Wednesday, November 21, 2007

BGG.con report - Essen Releases

Pretty good, would like to play it more. I worry that often it will come don to who got the most powerful card combination, but then there are so many combinations that there's probably not a big difference in them. I definitely want to play more of this, as soon as the English version comes out (thanks Z-man!)

I was very, very excited about Cuba. I went into the con fully expecting Cuba to be my new favorite game. People compare it to Puerto Rico, Caylus, Pillars of the Earth - three of my very favorite games - What more could I hope for?!?

When I played Cuba I was on 30 hours without sleep, and only about 4 hours of sleep before that, and 3 or 4 hours the 3 nights before that... so maybe I wasn't at maximum capacity. I'll certainly play the game again, and I'm kind of sorry I didn't buy it at the con so I could play it this weekend, but I think I may have to reconsider crowning it my new favorite game.

I thought I'd really love this one. It played pretty much like I thought, and I did like the game... but not quite as much as I'd hoped. I thought there'd be more to the decision to split up your roll - but there's really not. Often you get 3 resources if you place them all together, and 2 + 1 if you place them separately. It seemed pretty equivalent, all the rewards felt sort of samey-same. Most of the time you pretty much just want to place the dice on the highest number you can.

I'd still like to play this some more, and I might buy it just so I can, but I'm a tad disappointed.

Race for the Galaxy
I wasn't sure if I'd like this one or not. I'd heard some good things, and while I don't like San Juan, I like the idea behind it. The thing that made me really want to try this game was based on this paragraph:

Reverse reverse psychology
The game can get somewhat boring if each player just plays the action that they themselves want to execute. It gets a lot more interesting if you start paying attention to what other players are going to do. If you suspect some other player is going to Settle, and if you do not need the special bonus, you may be better off selecting some other action. Of course, this can lead to situations where two players both expect the other to take a certain action, resulting in that action not being picked at all.

In this review. I tried the game and was a little confused by the iconography at the outset, but I figured that out quickly enough. I would like to play this game a bunch more times to get good at it, but I certainly like it much better than San Juan - to which it's often compared. I'm not sure it's "all that" though.

Wurfel Bingo
My friend picked this up at Essen for relatively cheap. In the box there's 2d6 and some dry erase scoreboards and markers, which is all you're paying for. You could play this with a paper and pencil if you wanted to - which we did, at a restaurant while waiting for food. It's cool for a filler, sorta like Take it Easy or Take it to the Limit. I thought I was doing terribly, but ended up winning the game I played. I don't know that I'd pay money for this game, but it's a fun game!

Someone described this as being a bit like Medici. I guess the drawing mechanic is similar to that in some ways. It was an alright game, but it needed to be longer - I felt like it ended just as I was building my score up.

So all in all the games I was looking forward to were something of a disappointment. They were all decent, but not amazing. I guess Agricola wins the prize for "best new game I'm interested in," but this time that's not saying all that much. Hey, at least this time I got to play all the things I went to the con intending to play!

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