Boardgame Club meeting: Niagara, Fresh Fish

Our club meeting yesterday drew a record crowd of 25 gamers. At one point we had five games going on at the same time! That’s amazing and I do hope this is a continuing trend and not just a fluke.

Some of the expansion was caused by a group of people interested to try Age of Steam. I bowed out of the game as I got five preregistrations — I have other games to play, I wasn’t willing to spend two-three hours playing Age of Steam (considering I’ve played it twice in two weeks already). It was a good choice, and the all-newbie group survived the game well. They even enjoyed it!

Meanwhile, I got to play Niagara with five players and correct rules. I also noticed my copy was missing some orange jewels — we’ll see how eagerly Zoch Verlag replaces lost bits. It was fun, especially as I won (collected five different gems). The game was action-packed and exciting, but perhaps a bit chaotic. It’s certainly a brilliant family game, but in a long run there just might be a bit too much chaos for me. Still, right now the game’s a keeper because of the beautiful bits and cool river mechanism. The game just hasn’t earned a permanent place in my collection yet.

After Niagara we got some fresh blood and split up in two groups. Fluffy group played Cluzzle, while I got four other brave gamers to try Fresh Fish. It was a blast, as usual. One player made a mistake, partly due to my fault, connecting his fish shop to the harbour directly. Of course, the road connection made a huge loop of 30 or so tiles… His game was ruined, while I managed to place my businesses well, scoring merely two points. Nice. Fresh Fish is a brilliant game. However, we had at least one player for whom the game was too hard. I also think Ari and Olli are scarred for life after our previous games…

I wanted some fluff after that, so I got some guys to play Karibik with me. Three players went looting and pirating, and I came dead last. I’m useless in the game. I didn’t enjoy it much, either — it’s a fun game if I play it with Johanna, but too chaotic with more players and simply not much fun. A decent family game, again, but nothing I’d enjoy a lot, really.

To finish off the fairly short session, I played a game of Kahuna. Was it my explanation or my experience, but I gave my opponent a solid beating (I won 7-0 or something like that). I like the game more, but would still like to play more to make up my mind. Is the game totally boring (beating newbies is easy, playing against good player is boring and stale) or exciting and fun, that remains a mystery to me.

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2 responses to “Boardgame Club meeting: Niagara, Fresh Fish”

  1. I’m not THAT scared of Fresh Fish, it’s just that I know how bad I am with game. Also it’s a bit long for a game that you can totally lose with one tile.
    Just came to my mind that in Niagara you could switch those missing jewels to the last mine — not all of those are going to be picked up anyway. Nice game, there’s nothing wrong with little chaos.

  2. Yeah, I know. Fresh Fish is a game that’s pretty pointless to play if you a) don’t get it or b) get it, but don’t think the road system is any fun to figure out.
    Good idea about Niagara, and I’ll probably do that until I can replace the gems somehow. I’ll hope Zoch will send me new gems (my bet is they will send the replacements).