Yep, another 10. So much so that I think I may commit the sacrilege of lowering El Grande's (but never will back off from thinking El Grande is still a masterpiece) rating to make sure it's under this new-to-me-thrill.
I give you that El Grande might be more VERSATILE in its number of players scalability -- but this really is --as Juan so astutely put it -- a " child" of El Grande's elegant area control ideal with the intrigue puzzle-connundrum of Piece O ' Cake dolloped like yummy whipped cream on top of it !!
The balance of what do you want against what has the card divider given you in terms of the penalty points I think gives this a nerve-racking intrigue mechanic that El Grande and it's ilk are missing in favor of their much-more-straightforward choices.
Also this game once everyone GETS it moves really fast. I loved it!!-- again so much to make it my newest 10 !!-- BUT that doesn't mean I did well.
I had this exciting-to-watch-play-out but ultimately doomed idea twice to fall on the penalty numbers sword JUST to get to score a doge and put a pile of dudes on the board. It didn't work. But I still can't wait to play again -- and again my manic love for El Grande has now dimmed just a tad in the light of this game providing much more EXCITEMENT per round, if not perhaps as streamlined straightforwardness as El Grande.
SCORES : AM 74 ( surpassing a MONSTROUS lead in the first two rounds by Juan) J 63 K 55 ( the fact that I wasn't even further behind I shall consider a consolation prize. )
another fave-- easily in my top 10 if not 5-- AM did a spectacular job on her first play though kept insisting that she was griping so much about "not totally getting it yet" that she must NOT have enjoyed herself.
Coulda fooled me. It simply doesn't get closer than this. By the white stock TYING between me and AM -- if the 3rd scoring card had come ONE card later-- I could have broken the white company tie and won. EXCITING !!!
Another " new " HABA discovery that I gifted my wonderful hosts with an extra copy of since I could only find this little dealio in a pack of 3 copies. Speed slap games are not usually my thing ( I wear a lot of rings and must protect the musician hands you know) -- I adored this as I do most fun HABA " they are for kids but WE old folk are going to play them too !!" ( Backlogged GL to come has me and other people of my generation playing Monster Torte and a VERY Backlogged GL to come has me with these same folk getting a kick out of Crafty Badger) But alas.. fun doesn't mean a good performance by me. I got screwed by the King being the VERY next card in one round after EVERYONE else was out and I thought I was going to rack up -- that was my last chance to make any score-- AM and J fought to the cakey close death and I was the casualty.
WOO HOO !! Keeping on our previous game's theme of food and royalty-- this ingenious " little" game is a huge favorite of mine. I got VERY lucky that sometimes the player's table had the EXACT number of portions on the King's table when I had 0 in my hand at the start of the turn.. enabling me to rack up the points.
Kel won something.. and by a big margin !! DId you see the news about it on CNN?
Our 2nd haba game of our day. A total hoot of frustrated adults swearing when they can't get little bellows to blow a little boat where they wanted to go. Was SO fun, but due to the constant pirate screw factor that encourages people to go to steal from others instead -- this is the first HABA I have played that I will give just a GOOD but not OMG YAY rating to-- for this stated reason this game probably goes on a bit too long for what it is.
Ra is still a fave from my earliest days of getting back into being a Gamer with a capital G a few years ago -- I was thrilled to get a copy of this at a terribly reasonable price tens of dollars less than the pretty penny this re-theme of Ra is fetching.
This game is just a wonderful as Ra but it's dire penalities ,IMHO as opposed to what some comparers are saying-- are MUCH less forgiving than Ra. Because of the devastating -5s that come up willy nilly and the fact that ( I have not compared the numbers at the moment ) there seem to be MANY more Razzia cards than there are Ra tiles-- this game can be more exciting-- but the cost ( both literally and figuratively ) of this excitement is a game that seems WAY swingier and that instead of trying to build a point base, you seem to be just trying to keep your head above water. Hey !! you get a bunch of points for this !! Hey you lose TONS for that !! Hey here's another bonus !! Hey , you have negative already !!
Also my only other caveat is all of us were quite versed in Ra.. but we had to check the book a lot to make sure we WEREN'T confused because it seems like this rulebook is dreadfully translated and not user-friendly at all-- perhaps there is another version I can download at the completion of this list.
AM 2 K 1 S 22 J 10
Yes, a brilliant child not even to adolescent age swept the floor with us.
And now.. our cause game of the moment ( and I think for the indefinite future) -- it had SO many exciting twists and turns and OMG moments that I will be constructing a session report to be linked here when hopefully accepted.
For now just the scores:
Seb 1000 AM 1040 Kel 1320 J 1440
Juan wins again.. but this time only on the last few prizes of the last round !! a Very swingy close game to the finish. !! ( Again, more details in Session report to come. )