June Gaming

I was (mostly) back in town in June, enabling more game playing:

18FR – Two more sessions, and we finally finished up this 18xx title.  I played at Rick’s house, with Chris as our third player.  During the second session (mid-game) I really despaired.  I was forced to retain too often, and I felt I had put myself out of contention.  But during our last night of the game, I came roaring back, dumped a company, and got the permanent train I needed for both of my remaining companies.  This allowed me to surge up, but I still fell short by about $800 of the victory.  Rick had about $12,000 of worth, I had roughly $11,200, and Chris had about $10, 400 or so.  18FR is largely 1830 on a map of France.  Ultimately I think I’d prefer to play 1830 – but Rick was pleased to get some use out of his homemade production copy.

Astron – This is an old 1950’s game about air travel.  The game board has a rolled map of the USA, and you advance the map by rolling it from one roller to the other.  Meanwhile the players move their airplanes about on the grid system, attempting to land at airports and avoid hazards.  The rollers are an unexpected innovation – and they added some fun to the event.  I’d play again, but this is simple fun, not a strategy game.

Amphorae – I played the reprint “Das Zehn Vasen Spiel” years ago.  But I finally got a copy of this Jean du Poel game in the tube, so we gave it a go.  As usual, we wondered about the rules.  I am going to reexamine the reprint and see if I can port over some decent rules for future plays.

Ogre – We played my super special Kwanchai edition of this game.  Despite all the effort of getting my own custom version of the SJG edition, I seem to mainly be using the Kwanchai edition.  Too bad he never got to do the GEV set.

Football Fever – Only a partial game, but I love these very cool dice.

Auf Fotosafari in Ombagassa – Played this with the Andersons and Peggy.  This was fun, and Geneva asked that I bring it to Fandango.

Silverton – Rick, Gary and I played a short game of Silverton.  This was well received, and everyone agreed we would like to play a longer game to see how the passenger strategy can hold up against the mining deliveries.

Axis & Allies: WW I – Alex and I played a partial game of this.  I enjoyed myself quite a bit.  If we get back to this soon, I have hopes we can pick up the pace.  We had a lot of rule questions during our first round of play.

Agricola – I am a bit tired of this title, but it was the group choice.  I had some fun with it.  But the more I play this game the less often I win.  I’m not sure how I always manage to pick the sub-optimal paths…

Great War at Sea: Mediterranean – I took a day to visit Tim up in White Rock.  We had been planning this for quite a while.  He led me through an operational scenario that eventually led to a battle showdown.  This was fun.  But I was glad Tim could direct the operations.  I am still getting my arms around the rules.  It may happen that this is just a game I play with Tim.

Star Trek: Fleet Captains – Alex taught me this game.  My luck was spectacularly bad.  I will crib from my entry on BGG:

“My bad luck in this game was rather comical. I was the first player. I found a supernova right next to my base. One ship was destroyed, another damaged, and the systems I had explored were wiped out. I suppose I should have scanned before going in…

“My opponent did no scanning and spread control markers over 4 sectors.

“I decided to send my remaining fleet to the same sector, (still no scan), and while safe, I didn’t get much done.

“My opponent cruised all around and uncovered much more of the board, spreading control markers freely.

“I decided I needed to spread out, like my opponent, and promptly got my 6pt Klingon battleship stuck in a black hole.

“By then my opponent was winning 6-0. I conceded the game.”
So the game is flavorsome. I like Star Trek, so I should enjoy this universe. But the game play didn’t evoke the theme as much as I thought it would.  The multitude of cards to pick from is a two-edged sword. I can see how it will extend replayability. But as a newbie, needing to evaluate the several decks was daunting.

I’d play again. But my enthusiasm is muted. It is a lucky game – flip the right tiles, random encounters, roll the right dice results. Nothing wrong here, but there are plenty of random elements working.  I suspect that if I played it more, it would become easier to play, and more fun. My first session was a blow out, and that is just going to sometimes happen on games with this many random elements.

Rallyman – Alex and I did a little 3 race scenario.  Man, I really like this game!  I’m now hoping to entice a linked series play at Fandango.

 

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