Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Games!

It's unusual for me to buy new games, or new books, or new clothes for that matter. But last week was a rare exception. There are some games I've been wanting to play, and even though I know people who own them, I want to play them at home with other friends, and/or more often then once a week at my game club so I put an order in at Thoughthammer.

Thoughthammer is an online retailer of board games. I'd prefer to support my local game stores, since it's nice to go in there and browse around, have free gaming space, etc. However I was in Game Daze the other day and looked at some of the titles I was interested in... 50 bucks for a board game seems like quite a bit of money - especially when the online retailers sell the same thing for less than $30. The other store I frequent (Hat's Games), can order things, and gives us a discount, but the club makes these group orders only once every so often and Hat's distributor can't always get what I want. It's all just too inconvenient to deal with. Thoughthammer is quick, cheap, and easy. I put in my order on Monday, and the games arrived on Saturday.

Admittedly though, this wasn't quite fast enough in some respects. There's something to be said about the convenience of deciding that I want to play a game, and then walking out of the store with that game in hand the same day so I can play it that evening. While waiting for my order to arrive, I did pay retail for ANOTHER game last Thursday so I could play it that night at Hat's. Of course, for that kind of convenience I had to pay full price.

Wow, I didn't know this post was going to turn into a treatise on buying online vs supporting your FLGS (that's "Friendly Local Game Store"). I thought I was just going to list all the cool new stuff I got. So here's what I got:

Bison: Thunder on the Prairie
I read some discussion of this new game on BGG and decided the game sounded interesting. I was unsure if it was available yet, but I thought I had seen it at Game Daze a few days earlier. So at lunch I stopped by the store to see, and I was telling myself not to buy an unplayed game for $50 just to see if I like it. Well, it turned out to be only $30, so I went ahead and bought it so I could play it that night at Hat's.

As it turns out, I only played 1/2 a game of Bison at Hat's (the second half), and then I played another 1/2-game afterwards at Denny's (but people had to leave). Finally I played a full game the next night at home. each time was with an entirely different group of people, so each game was a learning game.

I wrote a review of the game based on my experience thus far. In short, I'd like to play it more, but I fear it will get old real quick. In that respect it probably wasn't worth the $30 price tag, I could have just waited until someone else bought it and played their copy a couple times.

TempusI played Tempus twice at BGG.con last November, as it was one of the eagerly anticipated games from Essen. I liked it, but the hype had built up my expectations a little too much. Now that it's finally available, I played the game again at a game day event and enjoyed it even more than I remember from last year. I played it again a few nights later at Hat's, and liked it again. Since then I've wanted to play more Tempus, but I only know one guy who has it, and I don't see him very often. So I decided to buy it myself. I am finding that I like it, but there are some other games (like Goa) that I'm currently liking a bit better.

About a year and a half ago, a friend got Goa and was very interested in playing it. I remember having read some things on the 'net that led me to believe I wouldn't like the game much - that it was formulaic and sort of tedious. So, disinterested, I never gave Goa a try. A couple weeks ago, I finally did give Goa a try, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was nothing like I expected it to be. I enjoyed Goa a great deal and wanted to play it more immediately. This was the kind of heavy game I thought I could get my other friends to play, so I decided to add it to the order as well.

Rum & Pirates
Before seeing Pirates of the Carribean 2: Dead Man's Chest, my friends and I stopped by a game store called Uncles Games (this is in Seattle) for their weekly open game night. We saw a new title from Alea called Rum & Pirates. I thought it was odd I hadn't heard anything about the game, but it WAS about pirates, and that was the theme of the evening. The store owners let us open up a copy and try it out, mostly because they were curious themselves. They also let my friends buy the "open" copy for 30% off afterwards.

I wrote a review of the game after a few plays. I like it and I wanted to play it with some specific friends that don't go to Hat's, so I added it to the order.

In the Shadow of the Emperor
I have played ItSotE once, and it was pretty good. I've also read some good things about it being a deep/heavy game, and in such a small package (and price tag) I've been interested in actually buying it - I just never got around to it. As it turns out that's probably a good thing, because I ended up trading a game to my friend, who's just recently into gaming, and he ordered this for me (instead of ordering the game I owned for himself). So now I have it, I just need to find time and people to play against. On the down side, I'm pretty sure that even if it's good, it won't be AS good as some of my other games and therefore won't get played much. On the up side, the game I traded for was never going to hit the table again anyway, so it's almost like getting something for nothing.

Citadels (with Dark City expansion)
I have Citadels already, and my friend Jeremy really likes it. I often give him a board game for Christmas, and of course he gives me a Playstation game for Hanukkah in return. I've been meaning to get him Citadels because I know he likes it, but I had trouble getting it at the right time for whatever reason. So finally, here it is. Merry Christmas, Jeremy!

BANG! - Dodge City
I have BANG! though I don't play it often. Last December I had some non-gamer friends in from out of town. They're Ultimate Frisbee players who came for a tournament, and they're "gamer types" for the most part, they just don't play a lot of games. Well, long story short: We played BANG! for about 6 hours straight, and had a blast the whole time! So I decided I'd like the expansion in case that kind of thing ever happens again. Also, the expansion allows for an 8th player, which could be handy. I've never played the game with a second Renegade, but it could make things interesting.