Archive for April, 2010

After the sale

April 25, 2010

The sale is over, and I am pleased that most everything sold.

Here’s what is leaving the collection, and a few parting remarks about these games:

  • Anno 1503 – I did enjoy this game.  It was probably best as a 2-player, getting progressively too slow as you added more players.  At one point I liked it enough to buy the expansion, and translate it from German into English.
  • The American Goldrush 1849 – My fascination with Jean du Poel games is largely over.  This one had a great theme, but not nearly enough game play to keep me interested.
  • Air Empire – At one point I had collected all of the earliest Avalon Hill games.  This one lasted much longer than the wargames.  But I realized a while ago I am the only one who wanted to play older business games around here, and I gave up hope of ever really enjoying this as a game.
  • Cape Horn – A somewhat fun race game.  But I have better race games I always wish to play before this one.
  • Cobra – Chili Spiel had impressed me with 2 knock out games.  But this one was unimpressive, and I passed it on without ever playing it.
  • Das Hornberger Schiessen – Redundant.  With Neue Heimat in my collection, I cannot see opting for this.  Also, Neue Heimat is a boardgame, where this is just a cardgame.
  • Linie 1 – I thought I liked this more than I do.  We played it somewhat recently, after a long hiatus.  It was rather dull.  The shine was off this one.
  • Louis XIV – I really should have played this.  But I suppose I will play someone else’s copy someday.  If not, not a big loss.  The theme didn’t really grab me.
  • Management – Another old AH business game that I realized was just taking up space around here.
  • Maya – Not a bad game, but nothing that really inspired me to play.
  • Minister – Tough theme for Americans to bond with.  This sort of game – where you make lots of little decision, that add up to more than you might guess – is not generally appreciated with my usual players.
  • Route 66 – Rather bad game that I bought because it was by the author of Ave Caesar, and it is the name of the local highway.  Probably haven’t played this in ten years.  Won’t miss it.
  • Schoko & Co. – Early German business game I really was keen to try.  We played once, and realized that it had been surpassed.  I’d much prefer to play Power Grid or Planet Steam.
  • Shipyard – Newer game that I was having trouble bonding with.  Some of the Bistro Players will be sad I got rid of it.  But I generally only keep games that I want to play.
  • Spanish Main – I love Francis Tresham.  He gave the world the games of Civilization and the genre of 18xx.  I bought both the first and second editions of Spanish Main.  But there just isn’t enough good game play in the box.
  • We the People – I never did play this copy.  I have owned this before, and played it, and sold it.  I bought it again after enjoying Hannibal.  But I have since bought Washington’s War.  I believe I only need one game for this theme.
  • White Lady – Pretty lithography.  Horrible game.
  • Das Zeitungsspiel – I never did play this.  A newspaper themed version of Kunst Stucke.  More clever than fun, was my read on Kunst Stucke.  Time to let this one go too.
  • And here is what didn’t attract a bid:

  • Doctor Who: The Interactive Electronic Board Game – Well, the Tardis is cool, and I can’t say I am shocked no one wanted it.
  • Domino Knobelspass – It’s a puzzle, so I am not surprised it didn’t get much interest.  I do occasionally play with it.  So it isn’t really a burden to give it some shelf space.
  • Game of Politics – A real oddity, and I’m not at all unhappy to still own it.
  • Sindbad – This game is not so good.  It has a bit of amusement in it, but I doubt we play it again anytime soon.
  • Source of the Nile – This was a spare copy, and a beat up one at that.  I will play out of this copy if I ever get this game on the table.
  • So – all in all, I got some funds, which I have turned around and ordered some limited edition games from Japan with.  Will I like them?  Stay tuned and see!


    Game Sale

    April 18, 2010

    I have just started a game sale list over on BGG.  This will hopefully be good-bye to the following games:

    • Anno 1503
    • The American Goldrush 1849
    • Air Empire
    • Cape Horn
    • Cobra
    • Doctor Who: The Interactive Electronic Board Game
    • Domino Knobelspass
    • Game of Politics
    • Das Hornberger Schiessen
    • Linie 1
    • Louis XIV
    • Management
    • Maya
    • Minister
    • Route 66
    • Schoko & Co.
    • Shipyard
    • Sindbad
    • Source of the Nile
    • Spanish Main
    • We the People
    • White Lady
    • Das Zeitungsspiel

    These are all games that pretty much never get played.  They are also all games I would play if there was a glimmer of interest.  But generally they are older games, which never have much chance against newer games with nicer components and better presentations.

