Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back at the polls so soon? (Die Macher)

Luch decided that he would always pick Die Macher when we played at Bharmer's place. Given that Bharmer rarely plays with us now, the odds of it being Luch's pick at Bharmer's place are pretty low. You'd think it would take a while before something like that would happen again. Well, here we are, just a month after the last time he picked it, and Die Macher graced the table once more.

It's worth noting that I wasn't at that session, and so until this week I firmly believed that Bharmer's wife was fictitious. As it turns out, she's not. I was glad to meet her, but I have to admit that I enjoyed the concept of the imaginary wife. I may choose to stick with it.

Die Macher

Although the others played last month, I haven't played in over a year... and Die Macher takes a bit of time to get the hang of when you are rusty. In the first election I tried very hard to win and wound up tied with Bharmer... but then remembered that one of the key benefits to winning an early election is to put a media cube on the victory point track. You'd think I would have placed one in the region if I was trying to win it, wouldn't you? That was 25 vps out the window.

I managed to stay in the lead for seats throughout the game, and it seemed like a decent enough strategy. Although I fumbled through most of the game, I set myself up well for the final two regions and scored a major comeback (it was the 80 region, and no one else was well setup for it). Kozure, on the other hand, had been consistently playing well throughout. Was my last big score enough to win?

No. Kozure won by 10 points. Well played, sir!

Die Macher is a good game, but I can't say I love it. For it's length, there are simply too many large swings of luck. The 80 province that came up in the last election effectively neutralized all the gains Kozure made in three whole elections (two 20s and a 40). That's 1.5 hours of playtime, folks! I was understandably irritated when it came out.

It's fascinating to watch so many interlocking mechanisms work together, and getting good at manipulating them all must surely come with a certain amount of satisfaction. For me, however, I look back fondly at the days of simple, streamlined and short euros... like (sarcasm) PowerGrid (sarcasm).

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