Game Night

Schwarzarbeit is a deduction game from Andrea Meyer, designer of ad acta which I liked a lot, and Friedmann Friese, designer of many off-beat games, some of which are even good. I liked this quite a bit – it’s a deduction game as I said, but it’s a very different one in that it’s not “rigorous” like Clue – you aren’t allowed to take notes, the amount of information you get is not great, and you don’t win by ascertaining one or two incontrovertible facts – you instead try to make good guesses, and good probabilistic plays. This makes it an interesting game to me, and I thought it was fun. Probably not a high-ceiling game once the tactics are figured out, but one that has a nice “figure out how the game works” appeal as you develop those tactics.

We then played one hand of Die Siben Siegal while waiting for Milton to finish his sandwich from Quizno’s. I liked this one a lot last week, but it’s hard to play just one hand, like many card games. You really need to play at least one deal around the table to make the affair worthwhile.

Logistico is the new game from Cwali, and while I kinda liked it, it did not go over well at all with the rest of the group who found it a little tedious and calculational I think. Even though I liked it, I must admit it’s less successful than Morisi or ZooSim. It’s a route-finding game, and a good one, but it’s a bit of a one-idea game that goes on a bit past where it should. Not terrible, fun if you like that sort of thing (it may be a game Kim ends up liking), I thought it was at least decent, but hard to ignore the fact that half the players were begging for the game to end. Another problem may be that the early game is simply too irrelevant – the game seems that it will be decided by a few big payoffs at the end, with most of the first few turns just being a matter of pushing around a few bucks. Anyway, as I say, not bad, but a pretty standard pick-up-and-deliver game and not really up to Cwali’s previous standards I think.

Feurio! is hard to comment on. We played 3 players, and on the one hand, I wasn’t quite as impressed the second time out as I was last week. On the other hand, I discovered we had played the 3-player version slightly wrong (we hadn’t used the 4 neutral firefighters per player). Not a truly inspiring game, but short, very simple, and with some choices. Need to play again with 3 with the correct rules to judge.

While I was playing Feurio!, Kim was playing Flaschenteufel, and it got some positive feedback from the involved players. Kim liked it a lot, but on the other had, she did quite well in the one hand they ended up playing in the time we took to play a game of Feurio 🙂

Last was Bohnaparte. We played with 5. I enjoyed it, but came to a realization … it’s Nuclear War for the new millennium. Sure, it’s got a lot more interesting choices (how do you invest your talers, in attack, or defense, do you trade for money or ammo, which territories are you going after), but the result is a matter of luck, favorable geography, and avoiding getting ganged up on. The game is still a lot of fun, I thought, but it’s not a serious game. The new Dschingis Bohn may be a bit of an improvement, basically Bohnaparte streamlined a bit by experience, but while I like them they are unlikely to get a huge amount of combined play.

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