Inhabit the Earth is a race game but we didn't race each other as much as we could have. Instead, we were content with playing around with the system and starting to figure out answers to some of the questions the game poses. When is it worth migrating a creature to another continent? When should I play out my whole hand and when should I keep cards back? Which decks should I draw from at different stages in the game? Should I strengthen one creature so it can move a long way with one movement action, or should I spread my efforts across different creatures to keep them all advancing? How can I mess with my opponent's scoring cards? When should I ignore my plans and take advantage of an opponent's creature that just moved ahead of me and can be used for an opportunistic leapfrog? There's plenty going on. I won this one thanks to the Great Horned Owl (+2 points for each of your creature tokens in Region 3 at game end) with all six of my tokens in Region 3. 12 points from one card seems very strong, especially since getting your tokens to Region 3 is something you want to do anyway. I'm a little concerned that this card may be too good. Hopefully, it's just inexperience showing, and a concerted rush to the finish line with a couple of creatures can win before the Owl advances multiple creatures.
We began our Pandemic Legacy campaign with a swift loss. Multiple chaining outbreaks left my Researcher scarred and Jakarta and Sydney rioting, both of which will make future games more difficult. We got our act together and won our second game. Although we haven't seen many of them yet, we're loving the Legacy elements that provide continuity from game to game. Kate has already gleefully ripped up a card. To be continued...
I had more campaign-style gaming with T.I.M.E Stories. We played two sessions of the Asylum scenario, pretty good fun with some neat twists and puzzles. Two players screamed at one point, which is a good sign of immersion. Slightly annoying was working out the correct rules for spending Time Units and what you can do when. The game had been hyped so much and for so long that it was unlikely to meet those high expectations and although I enjoyed it, it's not the perfect time travel game or a huge breakthrough in boardgaming. I didn't find anything that couldn't be done just as well by a point-and-click adventure game. The advantage here is that you're enjoying the experience with your friends – more people can get involved. I suppose you could play Monkey Island as a cooperative game, taking it in turns to control Guybrush Threepwood and make joint decisions about what he does – that wouldn't be quite as fun as T.I.M.E Stories but the narrative would have more depth and you’d have a larger world to explore. I'll be interested to see what they do with future expansions.
I had made some progress in my translation of the Haste Worte? cards from German to English, so we gave it a couple of tries, with good results. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a fast-paced party word game from Kramer & Kiesling. Everyone writes down as many words as they can that fit into the category for the round (e.g. countries in Africa) then simultaneously bets how many unique answers they'll be able to give on their turn. Play order is from lowest bid up to highest and players must cross out any answers read out by players before them. If you make your bid, you score points equal to that number. So if you bid high, you'll play later, possibly reducing the words you can read out to a level where you can't make your bid whereas a lower bid may be safe but will score you fewer points. This makes for challenging decision-making: you have to consider for each category how many words you think your opponents will have written that will overlap with yours, so maybe you take that into account while you're writing and go for obscure words, or maybe you know the other players will do that so you pick the obvious answers. You can estimate your bets based on how confident you are at a particular category, how much you think your fellow players know about it, or just push your luck.
I'm surprised there's no English version of the game, as I think it would be popular. In translating the cards, I came across a few categories which couldn't be directly ported over, mostly of the form "words beginning with..." or "words ending in...". German has many more compound words than English, so these categories are easier in the original game. E.g. "words ending in 'wasser'" is probably going to have more correct answers in German than "words ending in 'water'" does in English. For some of these, I widened the category to include words and phrases (longer phrases are allowed but take up more of your precious writing time), for others I made more drastic changes to the question. The category "things relating to Helmut Kohl" needed a complete overhaul.
What else? I taught Merchants & Marauders to three new players. That went well but there was a noticeable difference in play between the newcomers learning the rules and exploring the system and me actively driving the game to an end. It was good that I did because 2 hours feels about right for this game, but it would have gone much longer than that otherwise. Two players were progressing very slowly; having ignored my warnings they tried to play a trading strategy in a sloop (there's just not enough cargo space). Nevertheless, everyone wanted to try it again, having worked out a few things to improve next time.
The two new Ticket to Ride maps are very good, quite unlike each other and both with plenty to think about. The two Qwixx expansions are nice for a change. Both make the game take longer: Big Points because there are more boxes to cross out, gemixxt because the layout is so confusing it takes longer to work out what your options are on any given turn. I liked Big Points a lot more than gemixxt but neither are essential additions.
I didn't know what to do with my UberBadge, so I left it as a GeekBadge.
