Thursday, April 21, 2005

"Yarghh". "Halt". "Well, I never"

Three games tonight:

Pirate's Cove
High Society

Pirate's Cove was fun as always. I pulled to an early lead by focusing most of my starting money on sails and sinking many enemies (most often Luch) before they got a shot off. I was getting unbeleivably lucky with my dice rolling, but then things starting going badly... I got blowed up a few times, and the game quickly became a two horse race between Kozure and Shemp. In the end, Shemp won by a large margin, and proceeded to claim that he thought he had figured out the best strategy for the game. After we were all done laughing that the game could be won through strategy, he stood his ground but then conceeded that he'd have to try it again to see if he was right. I consider that a challenge, matey.

Domain followed. We once again forgot the very imporant rule that cards can't be drawn from the chancery once the deck is completed, but otherwise this was (and felt) like the most satisfying session so far. the game is finally living up to it's potential as we learn to identify the Big Land Grab (tm) early enough to prevent it. In this case, kozure was being sneaky and tried to seal off a huge chunk of the board quite early on. Luch and I where skirmishing in the corner. Shemp, well, he wasn't "firing on all cylinders" shall we say (though I can't remember why). Lucky for us, Shemp noticed the BLG a few turns before it happend, and we all mobilized to prevent it from happening. Luckily for me, I was in a position to benefit the most. With a few well timed "traitor" cards, I managed to grab quite a few points at Kozure's expense. Luch started threatening my borders at the end, but it wasn't enough to cut my lead. I won.

My feelings for the game have definitely improved as we've played. With a group of similarly experienced players, this is a great game. With that in mind, I'll be changing my rating for this one to an 8.5.

Last up was High Society. We hadn't played this one before, but I had heard such good things about it I picked it up last time I was at a gamestore. What a great game! It's simple (5 minutes to explain), it's fast (20-25 minutes), and yet it's strategic and fun. Essentially, everyone plays "Nouvaux Riche"... recently wealthy people looking to boost their status by buying impressive things. It's a card game where every turn, an item worth 1 to 10 is turned up for bidding. Players bid clockwise until all but one drops out, and then that player adds the item to their collection. There are also "bad" cards which force the player to discard a previously purchased item, half their score, etc. In this case, players bid to NOT take the item. First player to pass gets it (but all money bid by all players is lost). There are four cards with red borders, once all 4 are revealed the game ends. The total value of aquired items determines the winner, but the catch is that the player with the least leftover money is immediately eliminated, regardless of the value of their purchases (They are the poorest, and therefore only worthy of ridicule)! Having to balance aquiring the most valuable pieces with the threat of instant elimination for being the poorest player at the end makes for very difficult decisions. The fact that no one knows when the game will end makes things even more interesting! We played three hands... I lost the first one by managing to forget the "poorest player" rule (which is particularly embarassing considering I am the one who taught the others how to play), but then rebounded and won the next by taking a chance on a very pricey last bid which put me over the top.

I REALLY liked this game. In my opinion, this is probably "The Ultimate Filler Game"... Rating 8.5

1 comment:

  1. OK - as far as Pirate's Cove, you got my assertion mostly correct. What I really claim is that I've found a strategy that will usually result in winning AS LONG AS NO ONE ELSE pursues it. Which is why I don't want to reveal the strategy until we play one more round. As soon as everyone knows what the strategy is, it will no longer work. But I'm definitely looking forward to testing it.

    I wasn't firing on all cylinders due to a massive toothache, which in turn was causing sleep deprivation, which in turn was causing general foggyheadedness.

    I would like to point out that I predicted Domaine would keep getting more enjoyable. If we could only follow ALL of the rules, it will improve even more, I bet!

    AND ~ High Society R0XX0RZ my B0XX0RZ~!~ Give it a 9.