Monday, January 28, 2013

Niagara Games Played

I played a fair number of games over the four day weekend in Niagara. Maybe not as many as one might expect for the length of time, but still a good number of games. Some old, many new. In particular:

Gingkopolis x4
Dungeon Petz x2
High Society

Battlestar Galactica
Space Alert

Dungeon Petz was definitely my favourite of the new (to me) games. It has the same sort of campy flavour as Dungeon Lords while leaving out most of the brutal punishing mechanics. In particular it isn't an uncommon occurrence in Dungeon Lords to have at least one person get locked out of a card they played due to lack of room on the space (all 4 people played the same card) or due to the uncertainty of the gold costs on some of the early spaces. Am I spending money when I play the food card? Am I gaining money? It can be hard to impossible to work that out on some turns and people can get badly punished as a result. Dungeon Petz, on the other hand, has a pseudo-auction system for the action spaces so you can likely ensure you get what you need by paying extra for it. And if all the spaces you wanted go away your guys aren't wasted. You can pretty much just delay using them until the next turn instead. Scoring also made way more immediate sense to me. Dungeon Lords I still don't have a good handle on turning actions into points while Dungeon Petz just worked for my strange little brain.

Gingkopolis, on the other hand, was a bit of a disappointment. I say that despite having played it 4 times. I'll probably dig into the reasons more later but my current feeling is the game has an easy to implement dominant strategy that only works if you get dealt the right cards. So it's a bit of a crap shoot to see who wins. At least it's pretty short and it's obvious when you've already lost.

Battlestar Galactica was great. We played with most of the expansion rules including pretty much all of the ones that hurt the humans. We kept going out of our way to try to satisfy the conditions on the 'conflicted loyalty' not a cylon cards and I think it screwed us. One guy was acting sketchy because he wanted to get thrown in the brig to satisfy his card. Mine wanted me to collect titles (something I like to do anyway) so as Admiral Colonel Saul Tigh I declared martial law to become Mr President Admiral Colonel Saul Tigh. No CAG this game, though. This did make sense because I was convinced the current president was a cylon (he made a _terrible_ choice on a president chooses card) and didn't want that to happen again. Also, Baltar had previously looked at my loyalty card and knew what I had so I knew I'd have backing for my action. Baltar then executive ordersed me so I could get rid of my loyalty card and then play an action card. I intended to play an action to scout for fuel since we were down to 4 fuel at distance 3 but got dealt a new loyalty card that turned me into a cylon. Instead of revealing I launched a raptor scout and buried a planet that was 1 fuel for distance 2. A couple turns later I sabotaged what I thought was an important crisis card (pretty sure it was to subtract a jump prep instead of getting one while there were cylon ships in play) and got thrown in the brig for my hard work. Right before my turn to reveal, however, we jumped and hit the sleeper phase. I was dealt the sympathetic cylon card which let me escape the brig (and respawn on the cylon board) AND hand off my unrevealed cylon card to the new admiral/CAG. With Boomer as the other pilot in the brig the humans had no one to actually kill the cylon ships. And since I was the next player I went to the cylon fleet space and hooked us up with a cylon jump prep and flooded the board with enemies. My conflicted loyalty card needed the cylons to win with Galactica taking 2 or less damage. Not long after the cylons won, with Galactica at 1 damage and Pegasus at 2 damage. Is that a win? We went with yes since the card could easily had spelled out Pegasus being undamaged too if it mattered.


James Shepherd said...

I love a good board game session.

Me and a couple of friends played one a few months back. We played Titanic which we all dressed up for then Monopoly (classic) and Who Want's To Be A Millionaire. I kicked arse especially at the monopoly. :)

Robb said...

How did you get talked into space alert? Is it growing on you yet?

Nick Page said...

My ride really wanted to play it and we had a short amount of time to kill while one of the other people in the car finished a game of Power Grid.

It has not grown on me.

James: You should try some of the newer board games if you like Monopoly. Board game design has evolved a lot in the last 20 years or so and there's some really good stuff out now.

James Shepherd said...

Yeah some are quite complex these days. I played a like medieval town building one a couple years ago that was relaly interesting. I feel like it was a german game :) Me and the girlfriend play chess occasionally but thats about all we get round to these days.

Nick Page said...

Oh, and I played Egizia too!