Just a quick night for Kim & I, as I’ve been struggling with spring allergies and some sort of bug.
Chris had brought his son Tristan, so we were looking for something we could play with the kids. Clash of the Gladiators scores with me in this area, so we played that first. Yeah, it’s a dice-fest, no question about that, but there are some simple and some not-so-simple details that you can manage in order to play well, in addition to making sure you roll lots of red hits. I like this game as a fun filler, and I think it’s a great game to play with younger kids because it’s pretty easy to grasp the basics and play competently, but there are enough subtleties to engage the adults (although I think Milton would disagree with me on that last comment).
Next up was Zankapfel, a game from 1993 which Mike Siggins reviewed here. Time has not been kind to Zankapfel, I guess. This was much too chaotic for my tastes, and seemed kinda klunky. From where I was sitting, too often I was in a situation where every play was very painful, and there was little I could do about it. To me, not terribly elegant, the selling procedures for apples doesn’t quite work, and all in all I have no idea why you wouldn’t play Adel Verpflichtet or Basari instead these days. Rated for ages 8+, but I can’t even see it having much appeal to that age group. At least it’s (reasonably) quick, but on the other hand due to the way apples are sold (high bidder sells their apple for money, low bidders also lose their bids and apples but get nothing) once you’re behind you’re totally screwed.
Last for the night was San Juan, which Milton had not played yet. Kim (Guild Hall) and Milton (City Hall) tied at 29, and Milton won on the tie-breaker. I seem to have repressed the game already, so I can’t tell you which strategy of mine didn’t work. San Juan is still going quite happily, and so I think rates as the first really good game of 2004.