First: I’m now a proud owner of Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective. I got my game from the post office yesterday and I’m really looking forward to an opportunity to try it — it looks absolutely brilliant.
Then: we had a very nice game session yesterday. Six players were there, but not at the same time. Most of the time we had four or five players, which was nice.
Zèrtz — while waiting for more people to arrive, I taught Zèrtz to the first one to arrive, Vesa. We played three games and as expected, they were total slaughter. Hopefully the game felt intriguing even though Vesa didn’t stand a chance. At least I felt the game was charming even when I got beaten…
Land Unter — then it was time to check out the new games. We started with Land Unter, and played two games. First game ended with very even scores: 5, 5, 5 and 6. We did forget the bonus for the player with lowest water level… Next game was a bit more interesting, scoring-wise: -1, 10, 11, 12 — and guess who had the -1! I was eliminated three times! I suck! No matter which hand I played, I was collecting water level cards all the time. I don’t get it. It really left me wanting for more. I’m not a glutton for punishment, but I’m sure I could do better with more practice. I do like the game. The decisions feel similar to 6 Nimmt!, but the game is a bit more complex. Of course that means it isn’t as elegant and thus I think it is inferior game, but it’s good fun nonetheless. The theme is quite useless, but I do like the sheep. They’re cute.
Coloretto was the next game we tried. It turned out to be a rather excellent game. It seems like a trivial game, but actually it’s rather subtle. Make no mistake, it’s not a serious or difficult game, but as a filler it’s brilliant. I also like the cards, they’re quite pretty. The pink chameleon card reminds me of the latest album by Kuusumun Profeetta. That’s nice.
King Lui — because of Bruno Faidutti’s review I was expecting something similar to Coloretto. Yes, the connection is there, but they are clearly distinct games. King Lui isn’t as brialliant as Coloretto, but still rather entertaining filler. The theme is great, it inspires funny remarks about how King seems to enjoy his wine perhaps a bit too much… It’s a fun filler game, which I can recommend to friends of simple card games.
Mamma Mia! — after another game of Coloretto, we played Mamma Mia! With three people who hadn’t played the game, we made a wise decision to play a demo round. Mamma Mia! is a difficult game to figure out, but I think the demo round made it clearer. It was the second time I played and I already did much better, having clearly figured out the game. Unfortunately I didn’t win… It was fun, still.
Sticheln — two guys left and there were only three of us. When you’re playing card games with me, that usually means Sticheln and this time was no different. First round was rather typical: I had 7 points, Ville (who had played once, I think) had -9 and Juho (playing his first game) had -13. The final scores were, in same order, 47, 30, 17. It’s always a pleasure to see people score big minuses in the first round but then during the later rounds figure out the game and end up with positive scores. Sticheln has the right depth. There are tactics that are rather subtle, but most of it can be learnt during the first game.
It’s definitely my favourite three-player card game right now. My only worry is that soon my Sticheln deck is unusable with more than three players: I’m wearing out the 0-8 cards while the other cards have no use at all. Goes to show I should’ve used card protectors!