Games played May 07

Wow! Have completed 2 years of boardgaming. Things are just hotting up. Am getting a few more games this weekend and there are a few more games lying unplayed at home. So a good couple of months ahead on the gaming front.

May was the month of annual holidays for children. This means the kids in our building will get to some gaming at home. The tough part was in deciding what game to play. Shreyasi always has a game in mind and will not play anything else most of the time. Guha loves train games, while Sai wants to play a game he has ever played. We did however manage to a good month of gaming, 61 plays and 24 different games.

TTR:  USA 1910 – 8 plays - Still remains the favorite for everyone. Sushanth also has started playing it.

Bohnanza & Thurn & taxis – 6 plays each - Two of Sai’s friends actually landed up one evening and managed to learn and play T & T which was good. Bohnanza of course is Sushanth’s favorite game.

High Society & Settlers of Catan – 5 plays each – Settlers is played when Varadu comes in during his lunch hour at office. I enjoyed High Society again after a long time.

Cartagena, Prices of Florence & San Juan – 3 plays -We finally played the Cartagena version with open cards and it was a different challenge. Prices was the new game for the month and instant hit. Superb game and right t the top of my all time games along with Puerto Rico. San Juan, again only 2p games but it is getting closer and closer. All three games were won by a single point!

Alhambra, Atlantic Star, Carcassonne, Railroad Tycoon & TTR:Marklin – 2 plays each

Coda, Lucca Citta, Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper,  Power Grid Italy/France, Puerto Rico, Ra, Schildkroetenrennen, TTR, Tutankhamen & Wildlife – 1 play each - Lucca Citta was another new gam. It was ok but may not hit the table again. It was nice to play Ra again. Super game. I feel it is better than Amun-Re. Enjoyed Tutankhamen again. we finally played a full 6p game of Wildlife and it was really great.

Games played Apr 07

Finally a month with more 30 different games being played. A few new games also were played. And I finally played some games that I do not own! This means that I have some gaming partners who are getting to get other games so that the games I play are not restricted only to the ones I won.

Ticket to ride: 1910 USA – 15 plays

 Bohnanza – 14 plays My 6 year old son Sushanth learnt this and we enjoyed the different plays with different number of players. Excellent and simple family game. Easy to explain and loads of fun.

Thurn & Taxis – 6 plays

For Sale – 5 plays

Frank’s Zoo, Puerto Rico & Station Master – 4 plays each

We finally played Frank’s Zoo wit the full quota of 7 players. Great fun. Station Master was a new game for the month. A nice simple game that plays quick and fast with a lot of ‘take that’ to it. But I feel there is an unfinished look about the game. After a few plays I kind of got bored.

Category 5, Seafarers of Catan, Santiago & Ticket to ride: Marklin edition – 3 plays each.

I just love Seafarers. We played almost all the scenarios detailed and it was so much fun. But I do not like the 5/6 player expansions of both the base and the Seafarers. This game is to be played with 3 or 4. If you have more players play something else. There are so many better games for 5 and 6 people.  I liked Santiago a lot and it was a pity we only got 3 plays in.

Citadels, Coloretto, Empire Builder, Hive, Hornochsen,  Pickomino, Seafarers 5/6 players expansion, Settlers, Thief of Baghdad – 2 plays each.

Of the lot, I liked the look of Thief of Baghdad. It is a very clever game and has something in it. But there is an element of monotony to the way we have to play our hand each turn. This can get to you after a point. Maybe a play once or twice a year but not more. I did not like Pickomino that much. Hive is a great game and I really like it a lot. One game that I want to get from the lot of new games played last month. Hornochsen is a bit more strategic than Category 5 but I prefer the latter.

Amun-Re, Cartagena, Hare & Tortoise, Elfenland, Metro, Modern art, Mystery Rummy Jack the Ripper,  Power Grid, Power Grid Italy/France, Rat-a-tat cat, Transeuropa & Winners Circle – 1 play each

I liked Amun-Re but prefer Ra which is a more elegant and simple game with deep strategy. Metro was a bit of a bore and it was nice to play Elfenland again.  Overall a great month of gaming, some new games played and looking forward the kids’ holidays to play more in May.

