Just a few quick notes on tonight’s session.
The “big” game we played was a 5-player Carcassone H&G with the King & Scout expansion. It’s odd that I am actually quite fond of the H&G version while being decidedly lukewarm on most other editions. Anyway, I remain somewhat undecided on the King & Scout expansion. While the player tile effects are generally minor, they don’t seem terribly well balanced. The Scout himself (reject a draw for a new one) seems quite useful, while the Shaman (reclaim a pawn from the board) is much harder to use – in fact in the two games I’ve played, I’m not sure I recall that ability ever being activated. The flat-bottomed canoe is also good for a bunch of points, while the other playable tiles can be marginal. Fortunately, the effect of even the strong tiles is quite minor but are nice for flavor, so the expansion is still OK … but doesn’t quite feel “tight”, as it were.
The other games we played were Ra and San Juan, an old and new classic from alea. San Juan is now definitively a winner. In Ra, I suffered a humiliating defeat for the first time in a long time – I had been on a strong winning run for the last year or so after spending a couple years figuring the game out, but I just wasn’t in the zone this time. A great game, though, one of the best.