Monday night games

I game over at my friend Rick’s most every Monday evening.  We are usually four, but I knew Chris was out, so I brought God’s Playground.  It was not to be.  The 49ers were on the tv, and Rick was mightily distracted by the game.  So with the proviso that I pick something familiar I was tasked to bring a couple possibilities to the table from Rick’s collection.

Merchant of Venus was also dismissed, as too much work to set up and taking too long.  I disagree, but didn’t fight.  That left us with a choice between Medieval Merchant or Anno 1503.  With no decision coming from Rick or Gary, I picked Medieval Merchant.

Medieval Merchant was one of the earlier Euros I encountered.  I still like it, although it occupies gaming space mostly taken over by Power Grid.  I rather like Power Grid, but have played it more than I probably have ought to.  I’m currently weary of Power Grid, so a return to Medieval Merchant seemd like some fun.

I was reminded how Medieval Merchant demands how you parlay a successful money-making venture into a unprofitable real estate holding portfolio.  This game has a real arc.  You start building a viable network, ramping up your income, and attempting to reach profitable cities which have opened for trade.  You quickly encounter the other players, and have to contend with the need for cash vs. the threat to your real estate portfolio the other players represent.  Eventually you have to give up the revenue in order to secure title to the city discs which provide much of the available victory points.

I moved too fast to secure my real estate, and finsihed in a tie, a distant 2nd.  But it sure was fun.  I hope I can get the Tuesday night gamers to give this game a chance.  It’s not new, so it isn’t a game people are clamoring to try.  But I’m frequently able to get a “golden oldie” on the game table on Tuesday nights.


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