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Subject: Session Report rss

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Peter Dahlstrom
United States
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(This is a picture of a frozen waterfall, from behind the waterfall)
I finally had the opportunity to break this one out.

In Rumis, you're basically placing 3-d Tetris-like pieces onto a flat grid of a certain shape.

Each piece you play must touch a piece you've already played. At the end, you look at the grid from above and whoever has the most grid spaces in their color wins.

Phyllis & I had just finished a game of San Juan with 2 new players, Robin and Robbie. Robin figured it out quickly, but Robbie seemed overwhelmed by all the different cards.
Rumis saw this reversed: Robbie took to it right away, but Robin had troubles.

We played the "L" shaped board. With 4 players, nothing could go higher than 4 "stories."

Since everyone else was new to the game, I had the best understanding and so went first. I started in the crook of the "L", thinking (correctly) that this would give me access to the most area. To my surprise, the other 3 players all went up the length, leaving the little bottom part of the "L" unclaimed. The first couple of plays were tentative, but eventually Robbie played so that 3 grid spaces were taken by his piece at a height of 4, so couldn't be covered, guaranteeing him 3 points. I pointed out the good move; you could almost see the light bulbs light up. He pointed out that I was in a good position; most light bulbs lit up. Robin pointed out that she doesn't do well in these kinds of visualization games. She had just won her first game of San Juan, so the outpooring of compassion was... underwhelming...
Phyllis had already snuck a piece into the unclaimed section - she's a crafty one! - but was busy contending in the length with Robin & Robbie, so I had time to build up (as in tall) and cut R&R out of the unclaimed section. They finished pretty quickly after that, leaving Phyllis & I to split our little area, which we did. I won handily.

The game went much better than I expected! I was afraid the game might be too abstract, too analytical, and maybe even too mean, but it wasn't any of those - it was just plain fun. It did take a couple of turns to understand the tactics, but once the light bulbs went off, people got in the groove. There's a bit of take-that in the game, but the game's so light & quick that it's not a big deal. People responded with "good move", not aggravation. I left the game remembering just how much fun it was.

I think the comparisons to Blokus are apt, but the 3D aspect and the absence of Blokus's only-touch-on-the-corners rule make these 2 different games. As for Pueblo, the pieces are similar, but I liked this game much better than Pueblo, which was too... negative for me.

Everyone, even the folks who didn't do as well, enjoyed it, and everyone said they're eager to play again. Definitely a winner!
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