Don't fall in love with me yet, we only recently met
Here's my monthly new-to-me games round-up, a short one this time.
_8_ Was sticht? - one for trick-taking connoisseurs as it's weird. Features drafting of goals at the beginning of the game, and then drafting of each hand in a semi-deductive process where only one player knows the trumps. Bizarre but brilliant.
_7_ Cheaty Mages! - first of a trio of Seiji Kanai games I ordered from Japan. This one is a random but fun betting game that reminds me of Colossal Arena.
_7_ Master Merchant - the second Kanai is a minimalist deck-building game that seems quite promising.
_7_ Mai-Star - and the third is a card-shedding and tableau-building game with special powers. Kanai does love his special powers.
_7_ Medici vs Strozzi - I liked this 2p Knizia auction game better than either of its parents.
_6_ Finca - probably better with fewer than the 4 we played with. Not bad but pretty uninspiring.
And here's a report on my excellent first gaming session of 2013, including the first three new-to-me games.
As I knew I'd have quite a bit of spare time over the holiday in Cincinnati, I investigated the possibilities for doing some 'real' gaming. One of the replies to a post I made about games clubs was from:
who's a GCL Mafia member and geekbuddy of mine, and turns out to live about an hour's drive away. We arranged to get together at my in-laws' place on Wednesday and I sent him a list of requests from his collection. We ended up gaming for 7 hours. Jimmy is a really nice guy and I had a blast - I hope we'll be able to do this again next time I'm in town.
_10_ Pax Porfiriana (rating just increased!) - Jimmy had already played a few times so we could get straight into it. Fun game which I won with a strategy I'd not seen before.
_5_ Keyflower - Jimmy wanted to teach me this. It is certainly clever and I do like the way the actions and auctions are all mashed up together. But there's still way too much resource conversion for my tastes.
_8_ Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small - In return I taught him ACBAS, which I don't think he was particularly keen on; a bit light for a lover of original Agricola. He took an interesting tack though, denying me wood and expansions and forcing me into a small intensive farm with three Stables. He ended up edging me by a couple of points, just as I'd narrowly beaten him at Keyflower.
_9_ Kingdom Builder - my wife joined us for one we all like. Jimmy and I mirrored each other's scoring in each category almost to the point. I think I won one category by 2 while he won another by 1, giving me the narrowest of wins.
_8_ FlowerFallx2 - Sarah stayed on for this filler, which was brilliant! If you haven't seen it, it's an area majority dexterity game in which you drop cards on to a playing surface from head height. One side of each card has flowers of your personal colour; the other side neutral green flowers. The cards form contiguous areas and you score points for the number of green flowers in each area that you control by having the majority of your own flowers. Sarah dropping her last card perfectly to connect another card of hers into the big field and win was a highlight of the evening.
_7_ 2 de Mayo - this was one I'd requested Jimmy teach me and I liked it a lot. It's an asymmetrical cat and mouse game with very simple rules and a lot of psychology. Keen to play again and see how differently the French play to the Spanish.
_9_ Metropolys - we both love this game and we had a tense match in which I spent almost all my towers before Jimmy got control and had a long run of his.
_10_Race for the Galaxy - I hadn't played Race face-to-face for way too long! Even with all expansions in play, it wasn't as fiddly as I remembered. Jimmy made things interesting by building the world that let him see my action choices on the first turn. But an Improved Logistics-assisted rush let me close out a win in 5 turns.