Pazzy’s Gaming Update

Has it really been almost a year since OCBG got together on a regular basis?  Seems so long ago.  I have been staying on the gaming track more regularly lately.  For a while there, it was pretty dead in my gaming world.  I got married, honeymoon, etc.  But for the past few months, I have been charging  back in full force.  I had been attempting to convert my old friends as newbies, and the results have been good thus far.  I’ve managed to get a few of them to purchase their own copies of Settlers and Carcasonne.  You have to break down the whole gaming stereotype first, then it blossoms.

Also, with the arrival of NewSpiel in Ladera Ranch, my game purchasing has increased a lot, as well.  They have the best prices, with no shipping, and I can get my games often times the same day I order.  But it helps that I live 25 mins away.  Also picked up a few good deals at the Wizards of the Coast fire sales, as they all closed their doors for good.

Below is a list of the games I have purchased the past year, and my take on them thus far:

YOUR WEBMASTER'S COMMENTS APPEAR IN THIS FONT

Bang! – Got to admit, when I played this over a year ago, I was underwhelmed.  I thought it would play just like Werewolf, but seemed to be too much going on and moved ultra slowly.  My thoughts changed as I noticed the great reviews on the Geek and FunAgain, so when I saw it 30% off at Wizard’s, I went for it.  I managed to get together a bunch of non-gaming friends for the sole purpose of playing this game. I had introduced them to Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow a few months ago and they ate it up.  So I told them this is much like that game.  It took a while to get the rules explained, but we were off…

This is a great game with a large group.  It takes a while to get used to the symbols on the cards and their meaning, and to always remember to take your character’s “special action”, but the game rolls pretty smoothly, and can only get better with repeated playings.  Our sheriff won, with both deputies surviving as well…Can’t wait to play this again.

OH, HOW I HATE THIS GAME!!! I MIGHT BE CONVINCED TO TRY IT ONE LAST TIME....

Bang! High Noon Expansion – Picked this up shortly after buying Bang! because it’s only $2.50. Haven’t given it a go yet, but looks like it can only add enjoyment to an already excellent game.  Need to play with the original a few more times though to get comfortable enough with it. NO THANKS

Basari – Played this a long time ago, and loved it.  Great game for three players, and the Out Of The Box version is an excellent production.  Played it once with four, and was fun. ROCK PAPER SCISSORS...STILL, IT'S SHORT SO HOW BAD COULD IT BE?

Capt’n Clever – Purchased this as a kid’s gift and ended up keeping it.  Haven’t played yet but looks cool to play with kids…Pretty light. I'VE PLAYED THIS WITH MY KIDS PROBABLY A DOZEN TIMES....I'M CONVINCED THIS IS THE GAME THEY MAKE YOU PLAY IN HELL!

Carcasonne: The Castle – OCBG’s disdain of the original Carcasonne is no secret, but I am always on the lookout for good two-payer games regardless. Plus, having Reiner design this also got me to buy it.  Lisa and I played once so far and we both really enjoyed it.  Like it a lot better than Carcasonne, as there seems to be a whole lot more going on.  The bonus tiles on scoring track keep the game fresh and unpredictable throughout the game.  One of my best new games. GOOD GAME, AND EASY TO TEACH.

Coloretto – Very cool new game! Easy to explain, easy scoring, and plays pretty fast.  Broke this one out over Thanksgiving this year and family enjoyed it.  I really should bring this one out more often. ANOTHER GOOD ONE, ALTHOUGH IT'S BEGINNING TO WEAR A LITTLE THIN...

Corsari – A rummy variant dealing with one of my favorite themes: pirates. Game looks fun, however I have one HUGE gripe.  The cards are incredibly cheap, and are actually transparent.  They are so flimsy it is hard to believe they seriously charge $8.50 for this game.  I LOVE THIS GAME, A GIN RUMMY VARIANT, AND THE CARDS ARE NOT THAT BAD. TRY SHUFFLING 110 NORMAL CARDS, YOU JACKALOPE!

Domination – A crown jewel of my collection.  This Sid Sackson design is the original 1980 Milton Bradley version, and I got it still in the shrink wrap.  A friend of mine scored it a garage sale for me.  The updated version of this game is “Focus”.  This is a great abstract game for 2-4, but is ultimately for 2 players.  It’s a great thinking game, and very competitive.

Dracula – Really liked the theme to this one.  Van Hensling vs. Dracula, mano y mano.  Directions appear a little on the complicated side, and Lisa and I plan on investing an evening learning this one.  Looking forward to the new flick too. LOOKS VERY COOL - BRING IT TO O'CON!!!

Fish Eat Fish – A Reiner Fish Frenzy that reminds me a lot of Sid’s previously mentioned Domination, only with action cards.  Haven’t given this a whirl yet, but the right moment will present itself eventually.

