Lahti Board Game Weekend, Friday

So, I spent the weekend at the Munter mansion in Lahti, playing games. It was an excellent weekend of games, one of the best I’ve participated in. Not the best, though — I think game events get better the less people there are. The participants were pretty carefully selected, but not enough. The ideal for me would be four or five very carefully selected people. I guess I’m just not that social person.

Anyway, it was a fun weekend. Peter Munter, the head honcho of Puolenkuun pelit, has a quite nice house with lots of interesting stuff in it — those, who are into Games Workshop miniature games might just feel a bit of envy if they saw his game room… Munter also had made delicious food and there was plenty of it available during the weekend. Rather brilliant. It meant I was only deprived of proper sleep…

I arrived before my games did, so we had to manage with the games of other people. Munter got quickly a table full of people to play one of his favourites, Titan: The Arena. I was eager to try it, but not any more. I simply wasn’t thrilled… The game’s a bit boring, really. It’s random and the decisions aren’t particularly interesting. I’ll play it again, sure, if someone really really wants, but I’m not going to suggest it.

In the other hand, Ta Yü begs for more play. I played it twice, first a two-player game and then a four-player team game. I won the both, first one was eventually rather clear victory (54-36) and the second one ended as our opponents resigned. Toni, the owner of Safe Haven was experienced enough to know there was no way out. I really like the game, even though it’s essentially about luck of the draw. There’s some skill involved, but you can go only as far as the tiles let you. Still, it’s fun game.

Between those games we played a game of Amun-Re. It was my first five-player game and thus quite interesting. In general I feel that Amun-Re is a game I should be playing more, but somehow it hasn’t really made such a huge impression on me. Still, it was good entertainment and it left me wanting for more, which is always a good thing.

I had agreed to play a game of Go with Reko. I gave him generous handicap of nine stones, but it turned out to be too little. I had little trouble generating live groups. One mistake decided the game — with a better move, Reko could’ve killed a large group of mine and then he might have won. That’s life… I made a game record and will create a commented SGF file out of it for later study.

Then Toni was already leaving, but we played one more game and that was 6 Nimmt!. Reko hadn’t played before and managed to gather a large bunch of bull heads, losing the game in three rounds. Oops. Toni got only four on the first round and none after that, so that was quite neat. Me — I failed miserably. But 6 Nimmt! is always fun, no matter how well it goes. Losing is fun, winning is fun — it’s really a win-win situation if you’re looking for a good time.

Toni had to go, but we were there for the whole weekend. Thus, it was time to break out one of Tommy’s latest acquisitions: PitchCar. What a wonderfully heavy package! It was great fun and hit my “games to buy” list immediately. It’s the best racing game I’ve played! It’s easy enough, anybody can do it after few practise flicks but it also rewards experience and skill… Real physical action is often good source of entertainment and PitchCar is no exception. I played seven rounds during the weekend and expect a lot more when I get my own copy.

The evening closed with two games of Lost Cities — but with four players! It was the first time I played the pairs version of this great game, but I’m sure it won’t be the last. It was rather fun, you see. It took some time before we figured out the best ways to play, especially as two of the players played the game for the first time (not the best of ideas, but sometimes you can’t help it). The ability to give two cards to your partner is highly useful, when used in right circumstances. If you have lots of cards to play, share some to your partner to play. Some kind of convention is probably good thing to develop…

That wraps up the Friday. Part two, Saturday, will come later…

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