David Gregg(s3rvant)United States
My BFF Mogrix and I both had this Saturday off of work and were free from any other plans, so we decided to game all day (all day being from 10 AM until 8 PM). We've both obtained new games since our last get together due to math trades and online orders (with even more still on the way!), so we decided a long session would be a great chance to try everything out.
Zombie Dice has been a big hit as a quick filler for my family, so when I first head about Martian Dice and how it seems to be light like Zombie Dice while adding some more decisions I was pretty sold on the idea and added it to my want list. Daniel was interested in Martian Dice and had nabbed a copy in time for our game session, so we went ahead and played a round of it to start things off. Daniel readily defeated me a solid 25 to 12. I enjoyed the game and still plan to get my own copy, it'll be nice to have a couple choices when it comes time to pick out a light filler.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
We had a great time with LotR last time we got together, so this one was a hot topic that we both really wanted to play more of. Daniel had bought his own copy as well as a couple of the expansion packs, so we had decided to build proper 50 cards decks the day before. I went with 2/3 Tactics and 1/3 Lore while Daniel was playing 2/3 Leadership and 1/3 Lore.
We played 2 games again the Journey along the Anduin quest first, getting thoroughly crushed both times... Daniel's deck was doing a great job with quest points and mine was smashing enemies quite handily, but our combined efforts were just not enough. So we decided to play a round against the Passage through Mirkwood quest as a bit of a break, which we easily won.
Daniel and I had just won a copy of Mr. Jack in the latest math trade we participated in, but we hadn't yet gotten to play, so this was also high on the "to play" list. We choose Jack randomly for the first game (me) and then swapped out for a second game. In the first game I royally goofed my first turn leaving just 3 suspects for Daniel for the remainder of the game... Fortunately I managed to keep him guessing on those 3 for several turns before he finally managed to whittle away at me and went in for the accusation on turn 7. Daniel did a much better job of playing Jack right up until turn 4 or 5 when he attempted to escape while having been previously witnessed. We decided to continue playing, though it didn't take long to catch him.
Through the Ages: A Story of Civilization
Daniel had just picked up this one and was very excited to learn and play it, so I read through the rulebook while we headed out to pick up some pizza for lunch. It took a bit to digest it all, but we got it going pretty well and enjoyed the simple game. Now we just need enough time to try the advanced and finally the full version! Btw I won by 2 points.
The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac
After the heavy game of Through the Ages it was time to play something light again. Daniel wasn't as excited to try this one, but it's been a hit with my family so figured we could at least play one game. We both did rather well with the lava room and the boulder was flying down the corridor much faster then normal. Neither of us had time to mess around much with me only attempting a single lock pick (successfully!) and then moving straight through the river while Daniel just high tailed it around the corridor bends, not taking any chances. We both had to drop some treasure to get the necessary actions to stay ahead of the boulder and ended up with a tie at 10 points each (poor Daniel rolling a 1 on that casket).
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – The Hunt for Gollum
After resting up a bit with The Adventurers Daniel was ready for another game of LotR, but wanted to attempt one of the newer quests, so we tried out The Hunt for Gollum. This one was a royal pain, with non-stop location cards and early stacking of the clue cards, we didn't manage but 3 progress tokens on the primary quest. I didn't care for this quest personally as it just seemed like a constant grind with so many locations and so few enemies. Combining the way the clues stack with the treacheries that inflict 1 damage on each character was a pretty clever use of mechanics, but in practice it just felt abusive, causing huge surges of locations that were impossible to deal with. Perhaps it was just our deck configurations, but I'm not in a hurry to try out this particular quest again.
Daniel and I were planning another round of Through the Ages, but my wifey called with last minute plans for dinner with my folks, so we had our time cut a bit short. We decided to wrap things up with a quick game of Haggis since I knew it played fast and Daniel had yet to try it out. We only played to 100 points, which Daniel managed rather quickly...
After dinner with my folks we decided to play a couple classic card games, starting out with a game of Euchre. This one has been a family favorite for a long time, but it had been a while since our last play, so was nice to break it out. My wife and I teamed up against my folks and lost 5 to 10, nothing out of the ordinary there. Pagat.com has a copy of the rules for any that might be interested.
After our embarrassing defeat I opted for a game of Hearts, another family favorite. My first few rounds were perfect, maintaining a score of zero and watching everyone else getting hit by the queen once each. And then came the round in which we don't get to pass cards... I did indeed get the queen, but managed to keep my score low all the way until the end. Wifey managed to shoot the moon once and chose to reduce her score (though had she upped ours it would've ended the game with her the winner). This was fatal for her as she got the queen again the very next round and we ended the game with me in the lead by 1 point.
All in all it was a great day of gaming, getting to try out a few new titles, teach a few to my BFF and then round out the evening my folks. Martian Dice was exactly what I expected it would be and so will be staying on my want list. I still really enjoy LotR and want a 2nd core set along with the expansions to broaden my construction options, but will have to wait until the budget allows it. Mr. Jack was pretty fun, I'm looking forward to many plays with the wife and kids. Through the Ages was a beast, can't wait to play the fuller versions of the game and see just what all it encompasses.
I'm expecting Agricola, Dungeon Run, Elder Sign and JAB: Realtime Boxing in the mail soon, so will have to schedule another gaming day in the near future to try them all out!