Vikings revisited & Acquire

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.

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