The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Posts Tagged ‘El Grande

Session Report and The Current Quest

I finally played Dixit, and found it utterly charming. Sure, I can see where you need to play with new cards (or new groups), it’s more an activity than game, and the art has a few repeated themes, but those are just nits. I’ve handed in my curmudgeon card, although I shall reclaim it soon enough.

In the replay category, China and El Grande both re-appeared, after a hiatus.  It’s funny, I acquired a RGG copy of El Grande just to get all the expansions, but I shun them for the base game. I don’t even think I’ve played them beyond the Intrigue…and I played China with Web of Power rules (which was easy, since I taught it). For all I know they’ve changed. For the worse.

Can I have my card back now?

Next — The San Antonio (Bridge) Regional, to claim my new rating! (Hopefully).

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Written by taogaming

June 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Session Reports

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Labor Day Gaming

Rested, got in a few new titles.

Good things come to those who wait, and I’ve waited for years to play Roads and Boats. We played with five, all new players (although the owners had played a two-player game a few days ago). The game took three hours, including rules, setup, teardown (and two turns before a restart; to demo the basics). Much like Neuland, you build areas up, but don’t control them. It’s all about transportation, getting your infrastructure set up. You only own items you cart. If you don’t take the stone from that quarry, someone else can. You start with basics (donkeys, geese, lumber, bricks) and build up. You can donate goods to the ‘wonder,’ which is the games timer and a reasonable source of VPs.

We played a fast, offensive game. Nobody built walls, which slow down opponents. The game could (in theory) last 33 turns, took about 15 or so.

Apart from the setup, roads and boats is mostly luckless (mines generate the same number of two types of items, but the order is random). As a logistical game, minding details is the order of the day. Turn order determines who gets first dibs on new goods, first build, etc and can change several times during the players turn. (Players can jump ahead of others, at the cost of losing the right to jump). Pay careful attention or you could get jumped at a critical moment and that can cost several turns. If you overproduce a good and can’t use it, someone else will come along and claim it. I took 20 VPs from another player (winning score was 91) because he couldn’t transport everything.

But attention requires time, and slows the game down. To play well probably adds another hour, and several more plays. I want to try it again, but I’m worried it will bog down. A promising start, but I’m not sold.

Also played Mykerinos. Frankly, the high ratings on BGG mystify me. It’s not bad, but nothing hooks me. I suspect one early miscalculation can cost the game. There are several strategies, and finding a nice balance between them may take a few games, but I’m not burning to explore this. Still, worth another play or two.

And then filled the day out with El Grande, Perudo, and several trivia & party games. And two games of Roma, including a second turn win by breaking the bank! You don’t see that everyday.

Update: As I mentioned above, we played a 5-player game of R&B. I suspect I got the turn count wrong (reading some online reviews I realized I had my mental map of timing wrong, so it was probably 20-25 turns. Since the five player game only adds one row to the wonder, but another player donating bricks, that probably means the game is several turns faster. Perhaps an hours worth. So it probably was a-typical. R&B may actually lengthen with fewer players. I wouldn’t be surprised.

Written by taogaming

September 4, 2006 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Session Reports

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