Last year, I asked round dozens of second-hand stalls at Spiel, asking in halting German if they had this game. I even got the correct pronunciation down by the last few stalls. None of them had a copy. They must have paid attention, though, because this year I saw multiple copies at several different stalls. I was glad to pick one up. It's highly language-dependent though, so I'm considering it a translation project, but I have high hopes that this will be a hit with certain groups I game with.
Haste Worte is a German party game from Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling that has unfortunately never been published in English. It's a word game, so you'll need at least one German speaker to translate the categories. And even then, some of the categories won't be suitable linguistically or culturally for non-Germans. I would love to see someone publish an English version of Haste Worte.
The game is simple. Someone reads a category from one of the cards. It might be something like "Beatles songs" or "college majors." Everyone has a short amount of time to write down as many answers as they can, and also must secretly indicate how many of their answers they will read. Whoever bids lowest reads a number of answers equal to their bid, and scores that many points. Players continue to read their answers in the order of their bids, with the highest bid reading last. The tricky part is that no one is allowed to give an answer that a previous player has already given. So a higher bid will score more points (potentially), but it's hard to predict how many of your answers will be "used up" by the time your turn arrives.
This brilliant method of bidding and scoring is what really makes Haste Worte stand out. It's the game that Scattergories and Outburst! want to be when they grow up.
Special Honors The Award That Was Only Trying To Be Affable - Best Party or Social Game of 1997 also considered: Bohnanza, Visionary, Wise and Otherwise
Zustand: Die Karten und der Spielplan sind neuwertig. Von den beiliegenden Blöcken fehlen nur wenige Seiten und zwei der Bleistifte wurden nachgespitzt. Leider fehlt die Sanduhr und die Packung hat ein paar Macken (siehe Foto)
The Maryland Terrapins are loaded and off to a good start. Could be a great season!
Ooh, I should have mentioned this one earlier, as it's one of the first designs I'd republish. This is a terrific Kramer/Kiesling word/party game. The trouble is, there's no English language version, which basically makes the game unplayable for us non-German speakers! One English language edition, coming up!
Another prolific and harsh rater. The feature of Sisteray's reviews is that he gives high marks to games even after admitting their flaws. Likes perfect information and 'nasty' (backstab etc) games BUT also likes 'experience' games as well - an unusual combo. Steers away from Ameritrash.
Don't miss his comments for Battlelore (especially), his initial comment for A Castle For All Seasons and his final comment on Ra.
Notable games he likes more than the average BGG user:
Haste Worte Kapitän Wackelpudding 1860: Railways on the Isle of Wight Steam Intrigue TurfMaster Tempus
Notable games he dislikes:
Carcassonne Medina Diplomacy Ticket to Ride: Europe Web of Power & China Bohnanza Paris Paris Tigris & Euphrates Commands & Colors: Ancients
"Really nice word finding game and the betting how many different words you will be able to reveal can be quite tense - if you bet too high you might not have enough different words left, if you bet too low the others will get a hugh lead on you. The handicap can really bring the leading player to a grinding stop, but that's what it is supposed to do I guess :-) It is quite interesting to see how differently or how similarly the players assosiate with the given term."
Note: There does not seem to be an English version available. However there is an English translation of the rules on the game page, so you could make your own copy up for FREE if you made up a load of your own categories (or translated the German ones).
Zen's Party Poor Zen and his friends arrived late and the games cupboard had been raided by all the other parties. They took the best games they could find from what was left.
Haste Worte is a party/word game from Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling. Each turn players have 30 seconds to write as many answers for the category or question that round. After 30 seconds expire, players must bid on how many unique answers they have on their list. Bids are revealed simultaneously with players having the lowest bids reading their answers first. Any answer already named gets crossed of a players list before they get a chance to take their turn. Players score points equal to their bids if they make it and the first one around the board wins.
"Wow, I remember when I liked games like Outburst. Then I played them a few times and realized that most of the time you win based on getting the right card for your knowledge. Then I played Scatagories, but I grew board of it quickly. Of those types of word games Boggle is about the only game I still play. Haste Worte though, combines elements of all of those games, and adds a fantastic auctioning mechanism. You auction the points you plan to score, ala hearts. Of course those that predict a lower score get to go first and eliminate words they picked from your list. Fantastic fun. In my mind it is the perfect party game undoubtedly this is the best I've played in its category. "
Now here's something I didn't expect. I've played Haste Worte and wasn't overwhelmed. But I guess that's because I don't really care for El Grande. Apparently those who do enjoy "The Penis King" or whatever "Grande" is supposed to mean really like this light party/word game. Go figure. And if you like El Grande, go look into Haste Worte, because your bretheren are 4.5 times more likely to own them both.