Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Let's talk about some published games for a change!

I tend to talk a lot about prototypes (such as Watch It Played, Mech Fight, Alter Ego, and Knights Templar), and upcoming games (such as Exotica, Microcosm, Aquasphere, and the now-on-kickstarter Bomb Squad). I don't talk a whole  lot about published games I've been playing, or even TMG releases once they come out! SO let's take a minute and look at a few games I've gotten to the table recently.

TMG Releases

I recently received a pack of microgame envelopes from TMG, and since they've arrived I've played quite a bit of Burgoo and Coin Age with my new girlfriend Michelle.

Michelle hasn't played a lot of games, and I may be overwhelming her with new titles, but so far she has enjoyed them. She even taught Burgoo to her mother!

Both Coin Age and Burgoo are even better than I remember them - solid little games for their timeframe and footprint. I'm proud to call them both TMG titles!

I have yet to play This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us, but I suspect I'll get it to the table this weekend. Templar Intrigue isn't really my favorite type of game, but I might give that a try this weekend as well, if the players are up for it.

Scoville isn't out yet, but we had advanced copies at GenCon to demo, and it is gorgeous! I didn't play it, but I taught the game many times, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.

City Hall has just arrived - I see on BGG that backers have started receiving their copies. I've had an advance copy for a while, and have played a couple of times. I taught the game at GenCon as well. I would not mind playing this a bit more.

Captains of Industry isn't out yet, but at GenCon I got a surprise advance copy to look at (didn't get to keep it)... it also looks gorgeous. I'm sensing a pattern here :)

In addition to Coin Age and Burgoo, Michelle has really been enjoying an oldie but a goodie from TMG: Train of Thought. I've played quite a bit of Train of Thought lately, and it reminds me how much I really do like that game!

Non TMG games I've been playing

In an effort to ease Michelle into the hobby game world, I've been trying to go with some simpler to learn games. A month or so ago at the last Rincon fundraiser day I introduced her to Ticket to Ride. Ticket to Ride is a really good gateway game, as it's only got like 3 rules to it, and yet it continues to be a fun and interesting game.

On a similar note, I bought a game at the Strategicon flea market because I thought it would be another easy one to teach... Lost Cities: the Board Game. I have the card game, but I remember liking the board game, and I generally like multiplayer games better than 2 player games anyway. We played this at Michelle's co-worker's house, and it went over fairly well.

That night we also played Tokaido, one of the many great games by Antoine Bauza. I made an awful decision right at the beginning to stop at a village and shop for a souvenir, which was the beginning of the end for me. Michelle managed a win, and she also won Lost Cites - so she had a good night!

Speaking of Strategicon, Michelle came with me, and I talked her into trying Five Tribes with me. This was a more complicated game than Ticket to Ride and Lost cities, but not much more complicated. It didn't help that we learned it at 2 in the morning over Denny's food, but she managed to win that one too :)

I played another game of Five Tribes the next day, and my main concern for the game did show through... with all - of the possible moves you can make, there is a real tendency toward Analysis Paralysis. Maybe that's not true... AP really means you simply can't choose between a couple of options. In this case it wasn't necessarily that you couldn't choose between a few options, it was just that it took forever to go through all the possible options looking for which one would be best.

I also played Concordia at Strategicon. I've played quite a bit of Concordia, and was sorry to see it lose the KSdJ to Istanbul - I think Concordia's a better game.

I guess I haven't been playing a whole lot of published games lately, but I hope to rectify that, as I've received several from Kickstarter and they're just sitting there gathering dust (specifically Zombie 15' and Battle Merchants).

So... what have you been playing? What should I be checking out?


truekid said...

I would call the time it takes to parse possible choices a form of AP too. Part of analysis is grokking your options.

Seth Jaffee said...

I think Analysis Paralysis is one of those terms that has come to mean a little more than it originally was coined to mean.

I believe it specifically refers to when you are paralyzed, unable to choose between some options, and taking more time isn't going to help you - it's not when you're just taking a long time to calculate the value of a move.

However, I believe it has come to mean more than that - pretty much any time a player is taking a long time. Maybe they're referring to the game being paralyzed by a player thinking for a long time.

I am usually something of a purist when it comes to this type of thing, but in this case I feel like it would be folly to hold semantic ground here, so I'm OK with "AP" referring to turns just taking too long :)