Another Unity Games has come and gone, leaving visions of game orders dancing in our heads!
Before the event there was the traditional no-ship auction, where I unloaded $350 worth of games, including Super Deck! (it went for $0 and the new owner’s self-respect.) My winnings were The Coldest War (an expansion for Nightfall), Triumvirate, and Race for the Galaxy. Now, I know I’ve said some ugly things about Race for the Galaxy in the past, but I’ve realized how much I like games such as The New Era and Pax Porfiriana, which are similar to it, so I thought it was high time I gave it another chance.
This year I once again made a list of games I specifically wanted to try out. Out of the nine games I had listed, I played three of them, so that was a pretty good average. I rode up with pal Jim (and was supposed to also ride up with Bryan, but he got ill the day before. I may have passed my Unity Curse on to him.) Also present from my little group were Eric, Bob, Dan, and Matt.
Matt, Jim, and I started out with Eight-Minute Empire: Legends. It took longer than eight minutes, so I’ve contacted my lawyer, but it was still a fun and quick little game. Being the first game played it got interrupted by auction buyers and sellers, which is always a drag, but I figured out how to prepare myself for settling purchases with hopefully little interruption.
Next up was Polterfass, an oddball little game of rolling barrels to order or serve drinks. Matt and I have had a lot of experience ordering beer, so we thought this would be a slam dunk for us, but getting our beers was harder than it normally is. The game is a great little rain-dance game, and although we did fine with three I think it would work better with more.
Matt had a gaming date at this point, so Jim and I tried out Sentinels of the Multiverse. This was one of the games on my list even though comics themed games have a spotty history. Turned out we had a lot of fun with it. I’m tempted to get a copy, but it’s a cooperative game and I’m not sure who I’d play it with, other than Jim, who owns it. Unfortunately the senses-shattering battle of Ra and Legacy teamed up against the menace of Omnitron will have to be concluded in another issue because I had to take off before we could finish.
Ginkgopolis was a game I first played at the last Unity and really liked it. I ended up buying it and a lot of my pals like it, so I offered to teach it this year. I had a full compliment of players: Eric, Chris, John, Paul, and Marsha. I hadn’t had a chance to really polish up my teaching for it, but I think I did all right and they all caught on. John ended up winning a pretty close game. They seemed to enjoy it, and I know I did.
As Jim and Matt were setting up Snowdonia with me, a guy named Adam joined us. He knew the rules and taught it to us, which helped us get going a lot faster than we would have otherwise. He ended up slaughtering us, partly because this is the kind of game where even if you’ve played only once before, just knowing how the game rolls out is advantageous. Also we got a lot of weird weather in the game. I thought it was a neat game and I’d like to try it again, knowing a little better how it all works. This was one of the ones on my “to play” list.
I am pretty much the cheering section for The New Era, so when some people expressed interest in learning how to play it, I was happy to teach it to Justin, Steve, and another person whose name I forgot (sorry!). It’s a tough game to teach and grasp, because the iconography is really not that helpful. I tried my best and this time actually didn’t do too badly. They picked it up and were rolling strong with it when we sadly had to bag it halfway through, as two of them had other gaming appointments to make. I think they liked the game, and the teaching experience was good for me as I’m working on a guide to learning the game.
I had dinner with pal Eric and then we headed back to the main floor. By this time Eric was kind of “new game”d out, so we went with one we both enjoy that doesn’t get a lot of play, Alea Iacta Est. We found two other people who were interested and had a good game of it, though I got slaughtered.
My final game of the evening was Rampage, which had been on my list to try. Jim and his friend Annie had met up with Adam (same guy from Snowdonia) and were just getting started when I found them. It was a perfect game for closing out, as it’s pretty simple and a lot of goofy fun.
Unity was, as always, a blast!