Archive for October, 2011

Memoir ’44 Campaign-Style

October 28, 2011

The last two weeks Alex and I have been playing Memoir ’44.  I have the Campaign Book, which strings together a series of scenarios into campaigns – where how things resolve direct where your next battle will happen.

I’ve been enjoying doing this.  It’s nice to finally get some regular play in with the plethora of game materials I have assembled for Memoir ’44, and I am having fun just playing the game.  Memoir is a lucky game.  Wild swings of luck can deeply influence the outcome.  But at the same time some scenarios are really much tougher than others.  I don’t mind luck in my games, and Memoir at least is constantly using dice, so in theory the luck should average out over time.

We’ve been playing the D-Day campaign.  In the first sequence of scenarios, Alex, playing the Allies, could do nothing wrong.  He won a decisive victory in the “Flanking Caen” scenarios.  But for the “Taking Caen” scenarios I was able to battle back to a major victory.  So going into the final leg of scenarios, Alex is holding a 3 – 2 lead over me.  But at least it is close enough to add some drama to the final set of scenarios.


Essen 327 – Kevin 0

October 23, 2011

I’ve been checking out the info coming in from the Essen SPIEL festival that ran from Thursday thru Sunday in Germany.  It is the world’s largest convention devoted to boardgames.  I attended this huge convention back in 2004.  It is truly immense.  It is also largely in German (as it should be).  So while I was dazzled to attend once, I have not been enticed to keep attending, even turning down an opportunity to be a booth monkey one year.

Over on BGG they have done an ambitious amount of video podcasting.  They have had designers come to the BGG booth and demonstrate their new games.  While this should entice me, largely I have not taken advantage of this coverage.  I’ve watch 3 videos so far, and not completely.  I did enjoy seeing the demo of Paper Clip Railways, as this is a title I had already bought, but not yet played.  And I watched with some interest the designer’s intro to Champions 2020, a “big brother” to StreetSoccer, a game I have enjoyed for years.

What I have missed, though, are the written reports of Essen that seemed more common in the past.  I have enjoyed the reports written by Frank Schulte-Kulkmann available here:  But I have been surprised that the official BGG correspondent has not filed any updates since his Mid-Friday report.  I suppose it is bad form to complain, sorry.

I suspect there are lots of wonderful new games available at the Essen SPIEL festival.  I’m not finding much interest in them though.  I suspect I have achieved burn-out on new Euros.  My primary interest seems now to be in exploring some older Euros, specifically more of the Edition Perlhuhn back list, and dialing more into 18xx type games.

I continue to own many many Euro games, and generally like the games I own.  I will enjoy continuing to play them.  And I am not closed to trying new games that my friends place before me.  But I am now feeling that it seems less likely I will be buying all that many new games.

Dust and Paint

October 9, 2011

Warning, no gaming content included.

We’ve been busy around here with home improvements.  We hired a contractor to fix a few things, including some cracked plaster in our home.  They swathed the house in plastic on Thursday, and finished up with sanding Saturday morning.  We asked them to leave the plastic down, as we now need to paint.  Yesterday we got both spare bedrooms wiped down and primed.  Today we hope to wipe down the plaster repairs in the dining room, prime the dining room, and get final coats of fresh paint on the bedrooms.

Part of the fun of owning an older home.  (Our home was built in 1949.)

That leaves the kitchen, which needs some paint too.  We’ll assess how to proceed on it as today’s labors proceed.  I’m tempted to leave it for later, but we may bite the bullet and keep going.

I wish I were gaming!

Playin’ Games

October 6, 2011

I have played a nice mix of old games, new games, net-to-me old games, and new-to me new games recently.  Here’s what I’ve been playing:

Forum Romanum – One player called it glorified tic-tac-toe.  I think he was right.  But while that might sound like a slam, it isn’t.  This game was entertaining, if a bit chaotic for a table of 5.

Barons – I doubt anyone would call this game beautiful.  It’s a card game, where you build a barony by drafting cards and playing them contiguously, a la Illuminati.  I didn’t love it, but it was more fun than I would have guessed.

Santiago – I played this once years ago.  Second play confirmed that this is a nice game.  There is plenty of player interaction.  A good, if not deeply compelling game.

Tonga Bonga – A game that I continue to enjoy.  But with this most recent playing, I realized you really do want the full complement of 4 players.

Grand Prix- F1 – Finally, someone requested a race game at the Bistro!  I especially like this game for 3-4 players, as you can run a team of cars.  Unlike any other race game, this one focuses on the fuel management of racing.

Maritim – My second play, this time with 3 players.  Sadly one of the players disliked it.  Me and the other player enjoyed it though.  I will never want to play with the full set of 6 though – it would too slow.

Janus – Another one of the Franckh games I recently collected.  We found the end game a bit forced.  But the early and midgame were quite interesting.  It’s very abstract, a feaqture I once found a flaw.  But more recently, I am warming to abstract games.

Galaxy: The Dark Ages – This is the fully chromed out version of Titan: The Arena, but set in space.  It is a good game.  Never a favorite.  But one of our Monday night gamers loves it, so we continue to play it once in a while.

Valley of the Kings (Tal der Koenige)- The best game I’ve ever played that comes in a triangular box!  Well, hmm, that sounds like another slam.  I really do like this game!


And now a bit of a rant…  Games magazine just announced Tikal II as their game of the year.  On a mailing group I subscribe to, folks immediately started trashing this game.  What a bunch of kill joys!  Tikal II is a nice game.  I enjoyed my single play of it last month.  It might not be my pick as my game of the year, but it seems like a reasonable game to honor.  It is fun, strategic and runs maybe 90 minutes.  Bravo!