The previous entry covers the games of Friday. This one tells the tale from Saturday to Sunday. It’s a long story, but hopefully of interest at least to someone.
Last Saturday was a full day of gaming. I woke up at about ten am and started the morning working on some Go problems. Then, after a good breakfast, the real games began. Die Macher was scheduled on the morning, but Vesa hadn’t arrived yet, so we played Atlantic Star while waiting for him. It was a good experience, I came second while Ari won the game easily. My strategy was to spend little money, Ari and Tommy wasted more while I was more careful. Next time — and the next time will come if it depends on me — I’ll try a different approach.
Then, the main event, the only game during the whole weekend that had been agreed upon and scheduled beforehand: Die Macher. Ari was new to the game, the rest of us had earlier experience. It’s a beautiful game, a one I like very much. Our game was surprisingly short, only a bit under three hours. Still, it was a wonderful packet of tight turns. Vesa and his Green party had a good start and, unfortunately, a good finish. Thus he won the game with almost 100 points more than I had. Ari was second, 50 points behind Vesa and Tommy was behind me, on the last place. My PDS disagreed with everyone else almost through the whole game, but I managed to get some votes and two election victories, too.
Near the end of the game, we had a visitor. A radio journalist had contacted me earlier and was interested to do something related to board games. She was supposed to visit me here in Tampere, but when it turned out I was going to Helsinki to play games, she wanted to see some real board game action. She recorded the exciting final elections of our game (and the last one was very exciting, as it was the largest, 80 mandate province) and then interviewed me. She seemed to be really interested in the games and wanted to make a positive article, encouraging people to play games. Journalists should be unbiased and take a neutral approach to the stories they make, but this time I didn’t complain. I haven’t heard the results yet, I’m quite curious how it’ll turn out…
Well, after that we had a bit of a break. Vesa’s significant other, Vanessa, arrived as did Laura. While food was being prepared, Vesa, Vanessa and I played Biberbande again. Last time I had a tied win with Laura, this time I was definitely last. Goes to show that skill has nothing to do with Biberbande… We also replayed Pueblo to let Vanessa try it. Here I, surprise surprise, lost again with a wide margin.
Then we went back to Africa. This time I got some revenge. It was a close game, but I won: 54-52-49-49! Unfortunately, Tommy then went and beat me in Schotten Totten. Bah. It’s still a good game, even though I prefer Battle Line (but without the tactical cards that simply ruin the otherwise very good game).
It was just about time for some multiplayer madness: Pit. It’s an almost 100 years old game of commodity trading. The catch is that all the trading happens simultaneously. Players yell out numbers, indicating how many cards they wish to trade out. Players trade, trying to collect complete sets. First player to collect a set slaps a bell or a mat, depending on edition, and wins the round. I didn’t win a single round! Whew. Crazy game. I don’t believe I’m going to play again, unless situation demands a seriously loud game.
We then played another game on the full six-player line-up, and that was much better. It was Sunda to Sahul. While I think the game is at least ok, Vesa whined throughout the whole game. I kind of got the point that he wasn’t really enjoying it. Ari and Tommy didn’t seem to enjoy it a great deal, either, but at least expressed some interest in it. I agree somewhat — the basic game isn’t very good. I’ll have to try the advanced game next time.
Adel Verpflichtet was quite high on my list of games I really should play based on high rating and little play last year. Ok, so the game is basically rock-paper-scissors de luxe, but it’s still good entertainment. Not anything I’d buy for myself, but definitely something I’d play every once in a while.
Laura expressed interest to play Puerto Rico and while I tend to avoid five-player games of it, we played one anyway. As she was so kind and let us invade her apartment for the weekend, I think it’s more than fair we fulfill her wishes too. And it was an entertaining game! Not least because I won. I thought my game was lost when my Factory strategy failed — I didn’t get a Factory! I got full five crop production, however, and a Warehouse and a Harbor. Ari, sitting on my right, kept choosing Craftsman. Not a bad choice for him, as he had Factory himself, but it meant I got to choose the Captain for few times in the end of the game, racking up shipping points. I eventually got over 30 of them. Tommy, another Factory player, came second, eight points behind me!
Taj Mahal deserved another go. I kept up my good performance and improved on it, coming first. The first position was, however, tied between three players. Talk about close games… It was a fun game, and reinforced my thoughts about Taj Mahal. It’s definitely a game I’d like to own.
At 2 am, the last game of the evening, Die Händler was started. Vesa and Ari hadn’t played before. I’m not sure if the time and level of alcohol intake before the game were the right circumstances for a game this complex… Still, it was an interesting game. We had to play with the most basic rules. Die Händler is a game I think benefits a lot of experienced players and I’ve yet to see the full extent of what the game is. Unfortunately, in the situation I’m in, I’m afraid I won’t see it. It’s hard to get people play it once, not to mention say four or five times, which would probably make it a better experience. Anyway, this one went to Tommy. He bought status faster than anyone else and thus I was unable to catch him. Vesa and Ari were the slowest to follow (newbies usually are), thus Vesa was last. Ari was able to catch me but was too far to catch Tommy even if he would’ve had the money.
Sunday came, and we only had time to play Samurai and Inkognito. Samurai is an excellent game, especially as I won this one by getting two majorities. Good work from me, I’d say. Inkognito, in the other hand, was a confusing experience. Ari finished the game, but it turned out he hadn’t understood the mission system correctly, thus fulfilling the wrong mission. I was happily trying to figure who was who, even though Tommy had revealed his identity and his mission to me. Oops. That was a bit of an embarrassment for me after the game… How could I have know those cards for what they were, I was just curious about why Tommy revealed his mission to me. Silly me. Well, I guess I should play it again some day. I’m not that good in deduction games anyway…
And that was it, then we just headed for the railway station and back home. It was an excellent weekend, full of fun and games. Huge thanks to Tommy and Laura for having us at their home!