Archive for September, 2014


September 30, 2014

Last night at Rick’s house we committed to play a game of Rise and Fall.  This is a game we have a long history with.  It is an ideal 3-player game.  And since one of the regulars is away for a couple more weeks, we decided this would be a great time to stretch out into a long game.  I agreed to play the Roman Empire.  This means I control most of the map, have great troops, a big income, and lots of military advantages.  However, the game is stacked against me.  I have to hold off the Persian Empire and 3 tribes of barbarians.  Making matters worse, I have to deal with revolts and crushing maintenance costs for my military.

In other words – this GREAT!

We almost finished two turns.  next Monday we will do better, as we can jump straight into the game.  Regardless of how far we get, I am having a great time playing this much-loved game from our gaming past.  Last night Rome got punched pretty hard.  But i am planning on holding out another turn, hopefully two before I have to retire my Imperial position, and cycle back in as a new barbarian horde.


Vikings revisited & Acquire

September 24, 2014

Last night at the Game Bistro we had enough visitors to have two tables going.  This was good to see, as gaming had been a bit thin on the ground the past few sessions.  I ended up playing with Kendahl, Stephen and Steve.  Kendahl had brough Vikings, a game I had played a couple of times back when it had first been released.  I had actually played on the German edition named Wikinger.  At the time I had decided the game was decent, but nothing compelling.  Over the years Vikings fell out of print, and gathered enough interested people to cause a reprint.

Kendahl did a good job of explaining the rules, and we had a nice time playing the game.  We ended up playing the family game, although Kendahl likely had wanted us to play the advanced game.  I haven’t read the rules, but the family game makes transporting the misplaced Vikings a bit easier.  I don’t want to summarize the game play.  In general terms, this game is about buying tiles and workers/Vikings.  The tiles are used to create islands, and there are three basic tiles, a start of an island, a middle, and an end.  The start and the end pieces are not interchangeable.  With each purchase you get 1 tile and 1 Viking.  The Vikings are various colors, and each color has a different job to do.  Each player fills up a display with his purchases, and you try to get the most efficient display possible.

My (old) complaint with this game is that the theme and the game play are not a great match.  The game itself works well, and I enjoyed it.  The economy uses a revolving wheel as the central mechanism.  Pretty darn clever.  There is a lot to like about this game.  The theme suffers a bit for me because a game called Vikings leads me to believe we’re going to be doing more swashbuckling sorts of things.  Still, the game is fun, and I would be happy to play again.

After our game of Vikings we moved on to Acquire.  I was pleased to play on my wooden tile edition.  Everyone made the appropriate sounds of appreciation (thanks guys).  I’ve only recently warmed up to Acquire.  For years it was a decent game I had respect for, but not so much enthusiasm.  But a recent play in August allowed me to turn the corner, and really come to appreciate this game.  I really appreciate the depth of play it gives, with a very modest amount of rules.  I came in last place, but still felt like I had understood what I wanted to do during the game.  I was outmaneuvered by Kendahl and Stephen two different time losing a majority due to a clever merger movement.  This whooping actually raised the game for me.  I appreciate how clever play can be rewarded.  Now I just want to get to the point where I am the one making the clever plays.


September 23, 2014

I enjoyed attending Monday night gaming this week.  This was the first time in a month I could attend.  And it was nice to rejoin our traditional foursome.  I will talk about what we played.  But first this observation:

During August I was packing games I wanted to take to a game gathering.  I had decided I wanted to get back to an older game, Nur Peanuts, but during packing I couldn’t find it.  I searched through the Bistro collection and checked my closets, but no joy.  After the event, I thought about it, and deduced the last time I had played it I was at Monday night gaming.  So the next time I went over there I took a peek through my Rick’s game room.  He maintains a “visiting shelf”, and sure enough I found my game.  So I took it home, and Nur Peanuts is once again available for play.

This past week I reorganized my collection and consolidated everything.  As I did so, I realized I couldn’t find my copy of Grand Prix: A Sports Car Racing Game.  This bugged me, as this ame is quite rare (I am one of 10 listed owners on BGG).  I searched my collection, but it just wasn’t there.  So last night I visited Rick’s, and once again checked his “visiting shelf”.  Sure enough, there was the Grand Prix game.  It had been hanging out there for the past three years!

The other game system I keep at Rick’s is all my Formula De stuff.  We’ve played a lot of FD as linked series over there, and I’ve gotten so much more out of this game by keeping it there than I ever would have if I’d kept the game and tracks in my own Bistro.

Power Grid: Factory Manager – I was introduced to this game in August, and rather liked it.  I played it as a 2p game, and it worked pretty well.  Monday night we played it with 4 players, and I liked it differently.  I love the graphic style of the game, which evokes the Power Grid style.  The game play is interesting, and I enjoyed optimizing my factory.  But I have to admit the game slipped just a bit for me.  I may be wrong, but I worry that this game is going to get “samey”.  All of the tiles are in the game (for any given player count) and do not vary from game to game.  Yes, the energy prices will vary – but basically the core of the game is going to be identical each time you play.  I suspect this game is going to be very prone to group-think.  I am still up for playing more of it.  I am already aware of ways I want to optimize differently the next time we play.


