Saturday, October 14, 2006

Last 30 Days

This is a newish feature on BoardGameGeek which shows you the games you have logged as played in the last 30 days, with the recommended image for each. It seems to have a slight bug at the moment for games that are newly entered to the database showing as a blank entry but I am sure that will get ironed out soon. To access this for any user, go to their profile page and click on the Last 30 days link next to Played.

So here are my play counts (face to face only) from the last 30 days.

Blink - 29 plays.
This is being requested a lot by both Daughter the Elder and Daughter the Younger. The pace of play is considerably different depending on which daughter I am playing. Frenetic with the Elder, considered but increasing with the Younger. A game of speed where you are matching on number, colour or pattern.

Mü und Mehr - 22 plays.
If we don’t have four for Tichu then this has become the standard default game for lunchtime at work. We mostly play the Panther game which is a variant of Hearts (or whatever it is called in your neck of the woods). Nastier than Hearts, in that you can drop points cards on the first round.

Loopin’ Louie - 12 plays.
A very recent acquisition. Most adults I have shown this to have initially scoffed at it, then they have played it once and then again, and again!

Cat & Mouse or The Simpsons Itchy and Scratchy Game - 10 plays
A reasonably nice little abstract game where the aim is to have five of your counters showing. Our edition is Simpsons themed, which is probably a mistake given I doubt that people attracted by the Itchy and Scratchy pictures are necessarily looking for an abstract game and also the people looking for an abstract are probably looking for something that looks a little more like Yinsh as opposed to a cartoon.

New Mastermind - 8 plays.
A re-release of Mastermind where they have improved the concepts of some of the components. The code is now set in a separate unit and little sliders come out of the main board removing the requirement for the old black and white pegs. If they had spent a little bit more money on living up to the new design it would be even better, the code doesn’t click into place very well and tends to move if you move the code device and the pegs don’t sit in the board very well. Daughter the Elder got this a birthday present and requests it quite regularly.

Tichu - 8 plays.
When we have exactly four people at lunchtime games and a deck handy this is the game of choice. Also if Anna is waiting to play something else at Gamers@Dockers.

Marrakesh - 7 plays.
One of the games that Daughter the Younger deduced how to play recently just by watching the rest of the family play. We have this on loan and are not looking forward to returning it to its rightful owners. A kids game, but can teach them a bit about probability and strategy when trying to avoid losing camels to the sandstorms. I’ll particularly miss Lawrence the lame blue camel.

Geistertreppe or Spooky Stairs - 6 plays.
Another game on loan that will sadly have to be given back. A simple roll and move game with a great twist that converts into a magnetically assisted memory game. It is hideously expensive in Australia otherwise we would buy a copy today.

Sequence - 6 plays.
This game is twenty-five years old and I first saw it about six weeks ago. Not a bad game for its day and probably more accessible to the general public since its main components are two decks of normal cards.

Niagara - 3 plays.
We only played this for the first time on Friday night. One four player game and two three player games. Since Jane demolished us in both of the three player games I suspect you have to play it a bit more competitively with only three players compared to four players where the grab four of a kind was not quite as viable as a strategy.

Piggy Back - 3 plays.
Still one of Daughter the Younger’s favourite games. This is a cute roll and move game with a built in self balancing mechanism, plus it has the great piggy meeples. Highly recommended for small children.

Halli Galli - 2 plays.
Still a big favourite with Daughter the Elder. Another fast and furious game, when we play the rule “if it is contested the person who’s hand hurts was the one at the bottom and thus the winner”.

Sleuth - 2 plays.
I think I have my notation system for this worked finalised now. The next step will be to try and actually win! Each time I play this I think to myself it must be time to try Cluedo with Daughter the Elder.

Top Dogs - 2 plays.
Probably best as a kids game, it feels like it is trying to be a bit more with some elements of bluff or hand management, but on my limited number of plays I don’t think it quite succeeds at reaching that extra level.

TransAmerica - 2 plays.
In my opinion this game is underutilised as gateway game. It is both quick and simple to play, but does contain some depth to it.

Age of Steam - France - 1 play.
The only official expansion I don’t own, but the only one I have played. There is something wrong about that previous sentence really. Quite an interesting map, Paris is a multicoloured city but not everyone is going be able to connect to Paris. Which strategy do you choose?

Cartegena - 1 play.
We don’t play the face up cards variant.

Great Wall of China - 1 play
I need to play this a bit more, currently we seem to get stuck in wars of escalation over particular segments of wall. I am sure there is some validity in abandoning some of the big battles and going for other sections of less value, it just hasn’t happened yet.

I have… - 1 play.
Definitely a game for little children. Given its target audience I am surprised that it isn’t made with better card stock.

Kings Keep - 1 play.
Played it once four player, it felt like a good filler game, but ran a bit long. I doubt that I would want to play it with more than five, but I would like to try it again with five or less to see if there are any different strategies available.

Lost Cities - 1 play.
It doesn’t come out every day, but it comes out regularly.

Louis XIV - 1 play.
I have yet to see a copy of this without Melissa’s Player Aid, now that could be because my sample set is four or five copies, but it is a mighty fine player aid.

Make ‘n Break - 1 play.
This could be total garbage, but we are happy to believe that the Australian distributor ran out of this game because we were demonstrating it at the museum and it was a huge hit there.

The Same Game - 1 play.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best variation of a traditional memory game there is.

Sherlock - 1 play.
Not a traditional memory game, but a very good one.

Die Sieben Siegel - 1 play.
It looks like my attempt to get official recognition that Die Steven Segal is an alternate name for this game has failed. A pity, because I always have problems finding the proper name to record my plays.


I might try an extract like this again once we are well clear of the museum demonstration period.

2 comments:

Caradoc said...

I totally agree with your comments on Loopin' Louie, I have a cuple of friends who came over to my place when we were playing this one time. They gave us absolute hell for acting like kids and playing a game that,

'has kids that are what, 6 years old, on the cover'

It took some length of time to finally cajole, convince and generally force them to have a go, but once they did I had trouble getting a go myself!

A great fun game! - and that's exactly what gaming is all about!

Chris Farrell said...

Great Wall of China is a game that was literally designed around the Sunk Cost Fallacy. You have to be really scrupulous about not worrying about what you've already played on a wall when evaluating what your best next play is. There are other details as well - it's sort of Taj Mahal-esque in that you want to play enough to scare people off, but not overspend - but the main thing for many people seems to be avoiding the competitive wrist-slitting of brutal tit-for-tat battles. Sometimes, you just have to get out.

Great Wall of China has really grown on me, and I like it a lot. Last game I managed to win when my high chit was value 5, and I only had one of them. You don't need the big chits to win. You just need to be really efficient.