Going back over some of my recent gaming, so I might run a little longer than the usual Tuesday Working Lunch post, but I posted about this week's game as a lunch game before, so this will be more a brief session report.
In reverse order, starting with the lunch game. It was 3 of us and I realized it was a good time to show sushi fan Mike Wasabi!, since he had been absent the last few times it had come out.
Tom and I started with work on 4 length recipes, while Mike shot out of the gate with a 2. He got the first pick of card, but Tom and I were close behind and cooking with style. I got some breaks with being able to build off what was down for a couple of 3s, while Tom and Mike worked on some shorter recipes too. I got my other 4 as well, putting me ahead, though Mike made a nice play with a Spicy move, playing ingredients on either end of a row and claiming 2 recipes as a result. Tom was working through his recipes too though by now I only had the 2 length and the 5. I began to regret not taking a 5 and going for it earlier, as it felt like there was more board control with 3 players and enough room to pull it off. I almost managed it with a Spicy move to play 2 down in the middle and a Stack in hand to apply the finishing Oyster, but Mike's Wasabi card scuppered things and I had only the chance to play a last 2 length recipe before the end came.
I think Wasabi quite decent little game, though preferably without a full player count. And there are some things that bug me about the design, the initial selection of ingredients being so random, the rather arbitrary take that of the Wasabi card. The set up of special action cards for 3 players is odd too: 2 Wasabi, 2 Spicy, 1 Chop, 1 Stack, 1 Switch. Wasabi I have noted my distaste, but Spicy (especially with your initial ingredients all randomly picked) is difficult to use and so much less useful than the other 3 cards, in which I see the most thought provoking parts of the game, the tile manipulation.
I'll briefly note that my wife and I played a reasonably epic (for a little card game anyway) game of Parade, with the game ended by the deck running out. I also noticed the lack of session reports for that title, so I submitted that for approval. You can read that here.
Last Saturday we headed to our friends' Rick and Kristi's for games and pizza and beer (not necessarily in that order).
A quick game of Liar's Dice served as an opener. I recall starting well, but then slowly slipping away until I was first out. Rick held on for a long time with a single die. Kristi had the dice edge, my wife J went down a few early, held on with 2 for a while then down to 1. But Kristi also slipped down to 2 dice, when finally Rick bowed out. Usually 2 dice v 1 is strongly in favor of the 2, but J managed something, getting Kristi to misguess once and then with 1 on 1, she claimed 1 star. I thought it a bad bid for a moment, but it was a bluff, so Kristi raising the bid to 2 was immediately called and J won.
While Kristi put their little one to bed, we played a 3 player of Hunters & Gatherers (a game Kristi dislikes anyway). Short version is that Rick ran away with it. Though J and I both had some decent hunting grounds (I actually did rather better than I usually do here), Rick just racked up many points during the game, had the best fishing huts and a few more in hunting for what can only be described as a convincing victory.
For the main event, there were a few options. Rick has Dungeon Lordsm which I've been dying to play again, I also brought Hansa Teutonica which I want to see in action with 4 or 5, but we settled on Hacienda. I did my best to teach a game that I have only just learned myself and I covered all the game aspects in the intro but there were a lot of words and I don't think they were all heard (Rick was also distracted by the boys and their Heroica game). But I think it is better learned through playing rather than talking, so this was very much a learning game. I built up a decent sized land chain that linked to several markets via a goodly number of pigs, giving me a large amount of capital. The others tried to slow me down but really too late, so the game was cut short (well, short is perhaps the wrong word, we played for a couple of hours at least) but Rick and Kristi saw enough to say they liked the game and wanted to play again with a better understanding of things in place. J maintained I could have explained my moves and the basic strategy tips a bit more, which is certainly true.
Everyone was up for one more, but something familiar, so Thurn and Taxis was chosen. I think none of us were quite ready for the difficulty in getting routes built and the 6 card sweep was regularly used. Plus fatigue set in, both Rick and J were all but sleeping at the table. For some reason, I was the least affected (despite having been up pretty early) and as a result was able to manage my game the best, trigger the end with a 7 length route and let everyone else go get some sleep!