulled out Khronos to give it a go (hopefully by playing the rules correctly). I continued my winning streak with a hugely lucky streak of cards - every single hand of cards I had was awesome. I won 53 to 30 (Nathan) to 14 (Robert) thanks to the great cards. I still like this game and am starting to see how to play it. With three players, most of the action takes place in the first two boards. With four players I can see where the action moves to the later stages. Though I don't know that this will see a ton of continued play, it is still a decent game and not a terribly long one - and still has interesting decisions and play.
Next up, Nathan wanted to play a little Samurai (which Robert really wanted to learn), so I pulled this and Sushizock im Gockelwok for us to play. Yes, two games. Sushizock is fairly light and good filler while the other players take their turns in other games. Robert being new to Samurai meant he had no chance at all against Nathan and I (this is the most played game I tracked on the BGG). This also meant that when Robert attacked the pieces I was going after and not so much on Nathan, that I was going to have a hard time beating Nathan. In the end, Nathan and I each had a majority, and the same number of other pieces - however, Nathan had a single piece more than I did overall, and thus got the win. As consolation, Robert won two games of Sushizock while learning Samurai.
We finished the night by playing a game of Thunderstone. Our setup had us with the Thief, Fighter-Thief, Fighter-Cleric, and Fighter (outland guys). The monsters were Humanoid, Undead-Doom, and Doomknights. In our village, we had only one weapon and one major spell - fireball. The rest of the deck was pretty meh. Though we seemed to be fighting against the fact that none of us could see (ie we had very little to no light in our decks), we had a load of attacks that pretty much let us past this obstacle. When we finished, Nathan had slain the most and most worthwhile monsters (38 points), I was nearby with 33, and Robert at the back with 13. Though a pain (the same as Dominion) to setup and put away, I still like this a little better. The theme just seems better to me. Even with an uninteresting setup like we had, it was no worse than Dominion. When you get a fun or interesting set of cards, the game gets even better. In our case, the monsters were of a similar type and taken out with the fighter types and cleric-fighter easily enough. If there had been some magic types, it might have changed the dynamic a lot as you'd have to ready your deck for either.


Matthew Frederick said...

Summarizing the lengthy Dungeon Lords experience (I had no idea it took that long): a straightforward game with a lot of moving parts. Another game that could be fully explained in 5 minutes by someone who knew it but that took an hour to pick up by the bad rules. Definitely fun, and definitely worth another play. I won by a whole bunch due to figuring out a key strategy early, one that would never work against experienced players.

nwinches said...

I played Dungeon Lords Saturday, and Matt was able to explain it in about 15 minutes, just having to look up the 2-player specifics (you each manage another player's hand to fill up the board; 2 cards at random, picking the third). I'd definitely play it again, as I thought the game itself was a lot of fun. The scoring mechanism felt a bit unsatisfying to me, but that's largely because I did it wrong (I built an awesome dungeon, had a great engine for production, but then missed getting gold on one turn and lost because I couldn't pay my taxes)