Homesteaders, SNCF, others

I’m coming here to write a blog post of this week’s games, only to find a draft of last week… except there’s nothing else but the title. Sloppy me!

Homesteaders coverThe sessions are, fortunately, compatible, as I played Homesteaders in both of them. I’ve been pushing the game a bit, because I like it and want to explore it a bit. It’s a good game. Last week I played a very typical game for me, Gold Mine and Bank and so on, and I wondered if I’m already stuck with a strategy in my third game. Well, this week I managed to do something else!

I picked up an opening from Geek: first round pass to get a trade marker, second round buy the Steel Mill and third round General Store. That’s a pretty good start and I continued acquiring buildings that require no workers. I played a large part of the game with just one worker and got a second one from an auction later on. Paying the wages was a pleasant task.

It was an interesting game, and a quick one: under an hour. Homesteaders is a very efficient game, it feels like a proper game even though it plays so fast.

Auction in Homesteaders
Four-player auction in Homesteaders. Photo: Mikko Saari

SNCF box coverLast week we also played two rounds of SNCF. This Winsome game is a gem, I like it. It’s fast, has interesting groupthink dynamic. We played two rounds and I even managed to win once. Ooh. This should do well, when the mass-market version comes out, the basic mechanism is so clever and intuitive, yet the results can be interesting. I should carry this with me more, it’s a good filler.

Speaking of fillers — we finished with two very quick rounds of Lamarckian Poker. Now there’s a great little five-minute filler! Five-player games are chaotic, but we did see a full house.

Blocking in SNCF
Black is blocking blue. Photo: Mikko Saari

This week we played another game of Homesteaders and a five-player game of String Railway. It seems I can’t play the game with less… Last time we had a theory that being the last player is an advantage and going first is a disadvantage. That in mind, I told Petri to go first because that would make me last.

Well, I was last — I lost the game. Petri was second. So much for that theory…

Guys playing Navegador
In the other table, some random folks played Navegador, which is apparently a decent game of Rondeling, with the meanest Rondel ever. Or something like that... Photo: Mikko Saari

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