Game Night

I guess I picked a good time to start the blog … it’s been an insane amount of gaming these last two weeks. Not that I’m complaining; and since Kim is out of town, I’ll be doing yet more wargaming this weekend …

Liar’s Dice is a regular at our group, and I seem to be going through an extended “out of the zone” phase for it. I used to regularly be one of the last ones in, and now recently I’m regularly the first one out! Ouch. Hard to imagine that the first few times I played this game, I thought it sucked.

The big game tonight was Wildlife, a recent Kramer release that I’ve been interested in for some time, but not so interested that I was going to go out on a limb and purchase it. But when Roger showed up with a copy last week, I was anxious to give it a try. This is nominally an evolution game, but in truth is fairly abstract. There are the traditional regions of the board, which you can score points for first/second/third in. The interesting bit is that each region has a terrain type, and player has differing abilities to compete in each area. Cards control everything, from expanding and improving your species to various special action cards that do random things (plagues, etc.). Each turn you have to auction off one card, and can play one or two more. There is a mechanism for acquiring traits (intelligence, aggressiveness, etc.) that I think everyone agreed added a lot of time to the game and didn’t quite work. Anyway, bottom line for me on this one, it is an very interesting compete-for-areas type game, with a lot of options and a lot of variables to manipulate. That’s good. It’s also slow, and with 6 players just took too long. That’s bad. I’d definitely play it again with 4, and it might be a better game all round if the traits were eliminated. It’s even close to a “buy” for me, as a bigger, meatier euro game, but I think I’ll need one more play.

Coloretto was so-so, not a bad game but not clear there is much control (I realized afterwards it was a Michael Schacht game, if I had known before hand I probably wouldn’t have bothered); randomness is OK, but Coloretto is dry and processional, so not great. Not one I would necessarily veto if asked to play again, but not one I have any really enthusiasm for. This sort of lighter cardgame filler is a category in which tons and tons of games get published, yet such a huge percentage of them are so marginal (at best).

Speaking of which, For Sale is a great, classic game that I still like a lot after all these years, and I think You’re Bluffing (Kuhlhandel) is an good, underrated bidding/bluffing game, one of the best of the shorter “serious filler” games. Both of these guys are some of the best in this category.

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