Loofish Ramblings

My thoughts and ponderings on games and gaming, including lunch time sessions, couple and family gaming and thoughts on the games that are catching my eye.
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Amazing Race

United States
North Carolina
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Some good games over this weekend.

My two boys had played a session of HeroQuest with me but the first quest was incomplete. We remedied that on Friday night. Lucky Colin the Wizard held his fire well, waiting for the confrontation with the gargoyle. Quili the Dwarf was quite an effective orc and goblin slayer and celebrated each victory by grabbing the figures involved and charging round the room with the room, re-enacting the battle. The quest completed, we remembered something about our old games of Heroquest: the Saving Up for Better Stuff.

My wife and I played a couple games on Saturday as well. Two old favorites came out, the first being Small World. This game will forever be known as "Why Didn't I Take the Flying Amazons?!"

She started slow with Fortified Trolls, difficult to remove and gaining momentum. I took the Alchemist Ghouls for a nice first turn, then declined and took Pillaging Sorcerors - a ready antidote to Trolls hiding in their fortified lairs. That caused a quick transition into Wealthy Ratmen for her, who swept across the world, reducing the Sorcerors to a token amount in fairly short order. End game approaching, we both declined into our final picks. I saw possibility in Underworld Humans (without having to attack my few remaining Sorcs) while my wife opted for Hill Wizards, who blitzed across a nice 4 regions with bonus points in every one, but was left asking herself at the end, when she fell short by 2 points ... well, I think you can guess.

In the category of new games, I produced Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. We were both Lords and so an interesting battle of control developed, with my wife gaining the initial upper hand and me taking it back slowly with minions from Dimwell and Dolly Sisters. But for a simple game, it seems there are still a few fiddly rules and and unexpected wrinkles. She did not fully understand that Trouble and Control do not overlap (she thought that you could not control a region with Trouble) and had been playing with this false supposition in mind. Neither of us had won when it was cleared up but it soured the whole game for her. In an ill-temper, she commented on the excessive luck and swings of the game, so I wonder if she will even give it another chance, which would be a shame as I thought it was turning out rather well.

I saved the best for last though. Race for the Galaxy has crept up to the top of the heap for me over the last while - a game I liked from early on, but it has taken time to grow on me, surpassing other contenders with its replayability and quick but deep play. This game may have been the best of all worlds.

My wife had the Damaged Alien Factory and went into produce mode quickly. I had Doomed World and held the Imperium Blaster Gem Consortium in my hand. Goals included most consume and most military, along with first to 3 Alien and Uplift. She assembled a mighty military - the Imperium Invasion Fleet made an early appearance. I was Developing - Investment Credits led into Galactic Power Brokers - before swapping my Doomed World for a less doomed one. I briefly had added the Rebel Refinery as well, when the Imperium Planet Buster came online and blew it away. I had some of my own military - Drop Ships - and more in hand. So having Uplift Code out, I Searched for a Chromosome world, getting Clandestine Uplift Lab. It needed defending though, which I accomplished through a Mercenary Fleet and then the Hidden Fortress. There was a moment here when there was a chance she could try her luck destroying the Uplift Lab (likely forcing me to discard to defend it) but she instead used her double Settle to play both Alien Monolith and Alien Guardian. She intended it as a demoralizing move and it largely worked, but I kept going and drawing into New Galactic Order certainly raised the spirits. She got into a late game stall, working on playing some Consume powered worlds (Gambling World?!) but her one use of Gambling World's gamble ability gave her the Rebel Stronghold - she ended the game with the 7/8/9 Rebel worlds in play. Meanwhile I ran into a string of Uplift worlds, settling 2 on her last turn double Settle. That boosted my military to 13 (higher than her's) - giving me that goal. But she had tied me on the Consume goal. I had also played Galactic Genome Project and my wife had no 6-devs in play at all, but when she added up the score of just her cards alone (never mind the pile of PPs she had), it was galling - a score I would have been very happy with. In the end, I got my highest score ever playing RftG - and was comfortably in 2nd place.

Her: 64(!)(for cards) + 9VP + 9PP + 12(goals) = 94
Me: 23(for cards) + 11VP + 2PP + 14(goals) + 6(GalGenProj) + 13(NGO) + 17(Uplift Code) = 86
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