I was visiting Jyväskylä last weekend. In addition to some surprisingly pleasing physical work (painting boards and a wall, building scaffolding), we played lots of games. During the years, I’ve introduced several games with variable success. Some have been huge hits (Puerto Rico and St. Petersburg are the most notable examples).
Sometimes there have been surprises — games that have went down surprisingly well. Dawn Under was one of those. However, this time I had no doubts about the game I was introducing: I was certain Industrial Waste would be appreciated. I was correct.
We played ten games during the weekend, which pushed the total for Industrial Waste to 18, topping my list. I won the first game, with a wide-ish margin, and it felt kind of awkward… But during the game, they really got it and off we went, playing game after game. Already in the second game I was beaten (I did play a miserable game, ending with 16 points). I won three out of ten, my mother got two and Ismo won five. He’s good…
He did score the highest score I’ve ever seen, 95. All advancements full, 20 points from factory and a load of cash. Pretty neat. My personal highlight was a game, where I produced just once, making all the money selling raw materials. I almost won: my 57 points weren’t enough, as Ismo had 58.
Our final game was one of the more interesting: I was in a position to end the game, but didn’t, because I was obviously losing to Ismo. However, as the game went on for a turn or two, it became obvious I wasn’t able to close the gap. I finished the game and lost by seven points. Painful, so painful…
We had some issues with the rules… First of all, we found out that the cards are kept face-up during the rounds, not face-down. I’m not sure which way I prefer. Then, the bribery card — I’ve been using the variant where the bribes remove the payment from the accidents, as well as the loss of factory level (which is fairly puny). However, after seeing bribes used in end game situation with waste level on red, I think the variant version is too good. Seven points with one card, that’s not good.
I tried to introduce Dvonn, too. I beat Ismo four times and my mother twice — Ismo didn’t like the game, it was too much like his work (he’s a programmer) for him to enjoy. My mother liked it more (but then again, she likes Chess, to some extent, and Dvonn is indeed quite Chess-like) and could probably be persuaded to try the game again. In the first game, I gave her a solid beating (33-0), but the second game was closer.
Anyway I’m quite happy about the results: I won newbies hands down. Thus, there are at least three levels of Dvonn play, because I was able to hand out the same treatment I get from the Nivo Zero Dvonn program. That’s nice.
We also tried Cosmic Eidex, that got lukewarm reception but I always love to play so I think I’ll push it a bit more; maybe take it with me when we head to Essen, so we can play at the airport.
I wanted to buy Industrial Waste for Ismo’s birthday recently, but the game is pretty much sold-out everywhere in Finland. I got him Ticket to Ride instead, as I thought they might like it and the Finnish edition was certainly easy to find. That was a good choice, as they’ve played a lot of it. We got in one round of that as well. I won, but I’m getting slightly bored by my strategy. I choose tickets that allow me to build a single long route. This time it worked almost perfectly, I had to place just four pieces off the main route.
That didn’t matter, as I won with a margin of 40 points. I never draw tickets… But every time I’ve played, I’ve drawn useful tickets in the beginning. Maybe if I got a bad draw, I’d have to do something else? Anyway, this strategy is getting boring and I’m actually contemplating on selling the game… Sure, it’s a good newbie game, but I have relatively little need for newbie games and I do have others. I have to think about it.