Sunday, May 25, 2008

Loot from the Maths Trade

Ozvortex recently posted his results from the Great Aussie Maths Trade on his blog. I've been meaning to do so myself. Sorry, my article will have fewer pictures than his.

Caribbean is a cute game, but I found it somewhat frustrating to play with no room for great moves and a whole lot of groupthink screwing everyone over. I received Architekton by Michael Schacht in exchange for it. Architekton is a 2-player semi-abstract of the type that Scrabblette and I play a lot.

Cave Troll is a reasonable game, with nice minis, but I really can't see myself getting excited to play it many times. In fact, maybe never. So it has gone somewhere where it will be more loved, at least temporarily, and I am receiving Clans in exchange for it. I've played Clans on-line but never against a real person. It is a very strange game but I may grow to love it. Colovini and Schacht both produce the sort of games that Scrabblette likes, so it's worth a try.

Chrononauts was an OK game a couple of times, but players trying to win turns it into a painful process. I have swapped this for a copy of Attribut which I will give away to someone who likes that sort of game.

Creeper is one of those abstracts that gives you a complicated system and asks you to understand it better than your opponent. We played it once and couldn't get motivated to play it again. It leaves another hole in the Pin Collection rack, but there was no point keeping it. I received Terrace in exchange for it. We've played Terrace once, and may not play it again as it seems to have major stalemate problems. No net loss, anyway.

FBI was one of those dime-a-dozen pointless card games, and it wore out its welcome with us very quickly. The kid loves spy themes and this one didn't work for him. I exchanged it for a copy of Blackbeard.

Fiji is a very strange game by Friedemann Friese - maybe the pinnacle of the art in blind bidding games... but I find it hard to teach and not so much fun to play. I received Frank Branham's Warhamster Rally in exchange for it. Fiji may be the better game, but I think I'll have fun playing Warhamster Rally with the kids.

Formidable Foes is another Friese game that really fell flat in this household, so I've been looking to trade it for quite a while. I'll be getting Keythedral for it. I don't know much about Keythedral, but I do like Key Harvest and I'm beginning to realise that Richard Breese makes really heavy connection-oriented games, so I need to check it out.

Gloom and the Unhappy Homes expansion did not trade. Scrabblette refuses to play them because she can't read the cards, but maybe I can play them with the kids now that the littlest has (mostly) learned to read.

High Society is an OK game, about the same style as For Sale and Relationship Tightrope. It's not a style of game that holds my interest, so I was pleased to exchange it for Scotland Yard. It's an old game, but still well-respected.

Illuminati is a game I have fond memories of, but I've discovered it's not even nearly my style any more. I exchanged it for a copy of Cabale, a wooden abstract game. I have no idea whether I'll like it or not, but it will be at least as good as Illuminati.

Octiles, Jumpin' Java, Sputnik, Megalith and Triominoes did not trade. Octiles is a perfectly decent abstract game... but I think more than half of the abstracts which did trade did so because they came to me.

Wildwords, Wordigo and Worddrop did not trade either. Nobody wants word games. Wildwords is really quite a good game - I'm trading it because I got two copies.

Katzenjammer Cats is a tiny little card game which I didn't think much of, and I traded it for Stonehenge, the 5-games-in-1 from Faidutti, Selinker, Borg, Ernest and Garfield. With that pedigree there's got to be something in there that Scrabblette and I will like.

The Reef and Saga didn't trade either. That's because they're boring.

Lord of the Rings Risk (Trilogy Edition) is a game that I bought shortly before I discovered BGG, in order to play with the kid. We tried it once, but he's since refused to play. I don't want to play Risk, so there's no point keeping the game. I'll be receiving Meridian (another Colovini) in exchange. There's a much higher chance I'll play it.

Travel Rummikub did not trade. I don't remember choosing to own it, so it's not a surprise nobody else wants it.

