Thursday session: 1960 and Ubongo Extrem

1960 box

Yesterday’s game session put quality over quantity. I spent two hours playing 1960 with Sami; this included the rules explanation (15 minutes of that, 1 hour 45 minutes of game). I took Nixon and campaigned against Sami’s JFK.

I had told Sami that the endorsements were important and as a result, he beat me out of the issue track on most turns. He got endorsements pretty much everywhere and ruled the momentum. In the end, he didn’t get a single state from the endorsements, but they did keep me busy chasing futile situations — I just couldn’t let him have all those heavy midwest states without struggle. So, he did benefit a lot from the endorsements, I believe.

West was all mine in the end and most of the time during the game — JFK attacked California on his last move, and that’s all he did in the west. South was mostly Kennedy, though I did the the Unpledged Electors in and they wiped out all those states. Midwest had lot of struggle, but was mostly Kennedy in the end. East was the biggest battleground: I was able to gather momentum there, but in the end JFK ruled most of the east as well. Debate was pure slaughter, JFK won each and every issue. In the end, JFK got 273 votes, while Nixon had 235.

What a game. There was a constant lack of time, I wanted to play all those lovely events, while using all the campaign points, too! Media seemed a tad useless, perhaps, while the issues seemed to be very, very important. Well, I did use media well with the World Series card, but that was pretty much it. There were so many things I would’ve wanted to do… which is of course a sign of a good game. I’m definitely looking forward to playing this again. I’m curious to see how different the game is when you’re playing Kennedy.

Ubongo Extrem box

Sami wanted to play Ubongo Extrem badly and I certainly didn’t mind. We recruited Olli to join us. We had time for two games, which took about 30-40 minutes. The second game was played at rather snappy speed so we could finish it before Sami had to leave.

It’s good. I particularly enjoy the new scoring system: it takes the focus and puts it on the actual play. The scoring, based on drawing gems from the bag, is simple and works well. In the first game, I might’ve done better had I drawn better gems from the bag, but then again, Sami who won did get more than his fair share of first solver gems.

The timer is fairly long, perhaps too long, especially for the three-tile puzzles. We tried few four-tile puzzles too and while those are much harder, someone was always able to finish in time. Not everybody everytime, though, and without the longer timer there would’ve been rounds without a winner. So, I suppose the difficulty level is alright. At home, I would probably use the faster timer from basic Ubongo with the three-tile puzzles.

It was fun, anyway, and Extrem is my favourite game in the Ubongo series.

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