A few new items on the game shelves

I participated in a Math Trade over at BGG.  A math trade is a somewhat confusing method for multiple people to trade games.  As a simple example, Person A trades a game to Person B, Person B trades a game to Person C, and Person C trades a game to Person A.  In this way a trade can be accomplished, where no single pair of people could have found mutually acceptable games to trade.

I traded away Cyclades, a game I played once and UR: 1830 BC, a game I never played.  In return I got Long Shot, a light horse racing game for up to 8 to play, and an obscure older game called Pacific Northwest Rails, a game I decided to take a chance on.  My general sense is that I lost some value with these trades, but it is a way to leverage some games into new games.

I had hopes of enjoying Cyclades, and the initial play seemed mostly good.  I enjoyed my single play.  But many of my likely opponents were lukewarm to this one, and it does seem like the game is really best with 5 players.  The game play seemed a bit old-fashioned, (which I don’t mind), but also a bit abrupt.  It seemed like there ought to be a bit more game to play than there was.  And, unfairly, I felt Cyclades didn’t compare well to Giants, the previous game from this publisher that had so delighted me.

Ur: 1830 BC, was a game I recently set up and inspected, after owning it for at least a couple of years.  I had recently played Poseidon, and had been impressed.  Since Ur: 1830 BC was also an 18xx variant, I set it up and attempted to figure it out.  After solitairing it for part of a game, I realized that this game was surpassed by Poseidon, being a better 18xx variant, and a game that would actually groom players for an 18xx game; while Ur was just a more fiddly dead-end off the 18xx system.  So without a proper play, I said goodbye to Ur.  That said, I would have been happy to play it, but with stacks of actual 18xx games around there was no chance of that happening anytime soon.

Long Shot is one of the games I got in trade.  It is handsomely produced, with deluxe plastic horses, a big deck of Long Shot cards, a couple of dice and a lovely mounted raceboard.  It appears to be an hour-long game with easy rules, and with the possibility of hosting 8 players.  Perhaps this will take over some of the 8p gaming we might have done with Master Thieves.

Pacific Northwest Rails is an older game from a smaller publisher.  It comes in a long squared tube, which I have not yet investigated.  Mostly it has little commentary on BGG, but there were enough positive comments I thought it might merit some investigation.  I will publish more about this one in the future.

Apart from the math trade, I am also getting a few other new-to me games:

Water Lily: A very simple game, where you play within the game box.  It’s by Dominique Ehrhard, an author who can amuse me, or leave me behind.  I am quite fond of Don Pepe and Marakech.  I liked Iliad.  But Odysseus was bad, and a couple of others were merely okay (Montgolfiere and Die Weinhandler).  I also liked Serenissima years ago, although it did have some end game problems.  Based on how simple the game sounds, I suspect I will play it a few times, and then be ready to put it on a prize table.  But hope springs eternal!

Paper Clip Railways: Arrived this week.  It is, perhaps, an over wrought rendition of String Railways.  I am eager to try it, but don’t hold out a lot of hope that this is going to be a top-tier game.  But any game that uses hundreds of paperclips is a brave swipe at trying something new!

There is a certain joy in bringing in new games, and reading the rules, hoping it will provide some entertainment.  I’ll chronicle how these games do in the coming weeks.

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