Thursday, August 09, 2007

Let's build cities (Blue Moon City, Carcassonne:The City)

Just Bharmer and myself this night. I brought along a selection of two player games and we each picked one. I did my best to convince him to go with Rommel in the Desert, but he didn't bite.

Blue Moon City

We started out with Blue Moon City (Bharmer's pick). It was an interesting mix of completing each other's buildings and running off and doing our own thing. With only two players, it seemed like cards were more abundant (though I can't explain why that would be). On a couple of occasions, we would complete three section buildings on one turn! (after calling a dragon or two, of course). This obviously led to big swings in position. I had the early lead, building three sections of the obelisk pretty quickly. Bharmer had only one, but late in the game he managed to complete a lot of buildings without giving much to me, so he was winning the crystal race pretty handily. I tried to force a last minute scale payout to get the last few crytals I needed in time... but it wasn't fast enough. He swooped in and placed his last two cubes in the obelisk for the win.

This game continues to be good fun for me. It's typically a very tight race, and the way payouts work keeps everyone in the running while making the leader hard to spot. I noticed once again that Knizia's math was pretty honed in making this game: every time I play a two player game there appears to be JUST ENOUGH crystals on the board to allow both players to win (and then only if they've managed some shared payouts earlier in the game). Very tight indeed.

Looking at your hand and coming up with a clever use of your cards is always satisfying, and is probably my favorite aspect of the game.

Carcassonne: The City

The second (and last) game of the evening was Carcassonne: The City... a game I enjoy but rarely play due to it's similarities to the original (if it weren't such an attractive set, I'd probably trade it away) . Anyway, the session was unfortunately hurt by a number of rules missunderstandings (caused by the overly brief overview I gave Bharmer), which led to moves he wouldn't have made otherwise. Example: thinking he knew that roads split neighbourhoods, I didn't mention it. Boy, that led to an "aha!" moment, and not in a good way! Anyway, I did manage a very lucrative guard which overlooked a loooong section of the city full of public buildings, but I also scored a ton of points from the neighborhoods I won due to the rules mistakes. Anyway, I had a good time... hopefully so did Bharmer!

Oh, and judging by the city we've built, Iwould guess we would make terribly poor city planners. I won't be quitting my day job.

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