Playin’ Games

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!


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