Update on recent games

I’ve been seriously busy writing my book and this blog is one of the things that has suffered. So, here’s a bit of an overview on recent gaming so you don’t feel all lonely and deserted here.

I’ve played lots of kid’s games with Nooa. Das magische Labyrinth and Click Clack, mostly.

I printed out Open Rails Origins — 18AL, which is a train game that mixes 18xx, Age of Steam and Winsome cube games together. The game is played on 18AL map. It’s a small game, for two or three players (or solitaire). Jack Neal, the designer, says it takes 60-90 minutes, but our two-player game took two hours. Shame, as 60-minute play time would’ve made it a real killer. Now I think it’s fine. I had some issues with the advanced rules and next time I try it I’ll use the easier train rules to see how that goes.

Despite my quibbles, I think Open Rails Origins is a good print’n’play title for all train game enthusiasts. A word of warning, though, apparently the rules are borderline incomprehensible without steady train game background. I found them mostly understandable. Sampo Sikiö’s alternate art is a must-have.

Open Rails Origins end of game

(For a larger version of the picture, see BoardGameGeek).

We also played some Preußische Ostbahn with the new expansion. The expansion is more of a “why not” than “must have, but the best thing was playing the game — I love it, it’s an absolute blast every time I play it. I highly recommend the game, too bad it’s once again sold out. However, a licensed edition is coming out. If they don’t mangle the game (and I doubt it), it should be sweet.

On the Winsome front, I bought the recent reprint of Lokomotive Werks. The game sounds intriguing, but what comes to the length of the game, I hope we’re closer to the 45 minutes of Dale Yu’s group than the three hours some folks report.

Wednesday we played some Power Grid — Factory Manager. The game got a very warm welcome, it was generally quite well liked. I thought it was fine. Nothing too exciting, kind of like a more complicated version of Industrial Waste. Clever is the keyword. There was some downtime — we had five newbies around the table — but nothing intolerable. I’m not buying, especially as everybody else seems to want the game, but I’ll certainly play again given a chance and nothing more interesting. Early 7 rating, but 8 is likely.

Oh, I also reached 600 rated games on Geek. 600th game was The aMAZEing Labyrinth against Nooa. So the time passes (not that he’s ready to play that one for real).

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