Another good turnout at the Bayou Bungalow with 15 gamers in attendance and ten different games being played during the course of the evening. Unfortunately, Jon Comeaux was a no-show, so the Empires of the Ancient World game was unable to be completed.
ROLL CALL: Steve Pouey, Ashton Arnold, Darren Arnold, Lenny Leo, Steven Maus, Joey Konyha, Keith Canova, Bill Sanders, Jim Fairchild, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Joey LaCour, Tabea Nobis, Dave Myers, Willerd Fann, Greg Schloesser
This latest 'German' style game to be released by GMT has proven rather popular with our group. I must say that my opinion has improved slightly ... ever so slightly. I still find the game has a tendency to drag on past the limits that it should, mainly due to the introduction of the numerous event cards. Sure, these cards add some nice spice and twists to the game, but the drawback is that they also add considerable length. I just can't help but feel the game would be so much better if it could play to completion in 20 - 30 minutes as opposed to the hour or so it now takes.
Still, I would rate this as the best offering from GMT in the 'Designer' game category (hmmm ... I'm still not sure I really like that term. I much prefer 'General Strategy Game'.) I've found both Galaxy: Dark Ages and Battleline to be too 'chromed-up', with most of this chrome having the effect of increasing the chaos present in the game and reducing the impact of careful planning and strategy. Ivanhoe has added chrome, including the addition of numerous event cards, but it seems a bit milder here (not much) and therefore more acceptable.
The game followed a familiar pattern of everyone capturing one or two tournaments, followed by someone making a charge for victory, only to be slapped back by his opponents. Spouey was the first to capture tournaments, winning the first two of the game. I eventually made the first run at victory, capturing three tournaments in a row and was poised for my fourth. After a few more matches, I made my grab for victory, only to be denied by a clever change of tournaments instigated by Ashton. Eventually, three players (Lenny, Darren and I) had captured three tournaments and were on the verge of victory. After my opponents had depleted their hands, I was able to sneak in and capture my fourth tournament and claim the victory.
Finals: Greg 4, Darren 3, Lenny 3, Ashton 2, Spouey 2
Ratings: Ashton 8, Darren 7, Lenny 7, Spouey 7, Greg 6