I spent the weekend in FinDipCon VIII in Helsinki. It was a pleasant event, as they usually are, with lots of games played. The Diplomacy tournament was of course the main event: the Finnish Diplomacy champion in 2006 is Juho Malin. Another big deal was William Attia’s presentation (or discussion) about Caylus. Unfortunately I had to miss that, but I hear it was a success.
I did get to play lots of games. Mostly old stuff, but good games none the less. Here’s some highlights:
Halli Galli — An impulse buy on Friday, this turned out to be a good move. I ended up playing six games. I won four and placed second twice, how can you not enjoy that? As my readers know, I like speed games and Halli Galli is certainly one of the better. It’s kind of like Jungle Speed, but I prefer Halli Galli’s clarity. The bell is neat, too.
Hamsterrolle — The other new game. This dexterity game seems almost impossible at first, but eventually comes to an end. We won, so I guess we did something right. I played with my partner so that I made easy placements before him and he tried to make things harder for our opponents, and I suppose the strategy worked pretty well. It’s a fun game, and looks quite good, too.
Age of Steam: Scandinavia — Not a new game, but a previously unplayed map. Seems a bit tough, as the connections are hard to make, particularly in Sweden where the distances are long. The move by sea action seems quite powerful. Our game had the worst case of runaway leader I’ve ever seen; it was obvious from, like, turn three that Stefu would win. I was prepared to give up at that point, but in the end it turned out Ansi got stuck and I managed to wrestle a second place out of the misery. Still — I think I did exactly one four-link move during the whole game, while Stefu did several six-link moves in the end.
Tichu — Played a bit of Tichu. In the first hand I had two straights of six cards (one up to ace), an extra ace and the dragon. Obvious tichu, but the opposition scored 95 points from the cards, so what can you do. In another round, two players had the same 11-card straight. That was unlikely.
Fresh Fish — First game in a long while, did terrible. The game was good fun, though.
Timbuktu — One of the better Essen releases. I like it everytime I play it, the challenges are interesting. The scoring seems quite dependent on the amount of goods you deliver, but of course the scoring system works well for breaking ties between players who deliver an equal amount of goods.
Samurai — First game of the event, played with William Attia, Matias and Ansi. I won, which is rare (both in Samurai and during the FinDipCon excluding Halli Galli).
Farfalia — Played some games with the Kumpula crowd, one of them was Farfalia. I know they like trick-taking games and are quite critical — so, what’s better than playing a mediocre trick-taking game? They were a good sport, but I notice Tero gave Farfalia a 3 already…
For Sale — I finally bought the new edition of For Sale. The box is too big, but the game looks great and plays well. I like it, it’s one of the better filler games around.