Friday, June 18, 2010

More More Martin and Macao (Steam, Macao)

I've signed up to playtest some new Steam maps, and this week I brought a new three player map to the group. I also brought along Macao, since I'm finding that game quite intriguing at the moment.

In an email exchange prior to games night, I discovered that Kozure wasn't particularly enamoured with the game. Shemp also confessed that his enitial enthusiasm for the game had waned. I was pretty surprised, because I still love the game. It pushes many of the same buttons as El Grande (the puzzle aspect of most effectively pushing wooden cubes around) but it plays with a wider number of players and has lots of expansions to keep it fresh. Shemp mentioned he wasn't thrilled with all the quirky new rules that come along with each expansion board, and Kozure prefers Railroad Tycoon's more forgiving and less constrained feel. Both said they like it enough to play it, but there was definitely little actual enthusiasm.

Isn't it funny how differently players can feel about games. We've been playing together for over 6 years and although we all enjoy a broad section of games together, I wonder if we were to make top 10 lists how many games would end up on all three.

I won't dwell long on how the games played. The Steam map played very well for three players, which is not really the case with the boards included with the game. I consider it a success and would choose to play this one again if we were three. Macao was characterized by dice that rolled very high, all the time. I recovered from a shaky start and managed to come within ONE POINT of Shemp. So. Close.

Kozure does not appear to be terribly enamoured with Macao either (though he says he thinks it's a good game, just not one of his favorited). I'll certainly grant that the theme is rather weak in this one (though still better than some). Probably on par with Puerto Rico theme-wise. I continue to be very interested in the way you have to plan ahead, all the while behaving tactically every turn and trying to get combos going. Very engaging.

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