Travis CooperUnited States
Salt Lake City
I haven't been posting as much as I had hoped this past little while. The biggest reason is because we've mostly been playing games that I've already blogged about. We did get together last Saturday to play some longer games, but I wasn't sure if my readers (do I have readers?) cared about those since they won't fit into a lunch time gaming situation. So, I've been thinking, why are the people that are reading my posts coming at all? In order to keep up interest and in order to say what's important, it's always good to know who your audience is, and what they are expecting. So, I have put together a quick poll to see why people are coming to my blog. This will hopefully give me direction as to what I should talk about here. I hesitated doing a poll because somebody always speaks up about the option they wanted to see not being there. Well, I'm going to try and include as many options as I think are important, and if your option isn't there please feel free to comment on what your answer would have been. In fact, I welcome discussion from everybody on what they like, and even don't like, about my blog.
For today's post I would like to cover some of the games we've played over the past week. These are games that I have either already blogged about, and therefor will just be a little more discussion on the game itself, or they are games that are too long to fit at lunch, which is why I hadn't blogged about them here yet.
When I first talked about The Resistance I mentioned how the spies were winning too often. I guessed the reason for that was the fact we were approving teams too easily. Without failing votes on teams it is very hard for resistance members to figure out who everybody is. The next time we played we did a much better job at this. We definitely had some lucky games where we found all 4 resistance members really early, but the other games were much better than they were before. People were putting up no votes more often, we failed approval for many teams, and it helped us to learn a lot of information. Just that little change made it a lot harder for the spies to win. In fact, I think that day they only won once.
I also had a chance to play with some family members over the weekend. I found that some people just don't have a good poker face and I could tell who the spies were very easy. I think if you have enough of those people in the game it can make for a less enjoyable experience.
I have grown to love this game more and more as I keep playing it. However, there are a couple of people in our work group that don't like it anymore. This means we may not be playing it as much. I didn't think I would really enjoy social games, but this one has proved me wrong. The deduction, the finger pointing, all of it just keeps me wanting more. Trying to figure out how to read people, and especially those times when somebody plays you really well, keeps my interest going.
This is another game we've been playing quite a bit. It is growing on me more and more. If I play it enough times it might even become my favorite card game soon (sorry Canasta). I'm not sure what it is about the game, perhaps the tension when you call grand tichu, or just trying to set somebody else's tichu. I have always loved partnership games, but adding in the ladder climbing element is pretty cool.
We even got in a 6 player game one day and it was much better than I thought it would be. In most card games the 6 player variant means one extra team you have to worry about. I really like how tichu keeps it with only two teams. It is a lot different that you only pass to your partners instead of everybody too. You don't want to give them your bad cards, but in turn you also don't get bad cards back. I still prefer it as a 4 player game, but I would still be interested in playing with 6 players as well.
This was the first game we played this past weekend. I finally got my hands on a copy and was able to get in the first play. We had all 5 players and we were all new to the game. Reading the rules things seemed more complex, but after teaching the game and going through the first turn everybody seemed to know what was going on. I really enjoyed the game and I think the others did as well. There are a lot of difficult decisions in the game. Knowing when to build factories, whether or not to wait for somebody else to build first so you can get a better one for less R&D cubes was pretty tricky. Also, when it came to producing cars, being able to predict what would be sold by your salesman as well as what would be left over after seeing the demand made for some hard guesswork. I think we really settled in and the 3rd and 4th rounds were great. I can't wait to play this again.
Merchants & Marauders
This was the other big game we played over the weekend. We all had played before, but some more than others. I really wanted to try pirating since I usually go the trading route, but my captain had horrible scouting so I figured it wasn't worth it. I was doing really well, but I didn't use my glory card to attack Austin with the navy soon enough. So, I had to go do it myself. I figured my scouting would fail, but luckily it succeeded with just one die. However, I wasn't able to roll skulls after that. I tried to board, and he ended up fleeing because I missed with all 4 dice. In the end I got 9 points, but if I could have beaten Austin the game would have ended with me walloping everybody.
I still like the game. I really enjoy the choose your own destiny part to it. However, the downtime is starting to bother me more and more. There is hardly ever a time that you really care what the other people are doing. This is party because you can pretty much predict what they are doing anyway. So, you spend a lot of time just waiting for your turn to come. I expect to play more games of this, but I don't see myself buying it anytime soon. Luckily two guys in our group have it, so I should be okay.