Boardgame club session: Black Vienna, Fish Eat Fish, Dia de los Muertos

What a perfect little boardgame club meeting! I was there under three hours, and still managed to play all the three games I wanted to play and then some!

Our session started with Black Vienna, once again. And guess what — nobody was able to figure out the correct combination of criminals. Olli M. was the first one to make a guess (when there were 11 tokens left), but he failed. I got one certain and then three suspects from which to choose two — that meant I would get at least two. Unfortunately my guess was wrong. Robert got only one right. Olli won the game, because he guessed so much earlier.

I think next time I’ll play with an infinite supply of tokens, just to determine a single winner. The points are pretty meaningless and that way someone could actually figure out the criminals. The 40 tokens aren’t enough, unless the investigation cards fall the right way. I think. Still, it’s my favourite deduction game at the moment. It’s taxing on the brain, but in the right way. The investigation cards allow the players to assess the situation without having to remember everything. If you suspect your markings, you can check them (well, not completely — you won’t see those investigations with no hits, but those can be marked in a different way).

Then we played Knizia’s Fish Eat Fish. I wanted to play, because I confused it with Fresh Fish. Let me tell you, they’re not quite the same! Well, it was fun, anyway. It’s quite simple game, really. There’s a similar combat system as in LotR: The Confrontation (play a card, add up your piece strength), but somehow I didn’t like it here as much. The game is pretty chaotic (lots of player-based randomness) and in the end it becomes a memory game (the used cards are kept hidden). I’ll play it again, but I think it’s Geek rating of 5.80 is pretty much on the mark. Fun filler, but little else. The components are also rather bad, especially the board which is so ugly. The fish pieces are good, though.

Then we played San Juan. Robert won with a record-breaking score of 42 or so. He got the cards for the perfect City Hall play. I was stuck on being the only producer and even though my Guild Hall did score 10 points, it wasn’t quite enough.

After that, we played the game I most wanted to try: Dia de los Muertos! I teamed up with Robert, Ville and Olli M. formed another pair. Our first round was a practise round, after I noticed we had forgotten the exchange of the gifts (that one’s always hard to remember). Our team won! There were some lucky breaks and surprisingly skillful plays. It’s a very good game and I finally raised my Geek rating from eight to nine — the game certainly deserves it.

We needed a quick game to play in the end, so three rounds of Biberbande were played. I ruled the game on every round, which is all good and well.

Next session is in two weeks, things might be a bit quiet until that. I’m trying to come up with an interesting Citadels-based Haggle ruleset to try there.

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