A little bit more

Recent gaming has included:

Leader 1 – This is a clever bicycle racing game from a couple of years ago, which I was reminded of recently.  On a mailing list I hang out on, someone was advocating never buying any games from Ghenos Games.  I will admit that I do not currently own any of this publisher’s games, but that stance seemed a bit harsh.

Leader 1 is a fun game to play.  You have a team of bicyclists.  They each have different strengths.  One is good on the level ground, another is good on the mountain climb, while the leader is steady as he goes.  Further, you can designate whether a cyclist is either a downhill specialist or is a sprinter for the finish.

In the game the huge pack of bicyclists is represented by the Peloton marker.  Each turn players can take an opportunity to break out of the Peloton and blaze their own trail – but this must be carefully considered, as you only have so much energy, and a long route ahead.  All in all, Leader 1 is a good game.  There are several decisions to make, and they have a meaningful impact on how things go.  In fact there is only a modest amount of luck in the game.

The chief complaint I have with Leader 1 is merely that the rules are badly translated.  I can sort it out, but it is clear that a native speaker could have greatly improved the rules.  A shame, as I am sure many Americans (I am one) would have been happy to do a free clean-up for them.

1830 – Variant Scenario #2 (G) –

This was the strangest 1830 game I have played.  First of all, I made a stupid mistake right at the beginning and put myself in a powerless position, which another player quickly pounced upon and ruined my opening strategy.  This led to later reprisals, and generated a confrontational tone to the game.  In general a lot of stock trashing occurred.  Pretty much every stock took a beating.

The second thing was that the scenario we played seems to have issues.  It was designed to beef up the Canadian Pacific, but it was opened late and did not take a leading role in the game.  Then there was the coalfield tile, which no company ever built to.  In both scenarios I have played so far, the authors have injected extra trains.  My feeling that these extra trains take the bite out of the game, and worse, extend the duration.

Still, a flawed 1830 game is still a great deal of fun to play, even when I get crammed.

American Rails – I finally played this one, which had been played a couple other times at game night by others.  I quite liked it.  Somehow I had missed all the antecedents to this game.  I hear Wabash Cannonball is similar, but I cannot make a comparison.  I think another game was also compared, but its name escapes me.  I’m happy to play again, assuming another chance happens.

Saint Petersburg & Crokinole – It is interesting to see these games getting play time again.  Back in 2000 I bought my Crokinole board.  It was played to death for the first 3-4 years, and then it fell from favor.  Similarly, St. Pete was our most played game for 2004 and 2005, if I recall correctly, and then it also fell from favor.  Here we are in 2012, and both games are getting requested again.  Neat!

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