Weekend games: Sunda to Sahul, Sticheln, Bakari

I had a nice weekend, when it comes to games. First game I played Friday was an old favourite, Battle Line. It’s always a blast, and I actually managed to win half of the six games I played during the weekend.

But that wasn’t the main attraction. I desperately wanted to play Sunda to Sahul. I introduced it and it did pique interest, as I had expected. I first had my mother and Ismo play a game of basic game with no turns without me and then I joined them for three more games — all of which I won very easily. So it’s definitely a game where unexperienced player has no chance against a veteran.

However, that didn’t seem to matter. My mother and Ismo were enjoying the game, even though they were not nearly fast enough to compete with me. I like the shortness of the game: it took 20 minutes for them to play and a maximum of ten minutes when I played. Perhaps I should try the turns game next time to see if that offers a bit more balanced environment, but I’d guess the game wouldn’t be as much fun and it just might drag on a bit. Still, great fun this time. We played another two games to finish the Saturday evening, and I won those too.

Another, perhaps even bigger success was Sticheln. It took them a while to figure out how to play, though. The first game we played, I got 45 points while Ismo had -16 and my mother got 3… Well, they wanted to play another game immediately (which is always a good sign) and Ismo won that, so the learning curve isn’t long. We played next evening another game, in which only one of us got negative points once. All of the games took about 9-10 minutes per hand. Sticheln is a great game, it’s definitely one of my favourite card games.

Third interesting game was Bakari, the Finnish Game of the Year 2002. I knew it wasn’t quite complicated or really interesting after reading the rules, but I was still quite curious to try it. It turns out I was right: there’s not much in it. The strategy is almost obvious and the game is a bit dry. Alcatraz has similar feel and is, in my opinion, somewhat better.

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