This past weekend, I had the pleasure of being able to play lots and lots of boardgames.
Spoiler: No BSG!
Here are the highlights; if you want pictures, I have a few, but most of them are blurry or not very interesting.
First up was Smash Up, a game that is on my wishlist because of its silliness.
Zombie Bear Cavalry (me) vs. Ghost Wizards vs. Steampunk Pirates vs. Ninja Dinosaurs.
Not sure if Zombies + Bears was a good combo or not. Zombies like to be destroyed and come back, and Bears like to be indestructible. But whatever.
It was a fun game, but it lasted a lot longer than expected.
The rules are a little bit unclear on what happens when there's a tie, so we kept playing until somebody had the most points for an entire round around the table. This led to some semi-cooperative strategies, where 3 players would work together to make the game go on longer. So it was about a 2 hour long game.
I don't think that usually happens.
Ossian's review: GRRRR . Would play again, but might not buy.
Sentinels of the Multiverse came next. A cooperative superhero game. It is beautiful, but I'm not sure about it.
We played against the easiest villain (according to the experienced players; Baron Blade?) and it was a little too easy. We reprised the game on Sunday and played against Miss Information, and the game was a lot more tense (we did win but barely).
As far as pure cooperative games go, it told a good story but I wish it could be tweaked just a little bit so the bad guy could make choices, a sort of traitor mechanic.
Ossian's review: GRRR . Would go along with a suggestion to play this again, but wouldn't go out of my way for it.
And then came Takenoko , a game I brought. My gardener's head snapped off in a 5-year-old incident, so this was the "Chewbaccanoko" version. Still, gameplay was great, and it was a nice little filler-with-some-strategy game. My first time playing with 4 players and I loved it.
Ossian's review: GRRRRR. I own it, and I recommend it.
After that came Lords of Waterdeep, a game I specifically wanted to try out, and Dan had brought.
We played the base game, and I really liked it. I don't play very many Worker Placement games, but I thought that there were plenty of interesting choices, and while I lost, I had a good time. I had the Lord who wanted me to build buildings, and maybe focused a little too much on that, for not enough reward.
Had an excellent time with this and will buy it.
Ossian's review: GRRRRR. More fun than anticipated. Will buy, and consider blindly buying the expansion as well.
The final game of the night was Super Dungeon Explore. I actually picked this game to play, and I think I regret it.
It was a nice-looking game, and the theme is cool. But the game might be one of those where it really doesn't get fun until people really understand the rules. Too much fiddly "what does this keyword mean?" etc for not too much gain. By the time I had figured out what was going on in any way, my character was dead.
I'll pass on this one, especially for the price.
Ossian's review: GRR. I don't want to play this again. But it's a game, and I'll play it if it's the only option.
On Sunday, as I said, we played Sentinels of the Multiverse for a second time.
Also played an incomplete game of Agricola (we stopped when one player was clearly far ahead and more people had shown up so we could switch games).
I had never played Agricola before, surprisingly.. but after playing Lords of Waterdeep, the Worker Placement mechanic was still fresh in my mind.
I have to make direct comparisons between these 2 games because they are so similar yet so different.
Lords has a more-focused goal, where Agricola is all over the place.
Every Lords card follows a pretty small set of rules, where Agricola cards can have a ton of text.
Comparing these games is like comparing San Juan and Race for the Galaxy. In that case, I much prefer San Juan because I don't have to worry about what all those icons and special rules mean.
In the case of Agricola and Lords, it's not quite as clear of a distinction.
I liked both, but I think I liked Lords more. I would totally play Agricola again, but probably won't buy it any time soon.
If I do ever buy Agricola, I'll also feel compelled to collect all of those mini-expansions. It's just my nature.
So I'm safer staying away from buying it.
That being said, if you see it on my amazon wishlist, I wouldn't be disappointed to receive it ;)
Ossian's review: GRRRRr. Would play again. It was really good. Maybe I'm a bigger fan of Worker Placement than I realized. May buy in the future, but not yet.
So, that's basically it for now.
As some bonus content: One game that we did not play, which I still might buy, is Formula D. It's a game about car racing, which of course my 5-year-old son is really into anyway. When I think he can handle something slightly more complex that his rule-less playing with Hot Wheels, maybe I'll pick this up. Perhaps an appropriate Father's Day gift... :)