Fist of Dragonstones – My only Bruno Faidutti purchase of the past year, and this one is one of his best. Great production by Days of Wonder, and a really fun blind bidding game.  Have only played once at DaveO’s place, and it made the must-have list.  Bruno never disappoints. BLIND BIDDING, ONE AFTER ANOTHER AFTER ANOTHER...

Formula De Mini – I already own Formula De and quite a few tracks, so why buy this one?  I read about the new damage point chips that they use now instead of having to use paper and pencil.  Each time you lose a point (tires, brakes, etc) you lose a chip instead of marking it on a sheet.  It plays much faster, and now I use these chips in my larger formula de events. HAVE IT, LIKE IT BETTER THAN THE ORIG

High Society -  One of my Top 10 Favorites of all-time. Thank you Uberplay for re-releasing this one.  Played this one a few times and people always want to play one more.

Whoever is doing the art for Uberplay, it’s pretty cool, with a great sense of humor. AGREED - THIS IS A GREAT GAME AND A GREAT VERSION BY UBERPLAY

I’m The Boss – A Sackson re-release.  Basically this one is 100% negotiation with some special cards thrown in. Played it once with a few new gamers, and it went over well.  However, tried to get family into it on Thanksgiving and it fell flat.  Perhaps it was my explanation of the directions, after about 4 scotch and sodas.  I am looking forward to playing this one with the right group. THIS GAME HAS BECOME A BYRENS FAMILY FAVORITE

King Me! – Haven’t played this one but itchin’ to.  Seems like this would be fun with the right group.  Easy to explain, and I like game with voting mechanisms. DA VINCI GETS ONE RIGHT - WAY BETTER THAN BANG!

King’s Breakfast – First playing didn’t wow me, but I think I was playing wrong (cards were face-up instead of hidden).  This one is quick, light, but there is definitely some strategy there.  Great filler for killing about 15 minutes. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Loco! – I already own Quandary, which I would normally play if at home, but Loco, basically the same game only with cards, is far more portable.

Puerto Rico – Played this numerous times, one of my favorites, so it was time to get my own copy. A MUST HAVE IN EVERY GAME LIBRARY

Relationship Tightrope - Very fun game with a great idea for a theme.  Uberplay strikes again with another top-notch production.  Played with another couple and fun was had by all.

Samurai – This one is just a beautiful game.  The components, the design, the mechanic, you name it.  Reiner’s masterpiece.

Ticket to Ride – Played once over the past weekend with 4, and played the 2-player version last night, and it is worth the hype.  Easy to teach, great decisions, and a top-notch production.  Best of all, it is a hell of a lot of fun.  May be Moon’s defining creation. DAYS OF WONDER SCORES HUGE WITH THIS ONE

Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow – This game is the bridge to bring non-gamers into the world of gaming.  I have played this a dozen times, with my different groups of people, and it is always a hit.  People clamor to play one more, and then one more after that.  This particular deck has great artwork, and throws a few more characters into the mix….It makes for a very fun-filled evening, and best of all, people can play while completely wasted.  After we are done playing, they always ask “Where do you find these games”. I'M BEGINNING TO DESPISE ALL FORMS OF WEREWOLF.

SOME TAKES ON OTHER NEW GAMES IN THE BYRENS LIBRARY:

HANSA - MAYBE THE BEST MICHAEL SCHACHT GAME SINCE WEB OF POWER

SAGA - A KRAMER CARD GAME, PUBLISHED BY UBERPLAY. THE ART IS GREAT, AND THE GAME LOOKS COOL.

SANTIAGO - YOU FORGOT THIS ONE PAZZY!

SPY - ANOTHER UBERPLAY CARD GAME, THIS ONE BY REINER. A VERY DISTURBING TREND IN KNIZIA GAMES - YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'VE PLAYED IT MANY TIMES BEFORE.

A GAME OF THRONES - DIPLOMACY, DUNE, AND WALLENSTEIN CONVERGE IN THIS GAME WHICH COMBINES THE BEST OF ALL OF THOSE CLASSICS, AND DOES IT IN A 3 HOUR GAME

PIRATE'S COVE - DAYS OF WONDER TAKES PIRATENBUCHT AND REALLY MAKES IT A WORK OF ART.

OASIS - A MOON/WEISSBLUM SET BUILDING GAME, WITH A KIND-OF-COOL MECHANIC

SAN JUAN - THE PUERTO RICO CARD GAME. MIXED REVIEWS, BUT I REALLY LIKE IT. LOTS OF BUILDING VARIETY, AND SOME TOUGH CHOICES - AND VERY PLAYABLE WITH TWO