We’re having another game weekend at Tommy’s. Tommy prepared for the weekend by buying some of the more interesting Nürnburg games, so we’ve had plenty of interesting games to try. Friday was an effective evening of games, from 18:30 to 1:30, with some interference from sauna and eating. Yesterday’s line-up was me, Tommy and Ari from Tampere (who drove us to Vantaa, thanks for that!) and occasionally Tommy’s wife Laura. Here’s the games:
Mauerbauer. An interesting Colovini game. Clever mechanisms involve building walls with random houses and towers placed around them. Players try to form cities that’ll match their target cards to score points. It’s all very indirect. I enjoyed it. It’s a bit lucky, but plays fast and offers some interesting challenges. I think I’d like to get this one. It’s the best Colovini game I’ve played.
Ticket to Ride: Märklin Edition. Ticket to Ride goes Germany. The game is basic TtR, except for passengers. Those are placed on the map, after which they travel through your network collecting points from cities. First one takes the highest points, thus there’s added time pressure. Märklin is the best Ticket to Ride, if you ask me, but it’s still just a Ticket to Ride. That is, it’s fun, but nothing spectacular.
Thurn und Taxis. The golden boy Seyfarth teamed up with his wife to create this game based on a post office family. Players play cards to buil routes and can then place post offices on the routes to collect points. The catch is that you can only place post offices one each in each country you visit or in every city in one country. Makes for tough decisions. Very good SdJ material, and a light but tough game.
Nacht der Magier. The glow-in-the-dark game. This is to be played in pitch black. The idea is that you can see some of the pieces, but not all. Not that many games have invisible pieces! The game’s fairly simple, as you try to push your cauldrons to the center of the board. Your turn’s over if you drop a piece from the board — when that happens is a bit of a mystery, as most of the pieces are invisible in the dark. It’s a clever idea and well-executed, too, thus making this the highlight (or the high dark?) of our evening for me. A must-buy.
Ubongo. The newbie won, mostly because I didn’t get suitable diamonds in the end. I would’ve been a contender. Well, I played a good game, I can be satisfied — sometimes even the best play on the puzzles doesn’t guarantee a victory, which is good (see next game for reason why). Ubongo is always fun, that’s what matters.
Turbo Taxi. Continuing the speed game theme. Here I dominated: final scores were 10-0-0. Tommy was often one or two pieces behind me. Without handicapping, the guys wouldn’t stand a chance to me, which is why Ubongo’s semirandom scoring is a good idea.
Isis & Osiris. Haven’t played this in a while. It was good, fast, innocent fun. Nothing spectacular, thus I’m nudging down the rating from 8 to 7. I haven’t really felt the need to play the game recently, and that didn’t change now.
Klondike. Another game of Klondike I simply sucked. In the end I had zero, again. So had Laura, so the race was between Ari and Tommy. Tommy had Laura’s claims, Ari had mine, but Tommy won the game by two nuggets. We played the three-nugget game for simplicity’s sake, but that turned out to be a boring idea: we had something like three to five 3-gold draws. Not good! Thus, I’m sticking with four nuggets. I just wish the game had bidding cards up to three to make it easier.
Big City. Another Delonge game, and a bit of an obscure classic, I think. The game sure looks good with all the plastic buildings. It was also fun to play (well, I won with a healthy margin), but I’m not sure how good it really is. Nice, but not great, that’s how I felt. But it sure looks cool!
Diabolo. The English translation at the Geek doesn’t really answer all the questions. We managed to scramble through a game, and after first round got it. Diabolo turned out to be a pretty good filler game. I’m not sure if I need to have it, but I wouldn’t mind playing it again.