and Lisa’s Place
DaveO, Chris, & Lisa
DaveO back safely from Essen, we had been crying and dying to play some of those
new games we’ve been hearing all the hype about.
Not only that, we hadn’t gamed in a while, and I was just about ready
to play some spades or hearts with random strangers online.
Thank god I didn’t have to resort to that desperate act.
We broke out the “new” Carcassonne, Hunters and Gatherers, and were ready to be wowed.
The original Carcassonne gets as much respect from the OCBG as your
favorite and most frequently used high school slut.
We just grew terribly bored with Carc, and the expansions helped but
never really healed. So we were
looking forward to a totally different experience with H & G, what we got
was a fresher, better, version of Carc…that reminded us of, well Carc.
You know the saying, you can put a prom dress on a pig but….
Tiles now contain rivers, animals, forests and
meadows. Your Meeples are now gatherers (forests), fisherfolk (rivers), hunters
(meadows, the old farmers which was the worst scoring mech of them all) or you
can build a hut on a river network. Much the same as the old game, with a few
subtle differences (no partial scoring at the end for rivers/forests incomplete,
nifty special tiles, etc). The players play land tiles to create a landscape,
with scattered wild animals like mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. They
populate the landscape with hunters and gatherers and build huts to live in.
Rivers, filled with fish, snake through the landscape. The game also includes
useful special cards. Granted,
it’s better than it’s predecessor, but it’s still Carc.
We’ll probably play this again, and use our original Carcassonne’s to
fan our holiday Christmas fires.
I knew nothing about Trias
when DaveO threw it on the table, but this turned out to be my favorite of the
evening. Dinosaurs reside on the
modular hexagons of the super-continent Pangaea. Each hex can only support a
certain number of animals. The super-continent threatens to split into various
parts. The players represent herds of living creatures, which can move and
reproduce. Each player tries to keep his creatures safe on the new land masses
(i.e. connected land areas) and gain majorities there. The game ends as the
meteorite strikes, ending the age of the great dinosaurs. At that point, points
are tallied for all the occupied continents. Victory Points are awarded for
having the majority of herds on a continent. Most Victory Points wins!
What I like most about this is the artwork by Doris
Mathaus. She’s got a very unique
and personal style, which adds so much to every game she illustrates for.
Also, I just enjoyed the theme of this one, although the small wooden
cubes may be improved upon by using actual dinosaur replicas.
But the mechanic was fun, not too difficult a learning curve, and just a
great time all around the horn.
DaveO brought me Grand National Derby
back from Essen, and I was wanting to break it out, so we delved into the
lighter side for awhile. Reindeer
Knizia’s prints are all over this one, and it light, but this one can get down
and dirty, and has some NASTY screw-somebody-over-bad element to it.
This is the precursor to Titan: the Arena and Galaxy the Dark Ages, which
I personally have never played, but legend has it that Titan is the holy grail
of this type of game. The theme here is horses racing in a steeplechase. Each round
represents a fence that the horses must jump. Players bet and then place speed
cards on each horse. When all of the horses have a speed card on them, the one
with the lowest speed card is eliminated. When there are three horses left
(which happens after 5 rounds), the players are paid for their bets on the
surviving horses. Earlier bets are worth more.
That’s it, basically. Fun, Fast, Easy to teach, and gets the bad blood pumping for revenge in later games…
up, one we’ve all been excited about, Abenteuer Menscheit (or Mankind
Adventure) which has some of the basic
mechanisms of "Settlers of Catan", but is a completely different game
on it’s own. In addition to the basic Settlers mechanisms borrowed, this one
goes waaaay back in time to Africa, the origin of Homo Sapiens. Klaus Teuber’s
new game traces the development and spread of Mankind, across the continents of
the Earth. The game map shows
Africa, Europe, Asia, America and Australia/Oceania. Players familiar with
Settlers will recognize the four hexagonal tile types that indicate different
geographical regions. At game start, each player possesses 3 tribes in Africa
(these tribes function similarly to towns in the original Settlers game).
Players use these tribes to provide the vital tools of survival: meat, bone,
skins, and flint. The ultimate goal, is to provide your discoverers with skin,
bones and meat, so that they may build new trunks, spreading across the World
and developing culture and civilization. Players are rewarded with Victory
Points, for the establishment of new tribes in the ever-expanding World, but
also for adapting to difficult climactic conditions, exploring particularly
hostile environments, and spreading to all five of the World’s continents.
It’s a lot to chew on, that’s for sure, even for those familiar with
Settlers. There is one hell of a lot going on, not that it’s a bad thing, but
this one definitely needs a few more plays before any firm decisions are made on
it’s fate. This was the last one
of the evening, and was VERY LONG. Rick was going to wrap this one up, but then I managed to
steal (the equivalent of the largest army in Settlers) and stole his two victory
points away, thus prolonging this one.
We decided to end it, as the midnight
hour was upon us. I was leading in
VPs when we closed shop. We’ll need a long afternoon to fully appreciate this
there it is, we’re back on the gaming schedule, with many more new Essen
releases to play in our future...Welcome home, DaveO. We missed ya! Now where in
the hell are the games…..