Matt was down from San Francisco again, so we rounded up a somewhat brief afternoon of gaming. Matt ended up being slightly delayed, so Rich and I broke out Battleline, a game I was surprised to hear he had never played. I still like the tactics cards, even if random they make for a much more engaging game than Schotten-Totten.
Then when the rest of the guys showed up, we played a round of Schwartzarbeit, which went over pretty well I think. I screwed up by accidentally hiring one of my own illegal workers, which I choose to blame on the fact that two of the game designers (A and V, I think) are actually quite close in color, and I denounced V when I really thought A was the culprit … but V was my illegal employee, of course. Duh. This threw me because I realized it right away, of course, so I lost my focus and my final score would have been negative even without that screw-up (no correct denunciations, the lawyers sent in to defend a guilty party … my sole positive points were from hired workers, most of whom were weekend types). Anyway, I still like this game quite a bit and look forward to playing again, and somewhat more competently. Nice, very different, not too long.
ad acta has been something people had been wanting to play, so it came out as our other game. It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve played – this is another game I like a lot, but it’s a modest brain-burner so it doesn’t come out much. Still, there is a lot to like about it – it’s very unique, it’s challenging without being too long, the downtime is no worse than Attika, and the theme is good for laughs occasionally. The idea is that you are a government bureaucracy trying to get your paperwork filed at the right time in the right place. Everyone has queues of paperwork in their inboxes and outboxes, and basically you are trying to manage all the various queues so that your paperwork pops out at the right time; when it does pop out, it can be either redistributed to new queues (if the paperwork still need to be routed to a new office) or or sent to central filing where it scores. It’s pretty straightforward, and scores big by being just the right length. Don’t play it with anyone who you wouldn’t play Attika with, though. I’ve actually only played it with 3, I think it might be better with 4.
At this point the others had to take off, so it was just Matt and I left, so we got out the Lock ‘n Load. Not much more to say about it this time than last time, except that the Americans won (we wondered if the teaching scenario was really balanced last time we played, it seemed like the US might have a hard time of it). This is a fun game, it plays cleanly with only a few exceptions … but I look forward to playing some of the bigger scenarios, having played the first scenario twice now I don’t think I’ll get that much more out of it. Matt liked it though, so maybe we’ll try a bigger one next time.