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Subject: December 2003 Games rss

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Bobby Warren
United States
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La cheeserie!
December Games Played

Woah! This was a busy month for me. I managed to get in a lot of gaming with several different groups of people.

I played 47 games a total of 80 times. Seventeen of the games were played more than once. Fifteen of the games I played for the first time and 13 of the games are ones I played in November.

10 Days in Africa (Out of the Box)
Played 1 time. I liked the system but found having to navigate the map of Africa to be tedious, and I am pretty familiar with the countries on that continent since I’ve always been a news freak. I will be buying 10 Days in the USA.

6 Nimmt! (Amigo)
Played 3 times. I had never played this before and had a blast every time.

Acquire (Avalon Hill)
Played 1 time. Two months in a row!

Amun-Re (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. It definitely plays best with five.

Ark of the Covenant, The (Inspiration)
Played 2 times. I played this game for the first time. A good Carcassonne derivation thought the Prophet seems a little powerful with three players and a little less so with five. I’ll need to play more games before I decide where it fits on the food chain of Carcassonne games..

Basari (Out of the Box)
Played 2 times. Still more gem trading. This is the best bang for the buck purchase I've made this year..

Bluff (Ravensburger)
Played 4 times. I played four games one evening with several different people. It is a fun, light, quick game which just about anyone can play.

Bohnanza (Rio Grande)
Played 3 times. The usual Thursday night game with Mike G. and his wife, Hilary.

Carcassonne: Hunters & Gatherers (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. I originally thought that the release of The Ark of the Covenant would cause this to be transplanted as the version of Carcassonne I would use to teach new players how to play. It didn’t. This is still the easiest to explain of the three games.

Carcassonne: The Castle (Rio Grande)
Played 7 times. I like this two-player variation on Carcassonne from Reiner Knizia. My first thought was the tile-placing would be way too easy since the only things that had to match up were the paths (roads in Carcassonne), but that is not the case. The bonus tiles on the scoring track cause scoring angst. Do you score the big points now and miss out on the tile, or do you wait and try to score a few points somewhere else? If you decided to wait and go for the bonus tile will you be able to finish the larger feature later?

Chinatown (Alea)
Played 1 time. This was the first time playing with my copy. Jason S. and I had played a few months ago with Rob Reinhardt was in town for a visit and we decided to not use the Economic Situation Cards since that was the way we learned the game. It went over real well with the other three and I really want to get it out again. Maybe the next time I will actually get into some of the smaller chains to begin the game?

Coloretto (Abacus/Rio Grande)
Played 4 times. I played only three-player games of this and I’m liking it more and more. I really want to try it with more players the next time I pull it out.

David & Goliath (Berliner Spielkarten)
Played 1 time. I played a three-hand game with the AZ Board Gamers and my rating for this game on the Board Game Geek dropped from an 8 to a 7. It wasn’t as fun as the last time I played and now I am wondering if it is because things are too chaotic when there are six players?

Durch die Wüste (Kosmos)
Played 1 time. This is starting to come out on a semi-regular basis, which is a good thing.

El Grande (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. I never tire of this one and I actually won a game!

Finstere Flure (2F-Spiele)
Played 2 times. I played this game for the first time. This is a lot of fun. I like the way the monster moves and the opportunities presented to throw a monkey wrench in the plans of the other players by placing your token in just the right position to cause mass carnage on their pieces. I played with both five and six players and it played just as well with both those numbers and it looks like it would work with the full compliment of seven.

Fist of Dragonstones (Days of Wonder)
Played 1 time. Kaden wanted to learn how to play this so I taught him, Dave P., and Larry how to play. It is an okay bidding game that seems to

Frank’s Zoo (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. Three of us played for the first time with Jason S., who had played before. It looks like a simple game, but there appear to be some deeper strategies than it appears there are on the surface. All three of us new players got soundly beat by Jason.

High Society (Überplay)
Played 3 times. Sometimes it’s who you play a game with that determines how much fun a game is. My first couple of playings of this one fell a little flat but when I pulled it out to play with the AZ Board Gamers on a Friday night we all had a blast with it. I pulled it out another time with a different group of people and it ended too fast when the four red cards came up in quickly.

Inkognito: The Card Game (Fantasy Flight)
Played 1 time. A so-so deduction game that might play better with non-gamers. Once again, Fantasy Flight makes some poor decisions when they decided to replace the location cards from "Mini Inkognito" with smallish counters that have an unreadable font and dark art.

Kathai (Adlung)
Played 1 time. I played this game for the first time. In some ways it reminds me of Bohnanza, but it is not as enjoyable. I still may pick it up some time in the future if I want a small card game to add to an order, though there are some other Adlung games I would like to try out and I might buy them instead..

King Me! (Mayfair)
Played 1 time. Light and easy to teach.

Klunker (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. I’ve owned this card game for a while and finally played it for the first time. As the rules were being explained, I remembered why I hadn’t pulled it out in the past. The rules are a bit complex to explain for such a simple game. It is not that intuitive but it is a game I would like to play again.

Knights (Rio Grande)
Played 2 times. I was surprised to discover I haven’t played this one since I started tracking ,y game plays in June. It is a fun dice-tossing filler game and nothing more.

LCR (George & Company)
Played 1 time. Probably the only real negative consequence of being friends with the owners of a game store is you often get pulled into games like this when they are trying to demo it for a sale. Fortunately, I don’t hate to play it.

