Good games today. Weather, not so. I don’t mind winter, but temperature today barely reached above -20 degrees, and that’s just too cold. My car isn’t too happy about it, either, and protests by making the windows freeze from the inside. Scraping the outsides is easy, insides is tricky and fills the car with snow. Not good.
Not to mention that the driver’s side window was frozen, so I couldn’t get it open to get a parking hall ticket, so I had to open the door and practise being more elastic than I really am. Even staying for several hours in the parking hall didn’t help the window. So, please dear old man winter, how about some pleasant -10 degrees?
Also — when I finally made it to our games, after hunting for mushroom cubes for my wife, I found the cafe devoid of chairs and tables. Nasty move. I found Petri, just about as dumbstruck as I was. We quickly devised a plan, left a note and moved to another university cafe, only to notice it’s closing in 15 minutes. We then retreated to a third one, where we finally could play.
I ordered some Cthulhu playing cards from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. They arrived today (and are cool), so I wanted to try them. I’ve also wanted to play Lamarckian Poker for a while now, and was reminded about it by Rick Heli’s tweet. So, we played. It’s a nice game, where you play cards to fetch cards from a pool and try to collect as good a poker hand as possible.
It isn’t easy to create a good hand! Petri had all four aces at one point, while I had a full house, but we both had to break our hands as you have to sacrifice a card each turn. Petri’s three aces prevailed in the end.
The game’s pretty good, and something every gamer should know, because while it isn’t the greatest game in the world, it’s a good, accessible game for standard pack. It’s very easy to remember the rules, the game plays fast and is simple enough that anybody who knows the poker hands can play. A generally very useful game, that is!
While waiting for more folks to materialize, we played some Charly, first with just the two of us and then with Vesa, who joined us. We also finished the session with another quick game of Charly, so yeah, it’s the filler du jour. It’s not a bad filler, either, though I would prefer a smaller box in the vein of an Amigo small card game.
Then it was time for bigger games. Next up was Texas & Pacific, one of the Winsome 2010 Essen set games. This is a close relative of Wabash Cannonball. Buy shares in railroad companies, build track, develop the board. The development of cities is replaced by starting ranches. Ranch cubes pay a dividend of $1 and launch the Texas & Pacific, once six are bought.
I didn’t do too well, buying two shares in the initial auction. The two-share red company went to Petri and Vesa, and paid them well. I started building track with Katy (blue), but soon found myself as a minority shareholder. Blah. Petri won, when Vesa paid too much for the third Texas & Pacific share (he had the other two as well).
So, not quite the A-list Winsome stuff, but a nice game nevertheless. Also, our game was over in the fourth round, lasting only 35 minutes. Not bad!
We also played Homesteaders. This time experience paid off. I did well, as did Petri, both breaking 60 points. Even the newbie reached 45 points! I had a gold mine creating wealth, bank eating my debts, all sorts of goodness. I started a bit slow, but once I got some money and trade tokens flowing in and had the gold mine, it started to work out just fine.
The bidding was perhaps a bit soft in our game, which helped us to higher scores. I only had to pass once, while Vesa passed several times (scoring lots of points and other goodness from the railroad track, though).
I like Homesteaders, it’s a very solid game. For something that last for an hour or so, it really packs in some punch. I’d just like to give the four-player game a go, so far I’ve only been able to play the game with three. Fortunately it should be fairly easy to get some plays for this one.