I recently played five new (to me) boardgames that I really enjoy. What’s especially awesome is that I only bought one of them. Two of the others belong to other guys in my group, and the remaining two I got in trades.
Blue Moon City — After two plays of this at Unity Games it went on my want list, and when Matt put in an order I piggybacked this onto it. A step up from, say, Settlers of Catan, Blue Moon city is a game in which you use cards to construct buildings in a ruined fantasy city. Doing so gets you crystals which you use to make “offerings” to an obelisk. It sounds weird and abstract, but actually it’s pretty easy to teach and plays very smoothly. The artwork is also very nice. I think Becky will enjoy this one, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays with two players.
La Strada — A while back I told Mike about an idea I’d had for a game. His response was that it sounded like La Strada, which I’d never played. I scored a copy in a trade and discovered that yeah, this is pretty much the game I Was thinking of, which sucks except that for a brief moment me and MArtin Wallace thought similarly. Wallace is known for train games and though this one is rail-free, it may as well be one, since it’s all about path building. Not at all what you’d expect from Wallace and quick enough to even be a filler. This was a really good trade.
Crazy Chicken — Another one I got in a trade. This is a two player card game by Michael “Coloretto” Schact I’d heard a lot of good things about, so I was glad to get it. And it really is fun; Becky and I have played a lot of it in the past few days. It’s essentially a set-collecting game in which you’re trying to get the most chickens in different suits. The only problem is the chicken artwork, the worst offender of which I’ve censored above. Click on it only if you wish to gaze at pure terror.
Imperial — Al and Matt fell in love with this one at Unity, and Matt got his own copy. How do you describe Imperial? It’s not quite a wargame, though you do build armies and attack countries. The difference is, you don’t own any of the countries, you invest in them. If you control more than the other players, you can choose that country’s actions, but it’s entirely possible to do well without ever making a single decision for a country (I scored pretty high despite having my starting country taken away from me halfway through and never getting it back, or getting any others.) It’s not my usual cup of tea, though the rondel mechanic (first seen in Antike) helps streamline things a little. I’m looking forward to trying it again now that I know what sorts of things can happen in the game.
Shogun — There are a few “classic” eurogames I haven’t played, and Wallenstein is one of them. It’s now been reprinted with a new theme — feudal Japan — as Shogun, and James brought it over on Monday. It’s sort of like Risk in that you battle with your little armies to control different provinces. You also enhance your provinces by adding palaces, temples, and theaters to them. You feed your people with corn and pay for these things with gold, but since you’re taking the gold and corn from the people in the first place, they aren’t too crazy about it and sometimes get upset. So nothing overly innovative so far. But there’s the cube tower. It’s a big rectangular tower with all sorts of little shelves and ledges blocking off bits on the inside. When you fight a battle you drop all the cubes into it and see what comes out. Some get stuck, some shake loose. It’s a very silly and yet awesomely fun randomizer. I enjoyed the game and won, but only because I got lucky and was located near a guy who didn’t fight me much, so I was allowed to build up pretty easily. Definitely one to play again.
There were more in that order that Matt placed (not for me, but for others), and I got some more trades done, so a lot of new games will be hitting the table soon. and that doesn’t even count what Mike may pick up on his travels!