Monday, September 26, 2011

The King with Wings (Roma/ Roma 2: The Arena x2, Lords of Vegas, King of Tokyo x2)

Kozure, Shemp and I gathered this week to play an evening of Vegas games. It didn't work out due to a lack of available time, but what can you do.

Roma/ Roma 2: The Arena

As Kozure was in charge of his lads that evening, Shemp and I played two rounds of Roma. We pitted the two decks against each other to see how that went. We'll certainly have to play several more times to really know if one is stronger than the other, but it certainly seems to me that the original Roma is a swingier deck, with more opportunity to score big points when things work and potential to get none at all if things don't. Roma 2 seems smoother, with better odds of getting useful cards but a slower overall pace.

In our first game, I was getting creamed because I couldn't get any VP generation going. I was down to one vp if i'm not mistaken. Luckily, Shemp lost all ability to roll the dice he needed, consistently failing rolls that had a 5 in 6 chance of working. I didn't lose that last point and in fact landed two forums and started reaping the rewards. A few short rounds later I bounced back and won the game. I did realize one thing, though... Once the opponent is close to winning, getting VPs can be a bad move if it ends the game before you have more than the othe player. It was necessary to bleed out VPs from Shemp before claiming them. Tricky.

Our second game was more even, and I don't remember who won.

Still enjoying this two player game. Long live Herr Feld!

Lords of Vegas

With the kids in bed, we started our game of Lords of Vegas. As the game developed, a few patterns emerged...

1) I once again started growing a large casino in the big center-left block. I seem to do this every game.
2) Kozure once again received a disproportionate amount of disjointed properties.
3) I got into a war over a casino with Kozure. Normally, this happens between me and Shemp. Although in the end I managed to wrest control from Kozure and end the game with two decent casinos, the constant re-rolling of the casino dice drained both our money and made it hard to stay competitive with Shemp.

There wasn't a huge amount of trading this game. Not sure why... The opportunities seemed harder to find (though Shemp tried his best!).

Shemp won by quite a large margin. Kozure and I were in a tight race for second.

King of Tokyo

Tom Vassel and Michael Barnes have both recently talked up King of Tokyo and so when I saw it I thought i'd give it a try. It's a very simple and mostly silly game about competing monsters trying to destroy Tokyo and each other. Although there aren't a ton of games with this theme, it's also not really particularly original. What sets this game apart is the simplicity and focus of the design. You are either a creature in Tokyo, dealing damage to all the monsters outside of Tokyo OR you are a creature outside of Tokyo dealing damage to the monster currently in Tokyo. Since the monster inside Tokyo cannot heal, it creates a natural cycle of monsters entering Tokyo, trying to stay as long as possible, and then leaving to lick it's wounds. The game is won by either accumulating 20vps or being last monster standing. It's a dice rolling game where you can either roll wounds, healing, VPs or victory points. Each player rolls three times, hoping to get dice in the combination they are trying to achieve, yada, yada, yada. A deck of cards representing upgrades spices things up as players can save up energy to purchase them and slowly transform their creature from, for example, a simple giant dinosaur to A GIANT DINOSAUR WITH TWO HEADS, WINGS AND ALIEN METABOLISM!!!. It's easy to teach, it's short and a lot of fun to play. Big thumbs up from me and easily the best boardgames Richard Garfield has done since Robo-rally.

In our first session, Shemp dominated Tokyo for nearly the whole game because he managed to snag the "wings" upgrade early, which allowed him to spend energy to ignore damage. I think Kozure won the second game, but I'm not sure.

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