Archive for August, 2010

Sorting Memoir

August 29, 2010

Today I decided to prep for a big game of Memoir ’44.  I have nearly every expansion for this game, and a quick order to the online game store means I’ll soon be caught up completely.  A few months ago I bought a collection from a fellow who was getting out of Memoir.  This made it easy to “catch up”.  With my recent purchase, I now will have pretty much two of everything released, apart from the special big maps – where a single copy seems plenty.

I have divided the game into two campaign bags, one Axis and the other Allied.  I do wish my Axis bag was gray instead of pea green – but I have not yet gone to the effort of dying it.  (It would still have American marking on it…)

On one level it is sort of insane to have this much Memoir game material – I only play it once a year.  But it is now a tradition, and I do rather enjoy sifting through the materials.  I may even consider how I could play it in a linked series sometime.  So gentle reader, do you have any interest in playing a series of Memoir games?


The Big Stinking Deal

August 27, 2010

Big Deal arrived the other day.  We played it Tuesday night.  I gave it away after my first play.  BZZZZZT!  Next game, please.

3 older games arrive

August 20, 2010

I know a guy in Germany who sells used board games.  Once upon a time I was a regular customer.  But over the years I have slowed down.  Earlier this year I got the urge to participate in his online auctions again.  So I bid on Palermo, an obscure race game from 1992 that I was interested in.  As it happened, I didn’t get any competition, and I eventually won his going once, going twice, sold method of running his auction.  Unfortunately, instead of running his auction every two weeks as I had recalled he seemed to do it about once a month or even every 6 weeks. 

Compounding my wait, I decided to then bid on a couple other older games from his extensive list: Odysseus and Big Deal.  I also won these for the opening bid, but they took an extra cycle to clear.  Shipping from Germany takes roughly a month, so roughly 5 months after my initial bid, the box showed up today.  I had forgotten about it!

Clippers redux

August 19, 2010


Quite a long time ago I played Clippers at a convention, (Gulf Games).  I recall I enjoyed it more than I had expected.  I had previously played Santa Fe Rails, which is largely the same game, but the experience was not as much fun.  I am told both of these descend from an earlier game called Santa Fe – which I have never seen or played.

Recently I decided to try my hand at a Math Trade on BGG.  Despite hearing about them for a long time, I had previously never been too enticed to try them out.  But I finally bestirred myself enough to list a couple of games I was done with.  Wind River found a new owner, and of all the games I indicated I would trade for, Clippers was the one I was awarded.  I suppose I traded down – but I am satisfied to trade a game I didn’t especially like for one I think I will enjoy playing a bit more of.  This particular copy of Clippers was in the shrink-wrap, and in perfect condition.

I have now unpacked it, punched it out and read the rules.  It is now in the library ready to be played.

Moongha for the fourth time

August 16, 2010

I have noticed that my interest in games often peters out around the fourth play (if not before).  But games that I have believed to be good games often slip a notch around 4-5 plays.  Tonight I played Moongha Invaders for the fourth time, and I am pleased to see it has endured rather well.

In our game my dice were famously bad.  I whiffed several times failing to place a cube to a city.  In fact, I was only on the board with 4 cubes, all in a single city, after 4 turns.  So I imagined I was doing rather badly.  Chris was pounding out cubes quickly, and looked ready to close the game out far ahead of the 8th turn.  Meanwhile Gary was eating my monsters assaulting NYC.  During the fifth turn, rather than run away with my wounded Bloob, I decided to roll 1 die in attack on NYC, and lo and behold I finally placed a cube in New York.  Gary was unable to finish me off, so I sent in a tank to kill my own monster.  This actually worked, and on my following turn I sent another tank into NYC to assault Gary’s Moogre.  Right after that Rick sent the last available tank into NYC but somehow Gary’s monster survived, and escaped.  But now, with 3 tanks in NYC, my sole cube looked like a great investment.  Indeed, the game ended shortly thereafter, and my little cube paid a full 4 points.  Meanwhile, I had been sending Drakoors out into the quieter corners of the board.  Chris ended the game in turn 6, and I had sent out 3 Drakoors.  There were only two other Drakoors on the board.  When the dust settled, I lost by one point to Gary.

Considering how well Gary had rolled, and how poorly I had rolled, I was quite satisfied that I had made up as much ground as I did.  This game has wild swingy amounts of luck.  But the theme is great fun, and after four games, I can see myself playing another 4 times at least.  So despite the high price, Moongha has now achieved a decent pay back for the investment made.

Good game, and possibly going even higher in my estimation.  It’s The Creature that Ate Sheboygan meets El Grande.  Play it if you get a chance.  I think it is wonderful.

10 Plays

August 11, 2010

Last night Hansa Teutonica hit the table for the tenth time at the Bistro Game Night.  This game is holding up surprisingly well.  I’ve come to realize that it is not destined to be a “10” for me, but it is a solid “8”.  I happened to be the first player in our game, and predictably went for the action track.  I was allowed to steadily march all the way up to 5 actions.  Once I had ample actions I started chasing down bonus discs and building a network on the board.  All in all, I was allowed to basically do as I wished, which meant I won handily.  Which is perhaps the weak point of this game.  Players MUST understand the game, and must hassle the right player. 

What I *do* like about Hansa Teutonica is the opacity of how to find the best path to success.  Getting additional actions is probably critical-but I am still eager to play more, where I start later in the cycle and cannot easily get my additional actions early.  I’d like to see how a fewer-action strategy might work most efficiently, and this will probably take a few more plays to reveal itself to me.

Earlier this week I finally tried Wind River.  A forgettable game from the same publisher of Hansa Teutonica.  I had bought it solely on the hope that the publisher was the next new hidden delight.  Not so much – but at least they published Hansa Teutonica.