It probably seems a bit quirky having the Christmas Games Report after the New Year Games Report, but that is how it is this year/last year?!?...... Anyway here is Christmas Gaming 2011 part deux giving a brief overview of the games played over 3 days, reviews for most will follow later in the year.
Christmas Day after a superbly excellent Christmas lunch cooked by Wendy and present unwrapping the first game hit the table. First on the table was “Lucky Ducks” published by MB and designed by Len Stubenfoll. It is for 2-4 players aged 3 and up and plays in about 10 minutes. You may be surprised that this game came out for a group of adults, Lewis certainly was – he had expected “Duck Duck Go” and in my obtuseness I had deliberately brought the wrong game. Ah the humour of it all! The idea of this game is collect your three ducks denoted by your colour on a sticker underneath it as they revolve around on a motorised duck pond. On a players turn they select a duck, secretly look at it, if it is their colour they take it and place in front of them, otherwise they must place it back on the path and the next player has a turn. This continues until everyone has found their ducks, the first player to do so, winning the game. We had fun playing three games of this over half an hour, what I haven’t mentioned is the mechanical quacking that continues from the revolving pond during the game – it is almost hypnotic. The game was quite intense, so much so that I cannot remember who won the three games.
The second game we played was “Vikings” by Rio Grande Games, designed by Michael Kiesling it plays in about an hour for 2-4 players aged 10 and over. Probably one of the most played games in my house during a year showing its popularity again by being chosen by Lewis for playing at Christmas. The idea is to collect tiles and place them in your own tableau to create islands in a grid pattern, the tiles come with various coloured meeples who are placed on the tiles. It is the combination of meeples and tiles which gains you victory points, the game is played over 6 rounds, whoever has the most points at the end wins. Lewis beat Wendy by one point, however what this game will be remembered for especially by Alan is his score of “2”, which achievement will be revealed as even more remarkable when I mention everyone starts the game with 10 points and In general a bad score is considered to be between 30 and 40 points.
“Kingsburg” was next, designed by Andrea Chiarveslo and Luca Iennaco and produced by Fantasy Flight Games, it is for 2-5 players aged 13 and above and plays in about 90 minutes, though I think 10 year olds could cope without too much difficulty. The game falls under the worker placement category where you roll a set of 3 dice which become your workers, these are placed on various spaces on the board to collect resources; these resources are used to build buildings which give you victory points and special power-ups during the game. Each board space can only be used once during a game turn, so blocking others whilst maximising your own resources is part of the fun, again I cannot remember who won, I should start writing the results down as they happen, not a week or two later.
The fourth game (we are now on day 2 by the way) was “Egizia”, produced by Rio Grande Games and designed by Acchittocca, Flaminia Brasini, Virginio Gigli, Stefano Luperto and Antonio Tinto. It is for 2-4 players aged 12 and above and plays in about 90 minutes. This is a lovely game and plays over 5 turns, each turn a variety of power cards are interspersed with power spaces on the board then players take turns putting workers on these spaces, only one worker per space so whoever gets there first gets it. As you can never go back up the path of these power spaces, careful choices have to be made. This was a hard game, this is the third time I have played it 4 player and it plays differently to 2 or 3 player games which is how I think I prefer this game. With 2 and 3 players there is a degree of predictability which makes you feel you have some control, this to me is lost with 4. Wendy though seems to cope with it no matter how many players there are and has won more than her fair share of this game (she is 4-1 up 2 player) and added this one to her winning tally also.
It was about now we played “Duck Duck Go”, chosen to play by Lewis, designed by Kevin G Nunn and produced by APE Games, it plays 2-4 players (you can actually play up to 6 with another couple of ducks) aged 8 and up in about 30 minutes. Best described as “Roborally light” this was actually the Duck game Lewis wanted to play. A brief overview appears in the New Year Session Report, again a fun time was had with ducks careening into one another, a lucky winner drawing all the right cards at the right time was ME! If anyone knows where I can get Booster Boxes in
I would be obliged – I have a yen to collect all the ducks. Kent
“Meltdown” which was on my choice list is designed by Corne van Moorsel and published by Cwali, it is a game for 1-5 players aged 10 and above and plays in about 45 minutes. This game is themed around Nuclear Reactors going critical where the players play rescuers, saving and evacuating meeples to the nearest airport. An unusual subject for Christmas, however it was one of my newer games and it hadn’t been played yet. It was an interesting game, however some lucky early die rolls meant our game was quite tame with limited losses. I lost the game quite convincingly by trying to save everyone and failing. There is an element of luck in this game, however it played very well and everyone enjoyed it, Wendy won.
Lewis had to leave on day 3, so the remaining games were played 2/3 player. First up after a nice walk to see the Purple Sandpipers was “Richtofen, Ace of Aces”, I last played this about 20 years ago and Alan refreshed my memory with the basic rules. The game was designed by Alfred Leonardi and produced by Nova Game Designs, it is a 2 player game with the basic game lasting about 15 minutes, playing time can lengthen with the advanced rules and if playing a campaign. It is an aerial combat game based during the Great War where each player has a booklet of pictures showing views from your cockpit, you select a manoeuvre and based on the cross-indexing of manoeuvres chosen gives you a new view and perhaps a victim in your sights. I had fun and is one of the games missing from my collection.
Alan and I gave “Satanix” a whirl next, it is a word game for 2 players aged 10 and above and plays in 15 minutes. The design is uncredited and is produced by Habourdin International. The game consists of 16 reels on a central spindle, each reel has 10 faces. Each reel has one blank, one “E” and 8 other random letters, one on each face. On your turn you create a word starting with the left hand reel, your opponent then tries to create a longer word. The mechanisms, both the reels and spindles, and the game itself, work very well; we were playing for pleasure and had plenty of time so our game lasted for about an hour, if playing seriously I would strongly suggest using a minute egg timer.
The last Christmas session game played was “If wishes were Fishes” chosen by Wendy and which she joined us for, this game was reviewed by me on
30-11-11. Designed by Michael Adams and Peter Sarrett, produced by Rio Grande Games, it is for 2-5 players aged 10 and above. The theme is around catching and selling fish shown on cards, however each card can either be used as the fish or a special action – but not both. Another great game was had and a nice light finish to 3 days of games, food and fun. Thank you Alan for providing the venue of our festivities and being a marvellous host, we all had a great time.
The Scalectrix? Well lewis and I set that up on day 2 after I spent half an hour digging it out of cupboard hidden by stacks of games, the course was not bad and was about 15 feet long made up from quite a few basic sets I picked up years ago, several races were had with Lewis winning them all.