Empire Builder

We finally got to play a game of Empire Builder yesterday. It took a long time to finish. We had a few rules to iron out. And we played without the event cards. But there is something in the game that kept us occupied. Firstly to get a hang of the different goods, where they are available and drawing the route to fulfil thier demand takes a long time and atleast a couple of playings I think. We definitely are not getting a grasp of ‘efficiency’ in track building as yet. So most turns we were just tracing our routes up and down to deliver a single good. The result, after 2 plus hours one of us connected 6 out of the 7 major cities and the winner had 68 million. Nowhere near the targeted 250 million for the game finish criteria. The only downside to the game is its length. It will be a deterrent for hitting the table again especially when there are more elegant games like Railroad Tycoon at home!

Games played Mar 07

TTR USA 1910 continues to dominate with 19 plays this month.

Thurn & Taxis – 11 Aarthi have been enjoying the 2 player version so much that it became an after dinner routine on many days! The game plays superbly with 2 and provides great replayability.

The Settlers of Catan – 8 The increase in Settlers has coincided with the decrease in TTR 1910 this month. Simple now the afternoon sessions with Varadu during his lunch hour has more Settlers being played. The 3 player version is probably more interesting and competitive than the 4 player version.

High Society – 7 All the plays coming on just 1 single day in Coimbatore when I was travelling for a concert with Varadu and Venky. After almost exhausting myself with For Sale this is a good replacement.

Puerto Rico – 6 All 2 player plays only this month. Aarthi just continues to dominate winning most.

Atlantic Star & San Juan – 3 Again all 2 player versions with Aarthi. Someday I must play San Juan with 3 and see how it pans out.

Catagory 5 – 2 Taught it to Sushanth, his new game this month. He seemed to have grasped it very fast. The game should be a blast with children.

TTR Marklin – 2 Varadu finally learnt this and hopefully should see more plays in the coming months.

Carcassonne, Coda, Coloretto, Frank’s Zoo, Goa, Hansa, Lowenhurz, Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper, Power Grid, Power Grid: Benelux/Central Europe, Railroad Tycoon, Rat-a-tat Cat, Santa Fe Rails. Schildkroetenrennen, Settlers Card game, That’s Life, Tutankhamen – 1 play each

I liked the fact that a number of games not played in the last few months got a play each. Really enjoyed Coloretto, Lowenhurz, RRT after some time. Settlers the card game continues to disappoint. Aarthi just does not like it. Santa Fe Rails was played for the first time. I liked it but we need to play more. I don’t think Goa will hit the table again. There really is very very little player interaction. Now I am looking forward to my holiday this month and a lot of gaming!

Games played Feb 07 or the TTR USA:1910 month!

If ever there was a month that I played one particular game every day, it must be this. We just went mad playing TTR USA:1910. No of plays – 41.

Puerto Rico & Thurn and Taxis  – 8 plays

We disovered the 2 player version of PR and Aarthi loves this game and fancies herself a champ! Anyway I think I got my own a bit with her this month especially in both the above games. I think I even enjoy a slight edge in T&T.

Frank’s Zoo, Goa & TTR Marklin – 3 plays

Frank’s Zoo and Goa were the new games of the month. Sushanth loves Frank’s Zoo and we had some good family sessions of it at home. Marklin made a welcome return and it is my favorite TTR game.

Crazy Chicken – 2 plays

Both with Sushanth to satisfy his desire after we play the bigger games with Shreyasi. Sushanth plays a decent game and has understood it very well.

Carcassonne, Diamant, For Sale, Hare & Tortoise, Lost Cities, That’s Life!, Through the Desert & Union Pacific – 1 play

Goa – Some thoughts

Goa is a highly ranked game on BGG. It is basically a gamer’s game as explained in the many reviews I have seen of it. We managed to open it and get it going this month. We had 3 plays with 2 players and here are some initial impressions.

