Surya's game blah blah

My initial impressions on games I recently played for the first time
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Games played last Saturday (2011-10-15)

Surya Van Lierde is pure Eurosnoot and proud of it!
Belgium
Michelbeke
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We had planned to play a couple of games, among which Phoenicia, which had been a while. The turnout for the evening was incredibly low though. We where with exactly 5, so there weren't that many options. So we ended up playing every single game we had with us that would take 5. So no Loyang, no Turm Bauer, no Ankh-Morphork

We started off with Paris Connection, a new light train game from Queen. Yes, this is VERY light. The game could end before the first round is completend, if all players start extending the same company to Marseille! I spent my first 3 turns exchanging stock for the colors the other players had extended the lines for, then I started increasing their values even more. Apparently this was a good strategy, I had stock in the 3 most valuable companies. And even though some player had more stocks, my total worth was higher, and I pulled of a win.
Very simple game. Enjoyable, but if you invest in the wrong colors (the colors the other players don't care about) early on, you probably won't have much chance

Next up was Dragon's Gold. Let's just say I still don't like this game and I never will. Way too chaotic.

Then we went for Phoenicia. I remembered this one having a bit of a runaway leader problem. And so did Philippe, who had played it once before. We also had 2 players who'd never played before.
Turns out we where on about the same level during the whole game. Every time a player got ahead, the rest cached up quite fast, and the leader position changed almost every round. Even players who had very low income during the first half of the game cached up by the end of the game. I'd never seen that happen before in this game. Auctions where quite tense. In the end I managed to pull of a win, but it was close, very close.
This was actually way more enjoyable than I remembered it to be. And while there is a good possibility of runaway leader problems, I think that if everyone pays attention and no one gets essential cards for cheap, this is a good game!

To finish the evening, we played an other game of Heartland. I'd never played with 5 before, but I figured the barns wouldn't be that good since most players would be eating away at your pastures. So I just went for points and bonus tiles. And I almost pulled off a win. The 3 best scores where 81, 80 (me) and 79.
Very nice, but I do prefer this game with 3, as it's more strategic.
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