First games of 2012

2012 is off to a flying start. My wife has been incredibly understanding of my board game hobby and I’ve been able to spend more time playing games. Part of that is definitely the kids: they’re older now (my son is 5 and my daughter is 3 in less than two weeks), so taking care of them is easier. Anyway, I’ve been very happy.

Yesterday was crazy good, for example.

  • Modern Art. I played my first game of Modern Art ten years ago. The previous game before yesterday was back in 2008… Not the hottest game, but it is fun. Our game yesterday was tense and interesting. I got the windfall from some  over-the-top prices paid, but that wasn’t good enough for more than 3rd place out of four. Suggest.
  • SNCF. I’ve decided this game should reach ten plays during 2012. That should not be very tricky, if I just keep carrying it around. I’ll try. It’s just such a good filler. Ok, the setup is a bit of a pain, but the game plays fast and fun. I should also try the German map. The Iberian expansion map was good, if a bit standard, the German map has more changes – but I suppose it also requires experienced players. Enthusiastic.
  • Dobble. We had six players and had to wait for a while for someone to arrive. One round of Dobble was the perfect fit. I love this one, and managed to win even with my very slow start. Enthusiastic.
  • Die Aufsteiger (Climbers). Another filler, while waiting for someone. This sessions was unlike other before. We dead-ended the tower faster than ever before. It was nothing like the monstrosity we had in this session. Sonja and Ville built a branch, got stuck, then I reached the same level and won the game. Lagging behind for the win! I’m coming to a conclusion with this game: it’s a keeper. Suggest.
  • Megastar. We had five players, but not enough time for Clippers. So, we ended up playing this Friedemann Friese card game. It sucks. At least with five players, that is. Players try to adjust a ranking in a way, that the cards they have in hand score as many points as possible in the end. However, in order to boost a type of cards, you must play them away. Clever idea, but unfortunately there’s very little control over what happens in the game, so that makes large part of the game quite meaningless and a small change in timing can have a huge effect. Maybe this works with three players. Indifferent (but not Avoid).
  • Clippers. The time-restricted player left and we could now play Clippers. In this old Alan Moon game the players build shipping lines on South Pacific, but don’t control those lines. Instead players have ports and to score you must get as many shipping lines to your ports as possible. There’s lots of interesting tension in this game. Every round you can place a port or get an option tile which lets you build more shipping lines – that’s a tough call to start with. The way the shipping lines run offers lots of potential screwage, too. All in all rather delightful game, and the fact that I got beaten really badly means that I really want to play this again. Suggest.
  • Puzzle Strike. Me and three newbies. 45 minutes. Confusion. Not the best game, but they actually liked the game in the end (at least most of them). Why not – Puzzle Strike is an interesting Dominion variant. I’m still not sure if this is a keeper, but at least I’ve been pondering it for 10 games now and will continue… Suggest.


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One response to “First games of 2012”

  1. For SNCF, I suggest the following: store all the different colors separately. Then, when setting it up, take just a few from each color and put them in the bag. People draw their cubes from the bag, then the remainder are put back in the supply. This is still a little cumbersome, but it does reduce the fiddliness a little.