Thursday, March 22, 2007

Buckets of New Games

A couple of orders arriving and a visit to the FLGS has caused a sudden influx of new games at my house. That's a good thing, but it involves making more room in the study and also paying careful attention to the Friendless metric. The Friendless metric is currently at -17, with 42 games played 10 or more times and 59 games never played. Anyway, here are the new games.

Attika - I like this game a lot! I played it once about a year ago and I eventually decided if I wanted to play it again I'd have to buy it myself. We played a 4 player game which I won, and a 2 player game against Scrabblette which she won. I'm not really clear how she beat me... maybe better management of her new game tiles.

Trans Europa - I like this game a lot too! I already blogged about that.

Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld - Still not played.

Skybridge - I've been wanting to buy this for a while, but the FLGS is hard to get to. I went in to buy Skybridge and came out with 3 games. The kid and I played this and it's WEIRD. I just don't get it at all. I managed to stop him laying one of his bridges and we still tied.

Quixo - Another Gigamic game. I played this in the FLGS (the kid beat me) and wanted revenge so I took a copy home and played Scrabblette and she beat me too. Maybe I'll beat BIL.

Sputnik - This is a really cool looking Gigamic game from their children's series. It plays quite similar to TAMSK without the hourglasses. I kicked the kid's butt.

Formidable Foes - We haven't played this yet. It looks very nice, but I don't think it will play like Funny Friends. I like Friedemann's attitude, so I'm looking forward to playing it.

Techno Witches - We haven't played my copy but I did play the copy I bought for my niece. With my copy we can play up to 8 players.

Blokus Trigon - We played this with 4 players and yeah, it's Blokus. It's funny having the new shapes - you just imagine the shape you need then go find it without any real understanding of whether it's there or not. I now have all three versions of Blokus, and I'm not sure why.

Memoir '44 Pacific Theater - We haven't played this yet. In fact I haven't even read the rule book.

Kahuna - I generally like the Kosmos 2 player series, though Hellas wasn't very good. Kahuna sounded dull but when I realised it was by the same designer as The Bottle Imp I decided to get it. It's much more interesting than I expected. Scrabblette suffered a big ambush attack where I took over two islands and destroyed four of her bridges in one turn. But now that she's seen what sort of game it is I'm sure she'll play differently next time.

Of course with all of those unplayed games I was feeling quite guilty about the Friendless metric so we've been trying to play some of the backlog. In fact, for the Critical Mass games meet on Friday night I packed an entire box of new or unplayed games. It's sad that I can do that, and will be able to again next time as well.

I also updated the stats program to calculate the average number of times I've played each game that I own. It was at 4.31 but dropped to 4.29 after the trip to the FLGS where it still lingers. I'll monitor that number this year and think about incorporating it into whatever goal I set after the Friendless metric goal is achieved.

Here are the other new games I've played.

Cows and Leopards - This is apparently a popular game in Sri Lanka, but either they have better rules in Sri Lanka or Sri Lankan people are simple and easily amused (and I don't think for a second that's true). Scrabblette and I played one game which was doomed for stalemate the entire time. The game came from the library in some sort of teacher's aid kit, but I hate to think that kids get taught that people in Sri Lanka play crappy games.

Chathurvimshathi Koshtaka - This is an abstract that Scrabblette brought back from India. It was described in Sanskrit in the 18th century but I'm guessing nobody has ever played it much. I did a reasonable job of demolishing Scrabblette's position but the game slowed down a lot when she was down to only a couple of pieces. If we managed to get down to one piece each, the game would not have finished. As it was, Scrabblette made some bad moves on purpose so we could finish sooner.

Spin & Trap - I've played 3 games of this now, and written a review. (BTW, I've been writing lots of reviews recently as part of a fund-raising drive to get Scrabblette an avatar. I'm hoping she'll rate some games so I can figure out what she'll play with me and so is worth buying.) It's a decent abstract that I keep getting beaten at.

Landlord - Acquired at the same time as Spin & Trap, we spent some time playing this and more time discussing what the rules probably meant. Scrabblette has emailed the publisher for clarification. The rules we used seem to work OK. It's an interesting abstract where a move can have big consequences that you can sort of predict.

Let me talk about reviews... for some reason I own a lot of games that nobody much else does. As I actually know something about the game I consider it my responsibility to write some forum articles so that prospective buyers can get at least some information. With that reasoning, all I needed to do was to identify the games which I had played and nobody had opinions on, so I added a "Users Rating" column to my "Plays of Games Owned" page. Now I can go to that page, sort by Users Rating and easily see what games I've played that nobody much has rated. They're usually the ones that need reviews or session reports. I encourage all literate readers of this blog to do the same.


OzGamer said...

I agree with your idea of posting content on BGG on games that have little or no content already. The problem for me is that it tends to mean strange kid's games. See my recent review of the Bratz Mall Crawl Game for an example.

By the way, which FLGS were you talking about?

Friendless said...

The FLGS - so called because it is the friendliest - is Presents of Mind at Paddington. The owner came to Critical Mass once and gave everyone a $5 off voucher.

I can't wait to read your review of Bratz Mall Crawl. BGG needs articles on Baa Baa Black Sheep, Snail Game, Money Money Money, Boggle Jr Numbers, GI Joe Live, Hairy Maclary Game, Furby Adventure Game and Hide and Seek. OK, point taken about the strange kids games. I'm making geekgold from Indian games!

Friendless said...

Arrgh, confused OzGamer and Ozvortex again! Sorry Paul. Ozvortex wrote a review of Money Money Money on his blog just a couple of days ago.