Some unexpected 2-player gaming

This Monday night Rick called and cancelled games at his house.  Poor guy fell off a ladder and is hurting.  Chris was en route to pick me up, so when he arrived I informed him of the cancelled session.  So we retired to the Game Bistro and played a few games:

First up was Carcassonne: The City.  This is the fancy wooden box game of Carcassonne with wooden walls.  This is a game that I find quite wonderful, so when Chris suggested it, I was happy to oblige.  It opens up very similar to most any permutation of Carcassonne.  You lay city tiles, place meeples, and score point for having meeples on roads, or for standing in markets.  You can also place them in residential districts for end game scoring.  But in the middle of the game a whole new angle begins with the placement of walls, and guard meeples atop the walls.  Now you are looking at scoring opportunities by row and rank of what view the guard has.  Compounding this is the ability to score points for towers along long lengths of walls placed.  Finally the walls inhibit the growth of the city, forming a barrier of city growth.

In other words this is Carcassonne on steroids.  I can never understand how little love this game achieves.  I like the way the game opens up into a much more deep and strategic game, and I love the 3D aspect to the scoring, and I love the cool little walled city you build by the end of the game.

Next up we played a couple scenarios from Memoir ’44.  This is a game I have multiple copies of, almost 2 sets of every expansion, an immense amount of support materials for.  Yet I almost never play it.  We have an annual game of Overlord which I relish, but usually that is all.  So we played scenarios #2 and #3 from the original game.  Even so, we had to remind ourselves of the basic rules, and played slowly enough to ensure we got them right.  We had great fun, even if the two scenarios were blow outs.

With about an hour left, I suggested we give Manoeuvre another whirl.  Manoeuvre is a great 2-player game that received a handful of plays when I first got it, but almost no attention for the past year.  We got through most of a battle before I realized I had missed a key rule.  We decided to put it away, as time was running short, but armed with this experience we are both interested in playing more of this interesting system.  With 8 different armies and lots of terrain tiles, this game appears to have a number of facets to explore.

A fun evening, if not the one I expected.  I hope Rick is okay.

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