96 of 331

September 19, 2014

I computed my collection as 329 just the other day.  But as I consider, there are more:

I own Civil War: The Popular Edition, a game I really ought to load onto the BGG server; and 18Africa, a prototype 18xx game I have printed out, and cobbled together from other 18xx sets.

Anyway, what I want to blog about follows:

A friend of mine maintains a collection of about 300 games.  He makes a point of playing every game at least once each year.  I, on the other hand have 96 games in my collection that I have no recorded play of – per BGG data.  So let’s explore what I am NOT playing, and why I own it:

Metagaming Microgames – This is a big group of games.  There are over 20 games here I mostly own, just to own them.  I loved these games in my youth, but couldn’t collect them back then.  So these games definitely have a place on a game shelf even if I don’t play them these days.

18xx – I currently have six 18xx games that I own but have not played:  18Africa, 1817, 1835, 1870, 1829 North, and 1895: Namibia.  I would love to play each of these.  And I have hopes I will.  It will just take time, as 18xx opportunities don’t align very often.

Columbia block wargames – I have two of these.  I don’t play wargames very often, but Columbia’s block system really appeals. I have Hammer of the Scots and Richard III waiting in the wings.

Classic games – I have about fifteen games such as Chess, Checkers, antique curiosities, and original Avalon Hill games that I hang onto with no real goal in place of playing them.  For example my copy of Huggin’ the Rail has great artwork, and looks good sitting on a high shelf in the Bistro.

Cry Havoc – I have three games, Cry HavocSiege, and Outremer, which I have vague hopes of playing.  These were games I recall seeing in friends homes long ago, and they always intrigued me.  It is sort of a squad leader type game for medieval combat.  I don’t have an opponent for these sorts of games, though.

Franckh – I am embarrassed to admit that there are still fourteen games on hand from my buying spree from three years ago.  I knew when I sought out the Franckh games that I would have to work to get them played.  I have had some success.  But clearly I need to try harder.

Poel – I’ve been trying to collect more of Jean du Poel’s releases through Historien Spiele Galerie.  I have five games in the queue to try.

And that still leaves 28 other games I haven’t logged a play of.  I won’t list them all.  But here are a few:

Battle Masters – I would enjoy dinking around with this game again.  Lots of fun fantasy battle miniatures, easy to play.  Except you generally play on the floor…

Die Mauer – Seems easy to play.  It could be a nice filler for the club.

Full Metal Planete – Grail game.  I don’t really think it is a Kevin game.  But I should try it.

Mary Dowser – Reinhold Wittig comes up with a game about dowsing, using magnets.

Panzer General: I have both Allied Assault and Russian Assault.  I’m curious…

Popular Front – 6 player game, two teams vie in the Spanish civil war.  Seems impossible to get to the table.  But it seems like a neat idea.

Supergang – This just looks fun.  Comes with a dart gun…

Takt Voll – Game about music scoring…  Certainly seems unique.


Overall, I am still wanting these games!



Counting Games

September 17, 2014

I recently decided to consolidate all my games.  I realized I had dragged a good number of them into the home, and that they were beginning to pile up.  So I took them out to the Game Bistro- my dedicated game space – housed in a separate building in my back yard.

But then I got motivated, and searched the house.  I had squirreled my old microgames away in a desk.  I had the Cry Havoc games in a closet, and I had a few other cubbies stuffed with old treasures.  Eventually I got them all into the Bistro.

Next task was to organize them.  I decided I should put all of the 2p games in a single bookcase.  And I made a mighty try.  But eventually I had to admit the 2p collection was too large for the space I set aside for them.  But even though I had to move a portion of the 2p games elsewhere, for the first time ever, I have a go-to bookcase for 2p gaming.

I’ve collected a fair number of 18xx games too, and I got those in a dedicated bookcase.  For the rest of the games, I knew not all of them would fit into my usual matrix, sorted by players they can accommodate.  So I sorted out the older games, and created a “vintage” shelf.

By the time I was done the shelves looked nicely plump again.  Prior to beginning this huge sifting of my game collection I had been feeling that I had a few holes to fill.  I had my count of games down to 280 or so, as I measured my collection on BGG.

But for the first time ever, I finally had all of my games in the Bistro.  So I made a list of all the games I had brought into the Bistro.  And then because I felt like being complete, I searched my high shelves and recorded all the titles that merely serve as artwork.  And I entered all these games into my collection on BGG.

Voila!  My game collection is now up to 329.  That means I had roughly 50 games squirreled away in the house, or had games on my shelves that I hadn’t reported as part of my collection.  Clearly, I have not gotten as minimalist as I had been thinking.

Now I have to decide if I care about the count.