Our board game club met yesterday. The attendance was low, just eight people. However, a group of Diplomacy players shared the space with us and brought some life.
Ticket to Ride was very much the game of the day. I had played a game with Johanna earlier, but now I got to play the game with more players. I played three games, once with three players and twice with four. It’s a good game and I’m glad to own it. While it’s not the Greatest Game Ever, it’s still my current bet for Spiel des Jahres. It’s such a great family game.
My luck varied. I won the first game, did well in the second but lost the third. I failed to make a 20-point connection (or to be more accurate, was forced to fail to make it). Ticket to Ride can be a frustrating game and if one is playing with family, I recommend you consider how nasty moves you want to make. The game can easily lead to hurt feelings when nasty blocking moves are played.
After Ticket to Ride, it was time for a better train game. With three players available, I jumped at the opportunity to try Age of Steam expansion. Ville hadn’t played before and unfortunately his first Age of Steam experience had to be in Ireland.
The Ireland map is wonderful. It changes the game subtly. The actions, for example, have quite different values. Turn order is pretty useless with three and locomotive wasn’t picked once (it only allows you to forgo another move for second engine link upgrade). Production, in the other hand, is much better than in the basic game. Deurbanization (which allows one to remove cubes from the board) makes for some nasty plays!
I think this game might be the best game of Age of Steam I’ve played. It took us only about 1, 5 hours or so to play, too. It was also very exciting. Ville was left behind in the early game and while it looked like he could win because of his lower share amount, the fight for the first place was between me and Robert. The game was decided on the very last turn: Robert chose first move instead of deurbanization. Ville deurbanized a good four-link cube from Robert, while I was able to transport two four-link cubes. In the end, I won by a single point (68-67-48). Robert had laid more track, while I had one income more and one share less than he had. What an exciting game!
After such a taxing experience, we had to relax our brains a bit. Biberbande was just the game for that. It’s silly, it’s fun — what else do you need? I won our three-round game, but only because I had two zeros in the last round — and they were the two cards I didn’t know! Total blast of luck!
After that Robert introduced Trias. It was a nice little abstract. The mechanics are easy to understand, but when the game began, I didn’t have a clue how to play it. It wasn’t a surprise Robert won the game, having played it before. It was fun, and I’d certainly like to play it again now that know how to play it.
To end the evening, we played two rounds of Crokinole. It’s certainly a popular game, most people like it and it’s played every time. That’s good, because I wouldn’t want to carry it around for no reason…