Dragon Delta – A good fun game

1. The game was a big hit with a couple of kids aged 6 and 10. Bth wanted to play it again after one play!

2. The game is a typical race game and reminded me of the old Chinese Checkers with the strategic euro element that makes it so much more interesting and fun.

3. The components are well produced though the box just looks a bit big for the amount of stuff in it.

4. The rules are simple and easy and can be explained in 5 minutes.

5. Pawns are moved across the delta based on a series of action cards. Each player chooses five cards out of their hand of action cards and place them face down below simultaneously.

6. The delta is filled with rocks. Stones have to be placed on the rocks, and planks across two stones to create a series of rickety bridges on which the pawn moves.

7. The dragon cards in each player’s hand cancel out the action of another player and adds just that element of nastiness to the game.

8. The other interesting factor is that though the planks are colour coded, this is mainly for the initial placement. There is also a restriction that when one plays, the card that helps one to replenish a plank from the board, you cannot take a similar sized plank that you already have. You can also not hold more than 2 colours of planks.

9. The game is won when the first player moves a pawn to a village on the opposite side of the delta. This again is colour coded in such a way that specific pawns have to move to specific villages in order to win.

10. Overall a good fun game, can be used as a gateway game also, has enough strategic elements to keep everyone interested. The theme also seems to sit very well on the game.

Thurn & Taxis: Power and Glory – Session report

This is a session report I posted on BGG.

I had enjoyed Thurn & Taxis so much ever since it came out. Most of our plays were only 2 player sessions with the wife, but the game was great and after I read somewhere that Alan Moon loved playing it with his wife, we were elated. So when the expansion came out I was keen to get. It came yesterday and I immediately got it out for a 2 player session with the wife. The game essentially plays the same as the original, but the ability to complete routes based on a flexible carriage strength is really clever. Instead of trying to increase the carriage strength as in the original, the focus now is to get rid of all the house by placing them on cities not placed before. There was also a race for the free cities early on, and the new 5 point token on a 8 route meant that we both concentrated on longer routes in the beginning. Strategically, the game offers a choice of going for longer routes across regions to place more houses on the board, and get the larger point tokens. Or you can opt for smaller routes and finish off provinces early. The main difference with the original in terms of game play is this flexibility in approach There seemed to be a streamlined predictability in the original where we constantly had to upgrade carriages and then go for longer routes. Overall a welcome addition to our personal game shelf. Though it may not be worth the cost if you have not enjoyed the original much and played it enough and need a change. PS: I lost the game badly!

Thurn & Taxis and the expansion

I got the new expansion for Thurn & Taxis and immediately we played a 2p session. Firstly I realised that I had played T&T wrongly for so long now. I have completely forgotten to reduce the points for houses not placed onto the board at the end of the game! Thanks to BGG I noticed it only today. anyway coming to the expansion, it is a new board with new cards. The only thing you need from the original game is the houses in the different colours. As someone posted on BGG, you don’t even need the original if you just get the expansion! Personally the expansion provides me with just that different feel and interest for someone who has got bored of the original but liked it a lot. So unless you really loved the original, played a lot, got bored, but would not mind playing the same game with a subtle shift, this expansion is not worth it.

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!

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