Runebound: Crown of the Elder Kings did not trade. Are there no other Runebound players out there? This expansion is aimed at increasing player interaction, which is not relevant to someone who plays solitaire.

Spy, Tatata!, Wench, Xactika, Chiamo didn't trade. It's a pity, because I really don't want them.

Travel Blokus was an abstract that I was able to get rid of. It's a decent game, we have Blokus Trigon and don't need the other two.

Wizard Kings is a game I was very excited about, and Columbia Games had a deal where you got free shipping if you spent over $100 (U.S.). It turned out I didn't like the game very much at all, and it only got played once. Well, THAT was a lot of money down the drain. And then they brought out second edition which basically screwed over the tradeability of first edition. So I exchanged it for Hacienda which I've wanted to play for a long time and never found a copy of.

Aton is a highly-ranked abstract game, but I just thought it was strange. It was complex and not much fun. I traded it for another copy of Blackbeard. Oh well.

The Sad Tale of "Black" Jack Blood

I recently acquired Blackbeard in the Great Australian Maths Trade, with the intention of playing it solitaire. I set it up last night but was too tired to tackle the opaque rules, so I got into it first thing this morning. I must say, Berg has done a spectacular job with this game - it's the only solitaire game I've played where I was bored by the down time. What a talent the man has!

But seriously, the way you tell whose turn it is is to draw a card, look at the 3 player line, and it will tell you Player 1, Player 2, or Player 3. I was Player 3. I had one turn near the start of the game where I sailed over to near a merchant ship. Players 1 and 2 then had lots of turns during which Emmanuel Wynne had an entire career (rising to 11 Notoriety) and was killed by a warship off the Gold Coast. The merchant ship I was chasing sailed back to England, down the west coast of Africa, circumnavigated the globe, discovered the Northwest Passage, and was finally placed in a museum, all before I got a second turn.

Wynne was replaced by the effeminate Oliver La Buze. About this time I got a few turns, and La Buze and Blood chased pirates in the Caribbean while Christopher Condent grabbed two prizes off the coast of Madagascar, and returned the booty to port much to the joy of his scurvy-ridden crew. I discovered a fat prize off Jamaica, but couldn't capture it, and return to port for repairs. La Buze suffered a similar fate with the same ship. While I waited in port, La Buze repaired his ship, returned to attack the merchant again, and let it escape. La Buze headed north to search for more prizes, while I headed south towards the South American coast.

Sadly, all I found there was a storm which caused damage to my hull, leaving my speed at -1. I limped into Curacao to repair the damage. While I was there, a warship appeared off the coast, and for some reason decided to attack me. An unidentified warship can move d6 movement points, and it needed a 6. So it rolled one. The warship attacked my immobile sloop, and "Black" Jack Blood was killed.

So let's look back at the wicked career of the man known as "Black" Jack... he attacked a ship once. He claimed no prize. He took nothing. He got caught in a storm. That was the highlight of his career, really. Then he died. "Black" Jack gained no loot and no notoriety.

If you want to have an exciting pirate adventure too, you should get this game.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Math Trade Shipping

I volunteered to coordinate shipping of games from Brisbane in the Australian Math Trade. Ozvortex came to visit this afternoon and we packed a few of the boxes.

Games Coming From blacksoilbill

Games Coming from hvddrift

Games Coming From Mikey and jwalduck

Games Coming from Friendless

Games Going To Albury

Games Going to Sydney

Games Going To Adelaide

The Parcel for Albury

I posted this on Monday morning.

The Small Parcel for Sydney

The Big Parcel for Sydney

Ozvortex and The Kid Design a Special Box For Adelaide

Oh I Wish

Almost Everything for Melbourne

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Fate of the Dinosaurs

It wasn't a meteor that killed the dinosaurs, it was a great big hand descending from the skies.

We played Big-Ass Trias at Critical Mass last night. I felt I was in a good position, but the game ended before I thought to try to convert that position into points and I ended up coming last. I'll try to write up a session report.