Saturday, April 01, 2006

Two evenings and an afternoon of gaming.

Work has been busy, to put in mildly, this week, so I managed to miss most of the lunchtime sessions. However, my gaming life was saved by Gamers@Dockers on Thursday, friends visiting on Friday night and Eurogamesfest (Melbourne) on Saturday afternoon.

It must have been a bad week for other people at work too, because at Thursday lunchtime we only had three people. We played three handed 6 Nimmt!. Since our regular group gets up to 8 people now, 6 Nimmt! has become the gaming standard. So much so, that I may need to order extra copies from Germany since this game does not seem to exist in Australia in any edition. We always deal from the full deck of 104 cards regardless of the number of players, so sometimes adding a card three or four higher that the top of the stack can become a bit of an interesting gamble. It is a nice simple game and has been a hit with all the lunchtime players (at least when they are winning) and we usually manage to finish two complete games in the allotted hour.

At the evening session of Gamers@Dockers I sat in on a hand of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. The concept of getting other people to play your card for you is an interesting one and I will need a few more games to get my head around what is going on.

Next up was four player Domaine. If I remember correctly about what I have read and heard around the traps this is the "nice" or more friendly version of
. It was smaller and quicker that I had thought it would be. I don't actually know why I thought it would be a big and long game, I just did. In some respects it reminds me of Through the Desert because you usually want to do three or four things each turn, but can only do one. I need to play it again, if only to come up with some sort of concrete idea when the end of the game is going to occur. I was way off in this game, I had plans for things that would have covered the next two turns, but alas the game ended. With some games, like Power Grid for example, I have a very good idea of when the game is going to end and work towards it or even trigger it deliberately to take advantage of it, but with Domaine I was happily sailing along and suddenly it was over. First game inexperience probably accounts for a lot of that, but I would still like to play it again. Since it is currently AUS$99, I am not entirely sure that I will be rushing out to get my own copy though.

After Domaine we played Formula Dé . I have been waiting a long time to play this. I have been interested in playing it, but didn't want to buy it without playing it. Now that I have played it I am happy to buy it, or would be if there were any copies available in Australia - very annoying especially since the local FLGS is having a 20% off sale for Gamers@Dockers members tomorrow and I won't be able to get it :-(

It is certainly not a heavy game by any means, but we played an eight player, single lap game and it was enjoyable. We had good banter throughout the race, with the crowd calling for collisions and daring the drivers to take corners in 5th or 6th. I am pretty sure Daughter the Elder would like it too, so I will keep a look out for it.

The last game for the evening was five player Die Dolmengötter. It plays very quickly and there is quite a lot going on. I am told it works well from two players and up. If I saw this around I would snap it up. Had you told me that you could make a decent abstract type game about Druids and Druid Circles I probably wouldn't have believed you, but you would have been correct.

Thanks to another joyous day at work I didn't get home until around 8:15 pm on Friday and I don't think we started gaming until close to nine. With seven players and not enough time for Civilization or Diplomacy we settled on Finstere Flure (Fearsome Floors). With seven players it is a bit of a traffic jam at times, and then the monster comes careering though the middle of it all and scatters the players, quite often because somebody had lured the monster into the pack!

After Finstere Flure had finished we still had four players left so played four player 6 Nimmt! because it did not seem right to end the night after just one game.

Moving forward to Saturday afternoon, Daughter the Elder and Daughter the Younger went to visit their grandparents and Melissa and I went to Eurogamesfest.

First of was a three player game of Caylus with Stefanie. I have tried this a few times online at BSW recently, but I prefer it face to face. I really like Caylus but I still find that I am playing it by the seat of my pants. I have no grand plan or strategy and just seem to jump around. I don't do badly, but I have yet to win. If this ever becomes available locally we will certainly get it, or we may well just buckle under and do another big order from Germany and include it and the myriad of other things not available in Australia.

Next we added Jonathan to the group and played Elasund. Stefanie had played about a third of a game at Essen last year, but that was it. We had a quick run through the rules and started up. A little way in we realised that we had been placing the building permits anywhere on the board without paying the influence cards so decided it would be best to restart. It certainly has more combative player interaction than normal Settlers, from the placement of building permits to the overbuilding of other player's buldings. We found that the end game had a definite bash the leader feature to it, but that certainly didn't deter us. This ran two hours, but it was our first game and not being quite used to the mechanics or flow. I think the second game would come in at 90 minutes or less and the third should be close to an hour.

To finish off the afternoon before collecting the girls we played Diabolo, that the Schacht, not the Knizia. I can sense that there is some of sort of strategy possible in this game, but after four or five hands I can confidently say I haven't found it yet, luck can work against you though much more so than with its sibling Coloretto. In late breaking news we have found that we got some of the rules wrong, so should definitely give it another go.

That brings us to the end of three partial days of gaming. A BGG friend is returning to Melbourne from America for a short time in the near future so we should be able to squeeze in some game time with them, but otherwise it will be a slightly quiter spell for a while.

Mmm meeple taste like...


Paul Kidd said...

Fraser - I got Formula De Mini for my 7yr old and he really likes it. I haven't played the full version, but I like Mini and I think it has all the basic elements of the parent game. It is currently available at unhalfbricking.

Fraser said...

I actually picked up a copy of track 33 at the sale here yesterday. If MilSims actually have it in stock I might be able to pick up the game this week too.