Through The Desert
At the table: Curt, newcomer Andy, Chris, MikeMi, Ted
Thanks to Mike for taking this home and learning it and explaining it for us. After 6 nimmt! broke up, we broke into a few groups, and some of us headed over to this game (the Germain version--Durch die Wuste), which I've been waiting a while to finally get on the table. Having already played Oasis, this felt a bit similar. No cards, no trading, but it still has the different kinds of "things" on the board (in the form of camels in 5 colors) which grow in clumps.
The main reaction from everyone is that visually the game is hard to decipher. The first problem is that the camels are just too hard to distinguish from each other. The second problem is that the player colors just don't stand out, so it feels like it takes a lot of eye strain to analyze the board.
Strategy-wise, Chris and I thought the strategy elements were pretty good, but Mike had a hard time getting over the visuals.
Amazingly, Andy and Chris tied at 54 points. I didn't notice what made the difference for Chris, but Andy managed to enclose the largest region at 10 points.