    By selling these off, I will refill my discretionary fund, and start bringing in a few newer games when they trip my trigger.  And if they don’t sell – then I won’t be too broke up.  There’s not any game here I would be ashamed to play.

    And they’re off!

    April 17, 2010

    Last Monday we started a new linked series of race games.  The plan is to have seven different automobile race games played, where each player has a roster of drivers who win victory points. 

    Our first race was on the old Ravensburger game, Grand Prix.  This is a game where each player has three cars under his control.  Every turn the active player assigns a move of 7 to one car, a move of 6 to a second car and his last car only moves 5.  Complicating things is the narrowing of the track, the blocking in the turns, and the ability to get a free move of 3 (slipstreaming) on the straights.  Should a car not be able to take its full move, it must move to the side of the road, and may eventually come back onto the roadway.

    Grand Prix has some problems as a game, but I decided to have it be our first event, as it did neatly allow each of us to start with 3 drivers on our roster.  Our next event will be the ancient old Hans im Glueck game, PS.  PS also allows neatly for 3 drivers per team.

    After these first two events we will move onto other race games where the players can only field two drivers.  Eventually we will move on to other race games where we each only have 1 driver.  We have named our drivers, and I will track the victory points for their finishing order.  When we reduce down to 2 drivers available, each team will drop his bottom ranked driver.  Ditto for when we reduce down to the final 4 drivers.  Eventually we will have a sole winner of the series.

    We did this years ago, playing several different auto race games.  We also did a hodgepodge of non-auto race games (bikes, boats and chariots).  For years we have done Formula De series, and we continue to enjoy doing this.  But for the current series we will omit Formula De, in favor of playing some of the rest of my collection of race games.

    Goodbye Kingmaker!

    April 11, 2010

    Saturday four of us gathered to play Wars of the Roses.  This was my 2nd play, Chester’s 2nd play, Tim’s first play, and I’d guess Alex’s 3rd or 4th play.  As expected, Alex won.  But I had a wonderful time, and I believe the other players did as well.

    Years ago I was introduced to Kingmaker – and it was a game that really enticed me.  Wonderful heraldry, marshalling of forces, mercenaries, colorful events – it seemed like a wonderful game.  Truth be told I owned the game in a couple different forms for far more years than I got plays out of the copies.  Say 15 years of ownership for maybe 2 plays?  Pitiful.

    Upon my first play of Wars of the Roses, I knew I would never want to play Kingmaker again.  So I sold them for a song to a BGG user who is a self-named Kingmaker fan.  I think he was thrilled to get the first edition from England, and in the mix I also included the AH 2nd edition as also the 1st edition of Game Workshop’s Warrior Knights (which I felt was a Kingmaker re-do).

    I did dawdle about buying Wars of the Roses.  Chester gave me pause when he dissed it after his first play.  But after thinking about it, Chester surprised me and bought a copy.  SO I am less sure why I thought I needed to buy my copy, as I am most likely to play with folks who already own it.  But nonetheless I am pleased to own the game.  It is BEAUTIFUL!  Truly a joy to behold.

    I have this suspicion that my copy will never see that many plays.  But I am hoping to be proven wrong.

    Games Played

    April 7, 2010

    Monday night four of us played Greyhounds.  We had a lot of fun playing the game.  As I mentioned in an entry recently, this is an asymmetric game.  I started the game with a pile of money, but as the bookie, I was on the hook for all the payouts – for the dogs who won the race, and the players who won their bets. 

    The dynamic was great.  The other three players got to rail against the corrupt bookie, and I played it to the max.  The movement system gives the bookie some control in preventing the better dog from winning, and giving a big move to an underdog.  At least at first.  In the second race, the longer duration (2 laps) made this harder, and by the third race (3 laps) this ability to jack the results mostly slid away.

