The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

The Tao Pledge Drive and My Short Attention Span

OK, I don’t actually have a pledge drive. But I am doing one of my random “Shrink the closet” sales, and you can look at the geeklist here.

Let’s start a new feature — “How far did Brian read before stumbling?”

From the lovely Susan Rozmiarek’s review of Tinner’s Trail.

Tinners’ Trail is about mining ore in Cornwall, England during the 1800s … Apparently one of the biggest challenges miners faced was water filling the mines.

I’ll become an ameritrasher yet. Games about farming? OK (apparently). Keeping water out of mines? I’ll pass. My experiences with Brass have soured me on Wallace’s economic games. I’ll wait for Tinners Trail to prove itself. (We’ll see where Brass is in a year).

From the lovely Valerie’s review of Origins:

Rio Grande gave away free drinks

Truly, Jay is a renaissance man.

From the lovely Larry’s race review:

I’ve now played Race about eight times

Does. Not. Compute.

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Written by taogaming

July 6, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Posted in Misc

6 Responses

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  1. You’re missing out on Tinners, Brian. It’s a very enjoyable, elegant (quite unusual for Wallace), and well designed game, with a strong theme. (Water in the Cornish mines is a huge problem, because they’re all at sea level. Besides, what were you looking for in your Mining Game of Choice–canaries?) The components are very nice as well, although not having enough water cubes is an annoyance. Finally, the rules are probably the best ones Warfrog has put together. It’s definitely a try before you buy, since you’ll need a second mortgage to get the game imported into the States, but it certainly ranks as the hit of the first half of the year. And despite the strong theme, it is by no means an Ameritrash game.

    Brass is the real deal. It’s a non-intuitive game that isn’t for everyone, so I was a bit surprised that it got one of Spielfrieks’ three Meeples Choice Awards, but the honor is well deserved. Despite a limited distribution, it’s jumped into the top 25 on the Geek and it usually takes a while for games to fall back from those exhaulted heights, if, in fact, they ever do. I’ve already mentioned it was my Game of the Year for ’07, edging out the mighty Agricola and Phoenicia (the latter probably would have been chosen if I could routinely duplicate the great game we had at the Gathering, but that’s been tough to do with my group). As I said, the game ain’t for everyone, but I have no reason to think it doesn’t have legs.

    And my Race experience has been spoiled for all time by my plays of it with you and your obsessed cohorts in Columbus. After that, all other attempts pale in comparison. 🙂

    Larry Levy

    July 7, 2008 at 11:36 am

  2. Tinners’ Trail is OK. I thought it was fun, but it’s a run-of-the-mill fun game, nothing to get too excited about; there are good bits to the game, but it wouldn’t be a Wallace game without mis-costed items for sale, and it’s the infrastructure here – winning is in good part figuring out which bits are imbalanced and exploiting them, as is the case in too many (all?) Wallace games. It doesn’t help then that the randomness is very heavy-handed. It’s still got the potential to be better than Brass, just because it’s shorter and cleaner, but it’s hard for me to tell. Without the Wallace groupies, this would be just another average game. It’s certainly insanely overpriced here in the US, given the competition.

    Chris Farrell

    July 7, 2008 at 12:50 pm

  3. I’ll second Larry on Tinner’s Trail – the theme is a big plus, and (for me at least) really drives my interest in the game, because of how well the central mechanism works both in game terms and thematically. I’m not sure there’s enough to do in the game for it to sustain my interest, but the theme has me hooked for now.

    Brass, OTOH, is the first of Martin’s games to have really captured and held my interest through any reasonable number of plays; while I have concerns in the long run, it’s already got a higher peak for me than any of his other games.

    Joe Huber

    July 7, 2008 at 1:12 pm

  4. Just to add one more comment on Brass in response to Joe (then I’ll say no more – you can read my review on BGG if you haven’t already), for me Brass did have a higher peak than other Wallace games. The first time or two I played it I thought it was fun and that maybe he had gotten past the issues that had plagued his earlier games. But what that meant was that when it crashed because all those same problems really were still there, just better-masked, it crashed very hard.

    Chris Farrell

    July 7, 2008 at 1:45 pm

  5. Chris, by “Wallace groupies” you naturally mean players who enjoy his games and occasionally say so in print. No hint of a pejorative, of course. Thank goodness there isn’t a particular designer whose creations you favor above all others. 🙂

    Larry Levy

    July 8, 2008 at 9:57 am

  6. Chris, by “Wallace groupies” you naturally mean players who enjoy his games and occasionally say so in print. No hint of a pejorative, of course. Thank goodness there isn’t a particular designer whose creations you favor above all others. 🙂

    Larry Levy

    July 8, 2008 at 9:57 am


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