August 9th, 2011
Tonight it was going to be six of us. It had been awhile so at least I was looking forward to having that many. But, it wouldn't be six until about 6:45 so five of us had time for a short one. Sean joined us for the first time. It was Timm, Sean, Kevin, Chris and myself to start with and we broke out Mu as three of us had played it and Timm and Kevin are trick taking experts and would be able to pick it up quickly. So the game was taught and we were able to play two hands before Jeff arrived. Kevin was the first Chief and picked Sean as his partner. They managed to get the Chief bonus and both jumped way out on the rest of us (I got zero - awful hand that wasn't even helped by any called trump). The second hand had Sean being Chief and I was partner. Even tho I did well (earned 19, Sean 9) we got stiffed on the Chief bonus. Sean had to lose 10 points and everyone but me gained 5. It was enough for Kevin to win with 74 and Sean had 62. Jeff arrived so we only played two hands.
Kevin brought Paris Connection as it was new, quick, and played up to six. Jeff sat down and cracked a beer and we all followed along Kevin's instructions. None of us had played it and from the description, it reminded me of Big Points in a way. It really is a simple game with some decent choices on to increase the value of the stock or take more stock. The first game of it went really quick as one of the rails made a bee line down to the lone blue city. Stock was acquired, more rails built but it was over in about 20 minutes. First game Chris won with 65, Sean had 63, Kevin 62, Timm with 57, Jeff and I each with 51. It went so fast we played a second game of it as we got a good feel for it. This game went a bit different as it did not end until all the trains were gone. This game, Sean won with 97, Timm and Chris each had 90, Kevin had 81 and Jeff and I tied for last (again) with 74 each. Weird. Another quick game. Both games took us a total of about an hour and ten minutes (including explanation and setup).
So we went from Paris to Venice as I pulled out my latest game I got in trade, Die Säulen von Venedig. Just noticed this was from 2006. I have wanted this game for five years? Wow. Time flies. When I got the game, I didn't even realize it played up to six...I just loved how the game looked when I seen the pics. This is an interesting game as it has tile placement and a sort of blind bidding (simultaneously placing action cards then resolved in turn order). Once the turn is complete, you pass the card you just played to your right. There is always the same cards in the game. It makes for some interesting turns as along with the cards you play, you have to use the turn order for your benefit. Being last isn't a bad thing in this game. So, during the game there was a lot of jockeying for position. I had the lead for awhile and near the end, I had slipped to last place, only to move back up. The game was tight, fun, and visually interesting. The German in the game is easily dealt with by using a cheat sheet for the cards and by mid game it was second nature. The best Pitch-Dipper of the night was Chris with 62, Jeff had 61, Sean and I (who both were in last place at one point late) both had 57, Kevin had 53 and Timm had 50. I imagine this would play well with less than six, too.
Always great to find six player games that play well, play quick, and are awesome to look at. Found two of those last night (and Mu plays six, as well).
Sean was spared The Skull last night. His calling won't be denied, though, Sean. Beware.