Board game club session: Himalaya, Beowulf

HimalayaYesterdays’ board game club session started with Himalaya. I’ve played it before (during our mega Saturday in December 2005), but this time we had the correct rules and all.

It was fun. We had a swift group, so the game was over in about 60 minutes. Nobody got paralysed programming their yaks and we executed the turns swiftly. It was an exciting game; I lost, unfortunately, as I became complacent and didn’t invest enough in religion. Oops — I was first out, banished because of my lack of dedication to all matters religious.

The game is very chaotic. While that is fun, I’m not sure it’s fun that lasts. Thus, Himalaya hits the trade pile. I’ll play it again, sure, with someone else’s copy, should an opportunity come — as long as people play fast. Burdened with lots of analysis, the game will probably crash down. At least I wouldn’t care for 90-120 minutes of Himalaya. Trust your intuition and keep it short and sweet and it’s ok.

BeowulfBeowulf: The Legend was a new one for me. I explained the rules pretty badly — I had no idea of how they should be explained. Maybe next time is better. We got the hang of it pretty well, anyway, and finished after just 50 minutes of epic adventuring.

I liked it. Knizia knows how to do these sorts of games. The mechanics work and the game is interesting — there are some tough choices to make there. While not one of my greatest favourites, Beowulf is a strong eight for now and will stay in my collection at least for a while. I’m not yet finished exploring this one!

The theme is interesting and well supported by John Howe’s excellent art. The standard gripe is that the board, while funky, is not very functional, and I agree: the icons are a bit on the small side. How well the concept of cooperation-in-theory-competition-in-practise works is another thing, but I found the story entertaining.

(Check out Beowulf: A New Translation in Amazon.co.uk.)

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