The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Monday Gaming

My one game of Race was interesting enough. (Oh, Linnaeus posted his thoughts about Race. And Mikko posted his review). But (amazingly), games were played.

New to me was Escalation! — a Knizia game that I guess is in the climbing family. I suppose. You have a hand of six cards, which range 1-14 and a few specials. One player leads, and then each player must meld a higher total. A mild is one (or more) cards of the same value, and the total is just that. When one player can’t meld, they take all the cards. Each card taken is one point, points are bad. After playing you refill, and once the deck runs out you play until one player empties his hand … everyone else drops their hand into cards taken.

Well … it’s fast. Not bad, actually (perhaps better with fewer players?). But this felt slapped together. Basic idea, a few card specials, and go. My “some cards way better than others” pet peeve was off-the-chart. I mentally rebuilt the deck to narrow the range of card powers in five minutes, I’m sure Knizia could have done it if he wanted to. And, lets face it, the “Card game where we keep playing until the last gamer arrives” genre is just stacked like Pittsburgh’s steel curtain.

Got in another Power Grid game with the expansion deck. I like it.

Two more games of Kutschfahrt included one game nearly deadlock. Several players each discovered an opponent, but made a supporting play (to throw said opponent off-kilter). Well, it worked as everyone kept saying things like “At least two of you are idiots.” Deception can work, but it can backfire. I think the game works a bit better if everyone plays it straight. I would be very interested to see how a group that played this seriously evolved … eventually you’d get to a point where people would end the game when they were ‘almost’ certain they were right (because waiting for certainty risks your opponents ending the game). Eventually you’d see people end the game when they had a reasonable shot (say 2/3rds). A winning strategy would be to make any claim that had a greater than 50% shot. Would the game be interesting at this point? (As a game, and not a theoretic device)? This would make an interesting project — write computer players and evolve them. (I nominate ya’ll).

Celebrities is still a good game.

(Is it just me, or is the Geek really slow these last few days?)

Advertisements

Written by taogaming

January 29, 2008 at 7:14 pm

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. It is horrendously slow.

    Michael

    January 29, 2008 at 7:50 pm

  2. “Eventually you’d see people end the game when they had a reasonable shot (say 2/3rds).”

    Eventually? I think I did that on our first play.

    The nice thing about this game is that if it does deadlock past people’s endurance, someone can always fall on their sword and guess, ending it either way.

    Dennis Ugolini

    January 29, 2008 at 10:13 pm

  3. My “some cards way better than others” pet peeve was off-the-chart. I mentally rebuilt the deck to narrow the range of card powers in five minutes, I’m sure Knizia could have done it if he wanted to.

    Care to lay odds that the publisher did that? The game probably didn’t even have special power cards when Knizia sent it in, I bet.

    An the Geek is probably being ground to a halt by the great GeekGold rush caused by Image Categorization being done via GeekMod.

    Thanks for the link.

    Linnaeus

    January 29, 2008 at 10:34 pm

  4. Care to lay odds that the publisher did that? The game probably didn’t even have special power cards when Knizia sent it in, I bet.

    I hadn’t considered the possibility (which I should have, given Bruno’s recent post on his site
    (http://www.faidutti.com/index.php?Module=divers&id=489).

    However, I get the impression that Z-man usually doesn’t change things without consulting the original author. (That’s just an impression).

    Brian

    January 30, 2008 at 6:52 pm


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: