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My initial impressions on games I recently played for the first time
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The Essen crop, part 7: The Ladies of Troyes, Snowdonia, Western Town & Ali

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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The Ladies of Troyes
Troyes is a game that I don't own, but I wouldn't mind owning. If I ever find a copy for a price I can't refuse, I'll surely add it to my collection.
I've only played the game a couple of times before, so I was glad the expansion came out, simply because this gave me the chance to play the game again.
I enjoyed my play of this, as it was very similar to the vanilla game of Troyes. So similar I felt the game could do without the expanion.
The new locations weren't used a lot, and they didn't seem like very interesting options, but I could be wrong about that. To me it didn't seem worth the effort.
It doesn't add much, but it also doesn't detract from the quality of the base game.

Initial rating: 7

Snowdonia
Let me keep it short: this is, together with Suburbia, one of the most enjoyable games I've played from this year's crop.
The rules, while not entirely unabiguous in the rulebook, are straightforward and make sence, there are enough options and strategies and it doesn't outstay it's welcome. Most of the elements are familiar, but it all works together very well!

Initial rating: 7.7

Western Town
I know nothing about this game before playing this. The theme isn't something I particularly enjoy, and appart from Homesteaders, I haven't played many western themed games I actually liked. And the artwork is very brown.
But the gameplay is straight forward, the turns are quite quick and the game doesn't outstay it's welcome.
I was very tired, falling asleep during the explanation and during play multiple times, yet everything fit together logically, and I was able to do quite well, coming within a couple of points of the winner.
There are plenty of options for nice combos and good strategic play, but there is also some luck. But that doesn't ruin the experience.
I felt like the game could do without the indians. Not that they bothered me, they just felt a bit like an afterthought.

Initial rating: 7.2

Open Sesame
I suck at memory games. But that is not why I lost. In this game you loose if you have to stop being Ali Baba because you've turned over too many bad cards (due to luck). In which case the row of items doesn't get long enough for players to loose track of what items are in there. If that doesn't happen, you don't score the 3 extra points, which makes it hard to win the game.
It's short and turns are easy, so it wasn't annoying. I just wished the luck factor was a bit lower.

Initial rating: 6.2
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