Q1 of 2013 is gone now, and so far the gaming year looks good. I’m not sure about quality, but at least quantity is good: 230 plays of 75 different games. Lots of this with the kids, and that’s been great.
- London has been floating around in my game group, since one of the regulars got the deluxe edition from the Treefrog subscription. I’ve never played it, though, so I thought it wise to try to get a copy from the Junacon Math Trade. I scored it and took the game with me to Jyväskylä last weekend. It turned out a great success: we played four times during the weekend, that is just about as much as we could. The first game was a bit of a “huh?”, but everything cleared out pretty much the time I ran my city for the first time. Then it was all clear and different strategies were attempted with great success. The final game saw strong debt, used to buy lots of boroughs. I had tried something like that before, with weak results, but now it worked, and Ismo managed pretty solid 74 points with the strategy. I can see why some folks think it’s too good (including the guy who traded the game to me, exactly because of that). Well, I’ll see how it turns out, but so far London is a fun game that offers an interesting strategy space to explore. Suggest.
- EuroRails as a family game! Eric Brosius encouraged me on the GCL Amoeba lists. I’ve always been curious about the Empire Builder games, but I’ve thought they’re overly long (in the five-six hour range) and monotonous. Eric assured me that’s not the case. Well, I did buy EuroRails and gave it a go yesterday with my son. It’s a wee bit difficult for him at the moment, but we managed quite well, I helped him and we both had a good time. The game didn’t take hours to play, either, actually just 90 minutes or so with some modifications (no events, paper and pen money, winning condition 150 million instead of 250 million to make it faster.I quite like it, actually. It’s very pure pick up and delivery game. Build tracks, move loads, gain money to build more track and so on. Very clean and simple. I wouldn’t want to play this for several hours, but in a 90–120 minute time slot this is very good. I’ll continue playing with my son, and will try this with my friends as well. Suggest.
- Biblios is one of those games I’ve wanted to try for a long time. It’s nice. Some clever ideas, and the game doesn’t feel like anything else. Always a bonus. That said, it was also quite hard to grok on the first go, and I ended up with zero points. Next time I’ll do better, I promise. Suggest.
- The Hobbit is Knizia’s take on the book, and fortunately this game is based on a book license. So, there’s John Howe art and the game actually gets to tell the whole story. Players are dwarfs, trying to collect jewels in order to have most once the group handles the messy matter with the dragon. Not bad, actually, a bit ho-hum, but works as a family game. This is not a co-op, but can be played as a semi co-op, where players can lose together. I’m not sure if that makes much of a difference. Suggest.