Sunday, 12 July 2009

misc games played

I return to my hometown, Kota Kinabalu, 2-3 times every year, and every time I will visit Carcasean boardgame cafe to play new games. Sometimes even to play old games. Every time I return to KK, this boardgame blog will have a flurry of activities, because of the many new games played. In fact, I have a backlog of games to write about. Here are some games played which I have written about in the past.

I played New York Chase recently, and wanted to try Scotland Yard too, which is the older original version. This time I requested to play Mr. X, the fugitive being hunted by the detective team. Chong Sean and Michelle played two detectives each. Playing Mr. X is very different, and very interesting. But I got caught on Round 5. Pfff... (sound of balloon losing air...)

That was rather anti-climatic, like watching The Fugitive (a movie starring Harrison Ford) and having the hero caught in the first 10 minutes and then sent to jail and then that was the end of the story. In hindsight, I was too big a risk taker. I wanted to make some unexpected moves to throw the detectives off my scent. But they were conservative and they closed the web slowly and did not rush in (which was what I was trying to tempt them into doing). It wonder whether Mr. X should always try to take the safe way and not the risky way, hoping to bluff the detectives. Should Mr. X always try to run away as far as possible, since the longer you survive, the harder it will be for the detectives to calculate you position? Your possible locations will grow. But then wouldn't you become too predictable? I need to play this more to learn how to best play Mr. X.

I have played That's Life before. It is quick and fun, and the decisions are interesting, despite lots of die rolling. I quite like it. However, lately I am starting to feel that I should not buy any more fillers, i.e. short and simple games, no matter how good they are. As a hardcore gamer, I simply do not plan game sessions around fillers. Fillers are not filling. I need a medium or a heavy game to feel satisfied. If I only have a little time for playing a game, I should probably just not play and choose to do something else. So fillers would mostly only come in handy at odd moments like when you are waiting for guests to arrive, or when there is still a little time left before your guests have to leave.

Still, I think That's Life is a rather good game, just unfortunately one I likely won't buy.

I finally got to play a non-2-player game of A Game of Thrones LCG, which means the titles come into play. Titles give you special benefits, e.g. increase in strength in a particular aspect. There are also some restrictions and incentives introduced. Some titles prevent you from attacking another player holding another particular title. Some titles award you extra Power if you succeed in attacking another player holding another particular title. In our game, the most handy aspect turned out to be the attack prevention bit.

This was my fourth time playing this game, and I still felt rather clueless. There were a lot of details to keep track of during the game, and because I was struggling with that, I wasn't able to maintain a grasp of the strategic level of the game. I ended the game dead last, at 0 Power.

We later found out that we made some mistakes. We determined turn order in a wrong way. The player with the highest initiative decides who will start. It does not necessarily have to be himself. Turns are then taken in a clockwise order. We had thought that turn order is simply determined by the initiative on your Plot card, with highest initiative going first, and lowest initiative going last. I think I suffered for this, because I tended to go first. We found that going last gives the most flexibility, and it is easiest to plan what to do, because the other players have already issued any challenges they can issue.

I still have difficulties learning and appreciating A Game of Thrones LCG. I probably will give it a few more attempts. I think this is a game in which you need to invest much effort in order to fully enjoy. I'm not sure I have the patience and endurance to do so. I'll keep on trying.

The titles in A Game of Thrones LCG are nice looking sculpts.

This time I played the Targaryen, who has dragons.

Han and Chong Sean, who played Baratheon and Stark respectively.

See how much the number of cards have grown later in the game.

I played a 2-player game of Notre Dame against Chong Sean, who likes the game a lot and is definitely a veteran. I have played this before and quite liked it then. I still find it pretty good. Less urge to buy it than before, but I still find it interesting. Definitely worth more plays.


Cecrow said...

My version of Scotland Yard includes five detectives, all of which are always in play regardless of the number of players. Yours had only four?

Hiew Chok Sien said...

The copy that I played also had 5 detectives, and indeed we were supposed to play with all detectives in play, regardless of the number of players. However since we only had 2 detective players, we decided to use a different version of the rules, with only 4 detectives in play, but Mr. X also loses some flexibility. I think one less black ticket (or something like that).

Chong Sean said...

We are playing with the new rules from Ravensburger's version.

There are also some interesting variants original publish in a french magazine.