Saturday, November 04, 2006

This week in gaming.

I missed Gamers@Dockers this week, although we had games at our place on Friday night and we arranged babysitting this afternoon so got to spend about six hours at Eurogamesfest today to make up for that.

Tichu at lunchtime at work.

Tichu at lunchtime at work.

Daughter the Elder is a big fan of Loopin' Louie. If there are only the two of us, we play two colours each, one for each hand. We played four games before her bed time. Daughter the Younger joined us for the last one.

We were one player short for Tichu at lunchtime so we played three handed Gang of Four instead.

Daughter the Elder requested a quick game or games before bed. We played The Itchy and Scratchy Game five times. I only managed a single victory.

Back to quorum so Tichu at lunchtime at work.

Tichu at lunchtime at work.

At games night, we got through ten plays of Diamant. We started out with four players, then six players and then down to five players for the last few. Scores varied wildly, with some rich cave systems and some truly appalling ones including the eight card cave where the first seven cards consisted of one of each of all five disasters and a mere two gem cards being 1 and 7. Not many players will run out of the caves with one gem in hand and two in the kitty, I don’t really need to tell you what the eighth card was do I?

As an example of the changing scores in our four player plays, 37 points got first place in the first game and 37 points came dead last in the next two.

Diamant is a push your luck filler but it is good fun. There’s also the psychology of trying to determine when the other players are likely to cut and run so that you don’t cut and run at the same time. I must say that the little gems that come with the game do make it more enjoyable, it wouldn’t have the same feel to it if they were cardboard chits.

After the Diamant marathon two of our players went home. Vincent had his new copy of Mission : Plan├Ęte Rouge . Melissa said that she had read reviews that commented on how difficult it was to open the box. They weren’t kidding!

With all four of us working on it, it still took us about two full minutes to get the box open – once that lid is on, there is no chance of it slipping off accidentally, none at all.

I had played this once before a couple of weeks ago, but it was the first time for the others. Including the rules explanation it took us 90 minutes for a four player game.

In both games I have played I have seen Saboteurs blow themselves up. In the first game by the time the Saboteur’s turn came up there was only a single ship, he put himself and the bomb on the ship. In last night’s game there were two Saboteurs in the same turn and two empty ships left. Saboteur number one placed herself in ship #1 and her bomb in ship #2. Saboteur number two came along and placed himself and his bomb in ship #1. No more Saboteurs. Another previous Saboteur was successful, but it would seem to be a dangerous life.

We arrived at the start of Eurogamesfest, there was a game of Traders of Genoa set up at one table waiting for their fourth and fifth players to arrive. We gathered the other people and started Diamant. During our first game the other table got a phone call that their fifth player would be late so started with four. We played three games of Diamant waiting for some extra people to show up so we could start a heavier game.

We then started Melissa’s favourite game, Princes of Florence. I thought I was doing advanced planning when at the start of turn six I knew what the next four actions I was going to do were. Melissa informed me later she usually plans out the next eight actions. No wonder she tends to do better than I do.

Some of the other tables had also finished, but Traders of Genoa was still going strong.

We reformed groups and I ended up playing a four player game of Acquire. This is a game I bought a couple of years ago, but have only managed to get off our shelves one time. Melissa just doesn’t want to play it. The copy we were playing was an old Avalon Hill bookcase edition. The game ended when Luxor Corp went sailing past the 41 limit.

Guess what? It was now four hours since we started our first game of Diamant and Traders of Genoa was still going! I have played it with all newbies before, it really shouldn’t take that long.

The winner of our Acquire game headed off home. Christie had been waiting quite a while for the Traders of Genoa game to finish because she wanted to play Acquire with some of the people from that game. Since it didn’t look like it was going to finish any time soon, we started another game of Acquire so that she could play the one game she had come along to definitely play. I made out like a bandit in the three of the four last mergers and came out on top when we finished only a little behind Traders of Genoa. [Note to self – do not play Traders of Genoa with those people].

I also bought two second hand games today, Duell and the Avalon Hill Robo Rally. I think that both Melissa and Daughter the Elder will enjoy Duell and Robo Rally is a game that I regret not buying when it first came out. My reasoning back then was that I had friends who had it, so I didn’t need it. I have since found that friends can move away and not leave their games behind them, so I was happy to pick this up.

Is yet to come, perhaps Duell with Daughter the Elder?

Mmmm meeples taste like…


gregor said...

It was a *very* long game of Traders. In fact, I think it's the longest game of any kind that I've played in years.

My preference is shorter and sharper-- but we laughed a lot, so it wasn't painful or anything.

I was thinking afterwards that I'm exhausted by long games-- after the first couple of hours of the same game everything starts to take longer anyway. Staring at the board-- should I move this way, or that way. Or this way? Did I think of that already? What was wrong with that way again? Damn. This way?

The winning score was 960; the rest weren't far off. I've finished games before where the winning score was around 400.

But I'm in favour of putting a time limit on negotiations.

Coldfoot said...

I wish I could stand my co-workers long enough to play cards with them at lunch time.

Fraser said...

Gregor said but we laughed a lot, so it wasn't painful or anything.

Gregor, I am glad you enjoyed the game despite its length, all we noticed from the other tables was that it was still going :-)