Ostbahn, Lancaster, kids games

Playing catch-up… I started working on the year review, but I have to get these out first. Since the previous post, I’ve had one game session with adults (last week I had to skip because of Christmas) and have played several interesting games with my son.

  • Preußische Ostbahn. I noticed there was almost two years from my last match of this gem. I’ve rated it a perfect 10, so I suppose I should play it, too? We had three players, all experienced, and used both expansions. It was a crazy game, with tons of money, more than ever before (this was actually also the first time with 100% correct rules, so maybe that explains). Lots of fun, this is one entertaining game. Hannu showed his prowess by winning the game while taking least turns. That’s how you roll in this game. The new German Railways edition is highly recommended. Enthusiastic, and this time it won’t take two years before the next game.
  • Lancaster. Second game, and this one too with experienced players. Swift game, just 65 minutes, but I think I’ve had enough. Lancaster is not a bad game, Hannu for one loves it (though he’s won it, with wide margins, almost every time he has played it), but not my cup of tea. I don’t like the “I’ll take this castle, oops no you take it from me, well I’ll just grab it back by spending more squires” mechanic. So wasteful. I’ll play, but I won’t suggest this and will most of the time play something else, if possible. Indifferent.
  • Es war einmal… (Once upon a time) is a story-telling game for kids. The players tell a common story. Each turn somebody gets a card and they must add it to the story, reciting the whole thing from the beginning. If you make a mistake — miss something, mix the order of things — you can’t add the card and have to discard it. Cards are points in the end. Simple game, yet rather entertaining, and quite educational too: it’ll teach the young ones to concentrate, to tell stories, to come up with creative twists in the story. It looks very nice, too. It’s language-free except for the rules, so if you have kids (say, five years or up or so), do yourself a favour and grab a copy. Suggest+.
  • Voll in Fahrt. Apparently there’s something funny about the name of this game in English… This Amigo game is a rather funny roll-and-move, where players have a team of four train engines and they have to get at least three engines to the end of the track. It’s a railroad switchboard and parts of the board change places every turn. Engines can push each other and fall off the tracks. There’s plenty of chaos and much hilarity. With two players, play two colours each to maximise collisions and trouble. Very entertaining and looks neat, too. Suggest.

My numbers this year are nothing short of amazing, by the way. This has been the best year in gaming ever. Over 170 distinct games, almost 100 new games, almost 700 plays… Amazing. On average, I’ve been playing games every other day, and playing a new game every other day as well. Crazy.

This week, we’re finally playing Eclipse. Eclipse, as you might know, has finally broken into BoardGameGeek top 100, ranking at 83 at the moment. It’ll reach much higher. It has potential to go to top 10 or top 5, the only question is how many ratings a game needs to have to breach those lofty heights. Eclipse does have an average rating like few other games, and the crazy thing is that with the hundreds of new ratings the game has received recently thanks to the wider distribution, the average has still gone up, not down.

Preußische Ostbahn

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