Monday, May 10, 2004

Games list, description and ratings

Hi everyone,
I thought I'd make up a list of the games we've played, along with a
quick description and rating to give Carolyn an idea what is available
to play.

I thought it would be fun to have you guys rate them too, and we can
see what our WAGS top games are!

For me, a game typically ranks highly when it is a satisfying mix of
strategy and fun, but not just novelty. So a game which I had a great
time playing, but I don't see playing over and over again would not
score as high as it could (a perfect example is Deadwood, a game which
I had a lot of fun playing... but I don't think it would stand up too
well to lots of playing).

Yes, I know, I'm a big ol' geek.

Anyway, here goes:

"German Games"

Settlers of Catan:
Strategy game set on an island where players compete in a contest of
resource production, city building and negotiations. Good game, but for
me not a "Great" game. Although the board changes every game, something
about it makes it feel a little arbitrary and repetitive.
Rating: 6

El Grande:
One of my current favorites, this is a game set in Spain, where players
try to build a presence in as many regions as possible and score
points. Not too long or complicated, great player interaction (With a
good amount of "Screw your neighbour thrown in) and a good mix of
strategy and surprise.
Rating: 9

Puerto Rico:
Sounds similar to Settlers of Catan in description, but very different
in play. Every player tries to develop their own version of "Puerto
Rico" by growing plantations, building buildings, producing resources
and shipping them out on boats for victory points. Very original and
clever game which is a lot of fun, but a little difficult at first
because of all the different "building" cards that you need to get to
know in order to compete.
Rating: 8

Princes of Florence
A great game where every player gets a section of the city of Florence,
and tries to develop it in order to attract various artisans and have
them produce great works. Success comes from strategy and shrewd
bidding, and the game is all about wanting to do 10 things, but only
being able to do 1. Beautiful board and components. Also one of my
Rating: 9

Traders of Genoa
A negotiations game set in Genoa. Every player tries to make as much
money as possible by delivering messages, fulfilling orders and selling
just about everything in between. Fun if the group is in the mood to do
a lot of fast bidding, but with the wrong group, this could become long
and draw out pretty easily. (Luckily, it seemed to me that it worked
well at WAGS)
Rating: 7

A simple game of laying together tiles. Each tile shows a portion of a
field, a road, a city or a combination of each. By placing them
together into long roads and whole cities players try to score points
by laying claim to them before other players do.
It's simple but fun.
Rating: 6

Tigris and Euphrates
Not yet played a full game

"Card Games"
A card game of cowboys and, more cowboys. Everybody is in a shoot-out
and they try to get weapons, barrels to hide behind and horses to run
away on. Outlaws try to kill the sheriff, the sheriff want s to kill
the outlaws and the renegade wants to get all of them. Pretty simple
and fun, once you get a handle on what all the cards do. One downside
is that if you are eliminated, you have to wait until the game is over
to play again (most of the games we play are designed so that everyone
plays until somebody wins)
Rating: 6

A card game where everybody tries to build a city of a certain size.
The trick is that every turn, each player has to secretly pick a role
which will determine their secret power for that hand. Two examples: The
magician gets to switch hands with another player, the thief gets
another character's gold. These hidden roles add a level of bluffing
and strategy to an otherwise pretty simple game. fun, but not
Rating: 6

Everybody is falling. The winner is the one to hit the ground last. The
dealer goes around the table placing cards in front of everyone until
the deck runs out (at which point players "hit the ground"). Players
try to take the cards they get and play them on others in order to...
oh, I don't know. The biggest problem with this game, which lasts on
average 1 or 2 minutes, is that most people don't get it. I THINK I do,
but I have no idea what the strategy is. It's really frantic, and seems
like it should be fun, but so far hasn't been.
Rating: 2

Space Munchkins
A silly card game which mimics and makes fun of hack and slash dungeons
and dragons. Every player outfits themselves with armour, weapons,
races and classes and then fights monsters. It sounds more complicated
than it is. It's all very simple, it's all very silly.
Rating: 5

"Collectable Card Games"

Everyone gets a different deck of cards, tries to build a good group of
"guns-for-hire" and then go off on missions. Fun game, but it can take
a little long before your turn comes up, and there's not much to do in
Rating: 6

Everyone gets a different deck of cards and plays a secret underground
society bent on controlling the world. They control various groups
(like the nuclear power companies, Cable TV or The Religious Right),
countries (Japan, Canada, Germany) and/ or personalities (Nancy Reagan,
Elvis) in order to build a powerful empire and to take down their
opponent's empire. Fun game, especially because it can be unpredictable
and funny, but it suffers from way too much math and also once you get
to know your opponent's cards it can become a little predictable.
Rating: 7

"Misc. Games"

Duel of Ages
A game where pretty much any number of players get together on two
teams in a fictional arena, gathering personalities and weapons from
the past present and future, and try to get as many points as possible.
Points are gathered by successfully overcoming challenges in the
"Labyrinths" and beating each other up. Plays like a a light wargame.
Not particularly clever or original, and frequently seems unbalanced,
but lots of fun. Biggest problem is that you need a long time to play
it (minimum 2 hours, but preferably 3-4 for a satisfying game). For
some reason, this is one of my favorites.
Rating: 8.5

Everyone plays a robot is a giant factory. You have to pre-program
your robot with orders to turn, move forward, etc and hope you get the
order right and that nothing happens to you that you didn't expect. A
lot of times, unfortunately, that's what happens. Think of the scene in
Star Wars, Attack of the clones, where Anakin, Princess Amidala, C3P0
and R2D2 are in the robot factory.
Rating: 7

It's a smash up derby. Everyone gets a cardboard car and you move it
around on the table trying to pick up gas cans and smash each other to
smithereens. Fun, but a little clunky and repetitive.
Rating: 5

Everyone plays a two-bit actor in a one-bit (?) movie studio. Most
people competes to star in roles in bad movies and get paid. SOME
PEOPLE (you know who you are) spend all their time as extras in movies
that never get finished, making money that way. This game is lots of
fun, but I'm not sure how long it will hold up.
Rating: 7

Hero Clix
A Miniatures game involving superheroes. You pick a team of superheroes
and... fight. To me, the system is clunky, and not being a huge comic
book fan the "thrill" of playing the characters is lost.
Rating: 4

Wreck of the Pandora
All the players are on a ship in space, just awoke from stasis sleep
and you realize that the ship is crawling with creatures and you can't
quite remember where anything is. you have to work together to get the
ship going again before time runs out. Sort of fun, but the combat
rules in particular are very clunky.
Rating: 4

Firefly- The game
Chris wrote this one. Everybody plays one or more characters from the
show Firefly and proceed to re-enact the episodes. We only played once,
and it was the first time played, so some slack has to be given. The
game was beautiful, and it was close to being good, but in the end it
was too much "following the script" for me. Also, some of the rules
needed tweaking. Probably lots of fun for fans of the series, though.
Rating: NA (not finished)

Firefly- Space Traders!
Chris also wrote this one. Everyone plays a ship involved in space
trade. Pick up goods on one end of the galaxy and ship it to another
planet to make a profit. Evade the cops and improve your ship. Although
this was also the first time we played this one, it worked much better
as it was. A few tweaks would make it even better, but I enjoyed this
one quite a bit.
Rating: 7

The setting is your typical zombie horror movie. You are surrounded by
hordes of stupid, slow zombies which you have to plow through in order
to find the helicopter pad and fly of to safety. Fun, but a bit clunky.
We found an alternate set of rules which seemed like they would be much
Rating: 5

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