Maya (Abacus/Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. I played this game for the first time. I can understand why there hasn't been a lot of buzz about this game as it isn't anything spectacular or new, but it is a solid game which combines blind bidding for resources and special actions, building, and card management. We played with five players and I would like to try it with fewer to see how it scales to different numbers of players.

Medici (Rio Grande)
Played 2 times. It is a solid auction game. Having to watch for two different ways to score (largest value ship and first or second in each commodity) while spending your victory points to buy your goods is a lot of fun.

Medieval Merchant (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. This is one game for which I keep thinking about raising my Board Game Geek rating.

Mystery Rummy Case No. 1: Jack the Ripper (U.S. Games Systems)
Played 1 time. Mike G. and I played this once. I still haven’t got to play Mystery Rummy 2 and would like to try it out.

Mystery Rummy Case No. 3: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (U.S. Games Systems)
Played 1 time. My first time playing this one. It is my least favorite to date, probably because of the simplicity of the game. I would play it if someone asked and I might even pull it out once in a while.

New England (Überplay)
Played 1 time. My second playing sucked. Not the game, but my luck and my play which left me to finished way in the back.

Nicht die Bohne (Amigo)
Played 1 time. A good game which shouldn't be played with people who have random tendencies.

Palast von Alhambra, Der (Queen)
Played 2 times. As a couple of players said, this is a game that you want to play again immediately, even after you lose. I think Überplay is going to have a big seller on their hands when it is released in the U.S. in February.

Pirate’s Cove (Days of Wonder)
Played 1 time. My goal of playing with four other people who had played before was not realized, though the one new player did get the hang of it rather quickly. Still, I would like to play this once without having to explain it first.

Pool Position (FX Schmid)
Played 2 times. I played a couple of games of this with Rob & Tammy Smolka and it was the first time any of us had played it. This is a fun little placement game where you are trying to get the best lounge chairs beside the pool at a resort. Sometimes you might even throw some other player’s towels into the pool but they might also do the same to you. I didn’t do well at this game, partly because the luck of the draw was against me and mostly because I didn’t play very well. I like it and may pick it up should I find one at a good price.

Princes of Florence (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. This is just a great game and five seems to be the best number with which to play the game.

Pyramiden des Jaguar, die (Kosmos)
Played 1 time. This ended after the first round and I won even though I didn’t complete my pyramid and Mike did. I still like the game play but hate the end game.

Raj (Winning Moves)
Played 2 times. This is one of the best filler games out there and I don’t get to play it enough.

Reibach & Co. (FX Schmid)
Played 1 time. I got to play this for the first time and I will order a copy of Get the Goods and want to get my copy of Freight Train on the table after playing this.

Richelieu (Ravensburger)
Played 1 time. I played this game for the first time. It was not as intense a game as I hoped. Mike G. and I played and he beat me by a few points. This is one I will pull out on occasion, but it is not a game that will end up seeing a whole lot of table time.

San Marco (Ravensburger)
Played 1 time. I played this for the first time and it was a three-player game with Rob and Tammy. The dividing up of cards is a nice mechanism, but I think it might work better with four players instead of three. I guess I should try it to find out.

Schotten-Totten (ASS)
Played 6 times. This has taken the place of Kingdoms as Mike’s and my default game to play on Thursday evenings. This month Mike and I split the six games.

Scream Machine (Jolly Roger)
Played 1 time. Fun.

Tigris & Euphrates (Mayfair)
Played 2 times. This one doesn’t get played anywhere near enough and now that I am playing with more people I’m beginning to realize I may not be good at this game.

Union Pacific (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. Another terrific game that doesn’t get played enough. I believe I placed in the middle of the pack in this playing and I hope to play it again, soon.

Web of Power (Rio Grande)
Played 1 time. I really like this game and, like so many others, wish I had more chances to play it.

Wyatt Earp (Rio Grande)
Played 2 times. Jason and I taught a new player who I hope will buy it and I played with Mike and Hilary. A solid card game which really works with three players.

December Games Played Online

I started playing on and Ludagora this month. I didn't complete a Through the Desert game this month so it's not marked here.

Auf Heller und Pfennig (Hans im Glück)
Played 1 time on the Board Game Geek.

Cartagena (Rio Grande)
Played 2 times on and got my butt kicked both times. I’m not sure if I am just terrible at the game, my luck with the cards is rotten, or both!

Euphrat & Tigris (Hans im Glück)
Played 2 times on the Board Game Geek. I sure was the whipping boy in one game.

Gang of Four (Days of Wonder)
Played 3 times on the Days of Wonder site.

King Me! (Mayfair)
Played 2 times on I tied the first game that finished. It finished on the first vote and was kind of anti-climatic. I wish the games were more than just one round long.

Queen’s Necklace (Days of Wonder)
Played 3 times on the Days of Wonder site.

December Acquisitions

I might have purchased a couple more games if it weren’t for my car being totaled when someone else hit me. Still, I got some good games this month which capped off a year of over 80 new games for me!

6 Nimmt! (Amigo)
Ark of the Covenant, The (Inspiration)
Carcassonne: The Castle (Rio Grande)
Carcassonne: King & Scout (Rio Grande)
Elfenland (Rio Grande)
Finstere Flure (2F-Spiele)
Maya (Abacus/Rio Grande)
Mystery Rummy Case No. 3: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (U.S. Games Systems)
Quo Vadis (Mayfair)

This Month’s “Want to Play” Games

I'm no longer doing this since it didn't seem to help me get games on the table...
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