We started out with what has to be the closest game of Can’t Stop in recent memory. All 3 players closed two columns, and Kim ended up winning on 2, 5, 12. This game has served us well as an opener when we have 3 – the fourth person to arrive just jumps into the game wherever we are, which is a handicap to be sure but not as critical as you might think. Last week, Chris won after jumping in on the second turn.
Way out West is one of the two games (with Empires of the Ancient World) which has kicked off Martin Wallace’s recent ascendance. This is definitely a game I enjoyed the first couple times – enough to buy a copy – but which has worn out its welcome surprisingly quickly after that. The shootouts are just too powerful, it’s too hard to defend your very valuable holdings from a determined opponent I think. There are also serious ergonomic issues with the game (a scoring chart printed on the board, an annotated turn track, some income indicators – all would have been immensely helpful). Anyway, far from a bad game, one I’ll play again, but the enthusiasm has waned a bit after the initial quite positive response.
Edel Stein & Reich is the Basari remake of course, and I’m a big fan of Basari so it stands to reason I’d like ES&R, especially with its greater flexibility in terms of numbers of players. I’ve played it almost exclusively with 5, and think it works quite well. Some players complained about the number of 3-way matchups, which seem to happen more often in ES&R than in Basari, but I would argue that they are less damaging. I like the event cards too, they add a nice edge to the game. Anyway, probably not a game with the same elegance as Basari, but still very good I think.