Here there be dragonsters

My blog of random boardgamey thoughts.
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Theme needed

Gareth Madeley
United Kingdom
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Hello, once again you're off the edge of the map, and here there be dragonsters *insert epic theme tune here*

A few comments on my recent plays on Monday night:

We started off with 6 and, unsure of any more people appearing, decided to have a quick play of 7 Wonders. This is a really interesting game, as you have to think about the cards you want but, as you're passing these cards, you need to think about what cards you want to deny other people. A good thinky filler.

After finishing this we found we had 6 people. Great, a 6 player game, we don't often get to play on of them. We didn't this week either as no one had a 6 player game. Sigh. So this meant we split into two sets of three. James is quite the Friese fan so had recently bought some of his newer fair, and I'd heard good things about Fürstenfeld so we tried that. I like the demand tracks on the breweries you're selling to as it feels similar to the resource market in Power Grid (a game I need to play more of) as being different to other players is good as they're not encroaching on your territory, but certain goods will become more valuable as the breweries demand different number of resources. Ultimatley, you need to make the decision of when to sacrifice building space for palaces which produce nothing but you need all of them to win. Culling your deck is a good strategy early on. If only I'd known.

Next he pulled out Black Friday a stock market game which felt wonky. This might have had something to do with the fact we got the rules wrong. This felt ... interesting and fairly euro-ised. If lots of a particular share is owned, it will go down in value, if loads of people have been selling, it might go up. Thinking about it, the theme doesn't really fit, whilst the mechanics are good (randomly drawing stocks from a bag for the share price adjustment gives it enough randomness, whilst giving players some control of what stocks are in the bag). It just odd playing this game considering the other stock market games I've played are the 18XX series.

After this, we played Innovation. I've played this before, and I could tell then that this game was designed by the same guy as Glory to Rome. The last time I'd played we'd been taught the rule wrong and I wasn't informed of this until after my first few cards, which meant I'd made some possibly questionable desicions. However I needed one more action to get my last achievement and win ... and then someone else did. I really enjoy this game, as I do Glory to Rome due to the various combinations of cards you can have. In Innovation, you start off with a limited nubmer of actions, but as you paly more and more cards, you strart getting more possible actions, which does give this a feeling of a civilization game.

I remember the Dice Tower doing a segment on 7 Wonders vs Innovation. Personally, I prefer Innovation because you have more options on your turn. I do enjoy 7 Wonders as well however, but that seems to fill more a filler role than Innovation, which seems to have deeper decisions.

As I seem to be complaining about Black Friday a little, and talking about games based on the cvilization theme, I thought I'd talk about theme today. I like theme. I like games with theme. Abstracts, or games with a pasted on theme don't get me, usually. This may have been a problem with Black Friday, and, to a lesser extent Glen More, as the actions felt unintuitive based on the theme, whereas other games, like Battlestar Galactica are more thematic, and therefore more intuitive. That is the benefit of a good theme, it makes the game more immersive and makes the rules easier to fully understand.
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