Archive for May, 2015

Back at the table

May 31, 2015

I was pleased to return to gaming this past week.  I had been on a long business trip, which meant I missed two weeks of gaming.

Monday night the boys agreed to give Silverton a whirl.  I was very pleased to see they were enthusiastic.  I expect we will play again this coming session.  We halted out first game, as now that the boys had seen the game, and would enjoy a fresh start.  I imagine we might play over a couple of weeks before we end the game.

Tuesday night saw the return of Michael to gaming – he had not come in months.  Steve and Zack were present making us a foursome.  I suggested McMulti, and with no objections I taught the game.  Not so long ago I played the reprint, Crude.  So it was fun for me to compare and contrast.  I won’t detail all the reasons, but I am glad I kept the McMulti version.  I like the greater variability of the economic situation.

Over the past two weeks or so, I have purchased two games:

Rails through the Rockies – It arrived while I was away.  I knew going in that this was likely a hard-to-play game.  But I wanted to look it over, and now it is on hand.  The game deals with a similar subject as Silverton.  It has a crayon rails aspect to it.  I am not sure if this will be played.  But I am enjoying reading it.

Rails of New England – Joe Huber introduced this to me a few years ago.  I didn’t immediately warm to it, and went on to explore other games.  But with my more recent interest in rail games, I decided I was now interested in a second look.  It does seem a worthy game, and I am looking forward to checking it out.  Unfortunately the New England location does not fire my imagination as much as the Rocky Mountain location used for both Silverton and Rails through the Rockies.  On the bright side, Rails of New England has handsome production values, while Silverton/RttR are Spartan.

 

Why do new games suck?

May 5, 2015

Am I just buying the wrong new games?  Seems like all new games end up failing around here.  A few examples:

Mythotopia – One play from Zack and it is on the veto list.  Known end-game problems going in, multi-player bash the leader game.  I have had more fun with it than I might have expected, but I am doubtful this one has much more to show me.  The Monday night boys have enjoyed it, so I will likely play a little more of it.

Viticulture – It works.  But each game feels very same-y.  Alex suggested we cut the number of workers again.  Might help, worth another try.  But while the simulation value is decent, the novelty value is wearing thin, and I don’t see much else to keep me coming back.

Palaces of Carrara – I sold this one after it cratered at the club, and TG had a terrible time with it.  Definitely a game you can do yourself in.

Russian Railroads – Zack hated this one, Alex is ambivalent.  Why own a game no one wants to play?

Baseball Highlights – Whiffed with both Zack and TG.  I liked it and so did Alex, but I don’t need another 2p game, and this one loses utility if it won’t please the other players enough to see table time.

My track record with newer purchases is really sucking.  I am finding more enjoyment in exploring older cast off games that I don’t really expect to play much.  Like Silverton, which I would love to play, but don’t have much hope for ever playing very often with others, however, I may get some solitaire enjoyment out of.  Or Blackbeard, which I have been studying and may eventually play on Monday night.

The problem with the old games is my play shelf just appears to get more and more stale.  Power Grid, Princes of Florence, Puerto Rico, Ra, Agricola – lots of good, old, games.  But when everyone has played them a couple of dozen times, there just isn’t much zip in playing them again.  Oh we do, and we have fun.  But the zest isn’t there.  I suspect this is why attendance has been slipping at game night.  We’re no longer on the cutting edge of new games.  Nor do I really want to be – the state of the hobby has moved away from my sweet spot.  But I admit I do miss some of the excitement of trying new cool games.

 

Silverton

May 4, 2015

Over the years, I have only played Silverton a couple of times. I have had a good time with it. But I didn’t care for the cramped board of the Mayfair edition.  So eventually it left my collection.  Last year I bought a bargain copy of the original Two Wolf edition.  I’ve decided this is the edition for me.  While the board is rather Spartan, even drab, there is actually room to play the game.

A fellow on BGG posted a set of replacement Claim/Train cards to be used with the 1st edition, and I just finished printing them out, and cutting them down to size.  They are a big improvement to the game, and tonight I gave the game a solitaire test run.  I thought the new cards elevated the game a bit.  I also used the advanced rules for shipping freight.

I really enjoyed my solitaire game, and would love to actually play this game with an opponent or two.  I worry about the game slowing down too much with 4 players.  I also have a computer assist file for playing the game.  But tonight I was enjoying just doing the rolls manually.