Weekend games: Scotland Yard, Duel Masters, St. Petersburg

We were visiting my mother at Jyväskylä this weekend and of course, I ended up playing some games. The most interesting game this weekend was Scotland Yard, the very first Spiel des Jahres game I’ve ever played. It was a big hit when I was younger and now my brother had bought it so of course we gave it a go.

It was still as good as it was almost twenty years ago. Well, maybe not that good, because it was the best of the best back then. Now it’s just good. The mysterious mister X got away every time, but that’s something practise should fix. Practise, or using more detectives: now we had three or four detectives after him.

I didn’t get to be mister X, which was shame, as the game can be a bit boring if you’re only a detective. The new edition had this strange, dark look. It’s ok, but what’s wrong with bright colours?

The boys begged me to play Duel Masters, which I did. It wasn’t too shabby, actually. I won two out of three against an experienced opponent, so I either had a clearly better deck or the game is very lucky. Might be a bit of both.

Still, it’s a decent game for what it tries to be, a simplified collectible card game. There’s none of the depth of Magic, but some good ideas. For example, instead of using land cards to provide mana, every card can be used as a mana source — bit like in San Juan!

We also played few games of St. Petersburg — can’t avoid that. The last game was the most interesting: it was a four-player game not won with aristocrats! It was, for some reason, very aristocrat-poor game, so I invested in buildings (I actually bought the Academy for full price and it was worth it) and won the game hands down. Everybody had just five or six aristocrats in the end. Interesting game.

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