Today was a day for games. I’ve been meeting folks at the University cafe recently and it’s been a good place: quiet (summer and all), food and drink service with no pressure to buy anything, decent tables, good light, easy to find — very good, very good. Today’s company included both Ollis and couple of new guys, possible Board Game Club converts.
We kicked off the games with Fairy Tale — actually, we were going to play a quick game while waiting for Sami and Kalle to arrive, but they did while were setting the game up. We decided to play the game anyway.
Since there were five of us, we had to use the advanced cards despite the newbies. Didn’t matter… The game’s pleasantly straightforward to teach and the guys took the mechanics in simple enough. Of course, the strategies are another thing… The advanced cards add to the game, definitely, and I’ll probably include them from now on most of the time.
I’m also almost getting hang of the game, second time around I was so sure I won, I fulfilled three valuable conditional cards, but no, Olli H. beat me by one lousy point. Fairy Tale is a bit of a luckfest, but the drafting is just so much fun and the game’s so fast, I don’t really mind. I’m definitely looking forward to trying the partnership game.
Next up was the main course, once again, Phoenicia. I love the game. There’s been some discussion on the Board Game Society forum, and the consensus seems to be that the Dye House is very, very good. I kept this in my mind, bought two Dyers and then proceeded to buy each and every Dye House. Yep, I got them all, all three.
This took me to a lead I was able to keep for the rest of the game. I proceeded to buy Public Works, Port and City Walls, which were enough for me to win. Sami, a newbie, got Shipyards and used them well and got two points below me, so it was close. Curiosly enough, I didn’t use the Clothmaking a lot — I never bought new workers, and only late in game assigned two of the three I had to Clothmaking.
Dye Houses are good. I was aiming for them and got them fairly easy. I had to pay 20 (minus the hefty discount) for the last one, but the first two were pretty easy to get. Perhaps I got lucky, perhaps I had planned my game well, but at least you don’t get to put it on my opponents — even though three of them were newbies, I had warned them about the Dye House.
I like the game a lot. I do wish it had better graphic design, I could come up with some improvements on that area, but the game mechanics are just great. Some folks on the forum are somewhat annoyed by the random money cards; I’m not there yet, I still find them quite acceptable. It’s also very simple problem to fix, if it ever starts to bother me (just 1) remove some four and sixes, 2) remove all fours, or 3) remove all fours and sixes, according to taste).
I don’t remember when was the last time I played For Sale, but it’s been too long. It’s a great game, even though I’m not very good at it. It’s super fast, fun and challenging, everything you need from a fifteen-minute filler, definitely one of my favourite games.