Ghost Stories and Steam over Holland

Ghost Stories box

I’m a wee bit late, since everybody played Ghost Stories back in Helcon last year, but I got it now as the Finnish version was published and we got it on the table today with Johanna — and got promptly butchered. It’s one hell of a difficult game!

I suppose that’s good, as beating the game is an actual challenge and I suppose that’ll keep some people playing the game until they beat it and even then there’s more replay value, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be a turn-off for some, too. Kind of curious they did a Finnish translation, but I guess it’s one of those “good chance to make a small print run” opportunities and isn’t going for the mass market with this one.

I’m not sure how I like the difficulty. The game looks splendid, if a bit busy, and seems a pain to explain. Well, now I understand the game better, having played it, so explaining it might be easier. I’m not terribly keen on it and I don’t think it’ll stay, but I do want to give it a four-player go — solid 75% of Geek voters thinks it’s best with four.

Steam over Holland box

A while ago I got a chance to play Steam over Holland. I introduced two of the locals to 18xx, since I’ve got those DIY projects and the DTG order — those are mostly more complicated stuff, not very good for newbies. So, Steam over Holland, the friendly newbie game!

I was actually quite happy to try the game with just three players, because my earlier experience seemed to indicate that’s the best number of players. It is — there’s enough money in the game to make things more interesting. It’s still a bit quiet on the stock market front, but we got five companies running well, which was nice.

I won hands down, no surprises there. I suppose the guys got a pretty good idea on some of the dangers with the trains. Petri got to deliver a nasty punch for me with a train purchase, after which I caused one of Hannu’s companies to go bankrupt with the next train type.

Fun game, the boys enjoyed it, we played swiftly — slightly over three hours, including rules, setup and cleanup! — and my new Sidepot Venerati poker chips were great.

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2 responses to “Ghost Stories and Steam over Holland”

  1. One reason I like the chips is the fact they have no mention of poker, no poker symbols, no playing card symbols — just decorations and denominations. I don’t play poker, I don’t want *poker* chips.