    Upon reflection, I suspect the bookie would have to be golden in the first two races to win the game.  I think the third game is pretty much on rails, and the bookie can only really hedge his bets by setting up some sort of confusion with the rankings.

    Even so, I came in second.  More importantly everyone at the table had a great time.

    Tuesday night we played Giro d’Italia.  A friend brought it over, and so I was happy to play it, but I admit to thinking it wasn’t my first choice for the game I wanted to play that evening.  A few months ago I played Leader 1 a few times.  Initially I was impressed.  But as we continued to play it, I began to lose enthusiasm for it.  In our games of Leader 1, I had come to a conclusion that the first 2/3rds of the race were irrelevant.

    But in our game of Giro d’Italia (which is an identical game to Leader 1, just in a pink box), one of the players broke away very early, and managed to stay well ahead of the peloton the entire race.  In fact he almost won.  On the final straight, one other player managed to nose past him to steal the victory.

    So I ended up re-evaluating the game up.  I still don’t intend to add it to my collection.  But I really enjoyed the game, and will be more open to future plays.

    The Three Musketeers

    April 4, 2010

    Saturday night we played a few games, and I was able to entice 4 other players into trying out my newest addition, The Three Musketeers.


    Now this is a game that ought nought to be taken very seriously.  But I really enjoyed myself!  I didn’t ask, but it seemed as if the other four (musketeers) also were having fun.  So I currently find myself enthused about this game.

    For those of you who have watched the movies or read the books, you will recognize the scenario.  The Queen has foolishly given some jewelry to her lover, the Duke of Buckingham.  Cardinal Richlieu (me, in our game) has realized this, and suggested to the King that he command the Queen to wear the jewels at the Ball to given.  So the musketeers come to her rescue!

    At the start of the game, the four musketeers stand on the street outside the Louvre.  At the far end of the building the Queen is processing towards the King.  The Musketeers must cross the Louvre and deliver the jewels to the Queen before she comes before the King.  In between the Musketeers and the Queen are the Cardinal’s guards, the Comte de Rochefort, and Milady de Winter.

    So here we have the team-based scenario.  Only one of the musketeers has the real jewels, but the other three have decoys.  They can travel together, which will aid their fighting prowess, or they can scatter fragmenting the Cardinal’s efforts.  The musketeers are much better fighters than the guards, and should easily win a duel.  But with enough scratches even the heartiest of the musketeers will be briefly knocked out.  And while a musketeer is unconscious, any guard can inspect his body and see if he carries the jewels.  Further, the Cardinal also has two special pieces – Rochefort and Milady.  Rochefort  is a skilled duelist, and has a pistol he is prepared to fire before swords may be crossed.  But the most potent weapon available to the Cardinal is Milady.  She has the ability to walk up to any musketeer and, if she rolls well, cause him to hand over the jewels!  And since she is a woman, no musketeer would dream of attacking her.

    Adding to the possibilities, each musketeer has a special ability, and the musketeers can once during the game chant together, “All for one, and one for all!” and have a simultaneous group turn!  But the Cardinal also has some tricks up his sleeve.  He has a small pack of cards which gives him additional tricks to play and guards to deploy.

    Each turn a card is flipped, showing what the sequence of events will be.  Often the Cardinal will get a couple turns to move pieces, interspersed between a variable order of musketeer moves.  One turn Porthos may be first, another turn Athos might be first.  At the end of most turns the Queen advances towards te King.

    The combat is fast, and heavily favors the musketeers.  But the Cardinal has lots of troops, and the danger of Milady is very potent.  Adding to the fun, all of the playing pieces are well crafted toys.

    What we did not explore in our first game – but what I appreciate was included – is a kit of sorts.  You can customize the game to your tastes.  You can add useful benefits to either side, or take away useful benefits from either side.  There are also a set of Queen movement tokens, to change the way the Queen advances, keeping everyone in suspense until the tile is flipped.

    The Three Musketeers is definitely in the “family gaming” end of the pool.  But it is well done, and the theme is very well executed.  I won’t be breaking it out when I want a serious match.  But for a fun event to round out the last 45 minutes of game night, I think it may prove entertaining.