The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Greetings from Lovely Colombus


And the answer is — yes, they do have a business center! Anyway, it’s hours aren’t as convenient as I’d like (closed from 11pm to 6am? What gives?), so I’ll keep this brief.

Played my first game of Hacienda, which seemed fine. There are apparently multiple rule-sets (basic, advanced, and it sounds like plenty of options that people can mix and match … possibly at their peril). Anyway, played the basic game and it seemed fine. I’d like to try it again, but I wonder if this game isn’t fundamentally too Tikal-like for my long term tastes. Arguing for Tikal is the three action points per turn, arguing against is card and money management. I think that the cards (and cash) move this game far enough away from Tikal-ness for my tastes. But I liked all of those games well enough after one play, too.

Played two games of Roma (with a variant rule). It’s a nice, short- to middlin- game. Players take turns rolling three dice, and have a card (building or character) that they’ve assigned to each number, some numbers being empty. You spend dice activating those cards, or earning money, or drawing cards, but you can only keep one card per turn.

You lose a VP for each number you don’t have covered, but many of the cards force your opponent to remove their cards. You win when either player runs out of VP or the bank breaks (most VP wins). Seemed nice, although I have plenty of short games. One hint for future game designers. When you have the reference section of cards that explain all their semi-obscure symbols: Alphabetical order.

I know, I know, random order seemed like a good idea at the time. But trust me.

Another dice game — Um Krage or Kronen (that’s not exact). Her you start with three dice, and have to roll certain combinations to get you more people. For example, a roll of a pair gets the bauer, a total of 15+ gets the schnitzengruben, etc. These people provide powers (like more dice and dice manipulation). These let you get better people (like the guy you need a five of a kind to get). Eventually someone gets the king (who needs 7 of a kind). Then you enter an elimination round where you are just trying to make the best X-of a kind, and whoever makes it wins.

Krage is a mid-length game. Perhaps 30-45 minutes. Although with fewer players (we played five) it comes down I imagine.

And, of course, I played that game I won’t mention. Three times. And Caylus. And even a quick game of Twilight Struggle.

If you want a full report, Rick Thornquist is typing next to me. He was here when I got in. He’s still here now that I’ve finished published. So I guess he has more to say. And pictures!

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Written by taogaming

April 9, 2006 at 8:57 am

2 Responses

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  1. Fear not, Brian: you’ll soon find that Hacienda doesn’t have any of the feel of Tikal. Only 3 Action Points and much fewer options means no AP; as for the mechanics, well, they just aren’t much like Tikal’s. I, of course, think that MORE games should be like the ’99 SdJ and DSP winner, but for good or for bad, Hacienda isn’t one of them–it is its own beast (and a fine beast, at that).

    BTW, in your next game, use the dogbone board and play with the first variant. You’ll thank me later.

    And don’t worry–I’ve just packed Tikal into the car. We could be playing it later tonight! What?? You’d rather play The Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned! For the four hundredth time? What a shock!

    Larry Levy

    April 9, 2006 at 9:48 am

  2. Fear not, Brian: you’ll soon find that Hacienda doesn’t have any of the feel of Tikal. Only 3 Action Points and much fewer options means no AP; as for the mechanics, well, they just aren’t much like Tikal’s. I, of course, think that MORE games should be like the ’99 SdJ and DSP winner, but for good or for bad, Hacienda isn’t one of them–it is its own beast (and a fine beast, at that).

    BTW, in your next game, use the dogbone board and play with the first variant. You’ll thank me later.

    And don’t worry–I’ve just packed Tikal into the car. We could be playing it later tonight! What?? You’d rather play The Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned! For the four hundredth time? What a shock!

    Larry Levy

    April 9, 2006 at 9:48 am


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