  • There is a similarity to Puerto Rico in some ways. Though not directly it is more to do with the Euro feel of the game I think. There are so many ways of winning. As Srikanth likes to say, ‘Euros are games that give you many ways to win!’
  • For first timers there will be some difficulty in assimiliating all the different ways of accumulating victory points, but after a few plays the game is very clean and smooth.
  • The amount of choices are a bit overwhelming. For instance you have 6 different actions to choose from. In addition you can play expedition cards any time and also play some of the tiles that you won in an auction. So the choices are really huge.
  • The game plays very well with 2. It is for 2-4 players but the initial auction mechanism is also quite engrossing even with 2 players.
  • The only grouse if any in a 2 player session is that because we have only 4 rounds for each set of tiles, there are more tiles that never get used as opposed to the ones that get auctioned.
  • Am really waiting to play with more players to see the difference.
  • In the final analysis rock solid game with lot of strategy and flow. A trifle dry you can say though.

Puerto Rico – 2 player session!

Puerto Rico is the no 1 ranked game on BGG. But it is meant for 3-5 players. I actually got San Juan, the card game version of Puerto Rico, and we enjoyed the 2 player sessions so much. Finally when we got PR and started playing it we had stopped SJ. Until recently we rediscovered SJ and have been enjoying it a lot. Now finally I managed to download the offical Alea 2 player rules and got it going. We played a great game, it was tight and perfect and aarthi just exclaimed “This is better than San Juan because we can see everything!” Yes I agree, it was much better than SJ and I am so happy Aarthi got down to playing it today. Now there will be more such sessions in the near future. But I would advice a word of caution here. In case you have never played either PR or SJ then I would not advise this variant for 2 players. My personal progression would be to play 2 player SJ first, then play multi player PR and then move to 2 player PR. But this is because I had no one to teach me these games and had to struggle through the initial plays until we got more familiar. If you have someone to teach you the game play anything! They are all great fun and excitement!

Games played January 07

 61 plays logged for the month. The evenings rarely passed without a game being played before retiring. Mostly 2 player sessions with the missus.

Game of the month – Ticket to ride: USA 1910 – 17 plays

Am not going to elaborate on this except to say that we even find the 2 player sessions engrossing and the fever is still continuing!

Surprise of the month – Thurn & Taxis – 8 plays

Plays had petered down after the initial excitement, but we recently rediscovered this and it is occupying us quite nicely. And we found out that Alan Moon loves the 2 player game and plays it a lot with his wife!

Bohnanza, High Society, Mystery Rummy: Jack the Ripper, San Juan – 4 plays

Mostly our staple 2 player games except High Society that we played for the first time this month. The game is an excellent gateway auction game. can be compared to For Sale but I personally found For sale far more easier to teach others. I like both the games and would rather not compare the two. After all when we love auctions so much having a game that can provide another texture is always welcome.

Important new comer – Power Grid – Benelux/Central Europe – 3 plays

I finally managed to get the new map of Funkenschlag (Power Grid) open and we played the Benelux map all 3 times. Have to play Central Europe soon. But this another worthy addition to my no 1 all time favorite!

Carcassonne – 2 plays

Still no Hunters & Gatherers but Carc always makes up the plays every month.

Atlantic Star, Cartagena, Crazy Chicken, Hansa, Lost Cities, Lowenherz, Mr Jack, Power Grid, Rat-a-tat Cat, Risk, Samurai,  The Settlers of Catan, Through the desert, Tutankhamen, Union Pacific – 1 play

Funny that Atlantic Star seems to have run out of steam at the moment. I really want to play more of Mr Jack but it just does not interest Aarthi so much especially with her current obsession with TTR USA 1910.

Ticket to Ride: USA 1910 – We are addicted!

This game has almost taken over our lives here. I don’t think we played the original game as much when we got it then! The game shines most with 4 players. we prefer playing the Mega game most. I also like the Big cities version. The 1910 version feels mostly like the original game. But the mega game – it is so fast and exciting even with 2 or 3 players. The added restriction of all the double routes being available for only one connection adn the agonising decision of needing to take more tickets or not just add to the tension of the game. Anyone out there who has played TTR get this please!! Its worth every dollar/euro/pound rupee that you spend.

Just starting out? Want to know more?

I have been through this stage. Just starting out. Wanting to know more. Visiting http://www.boardgamegeek.com – Intimidated by the information overload. Not knowing what to do. Just click this link below! Excellent way to get into the hobby. Super list.

GeekList: Starting Your Game Collection – A Guide for Advanced Newbies

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