Ed’s 33.33 Birthday Party

After the success of Edel, Stein, & Reich last night, we decided to give it a go again. I did significantly worse this time 🙂 (I won last night, lost by a huge margin today). This has not changed my opinion, though. A good and worthwhile variant of Basari, and I’ll definitely keep both games.

For some reason I had a recollection of High Society being average, but I was more impressed this time round (last time I played must have been at least 5 years ago). The combination of the “least money remaining loses” and the painful bidding to avoid the negative point cards make this one is a substantial improvement over the core game of Raj. I enjoyed this, and will add it to the “very good filler” category and probably pick up a copy. The new Überplay edition is OK, definitely serviceable but not great, but I’m not really complaining.

6 Nimmt! is just the usual. I’ve come around on it more in recent years, but I still am not convinced there is much skill. I escaped with 0 points this time, where I usually get slaughtered in this one. You probably need to play multiple hands to wash out the variance inherent in the deal, but this just isn’t a game I want to play a whole lot of hands of. As much as my opinion of this game has improved somewhat, I still don’t own it and am not feeling compelled to do so.

Netzwerk is the reissue of Morisi. Shockingly, the new big-press Jumbo edition is actually substantially uglier than the Cwali edition in my opinion. They have also changed the scoring substantially, where each city now has points associated with it which you get for connecting. I am really not sure the new victory conditions are an improvement, although they might be. This is a fun game which I like – on the one hand, there really is only one way to win, building a large, hub-and-spoke network, but on the other hand, the game is short and challenges you at most points. The original seems cleaner to me, but I think there is no reason you couldn’t play Netzwerk with Morisi rules (although not vice-versa). Somehow, Netzwerk failed to impress me the way Morisi had, but on the other hand it might just have been the subtle but significant changes that threw me off.

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde is the remake of Twilight, featuring a less compelling theme, less functional and less attractive cards, but fewer typos actually on the cards. I have always considered this game interesting due to its oddity, but I was sold on it as an actual game as well at a recent Tandem Gamers session when I finally got to play a game to 500 points (the 1000 in the rules would take much too long in my opinion). The game has a lot of neat features – interesting tactical choices, some signaling and even bluffing, but the main thing for me is that each hand is so different. What kind of mix of Jekyll/Hyde cards you have is critical, the difference between cards in the same suit is much more than just rank, and your hand of cards is actually small, so there is a lot of variance. All this helps to keep each hand interesting in a way that hands of even a good standard trick-taking game like Wizard aren’t. Mind you, I’m not saying this is better than Wizard, which in the end it isn’t I don’t think. But it is quite interesting and good fun.

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